Mamiya 645

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Ektagraphic

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Hi Guys- I am also looking at a Mamiya 645 and wondering what you guys think about it. Is it a little better to work in the field with than an RZ67?
 
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Ektagraphic

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Is is possible to shoot 6X6 with this camera?
 

Q.G.

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It's a 6x4.5 camera, so no.

The Mamiya 645 (i know the old ones, not the Super or Pro) cameras are nice, but about as big and heavy as most 6x6 cameras.
I do rate their lenses a bit less than those of the 'grown up' Mamiyas.

Considering that size and weight thingy, i would (and do) prefer a 6x6 camera. (And if i want to shoot 6x4.5, i get one more frame to the roll using my 6x6 and a 6x4.5 back too! :wink:)
 

Ian Grant

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No it's a 6x4.5, so no chance of 6x6.

Very practical cameras for working outside/on location, I've had 2 since my Mamiya C3 & C33 were stolen in the early 80's and the lenses etc are superb. I contemplated an RB67 but decided I'd rather have a 5x4 field camera as it's more suitable forr my landscape work.

Ian
 

Joe Grodis

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I'm the proud owner of a 645 pro and it's a very fin camera. it's about as heavy as my Nikon f4 and really not a problem to carry around. if you plan on taking it to the streets do get the optional grip. I like the fact I can use 120 or 135 film too which is a big plus for me. I also use an RB67 but it's a beast to lug and is more at home on a tripod.
 

photomem

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I have the 645AF and love it. It produces great images, is compact, and since I have been too lazy to fabricate/purchase a strap for it, I actually carry it around by the grip.
 
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I have the 645 1000s and really love it. I've had it for about a year. It's built like a tank and heavy, but handles well. As far as it being better for "work in the field" I think that would depend on your particular subject matter. If you mean set up in the field with a tripod shooting landscapes, the RB 67 would be superior in my opinion. If you mean hand held with any sort of action, the 645 would probably be easier to handle.

My 645 has the faster 1.9 lens and I've read on here that some feel it's not as sharp as the 2.8 lens. On my to-do list is print some B&W enlargements and see if the 1.9 lens is lacking.

Dave
 

AdrianW

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I own several medium format cameras including the Mamiya 645 Pro. I tend to shoot with this camera more than the others because of the wide variety of lenses that are part of this system. The 50mm shift lens is wonderful for architectural photos. The zoom lenses are really sharp and very well made. The primes range from a 24mm fisheye to a 500mm super telephoto. On the used market most of the more common lenses can be purchased at very affordable prices. I've found this camera to be a real pleasure to use in the field... not too heavy and yet capable of very high quality images.

Adrian
 
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Ektagraphic

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Is 6X4.5 as acceptable as 6X6? Will this lead to any problems?
 
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Ektagraphic

Ektagraphic

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The only thing that really keeps me from going to this camera is not having a removeable back. Do you out there that have this camera wish that it did? I am looking at getting one of the older models.
 

Q.G.

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The 6x4.5 format is large enough to offer a significant advantage over 35 mm format.
Not small enough to be seriously lagging behind larger roll film formats. You'd have to go to 6x9 to notice a size advantage of the larger format.

Do you out there that have this camera wish that it did?

Yes, indeed.
That's one of the reasons it was not the camera i went for. (The quality of the lenses being one significant other reason.)
 
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Ektagraphic

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How quickly can you load a fresh roll of film?
 

AdrianW

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The older Mamiya 645 models don't offer interchangeable backs but the newer models (Super, Pro and Pro TL) do. However, all models do offer interchangeable film inserts. If you are pressed for time during a shoot and don't want to fiddle with loading another roll of film it would be best to purchase a second film insert and pre-load the film on this. Then during a shoot you can pull one insert out and put the other in. This could be done in less than 10 seconds - faster than loading a film into most older 35mm cameras. A used 120 film insert will cost around $15.
 

sharris

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like mine a lot

I realize much of this is subjective, so will share this first. I own a rolleicord V and the mamiya 645m. I acknowledge the preference of format, but many times I'm cropping to 8x10 dimensions anyway. But aside from that, I find I'm using my Mamiya a ton. I bought a neoprene strap that is long enough to sling it over one shoulder and rest at my hip. When I shoot, I just swing it around and up to my eye. The camera is like a tank and my body keeps the 80mm lens from getting hit when in close quarters. So this thing goes everywhere with me. Having a negative 3x the size of 35mm, the waist level finder and 15-16 pics per roll all work together melodiously to make it a good system for me. The optics are excellent and the operation of the camera is intuitive. I have a second insert roll which is a nice option. It's just working for me...and I should think it works for others too. Cheers. PS: Only paid about $170 bucks for it too, so didn't have to fret over it too much either. (See my gallery for example pics)
 

keithwms

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Not sure what Q.G. means to imply about the quality of the lenses. Specifics please! An independent comparison with hassie lenses put the mamiya lenses on top:

http://www.mamiya.com/assets/pdfs/645AFD/645AFLensesChart.pdf

Now, if you really, truly believe that the hassie lenses are superior then... fine, put hassie lenses on a mamiya body, no problem. But personally, I have found the mamiya 645 lenses to be remarkable and at surprisingly low cost. My favourites are the 80 macro, the 50/2.8, and the 200 mm apo.

