This is the second part of my film cameras series, devoted to the Mamiya 645 Pro TL.
I haven’t used this camera for a long time, since 6×7, 6×9 and 6×17 have been my choices for medium format. The Mamiya 645 Pro TL is a fully automatic camera, very easy to handle which produces excellent images. It’s just that when shooting a larger format, it’s difficult to appreciate 6×4.5
The 645 Pro TL has one of the best meters I have worked with, excellent for accurate metering when shooting slides. There is a motor drive that automatically advances the film, has a Multi Exposure lever, mirror up function, Bulb mode and automatic timer which is really a very helpful feature. It’s an SLR camera, which means you can view through the viewfinder the effect of depth of field and filters like a polarizer. So, it’s a far more easier camera to operate than the rest of my medium format gear.
I own three lenses for this camera, 45mm f/2.8, 80mm f/28 and 150mm f/4.The 35mm equivalent is 28,50,90 which for me is a perfect combination. One more very convenient feature, is that this camera can change film backs mid-roll, which means you don’t have to shoot the whole film before loading a new one. It shoots 15 images per roll of film.
This is camera I almost always shoot on a tripod. The mirror vibration requires fast shutter speeds and even then, it slaps really hard, so if I want a sharp image, I will use a tripod. Loaded with a 400 or 1600 ISO film, it can be operated handheld with good results, and the 80mm f/2.8 lens is the one I prefer in these rare cases.
So, these are my thoughts on the Mamiya 645 Pro TL. I consider the Mamiya 645 models to be excellent for people who just start shooting medium format film, since the cameras and lenses can be found in very good prices, and the 15 images per roll of film make shooting cheaper than the larger formats.
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