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Can 645 with MP1 be effectively mounted onto a tripod

ksklo

Well-Known Member
I have recently purchased the C645 and am eager to test it out vigorously on the field. However, I am very concerned about the battery consumption and have plans to get the battery holder MP-1. However, when I checked with both Really Right Stuff and Kirk Photo, I found neither of them carrys a camera plate that fits the 645 attached to the MP-1.

Since the camera itself with the lens mounted is already quite heavy, I would be concerned how safe it would be if I can't find a custom made QR plate for the 645/MP-1 combo. Has anybody used one, or could I just order the one for the 645 alone which would also work with the MP-1? If nothing's available I may have to turn to my last resort which is to get the power pack instead of the battery holder. Also is there a L-bracket around that fits this camera? I have been spoiled with L-brackets with my 135 cameras. Thanks for your help.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Ken, I would test the camera before resorting to the added weight and unbalanced feel the grip adds.

I have not specifically encountered the power problem with my camera that has been reported by others. Yes, it goes through batteries faster than some of my other A/F units, but not to the degree that has h&ered shooting (I do weddings).

Also, your shooting style with the camera will determine power usage. I tend to use A/F maybe half the time and manual the other half (one of the features I really like about the C645). I also have the setting on Manual focus and use the thumb button for one time A/F. Perhaps that is why I experience less battery drain than others do (???).

BTW, I have a flip Bracket designed for the C645 for sale. I now use a Kodak 4X4 square digital back which doesn't require flipping the camera for vertical shots.
 

ksklo

Well-Known Member
Marc, thanks for your comments.

In fact I read somewhere that the addition of the MP-1 battery holder would actually make the C645 feel more balanced. Although I haven't tried it, I had great experience with the N1 attached to the P-9, and the vertical grip did help taking portrait pictures.

But with the C645, I doubt I would be taking any portraits seriously, thus the vertical grip is less important. This camera will be more utilized for landscape and product type of work. If the grip does add an unbalanced feel, then definitely I should not add it since the camera itself is quite heavy already.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
I had and sold the grip because weight and portability for weddings and travel were issues for me. I'd rather put a spare battery or two in my pack. The trick is to track down an inexpensive source for the batteries. Being forced to buy them at a retail outlet is a costly endeavor.

I found that the C645 breaks down into a fairly compact travel kit which I put into a LowPro Omni Trekker. I remove the prism and it all fits with 3 lenses. I took that into the mountains of Arizona and found it no more cumbersome than a 35mm SLR. The Battery pack made the camera to tall to fit.
 

colin

Well-Known Member
Marc, Isn't the Omni Trekker large enough to hold the C645 without removing the prism?
Do you put it into the Pelican hardcase or use the built in backpack harness?
I manage to carry my C645, 2 lenses and other accessories in Lowe-Pro Mini-Trekker backpack without breaking down the body.
Colin
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Colin, how do you put the camera in the case? On its' side?
I break it down because the prism is a delicate instrument and I store it in a separate padded compartment. Plus, if I recall correctly, the case wasn't tall enough to accept the camera upright with a T-Pod plate on the camera.

I use the backpack harness when in the field.

There are a few shots I took with this kit in my contax.info portfolio here if you're interested.
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
I also use the Lowe-Pro Mini-Trekker backpack and manage to carry my C645, 3 lenses (120mm, 35mm, 45-90mm), extra film back, Polaroid back, hoods, filters and other accessories in backpack without breaking down the body. I always use the Domke protective wrap to cover the body and the attached lens.

Still have room for a sandwich in a separate compartment. :)

The backpack is compact and well built. But I can't really hike with the outfit due to the weight.
 

daleh

Well-Known Member
> I went to Europe in October with a Mine Trekker Classic loaded with two 35mm bodies, three lenses, and a Hasselblad with a 50mm lens on it. Also misc stuff like filters, spare batteries etc. Weighed it all out at just under 15 lbs. As a piece of luggage it was terrific because it allowed me to carry all my gear in balance so that both hands were always free for other work. It was too heavy to carry while out walking so I selected equipment pieces each day in order to keep the weight down to less than ten lbs. Could then carry it sidesaddle on either side or on my back. A terrific system that worked out exactly as I had planned. Lowepro stuff is a wonderful value. Got this one from B&H for $69.95 plus modest shipping.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Albert, YOU HAVE THE 45-90 !!!!!

