A Review of a Classic Medium Format Film Camera

Though film has long since fallen to digital, it is still a passion for many photographers, and medium format film still offers the beauty of large negatives that are not matched in size even by the most expensive of digital options. This awesome video review takes a look at one of the best options from yesteryear, the Mamiya 645. 

Coming to you from Willem Verbeeck, this fun review takes a look at the Mamiya 645 medium format film camera. I owned one of these for a while, and I absolutely loved shooting with it. It was an absolute pleasure to shoot with, and paired with the right lens and film, it produced absolutely gorgeous negatives. 

A shot taken with my Mamiya 645.

If you have never shot with a medium format film camera before, I definitely recommend grabbing one and trying it out. They're relatively cheap (though you will have to be careful how many frames you shoot with the price of film), and they'll show you a different way of shooting that produces vastly different looks. I also enjoy the tactile feel of shooting with them; it's a very satisfying experience. Check out the video above for Verbeeck's thoughts. 
Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Love it, my history with medium format was the 645Pro with the 3 LS 55mm, 80mm and 150mmm lenses, the Pentax 67II and 67RZ ProII. Those transparencies on a light table are still beautiful.

yeah, the good old days with my RB67 ProSD, the mamiya mechanical monster :)

I still take my RZ with me on trips. "Just in case" The negatives are just so beautiful.

I have Mamiya 645AFD w 3 lenses and it’s film or digital backs.
It inspires a entirely different discipline than my Canon DSLRs and is more of a wait and see before shooting.

My Mamiya RB67 Pro S is my baby, thinking of getting the 100-200mm for it so I don't have to carry my 90mm and 180mm for landscapes.

I'm planning on getting one of these eventually paired with the 500mm f5.6 for MF wildlife photography! I already use my Nikon film cameras to do wildlife but want that bigger neg!

Go large!! Recently collected the Mamiya Universal Press and Super 23 rangefinders with 50/75/100/150 & 250 optics and accessories..G adapter enables me to fit RB67 backs on the aptly named Universal...although the original "S" backs had the flattest of film planes of any design. Under-rated camera imho. The optics are Zeiss/Schneider copies and superb.

Large scans of 6x9 negs from AG Labs are something to behold!!

Full set of Mamiya C220's and lenses too because shooting square at waist level is a different experience...

E-bay has mostly been the source and beautiful examples of all these cameras, optics and accessories are available, often from Japan, but the US too. Customs has to be paid...but you only buy once!!

Relatively limited sources in the UK and are usually over priced for their condition in my experience.

But a couple of recommendations. Camerattics in Edinburgh offer a superb service for both lenses and camera bodies, clean, lube and adjust...and Ffordes remains for me one of the best "pre owned" dealers in the UK.

No business ties with any of the companies mentioned but good service deserves recommendation?

I love my Mamiya 645 Super. I'm pretty new to shooting film, but it has completely changed my approach. I still love my mirrorless, but I feel more a part of the process with film.

The Mamiya 645 1000S was my first medium format camera. It eventually started having shutter issues, so I picked up another body for a song so I could keep using it. The 80mm f1.9 is seriously a magical lens on that body too.

Eventually I started going larger (6x6, 6x7), but the 645 is still one of my go-to portable MF cameras for when I don't want to lug a C330S, RZ67, or Pentax 6x7 around.

I picked up an old Salyut C a couple years ago and it makes it really hard to go back to 35mm.