A fair rub against the mamiya 645s is the feel of the bodies... indeed they do not feel quite as substantial as the contax 645s... but then again, the mamiyas are also far less costly and they are still being made.

I have a mamiya 645 afd which I like, and also a 645 pro, which I also like. They are both way lighter than my rb or my rz, and are much better suited to handholding. The pro is very modular, great for travel. I do wish that there were an rb-style rotating back for the 645s, or at least a good vertical grip, but alas there is not.

Compared to 35mm.... well there is not much comparison to make, they are totally different tools. There is some overlap of capability but not much.
 

Q.G.

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I used the things, and did find they not only are indeed not up to Zeiss quality, they also are not on par with the quality of the lenses used on the 'mature' Mamiyas (the RBs/RZs). Mamiya makes some stunning lenses, easily among the best available. But the 645 lenses are not it.
"They", because though i obviously haven't used them all, the ones i did were all a bit less. I haven't tried any modern, AF versions, and maybe they are better?

Putting other lenses on a 645 body does not make much sense to me.
Like i said before: the 645s are not smaller nor lighter than most 6x6 cameras, which makes a 6x6 camera (all of those are also capable of making 6x4.5 images, if and when you want) a better, though more expensive choice.

Having said all that, the Mamiya 645 is a good camera, easily capable of delivering the MF advantage.
 

keithwms

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Well, you are of course entitled to your opinion. But if you are going to state that X is better than Y in a matter-of-fact way, then I think you should also show us some side-by-side comparisons! Since people seem unwilling to do that when these topics arise, all we have are the MTF charts... which certainly do not suggest any meaningful differences. If you were to say something specific about bokeh or colour rendition or lp/mm or max aperture or weight or build quality, well then fine.... there are specific points that can be made, I am aware of that. But these blanket statements do nothing to advance the discussion and merely confuse those who are new to MF.

Bottom line, as always, is that people need to use whatever makes them feel more productive. If somebody really truly believes that they can do better work with zeiss lenses, well then they'd better stay with zeiss lenses.... regardless of whether it is or is not a placebo effect :wink:
 

Q.G.

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If you were to say something specific about bokeh or colour rendition or lp/mm or max aperture or weight or build quality, well then fine.... there are specific points that can be made, I am aware of that. But these blanket statements do nothing to advance the discussion and merely confuse those who are new to MF.

You must mean things like "But personally, I have found the mamiya 645 lenses to be remarkable and at surprisingly low cost."
:wink:


Bottom line, as always, is that people need to use whatever makes them feel more productive. If somebody really truly believes that they can do better work with zeiss lenses, well then they'd better stay with zeiss lenses.... regardless of whether it is or is not a placebo effect :wink:

You're fixated on Zeiss lenses. Why?

Bottom line is that the "can you define that?" type of rebuttal is the refuge of people who don't like real life.
If people really truly have noticed something, the polite thing to do in a forum and thread like this is to share it.
Doing that does a lot to end the confusion of those who are new to MF.
 

keithwms

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There's no fixation, just cold, hard data. How about supplying some of your own? Or some images? Something other than vague opinion? or is this just going to be another one of those threads where you
and turn the discussion away from the facts? You said you had quality issues with the mamiya 645 lenses, I am simply asking what they were.
 

Q.G.

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The facts are, Keith, that the Mamiya 645 lenses are not as good as many other MF lenses.

Had you missed that?


(And do explain your fixation with Zeiss lenses. Should be fun.)
 

AdrianW

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I have many Mamiya 645 lenses and a set of Rollei SL66 Zeiss lenses. I love shooting with both camera systems. This afternoon I was showing a fellow professional photographer friend of mine several B&W 11x14 enlargements made with these two cameras. At that size it was almost impossible to tell which were taken with the Mamiya and which were done with the SL66 using a 6x4.5 back.

I believe there may be a miniscule difference in sharpness in favor of the Zeiss lenses that is noticeable only in images that are blown up really big, but needless to say both sets of lenses are very high quality. That said, there is a frugal side of me that’s in favor of continuing to promote the idea that the Mamiya 645 lenses are substandard. I still need to add some of the Mamiya APO lenses to my collection and I would prefer to keep the demand and prices low on these until I do.

Adrian
 

Ian Grant

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The facts are, Keith, that the Mamiya 645 lenses are not as good as many other MF lenses.

Had you missed that?

(And do explain your fixation with Zeiss lenses. Should be fun.)

That's your opinion, of course.

And of course yours too :D

Having used Mamiya's since about 1975 first a C33 & C3 then two 645's I have to completely disagree, the 645 lenses are just as good as other manufacturers, or Mamiya's other lenses for the C series or RB67 etc. I've also used MF Zenzanon, Nikkor, and Zeiss (East & West) lenses on Bronica's and Hasseblads & printed other photographers images shot with a wide variety of MF cameras.

The Mamiya 645 lenses have always had a very good reputation for their optical quality.

Ian
 
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