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2017.10.10

The Only TLR Camera with Interchangeable Lenses – Mamiya C330

Camera stories

The Mamiya C330 is the only film twin-lens reflex (TLR) camera with interchangeable lenses in the world. Since most TLR cameras have fixed lenses, the focal lengths and the angle of view are not adjustable. However, the Mamiya C series including the C330 can change lenses from wide-angle to telephoto lenses by using Mamiya’s unique and practical systems.

The C330 features a massive appearance that has never seen in any other TLR cameras. As the camera provides a variety of precise systems, you can surely operate it at will. In fact, many international photographers have been into it over the years.

Would you like to experience the camera now? Why not!

About the Mamiya C330

About the Mamiya C330

Let’s find more about the Mamiya C330 and the C series!

About the Mamiya C Series

The Mamiya C series is the only TLR camera with interchangeable lenses in the world. Mamiya has achieved own unique systems by developing lens exchange methods that cannot be copied by other camera manufacturers including Lollei known as a top TLR camera maker.

The Lens Interchanging System of the Mamiya C Series

The Lens Interchanging System of the Mamiya C Series

In the Mamiya C series, cameras achieved to exchange and stabilize lenses in a completely different way of other rangefinders or SLR cameras.

The C series including the C330 fixes the circumference of lenses with a high strength wire. Further, this opens and shuts to completely lock the lens. Although it seems too easy to stabilize a lens, there is no problem for the operation of lenses as well as the light leakage.

The Best Model of the Mamiya C Series – Mamiya C330

The Mamiya C series has been produced since 1956.

The first model was released in 1969, and the C330 became a final product. The series has continuously received many improvements, and the following models are available today.

•The Mamiya C330 Professional(1969)
•The Mamiya C330 Professional f (1975)
– An improved version of the C330 in a metal finish
•The Mamiya C330 Professional S (1983)
– With a plastic exterior

Performances and Specifications of the Mamiya C330

Performances and Specifications of the Mamiya C330

Now, I am going to introduce the Mamiya C330’s features.

・A traditional film twin-lens reflex camera with interchangeable lenses
・Interchangeable finders
・A waist-level finder at standard
・Film winding by winding crank
・Start marks
・Automatic shutter cocking and winding stop
・A leaf shutter
・A shutter speed of B (for bulb), 1′ -1/500 sec
・120 and 220 roll films (Medium Format)

The C330 incorporates all necessary systems for high-quality TLR cameras. For example, the camera automatically winds it up only by setting start mark with a film, and the shutter charge is interlocking it with winding up.

Providing Equipment for Close-Up photography

Providing Equipment for Close-Up photography

The most distinguished feature of the C330 is a focusing system that uses bellows and rails. It is possible to take close-up photography with a standard lens on a normal body depending on the shooting distance, thanks to the built-in front extension system by rack and pinion bellows. This system obtains by adjusting the dual focusing knob.

Can you guess how the C330 can achieve such a unique mechanism? It is because the camera is designed to use in many situations including studio use.

With TLR cameras the photographer views through the view lens on the upper side but takes photographs through the taking lens on the lower side, so parallax occurs fundamentally. To avoid this error, the camera attaches an accessory called “the paramender” which compensates for parallax by lifting the taking lens up to the view lens’s position. In close-up photography, that’s how the camera takes good images by using bellows at a studio.

The Useful Little Tidbits of the Mamiya C330

Now, I am going to write some useful tidbits and the tips for purchasing old cameras.

Make Sure Bellows When Buying Old Cameras

Make Sure Bellows When Buying Old Cameras

Today, the C330 is a discontinued model. If you are going to buy one, you are highly recommended to make sure the condition of bellows at first. In fact, some used cameras have deterioration or holes due to the previous owners.

As you can imagine, the light will be leaked if there is a hole on bellows. There is no problem if bellows stretch out in close-up photography, but still, it is a good idea to check them out before purchasing an old camera. To sum up, you don’t have to worry about other fragile parts of the body besides bellows, as the camera has a very simple structure.

Recommended Used Lenses to Buy

Recommended Used Lenses to Buy

If you plan on getting a lens for the C330, it is recommended to buy a standard lens or a wide-angle lens. For standard lenses, there are the Sekor 80mm f2.8 (*standard), the Sekor 55mm f4.5 (wide-angle), or the Sekor 65mm f3.5 (wide-angle) lenses.

A Big Fan of the Mamiya C Series – Photographer, Ms. Diane Arbas

The C series including the C330 is widely known as the first choice of Ms.Diane Arbas (1923〜1971) who is an American photographer.

Ms.Diane Arbas’s photographs are mostly portrait photographs. Images taken by the TLR cameras are basically a square format.

She accompanied an exhibition at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) as she had more emphasized on spirituality compared to other previous photographs, and as a matter of fact, she still has a great influence on many photographers even today.

Different photographers have different stories with the C330…
Would you like to make a story that can happen only in your hands?

About the Mamiya C330

The C330 is distinguished from other TLR cameras in many ways. If you touch it, you will be quickly fascinated by its mechanical body.

