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Thread: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

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    Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Hi. Second post from a medium format newbie.

    There's a Mamiya 645AF for sale around here with four lenses and some accessories. The lenses are AF 45mm f/2.8, AF 80mm f/2.8, AF 150mm f/3.5 and AF 105-210mm f/4.5 ULD. The accessories include some extension tubes and film backs, which I wouldn't probably use. The price seems pretty good as the gear looks like it's in good shape and the seller seems to be reputable. The whole package goes for around 1000 (roughly $1200 today).

    So I wonder which digital backs can be used with that camera and does it make sense today? Are the lenses good enough to justify the purchase? I'm currently shooting with a DSLR and what I'd like to see in digital MF is good resolution, dynamic range and low noise in landscape photography. Could that be achieved with this camera and a digital back and in that case, which back?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    If you are interested in working with Medium format, I would purchase the entire kit as the price is great just for the glass mentioned.

    If the body is the 645 AF, not AFII you will be rather disappointed with it's performance especially with a digital back. You can pick up a 645 AF II on the used market pretty cheap also.

    If the glass is in good condition, that is a great price. All the lenses you listed are AF and some of the better glass from Mamiya. The 45mm is iffy as some tend to be quite soft in the corners.

    Paul Caldwell

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    I would go for at least a AFDII and than a P25+ back or ZD back . Maybe whole system for less than 12k total . P25+ i think are around 7500 dollars. Great back for landscape work
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Hi. Second post from a medium format newbie.

    There's a Mamiya 645AF for sale around here with four lenses and some accessories. The lenses are AF 45mm f/2.8, AF 80mm f/2.8, AF 150mm f/3.5 and AF 105-210mm f/4.5 ULD. The accessories include some extension tubes and film backs, which I wouldn't probably use. The price seems pretty good as the gear looks like it's in good shape and the seller seems to be reputable. The whole package goes for around 1000€ (roughly $1200 today).

    So I wonder which digital backs can be used with that camera and does it make sense today? Are the lenses good enough to justify the purchase? I'm currently shooting with a DSLR and what I'd like to see in digital MF is good resolution, dynamic range and low noise in landscape photography. Could that be achieved with this camera and a digital back and in that case, which back?

    Thanks!
    CAUTION: There was an original 645 AF body that is for film only and won't take a digital back unless you can also cable to the back. Later that version was replaced by the first 645 AF"D" with internal electronics for digital back use, then AFD2, then AFD3 and now the 645 DF.
    Jack
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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    OK, thanks everybody. Since I'm not into film, I guess this camera isn't for me despite the good price.

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    OK, thanks everybody. Since I'm not into film, I guess this camera isn't for me despite the good price.
    The point of my comment was to confirm exactly which model body it was before getting too excited. It could be an AFD1 being called an AF, and if so it may be a viable deal for you.
    Jack
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    CAUTION: There was an original 645 AF body that is for film only and won't take a digital back unless you can also cable to the back. Later that version was replaced by the first 645 AF"D" with internal electronics for digital back use, then AFD2, then AFD3 and now the 645 DF.
    Actually, a small qualification to this, Jack. The old Kodak Proback 645M could attach to the Mamiya 645AF. Not sure about any others!

    For "newer" MFDBs probably require the 645 AFD or later generation. I used a Mamiya 645AFD with P30 for quite some time before upgrading my camera body and back. There is no doubt that later generation camera bodies will be easier to use with a MFDB. The Mamiya 645AF can also easily be "upgraded" to an AFD model by MAC, though it would probably be easier to simply buy a newer body...

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Phase One backs require AFD bodies with the exception being the original Mamiya Lightphase (6 MP) which worked only with an AF body. Even if you could make it work with a cable, you would loose all the ability to see any metadata.

    And keep in mind depending on what kind of back you are seeking you may be able to buy a body and lens for less when bundled with back. Phase One and Leaf offer brand new P1 645 body and 80mm D lens for $4,000 and we all know you cannot buy those two items for that price any where. We offer this for demo, refurbished, and new back sales. We also offer a lower cost alternative with refurb AFD Body and 80mm D lens for $1,500 but I would only recommend that body for landscape and still life as is just does not focus fast enough for most people shooters. A great way to have a back up with you but we have found that these bodies are pretty stable. So you may want to check with dealers when you are looking for a certain back and see what they can bundle to make it more cost effective.

    Good Luck.


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    Quote Originally Posted by emr View Post
    Hi. Second post from a medium format newbie.

    There's a Mamiya 645AF for sale around here with four lenses and some accessories. The lenses are AF 45mm f/2.8, AF 80mm f/2.8, AF 150mm f/3.5 and AF 105-210mm f/4.5 ULD. The accessories include some extension tubes and film backs, which I wouldn't probably use. The price seems pretty good as the gear looks like it's in good shape and the seller seems to be reputable. The whole package goes for around 1000 (roughly $1200 today).

    So I wonder which digital backs can be used with that camera and does it make sense today? Are the lenses good enough to justify the purchase? I'm currently shooting with a DSLR and what I'd like to see in digital MF is good resolution, dynamic range and low noise in landscape photography. Could that be achieved with this camera and a digital back and in that case, which back?

    Thanks!

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    OK, thanks again. Much appreciated.

    How about a new question: would I be able to use the lenses on a newer digital Mamiya with or without an adapter? AF enabled? Or some other digital MF camera?

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Older, all manual Mamiya lenses fit and can be used directly on any Mamiya AF, AFD or DF body. Hassy V and F lenses can be also used via an adapter. You do get focus confirmation and Av mode works with any of these manual lenses, but no auto aperture or autofocus, obviously. You also are limited to spot metering pattern in the newer AFD3 and DF bodies, though I am pretty sure you can select the average mode in the earlier bodies.
    Jack
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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Even if the body is an AF only I recall an upgrade was available for a modest fee. The glass is well worth the cost so you could consider the body a bonus.

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    Re: Mamiya 645AF with a digital back today?

    Quote Originally Posted by etrump View Post
    Even if the body is an AF only I recall an upgrade was available for a modest fee. The glass is well worth the cost so you could consider the body a bonus.
    I suspect that fee was "modest" vs. buying a new AFD. If it's still doable today, my guess is it'll cost $1000+, more than a used AFD.

    My AFD is probably one of those Frankencameras. It still has manual MLU, and IIRC the OEM AFD's have electronic MLU.

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