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Old 30th August 2009, 11:42 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Default Pentax 645N - Landscape & Portrait Positions

I may be out of luck here on FADU as so far there seems to be no-one here who has the above camera but with a bit of luck the same thing will apply to other 645s.

I may have misread other threads on 645s in APUG or simply misunderstood them but it seems that in the 645 format the neg is the opposite way round to the way you'd intuitively hold the camera i.e. holding the P645N camera in the landscape position which with 35mm cameras is horizontally and will give you a landscape type neg, will in fact give you a "portrait neg" in 645. That is to say the neg will be 6 high and 4.5 wide. So to get a landscape type picture the camera is held in the vertical position so the neg appears as 6 wide and 4.5 high. I hope this makes sense.

So have I got this right and does it apply to all 645 cameras? Does the viewfinder in fact appear this way as well so when holding the camera horizontally the rectangular view in the finder appears higher than it is wide so at least you are reminded that to get the landscape view you need to turn the camera to the vertical position.

If what I have said above isn't total nonsense then it seems that this is counter-intuitive which is a pity. Certainly most of my 35mm shots are landscape format and I find holding the camera vertically is much more awkward.

The question arises because I have toyed with the idea of getting a P645N and have read a few reviews but for some reason have never seen anything about having to hold the camera counter-intuitively.

Thanks for any help

Mike
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Old 31st August 2009, 05:23 AM
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Daud Daud is offline
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Hi Mike,
The Pentax ‘645’ is conventional or intuitive as you put it. In fact it is only a little larger than a Nikon F4 ‘S’.
So I expect the 645N is no different.

www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/645n.pdf

David.

Last edited by Daud; 31st August 2009 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 31st August 2009, 05:51 AM
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Rob Archer Rob Archer is offline
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The Pantax 645 is an SLR, and the image is in landscape format when held normally. This the same as most 645 SLRs (eg.Bronica ETRS, Mamoya 645 Etc.) It's the rangefinders that are in portrait format (e.g Bronica RF45, Fuji 645s etc).

For me, the main drawback is the alignment of the neg in the enlarger when printing - The easel has to go sideways which limits the degree of enlargement possible.

That said, the Pentax 645n is an excellent camera - I borrowed one a few years ago when my bronica was in for repair. The main drawback with it is that it doesn't have interchangeable backs.

Rob
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Old 31st August 2009, 08:52 AM
Michael Michael is online now
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Mike, format is determined by film travel through the camera. If the film travels vertically, that "corrects" the format to match 35mm SLRs. The film back shown in David's link carries the film vertically: my old Zeiss and Voigtländer RFs and my newer Fuji all carry the film horizontally and are counterintuitive in your sense. I am strongly left-eyed and it doesn't bother me to be camera-up for landscapes. Tripod work can be a bore if the camera has only one mount, though.
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Old 31st August 2009, 08:17 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Thanks all for the good news. I especially appreciate Daud's link and Michael's explanation of why it is intuitive as a result of the film travelling vertically.

Rob I am not sure I follow your point about the easel having to go sideways but I'll check my 645 mask for my Durst enlarger where it may become obvious. Currently I am unlikely to attempt bigger than 8x10 which I suppose my beg the question of why bother with MF if the biggest print in only 8x10 but even at 8x10 depending on the film used and the cropping and blow-up of the neg, I have seen situations where the 8x10 print seems to suffer a little from a 35mm neg.

Anyway many thanks again to you all


Mike
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Old 11th January 2022, 01:39 PM
Terry S Terry S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray View Post
Rob I am not sure I follow your point about the easel having to go sideways but I'll check my 645 mask for my Durst enlarger where it may become obvious. Currently I am unlikely to attempt bigger than 8x10 which I suppose my beg the question of why bother with MF if the biggest print in only 8x10...

Mike
An old thread, but here goes...

Mike, I'm presuming that you've worked out the mention of having the easel sideways by now?

I have a Fuji GA645Zi, and yes, you have to turn the camera to take a landscape shot, but it's surprisingly how quickly one gets used to this. And like many others I absolutely love taking this camera out and about.

As for enlargement sizes, I still use it, even though I'm printing smaller than 10" x 8" at the moment, printing mostly postcard to about 7" x 5" -ish prints. For who knows, I might want to print bigger in the future, but also I think you can tell the difference in tonality, or it could just be I'm fooling myself? It won't be the first time!

Terry S
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Old 6th April 2022, 03:40 PM
dudeinv dudeinv is offline
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I have had Pentax 6x4.5N for years. I got it when I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to supplement my Pentax 6x7. I shoot verticals and horizontals, and have never had a “problem” in enlarging to 11 x14.


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Old 6th April 2022, 04:34 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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Thanks, dudeinv. Yes it is a very intuitive camera and as you say is easily capable of 11x14 prints from the negative

It's no lightweight but in fact is probably no heavier or much larger than the 35mm F4/5 as was pointed out to me. The OPTech wide strap helps a lot when it is round your neck

Mike
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Old 9th May 2022, 12:19 AM
dudeinv dudeinv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike O'Pray View Post
Thanks, dudeinv. Yes it is a very intuitive camera and as you say is easily capable of 11x14 prints from the negative

It's no lightweight but in fact is probably no heavier or much larger than the 35mm F4/5 as was pointed out to me. The OPTech wide strap helps a lot when it is round your neck

Mike

Mike, if you think it’s heavy around your neck try the Pentax 6x7 with pentaprism and a longish lens.


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Old 9th May 2022, 02:29 PM
Mike O'Pray Mike O'Pray is offline
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dudeinv, I only ever had my hands around a Pentax 67 once. It was in a shop called Jessops in the Isle of Man

Yes it was like a 35mm on steroids and although probably heavier than the 645 it actually felt easier to handle. Probably because its almost identical shape to a 35mm camera made it feel similar enough to my Pentax MZ7 to make it seem more familiar and thus easier to handle

Mike
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