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  1. #1

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    Mamiya 645 PRO focus

    I recently bought a Mamiya 645 Pro and I was wondering, is it possible that there is a problem with the camera otherwise not visible that can affect the focusing?
    It seems like the focus from the few portraits I got back from my first roll is some few cm back from where I intended?
    I am not sure I did everything right, so I had a test roll with specifically very selective focus that is currently at the lab so I can be sure.
    I just wanted to know if there even is such a possibility.
    Thank you

  2. #2

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    Forst of all, congrats on the purchase. This is a terrific camera system.

    I regularly use a a 645 Pro TL, and have never had this problem. But I did have a tough time learning the right way to load the film onto the 120 insert. Presuming this is the first roll you've tried with this new camera, the only things I can think of:

    1) Make sure you are loading the film onto the film insert correctly. Film loading is not very intuitive on these camera backs, and a diagram helps. Do you have the manual? PDF versions can be found online at no cost.
    2) Maybe try another film insert &/or back? Perhaps the film is not being wound tightly, and that is what is throwing it off? After loading, you definitely want to make sure the film is wound tightly.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

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    I had a Mamiya 645Super that exhibited a similar issue.

    First, do your test on a tripod and shoot with a mirror locked up. The DOF of MF cameras are smaller than 35mm and it is often harder to focus accurately.

    I did this and confirmed the focus was off a bit. It was off enough to cause issues using 150mm lens wide open. My problem was that little plastic part that keeps the mirror at exactly 45 degrees has cracked and mirror was resting askew. Focusing on SLR depends on lens-mirror-focus_screen and lens-film distance being exactly equal. Anything that will disturb this calibration will cause the focus error. I hear (I don't know for sure) the focus screen on M645 are adjustable. I didn't go this route because my body had more issue than just focus. I replaced mine.

    With nothing to lose, I played around with mine. This is not a DIY adjustment. I messed up mine more than fixed it. (again, it was a lost cause body anyway)
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4

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    I have had my 645 Pro for good 3 years now and find that unless I spend the time to exactly focus I pretty much get soft focus to out of focus results. I recommend you plant it on a tripod and do some test shots at exact distances so see if it's you trying to focus on the go or if it's the camera. I may actually do this for myself with mirror up and down just to see what's going with mine. I tell you I believe it's me not being able to focus quickly enough as a 3 year old (and 14 year old) do their thing, but perhaps I too have a problem I am not aware of with the mirror.

    I do love my 645 Pro, when I hit it right, the results are very much worth the wait. Let us know what your do and what you find. Very interested to see what you find....

    Bob E.
    Nikon F5, Nikon F4S, Nikon FA, Nikon FE, Nikon N90, Nikon N80, Nikon N75, Mamiya 645 Pro, Mamiya Press Super 23, Yashica Lynx 14e, Yashica Electro GSN, Yashica 124G, Yashica D

  5. #5
    keithwms's Avatar
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    You can point your camera at a bright object (e.g. a lamp) and put some thin paper at the film plane and check registry. Make sure the GG is correctly oriented, I have seen them flipped around or weirdly modified in bodies that were used. The rough part should of course face into the camera body.

    It is a great system, one of my favourites. But when you buy something used, you'd be surprised what the previous owner(s) did!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    put some thin paper at the film plane and check registry. Make sure the GG is correctly oriented
    I am sorry but I cant say I understood what you proposed I do...

  7. #7
    keithwms's Avatar
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    If you open the film back and remove the insert, you can put some paper at the film plane and fire the shutter on bulb to check the registry. There should be no problem there; normally you do this only to check the shutter. That should be fine.

    The GG could be in the wrong place though, make sure that the frosted side is pointed down, into the camera. I have seen them turned around.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  8. #8

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    I took a tape measure and so I set an object at exactly one meter distance from the film plane. Then I looked through the viewfinder and it looked sharp if I focused for a distance a little bit further away. Say 0.2 m more.
    Then I did that with another lens and I had the same problem.
    Therefore it is definitely not a lens problem.
    Is there anyway I can fix it myself?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    If you open the film back and remove the insert, you can put some paper at the film plane and fire the shutter on bulb to check the registry. There should be no problem there; normally you do this only to check the shutter. That should be fine.

    The GG could be in the wrong place though, make sure that the frosted side is pointed down, into the camera. I have seen them turned around.
    OP may not understand "GG."

    GG = Ground Glass which on a MF (or other SLR) camera = "focusing screen."

    IOW, make sure some bozo didn't put the focusing screen in backwards!

    I just got a 645 Pro myself. Shot some film but not developed yet. Sure hope it doesn't have this issue - nice camera. Thought it might replace much of my use of my Yashicamat 124 AND my 35mm system, but I don't think it will. It's much bigger and heavier than either so I think will find its own niche for my use.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    OP may not understand "GG."
    IOW, make sure some bozo didn't put the focusing screen in backwards!
    Thank you so much for the help.
    If you can tell me what is OP, where the focusing screen is and how do I know the right side it should be put then I will be very grateful!
    Thank you

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