A Fully Automatic Small Compact Medium Format SLR Camera – PENTAX 645N
The PENTAX 645 series has offered compact and lightweight medium format SLR/DSLR cameras since 1984. Until today, PENTAX has built a strong position in the medium format camera market, especially with the PENTAX 67 series.
The PENTAX 645 series features automate designs of exposure, film advance, and autofocus. Though the original model is a manual focus camera, the 645N and 645 NII add autofocus modes and only require controlling over framing adjustment. So, you can focus on a subject and find happiness in creating favorite images!
Of course, the 645 series inherits the PENTAX’s concept of “small compact designs”. With a portable and user-friendly design, the 645 series is capable of delivering high-quality images!
About the PENTAX 645N
The 645 series offers the PENTAX 645, 645N, and 645NII.
Let’s take a close look at each model as below!
Common Features and Specifications of the PENTAX 645 Series
Here, you can see the three different models.
•The PENTAX 645（released in 1984）
•The PENTAX 645N（released in 1997）
•The PENTAX 645NII（released in 2001）
I would like to introduce the common features and specifications as follows.
A Small Compact SLR Camera with a 645 Format
A 645 format is highly maneuverable when compared to other medium formats. In fact, it is very easy to use in comparison with the PENTAX 645, Mamiya, or ZENZA BRONICA.
PENTAX applies auto exposure and auto film winding facilities that are usually used with camera accessories to a small body.
Surprisingly enough, the weight is only 1.3 kg, including an eye-level pentaprism finder. Among medium format SLR cameras, the 645 series highlights the concept of a tool you carry every day.
A Fixed Eye-Level Pentaprism Finder.
The 645 series incorporates a fixed eye-level finder, even though other medium format SLR cameras are assumed to be equipped with a waist level finder looking from above.
While other cameras are designed to be used at Studio, it is presupposed that the 645 series is brought to the field.
You can look through an eye-level finder from behind as a 35mm film camera. Further, this fixed finder enhances a dust and splash-proof protections.
Auto Exposure and Autofocus
The original 645 was already equipped with automatic exposure modes. PENTAX finally reached a complete camera system, after the 645N and 645NII added autofocus. In addition, the 645N is the first medium format SLR camera with autofocus in the world.
The 645 series has been immeasurably precious as a few medium format AF cameras exist today.
An Electronic Shutter Achieving 1/1000th of a Second Speed at Maximum Speed
An electronic shutter of the 645 series’ maximum speed is 1/1000th of a second. It can easily offer long time exposure at low-speed sides, for 15 seconds (the original 645) and 30 seconds (the N and NII setting at auto exposure mode).
Model Information of the PENTAX 645 Series
Now, I am going to introduce each model representing the PENTAX 645 series.
About the PENTAX 645 (The Original Model)
PENTAX launched the first SLR camera with a 645 format in 1984, called the original PENTAX 645. Even though this camera is the first model, it has an outstanding camera system.
The methods of operation are noteworthy in that the camera can be worked with push buttons as the PENTAX 35mm film SLR cameras produced around the same time.
The 645 features a center-weighted metering. Because it only accepts the manual operation besides an old electronic camera, market prices are low. So, you can enjoy a medium format SLR camera at an affordable price!
About the PENTAX 645N
Pentax upgraded the original model to the 645N in 1997. As I wrote above, the 645N features autofocus capability. It performs in a traditional dial operation. Furthermore, it is possible to achieve an appropriate exposure by adding a spot metering and 6-zone metering modes.
The 645N can be used instead of current DSLR cameras for daily use.
About the PENTAX 645NII
The PENTAX 645NII is the final model of the 645 series. This is based on the 645N, but it has added further high-performance functions.
The most important additional function is a mirror lock up system. This solves the problem that medium format cameras may usually cause the photo to be blurred (a mirror shock).
A New DSLR Debut – PENTAX 645
The PENTAX 645 series has been sold until today, inheriting the concept of the 645 series. The newer models of the 645 series, such as the 645D released in 2010 and the 645Z in 2014, will keep their popularity as a small compact medium format SLR camera.
Lenses Working with Both Film and Digital Cameras
Lastly, but there is one more important thing you need to know. It is possible to use both new autofocus lenses optimized for digital and older 645 lenses for film cameras.
The 645 DSLR camera can accept older lenses without any problems since they have the same mount (PENTAX645) and body operation.
Why Don’t You Carrying a Lightweight and Portable Camera, PENTAX 645?
As such, you will enjoy having the PENTAX 645 series including the 645N at autofocus/auto exposure modes and lightweight which is suitable for taking photos quickly. The camera also shows its true ability in either case of the first medium format SLR camera or professional equipment.
PENTAX’s top priority is to make it comfortable for users to operate, and this applies even to a model with a 645 format.
Want to jump into medium format photography with the PENTAX 645?