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  1. #41
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mweintraub View Post
    The Bronica ETR series seems to be the smallest SLR 645 that I know of. It's not a bad kit too.
    They're really cheap these days. I got into my system because it's one of the few 645's with interchangeable backs, and it's one of best values for money.

    To echo some other comments, the Fuji GA645zi has probably been one of the best cameras I've handled. Basically a P&S camera with a stellar lens onto s 645 piece of film. Light and small, too!
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  2. #42
    ataim's Avatar
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    IMHO a Mamiya 7 would be MY choice. You'll get twice the film area as a 645 and still be careering less weight. But is a range finder and focusing can be a challenge.
    Paul Ward
    Calumet C-1 Green Monster
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    www.jpaulsenward.com

  3. #43
    MattKrull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom1956 View Post
    645's are (were) for wedding photographers. That's all the redeeming quality I can see in one. You can't buy 220 any more, so it can't replace a 35 for shooting willy-nilly. And it can't do what a 67 can do in terms of neg quality. It's closer to a 35 than anything else, so why not stick with a 35? Just extra bulk and expense for diminishing returns.
    There have been a couple of 645 threads recently, and I've seen this comment come up a number of times - the 645 was a wedding photographer format. I don't know if it is written with derision, but I always seem to read it as derogatory.

    When I think about it, a wedding photographer requires a number of difficult compromises:
    -The camera has to be light, because they will be carrying it all day
    -The camera and lens system has to take good shot in all sorts of conditions (dark churches, bright open areas, near, close, etc)
    -It has to be quick to handle, since your subjects won't be holding still much, and there are no do-overs for missed shots
    -The negative has to produce fantastic 8x10s, and will be expected to make larger enlargements from hand held shots.

    I mean, when's the last time you read "Monorail 4x5s are for studio work. That's the only redeeming quality I can see in one." ?
    Okay, so you get 15 shots instead of 36, so you won't be shooting willy-nilly (although multiple backs lets you shoot willy-nilly and in multiple emulsions if you so chose).
    And yes, the negative has half the information of a 67, but that requires you to have a bigger enlarger to make use of it. I'd say it's closer to 6x6 than any other format (6x6 only has 1/3rd more surface area, instead of the 3x the surface area a 645 has over a 35mm).

    It doesn't sound so bad to me, but then, my favourite colour film is Porta 400, which if I understand it, was created specifically for the wedding market as well.

  4. #44
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ataim View Post
    IMHO a Mamiya 7 would be MY choice. You'll get twice the film area as a 645 and still be careering less weight. But is a range finder and focusing can be a challenge.
    I paid $450 IIRC for my 645 Pro with 80mm 2.8N lens, two backs, two 120 inserts, AE prism finder pro and winder grip. I got a Polaroid back free from someone online who hadn't realized it wouldn't work with his 645AF. I forget what I paid for my 150 3.5N and 55mm 2.8N from KEH but it wasn't much and they are superb. Likewise my additional backs and inserts were basically had for pocket change, almost.

    Would I rather have a Mamiya 7? Well yeah - if someone else paid for it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #45
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKrull View Post
    It doesn't sound so bad to me, but then, my favourite colour film is Porta 400, which if I understand it, was created specifically for the wedding market as well.
    Nor bad to me, and I like Portra too.

    I've honestly thought about getting a 645 back for my RB, it's on my list of maybes, just not at the top. One of these days I'll find one at a price I can't resist. 6x6 back too.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #46
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKrull View Post
    There have been a couple of 645 threads recently, and I've seen this comment come up a number of times - the 645 was a wedding photographer format. I don't know if it is written with derision, but I always seem to read it as derogatory.

    When I think about it, a wedding photographer requires a number of difficult compromises:
    -The camera has to be light, because they will be carrying it all day
    -The camera and lens system has to take good shot in all sorts of conditions (dark churches, bright open areas, near, close, etc)
    -It has to be quick to handle, since your subjects won't be holding still much, and there are no do-overs for missed shots
    -The negative has to produce fantastic 8x10s, and will be expected to make larger enlargements from hand held shots.

    It doesn't sound so bad to me, but then, my favourite colour film is Porta 400, which if I understand it, was created specifically for the wedding market as well.
    Yeah, those were the characteristics I looked for in an SLR system before investing in an ETRS.

    You really can shoot willy-nilly in comparison to a 35mm, too-- 15-16 shots on a roll isn't too bad. If you preload inserts, you can swap in 15 seconds. If you preload backs, it's about 5 seconds.

    Portra is fantastic in both 160 and 400. Still available in 220, too!
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

  7. #47
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Another option to throw a monkey-wrench in the works - a Kodak Medalist. 6x9 cm, so you get the huge negative, the Ektar lens on it is really a Heliar variation, so you get the Heliar look. They're built like a tank - if someone tries to rob you, just bonk them in the head with the Medalist and you'll render them unconscious long enough for the cops to get there. It's rangefinder focusing, so you're shooting eye-level instead of waist-level. They'll go anywhere - Sir Edmund Hilary took one with him to Everest, IIRC (or maybe that was a Kodak Retina - have to check that), I know they've been used in the Arctic before, and they saw combat duty in WW II and Korea.

  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Well no. And I'm sure they are winderful, albeit quite expensive cameras. Of course however a camera is designed a 645 of the sane design can be at least a bit smaller than a comparable 6x7. That doesn't mean such "otherwise comparable" cameras are actually made if course.

    My real point is just that 645 is a viable format and a very significant step up from 35mm.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I agree. 6 x 4.5 is definitely better than 35mm, even at small print sizes. I could easily tell the difference when I see and compare prints. It's just that once you taste medium format quality, you always want more. It's addictive.

    GF670's are almost half price used. Maybe 60% cheaper as of now.

  9. #49
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Here we go again. 645 or any other format is not better than 35mm. It is different.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  10. #50
    fretlessdavis's Avatar
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    I'd say 645 is the best all-around format.

    Also, plenty of people claim they can't see differences between 35mm and 645 on small prints. It's pretty obvious to me on the 5x7's I proof with. FP4, D76, handheld with both, the 645 looks so much better.
    New-ish convert to film.
    Pentax MX for 35mm
    Bronica ETRS for 645

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