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11-13-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
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Pentax 645 (Film)

I've gone and done it. I saw a 645 on e-bay for a ridiculously low price, a put a silly low bid in - and won it!

Never, in 5 years of using e-bay have I got such a bargain! (Well, I'll see what it really is like when it turns up).

Anyway, has anyone got any advice or recomendations for using such a beast?

I am particularly interested in what film to use. I plan to use it mostly for portraits, with or without studio lighting. I might occasionally take it outside for some street shots, but I can't see myself lugging it around for that.

Any tips or tricks I should know around handling, metering etc?

Appreciate any advice you can give.

11-13-2009, 09:54 AM   #2
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Was it complete, with lens AND back?
11-13-2009, 09:56 AM   #3
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Congrats Mike! I just jumped into the 645 world myself this week.

You'll want the manual if yours doesn't come with one - you can download a PDF copy here: PENTAX MANUALS dot COM The 645 controls are similar to how the SuperProgram/Super-A 35mm bodies work.

I bought several rolls of Fuji Neopan400 and Kodak TMax 400 to get my feet wet. Those are the two B&W films I am most comfortable with doing my own processing (using Kodak HC110). I plan on running Kodak Portra 160NC for color film once I'm a bit more comfortable with the setup.

I've only run one roll of Neopan400 thru it so far so I really can't speak to handling other than it certainly is easier with a tripod.

Good luck!
11-14-2009, 03:41 AM   #4
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It didn't come with a lens, but I managed to get one the same day on ebay. Thanks for the tips Jim, I hadn't really considered B&W, but now I think about it it, I would like to give it a try!

I don't think I will process it myself. I used to do that many, many years ago, and I can still remember the smell and keeping a darkroom dust free is always a bit of a nightmare.

11-15-2009, 10:31 AM   #5
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You should join us on the film and medium format boards. It seems there's a lot of nice color film out there, none of which have I tried. (my film work is mostly black and white, and has been for, well, pretty much decades. ) Probably, you may as well start with some of the less expensive stuff, like basic Fuji, and shoot a test roll with that, before you get too fancy.

Oh: General suggestion: Watch your depth of field: sometimes going to medium format'll fool you about that, cause it'll 'look' like you're using a shorter focal length than you in fact have on there, depending what you're used to.

Also, if you have a good one, take some tripod shots. I think you'll find you're in for a treat.

Also, depending what you come by, you may need to find a 120 magazine/insert/'film holder:' (they're called several things out there) sometimes they'll come with 220 ones or none at all. (you can still find 220 film, but it's getting harder and there are fewer choices. Same stuff, but more exposures, and to get proper focus you need the right magazine, because there is no backing paper behind the film in 220, (it's taped onto the ends) which is how they get more film on the spools. Just something to watch out for. )

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 11-15-2009 at 11:06 AM.
11-15-2009, 11:11 AM   #6
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Thats exactly the sort of info I'm after! The type of thing you only find out through experience. It really will save me time, thank you indeed!
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