Mamiya 645 Pro TL Medium Format

Available At:
645 Pro TL

Featuring fast and convenient 35mm-like handling, the 645 Pro yields a negative 2.7 times larger than 35mm. Its multi-format capabilities include interchangeable film magazines for 6x4.5cm, 35mm standard and 13x36mm panoramics, plus Polaroid instant proofing.

User Reviews (28)

Showing 1-10 of 28  
Hubi   Casual [May 04, 2012]
Strength:

I use the 1000 S, the 645 Pro and the Pro TL with and array of lenses. You may ask why is someone writing about a Dino in the Digital age. Well, I use both digital and Film. there is something to tose colors and style which attracks me. The Mamiya line is a phantastic modular system with plenty of outstanding lenses. There is really no good reason why many of it is sold so cheap. Or let me turn it the other way there is no system out there to match even closely the versatile style at a incredible price level. If you still like film (need a good scanner) that is the ccamera to go for.

Weakness:

None

Best buy for money and more..

Customer Service

Never used

Similar Products Used: Mamiya twin, Yashica 124
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
walterick   Intermediate [Apr 22, 2006]
Strength:

Build quality
Availability of fast lenses
Availability of accessories
Nice bottom shutter speed - 8 seconds
Ability to use 120 and 220 backs, plus 35mm and Polaroid
Mirror lock-up
Viewfinder shield
Multiple exposure lever
All buttons and dials - except iso setting - are intuitive and easy to use
Film backs have lock-out feature which don't let you remove the back without first inserting dark slide
Very accurate metering
Spot, average, or a combination of spot and averge metering with AE prism
Easy to read LED's in viewfinder
Auto-exposure available with AE prism
Aperature visible in viewfinder
Exposure compensation +/- 3 ev (AE prism)
Battery check function
TTL flash
Prices are droppinggggggggggggggggg

Weakness:

No screw-in cable release terminal - requires adapter
Cable release adapter is funky and not robust
Unable to hold camera and adjust aperature with left hand
Slow top shutter - 1/1000
Difficult to adjust iso dial while back is on camera

I bought a Mamiya 645 Pro TL kit used off of Ebay for a song. Of course, the main power board in the camera was fried upon arrival. But that issue was resolved in arbitration. I ended up with an excellent + camera with 80mm and 150 lenses, the AE prism, and 2 backs. I have since added several lenses, the waist-level finder, extension tubes, and the cable release adapter.

This camera is my first foray into medium format. Prior to this I was shooting Nikon 35mm, largely manual focus. I love the switch to 645. I use my Mamiya almost exclusively now, except when I need longer, faster glass then the Nikon comes out. The size & weight of the Mamiya mirror an autofocus 35mm system. Albeit the Mamiya is "longer" from back of film back to front of lens.

There is little I need this camera to do that it won't. The 2 major drawbacks for me are; no screw-in terminal for a cable release (have to buy a clumsy-fitting adapter for $20) and the top shutter speed of 1/1000 can be very limiting. My nitpicks in the design are: iso adjustment on the film backs is VERY hard to get your fingers on to adjust when it is mounted on the camera. You have to either take the prism off or the film back off if your hands are gloved or wet. If you shoot only one iso, this isn't as much of a problem, Second nitpick is that I find it hard to adjust the aperature and hold the camera properly while looking through the viewfinder. With your shutter speed set, it should be easy to hold the camera, keep the viewfinder to your eye, and adjust the aperature to your desired meter reading. I find it is not. I have to shift hands, take my eye away, readjust up or down, and repeat. Clumsy, and time-consuming. Especially in critical situations.

Everything else about this camera is a positive. The camera works like a charm. I dropped it HARD on a rock a few weeks ago. The film door popped open, I nicked the front element and scratched up the side of the body. Everything, inclluding the meter, still works. I use my equipment, I try to keep it in decent shape, but I need gear that takes its bumps and this one does it.

Other positives: almost every important focal length for this camera comes in a 2.8 version. There is also a f1.9 80mm lens which is the fastest medium format lens available in any camera. There are a PLETHORA of accessories available for this Mamiya. Finders, film backs, lenses (24mm fisheye to 300 2.8 or beyond?), winders, if you need versatility this brand won't let you down. With medium format prices dropping, you can find deals on everything you need.

The Mamiya Pro TL to my understanding is the last if the manual 645's. It differs from its predecesor, the 645 Pro, by offering TTL flash metering. I have not used this feature, so I cannot comment on it. The 645 Pro TL is the best of the 645 line, imo. I reccommend stepping up to it if you are considering the 645 line.

Customer Service

Mamiya replaced main power board - expensive but done quickly and well with free cleaning, light leak, and shutter speed checks thrown in for free.

Similar Products Used: Nikon 35mm
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kevgre   Expert [Sep 27, 2005]
Strength:

Durable, Mirror lockup a must and works flawlessly, accurate metering, multiple backs including digital if needed.

Weakness:

I wish I didn't have to mortgage my house to buy a good lens for it, but you get what you pay for.

I have owned the Mamiya 645e and Kiev 88CM cameras so I was eager to step up to the 645 Pro. My primary reason for that was the removable backs. While the 645e is a great camera, the Pro TL leaves it in the dust. My gear is setup with a 645 Pro TL, 220/120 back, 35mm Pano back, Power winder, and the metered viewfinder, and hte 80mm 2.8 lens. Focusing is extremely easy with the camera and it is built like a tank. It feels and works like a true pro camera should. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting upper echilon images and while it shoots 6x4.5, it provides an amazing negative that can be enlarged dramatically without quality loss.

