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  1. #11
    GeoffHill's Avatar
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    Thanks for your input.

    A few more dumb questions for you.

    Will the camera have a built in light meter, or some why of determining exposure, or do I have to use it in conjunction with a light meter. My history of cameras is digital (Eos 400d) to Automated electronic film Slrs in the EOS 1n and EOS 300v, so it's going to be a bit different to what I'm used to. I think going to a camera with no exposure meter,and fully manual may be a leap too far at the moment..

    Thanks

    Geoff

  2. #12
    AZLF's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=GeoffHill;525881]Thanks for your input.

    A few more dumb questions for you.

    Will the camera have a built in light meter, or some why of determining exposure, or do I have to use it in conjunction with a light meter. My history of cameras is digital (Eos 400d) to Automated electronic film Slrs in the EOS 1n and EOS 300v, so it's going to be a bit different to what I'm used to. I think going to a camera with no exposure meter,and fully manual may be a leap too far at the moment..


    I can't speak to the pro series or af series but the earlier models had as an option an AE finder with, if memory serves a match needle metering system as well as an aperture priority option. But I think you would be much better served buying an exposure meter and getting comfortable with its use. In my opinion one cannot consider themselves a photographer until they and not the camera determine the exposure. Opinions on this will vary wildly I'm sure.
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  3. #13

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    I still use my 645 Pro for professional work, and it's great. I love Mamiya's right hand grip/motor drive...solid as a rock. The only thing is, it's quite noisy (if that's an issue for you). Mamiya's optics are first-rate, you'll probably never have a problem with them. Either the Pro or Pro TL should work fine for you in most situations.

  4. #14

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    I have a Pro TL, and yes it has a light meter. Quite accurate, although I use my external light meter alongside. Just because i have one, I guess.. It has an automatic function as well..

  5. #15
    MattKing's Avatar
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    The metering function is "optional" in that it depends on which viewfinder you have installed.

    I have three - a metering eye level finder (which offers both AE and manual functions, as well as a fairly wide field spot metering function), a non metered eye level finder, and a waist level finder. You cannot get a metering waist level finder.

    The choice of finders is one of the differences between the Super and the Pro/Pro Tl. IIRC, all finders that work with the Super will work on the other models, but there are finders designed for the Pro Tl (and possibly the Pro) that don't work, or don't work fully on the Super.

    Matt

    P.S. If you just get a waist level finder, you will realize quite quickly that it doesn't work very well with vertically oriented compositions - that is unless you work well with everything appearing upside down
    Last edited by MattKing; 09-28-2007 at 12:40 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: another thought

  6. #16

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    I've had a Pro TL for about 6 years. It was my first step up from 35mm. It's a good, but not great, camera. I've done some wonderful work with it, and will still use it for certain projects. Even though I have the grip and the metered prism, I generally use it with the (albeit dim) waistlevel finder and the winder. I use this setup on a tripod and can carry it around quite freely. It's a light enough kit. I don't think the meter in my prism works very well anymore, and even when it did work, I don't remember liking it much. And the motorized grip makes such a racket, I found it unbearable.

    In recent years I've had my doubts about the lens quality. I regularly make 16x20 enlargements from Fuji Acros negs, and they look wonderful. Really, I couldn't be much happier with them. I remember though, shooting some band photos a while back. I was using an xpan, and I had my mamiya with me. I was shooting provia and made a few 'duplicate' shots. Apples and oranges, you could say, but one thing jumped out at me right away from the light box. Those xpan negs were significantly more contrasty, and had a sharpness that the mamiya lacked. The lighting conditions were identical, and both exposures were spot on. That was with the naked eye. Under a loupe it was all the more obvious. Certainly the xpan is a marvellous (expensive!) camera, but it was a bit disapointing to see the difference.

    I notice that lack of contrast when I'm developing B&W film as well. If the consensus is 10min with a particular film and developer, I generally tack on +25% to get a normal printing neg. I assume this has at least something to do with the lenses.

    Now I've more or less replaced my Pro TL with a Rollei 3.5 TLR. The difference in contrast, again, is staggering. The Rollei negs are quite amazing - I'm hooked on them. But I guess it's like comparing a Toyota Camry to a Maybach. Both do the job quite well, but the latter does it with style.

    Another gripe with the 645 is the aspect ratio. It's a bit too squat. Not as bad as 4x5, but certainly not as pleasing to me as 35mm.

    I also don't care too much for the film backs. I'm not convinced they hold the film flat enough. Certainly, it's an inferior method to something like the Rollei or a Blad.

    I'm not bashing. The camera has served me really well, and quite honestly, I've beaten the hell out of it. I'm not very gentle with cameras - and it's never failed me once, mechanically. I see the price these cameras go for now, and it's a steal - I saw a Pro kit for 350$ on craigslist not long ago. But the Hasselblad kits are cheap now too. I think if I was getting a medium format SLR kit, I'd get the Blad. May as well get the best. Or a 67 of some sort.