Find “Mamiya C330” at SunriseCamera

2017.10.03

An Ideal Medium Format Camera for Eternity – Plaubel Makina67

Camera stories

The Plaubel Makina67 is a folding medium format rangefinder camera. It is renowned as a legendary model among many types of medium format cameras, and in fact, many major photographers have cherished it over many years. Some photographers still have a great interest in the Plaubel Makina67 even today.

Can you imagine why the camera has kept its popularity with so many photographers? The answer to this question is quite simple, and it is “a dream medium format camera for people”.

Besides a fact that only a few medium format rangefinder cameras can accept Nikkor lenses, the secret of its popularity can be related to a camera fan’s strong passion for the Plaubel Makina67.

Let’s see more about a medium format camera for eternity, called the Plaubel Makina67!

About the Plaubel Makina67

About the Plaubel Makina67

The Plaubel Makina67 is an ideal folding medium format rangefinder camera with Nikkor lenses. First, I am going to introduce its remarkable features!

Features and Specifications of the Plaubel Makina67

Introduced in 1978, the Plaubel makina67 is a medium format rangefinder camera with a collapsible bellow. It is often called just a Makina among camera fans.

Features and Specifications of the Plaubel Makina67

Thanks to a collapsible bellow, the camera can be folded flat. It is also said to be “a lunch box” due to its perfect square shape.

Further, the camera is equipped with a leaf shutter that can handle shutter speeds from 1/500th of a second through to 1 second, plus a bulb setting. It has an exposure meter that requires two batteries (LR44 or SR44). And then, the camera takes 120 roll film.

Nikkor Lenses Designed for the Plaubel Makina

Thanks to the Plaubel’s design made in Germany, there is no wastefulness in the jet-black body. In addition, the camera can use excellent lenses on the strong body.

Nikkor Lenses Designed for the Plaubel Makina

Nikkor Lenses Designed for the Plaubel Makina

The Nikkor 80mm f/2.8 lens should be the main reason why Plaubel Makina67 is called a legendary camera today. When hearing a name “Nikkor lens” produced by Nikon (Nippon Kogaku), you will probably assume its high-performance.

The camera can deliver quite unique images that only Makina produces. It also enables to capture images with the distinguished ambiance.

Why do people choose a Makina product? It is because of Nikkor lenses, isn’t it? The reliable lenses far beyond imagination have been used by a bunch of photographers.

A Series of the Plaubel Makina

A couple of cameras were released after the Plaubel Makina67 (1978).

First of all, the Makina 67W equipped with a wide-angle Nikkor 55mm f/4.5 lens (a 28mm lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length) was debuted in 1982.

the Plaubel Makina67 (1978) - A Series of the Plaubel Makina

Then, the Makina670 was introduced in 1984. It is an improved version of the Makina67, and it has achieved to use 220 roll film.

 the Makina670 was introduced in 1984

A Dream Camera Created by a Camera Fan – Makina67

The Plaubel Makina67, just like a dream camera meeting the entire camera fan’s needs and wishes, was finally debuted.

About the Birth of the Plaubel Makina67

About the Birth of the Plaubel Makina67

“Plaubel” is originally a German camera manufacturer. Meanwhile, a product name “Makina” is used for a folding 6×9 medium format camera.

After the 60s, as the company’s main products had become film cameras using a 4×5 or 8×10 sheet, Plaubel was forced to downsize its business.

Plaubel was bought out by the Japanese company, Doi Group, in 1975. It is also a famous story that Mr.Kimio Doi (President of the group) was a serious devotee of cameras.

Taking advantage of this new opportunity, he had begun to develop an ideal camera with a strong passion.

An Ideal Body and Perfect Lenses

Doi Group is basically a distributor of the major camera brands, so it doesn’t have the know-how for developing cameras at all. As such, the group considered outsourcing manufacturing to Plaubel in Germany once, but it eventually requested Japanese camera manufacturers to manufacture components.

And thus, Konica manufactured camera bodies on behalf of the group. The company offered a couple of hit models at that time, such as the Konica C35EF (the first shoot and point camera with a photo flash attachment) and the C35AF (the first autofocus camera in the world). Surprisingly, Mr.Yasuo Uchida (the designer of the Plaubel Makina67) designed those cameras as well.

The Plaubel Makina67 can use Nikkor lenses, the most high-end Japanese lens. By combining the best body and the first-class lenses, the camera has thus achieved an indisputable position in both name and substance.

A Camera Used as the Right-Hand of Professional Photographers

The Plaubel Makina67 has been cherished by so many photographers until today. It is a famous story that Mr.Nobuyoshi Araki (known by nickname Arākī) carried it around all the time. Mr.Naoki Ishikawa (a photographer who is active around the globe) has also brought it to a variety of fields like snowy mountains or the tropics, by taking advantage of the foldable body.

Want to Experience a legend of the Dream Camera “Makina”?

The Plaubel Makina67 is a legendary medium format camera that was inspired by a camera fan’s dream. It has gained great popularity among photographers, and I believe it will have been loved forever.

