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11-05-2011, 06:59 PM - 1 Like   #16
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ventana Wilderness, CA
Posts: 83
Save your money and buy a 645N. It doesn't require MLU and it doesn't routinely curl film. At least this is true with my 645N.

I've only ever heard of one fellow who claimed that he had this film flatness problem with a 645N that this supposedly was resolved by switching to the 645NII. He's often been cited here but I don't see any large trend developing. (Wasn't he also using a decrepit old film insert that was suspect, as I recall?).

Anyhow, the film inserts are exactly the same with the 645 and 645N as used with the 645N II (which also shoots 16 frames unless you use the custom programmable option, btw. They all shot 16 frames out of the box!) There is a very nicely executed pressure plate on the film inserts, and going way back the camera was notable for it's film flatness in any number of reviews. It was always a top-seller in MF so there are a great many Pentax 645/645N bodies in circulation. The original P645 dates to about 1985, a dozen years before the P645N and more than 15 years before the introduction of the P645NII. Had there been any problem with film flatness, even an intermittent or occasional one, it would have been found and broadcast far and wide-- and had to have been resolved much, much sooner in that long production run.

A much more likely reason behind the Pentax 645N II having an option for 15 frames instead of 16 was that Printfile polyethylene negative sleeve pages became quite popular-- and held only fifteen frames per page (in three strips of 5). 16 frames is a PITA in such case. Programmable P645N II firmware made this an easy and cheap feature to offer.


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