The Mamiya 645 Pro TL was the first medium format camera I purchased. A wonderful camera to enter the medium format world, with many automations and the ability to change backs. For a medium format camera today’s prices are quite cheap and so are the prices of the lenses. I have three lenses for this system, 45mm,80mm and 150mm (28,50,90 equivalent in 35mm format)
My favorite lens is the 45mm f2.8 a wonderful landscape lens which I almost use all the time.
The ability to change backs is great since I can change from color to black and white, or from a slow to a fast film mid-roll. The built in meter is awesome (I rarely use my Sekonic meter, since the M645 makes accurate exposure readings even with difficult films like the Fuji Velvia). There is a switch for double exposure, a timer and of course bulb for long exposures. Although there is a mirror lock up option, I almost always shoot the M645 on a tripod. Being a mirror camera, you can view filter effects on the viewfinder which is great when using a polarizer of ND grad filter.
Fifteen frames per roll are a lot (for medium format), so there’s room for bracket and you don’t get to change film as often as my 6×9 or panoramic camera. What I really like on the M645 is the stunning sharpness of the images especially with the 45mm lens. I’m always surprised when I compare it’s images with my Fuji GSW690 (which is supposed to be the sharpest wide angle medium format camera), the M645 files almost always look sharper. Of course that’s when viewed on screen or small prints, since when I print large the 6×9 negative really is on a league of it’s own.
Overall, the M645 is a great system which combines the image quality of a medium format system with the automations of a reflex camera. Although I don’t use it as often as I did in the past (the
Plaubel Makina 67 and the Fuji GSW690 are my main choices today) it’s a great system for entering the medium format world.
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