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05-25-2009, 11:54 PM   #76
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I got a 645N a few months ago for a song ($295).

I added a 55mm and 200mm lens. I will eventually add a 45 or 35mm plus either a 120mm or 80-160.

I've run about 5-6 rolls through it now, all are now off being processed and scanned. Actually the 4 B&W rolls are getting scanned. I was not to excited about my initial test roll of E6, I'll scan that myself after looking at it on the lightbox.

Anyway, I love the camera. I mean really love it. Had a 645NII been a bit more affordable I'd have gone that route. However, the 645N is virtually the same camera minus (unnecessary MLU), and the user settable custom functions.

Compared to a 35mm film SLR it's big, but compared to the now standard K20D and grip it's really not all that big. I did a surface area measurement and I don't have the exact #s on hand but the K20/k10D and grip was actually bigger by about 5%, while the 645N with 6AA lithiums was actually 6oz heavier. Yes, the size is deceiving because the 645N is boxy, and the K20D seems more sleek, but measurements don't lie!






QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
With all the talk of folks getting back into Pentax 35mm SLRs (often to accompany a DSLR) I wonder if any of you have been tempted by the 645? They seem to be more reasonably priced than ever (especially the MF ones.)

I'm almost afraid to handle a Pentax 645 in case I fall in love! I already know I love the look of medium format (I've never seen anything as beautiful as a roll of E100VS from my Yashica. It's a visceral feeling). The 645 seems like the logical next step for a Pentaxian.

So, has anyone taken the plunge? Are you new to medium format, or an old pro?


05-26-2009, 08:09 PM   #77
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$295 for a 645N body is a song. Is it cosmetically in rough shape? Welcome to the club.

Which 200mm did you get (A or FA)?

QuoteOriginally posted by Mountain Vision Quote
I got a 645N a few months ago for a song ($295).

I added a 55mm and 200mm lens. I will eventually add a 45 or 35mm plus either a 120mm or 80-160.

I've run about 5-6 rolls through it now, all are now off being processed and scanned. Actually the 4 B&W rolls are getting scanned. I was not to excited about my initial test roll of E6, I'll scan that myself after looking at it on the lightbox.

Anyway, I love the camera. I mean really love it. Had a 645NII been a bit more affordable I'd have gone that route. However, the 645N is virtually the same camera minus (unnecessary MLU), and the user settable custom functions.

Compared to a 35mm film SLR it's big, but compared to the now standard K20D and grip it's really not all that big. I did a surface area measurement and I don't have the exact #s on hand but the K20/k10D and grip was actually bigger by about 5%, while the 645N with 6AA lithiums was actually 6oz heavier. Yes, the size is deceiving because the 645N is boxy, and the K20D seems more sleek, but measurements don't lie!
05-26-2009, 11:09 PM   #78
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No it's in almost perfect external shape few light scratches on top (just normal stuff), and the leatherette is almost 100% intact, it was even serviced before sale, have receipt and all for it to be returned to factory specs and CLA'd

I got all A lenses (all 2 of them). I expect to not have LBA with the 645, I want to keep things simple. I will be using the compact 200mm with the K10/20/7 with an adapter. Great travel lens and if I take both bodies it serves dual purpose. I would like to add a 67 at some point for the bigger neg, but I think the 645 was a better intro and more usable all around than the 67 as a starter camera. I don't see myself shooting the 67 as much, which might not have been a bad thing. I see the 645 getting expensive really fast, but at least I won't be wasting money on 35mm film, cameras and processing.

I have plenty of experience shooting film, so that wasn't a factor. I love the way it handles, so did my dad, and my friend who is a professional cameraman but also an amateur still photog.

Anyway thanks, I look forward to posting my first shots with it. I should have them back next week (i hope). I expect to shoot a lot of provia for landscapes, and a lot of Ilford 3200 at 1000-6400 ISO for everything else!
05-28-2009, 10:26 PM   #79
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I use the 645. It's a durable camera; it's been worth my time.

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06-03-2009, 08:06 PM   #80
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I skipped 645 and went right to 6x7. I would have went to large format, if not for those ugly, bulky, pieces of antique looking contraptions they call cameras.
06-09-2009, 10:29 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
With all the talk of folks getting back into Pentax 35mm SLRs (often to accompany a DSLR) I wonder if any of you have been tempted by the 645? They seem to be more reasonably priced than ever (especially the MF ones.)