No matter what other people say, the photos taken with Nikkor lenses are quintessential in Makina products.

Why don’t you capture an image with the Plaubel Makina67 and experience what the legend is like?  

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2017.09.26

The Hasselblad 503CW – Enjoy Traditional Hasselblad Styles with a New Body!

Camera stories

The Hasselblad 503CW is a medium format SLR camera that inherits the concept of Hasselblad styles.

The Hasselblad V series has started from the 500C, and the 503CW is considered to be the substantially final model. Because the 503CW is a late model, it can attach a winder that the 500C and 500C/M don’t accept.

If you try to take a square photo (6×6) inspired by Hasselblad cameras, the 503CW, an evolutional model in the Hasselblad V series, may be a right choice.

About the Hasselblad 503CW

About the Hasselblad 503CW

Introduced in 1996, the Hasselblad 503CW is a relatively new SLR camera with a mechanical leaf shutter.

What makes this camera better than other cameras?
Let’s find it out!

Features and Specifications of the Hasselblad 503CW

The Hasselblad V series is renowned for the highest model of medium format SLR cameras. Until 2013, it has received a number of improvements through the 500C/M (1970) / 503CX (1988) with a great popularity since the 500C (1959).

Then, Hasselblad has finally arrived at the final configuration of the series when the 503CW was introduced in 1996.

Features and Specifications of the Hasselblad 503CW

The 503CW has almost the same specifications as previous models. For example, the camera is equipped with a common leaf shutter in the V series. Zeiss lenses are available to use together. And then, interchangeable film magazines (film backs) are compatible with the 500C and 500C/M.

The Soft Click of the Leaf Shutter

The Soft Click of the Leaf Shutter

Including the 503CW, the Hasselblad 503 series features a soft release button. When pressing the button, photographers feel having a little long button travel as well as a soft impact on the stability of the camera. Compared to the 500 series with a short button travel, the 503CW successfully achieves a soft grip feeling which fits in hands.

To Use an Optional Winder

To Use an Optional Winder

The Hasselblad 503CW is capable of attaching a winder as its name indicates (503C“W”). This makes it possible to take a series of photos easily while maintaining image quality and a square screen.

In medium format photography, the 503CW is very handy and useful because of the remote control and interval photographing.

Fully Developed and “New” Hasselblad

The Hasselblad V series has been sold for over 50 years from 1959 to 2013. In fact, because it has the long manufacturing period, there are some products to require the overhaul once in a while. On the other hand, the 503CW (1996) can be sold in good condition as it is still a late model.

Plus, if there will be a need to overhaul equipment in the future, you can do it as it is a mechanical camera.

Would you plan on getting a Hasselblad series?
If so, you may wonder which one is the best to buy… right?

In that case, you may choose the 503CW having a modern design in the traditional styles, the 500C with a classical design, or the 500C/M, depending on your preferences!

Fully Developed and “New” Hasselblad

To Purchase the Hasselblad 503CW

If you are going to get the Hasselblad 503CW, please note the following things.

Recommended CF Lenses for the 503CW

Zeiss has produced so many high-end prime lenses for Hasselblad cameras. Of those, the CF lenses can be a perfect harmony for the 503CW.

The CF lenses work on the Hasselblad camera bodies and accept both leaf shutters and focal plane shutters.

Here, you can see several types of the CF lenses;

・The CF lens (since 1982)
・The CFi lens (since 1998, improved coatings)
・The CB lens (an affordable version with a non-focal plane shutter, launched from the same time of the CFi lens)
・CFE lens (installed the electrical contact in lens mount, launched from the same time of the CFi lens)

*The lens in the above is the CFi lens. (Body: 905SWC)
*The lens in the above is the CFi lens. (Body: 905SWC)

The modern 503CW in the V series should match those lenses’ outfit perfectly.

Because the camera and lenses were released around the same time, its overall appearance has an even crisper, more stylish appearance.

The classical silver C lens also looks perfect on the body; therefore, you can find a good one depending on your preference and budget.

Want a Modern Hasselblad? Get the 503CW!

Above all, the Hasselblad 503CW is a medium format camera mixing the traditional and modern design styles. Thanks to its new camera system and matured structure of the body, you can comfortably enjoy taking photos.

If you would like to produce square format images with a classic Hasselblad camera, please consider the Hasselblad 503CW as one of your options!

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2017.09.19

The 645Pro and Mamiya 645 Series – Commoner’s Affordable Medium Format Cameras

Camera stories

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 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

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

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 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

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.

In details,

・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

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!

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2017.09.12

Using and Admiring the Most Beautiful Medium Format SLR Camera – CONTAX 645

Camera stories

The CONTAX 645 is the only medium format SLR camera produced by Kyocera/CONTAX. As its name indicates, it is a professional camera with a 645 format.

The most outstanding feature is its beautiful design that CONTAX only can produce. CONTAX has handed over the industrial design influenced by Bauhaus in Germany since the CONTAX RTS released in 1975 with the Porsche design.

