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09-08-2014, 05:50 AM   #1
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The joy of shooting my 645

Sure, the 645Z sounds intriguing. And now that used 645D prices are down to about $3000 it is sort of tempting too. But wait a minute! I already have a 645. It's the Pentax 645N and I absolutely love it. Today my wife and I spent some time in the mountains, covering about 15km going from around 1100 meters to about 2000 meters. Our destination was a lovely marsh that serves as an overnight spot for those heading to various peaks that surround it. We were out for about 6 hours including a relaxed lunch and lazy strolling around the marsh. Fall colors are just beginning to turn and should be at their peak in another couple of weeks. I took the 645N along with the 55mm and 75mm and shot a roll and a half of Velvia. Then later in the afternoon when I was back home and out running errands I took a detour thru some farming country and found beautiful last light hitting the golden rice fields where I almost finished the second roll. All this to say that I really love my Pentax 645N. It feels so good in the hand and when used properly, makes wonderful images. As long as E6 and B&W negative film are available I suspect that I will continue to use and thoroughly enjoy this camera. I have a sweet collection of "A" series lenses and while it would surely be fun to try them out on the newer bodies, I really can't ask for much more at this point. I suspect there are several others here who feel the same way, and I frequently enjoy viewing their images. Long live the 645 film bodies!

09-08-2014, 05:53 AM   #2
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I still use my 645NII and 67II cameras, Pentax did a marvelous job at ergonomic design with both of these cameras and thankfully that still applies to the digital 645 cameras. I'm actually going through a brick of Kodak BW400CN in 120 and 35mm formats seeing that it has been discontinued.
09-08-2014, 05:57 AM   #3
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Bravo! Yep my 645N and 6x7 get use and are a joy to use.
09-08-2014, 06:44 AM   #4
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I acquired a 645n kit just a couple of weeks ago and have had an opportunity to use it over the last few days. Shot a roll of Ektar 100 and just finished my first-ever roll (in any format) of Velvia 50 and I anxiously await the results. Gorgeous viewfinder and a well-designed camera all around. The film advance is a bit loud, though.

09-08-2014, 07:45 AM   #5
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I had use of a 645N for a month a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I came very close to purchasing several times since, but did not (too many cameras).


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09-08-2014, 09:45 AM   #6
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All this talk and no pictures! Fine be that way.
09-08-2014, 10:44 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by revdocjim Quote
Sure, the 645Z sounds intriguing. And now that used 645D prices are down to about $3000 it is sort of tempting too. But wait a minute! I already have a 645. It's the Pentax 645N and I absolutely love it. Today my wife and I spent some time in the mountains, covering about 15km going from around 1100 meters to about 2000 meters. Our destination was a lovely marsh that serves as an overnight spot for those heading to various peaks that surround it. We were out for about 6 hours including a relaxed lunch and lazy strolling around the marsh. Fall colors are just beginning to turn and should be at their peak in another couple of weeks. I took the 645N along with the 55mm and 75mm and shot a roll and a half of Velvia. Then later in the afternoon when I was back home and out running errands I took a detour thru some farming country and found beautiful last light hitting the golden rice fields where I almost finished the second roll. All this to say that I really love my Pentax 645N. It feels so good in the hand and when used properly, makes wonderful images. As long as E6 and B&W negative film are available I suspect that I will continue to use and thoroughly enjoy this camera. I have a sweet collection of "A" series lenses and while it would surely be fun to try them out on the newer bodies, I really can't ask for much more at this point. I suspect there are several others here who feel the same way, and I frequently enjoy viewing their images. Long live the 645 film bodies!
the 645D and 645Z is APS-C of MF645, why use APSC when you have FF in P645N!
09-08-2014, 05:32 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I think your needs are well catered for given what you have and what you are achieving. I don't share the view that a digital camera costing anything of $3,000 is "tempting", not at all, when skilled and experienced photographers are making do, and very, very well indeed, with analogue. From reading your post, you are sorted with that! I didn't find the 645 format all that enticing years ago and gravitated back to 35mm, producing all my work to the Ilfochrome Classic process. Along came the P 67 and everthing, everything changed (and got bigger and bigger...). I have today collected another 15 matted prints that have come out of my 67 and various lenses (latterly the 75mm f2.8AL) and this "labour of love" a persistent reminder that I have no need to invest in fancy technology (nor will I benefit from it). E6 will be around for a while yet (though the number of facilities that can process it will be fewer), B&W will soldier on for much longer in 120 and 4x5. Just remember the fanciest digital camera will not make you a better photographer. Happiness comes from self.

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09-09-2014, 02:02 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
All this talk and no pictures! Fine be that way.

Pentax 645NII with SMCP- DFA 645 25mm f/4 ED ASPH - Kodak BW400CN

The DFA 645 25mm f/4 ED ASPH is a bit front heavy on the 645NII - though the extremely wide FOV from this lens makes me giggle every time I look through the viewfinder.
09-09-2014, 05:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
The DFA 645 25mm f/4 ED ASPH is a bit front heavy on the 645NII - though the extremely wide FOV from this lens makes me giggle every time I look through the viewfinder.
So glad to learn that this is a full 645 lens—not because I ever expect to buy one, but because it looks as though Pentax/Ricoh are planning ahead for a possible full 645 sensor.
09-09-2014, 05:53 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
So glad to learn that this is a full 645 lens—not because I ever expect to buy one, but because it looks as though Pentax/Ricoh are planning ahead for a possible full 645 sensor.
Pentax re-released this lens as a DA 25mm f/4 - a modified lens hood which consequently reduced the imaging circle of this lens to match that needed for the 44X33mm sensor of the 645Z. The 25mm f/4 I have is the older D-FA version, which allegedly is still being sold in japan but nowhere else. Also on the 645NII the 25mm f/4 lens is manual focus only, as it has no AF drive shaft.

Last edited by Digitalis; 09-09-2014 at 05:58 AM.
09-09-2014, 06:14 AM   #12
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Ah, thanks for the clarification. So optically they are the same?
09-09-2014, 06:29 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
thanks for the clarification. So optically they are the same?
The DA version is said to have better control over chromatic aberrations, and handles flare better due to the modified lens hood but other than this they are the same.
09-09-2014, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
All this talk and no pictures! Fine be that way.
But that's part of the allure! I shot a couple more frames today but I won't actually get to see the results for some time. Patience is required by this process, and that sets it apart from any modern photographic technology that I know. I see the scene I want to shoot. I try to compose it in the VF the way I want it to look. I do a few calculations about light, metering, DOF etc., and then I commit to the image with a push of the shutter. But that is when the image goes into hiding, known only to the chemicals on my emulsion (if, in fact, they are self-aware). The image exists only in the chemicals for some time, in a sort of embryonic state, and in my quickly fading and highly inaccurate memory. Eventually I finish the roll, and send it off to the lab. Some time later the fully formed and developed image returns and I get to enjoy the glorious moment of acquaintance on my light table. I savor the moment with my loupe, exploring every detail from corner to corner. Then I proceed to the next stage, one of growth and massive expansion. New details emerge and eventually I end up with a large image that can be framed and displayed or shared with others in cyber-space.
Please forgive my romantic ramblings!
09-10-2014, 11:14 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
the 645D and 645Z is APS-C of MF645, why use APSC when you have FF in P645N!

that's pentax's fault. I don't remember ever hearing that when they first came out. even at an extra cost a full frame 645D would have been worth it. however a pentax aps-c beats the hell out of a canon or Nikon full frame. does this mean that you get a crop factor when you use a 645 or 6x7 lens on the 645d?????????????
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