This beauty is the Pentax 645! Created as an entry level camera for wedding photographers, it is a medium format single-lens reflex system camera. It was introduced in 1984, along with a complementary line of lenses. It captures images nominally 6 cm × 4.5 cm (hence the Pentax 645!) on 120, 220, and 70 mm film – though the actual size of the images is 56 mm × 41.5 mm. The camera itself is a heavy beast, and when adding on the 200mm lens, it makes it even more so! I found the 55mm lens to be a delight to work with. I used 120 film and shot in auto mode. In this mode I only had control of the aperture, which I adjusted on the lens itself. The predecessor to this model is the 645N, which has AF capabilities. The 645 was a breeze to use. The load was simple enough, you insert the roll (with one note that you load the film so the backing is face up (the black side of the paper roll) and not front face up (the white side of the paper roll) this will ensure you actually expose your film while using the camera 😉), load the cassette, turn on the camera, and hit the trigger. The camera auto spools the film and keeps track of the shots taken, when 16 is reached it auto spools the rest of the film and paper so you can remove the exposed film from the cassette for processing.
The lenses required very little effort to focus quickly and created crisp and clear images as long as the subject (or photographer) didn’t move too much during the longer exposure times. I was blown away at the portraits this camera took, I will definitely be using the 645 for film portraits in the future. This is by far my favorite camera… so far!
Leave a Reply