- MattKing -
thank you for the point about leaf shuttered lenses in the Mamiya system. Should I decide to go that way I will check out the details.
- Pete H -
I completely agree on the separate focusing rail for a macro photography. I have made a few close up shots with my 4x5 Tachihara (which being a simple field camera provides only front standard focusing) and once I reached 1:2 reproduction ratio the focusing became a exercise in confusion and patience at the same time.
Now - more onto the Contax. As it is not being developed anymore - how is the compatibility to different 645 digital backs? It is quite improbable that I would ever get one, but out of sheer curiosity - what can be attached and is the camera still compatible with the more modern backs?
the one and only first full frame digital back (645) is compatible only with mamiya afd and contax 645, that should give you a nice idea of contax strongness as a system for actual digital companies. (mamiya and phaseone are business partners)
If you look on the net you will find good info on contax with digital backs but we are reaching boundaries in apug now...
go to partner site or try www.luminous-landscape.com.
It rather is that PhaseOne only offers that thing for those two, because they don't make one of that size themselves.
Originally Posted by peri24
You can get the same size sensor on, say, a Hasselblad H4D.
That should help adjust that nice idea to reality.
It seems like most people who go to MF from 35mm, like I did, find that the lack of an instant return mirror isn't the issue it might have seemed. I'm not sure why; I guess it's just the way of working is different. From what you said about your intended use and your having used 4X5 I don't think it would be a problem. The Pentax and Mamiya 645's do have instant-return mirrors.
Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi
BTW, the TTL flash metering in the ETR-Si is off the film, using a backwards-looking meter cell on the side of the mirror box.
The mirror on the ETR-Si seems nice and soft, i.e., fairly quiet and not a lot of vibration. I tried an early (all metal body) ETR-S and it had much more noise and vibration, though that could have been due to condition. So I would consider the ETR-Si to be refined in that department. With mirror lockup it is very nice, of course.
I mentioned before how the Speed Grip makes it handle similarly to a big 35mm. I forgot to mention that with the grip on, the release on the body can still be used. Normally I lock it and use the one on the grip, but there are times when it's better to use it. Verticals are easier for me that way. I position the grip on the bottom, with the lens cradled in my left hand, and trigger the body release with a finger on my right hand. Works well.
I bought a Bronica because I wanted to try medium format, and it was inexpensive, both body and lenses. I liked it enough to stick with it. I now have another body and most lenses.
I considered Mamiya, but found all the different models a little confusing, so before I got around to sorting it all out I came across an ETR-Si on the bay for less than $150 with 75mm EII lens, 120 back, plain prism and Speed Grip. For that it's hard to go wrong. I figured if I didn't like it I couldn't lose much. If I found I hated not having an instant-return mirror, then I knew that say, a Hasselblad was also probably not in my future.
I have noticed that with the introduction of the Pentax 645 digital, there's been a run on lenses. KEH is almost cleaned out compared to just a week or so ago, especially the most desirable ones. So if you choose Pentax, acquiring lenses may be a little more difficult or expensive now.
What's interesting is how it's always a voyage of discovery. I've always liked the 2:3 ratio of 35mm, and find I'm not all that crazy about the 4:3 of the 6X4.5 format. At the same time square format, something I never cared for before, is starting to interest me. So I expect to go to either go to 6X6 and crop or use a 645 back when I don't want square, or go to 6X7 and use it with a 6X6 back unless I want full frame.
Regarding digital backs: Leaf backs for Hasselblad can be adapted to the Bronica 645 and 6X6. The adapter setup is crazy expensive new, maybe considerably better used.
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Wildly off topic, but i risked it before so... the back comes off and can be attached to other things (like view cameras).
The thing about PhaseOne's limited offering is because that market has been closed firmly. Long gone are the days that you could select a digital back, and decide at leisure what camera you want to use it on.
Nowadays, PhaseOne and Mamiya are to be considered as one entity, as far as marketing is concerned.
The market for their product is probably too small, hence the offer to put this thing on a camera that you can't buy anymore?
So the fact that a maker of digital backs offers their product for a dead system says not a lot about that dead system. Lots more about the digitalmarket.
