Pentax 645n


Link Posted 06/04/2002 - 15:10
Just to say that I have been really delighted with the handling and the quality of results from the 645n. It really is a logical step up for the Pentax 35mm SLR user - everything operates in exactly the same way and is instantly familiar.
I use the 645 format for large black and white prints, where the difference in quality is very obvious. It is best to use a tripod to get the best out of this camera, but hand held use is also possible with care. Because you can see the extra quality, though, you start to look for it and expect it, and the limitations of hand holding can become more marked.
The next purchase will hopefully be a wide angle lens - the 35mm-55mm zoom looks very interesting, but I might have to settle for the 35mm or 45mm which will be more compact, less expensive and might still have the edge on quality.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 11/04/2002 - 15:39
I bought a 645n a couple of years ago for doing macro photography. In use the camera feels perfect.
I've got 2 lenses the standard 75mm and the 120mm macro. I don't think I've used the 75 but the results from the 120 are fantastic, pin sharp and good contrast.
The metering is also pretty good. While I was familiarising myself with the camera I took some pictures of very pale flowers, thinking the pale colours would confuse the meter I bracketed, what a waste of time the cameras meter was spot on every time.
I'm also considering getting a wide angle lens, I'm not a fan of zooms so was looking at the 35mm or 45mm lenses. But then again the 400 or 600 lenses would be great on safari... we can all dream can't we.



Link Posted 08/05/2002 - 23:14
I've now been using the 645n exclusively for a few weeks and it's certainly a pleasure. One small point, but really very valuable, is the excellence of the viewfinder. It puts the 35mm finders to shame - it's bright, clear and makes manual focusing very easy indeed.
I agree with the comment about zooms - they aren't as good as prime lenses and too heavy and bulky with tiny maximum apertures. Not for me!
Best regards, John


Link Posted 21/06/2002 - 08:58
Although I've not used my 645 that much, I have noticed that it seems to eat batteries, I've probably only put about 20 films through it in the last 2 years yet my second set of batteries are now dead.

I agree with your comments on the viewfinder, wonderful!



Link Posted 22/06/2002 - 15:56
Just picking up Rod's comment about batteries.

In any event, I always change all my camera batteries annually, every July. I have never had to change them more often for any of the Pentax cameras, either the M series ( 2 G13 cells) the MZ series ( 2 CR2) or the 645n (6 AA). In the case of the 645n I have put quite a few films through and the Duracell Ultra batteries are still going strong at the end of the first year.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 12/08/2003 - 14:56
I've been using the 645N for about 18 months now. I've probably shot over 100 rolls of 120 film, and the original set of AA Lithium batteries show no signs of slowing down.

I also wanted to comment on some earlier posts regarding zoom lenses. I'e found that the FA 45-85mm f4.5 zoom is slightly sharper than the FA 45mm f2.8 prime lens I own, and other photographers I've talked to have expressed similar opinions. The FA 80-160mm f4.5 lens is also very sharp, although I have not directly compared it to my FA 150mm f2.8. Of course, the zooms are much heavier and more expensive.


Link Posted 19/08/2003 - 10:03
The problem I had with batteries seems to be a storage problem, I've been using the 645 a lot more in the last 18 months and the batteries are fine after about 40 rolls of film. The only thing that has changed is I always take the battery pack out when I'm not usng the camera for a period of time. My only problem is remembering to put the pack in before I try and use the camera.

On the subject of zooms; I've never been a fan because they tend to be at least a stop darker and are generally not as sharp as prime lenses. Your comments on the 45-85 are interesting and show what we already know, that Pentax make some pretty fine optics. I've recently bought a second hand (should that be 'previously enjoyed') 45mm 2.8 and will be checking the results in the next week or so. I'll keep you posted on what I think of the results.



Link Posted 01/04/2004 - 08:20
I have just taken the leap and purchased a 645n (secondhand - the only way I could afford it!) with the 'standard' 75mm lens and the 45-85 zoom. Yet to see the results but the handling is superb, makes my old Mamiya 645 Super feel quite awkward. I had always held off from the Pentax 645 series because of the lack of interchangeable backs - could be I have been shooting myself in the foot all these years!


Link Posted 12/10/2005 - 14:11
I bought a 645n a couple of years ago for doing macro photography. In use the camera feels perfect.

Well let me just say that its unique.
Poker Party

Kim C

Link Posted 13/11/2005 - 20:05
Is this camera really that good? The reason I ask is that the local camera shop put one in the window, second hand, a month ago. There are signs of use but nothing major. It is being sold with a 45mm FA lens and 120 insert for 700. They also have a 400FA lens for 500. Now I was very, very tempted but was a good boy. A fortnight ago my resolve was weakening slightly but yesterday it was still there and I am beginning seeing my name on it. Will someone please talk me out of this!

BTW, they also had an 80/160 zoomFA for 500 but this has a small chip in the front element but I am fairly safe from that



Link Posted 13/11/2005 - 22:32
Don't let me even try to talk you out of such an excellent buy, or even talk you into it, I think you're doing just fine on your own!

I enjoyed using the 645n very much, but have moved to digital and 35mm entirely. In particular, digital is very strong in macro work, and the results really challenge medium format. I think this is why medium format sales have plummeted and some companies are really struggling.

This does mean, however, that there are some pretty exciting bargains to be found. I think I would be tempted at this point to also look at the Pentax 67.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 26/11/2005 - 14:06

I have always used Pentax since I fell in love with the LX many years ago. Still had to wait over 10 years before I could afford a used one though.

Having always wanted to try medium format I took the plunge with a 645n about 5 years ago (an unwanted prize bargain, but probably still paying for it!) and really love it.

The plastic Pentax SLR's of recent years have generally disappointed me (although my mz-s seems to be keeping me happy) but the 645n is a real solid beauty that feels great in the hand. I have a 75 mm lens and the 45-85 zoom, both have never disappointed me. Both produce transparencies that you could "walk into". The 80-160 in now going at great prices on USA ebay and I hope to add one soon.

Look around and shop wisely there are quite a few used 645n's appearing at really good prices a great camera


Link Posted 10/02/2006 - 19:34
Just to add to my last post.

With the help of Ebay USA I have now completed my 645 kit with a near mint autofocus 80-160.

280 + 34 duty/VAT - a great saving on the best UK used price and peanuts considering the new price.

Has there ever been a better time to go medium format?

George Lazarette

Link Posted 10/02/2006 - 21:48
There's never been a better time to buy the kit.

Wouldn't like to take too many bets on colour film availability and processing, though, in a few years time.

Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

WJ Bons

Link Posted 13/02/2006 - 10:40
i too use the 120mm a lot. the 75 2.8 for theater group shots, the 35mm for wide angle and i bought the 200 last year because it was so cheap...

Nice body with in the future capability of buying a digi body which will work with your current lens collection. This will also increase the price of the lenses, so buy them now.
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