Talk to me about it. Is it slow focusing? Is it hard to focus manually in low light? Is it to heavy?

Dale, I agree with you. I eventually switched all my gear to LowPro bags. Very efficient use of space. Easy to carry because the weight is close to your body.
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
Marc,

Yes the 45-90mm zoom is very heavy. But well balance with the C645 body. I just got this lens not long ago and have not even received my rebate check. I have shot a few rolls of 160NPC and mainly landscape & streets with the tripod. The result is as anyone can expect from the Carl Zeiss quality. Slight light fall off in the widest end when wide open.

AF speed? well, consider it is a f/4.5 with 2.5lbs of glass to move, it is as fast as my "N1" if you know what I mean. Very acceptable as I mainly use the manual AF button. The manual focus in low light is not bad consider the C645 viewfinder is not as crisp as the N1. Not really a problem. Please do not compare it with the M6 with the 35mm f/1.4. :) In fact, I was very surprised how responsive the lens was when the first time I handled it at the store a year ago. The AF is very positive in its class.

One thing nice about the lens design is the Internal Focusing where the length of the lens barrel does not change in focusing, and it only change its length very little (5mm) when change the zoom range.

I have not stress tested it with wedding, photojournalism, travel, street photography, people type of work which this lens is designed for. I am going to do more of these in the coming year.

My first impression is very positive. If I pick one lens with the C645, this is the one I would carry.
With 95mm filter size and over 2.5 lbs in weight, I was hoping it is a f/2.8 lens. It would have cost a fortune though.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Albert, thank you very much for the in-depth report. I have been considering this lens for some time now. It would be just one lens on the body to pretty much cover most formal wedding applications... like group shots and the like, where a wide aperture isn't needed except maybe to facilitate focusing. But even there I tend to use a magnifier with the camera on a tripod. Hmmm, so many thing to squander your hard earned cash on.
 

ksklo

Well-Known Member
Marc, I had attended a wedding in SF earlier this year, and the photog was only using a C645 with the 45-90 zoom the whole way. He didn't have anything else other than this setup, and although it is not as versatile as 35mm cameras, it does produce magnificent images. I remember he was handholding it 90% of the time, even in very dark situations where he claimed he kept the shutter opened for up to 1/15th second.

Note that I only saw the pics he took before the wedding, i.e. on the beach, near the Golden Gate Bridge, etc., but I didn't get the chance to see the ones where he handheld at 1/15th second because I live in Hong Kong.
 

kiminsong

Active Member
ALBERT:
Is it really possible to hand hold the 45-90 zoom at 1/15th second??????
Since you have the lens could you let us konw if it is true?????? Or have you already tried it???
 

colin

Well-Known Member
Marc, I place the camera on it's base with a an Arca style quick release plate attached. While I don't "wrap" the camera, I do cover it with a cloth.(mainly to avoid strap hardware blemishing the body/prism).I add another lens, various Cokin filters,sprit level, Leica M6 and 3-4 lenses and Incident light meter. Whilst I'm no Mr Universe, I have managed to hike Yosemite, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. I have also just returned from the Cayman Islands.
Colin
 

colin

Well-Known Member
Marc, What flip bracket do have that is designed for the C645 and how much are you asking?
Colin
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Steve, 1/15th of a second with a hand held Medium Format camera in ambient light alone is a superhuman accomplishment, even at the 45mm end of that zoom. At the 90mm end it would be God like.

However, that is only if you are after crisp, razor sharp images. Some interesting creative effects can happen using slower shutter speeds.

