new mamiya 645e or 30 yr old hassy ?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by p._poulin, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. With the low price of the mamiya 645e, is it a better value than a
    30 yr old 500cm ? The 500cm is in good order and has 2 a12
    backs, 45degree prisim, waist level finder, strap, hood, and a
    couple of filters. However it is still a 30 year old camera. For
    close to the same money a new mamiya 645e can be had.I am
    nterested in your opinions.
  2. What do you plan on using it for?
  3. The better value is a 10-20 year old Mamiya 645, which is built more sturdily than the plasticky 645e, while still using all its accessories. You can pick up an M645 1000S with 120 insert from in like-new condition for $365, or in bargain condition for $215. And an 80/2.8 lens goes for $100-$190 depending on condition.
  4. As an owner of the new low cost Mamiya 645e I would recommend getting an old Hassy, or an old Mamiya C220 for that matter. The 645e is very cheap and "plasticky."
  5. P. Poulin,

    Do you have any strong opinions about a rectangular vs. square film image? I
    personally, would answer that question first.

    I have a 645e and like it very much. It functions just as well as the original
    M645/s that I bought in the mid-late 70s. The fact that the 645e is plastic does
    not bother me at all. Let's face it. If you drop a metal camera, it's probably
    going to be damaged. Guess what? If you drop a plastic camera, it too will
    probably be damaged.

    I have only one complaint about my 645e and that is because the lettering on
    the shutter speed dial is wearing off. I'll have to find some way to either repair
    it or paint the lettering back on.

    My lenses are the 55, 80, 150 and 210mm. They are all fine lenses that have
    never disapponted me. All accept 58mm filters which is very convenient.

    It just so happens that I'm looking to get another 645 body and am trying to
    decide between a used Pro TL II or a replacement for my long lost 1000s.

    FYI: I don't claim to be the greatest photographer in the world -far from it... It
    just so happens that most of the people I know like my photos (perhaps
    they're just being polite). Anyhow, in the late 70s, I did custom photofinishing
    in a professional lab while working my way through college. That experience
    taught me what good negatives and prints look like. I'd say my 645e was up
    to the task assuming I do my part.

    Take Care

  6. It depends on how long you want to use the camera. If you want long term go with the Hassey.If you want short term try the Mamiya and in about 3 or 4 years you will trade up to the Hassey.
  7. I handled the 645E at a recent show and talked to the Mamiya
    rep. I don't believe the plastic is any worse or better than on my
    old Nikon 8008s which was a good camera. The one thing about
    the Mamiya is the incorporated metering which is nice but in
    looking in the viewfinder all I saw was shutterpseeds
    (stepless?) and no aperture readouts. As a aperture preferred
    shooter that's a sticking point with me, but then the price of the
    camera is <$800. Remember also that the camera has to be
    turned for the opposite orientation (can't remember which one)
    whereas the Hassey doesn't have to be, but i hear the grip for
    the Mamaiya helps there so make sure to get it if you go that
    route. The 645E also has built in diopter correction.

    Depending on what your needs are, and budget for that matter, I
    could probably think of better cameras than either of these. I
    would make sure to really check out the Hassies backs as well
    as the camera. Too many times I find people selling cameras
    and equipment with their best interests in heart rather than
    yours, just so they can off the stuff. I also find some ratings have
    overlooked things that are so blantly obvious that the person
    must have been blind when they described it. With the older stuff
    it's always buyer beware so if you can, get a 3 day persual with a
    return option. Shoot the camera, use both backs and check
    shutterspeeds ( if you get a lens) with a gray card, ambient
    meter and slide film. The first thing that goes on older bodies
    are the seals and mirror foam so check that as well. Btw don't
    forget the Mamiya comes with the lens. You didn't metion one
    with the Hasselblad.
  8. P.,
    <p> Like other previous answers, I think it comes down to your
    preferences. The first question I would ask would be regarding
    the formats: do you like working in a rectangle (645), or would
    you like to try a square? Second, are you coming from a
    background where aperature-priority and a built-in meter is
    required? Or would you prefer to work with a seperate hand-held
    meter? Are you more comfortable with a 90-degree meter, or
    would you appreciate the lower 45-degree or waist-level
    positions (more stable on a lower tripod)? I'm not sure, but I
    think the Hassy might only be able to operate in full
    shutter-speed stops. Is that okay? Do you want to be able to use
    different films, with the switchable backs?
    <p> If your question is solely about cost and value, don't forget
    to calculate the prices of the lenses.
    <p> Personally, I bought a Mamiya 645e and am quite happy
    with it. I will admit that the plastic construction of the body lacks
    the solidity and quality feel of more expensive cameras.
    However, I started into photography with a Canon Rebel and
    backpacked with it extensively for three years and had no
    problems with it untill I accidentally left it on the top of the car as I
    drove away from a turnout on Highway One in California. I don't
    think a Hassy would have survived that one either. For me
    personally, I'm happy to have the lighter weight of the Mamiya
    when hiking or backpacking. Counting the weight of the (built-in)
    meter, it's the lightest medium format SLR I know of. But I still
    think the questions I asked above are the most important ones.
    The cost is only a factor once; your personal working process
    should stay with you a lot longer.
  9. This guy recently sent me an email for his Hasselblad services.
    You could contact him for his opinion on the Hassy equipment.
    His CLA would cost according to his email $125 plus a 20%
    discount if you send a copy of the email in he sent me. I can
    forward that to you. He's in Massachusetts.

    Second, 6x6 can always be cropped to any dimension, and it
    gives you the 645 format option at full size. I like the square quite
    often as it gives you the impression of a window on the world
    and focuses your attention more. I also think it's the best format
    for weddings. With the lenses available from the 6x6 major
    manufactuers your insured of quality at quite large print sizes
    even when cropped.
  10. I had a 645e a few months ago, and my opinion of it's accuracy, placement of components, ease of use, and general quality was very good. It will also use all lenses designed for the 645 series (not AF), and they are outstanding. I is now worse than any of the plastic Pro SLR cameras...there's nothing wrong with strong plastic! One of my best cameras is a plastic Nikon N90s!

    I sold my 645e due to personal physical problems ONLT!...a bit of arthritis which makes turning a camera constantly very difficult and quite I went back to a solid, one position, 6x6 TLR...that's all!

    For a strong and healthy person who has no problem twisting and turning a camera, I think the 645e is one of the best deals around.

    I truly loved the image quality...but, that was due to the excellent Mamiya Sekor N lenses!

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