A completed version, the CONTAX 645, achieves a sophisticated body design and features a white CONTAX branding logo in a real black. Further, the camera incorporates functions with superior technological capabilities to overtake competitors.

Accordingly, either as an ornamental camera or a practical tool, you can enjoy the CONTAX 645!!

About the CONTAX 645

The CONTAX 645 is the only medium format SLR camera under the Kyocera/Yashica CONTAX name

The CONTAX 645 is the only medium format SLR camera under the Kyocera/Yashica CONTAX name.

Let’s explore more about the CONTAX 645!

Features and Specifications of the CONTAX 645

In 1999, CONTAX released a medium format SLR camera with a 645 format

In 1999, CONTAX released a medium format SLR camera with a 645 format, the CONTAX 645. It has not only a beautiful appearance but also high-quality functions.

As for the shutter speed, the camera goes to 1/4000 sec at a maximum speed.

the fastest shutter speed is up to 1/1000 sec or 1/2000 sec at most

Generally speaking, a medium format camera has a larger shutter in comparison with a 35mm film camera, and the fastest shutter speed is up to 1/1000 sec or 1/2000 sec at most.

On the other hand, the CONTAX 645 has a high-speed shutter just like a high-end 35mm film camera. Its maximum sync speed is 1/125 sec, and this is the fastest speed for a medium format camera equipped with a focal plane shutter.

The camera uses interchangeable film backs and accepts both 120 and 220 film roll. However, there is no choice except to buy 120 film roll because 220 film roll is not on sale today.

In addition, an interchangeable eye-level finder is equipped as standard.

Autofocus Zeiss Lenses Designed by CONTAX

Autofocus Zeiss Lenses Designed by CONTAX

Of course, the CONTAX 645 can mount Zeiss lenses. Then, the camera is equipped with the CONTAX 645 mount. This original mount designed with the future in mind incorporates autofocus.

The CONTAX 645’s standard lens has a built-in ultrasonic motor.

A Beautiful Camera Being Loved by Mika Ninagawa

A Beautiful Camera Being Loved by Mika Ninagawa

The first photographer that reminds me of the CONTAX 645 is Mika Ninagawa. She is representatives of Japanese photography as well as art, but the CONTAX 645 does not pale in comparison to her stunning images.

Then the jet-black body originally comes from a traditional Germany design. You can satisfy with the feel of operation, plus enjoy not only its appearance but also design concepts.

The CONTAX 645… or Hasselblad?

The CONTAX 645… or Hasselblad?

Both the Hasselblad and the CONTAX645 are a medium format camera accepting Zeiss lenses. Have you ever considered which is better to buy?

A 6 x 6 cm Format and a 645 Format

The biggest difference between the CONTAX645 and the Hasselblad is a film format.

If you want to shoot a square photo, just choose the Hasselblad. However, if you don’t mind getting either a 645 format or a 6 x 6 cm format, you will probably be OK with the CONTAX645.

Its modern operation and autofocus can provide advanced photographic capabilities with the first-class Zeiss lenses.

A Modern Design and a Design as a Tool

A Modern Design and a Design as a Tool

If you choose a camera by design, some like the CONTAX 645 but others do the Hasselblad.

Those people who like the CONTAX645 usually love the Bauhaus or furniture with the mid-century modern design. So, you will never regret choosing the CONTAX 645 if you like a simple design.

On the other hand, the Hasselblad has a kind of large-scale appearance that represents a tool for photography.

Do you want to admire the CONTAX 645 as a thing?
Are you interested in designs or art works?
If so, you will fall in love with the CONTAX 645 so quickly!

To Use and Admire the CONTAX 645

The CONTAX 645 can be an ideal practical camera in terms of having both beautiful designs and great performances. Its attractiveness will never decrease as it is a sophisticated autofocus Medium format camera equipped with Zeiss lenses, although CONTAX has discontinued producing medium format cameras…

Once again, the camera is pretty much suitable for daily use.
Why don’t you enjoy the CONTAX 645’s in your hands?

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2017.08.01

A Fully Automatic Small Compact Medium Format SLR Camera – PENTAX 645N

Camera stories

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

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 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.

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

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 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)

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

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

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

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.

PENTAX 645 70mm F2.8

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?

Search for “PENTAX 645”

2017.07.25

The Easiest Medium Format Camera to Use – Fujifilm GA645 Series

Camera stories

The Fujifilm GA645 series (GA645/GA645Zi/GA645W) is an autofocus medium format camera featuring a fully automatic exposure and film advance.

Have you ever wished for an easier way to use a medium format camera?

A medium format camera has been the focus of much attention in the market as the industry has moved to toward a digital camera from a film camera.

If you have never tried a medium format camera before, the Fujifilm GA645 series can be the right choice. In this series, it features a fully automatic electronic focus, exposure control, and film advance. By pushing a shutter release button just like a compact camera, you can take a photo!

Sure enough, with a reliable lens and in a 645 format makes it possible to deliver a high image quality. It is highly recommended to be your first medium format camera!

The Fujifilm GA645 Series

Fujifilm GA645

Just push a shutter release button, and you will enjoy capturing a high-quality image resolution.