I ordered a 645 yesterday. Filled up the fridge with a few 5-packs of Tri-X & Velvia in anticipation. Then I got to thinking, what if I want to shoot B&W *and* slides at the same time? So I ordered a second 645 today.

I remember when they first came out - hideously expensive for me at the time, so I could only drool over the magazine ads. I considered a Bronica for awhile, but never pulled the trigger. Now I get to find out what I missed all those years ago...
06-11-2009, 05:36 AM   #82
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Congratulations. That is the beauty of living in this day of digital, all that analog gear that I admired from afar long ago - today I admire some of it while looking through the viewfinder or when I switch lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
I ordered a 645 yesterday. Filled up the fridge with a few 5-packs of Tri-X & Velvia in anticipation. Then I got to thinking, what if I want to shoot B&W *and* slides at the same time? So I ordered a second 645 today.

I remember when they first came out - hideously expensive for me at the time, so I could only drool over the magazine ads. I considered a Bronica for awhile, but never pulled the trigger. Now I get to find out what I missed all those years ago...
06-11-2009, 04:41 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
I wasn't aware that the ID and the D3 was so amazingly small. My 645NII is only 1,5cm deeper than my K10D....

And as I have stated before; they are almost the same width (5mm difference at most) and same height.
A K10D with battery grip is probably about the same volume as a Pentax 645 but higher of course.
This is of course important for the size a possible 645 digital. Such a camera could theorethically be made 1,5cm less deep due to not needing the film transport.....

Pal, I measured the surface area of the K10D with grip, and the 645n. The 645N is smaller.

YES SMALLER!

However, even with Lithiums it weights about 6oz more.

Oddly it fits in my camera bags better than my K10D, proving unscientifically that the K10D is actually larger.

It's more perception becuase of the boxy shape but the 645N is actually a very compact camera for a non rangefinder.

06-11-2009, 04:44 PM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by yurihuta Quote
Congratulations. That is the beauty of living in this day of digital, all that analog gear that I admired from afar long ago - today I admire some of it while looking through the viewfinder or when I switch lenses.
My thinking exactly. I won't say I always wanted medium format, I still see it as too large compared to my 35mm cameras, but compared to my DSLRs it's not that big or heavy, thus worthy of carrying around, and now I get to have some fun on gear I only dreamed of owning 10 years ago, while creating VERY high quality images at the same time.

The 645N is definitely more than a toy for me, but it's priced at toy cost, so that makes it even better!
08-23-2009, 10:38 AM   #85
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Update

Well, after thinking about the Pentax 645 since I started this thread, I've settled the issue. I bought a Bronica ETR-Si kit!

I handled an original Pentax 645, and was not happy -- the viewfinder was dark (like my Spotmatic F), there was no waist-level viewfinder option, the ergonomics were not to my liking, and the flash sync speed is too slow for portrait fill-flash use. I have realised that I very much wanted those features. I have been enjoying learning more about flash (thanks to Strobist) and I prefer shooting landscapes and still life with a waist level finder. My "hit rate" goes up substantially when I use my Yashica with WLF.

So I thought about it for a long time, and watched prices slip lower and lower on all MF gear. Recently, the Bronica systems seem to have hit rock bottom. The ETR system pieces seem to sell for half the price of comparable Pentax 35mm kit, which is unbelievable. I understand that Tamron pulled the plug on Bronica, but the remaining use-value in these cameras still outstrips the selling prices by a long shot.

The Pentax 645 has fallen in price as well, but the more desirable N and NII haven't fallen as much. Which means that a reasonably cheap Pentax 645 is also a fairly old camera, everything else aside. In comparison, my ETR-Si is the latest model, introduced in 1989 and produced until quite recently.

So my new kit is:
  • ETR-Si body
  • 75/2.8
  • 150/4
  • 2 x 120 backs
  • waist level finder
  • prism (non metering)
  • polaroid back
  • speed grip (makes the Bronica handle like the Pentax, but I can remove it!)
  • extra focussing screen
  • matching pelican case

Sorry guys, the Pentax 645 system just didn't fit my needs.
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