Customer Service

Have not needed it yet, but I hear it's great.

Similar Products Used: Mamiya 645E, Kiev 88cm, Seagul 109, Canon EOS3, Canon 1D Mark II... (the list goes on)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Longbow   Professional [Sep 02, 2003]
Strength:

Modular backs for 120, 220, 35MM and poloroid films; accessory motor drive grip advances film at up to two frames per second; optional AE eye level finder has a choice of center weighted or spot metering patterns, or you can set finder to automatically pick the best metering pattern based on its own program for the subject at hand. Shutter speeds to 1/1000 are sufficient for most fast targets, and AE finder controls slow shutter speeds down to eight seconds (two seconds w/o AE finder). Lenses are superb--Pro quality in every respect, including the two available zoom lenses.

Weakness:

For some types of flash photography, leaf shutter lenses which allow flash sync at up to 1/500 second with any lens are invaluable; the focal plane shutter in the 645 only provides flash sync to 1/60, but Mamiya provides two leaf shutter lenses to accomplish the same, though not as versatile as having all lenses in line capable of high speed sync. But having a focal plane shutter going to 1/1000 is a big plus, also. Lenses are quite pricey compared to consumer type 35MM glass (you get what you pay for); on the other hand, they are quite reasonable compared to lenses with famous German names.

It gives me great pleasure to review this camera, as it has given excellent service, performance and results for me since 1988. At that time few, if any, modular, medium format cameras had as many of the features that heretofore had been the province of Pro-grade 35MM SLR's.

Customer Service

Excellent and faster service compared to other manufacturers I have dealt with.

Similar Products Used: Mamiya 645 Super.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris   Professional [Jul 15, 2003]
Strength:

Durability and reliability. Extensive lens system that you can afford. Extensive line of accessories.

Weakness:

Crappy cable release adapter breaks easy.

Tough,shock resistant, workhorse body. Sharp & extensive lens system from fisheye to 500 mm reflex. I have used this camera system on location for 4 years and my Pro TL body has never missed a beat even in high heat & humidity, helicopters, or on the beach. With one of the winders you have a fat handholdable 35 mm feeling package but a big chrome on the light table that night.

Customer Service

Never Needed it.

Similar Products Used: Hasselblad 501cm,RB & RZ,Mamiya 6, & Bronica SQ
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michal Zmuda   Intermediate [Dec 16, 2002]
Strength:

Smaller than other medium format cameras. Well ,strong build (I almost died falling down with my camera in Tatry mountains in Poland). This camera is 100% shock resistent.

Weakness:

Flash sync only to 1/60 sec (not a good choice for studio work) TTL output that nobody really needs.

Camera is Cheaper than other medium format cameras and gives professional quality images. Easy handling. Perfect for outdoor photography. Wide range of accessories.

Customer Service

Guys are professional

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
martyg   Intermediate [Nov 21, 2002]
Strength:

Available lenses and accessories. Have not had experience with mirror slap claimed by others. Used prices were very reasnable

Weakness:

None so far.

Great unit with little more weight than my 35mm and TLR systems

Customer Service

Initial focus problem. Fixed w/o charge.

Similar Products Used: Hasselblad 501CM Koni Omega Rapids Mamiya C220F with variety of lenses Bronica SQ-A
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sean S   Expert [Nov 02, 2001]
Strength:

Weights just as much as a 35mm camera and is just a little bigger. Great Lenes Everything is interchangable Depth of Field Preview Multi Exposure

Weakness:

Takes time to focus, and if you dont have the metered prism takes time to do exposure.

I got my mamiya about 2 years ago. I am do photography on a more limited budget then most people cause I dont really do it professionally. I really like the image results that i get with it. The camera is a little larger then most 35mm cameras and weighs just as much and yields a negititive 3x bigger, which means no matter how small or large you go will give you a more detailed picture then 35mm. The lenses are very expensive but I dont think that much more or less then most other med. format cameras, and very nice. I use a Pentax Spot Meter V which gives excellent results. This camera is really good if you have the time to expose and focus your pictures. Its harder to get Spountanous re-action shots and anything that involves fast focus. Dont get it without the GRIP

Customer Service

Never had to use

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
alexa   Professional [Sep 27, 2001]
Strength:

None

Weakness:

None

I found the Mamiya to be very useful and my favirite above all other cameras I''ve used.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marek Mezyk   Intermediate [May 22, 2000]
Model Reviewed: 645 Pro TL body
Strength:

Great Feel. You can make this camera as comfortable as you want.

Weakness:

Slow Flash Sync, Loud when shutter gets relesead as the mirror slaps

This is a great camera. Its just slightly bigger then any Pro 35 mm and it delivers the nice big negative. I had some great results with this camera and this is the one that introduced me to medium format. The components of this camera are set up so you can modify it and make it most comfortable for you. From motor drives to prisims there are a lot of components to suit your style. That is BIG thing mising from the new Mamyia 645AF. That camera is fixed in its function where this one can grow varying on your style and your needs. Bottom lineis that this camera is great.

Customer Service

Haven't needed them yet

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 28  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

photographyreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com