Let’s take a close look at the Fujifilm GA645 series!

A Medium Format Camera Anybody Can Use

Comparing 35mm film cameras, medium format cameras achieve a large screen size.

Even though digital cameras almost took over 35mm film cameras today, medium format cameras have been attracting attentions as a tool of self-expression with color or monocle film. However, it is true that operating a medium format camera is difficult for those who have usually shot with film or digital cameras.

I know it cannot be helped to take the number of failed pictures when you shoot with a camera in full manual settings at the first time. Then, Fujifilm developed a solution for this issue by producing a medium format camera with a simple procedure. That’s how the GA645 series was born into the world!

Common Features and Specifications through the GA645 Series

Now, let’s see more about specific features of the GA645 series that is designed for all levels including beginners.

There are three different models in the GA645 series, the GA645, GA645Zi, and GA645W, but they share several traits as follows.

A Program AE Mode

A Program AE Mode

Thanks to Program AE mode, the GA645 series can take a photo with the appropriate exposure without any complicated operation. As you become familiar with medium format photography, you can also create a fine photography that represents your intention by selecting a shooting mode (either Manual Exposure or Aperture Priority).

An Autofocus Mode

An Autofocus Mode

Even though there are so many different types of medium format cameras in the world, only a few options for autofocus medium format cameras exist; for example, it is the PENTAX 645N and so on.

Even if a lens is able to deliver high image quality or a screen size is large, it doesn’t make sense to be out of focus. Considering this point, the GA 645 series makes it possible for anyone who would like to jump into medium format photography to capture a good image with the GA645 series.

Auto Film Loading/ Winding

Auto Film Loading/ Winding

The GA645 series can be the only automatic film loading/winding medium format camera in the world.

The camera provides a fully automated film system by utilizing an infrared sensor.
It is understandable to fail to load 120 roll film, even if you get used to doing it.

The 645 Format – The Best Entry Level for the Medium Format Camera

The 645 Format - The Best Entry Level for the Medium Format Camera

As its name implies, the GA645 series uses 120 roll film and captures images in a 645 format. The 645 format relatively seems to be something seen as a small format, but it is usually 60×45 mm on 120 medium-format films.

Please note that this format is still three times bigger than the 35mm film camera (36×24 mm). Plus, you probably don’t care about a cost for the film as the 645 format gives you sixteen shots per roll.

Model Information in the Fujifilm GA645 Series

Thus, the GA645 series is considered to be an easy-to-use medium format camera.

Now, I would like you to take a look at each GA645 models,“GA645”, “GA645Zi”, and “GA645W”!

The Fujifilm GA645 Professional

The Fujifilm GA645 Professional

The GA645 Professional is a fundamental model released in 1995.

Comparing to other models, the GA645 Professional is equipped with a perfect lens that works in any situations. A standard lens is an SUPER-EBC FUJINON 60mm F4. This is exactly the same angle of view of most point and shoot cameras, in other words, the camera features a focal length of 37-38mm (35mm equivalent focal length).

Sure enough, this high-quality lens can deliver an excellent image.

If in doubt about which lens is really reliable, choose the GA645 Professional with a single focal lens capable of obtaining a high performance.

The Fujifilm GA645Zi Professional

The Fujifilm GA645Zi Professional

The GA645Zi Professional features a zoom lens. It uses an SUPER-EBC FUJINON 55mm-90mm F4.5-6.9 lens.

This model has improved the GA645 series through adding a zoom lens, although it was an already easy to use series. It was released in 1998. Except for the GA645Zi Professional, there is no medium format camera available to be equipped with a zoom lens as standard.

The Fujifilm GA645W Professional

The Fujifilm GA645W Professional

The Fujifilm GA645W Professional has a wide angle lens as its name “W” implies. It was introduced in 1996. A standard lens of the Fujifilm GA645W Professional is an SUPER-EBC FUJINON 45mm F5.6 lens.

With a focal length of 28mm (35mm equivalent focal length), the camera can be suitable for the landscape photos or snap photography. In addition, it is widely known that photographers have cherished this camera, especially those who mainly shoot mountains.

No matter what kind of wide-angle cameras will have increased their popularity later. If you are looking for the GA645W Professional, it might be a good idea to get it now.

The 645 Series – Ideal for the First-Time Medium Format

As mentioned above, the GA645 series is a fully automatic camera that cannot be copied by other medium format cameras.

All levels from beginners to advanced level, including those who wish to shoot as quickly as possible, are happy about that the camera requires no troublesome setting like manual exposure or manual focus.

Depending on situations, you can choose one among the GA645, GA645Zi, and GA645W. Hope you will find out your favorite model! 

Search for “GA645”

2017.07.18

The Last Collapsible Folding Medium Format Camera – Fujifilm GF670

Camera stories

The Fujifilm GF670 Professional is a medium format rangefinder camera released in 2009. Through the use of current technology, a traditional folding camera was reborn as a 6×7 medium format professional camera.

As the industry has moved toward digital cameras, medium and large format cameras have been the focus of much attention among photographers.

