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  1. #1

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    Pentax 645 Advice

    Hi all.

    Today my Pentax 645 arrived in the mail! It is the original version. I have searched for over two years and am elated to finally have it!!! It comes with 75, 45, and 150mm lenses. I am new to automatic cameras because until now, I shoot the all manual Pentax K1000 35mm. For those of you you have and are currently using this camera, I have a few questions:

    1.) Of the three lenses, which is best for portraits?

    2.) Will there be a huge learning curve moving from my Pentax K1000?

    3.) Which mode is best used for the camera; manual, aperture priority, or
    shutter priority?

    4.) What are your experiences with the Pentax 645?


    Thank you much,
    Jamusu.
    Last edited by jamusu; 07-18-2008 at 11:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    I use the Pentax 645 II. I'd wanted the 645 ever since it came out in the 80's and when I got a bit of a windfall I purchased one with the 45-85 mm lens and 150 mm lens. Its a great camera and the handling to my mind is really no different to a 35mm slr. The 150 will be your best bet for portraits, although it doesn't focus close enough for real tightly composed head shots. As to which mode to use, choose one you're comfortable with, I use manual and AE priority most of the time, never used program or shutter priority.

    All in all I really love it, unfortunately I don't use as much as I once did as work requires me to be digital, but when I want to do my own personal work its the camera I like to use with either Velvia or Delta 400. I've use Hasselblads, bronicas and Mamiya's and the Pentax is the only one that suits my style of shooting. I know that's a very subjective statement.

  3. #3
    Sputnik's Avatar
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    Jamusu,

    Congrats on getting a great camera! Alltough I sold mine a year ago, I miss it dearly (I just had too many cameras lying around).

    1. I´d say the 150 and 75 are your obvious portrait lenses, but the 45 could let you be a bit creative. If you get the chence look in to the 55mm lens, that was my favourite lens (for all kinds of applications).

    2.Not at all, as long as you manage to load it with some 120-film, you should be ok!

    3. Different strokes for different folks, but I used Aperture priority most as the meter of the 645 is so good. The 645 must be one of the smothest MF cameras around to operate.

    4. The Pentax 645 was probably one of the best MF cameras that I've shot. Why I sold it? Well I'm currently trying to slow down my photographing style and also mastering the square format. Thus I now shoot with a Hasselblad 201F and a Mamiya 6. (I do have a sneaky suspicion that I might be getting one again...)

  4. #4

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    1.- probably the 150
    2.-no
    3.-whatever floats your boat
    4- Great camera. I have enjoyed the heck out of mine.

  5. #5

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    I have the original version of the Pentax 645. It gets more use than any of my other cameras. Try the 150mm lens for portraits. It is about like a 100mm on a 35mm. The 75 mm lens is the normal lens, and the 45 mm is the wide angle, about like a 28 mm on a 35. The 645 is a quite a bit different from the K1000, but you should have no problem adjusting. If you don't have one, try to get a user's manual - it has a lot of good stuff in it. One thing you have to get used to is loading the camera. It is slower and much less obvious than a 35. Be sure the magazine is fully seated and the lock is fully set before you start taking pictures. It is possible for the magazine to be partially engaged, which doesn't work. The exposure meter on the early 645s is quite primitive but still functional. You need to be aware of special lighting situations that will fool the meter and then use the exposure compensation feature (or manual mode) to handle the situation.

  6. #6

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    Thank you all.

    I have been reading the manual constantly and tinkering with the settings. It seems to be simple to use, but coming from my manual Pentax K-1000 it is a bit different seeing LCD/LED indications. I guess the K-1000 programmed me to be simple minded, albeit in a good way.

    Of all of the modes, the one that confuses me the most is Program mode. Has anyone used it, and if so how does it work?

    Any more advice will be appreciated.

    Jamusu.

  7. #7
    Sputnik's Avatar
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    Program mode is where the camera decides both shutter and aperture, I guess it looks for a shutterspeed fast enough for handheld and an aperture small enough to get "descent" DOF (light permitting of course). Program mode is ideal when you need to focus on framing and "getting the shot". I'd say that Aperture priority is the one mode I use the most.

    /Sputnik

  8. #8
    Sputnik's Avatar
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    Program mode is where the camera decides both shutter and aperture, I guess it looks for a shutterspeed fast enough for handheld and an aperture small enough to get "descent" DOF (light permitting of course). Program mode is ideal when you need to focus on framing and "getting the shot". I'd say that Aperture priority is the one mode I use the most.



    /Sputnik

  9. #9

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    Thank you.

    I have shot four rolls thus far. Loaded the second roll backwards though; thus destroying any images I might have had. Not going for anything worth keeping, just trying to get used to the camera. I am really enjoying it. I love the sound of the shutter when released!!

    James.

  10. #10
    ellisson's Avatar
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    Very versatile MF SLR camera, and you have a nice group of lenses to start with. I like the bright viewfinder, and that it is easy to handhold. Check the diopter setting on the eyepiece before you start shooting - make sure it has not moved away from center (or the position that you want). Agree that you will want to use a spotmeter to get the exposure you want, not just the camera's average reading.
    The backs are relatively cheap, so you can carry an extra one loaded if you want to avoid frequent film change in the field. Great camera, have fun!

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