The 645Pro and Mamiya 645 Series – Commoner’s Affordable Medium Format Cameras
Mamiya released a medium format camera with a 645 format, called the Mamiya 645Pro. Overall the Mamiya 645 series can be the best cameras for those people who wish to get a handy and affordable medium format SLR camera.
Even though there are so many different medium format camera manufacturers in Japan including Zenza Bronica and PENTAX, Mamiya is capable of constructing systems at a lower cost compared to other competitors.
Mamiya also offers a wide range of Sekor lenses. You can buy manual lenses of the M645 series at reasonable prices today. They are basically designed for professional photographers who need high-quality output.
Why don’t you experience Sekor lenses with the Mamiya 645Pro that Mamiya can only produce!
The Mamiya 645Pro and 645 Series
The 645 series is a hero of medium format cameras as well as a medium format SLR camera with a 645 format produced by Mamiya.
Let’s see more about the Mamiya 645 series!
The Mamiya 645 Series
The Mamiya 645 series is relatively a late entrant into Mamiya medium format cameras. When calling it the Mamiya’s popular model, the RB67 or RZ67 series are famous. Further, the original RB67 with a 67 format was released in 1970, while the M645 (original Mamiya 645 series) was introduced in 1975.
Unlike the RB67 and RZ67 series having a lens shutter, the Mamiya 645 series is basically equipped with a focal plane shutter.
Most strikingly, the original M645 is the first medium format SLR camera with a 645 format in the world. In other words, Mamiya introduced the original model, while competitors have released new products one after another, such as the Zenza Bronica ETR and PENTAX 645.
Common Features and Specifications of the Mamiya 645 Series
I may classify the Mamiya 645 cameras into the three different groups as below.
・The original M645/M645 1000S/M645J – With an appearance just like a Hasselblad
・The M645 Super/M645Pro – With a modern appearance
・The M645AF series – With autofocus function
As a distinguished common feature, they have the same lens mount. However, autofocus lenses don’t attach to manual bodies.
An electronic focal plane shutter is equipped with the camera after the original M645. A finder is basically replaceable, and it is possible to use both a waist-level finder and an eye-level finder.
Now, let’s take a closer look at each model!
The Original M645 Series：With a Relatively Similar Appearance to the Hasselblad
The original M645 series’ first model is the M645 released in 1975.
The camera features a classical appearance with a metal body covered in leather. I am afraid to say, but it looks like the Hasselblad. Also, the body looks very stylish because of the waist-level finder.
The M645 series offers the original M645 (1975), M645 1000S (1976), and M645J (1979), and the most remarkable difference is shutter speeds. The M645 and M645J (an affordable version for export) can handle shutter speeds up to 1/500 sec, and the M645 1000S is 1/1000 sec as its name indicates.
In addition, those models don’t exchange film backs (a fixed type).
The M645 Super and 645Pro Series
Introduced in 1985, the M645 Super has attained interchangeable film backs and has achieved a more modern exterior.
In addition to the same lens mount, it is possible to mount and remove the lens easily. However, the models before the original M645 series and M645 Super cannot be compatible with camera accessories including finders.
・The M645 Super (1985)：The first fully remodeled Mamiya 645 series
・The M645Pro (1992)：An updated version of the M645Pro –
Improving large battery drains
・The M645Pro TL (1997)：With a TTL flash capability
・The M645E (1998)：An affordable model based on the M645 1000S – With the same exterior of the M645Pro
The M645AF Series
In 1999, Mamiya successfully launched an auto-focus camera called the Mamiya 645AF. However, as I mentioned above, autofocus lenses cannot mount to the manual focus camera body.
Then, the M645AF D has added a digital back in 2001.
After that, the M645AF series has improved through the DII (2005), DIII (2008), DF (2009), and DF+ (2012). Those cameras have been used by professional photographers until today.
The Mamiya 645 Series – A Small Compact Medium Format SLR camera
The Mamiya 645 series is relatively affordable camera among medium format SLR cameras. If you are a beginner, this would become the good introduction to the medium format photography.
It is true that medium format SLR cameras are very expensive, but you can enjoy many different types of facilities more than ever as the lens price drops in the market these days.
With a compact and light weight design, you can go and carry it around the city!
Let’s view a scene and compose an image with the greatest medium format camera, the Mamiya 645 series!