View Full Version : Next info needed hehe!... MAMIYA M645J or M645 1000S
J A Mortram
Any thoughts on these guys?
Are you returning to film Jim?
J A Mortram
Really, since I started taking my photos... I have used digital... but now I am becoming hooked on the look and process of film... plus nice kit is cheaper than digital!!!... film is better suited to my personality and aesthetic I think... though I will keep the D200 for the times I cannot afford to buy film hehe : )
I have not used either of these but they were on my list when looking into 6 x 4.5 for Stevie. On 35mm she was carrying two FM bodies as essentially rather expensive film magazines. The absolute biggest downside from our perspective with the Mamiya 645 was the lack of interchangeable magazines. This feature became available on the 645 Super. If carrying various film stock is not an issue for you then that part does not apply. In our case it was important so I elected for the Bronica ETRS for her. That decision cost me a mint black Nikon F2A as a straight swap for her brand new ETRS/75mm lens/Waist level finder/Magazine and Speedgrip :eek:. The price we pay for keeping the other half on side. :D :D
First thing to think about with these toys is metering. Standard cameras with waist level finders have no built in light metering. For that you will have to add a handheld meter or lots more expensive a metering prism finder.
The next thing you really need to consider is that to use one of these in vertical format you will need a prism finder metered or not. As you are thinking portraits this will be your biggest consideration. After all if you crop a vertical format out of a horizontal 6 x 4.5 frame you gain little in film area over using 35mm.
Next up will be the handling in shooting vertical format. With the Bronica that was solved by the Speedgrip attatchment, an all in winder and shutter release. Mamiya did a handgrip mounted on the left of the camera and would release the shutter but winding on had to be done by the knob on the right side of the body.
Given your intended subject matter for this format I would strongly recommend you having a hands on tryout. I can recommend the Bronica ETRS + speedgrip in that situation though.
Now I'll throw a curve and that is 6 x 6.
Costs a bit more to feed, but you only use the camera in one orientation and you can compose for Square, 6 x 4.5 horizontal, and 6 x 4.5 vertical, and no requirement for an expensive prism finder, but then you would need a handheld meter. Naturally if the camera is an SLR it is a bit bigger than 6 x 4.5 though. I used a Bronica SQA for years as it, and all the bits and bobs like magazines were a fraction of Hasselblad prices. In 6 x 6 you have lots of other options if you include twin lens reflex - less bulk/less weight, that is unless you want interchangeble lenses ( Mamiya C330 apart ) and detachable film magazines.
6 x 6 is probably as large as you can go handheld. When you get into the realm of 6 x7 image quality takes another leap but the cameras are huge and heavy. Thinking Mamiya RB67 and RZ67.
Well after that speil what was my take on the Mamiya 645 ....................... Bronica ETRS is far more versatile.
I drooled over medium format when I was younger but never got one. Did borrow an old Rolleicord and also a Mamiya 330 and was very impressed by the image quality, especially the Rollei. The Bronica lenses were always thought to be better than the Mamiya from what I remember but either would be superb. Medium format photography is a different ballgame to 35mm being much slower, deliberate and contemplative. If no prism finder is used then you have to get used to moving the camera what seems the "wrong" way when composing. Reckon I would go for a Bronice SQA 6X6 as I (and others) found looking down on the screen with two eyes helped in composing the photo for some reason. Anyway it sounds like fun whatever you end up with. By the way Don I have given my wife cameras before so I can buy a new one but always reckoned I could always borrow her "new" camera if needs be! :D
Reckon I would go for a Bronice SQA 6X6 as I (and others) found looking down on the screen with two eyes helped in composing the photo for some reason. Anyway it sounds like fun whatever you end up with. By the way Don I have given my wife cameras before so I can buy a new one but always reckoned I could always borrow her "new" camera if needs be! :D
SQA got my vote in the real world I had one for 14 years. I agree that the reversed image on the focussing screen makes you think about composition a bit more. As I used mine at steam rallys I had a chimney style finder to keep dust out of the screen but the image was still reversed.
No way could I borrow Stevies D300. When I gave it her she said its MINE - MINE, hands off. So I only got to play while setting the menu's. Still fairs fair she does not play with my D2X other than run a duster over it if I leave it lying about. :D :D
PS : Joe is right on the prices front. I reckon I could buy what I had for the price I payed for one lens at the time. :eek:
Here is another thought for you as you are probably not familiar with a fully modular medium format camera. No need to carry a seperate 35mm camera if you get one of these. Bronica probably sold more 35mm film backs for the ETRS than the SQ so they do turn up from time to time. The SQ variant is a lot rarer. So then you can swap between 35mm and 6 x 4.5 at will.
Link to the ETRS item on e-bay so you can see what one looks like.
If at all possible go for the later ETRsi that are newer but also have TTL flash facility if needed?
Both Pentax and Contax had some interesting 6x4.5 systems too. The former were prone to electrical issues on poorly looked after examples, and the later are even rarer, so can command a 'collector' premium. Both handle similarly to a 35mm SLR....more so than the giant Pentax 67 that people bang on about, that is bigger and heavier with a very long wind 'throw'.
RE the prices, I know I've typed this out before, and I know its 6x6, but a Hasselblad does make sense, due to them being more reliable, less likely to have issues due to age/use, and due to those massive price plummets the saving between an entry level Mamiya 1000 and a usable 'blad really isn't that large now. No reason to go for a cheaper electronic pretender when you can get the real thing for not much more....unless Bronica specs re the backs as Don highlighted suits better?
I am lending my Yashicamat now I have found the manual, to Jim so he can have a play with 120. The option is also there for him to borrow a folding 6 x 9 plus a rangefinder for a taste for operating cameras of old. :)
Good luck Jim!....a chance to try some real photography lol ;)
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