Contax 645 vs Mamiya 645
(Contax 645 + Zeiss 80mm f2 lens vs Mamiya 645 + Mamiya Sekor C 80mm f1.9 lens)
Matthew Osborne Photography
The Contax 645 was my first medium format camera and my reason to move into the world of film photography. The portraits I had seen online from fashion photographers and wedding photographers seem to be unmatched by any other camera / lens combination.
I sold the Contax 645 as found it too automated for my liking. It was just too DSLR like.
Recently I bought a Mamiya M645 1000s. I haven’t used it as I wanted to get a waist level viewfinder (“WLF”) to replace the TTL prism viewfinder. I then saw a good value Mamiya M645 Super on eBay with WLF yesterday and much preferred the look, controls layout, modular film back and the fact that it looks like a mini Mamiya RZ67 Pro II that I have. So safe to say I bought it. I will sell the Mamiya 1000s.
Here is my purchase –
When I look at the Mamiya M645 Super and more so the Mamiya 645 Pro range they are so similar to the Contax 645 with the DSLR like grip option, film back and film inserts, prism viewfinder and the Zeiss 80mm f2 lens on the Contax 645 is very close to the Mamiya Sekor C 80mm f1.9 lens. As such I think the Mamiya 645 cameras offer fantastic value for money when you consider the price of a Contax. I sold my Contax and didn’t lose any money for about £1800. I just bought a Mamiya 645 Super for less than 1/6 of that price!
Yes the Contax has autofocus but that killed it for me so the Mamiya 645 Super seems to offer the best of both worlds. I keep wanting to shoot more 645 film but I don’t currently have a 6×4.5 format camera that I like enough. 6×7 film format is too big for film wedding photography whereas 645 format is the perfect combination of bigger negatives than 35mm yet 16 shots per roll off 120 film.
I will add Mamiya M645 Super sample images to my ever growing coming soon list!