The image quality of medium format enables to offer detailed images that cannot be copied by both digital and 35mm film cameras. Therefore, the Fujifilm GF670 Professional has been cherished by those people who work on art photography or just enjoy photography as a hobby.

However, considering practical performance, only a few options are available, resulting in the Mamiya 6/7 and Plaubel Makina got great popularity. In this context, Fujifilm introduced a new medium format rangefinder camera to the market.

If you are going to buy a 6×7 medium format camera for daily use, the Fujifilm GF670 Professional is the right choice!

The Fujifilm GF670 Professional

The Fujifilm GF670 Professional

Now, let’s see more about the Fujifilm GF670 Professional!

Performance and Specification of the Fujifilm GF670 Professional

The Fujifilm GF670 Professional (2009) may be the last collapsible folding medium format camera produced by a leading camera manufacturing company, Fujifilm. This camera has been improved by the reliable technology and has modern lenses with great performance and operation.

Equipped with the EBC Fujinon 80mm F3.5 lens, the camera offers an electronic leaf shutter with shutter speeds range from 4 seconds to 1/500th of a second.

The Fujifilm GF670 Professional

Of course, the Fujifilm GF670 Professional has an exposure meter. Moreover, the center-weighted metering using SPD can obtain an accurate exposure.

The ISO sensitivity can be selected within the range from 25 to 3200.

Fujifilm has developed the GF670 rangefinder (2009) against other medium format compact cameras.

A Dual-Medium Format (6×6/6×7) Folding Camera

As you can see a model number of the Fujifilm GF670 Professional, it is basically capable of shooting 6×7 format images, but 6×6 film format is also available.

If you have a chance, I will highly recommend you to experience a square format (6×6). Because it can capture images regardless of the optimal size, a square photo has been quite popular among photographer as the expression technique.

You can easily select this useful format (6×6) by opening a case back of the GF670 Professional.

6×7 (rectangular) and 6×6 (square)

6×7 (rectangular) and 6×6 (square): The GF670 Professional achieves a dual-format (6×6/6×7), while Mamiya and Makina cannot change the film format. This can be a significant advantage since popular medium format cameras are expensive to be sold in the market today.

For the Best Medium Format Film Photography

For the Best Medium Format Film Photography

The only option for the medium format film is 120 roll film today. Even though the GF670 Professional accepts both 120 and 220 roll film, it seems quite reasonable to use with 120 roll film.

In addition, the GF670 Professional is well designed to create a beautiful photo with 120 roll film. Advancing a film by a thumb knob instead of a lever is one of the outstanding features.

When it comes to using 120 roll film, a lever cannot keep high flatness of the film although it technically achieves high-speed film winding. On the other hand, a knob is capable of solving this problem so as to get the most out of image quality in medium format.

The GF670 Professional can deliver the best image captured by a medium format camera, working with reliable EBC Fujinon lenses, an exposure meter, and its sophisticated operating design.

The GF670 Professional can deliver the best image captured by a medium format camera

The Benefits of the GF670 Professional Compared with Other Competing Products

What advantages does the GF670 Professional have?

Let’s compare it to other medium format rangefinder cameras like Mamiya or Makina!

Mamiya 7II

Makina67

First of all, the GF670 Professional has a great reliability. Though Mamiya and Makina equipped with Nikkor lenses have been popular, they may become deterioration of elements inside as time goes by.

Please note that there is always a risk in a time-related deterioration if you have a folding camera. In a case of having a hole on a camera bellow, you need to pay expensive repair cost.

On the other hand, it is possible to get a new one as the GF670 Professional was released in recent years. Even a used one achieves high reliability of camera bellows and electronic devices like an exposure meter.

As such, it can be said Fujifilm goes beyond other companies in terms of lens performance.

Nikkor lenses produced by Nikon look a little bit old, but the EBC Fujinon lens’s design and coating can get real headway against the competition.

Finding the most suitable lenses for your camera is the important point when it comes to art photography or photography as a hobby.

GF670 EBC Fujinon

As I wrote above, a dual-medium format (6×6/6×7) may be also a good appealing point.

GF670

Keep Letting a Medium Format Film Be Around

The GF670 Professional was produced by Fujifilm, a camera manufacturer as well as a leading film company. No matter how there will be fewer opportunities to use film cameras today; I believe Fujifilm will have been producing 120 roll film.

Fujifilm released the GF670 Professional in 2009. I feel like the company declared its strong intentions to further promote measures toward the traditional films.

Why don’t you enhancing the potential of medium format cameras with the GF670 Professional?

Search Result of “Fujifilm GF670”

2017.07.11

Let’s Enjoy an SLR Film Camera in the 70s – The Canon AE-1 with a Continuous Shooting Mode

Camera stories

If you choose a camera that represents the age of 1970, the Canon AE-1 will definitely come first to your options.

The AE-1 took the world by storm with a keyword of the SLR film camera having a continuous shooting mode. Further, it offered some remarkable features enough to change the trend of SLR film cameras at that time, such as an automatic exposure, a winder at low cost, and an affordable price due to mass production.