The believe that the dead system is "the one and only first" to use a fullframe 6x4.5 sensor is simply mistaken.
thanks. But I guess that before this thread will be closed and the first poster banned we should move back to analog world
Now - let me come up with a bit different questions: If there are some among you that have used also a MF rangefinder with interchangeable lenses (like Bronica RF645, Mamiya 6 or 7) - how would you find it to compare to a 645 SLR in terms of handling (focusing, hand hold shooting). Sure the RF are lighter and smaller - but what are the practical impacts on the shooting itself? Did you ever take the SLR over the RF to a trip even though the SLR was heavier and more bulky? How do you feel about theses two different worlds?
As the Contax and Pentax seems to be the lightest guys of the bunch (that is when comparing cameras with AE prism and motor winder - correct me if I am worng) - how does the Pentax 645N (645NII) compares to the Contax? I mean viewfinder, functions, noise, shutter lag (I have hear of some 250 ms for the Pentax) etc ..
Also for the Pentax - how do the MF lenses compare to the AF (FA) ? Any differences (I recall something about the 35/3.5, but would love to hear more)
Up to which focal length do you find your 645 SLR to be hand-holdable?
Last edited by Matus Kalisky; 03-16-2010 at 08:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: ... more questions
I have a Pentax 645 kit. I have a couple of 645N bodies and ten lenses, from FA 33-55mm zoom to FA 400mm. If you like wide angle, then consider the Pentax FA 35mm f/3.5 - it is a stellar performer. It took me a couple of years to find my copy, as they are in demand and used by DSLR shooters for stitching panoramas. Of course, ever since Pentax announced the 645D body last week, there has been a run on lenses and the prices have already shot up, so it is no longer the quiet bargain it was two weeks ago. FA lenses are the autofocus series, and the A lenses are the manual focus version. If you get a 645N or 645NII body, there is focus confirmation in the viewfinder and an audible focus confirmation option too, so A lenses can be manually focused with camera confirmation.
As pupfish mentions, the manual focus lenses are very rugged and the two I have are nice and sharp. I have the A 35mm (yes, in addition to the FA 35mm and the FA 33-55mm) and the A 55mm and am very happy with both. I am hoping to find some time to compare the three wide angle lenses to see how they do against each other.
I like the 645N bodies because of the bright viewfinder, it handles like a traditional 35mm film camera, it has a nice metering system (dual, six zone matirx) and I have the mention that big, bright viewfinder again. I don't care for interchangeable film backs - this can be a deal breaker, so consider this feature.
The lenses are sharp and contrasty, heck, people use them on their DSLR bodies and given the demand for the FA 35mm f/3.5, you can rest assured it is sharp if it stands up to the resolution rigors of full frame DSLRs.
So, why Pentax 645? I like using the system, I liked it better than the Bronica SQAi kit I had. It works for me.
- yurihuta -
Even not as the first lens - but I will definitely be interested to get some 35mm lens for 645 SLR at some point - so I am interested to hear more. Should you make some comparison AF and MF versions of this lens I would love to know your opinion (AF is not that crucial so MF version would be indeed an option). I seem to recall that the MF version is heavier - is that the case?
But as you own the 33-55 zoom - would you mind to comment on this lens? How do you find the handling, image quality and distortion?
I guess you also have the 120/4 macro - how is it? My 3 lens set up would definitely include a macro lens of about this focal length (depending on the camera of course)
How does the 55mm lens compare to 75mm one? I quite like 35 - 40mm lenses with small format (or their counterparts in larger formats - Fujinon 125/5.6 CM-W is my favorite lens with 4x5). As both have the same speed the decision is not so obvious as with Contax 645 (the 80/2 seems to be lovely indeed).
I do not care too much about the interchangeable backs so Pentax 645N is an interesting option (in fact Pentax and Contax would be the main candidates if I were buying now).
And once I am at it - could anybody comment on the Pentax - versus - Contax concerning the AF (speed, noise, accuracy)?
Last edited by Matus Kalisky; 03-16-2010 at 11:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.