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  1. #21
    BobD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
    What matters to me:
    -handheld use and ergonomics
    I have a Fuji GA645Zi. It's basically a point&shoot 645 zoom camera with very good ergonomics and quiet operation. There are plenty of 35mm SLRs that are more awkward to use than this camera. I don't know about using it with slow shutter speeds though as I haven't tried to do that particularly. There are also simlar Fuji models with a prime lens instead of zoom if you prefer that.

  2. #22

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    There's also a 33-55mm zoom for the Pentax 645.

  3. #23
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    I've had a Mamiya 645 Pro TL for the last few years, and I have enjoyed using it as a handheld SLR. With the metered prism and the motor winder it really is a pretty good handheld camera, on par with my Nikon as far as feel. It is however louder than the Nikon. The motor makes the most noise, but it's not bad at all if you use the hand crank. But the motor grip makes the camera much easier to use handheld. There are two winders for the Pro TL, I use the smaller one and it hardly adds any weight.

    I have had plenty of good shots at 1/30th or slower, as long as I brace my body. For me no SLR is as good as a rangefinder/TLR with slow shutter speeds (I must twitch as the finder goes dark).

    I listed it for sale a month or two ago. There are some pictures of it here, but none comparing the camera to the Pentax.

  4. #24

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    I have a pentax 645 and a couple of 35mm's. I can not consistantly shoot 1/30 handheld without bracing against something with either system. The 645 is bulkier but I find the ergonomics good, and from eveything Ive heard the 55mm for it is wicked sharp. As an aside I'm thinking about getting rid of my gsn and perkeo 1 w/ vaskar lens to finance a spotmatic. Reason simply ergonomics

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
    I asked about handholdability because everyone has different views. I understand that it depends on the user, camera, and what is acceptably sharp, but I just wanted to hear the views from the users. Some argue that they can handhold them slower because of the larger negative; I have no idea because I've never handled one. I have no friends who have 645 SLR's nor a place to rent them, so I don't know either.
    ...
    The Mamiya m645 is much much easier to hold by hand if using the grip accessory. It is on all the time here.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by thuggins View Post
    I've wonder this myself over the the years, and here is my thought process.
    1) Standard lens for 35mm format is 43mm, for MF it is 85mm. That is essentially one stop when it comes to hand holding. Moderate telephotos become impractical.
    There is no general 1/focal length shutter speed rule. It's just a good rule of thumb for 35mm format. Actually the necessary speed is related to the angle of view. Of course I admit there are other reasons why you'd probably prefer a little faster shutter speed for medium or large format. On the other hand with larger negative you can use faster film without compromising the IQ too much.

  7. #27

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    I have both the Pentax 645 and Mamiya 645 1000s. In terms of ergonomics, the Pentax is better for me because I am used to left hand focusing. The Mamiya with its left hand grip requires right hand focusing, which is certainly okay, but it doesn't feel as natural. Unfortunately, the split image focusing screen on my Pentax is rather hard for me to see unless I really take my time and look very carefully. I have many out of focus pictures that are either due to this, or the camera has a problem. I honestly haven't used it enough to confirm what the problem is.

    The Mamiya is certainly heavier and feels like it is built like a tank. I've recently taken the left hand grip off to shoot for a while again with no grip to see if it feels any more natural and quicker to use with left hand focusing.

    One disadvantage of both cameras is the lack of removable backs. All too often I have a half used roll of film in the Mamiya and wish it had a different film in it for what I want to shoot. If you think this might be an issue for you, you should probably consider the 645 Pro.

    I haven't done enough shooting at very slow shutter speeds to say which is best.

    You can always buy one camera and sell it if you don't like it and buy the other one.

    Dave

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Kansas View Post

    ... The Mamiya with its left hand grip requires right hand focusing, which is certainly okay, but it doesn't feel as natural...

    ...One disadvantage of both cameras is the lack of removable backs. All too often I have a half used roll of film in the Mamiya and wish it had a different film in it for what I want to shoot..
    The first statement is why I threw the grip for my M645 away. It actually feels good in my hands in it's trimmed down state.

    The second statement is easy to solve... get TWO bodies! (they're mighty cheap now compared to the 'olden days')
    - Bill Lynch

  9. #29

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    Yes, Bill, I've been thinking about a 2nd (or someday a third?) body.

    Dave

  10. #30
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by wblynch View Post
    The first statement is why I threw the grip for my M645 away. It actually feels good in my hands in it's trimmed down state.

    The second statement is easy to solve... get TWO bodies! (they're mighty cheap now compared to the 'olden days')
    Or just get a Super/Pro/ ProTL with its separate backs and a winder grip on the right hand side.

    The "heavy metal" M645 bodies are getting very long in the tooth and IMHO not worth it.

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