A whole lotta snapshots from around my neighborhood and a portrait of a Madison designer, Sarah Congdon. Mike Crivello Cameras set me up with this demo–the Mamiya 645AFD III, DM28 digital back, 55mm, 80mm, and 150mm. My biggest complaint is that I didn’t have enough time with it! What gorgeous files this camera produced!
Specific comments re: the Mamiya DM28…
- The camera was great to work with. Though larger even than my Leica R8+DMR, it still felt good in my hand and wasn’t hard to hold.
- Because it has been sometime since I used medium format, the shallow depth-of-field produced by medium format took some reacquainting. I love the shallow depth-of-field, but needed to stop down more than I normally do in order to get the depth-of-field I normally prefer. So where I might normally used f2.8-f4 on my 35mm DSLR, here I was having to got to f5.6-f11.
- The viewing screen on the back of the camera is mostly useless, or at least it was to me. I really didn’t use it to review images because it just didn’t look good.
- The viewing screen was good though for going through the menu system, which was nicely laid out. Using a touch screen on a camera was pretty neat too, and the screen was quite responsive, whether I used my fingers or the supplied stylus.
- As for the camera itself, I was a little confused at one point because I could not find the control to change the aperture when in Manual mode! This was pretty disappointing.
- I primarily used the camera in Aperture Priority and the meter seemed pretty accurate.
- My biggest frustration had little to do with the camera and more to do with the software/file compatibility. Since my MacG5 desktop computer runs on a Power PC processor yet, I could not access the RAW files. Since I didn’t have the current version of Phase One Capture (only usable on Intel processor Macs), I couldn’t process the files, even if I had the right processor. I had to load the files on my Intel processor MacBook with a downloaded current version of Phase One Capture. The files are HUGE and I could only use Phase One Capture with no other apps running, that’s how much RAM it was chewing up.
- Aside from my computer issues, it was real fun working with this camera–the lenses were great, the limited depth-of-field was lovely and it really made me long to be using medium format again. As much as I enjoy my Leica R8+DMR, it’s not medium format.
- The autofocus was about as fast as I expected—not fast, but not too horrible. I really wish Mamiya would come up with a focusing screen more suited to manual focus, because the standard screen is NOT.
- All in all, I had a great time with this system and would definitely rent it for the appropriate assignment.
- The 55mm lens was the one I used most—very versatile.
- Very much liked the shallow depth-of-field on the 80mm.
- Liked the 150mm lens, but wish it had a shorter close focus distance.
- All lenses seemed pretty resistant to flare.
- ISO 50 was spectacular, ISO 800 seemed pretty noisy, but I don’t know how it compares to other medium format systems