My goto camera has been the Yashica 635, and the images have always had an interesting look to them- and not super sharp or ‘perfect’. Cameras with perfect sharpness are usually expensive, and have fallen through my hands rapidly. Why shoot film if it looks like digital?
On Trademe a few weeks ago a listing caught my attention- a Pentax 645n. I’ve been looking for a more studio focussed camera to use with lights, and decided to buy it. I was then after some lenses for it too- and low and behold- another action came up with the two lenses I wanted. I’ve now got an original 645 that was ‘thrown in’ with the lenses as the seller said it did not work, and the 645n. The two focal lengths that I picked up are the 75mm 2.8 (45mm equivalent) and 45mm 2.8 (28mm equivalent). Out of the box- hitting focus has been a pleasure and both cameras are so nice to use.
The complete set is mint and i’ve instantly fell in love with the results. I was really surprised to find that the lenses produce a beautiful aesthetic that has so much soul- and I can now create work with a conscious pleasing death of field too. Sure the cameras are big and chunky- yet surprisingly portable when paired with my Peak Design straps slung across my body.
The negative size of 6 x 45cm I also adore which surprised me being a die hard 6×6 guy. Oh yes. Both cameras have an auto metering function that at box speed produces some of the best exposed images i’ve taken so far. Amazing really considering their age. I’m not going to review this setup other than sharing the way they work do not get in the way of my process, and that means they will stay as part of my kit.
In fact since picking these up i’ve been super motivated to get out and make images as I enjoy the experience so much. A new project has also begun and as timing has it- so the 645 will be the main camera that I use. Having a wide angled lens and self timer is a real treat too.
One last thing. With regards to using the 645 for studio work- I’ve secured a wee office/ studio to start work on translating my projects to books and zines, as well as portrait/ conceptual driven work. I’m super stoked and will share more about this in the coming weeks.
Here are some ‘test rolls’ of the random stuff, as well as some location scouting/ early concepts for a new project I’m working on.