When I dipped my toe into medium format photography, my first camera was Mamiya 645 1000S, equipped with 80mm 1.9 standard lens. After understanding how captivating is this world of slow, methodical and rich medium format photography, I started to look for a second lens – this time a wider lens intended for landscape photography.
Mamiya had a lot of lenses to offer, so it’s quite hard to pick one. After research and consideration I went for the Mamiya Sekor 45mm F2.8 N lens. This 45mm lens from Mamiya comes in two iterations – there’s older version and newer version with the “N” in name. I went for newer one because photo the samples and reviews say it’s sharper and has more contrast. As an aside, looking at 80m 1.9 lens variations – at least as far as my investigation showed – there is no difference between the older and never “N” version.
From the very beginning I took the Sekor 45mm f/2.8 as an 35mm format equivalence of around 28mm. And here came the biggest surprise – it feels more than that. This is mostly due to the fact that 35mm and 645 formats have different proportions. 35mm has aspect ratio of 2:3 and 645 has aspect ratio of 3:4. This means that 645 is less wide and is taller.
Within my photography I found I used this lens is less for landscape work and more for environmental portraits and reportage style work – you’ll see that in the selection of 5 frames. The images are examples of my total usage of this beautiful glass.
To conclude this short story (two stories) about the Mamiya 645 1000s system and lenses I own, I should tell you that I recently sold it. Oops! I loved this system, but during my last photo shot I came to a realisation that I have to be less gear orientated, and more shot orientated, and that this would help me to be more creative and concentrate more on the scene. Having a model on scene and beginning to struggle with your photo bag, change lenses etc resulted in lost concentration. I feel like more limitation will help to be more concentrated and be more creative.
I’ll miss my Mamiya set, but my path in medium format film is now with a 6×6 TLR. This means a bigger negative – more MF magic shining through, no more worries regarding portrait / landscape orientation and no more lens changes.
And the Mamiya? I know she is in good hands, and am looking forward to see pictures from new owner.
That’s it for now – I’ll be back. J