If the photographer was using flash, then 1/15th is entirely feasible because the duration of the flash burst influences the appearance of subject sharpness. The C645 and TLA360 are capable of second shutter flash which makes such work look even more natural. I shoot SLRs at 1/15th when using flash on a regular basis at weddings. It captures more ambient background light which is usually out of focus anyway, while the flash "freezes" the main foreground subject.

Colin, we may be talking about different bags. I think yours is a rounded backpack, where the LowePro Omni Trekker I mentioned is more of a suitcase shaped bag that isn't that deep. It has a waist harness that normally is hidden in the rear of the bag as opposed to true backpack shoulder harness. I also have the backpack type bag, which does take the C645 camera intact... but I find it to be more bulky.

The bracket I have F/S is a rotating type, not a flip bracket.
Flip brackets stress the off camera connection to much (I've had one bust in half during a wedding shoot). Instead this bracket rotates the camera keeping the flash where it is (directly over the lens to minimize drop shadows). It has a quick release with anti-twist plate that specifically locks into the C645 base. Brand name "Custom Brackets". Never used... $100 + shipping
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
Steve,

As Marc explained, using flash in 1/15 second is okay as the short flash duration ( much faster than 1/1000) freezes motion. You Suject will be sharp.

If I shoot wedding in medium format, I would use the 45-90mm zoom for sure. Paired up with the TLA360 and the bracket that Marc showed, it would be a very nice setup.

Marc, does your bracket include the quick release plate? Can I attached it onto a tripod. If so, I will buy it from you.

Albert.
 

fotografz

Well-Known Member
Hi Albert,

I also bought a 2nd C645 quick release plate. So if you lose one, there is another. Or you can remove the anti-twist pins and use it for a second camera.

As to a tripod connection, no it doesn't have a female receiver for a tripod screw. But it does have a quick release receiver built into the bottom plate. So, the "Custom Brackets" company must make a quick release tripod head adapter for it. Their phone # is right on the bracket.

One question, where are you located? I've had a great deal of difficulty shipping out of the US to even Canada. On an item this inexpensive, it isn't worth the hassle and paper work involved.

If that is the case I can get their number to you and you could order direct from them. It'll be more expensive, but this is the most secure rotating bracket I could find. The others let the camera flop around if you tilted it to much. This one stays until you move into the second position.
 

albert4321

Well-Known Member
Hi Marc,

I am located in San Francisco (Walnut Creek to be exact.)

Be able to mount on tripod is important for me. Let me check around to see what option I have and get back to you.

Thanks and Happy New Year.

Al.
 
I'd agree with Albert's position. The 45-90 is outstanding, the more I use the Contax 645 system the more I think its real virtue is the glass you screw into the front.

Wide open the 45-90 is 100% useable, and absolutely the equal of fixed focal length equivalents. I'd recommend using the split image focusing screen with this lens, which doesn't black out even if you're none too precise about positioning your eye centrally. In terms of weight it's about half way between Canon's 24-70L and their 70-200L, so it's beefy but not unmanageable. If there's a downside then for me it's the 95mm filter size, I'd use this lens more out in the field but I haven't found a wide angle filter solution in the Lee system at 95mm.

Incidentally, while eulogising about Contax optics I'd mention two other little commented upon stars. First the 55mm f3.5. It's light, compact, gives a perspective that I'm very comfortable with, and the optical quality is tremendous.

Second is the 350mm Tele-Apotessar. I found a used ex&le about a year ago complete with the Mutar. I'm working on a portfolio for a Royal Photographic Society distinction and needed a long MF lens, so sold my eldest daughter into slavery and took the plunge. At first I was hesitant as the Zeiss MTF graphs show the Apotessar as inferior to the Hasselblad 350mm Superachromat. I shouldn't have worried, it's a very fine lens, even wide open with the Mutar. The 350mm revolving tripod collar is a real boon with the 645 format, and I wish Contax had offered something similar with other lenses.
 
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