Single focus, or the S mode: Press the shutter button halfway and focusing occurs within the small rectangle on the VF. Once the focus is sharp, the camera makes further adjustments. When the focus marker light on the VF display is illuminated, the shutter will release.
Continuous focus, or C mode: When the shutter button is pressed halfway in this mode, the camera continues to focus. This is preferred when photographing moving subjects since you will likely be reframing the subject.
Manual focus, or M mode, works as you might imagine, by manually operating the focus ring.
Compatible with mechanical and electronic remote releases.
A T selection for long exposures.
A hot shoe sits atop the prism and the camera has the Metz SCA 3952 adaption, so any of a number of Metz flash units can be used, with a sync speed of 1/125 second.
An imprinting system that places the date and/or serial number information on the edge of each exposure.
A removable battery holder that holds 6 lithium or alkaline batteries that resides in the grip. With lithium batteries, the 645 AFD is rated for 340 rolls of film.
In a world of Four Thirds, APS-C and full-frame DSLR cameras, featuring all the latest bells and whistles, it may seem strange, even bizarre, to suggest that any photographer who is serious about improving his or her skills and images should consider shooting with the Mamiya 645 AFD SLR medium-format camera, which was first introduced in the US during December 2001. The original Mamiya 645 AF was the company’s first autofocus camera.
Many photography instructors have discovered that their students have benefited from the better resolution and quality of the medium-format sensor size, 6x4.5cm (2.3”x1.8”), which is 2.7 times larger than the 36x24mm of a full-frame DSLR. The larger viewing screen also helps photographers do a better job of expressing the essence of their subject and honing their compositional skills. In addition, the medium-format learning experience could help you, or any photographer, grasp the depth-of-field concept better and utilize it more creatively, since the Mamiya 645AFD creates a shallower depth of field. Another feature that may enhance one’s photography education is the large fixed-pentaprism viewfinder that includes a built-in -2.5/+0.5 diopter adjustment.
By the way, you did read correctly – the 645 AFD is an SLR camera, meaning it shoots film: 120-size with 16 exposures or 220-size for 32 exposures. The camera will accept interchangeable film backs, so one or more can be loaded in advance for quick switching. What the AFD model has that the original AF model doesn’t is the Mamiya Serial Communication software, which makes it compatible with a number of digital backs from third party manufacturers. Since this was new technology at the time, the information from the digital back displayed on the LCD screen is somewhat limited: active image capture or storage, how much storage is available and when it is full and when the battery must be replaced. Otherwise, the AFD is very similar to the AF, with a 80mm f/2.8 lens as “normal” compared to the 50mm on a standard 35mm SLR or DSLR.
The Mamiya 645 AFD has an internal autofocus motor that communicates with the lens via a small blade on the lens mount. The blade connects to a holder on the back of the lens that then actuates the movement of the lens focusing apparatus. A control dial on the exterior of the camera body is where the aperture is selected, as the lens has no aperture ring. The autofocus system is through-the-lens phase-difference detection with three settings:
Photographers familiar with the exposure controls on newer cameras will find metered manual, shutter-priority, aperture-priority and program autoexposure on the 645 AFD. When you’re using the metered manual mode, the LCD display will notify you when the exposure you’ve selected doesn’t match with the camera’s recommendation.
The Mamiya 645 AFD offers a number of other useful features:
You can expand your photography skills with the medium-format experience and do it for much less than purchasing a new camera of this size, since a refurbished, used Mamiya 645 AFD body is priced at one-quarter or less than its original price. It’s a very affordable investment, especially if you are, or planning to become, a wedding photographer because this camera has proven to be an optimal tool in that market.
You’ll find an excellent selection of refurbished, used Mamiya 645 AFD medium-format cameras and compatible lenses and accessories at KEH.com, the world’s largest dealer of used cameras and photographic equipment. Plus, all your purchases of this or any other photo gear come with a 14-day no-questions-asked return policy and a 6-month, non-transferable warranty. KEH’s professional and knowledgeable staff will help you select all the equipment you’ll need and provide you with continuous support.
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