    No matter, you'll notice a difference in quality between 120 and 35mm film. It's unmistakable.

    Good luck!

  7. #17

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    I've been using a Pro model for over ten uears with absolutely no malfunction. Well, maybe some cockpit problems. I have two bodies and 7 lenses. All superb lenses. It was my step up from 35mm and I use for all my handheld work now. Use KB Canham and the 645 both when I'm on a tripod. They both help make me a happy photographer.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffHill View Post
    Thanks for your input.

    A few more dumb questions for you.

    Will the camera have a built in light meter, or some why of determining exposure, or do I have to use it in conjunction with a light meter. My history of cameras is digital (Eos 400d) to Automated electronic film Slrs in the EOS 1n and EOS 300v, so it's going to be a bit different to what I'm used to. I think going to a camera with no exposure meter,and fully manual may be a leap too far at the moment..

    Thanks

    Geoff
    It depends on which prism you get. The meter is in the prism on metered prisms, while waistlevel and unmetered prisms are also available. I'd recommend the AE Prism or AE Prism N as a first prism (Metered, with Averaging and Spot metering, supports aperture priority and manual modes).

    The Pro TL does have a metering cell in the body, but that's only for TTL flash (yes, it does TTL flash with unmetered prisms and waistlevel finders).

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco Buonocore View Post
    I've had a Pro TL for about 6 years. It was my first step up from 35mm. It's a good, but not great, camera. I've done some wonderful work with it, and will still use it for certain projects. Even though I have the grip and the metered prism, I generally use it with the (albeit dim) waistlevel finder and the winder. I use this setup on a tripod and can carry it around quite freely. It's a light enough kit. I don't think the meter in my prism works very well anymore, and even when it did work, I don't remember liking it much. And the motorized grip makes such a racket, I found it unbearable.
    Yeah, the drives are LOUD. I've scared the occasional pedestrian with mine.

    In recent years I've had my doubts about the lens quality. I regularly make 16x20 enlargements from Fuji Acros negs, and they look wonderful. Really, I couldn't be much happier with them. I remember though, shooting some band photos a while back. I was using an xpan, and I had my mamiya with me. I was shooting provia and made a few 'duplicate' shots. Apples and oranges, you could say, but one thing jumped out at me right away from the light box. Those xpan negs were significantly more contrasty, and had a sharpness that the mamiya lacked. The lighting conditions were identical, and both exposures were spot on. That was with the naked eye. Under a loupe it was all the more obvious. Certainly the xpan is a marvellous (expensive!) camera, but it was a bit disapointing to see the difference.
    The N lenses are noticably higher contrast than the earlier C and S lenses. It's a coating issue. Also, depending on lens, the C versions may have different designs which may be inferior (the 45 most notably). My 55/2.8 N will give anything Zeiss a run for its money, my 45 and 80 C's, while nice lenses, will not.

    I notice that lack of contrast when I'm developing B&W film as well. If the consensus is 10min with a particular film and developer, I generally tack on +25% to get a normal printing neg. I assume this has at least something to do with the lenses.

    Now I've more or less replaced my Pro TL with a Rollei 3.5 TLR. The difference in contrast, again, is staggering. The Rollei negs are quite amazing - I'm hooked on them. But I guess it's like comparing a Toyota Camry to a Maybach. Both do the job quite well, but the latter does it with style.
    I'm assuming you've got C lenses here. Contrast shouldn't be an issue with the N lenses.

    Another gripe with the 645 is the aspect ratio. It's a bit too squat. Not as bad as 4x5, but certainly not as pleasing to me as 35mm.

    I also don't care too much for the film backs. I'm not convinced they hold the film flat enough. Certainly, it's an inferior method to something like the Rollei or a Blad.

    I'm not bashing. The camera has served me really well, and quite honestly, I've beaten the hell out of it. I'm not very gentle with cameras - and it's never failed me once, mechanically. I see the price these cameras go for now, and it's a steal - I saw a Pro kit for 350$ on craigslist not long ago. But the Hasselblad kits are cheap now too. I think if I was getting a medium format SLR kit, I'd get the Blad. May as well get the best. Or a 67 of some sort.

    No matter, you'll notice a difference in quality between 120 and 35mm film. It's unmistakable.

    Good luck!
    The Aspect ratio of 645 is in practice very similar to 4x5. It's one thing I love about 645 (Printing to 8x10 or 16x20 involves almost no cropping). I'm not fond of 35mm's excessively rectangular format. And I also find the handling better than the Blads, which are seemingly designed to slow you down.

  10. #20
    Anscojohn's Avatar
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    Years ago I borrowed, on two separate occasions, from two different friends, their 645 to see if I liked the camera. I shot about half a dozen rolls of film in each. In one, the shutter jammed. In the other, the finder separated. I had them fixed. I bought a different system instead.
    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA

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