So here it is: my Pentax 645N with SMC Pentax FA 75mm f2.8 lens. Well it’s not in my hands in the UK yet but it has been dispatched this morning and I am like a kid waiting for Christmas all over again! I paid $1034 including postage so about £790. (I’ll have to pay VAT and Import tax too…) There are cheaper options on ebay at the moment but I wanted the FA lens (Auto Focus) and I wanted the N version rather than the original. I am also not fussed about mirror lock up which was added to the NII version. I also wanted a Mint example and to my eye, the photos make it look as good as new. We’ll see.
I have downloaded the pdf document of the user guide and had a click through. There’s nothing unexpected. These things really are very simple to use. Selecting the f-stop on the lens ring will take a little bit of getting used to but for my intended use (Wedding Photography) I don’t imagine I will change it much once f2.8 is dialled in.
I have been researching 120 film too. I should get 16 exposures on a 120 film roll. 645 stands for 6cm x 4.5cm, the dimensions of the exposed film. On a 6×6 medium format camera you’ll get 12 exposures and on a 6×7 (such as the Pentax 67) you’ll get 10. A 6×9 will give you just 8 exposures. Basically, to find the number of exposures, you divide the second dimension into 72cm since this is the length of the film roll. My camera is being shipped with a lone 120 film back so I can only put 120 film in this. There are double the number of exposures on a 220 roll and in order to achieve this, the paper back has been removed. This means that the date cannot be added on a 220 film and becasue it is thinner, a differnet back design is required to maintain pressure on the film from the winding mechanism in order to get a good exposure.
I fancy starting with black and white photography – some monochrome shots of the family on the walls of our new home will look great, I think. And I can develop them in the art department at school with my friend’s assitance and potential future business partner…
Anyway, it should be here in the next week or so, so I had better get on and buy some Ilford film. I understand HP5 is less deliberately contrasty than FP4 and I think that will suit shots of the family better so that is what I will plump for.