WTB: Contax 645 or Similar System?

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by ACrossley, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. ACrossley

    ACrossley TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys,
    I am interested in purchasing the 645, but have little information about needed equipment for the body. I shoot purely digital now (Nikon d700), but come from a strong background in 35mm film and self-development. I have a couple of fellow photographers shooting the 645 who have shared images on-line - I am in love with the results!

    Perhaps those of you in the biz of medium format can give me some good feedback. How much would I be looking at investing in up front for a general system (645 and normal lens)? What all would I need? I specialize in children and family portraits, but would be using this for my own enjoyment.

    Thanks for any information!
    Alisha
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi Alisha and congrats on going film! The Contax is quite an expensive proposition when compared to other 645 cameras out there (Mamyia for ex.) but it does offer a great and faster normal lens.

    The MF SLR bodies will need a eye level prism finder, a few film backs and obviously a lens. It's best if you can get it as a package instead of piece by piece, it will cost less. For portraits you might want to look at a moderate tele lens which is also fast, such as the Sonnar T 140/2 AF lens. It's not cheap but is spectacular.

    A Contax 645 set with normal lens will set you back around $1,800-2,000 and a 140 lens another $1,000. As I said, expensive stuff... ;)
     
  3. ACrossley

    ACrossley TPF Noob!

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    Thank you so much for the feedback! These terms are new .... it is almost like starting over in a way. I am certain it is an avenue I want to explore .... I will keep your information and begin looking into the item(s). I have a few more digital pieces I must purchase before fulfilling this want!

    Thanks again!
     
  4. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you considered 6x7? 645 isn't much of a step up, resolution wise, from your d700.

    A mamiya 7, rangefinder setup is an amazing 6x7 system. Cost is about $1500 for a camera and lens.

    645 is still great, and cheaper. I'd recommend a mamiya 645 tl with motorized grip and a metered finder. With a 80mm f2.8 normal lens, and a couple of 120 backs, you'll be spending around $600 for everything.

    The lenses for the mamiya manual focus 645 cameras are pretty cheap, and very high quality--they don't make "cheapo" lenses for medium format and larger cameras, as they were always marketed to pros.

    Don't fret too much about the f2.8 not being that fast for your normal lens, the DOF of a 645 normal lens at f2.8 is the same as a 50mm lens on your d700 at f1.4.
     

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