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645 camera . . but which one?

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by robbybobby, Jun 22, 2003.

  1. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of saving up for a 645 SLR now I'm getting a job. I'm a little uncertain what to go for, though.
    I've got two 'families' of SLR's on my mind at the moment: Bronica ETR/ETRs or even ETRsi f I can find one cheap enough, or a Mamiya 645/1000/super.
    The Bronica is a little cheaper, and so I'd be able to afford a wide-angle sooner (which is what I will want with it, although a standard lens too).
    Quality of the optics is, as usual, foremost on my mind, and I'm not sure how the Bronica compares to the Mamiya. Clive sent me an inkjet printout of a HP5 neg from the Mamiya 645, but I prefer the price of the Bronica. I'm also after relative compactness if possible, but that's a secondardy priority, optics come first along with price.
    I'd be looking at about £400 for a body/back/WLF/standard lens. W/A comes later.
    All advice is, as usual, appreciated.

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  2. RichardHardwick

    RichardHardwick Well-Known Member

    Hi Rob, I used to own a Bronica ETRSi with 75 amd 150mm lenses. The lenses were very sharp and produced some pleasing results, however, I didn't get on well with the camera. There was nothing wrong with it, the camera was well built, I just didn't gel with it.

    I have borrowed a Mamiya 645 Super, with 80mm lens, from a friend on numerous occasions. The quality of the lens was excellent, like the Bronica, but I preferred the handling of this camera. It's probably not as tough as the ETRSi, feels a bit plastic-ky, but it's really compact and light.

    If you are looking for interchangable backs, then I think your options are more limited. The original Mamiya 645, (and maybe the 1000 aswell) didn't have an interchangeble back, just drop in inserts.

    If you've decided on the 645 format, then either of these cameras and their range of lenses are capable of excellent results. Good luck/img/wwwthreads/smile.gif

    Richard
     
  3. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Richard.:)
    I might go for the Bronica in that case. Interchangeable backs aren't a must with me - it doesn't take me long to rattle through a roll of 120 anyway.;-)

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  4. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    The major difference between these two cameras is the shutter mechanism, the Bronica having a leaf shutter and the Mamiya having a focal plane one. If you do a lot of fill flash work then the Bronica (and the "i" version for macro) would probably be the best choice but the minus side of this is that because the shutter is within the lens the lenses are correspondingly more expensive to buy. If you're on a budget I'd go for the Mamiya but remember that both cameras will need a prism attached to achieve their full potential which again increases the costs and starts to make cameras like a secondhand Mamiya 6x7 or Pentax 6x7 look attractive as neither of these cameras require a prism..................although size, weight and ease of handling then become an issue. I think you'd be better to go for one of the later model Mamiya 645's on balance (excellent handling coupled with slightly cheaper lenses) but as always, try and have a play with the gear first before you decide.

    BigWill

    <font color=blue>I'm sailing like a driftwood on a windy bay!<font color=black>
     
  5. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    The chances of me getting hold of the gear (literally!) to try it out is quite slim - I tend to get stuff from ffordes or other web retailers. I prefer leaf shutters - quieter and the flash sync at all speeds is a bonus for many occasions. I'd be using the SLR mostly with a WLF, so it looks like a Bronica may well be the way to go. Not going to totally forget the Mamiya, though. I'll do some more research.

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  6. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Just for your info Rob........

    ........the later model Mamiya 645's have interchangable backs, it's just the earlier models that don't.

    BigWill

    <font color=blue>I'm sailing like a driftwood on a windy bay!<font color=black>
     
  7. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Jessops.............

    .........will probably let you handle the cameras in store which is better than nothing as it will at least give you a feel for the handling.

    BigWill

    <font color=blue>I'm sailing like a driftwood on a windy bay!<font color=black>
     
  8. RichardHardwick

    RichardHardwick Well-Known Member

    Re: Jessops.............

    Yes, Jessops also have a really good returns policy. You can buy the camera, stick a few rolls of film through and return it for a full, no-questions-asked refund if you're not happy.

    Thanks for clarifying my comments Will and I forgot to mention the leaf shutter.

    Richard
     
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I've got the Mamiya M645 with 55mm and 210mm lenses, 2 prisms (one the AE version, the other unmetered), WLF and a couple of spare inserts. PLUS the big advantage is that it can take my Pentacon 6 lenses with an adaptor because it's a focal plane shutter. Great camera, but it might be on sale soon.....

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  10. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    Re: Jessops.............

    I don't suppose you have a scan from an image taken on the 75mm f/2.8 lens, do you, Richard? Nowt impressive, just for the detail testing.
    I'd be most grateful - File sizes aren't an issue (ADSL), but it is important that they are JPEG's - my server blocks RAW's and ZIP's.
    Sorry to say all that if you havn't got an example, but anyway./img/wwwthreads/smile.gif

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  11. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    Re: Just for your info Rob........

    I expect the later ones are more pricey, but as I said, it's not that important to me.

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  12. RichardHardwick

    RichardHardwick Well-Known Member

    Re: Jessops.............

    I haven't, sorry Rob. I dont think you could tell much anyway.

    Richard
     
  13. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    Re: Jessops.............

    Just interested in the quality, really. Would I be expecting better than my Yashicamat, for instance?

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  14. RichardHardwick

    RichardHardwick Well-Known Member

    Re: Jessops.............

    I don't know how your Yashicamat performs. Both the Bronica 75mm f2.8 and Mamiya 80mm f2.8 that I've used were very good quality lenses.

    If you could get to Blackpool for the day, I could arrange for you to try a Mamiya 645 Super with 80mm lens.

    Richard
     
  15. neilford

    neilford Well-Known Member

    Rob

    Thanks for asking this question. I too am considering entering the world of medium format.

    Currently a Mamiya 645 of some sort is looking favourite (almost just bought one from Jessops in New Oxford Street this afternoon - £300 complete).

    - Neil.
    http://www.smudgypixels.net/
     
  16. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    If it was in good nick, you should have gone for it! That was a good price.
    What sort of price range are you looking at? I reckon a Yashicamat is a pretty good entry to the world of medium format.

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  17. neilford

    neilford Well-Known Member

    I suspect we'll end up paying somewhere around £400 for a suitable camera. It would primarily be used for landscapes and maybe some portraits and we'd like to be able to use filters, so an SLR is currently the weapon of choice.

    A quick browse through the latest MXV shows a number of possibilities... a trip to Uckfield may well be in order soon. But first, some investigation into the various models is required.

    - Neil.
    http://www.smudgypixels.net/
     
  18. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    Hmmm. £400, most likely a Mamiya 645 or Bronica ETR/s/si.
    I'd favour the latter personally since the Bronica has leaf shutters, the Mamiya has a focal plane shutter. I believe that from what I've heard, the optics are pretty similar.

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     
  19. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Remember that leaf shutter lenses also exist for the Mamiya, and that you can get other lenses to fit via an adaptor - so, for example, I can use my 30mm fisheye on the M645 as well as the Pentacon 6, which is simply not an option for the Bronnie. I like the M645 quite a lot, actually - feels loads more solid than an ETR.

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  20. robbybobby

    robbybobby Well-Known Member

    Uh huh. Well, I don't have either and have never even seen (in the flesh so to speak) either, so my comparisons are based purely on what I've read or heard.

    Rob CRIPN

    If something's not worth doing, it's worth forgetting about.
     

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