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  1. #1
    Graham_Martin's Avatar
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    Lightweight Medium Format for travel--Fuji GA645/Pentax???

    My wife and I are going to Hawaii in the beginning of December. In addition to my Nikon DSLR I would like to take a MF camera primarily for landscape shots. I already own an RB67 but that is too heavy and bulky. I was looking into something like a Pentax 645 with a wide angle lens. Then I came across the Fuji GA645 series. I read a thread on here from last year, and the half a dozen or so people who posted seemed to like this P&S medium format camera. It sounds like it would be perfect for my needs. I'd be interested in reading some thoughts and opinions on the Pentax 645N and/or Fuji GA645 as it relates to being a lightweight, easy to use, MF camera.

    I see that the Fuji has various models, and I would be interested in recommendations.
    Graham from St. Augustine, FL

  2. #2

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    If you take every non-essential things off, Mamiya M645 series isn't that heavy, especially the 645E model. It uses mirror rather than penta-prism. I was looking at GA645ZI with interest since it has zoom lens on it. I have not tried it personally.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    I have the GA645i (non-zoom) and it's terrific! If I need a lightweight MF, it's my go to recon camera. Though, the viewfinder is portrait mode - it has a dedicated button when rotated for landscape but you have to be careful not to block the exposure meter. The finder is parallax corrected but hard to compose when the subject is less than a meter and anything blocking the lens (such as a camera strap ) won't show on the finder. Great camera if you don't need to change lenses.

    I came back from Oahu last month and I brought my M645. I'm glad I did since I found subjects that required different focal lengths for composition. In my opinion, figure out if you need an interchangeable lens camera then weight.
    “I drank what?” - Socrates

  4. #4
    mrbishi's Avatar
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    A Mamiya 6 or 7 would be the way to go (I love my 6!)
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover"

    - Mark Twain

  5. #5

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    I would certainly go with a range finder, or Fuji autofocus. MF SLRs are great (I have a Hasselblad), but for portability, you can't beat a range finder like a Mamiya 6 or 7.

  6. #6

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    Bronica RF645 might be worth a look.
    Steve.

  7. #7
    Leighgion's Avatar
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    I have the basic Fuji GA645. For a modestly-priced, lightweight portable MF rig that's quick on the draw, it's unbeatable in my book. Anything either costs much more, is more fiddly to use or is notably bigger/heavier or all of the above.

    The only major downfall for me has been that since the camera meters through the viewfinder, not the lens, it'll happily let you shoot all day with the lens cap on and you need to dial in filter compensations manually. The fact the lens motor is a bit noisy is a minor issue. It's much noisier to the wielder, who is holding the camera up to their face, and the people around.

    I'm reluctantly thinking of selling mine, as great as it is, it's just not getting the field time.

  8. #8
    eclarke's Avatar
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    I have 2 Fujis, the 645 Zi and the GF 670 in addition to a Mamiya 7II and a couple 645s. For your purpose, I don't think you could beat the 645 Zi. It's compact, fast sharp and contrasty, has a built in flash and the zoom is a great tool. It's also framed vertically, great for me because I see about 85% of my photos this way...Evan Clarke

  9. #9

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    Have you considered a TLR?

    Jeff

  10. #10

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    I've used my Fuji 645Zi for around 10 years. Nice compact camera with sharp lens. As with anything it has some downsides. The zoom range is nice but limited if you like to shoot very wide or long. The focus goes to around 3 feet and seems very sharp even at this range but not for people who do close work. No range finder. The auto focus work well but I don't think it's the proper camera for people who do a lot of selective focus images. I use it a lot on a tripod with a cable release. In that case if I want the focus point to be other then what the camera is pointing at I have to set it manually. No focus lock with a cable release. Of course the things to overcome these problems involve heavier and more complex camera systems. You need to carry around lenses and extension tubes. And take the time to change them. Pretty soon you might as well take the view camera. And when you want to go light and simple you drop back to the Fuji 645Zi. Just need the camera and film.

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