By Scott James PrebbleTool
Pentax 645N Medium Format SLR: Circa 1998
Personally I had used Medium Format camera's for years, with mixed results. I have always wanted a MF that acted more like my Nikons, clean simple operation and smooth & reliable functions. So when I started reading about this little beauty it seemed to have everything I wanted. So, I asked santa for one, and low and behold, the fat old bastard came through. Here are a few of the specs.The 645N incorporates the PENTAX-developed SAFOX IV phase-matching autofocus system to ensure accurate focusing not only on subjects with vertical orientation but also on those with horizontal orientation. - even under such poor lighting conditions as EV-1.
To keep accurate track of photographic data, the 645N lets the user imprint valuable data (exposure frame number, exposure mode, shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation value, metering mode and lens focal length) at the bottom of the film just outside the image area.
Because of its large image size (2.7 times larger than the 35mm format), the 645N's 6cm x 4.5cm format is far superior in image quality to 35mm, producing true-to-life pictures with finer details, higher resolution and better color fidelity.
The 645N incorporates a newly developed Dual Six-Segment multi-pattern metering system. Two sensors positioned at both sides of the viewfinder measure the subject's lighting condition in two different areas: the wide sensor covers the entire image field, while the narrow sensor monitors the light reaching the central area of the image field. As a result, the 645N can measure the subject's lighting condition with exceptional accuracy and efficiency.
A built-in motor drive advances the film at the speed of 2.0 frames per second. Thanks to the high-precision pulse-count film transport mechanism, the spacing between frames is identical and the number of frames which can be taken from one roll of film has been increased from the 645 (16 frames from 120 film and 33 frames from 220 film). This motor drive also offers two film advance modes: "Single Advance" to advance one frame for each shutter release and "Consecutive Advance" to successively advance the film as long as the shutter release button is depressed. In addition, the motor drive automatically loads the film and advances it to the first frame, and winds the film into the film holder to avoid accidental exposure during film changes.
The 645N's body is made of rigid aluminum and protected with a glass-fiber-reinforced polycarbonate coating approximately 1.7 times thicker than a normal coating. As a result, the 645N is extremely durable and resistant to shock and wear. In addition, special mechanisms are incorporated in the 645N to ensure low-noise, low-shock operation - particularly important features in wildlife photography.
The 645N has perfected the renowned optical system - originally developed for and made famous by the PENTAX 645 - by adding a high-performance viewfinder lupe. As a result, the camera assures comfortable, fatigue-free eye-level shooting over long periods in the field.
In the AF Servo mode, the 645N's AF system detects the subject's movement (toward or away from the camera) and "predicts" the optimum focusing point at shutter release for pinpoint focus on the subject on the move.
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