On the occasion of introducing the AE-1, other companies launched their new models in the same level of the AE-1. Then, the AE-1 could change a history of film cameras, remaining both in records and people’s heart.

About the Canon AE-1

About the Canon AE-1

The AE-1 is an affordable automatic exposure camera with an automatic film winding and rewinding.

Now, let’s take a look at its sophisticated features and outstanding performances.

Features and Specifications of the Canon AE-1

Here are the AE-1’s features and specifications. The AE-1 is a 35mm SLR film camera with a shutter priority AE mode.

The reason why Canon has achieved top shares for its products at the average selling price today is the AE-1 made the greatest contribution to the history of Canon’s SLR cameras.

Achieving a Shutter-Priority AE Mode at Low Cost

Achieving a Shutter-Priority AE Mode at Low Cost

The AE-1 was released in April of 1976. Taking that age into consideration, it is a significant specification that a camera has a shutter priority AE mode regardless of the affordable price ranges.

The AE-1 is sold at the price of 50,000 yen, while a unit including a 50mm F1.4 lens is 81,000 yen. This is actually about 20,000 yen lower than other previous SLR cameras with an AE mode, resulting in even more closely intertwined with people’s camera life.

In addition, the AE-1 features a shutter priority AE mode.

In spite of such practical use of both the aperture and shutter priority AE modes today, a discussion on which is more convenient to use was continuing from the 60s to 70s.

Especially, Canon is well known as a camera manufacturer to focus on improving a shutter priority mode. Therefore, it is kind of essential to install a shutter priority AE system on the AE-1, which reduces failures due to camera shake.

A Winder Delivering a Continuous Shooting Mode

The AE-1 requires using a winder by default. Further, a winder is a camera accessory to advance films automatically. It works when attaching directly to the bottom of the body.

In fact, the AE-1 has become the first camera that allows you to continuously take photos with pushbutton simplicity, although a built-in winder is so common after the late of the 80s.

Other Specifications of the AE-1

The AE-1 can deliver all standard functions that other company’s average cameras have, and in some cases, this sophisticated camera is by far superior to any other cameras.

The AE-1 has a horizontal cloth focal plane shutter that handles shutter speed from 2 seconds to 1/1000th of a second. Then, its flash synchronization speeds up to 1/60th of a second. Of course, the AE-1 has an electronic shutter system just like other AE models.

Other Specifications of the AE-1

The AE-1 uses a 4LR44 battery, which is still available to buy today. It has a manual exposure mode.

In addition to a center-weighted average metering that the AE-1 uses a reliable SPC (silicon photocell), instead of a CdS which used to be the most popular light receiving element until in the early 70s.

While offering high quality of experiences to users, the AE-1 can advance films little by little in manual mode.

The Earlier Model with a Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The AE-1’s small CPU achieved high performance at low cost.

As compared to the previous AE models using analog circuitry, the AE-1 succeeded greatly reducing the number of components both because it achieved a 4bit CPU and because of computerization.

Canon continued to improve its camera computerization such as the A-1 and T series and finally completed the EOS series in the late 80s.

About the Canon AE-1 and AE SLR camera

In the history of SLR cameras, it is true that the AE-1 created a new standard of automatic film advancing and an AE mode. In fact, competing companies introduced cameras all at once, having the same quality of the AE-1.

SLR Cameras after the AE-1

SLR Cameras after the AE-1

From 1976 (AE-1) to 1985 (Minoltaα7000, often called as a α-shock), I believe all cameras, which produced by Japanese camera manufacturers, have been more or less influenced by the AE-1.

The AE-1’s high performance and good price are so epoch-making facts.

In December of 1976, after eight months from the first release of the AE-1 (in April of 1976), the PENTAX ME with an AE mode was introduced with a winder.

The PENTAX ME’s original price was 50,000 yen. It is obvious that the ME was sold on the basis of its competitive product pricing (*the ME was an aperture priority automatic camera).

After that, each company has introduced cameras with an aperture priority mode only or with a manual mode. Because of the AE-1’s cost reduction, some companies changed their business strategy from making high-end cameras only to including popular models as well or withdrew from the market.

The MINOLTA XG-E (1977), OLYMPUS OM10 (1979), Nikon EM (1980, sale in Japan only), and MINOLTA X-7 (1980); It is like they are all children of the AE-1.

The MINOLTA XG-E (1977), OLYMPUS OM10 (1979), Nikon EM (1980, sale in Japan only), and MINOLTA X-7 (1980); It is like they are all children of the AE-1.

Feeling Atmospheres of the 70s with the AE-1

When it comes to the cameras produced in the 70s, it tends to talk about a mechanical camera with a manual mode such as the Nikon F2, Canon F-1 (a previous model), and PENTAX MX.

However, the AE series including the AE-1 definitely received a lot of attentions from photographers in the 70s. If you want to feel the good old days, the AE-1 can be a perfect camera!

Just attaching a winder on the AE-1 and walking through the streets in the city, you feel like you are actually there in 1976.

