A Look at One of the Best Medium Format Cameras Ever Made

Film continues to enjoy a steady resurgence, and one of the most intriguing ways to differentiate it from working with digital is to pick up a 645 medium format camera, which produces negatives far bigger than even the most expensive digital medium format cameras. One of the best such options is the Mamiya 645 AFD, and this great video review takes a look at the camera after running 250 rolls of film through it.

Coming to you from Steven Schultz, this excellent video review takes a look at the Mamiya 645 AFD medium format camera. I owned this exact model for a few years, and it is, by far, the piece of equipment I most regret selling. Shooting with the camera was like using a gigantic yet ergonomic traditional DSLR, and it bucked the reputation medium format of the era often had for being fussy and difficult to get the best image quality out of. Everything on the camera simply worked intuitively and well, and when paired with a nice lens, the negatives were just about impossible to beat. If you can get your hands on one, I definitely recommend giving it a try. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Schultz.

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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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This is one an odd one. Mamya had a film 645 but in partnership with Leaf, the first real manufacturer of digital backs (since 1991), they designed this new AFd. The AFd was to accommodate portability and the transition from leaf to C-mos sensors. Previously backs were adapted to existing medium format or view cameras.

I think most people don't even realize PhaseOne still makes digital backs and cameras... Most newer digital medium format cameras employ that "tiny" 44x33 sensor size... The APS-C of the MF world.

Wonder if someone will step up and make a digital 6x7 😬

Oh, that's a great reminder! That Mamiya/leaf semi partnership didn't last that long. If I recall, Canon's 5D took off like crazy and hurt the lower pixel count backs market at that time. Then there were mergers or sells and the AFd eventually became a Phase one product.

in other words, the yare digital 127 cameras. The kind that typically had "baby" or "44" in the name.

Don't even want to know what a 6x7 digital back would cost!

At least 3 kidneys 😂

A camera for mature photographers who think about their photos while shooting. Steven shows he controls the camera 100% which is really nice. Medium format cameras are smooth to operate and leave very pleasing experience of control despite having no proof that you have the image you wanted to capture. I only used the AFD with digital backs but it was such a nice feeling. I used a 67RZ Pro2 for film or view cameras. https://fstoppers.com/photo/625039

I had the non-AF version of this camera, and it was easily my favorite of all MF cams I ever used. Just felt right, and the ergos were great. Wish I would have kept the damn thing!

Well you obviously never used a Hassleblad 500cm. Purchased it in 1984, brand new. Had to get a personal loan from my credit union. Had the 80mm f2.8, 150mm f4 and 50mm f/4.. Two 12 exposure backs. This is how I got my photography business started at age 20. I miss that camera so much. Within 6 years it had bought me my first new car and a modest 1 br condo in NYC suburbs. Anything less wouldn't have done that for me.

Please. It's not the camera that gave you all that. If you had an RZ at the time, it would have still worked out the same.