Mamiya 645 AFD Review

15

Now is the time to get some top-of-the-notch analogue camera equipment, as pros still switch to digital and you can get their used equipment at bargain prices! For example is this Mamiya 645 AFD.

image from teamworkphoto

For us film lovers these are lucky times we live in. Never before has used professional medium format camera equipment been available that cheap! I got this Mamiya 645 AFD from a pro, who had the problem, his newest digital backs would only work with the Mamiya 645 AFD II.

This Mamiya is an autofocus SLR-camera with interchangeable film backs. Available lenses range from 28mm to 300mm. I got only the 80mm lens and some extension rings which let me focus very close. The body is made from a combination of magnesium alloy and is built like a tank. It features 4 exposure modes (P, A, S, M), You can choose between spot-metering, center-weighted-metering and a combination of both, which provides perfect exposure all the time. (Even tricky subjects like a pale baby with a black background, like in my example pictures, can’t fool the light meter.)
The autofocus is still kind of simple, especially compared to 35mm SLRs like a Nikon F5. There’s only one autofocus field, it’s rather slow and very often the autofocus searches forth and back without locking in. Nevertheless it’s a great help when photographing moving subjects like a lively baby.

Film format is 6×4.5cm and interchangeable backs give you the ability to swap films mid-roll, choose between 120 or 220 films or even attach a digital back to the camera. (Oh no, we do NOT want to do THAT, eh?!?) As a cool little gadget you can imprint exposure data (f-stop, exposure time, exposure mode, frame counter,…) on the film frame. (See my example shots.)

The camera is kind of heavy, so I use a tripod often. It incorporates a mirror lock-up function, which eliminates camera shake due to the mirror slap and this feature is essential for careful landscape- or nightshots with slow film. (Nothing beats my Velvia 50!!)

Conclusion: I love digital! All those stupid people getting rid of their analogue equipment to switch to digital let me buy used camera gear in brand-new condition for less than one-fifth the original price. I paid about the price of 3 Lomo LC-As for the Mamiya and that’s next to nothing! So head out and get yourself a premium medium format camera before all the others do the same and prices go up again!!!

Thanks for reading,
ebolatheelectricmonk.

written by ebolatheelectricmonk on 2009-07-20 in #reviews

15 Comments

  1. dogma
    dogma ·

    Wow interesting camera! love the shot #7

  2. larslau
    larslau ·

    Great review. And what a great deal. I've been wanting a 645 for a while, but I really shouldn't invest in more cameras (:

  3. eastmoe
    eastmoe ·

    great camera and nice review..

  4. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    Great shots! Is it your baby....?

  5. ebolatheelectricmonk
    ebolatheelectricmonk ·

    No, my friend's newborn son.

  6. eyecon
    eyecon ·

    Cute little one!

  7. stouf
    stouf ·

    Such a beautiful gallery, really pro-looking ! Amazing beast ! I'm talking about the camera ;) ... Is there a version 6X6 ?

  8. lomosexual_manboy
    lomosexual_manboy ·

    I'd love to see what some velvia 50 looks like from this camera.

  9. sibu_sen
    sibu_sen ·

    Wow! Nice review. Yeah, I too would like to see other films with this cam! Beautiful shots.

  10. ebolatheelectricmonk
    ebolatheelectricmonk ·

    @stouf: Sorry, no 6x6 format for this one. Too bad, because 6x6 is my favourite!
    @lomosexual_manboy + sibu_sen: O.k. starting up my scanner!!!

  11. rater
    rater ·

    Wawawiwa, what a nice camera, awesome! Nice review! And thanks be given to digital for letting this nice cameras at a nice price!

  12. strangelilgirl
    strangelilgirl ·

    Oh my gosh the last three photos are perfection!

  13. kylewis
    kylewis ·

    Beautiful images and a great review!

  14. juznobsrvr
    juznobsrvr ·

    great captures

  15. fotoflix
    fotoflix ·

    Great article. You can pick up the older style Mamiya 645 or 645E with manual focus 80mm lens on eBay for less than a brand new Lubitel 166+. I bought my 645 in 1982 and it still works perfect.

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