Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Discussions regarding Phase One 645 DF / DF+ and Mamiya 645 DF / DF+
Also lens discussion for Phase One and Schneider lenses.

Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Postby simonlok » Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:35 pm

Is there anybody here using their 645 their "everyday" camera? Anybody given up their 35mm DSLR? Just wonder how your experiences with that have been.
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Re: Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Postby PhaseoneUser55657 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:52 pm

Depends on what you need for a "EveryDay camera". I use mine for everything that makes sense. I am not going to use it for sport and like, not going to use it when I need high ISO, (Mine is an older back and does not go up very far). But, if I can use it for something I use mine. It is a tool, and I use the right tool for the job, it happens to fit about 80% of what I need, for the other 20%, I use other tools.

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Re: Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Postby simonlok » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:20 pm

Hi Robert,

Somebody once told me to "always carry your camera." Having a camera phone sort of qualifies, but not really... the lack of control and whatnot. I always carry around a 35mm of the full frame variety with a 50mm prime on it, regardless of whether I am "planning" to take photograph or not. I am curious if there is anybody out there that would do a similar thing with their 645.

What is in your 80% and what is in your 20%? Is all of this "planned" photography or have you had good luck and good results with using your 645 spontaneously and without a lighting setup?

If you had one that has the Sensor+ and does 3200 ISO, would that change your habits?

How do you deal with the weight and size? Do you feel that it is not much different than say, the larger variety of 35mm out there like the D4 / 1D X?

Thanks in advance for your insights.
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Re: Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Postby Jon » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:03 pm

I know I work for the company and maybe that makes me a bit bias, but for what its worth I used the 645DF and a P65+ as my daily driver camera for about 2 years. Medium format just gives me that special look I dont get from smaller formats. There's a beauty to the depth of field fall off that I just cant reproduce and of course the color depth is just fantastic. Yes its big an heavy and that meant I didn't take it as many places as I would have liked which was the main reason I later bought a micro 4/3 camera as well.

The AF is obviously not going to be the same as will a DSLR, though I didn't necessarily see this as a reason to not use it in some situations... it just means you have to change the way you work with the camera. For instance when I would shoot things in motion, I preferred to rely on prefocus more than autofocus. I would have the camera focused on a spot and capture when the subject got there. Or for instance if I was working fairly close with very shallow depth of field I would move back and forth with the subject to maintain proper focus.

I probably shot 75% with an 80mm lens on Sensor+
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Re: Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Postby PhaseoneUser55657 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:15 pm

Ya, If I had the high ISO of the new ones in Sensor+ mode, I would say I would go to much higher percentage of usage.
I actually like the size of the camera, and quickly got use to it. I find the grip so natural that in the studio, I never have the strap on it, I find that with one hand I can carry it easy even with the 105-210 lens on it. I only put a BlackRapid strap on it when I am out walking around.

I mainly do people, street photography, and nature. None of these require exceptional speed, well maybe nature if you are trying to capture some fleeing animal. The extra ISO in sensor+ mode would allow the use as the light is going and don't want to use a flash. I usually try to only take my DSLR when I think high speed burst is going to be required, or currently high ISO is required, or require longer reach.

Sports, never going to use it, unless it was chess :D , It just requires to high speed bursts, and 1 frame a second not going to capture the action unless you are very good, or lucky. Birds in flight, or anything that requires better focusing. One part in weddings that might also would be an issue would be the throwing of the Bouquet, which you might was to do a burst. I am sure there are others.

I find the three areas that the 645 breaks down, needing High frame rate, long lenses, and fast Auto Focus/Tracking (assuming that the high iso is available). The 645 just does not match these in any way even the cheapest DSLR have to offer.

The other thing to consider if you are going to use the 645 as the always with me camera, is just the cost if something happened.

Well, just some ramblings, I hope I gave you some insights.

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Re: Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Postby simonlok » Thu Apr 11, 2013 3:19 pm

Just curious Robert, which back do you use?
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Re: Using a 645DF as a daily driver

Postby PhaseoneUser55657 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:24 pm

I have an old Aptus one.

Looking to upgrade I hope this summer to a P40+ or P45+ (used) back. Would like to move to the IQ140 or Credo 40 but can't justify the cost.

Still debating either the P Series or Aptus-II series. Both have their pros and cons.

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