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07-17-2008, 11:46 AM   #1
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Who's taken the 645 plunge?

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?

07-17-2008, 11:59 AM   #2
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I've had the opportunity to borrow a 645N. Two things stick out to me about it. First, it looks big and is rather heavy, but very well balanced. The grip is very large and gives you a secure hold on the camera. Second, the viewfinder is HUGE! If you thought the difference from APS-C to 35mm was big, wait til you see the 645's.

One thing you should realize is that 645 produces a smaller neg/transparencye than a 6x6 MF camera. If I didn't feel the urge to get a 4x5, the 645 would be in my bag already.
07-17-2008, 12:00 PM   #3
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I'm definitely tempted... they are relatively cute. Seeing the 67 in person gives me the chills... those things are LARGE. The lenses are wider around than my ankles.

Next year maybe, the economy and stock prices recovering (I hope) I'd like to end up with a 645 manual focus, either that or one of the Fuji range finders.

I have 2 TLRs and a modest handful of old folders.
07-17-2008, 12:29 PM   #4
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The problem with large format is that unless you do your own processing, getting the film developed can be time consuming and I suspect costly. Since you live in Toronto, that's probably not an issue, but if you live in Timbuktu, it could be.

Having said that, there are some great buys on the the equipment and lenses, and yes, I am tempted to go back to large format. I still have all my darkroom equipment, but my wife kicked me out of the bathroom I was using for it a long time ago.

07-17-2008, 12:43 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Tom S.;294342]The problem with large format is that unless you do your own processing, getting the film developed can be time consuming and I suspect costly. Since you live in Toronto, that's probably not an issue, but if you live in Timbuktu, it could be.
QUOTE]


My local MotoPhoto minilab will develop 120 film for $3.99. Of course I then have to scan it myself. So it is possible to get silghtly cheapish processing somewhere
07-17-2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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I've actually 'watched' a few 645 auctions on eekbay, but haven't pulled the trigger. Mostly I wonder if I'd ever use it, since my PZ-1P only gets pulled out about once a year or so :-) I'm trying to get into some studio photography so exposure becomes eaiser to nail (not as many worries about wasting film).

I think if I can find one with a lens that goes for a low price, I might get it just to play around. I'm worried about getting spoiled by the look (I still prefer the look of film over digital already, MF would likely just make this worse).
07-17-2008, 03:02 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=Nesster;294357]
QuoteOriginally posted by Tom S. Quote
The problem with large format is that unless you do your own processing, getting the film developed can be time consuming and I suspect costly. Since you live in Toronto, that's probably not an issue, but if you live in Timbuktu, it could be.
QUOTE]


My local MotoPhoto minilab will develop 120 film for $3.99. Of course I then have to scan it myself. So it is possible to get silghtly cheapish processing somewhere
But Timbuktu isn't in New Jersey.
07-17-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Almost bought a 645n and FA75/2.8 bundle, but decided not to due to lack of places for developing film. And I don't have a scanner, no intension to buy one anytime soon. Better just use 135mm format which is much easier to develop and scan around my place

07-17-2008, 05:31 PM   #9
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I owned the original Pentax 645 camera, 55mm, 75mm and 150mm lenses.
My results with it were good, but I was not happy using it and eventually traded it.

Compared to 35mm, all 645 SLR cameras and lenses are large and heavy.
The Pentax 645 is also quite noisy, due in large part to the motorized-only film advance.
The tiny buttons and LCD panel operator interface on the original Pentax 645 are not user-friendly.
Pentax realized this mistake and went to a conventional shutter speed dial on later models.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 05-12-2009 at 02:49 PM.
07-17-2008, 08:40 PM   #10
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I've had a twin lens for many years, lots of fun. Just bought a mamiya 645 setup from a coworker. It's big and heavy, and with a digital kit, and a 35mm film kit, I don't know how much I'll ever use it. You really have to commit to a system like that. I've never seen large format slides, but 120 slides are wonderful.
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07-17-2008, 11:26 PM   #11
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I've been lusting after one for years
The original 645 was a beaut and the 645-NII is also outstanding
The handling is easy, balanced and the image quality is fantastic
07-18-2008, 12:30 AM   #12
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I got a 645Nii a couple of years ago. The pics have a silky smooth texture to them:

User Photo Gallery - Macro

Using a larger camera (and having but 16 shots per roll) slows you down and you tend to think more about what you shoot.

Although the camera is handholdable I always use a heavy tripod since I'm working slowly anyway.

I must admit that compared to the K10D the 645 hasn't seen much use.
07-18-2008, 07:04 AM   #13
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Yeah, having 120 processed and scanned in Toronto is no harder than 135. At my favourite lab (Downtown Camera) processing of either is $5.50, scanning the whole roll at 6 megapixels is $5.00. Plus, I'm looking to put in my own B&W darkroom.
07-18-2008, 12:07 PM   #14
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The interesting thing about 120 film developing is that most of Fuji's film developer machines are sized for both 120 and 135, so even if a lab doesn't advertise the ability to process 120 negs, if their lab tech is experienced they may be able to run it through anyway.
07-21-2008, 05:35 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clawhammer Quote
The interesting thing about 120 film developing is that most of Fuji's film developer machines are sized for both 120 and 135, so even if a lab doesn't advertise the ability to process 120 negs, if their lab tech is experienced they may be able to run it through anyway.
Also true for the Noritsu machines used at Downtown Camera (which I prefer over the Fuji Frontiers.)

Black's (being owner by Fuji) use Frontiers, and used to run 120 if you asked nice, but now they won't
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