You will calm and refresh your mind by looking through a finder of this memorable camera!Search for “Canon AE-1”

2017.07.04

CONTAX RTS Series – The Latest Technology for the Best Performance of Zeiss Lenses

Camera stories

The CONTAX RTS is a luxury SLR film camera manufactured by Yashica・CONTAX. This series features a stylish body designed by Porsche and delivers sophisticated functions and operations for mounting Zeiss lenses.

In 1975, the original RTS was released. It achieved a high-end digital operating system for that age.

The design concept of the computerization of cameras doesn’t only mean to spread a vision of the latest technology. Rather, the aim of digitalization is to make people feel comfortable. Releasing the shutter at the touch of a shutter release button (called as a feather-touch fingertip action) can effectively prevent from missing a shutter chance.

The RTS is recognized as a truly unique model, compared to other SLR film cameras made in Japan.

Now, I am going to introduce the luxury improved SLR film cameras, the RTS II and RTS III!

About the CONTAX RTS Series

Let’s take a look at each product of the CONTAX RTS series.

The common feature is a design concept that a camera meets people’s needs but not vice versa.

A modern design influenced by Bauhaus in Germany is very attractive!

An Original Model – The CONTAX RTS

An Original Model – The CONTAX RTS

In 1975, Carl Zeiss in Germany formed an alliance with Yashica in Japan to introduce a new line of CONTAX SLR cameras. The original RTS appeared with a flourish of trumpets!

Though the original RTS was produced by a Japanese camera manufacturer, it’s totally different from other conventional SLR cameras at that time.

In order to pull out all the potential of Zeiss lenses, it took advantage of electronic technology by Yashica. Then, the electronic shutter achieved a highly responsive.

As for performances and specifications, the RTS has an electronically-controlled horizontal cloth focal plane shutter with speeds of 4 – 1/2000 sec.

The high-end SLR cameras produced in 1975 were not always equipped with an aperture priority AE mode. As you might know, the Nikon F2 or Canon F-1 (a previous model) symbolized luxury SLR cameras around that time.

The original RTS is more or less comparable with the two cameras above, but you can see how it looked into the future.

A shutter release button has only a 0.7mm stroke, called as a feather-touch fingertip action

A shutter release button has only a 0.7mm stroke, called as a feather-touch fingertip action. This quick response is based on what a camera can immediately and smoothly respond to people’s intentions.

The CONTAX RTS’s Operation Systems

I am going to show you the first RTS model’s operation systems.

When you are going to take a shot, the RTS provides all exposure settings on right side of the body.

To bring out a high performance of Zeiss lenses, the RTS also enables to change aperture easily depending on situations

To bring out a high performance of Zeiss lenses, the RTS also enables to change aperture easily depending on situations.

Please note that people use a camera.
So, a camera can be intuitive and easy to use for everyone.
This is exactly what the RTS is aimed at.

a camera can be intuitive and easy to use for everyone.  This is exactly what the RTS is aimed at.

About the CONTAX RTS II

About the CONTAX RTS II

The CONTAX RTS II, an improved version of the original RTS, was debuted in 1982. At first glance, it might be a little bit hard to tell the difference between the two cameras. However, you will shortly realize that the RTS II has led to growth in reliability and robustness.

First of all, the cloth shutter curtain was replaced with the titanium one.

Next, the RTS II attained optional mechanical backup speeds (1/60 sec) to take the photo, as an electronic camera couldn’t work when the battery run out.

About the CONTAX RTS III

About the CONTAX RTS III

The final model of the RTS series, the CONTAX RTS III was introduced in 1990. Not only its appearance has greatly changed, but also a variety of specifications has been updated according to the times.

The top speed is 1/8000 sec.

the RTS III was capable of recording a five frame per second by combining a motor drive and body which were used separately.

In addition, the RTS III was capable of recording a five frame per second by combining a motor drive and body which were used separately.

The Real Time Vacuum System of the CONTAX RTS III

The Real Time Vacuum System of the CONTAX RTS III

The Real Time Vacuum System, which keeps the film surface in its original place, is still a legendary topic among people today. To be precise, it can achieve a perfect high flatness by vacuuming a film to a ceramic pressure plate from behind.

The current DSLR cameras incorporate ultimately flat image sensors such as CCD and CMOS. However, the film cameras often use a film that is not strictly flat.

In general, a flatness of the film is a big issue, because photos taken by film cameras are supposed to be enlarged. Though many manufacturers had not placed much importance on this problem, CONTAX had faced up to it and finally achieved a flatness of the film in the RTS III. Accordingly, such a unique gimmick resulted in increasing its charm!

The CONTAX High-End Model with Steady Popularity

The CONTAX High-End Model with Steady Popularity

As above, the CONTAX RTS series has considered being the best camera in successive periods.

With reliable technologies, commercial strengths, and perfect operations, this innovative series can support the best possible performance of Zeiss lenses. Further, it is true that the stylish black body stimulates desires for possession.

Why don’t you experiencing Zeiss lenses with the highest quality model?
Search for “CONTAX RTS”