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Last Updated: Mon Aug 4 05:36:56 UTC 2014

Mamiya M645/1000S







The Mamiya M645/1000S was the last and best variant of the long manufactured basic manual focus M645 SLR series, widely regarded to have been a workhorse in the industry. While this design is often described, in jest, as the “poor man's Hasselblad”, it is quite different in many key respects from the classic Hasselblad V series. The most fundamental of these is that the M645 uses the 6 x 4.5 cm format, rather than 6 x 6 cm format of the Hassie”, the second is that the M645/1000S uses 120/220 format film inserts rather than the more flexible removable film back - a feature introduced on the later 1985 M645 Super series. On the other hand, the film crank, shutter control, and shutter speed dial controls are similar in position  and style, just as the basic modular design and layout are. More recent Mamiyas, like the 645AF/AFD/AFDII/III series, are superb cameras and occupy a similar niche to the Hassies”.

Critics often complain about the weight of the M645, the depicted configuration weighs in at 3.2 kg requiring a very robust tripod or well developed biceps. Other annoyances include worn film inserts which slip gears, and the unavailability of digital backs for this series. These in my opinion are outweighed by the availability of a wide range of Mamiya original lenses of very high quality, and the affordability of used equipment compared to Hasselblads and other mid to top end medium format equipment.

I procured an example in late 1984 from a Tokyo discounter in Shinjuku, for less than US$1,000, with the 80 mm f2.8 lens, 210 mm f4.0 telephoto lens, basic prism viewfinder, and motor drive. Since then I have acquired  numerous other components, preloved, including some excellent lenses, mostly from very good US suppliers of used equipment.

This camera has been used since 1984 mostly to support my military analysis work, but has also been used on some computer industry projects, such as producing documentation and brochures for some of the computer products I designed. The lenses are always very sharp, and the ULD series lens design I have used is devoid of visually discernable chromatic aberration.

I have used a wide range of film types since 1984, but the best results have been produced with more recent media, such as Fuji Velvia 50, Fuji Pro 160C and Kodak Ektar Pro 100. Comparative film performance is discussed under Some Observations on Digital vs Wet Film Photography.

Download Mamiya M645/1000S Instruction Manual [PDF]

Photos and text 1997 - 2010 Carlo Kopp; Photographs produced using a Fuji HS10 10.3 MP. Background image produced using M645/1000S with 80 mm f2.8 and CdS Prism Finder.






M645/1000S Imagery Examples






Rainforest Image Gallery [1997]

Automobile Image Gallery [1979-2010]

Wedgetail AEW&C Apertures [2005 - 2011]

Yokota AFB PACAF/JASDF Photoessay [1984]


F-111 Photoessay [1988 - 2003]

Mamiya Lens Sample Imagery [2010]






M645 Lens Performance Data





Mamiya AF Lens Resolution Performance

Lens/f-stop AF 80 mm f/2.8 AF 55-110 mm f/4.5
AF 105-210 mm ULD f/4.5
Focal Length
80
55
75
110
105
140
210
2.8 70 -
-
-
-
-
-
4 78 -
-
-
-
-
-
4.5
-
49
45
42
60
54
55
5.6 68 -
-
-
-
-
-
8 70 55
50
52
72
60
62
11 70 66
56
47
57
57
55
16 62 55
50
47
51
51
49
22 48 44
45
41
45
51
39
32
-
34
34
37
37
40
35
Sources: Popular Photography; November 1999, April 2000, October 2002; Sharpness in lines/mm.


Mamiya AF/MF Lens Range/Angle Coverage


Sources: Mamiya manuals and datasheets; NB macro adaptor rings can be used with lenses up to 210 mm but vignetting will occur at longer focal lengths; macro adaptors are not compatible with the autofocus function.





M645/1000S / Sekor C 55 - 110 mm f4.5 Zoom










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Artwork and text 1994 - 2010 Carlo Kopp; All rights reserved.
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