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05-22-2010, 06:59 AM   #1
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MF choice

I'm after people thoughts and opinions on which I should get:

There is a Ricoh Auto 66 or a Pentax 645N both for sale, I know the 645N will be three times the price, but still not too bad.

Considering I will my DSLR way more than the MF, is the extra money worth it for the MF experience?

I am going to the mountains to hike and up north to fish. I want to get at least two nice large printable images for my office.

One review I read about the 645N was that it was loud with the film advance and such... just how loud is it?

I like the 6x6 size of the 66 and the waist level shooting... is that worth losing the P&S feel of the 645N?

I know it is a personal choice, but what have people found in the real world?

If I am going to spend the money on this camera I want to make sure I use it!

05-22-2010, 04:08 PM   #2
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You won't use either much, I can tell you that right now. Ole and I have a complete 645 system, with a pretty well-covered lens range. We've shot MF about 4 times. And we also have a 67 system which hasn't even been used.

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05-22-2010, 04:54 PM   #3

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I'll offer a contrary voice to Adam. I shoot my MF 99% of the time and my digital takes a back seat. But that's because I'm a BW shooter and prefer the look of it in film. Your milage will vary.

TLRs are a great camera and fun to shoot. But not having interchangeable lenses can be a constraint. Since it won't be your only camera most likely that won't be a problem. My Rolleicord doesn't get used too often because of that. But when I what to carry hardly anything and just have a camera along, it is a good choice.

Waist level shooting is a personal preference. I find it hard to tell someone if they will like it. And if that Ricoh copies Rolleis, you'll get an option of eye-level composition and shooting. My personal preference is for waist level because I like a 100% view and the reduced size and weight it offers for my Pentax 67. But the TTL prism will go on it when needed. My Hasselblad has a WLF too. So I guess I do a lot of shooting in that mode.

The economics of purchasing a 645 and assorted lenses depends on how much you will use it. But note it seems the 645D has everyone in a frenzy buying up the used lenses for this camera.

There are a lot of 645 shooters here and they can offer you some fine advise on that system.
05-22-2010, 05:35 PM   #4

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I only have the 645 and 645N so will restrict myself to that system:

The 645N is loud when film is advanced, but I doubt fish will be disturbed. If however you want to shoot other wildlife, I'm less sure, it will depend. It's the sound of an old winder. Not too bad but if silence is critical than it's probably not a good choice.

Depending on the sort of hiking and fishing you do you may prefer weather resistant cameras... and you may prefer a light package on your back.
The 645 comes with some great zooms, which reduce the need to pack a zillion lenses, but it's still going to be heavier than the smaller system of whatever dslr starting with P you prefer.

As for the advantage: a brighter viewfinder, a different format (4:3), a different depth of field, an absolutely brilliant series of lenses.
I do think the 645N plus lenses will not loose its value to rapidly from the level it has reached, so as long as you spend wisely you can offload it again. You can also start with one lens and just see how things go. Or try the 645 first, which comes a lot cheaper. I have one and cannot bring myself to sell it, despite the 645N being more practical.

05-24-2010, 06:16 AM   #5
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I'll chime in by saying: I continue to motivate myself to carry a 20-pound set of gear (2 645Ns, 3 prime lenses - 35, 75, and 120, a teleconverter and a tripod) by telling myself that it's all for the eventual print. I usually print in the 20 - 30" range and I have yet to see a digital SLR pull that off 100%. Not to mention the price of that DSLR!

+ tuco's point about b&w film. that part's personal, but still important.

If you're choosing the Ricoh or the 645, get the 645. It's a more updated system and the handling could not be easier. Especially if you're shooting wildlife!!
05-24-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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If that might help, there is a successful professional wildlife photographer here in the forum that shot with 645 for many years. After he switched to digital, I purchased my 645 kit from him.



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