Mamiya 645 vs. Pentax 645: Which is Better?

Mamiya 645 vs. Pentax 645: Which is Better?

Camera choice is a deeply personal thing. Some photographers prefer the feel of one camera over another, or have a sentimental connection to a particular model. But when it comes to Mamiya 645 vs Pentax 645, which is the better camera system? In this comprehensive guide, we will compare and contrast these two popular medium format cameras in detail, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you.

645 Format Cameras

645 format cameras are medium format cameras that use the “645” film standard.

This film standard is named for its dimensions: it is 65mm wide and 45mm tall. The “645” designation was first used by Kodak in 1984 with the introduction of the Ektachrome professional slide film, which was designed for use in this new class of camera.

Today, there are many different types of medium format cameras that use the “645” film standard, including both digital and analog models. These cameras are often used by professional photographers or serious amateurs who need the highest quality images possible. [1]

645 Format Cameras

Mamiya 645 in General

Mamiya was founded in 1940 by Seiichi Mamiya and Tsunejiro Sugawara. The company started out as a maker of woodworking tools before branching out into cameras in the late 1950s.

The company continued to innovate throughout the 1960s and 1970s with the introduction of several groundbreaking products like the world’s first single-lens reflex (SLR) medium format camera, the Mamiya RB67, and the world’s first autofocus SLR medium format camera, the Mamiya AFD.

The Mamiya 645 is a medium format camera first introduced in 1984.

It’s a fully mechanical, lens interchangeable, SLR system with manual controls. The body is all metal and very rugged–built like a tank! The Mamiya 645 was one of the first cameras to offer autofocus (on certain models) and TTL metering.
All Mamiya 645 models share the same accessories: interchangeable viewfinders, film backs, and lenses so you can mix and match to create the perfect camera for your needs. [2], [3]

Pentax 645 in General

Pentax is a Japanese company that has been around since 1919. The company started out as a maker of optical instruments and components, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that they began making cameras. In the 1970s, Pentax released the world’s first SLR with an in-body autofocus motor, and in 1987, they introduced the first medium format camera with auto focus. Today, Pentax makes a wide variety of cameras, from entry-level point-and-shoots to high-end DSLRs.

Pentax is perhaps best known for their ruggedness and durability. Many of their cameras are weather resistant and can withstand drops and other abuse. This makes them popular with outdoor photographers and those who need a camera that can take a beating.

Pentax 645 in General

Pentax also has a good selection of lenses, thanks to their long history in the optics business. They make their own lenses, as well as third-party ones. Pentax’s lens selection covers everything from ultra-wide angle to super telephoto, and they offer lenses for both full-frame and APS-C cameras.

The Pentax 645 is a great all-around camera that is easy to use and produces excellent results. It has a wide variety of features that make it a great choice for both beginners and experienced photographers alike. One of the best things about the Pentax is that it is very affordable, making it a great option for those on a budget.

The Pentax also has a wide variety of lenses available, which gives you the ability to change your focal length and experiment with different types of photography. The camera body itself is also weather-sealed, meaning you can take it out in all kinds of conditions without worry. [4], [5]

Comparison of Mamiya 645 and Pentax 645

645 format cameras are some of the most popular choices for medium format photography. They offer excellent image quality and a wide variety of lenses and accessories to choose from. But which one is better for you? Mamiya or Pentax?


In the world of medium format cameras, there are two dominant designs: the Mamiya RB67 and the Pentax 67. Both cameras have been in production for over 30 years and have earned a loyal following among professionals and serious amateurs alike. But which one is better? In this section, we’ll pit the Mamiya RB67 against the Pentax 67 and see which one comes out on top.
When it comes to design, both cameras are very similar. They both have a waist-level finder, a rotating back, and a viewfinder with interchangeable screens.

Next up, let’s take a look at lenses. Both the Mamiya and Pentax systems have a wide variety of lenses available, ranging from ultra-wide angle to telephoto. But there is some important difference to consider. For one, Mamiya lenses usually can only be used with Mamiya bodies, while Pentax lenses can be used on both Pentax and Bronica bodies.
Pentax is also compatible with leaf-shutter lenses, which offer a number of advantages over traditional focal-plane shutter lenses.

Leaf shutters are quieter, faster, and can sync with flash at much higher speeds.

Pentax has no delayed action mirror lockup, which can be important for preventing vibration when shooting at long exposures. And finally, Mamiya lenses tend to be a bit more expensive than Pentax lenses.

Both cameras have detachable film backs, so you can easily change out film mid-shot if you need to. And both offer motorized film advance, which is great if you’re shooting a lot of frames or want to save time when changing out film. However, it’s worth mentioning that not all Mamiya models can have their film backs removed. This is important to be aware of, especially when you consider buying an older model. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Comparison of Mamiya 645 and Pentax 645

Weight and size

One of the key factors to consider when choosing between Mamiya and Pentax is size and weight. After all, you want a camera that’s easy to carry around and won’t weigh you down.

The Mamiya weighs in at about 1580g with the standard 80mm f/s lens. The Pentax is a bit lighter at 1320g with the 75mm f/s lens.

So, if you’re looking for a lighter camera, the Pentax may be a better choice. But if weight isn’t an issue for you, then the Mamiya is a great option as well.

If you’re looking for a smaller, lighter camera, then the Pentax may be a better option. However, if you don’t mind a slightly larger camera body, then the Mamiya could be a good choice. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Shutter speed

In photography, the shutter speed is one of the three pillars of exposure along with aperture and ISO. It is a measure of how long the camera’s sensor (or film) is exposed to light when taking a photograph. A slow shutter speed will result in a longer exposure time, meaning more light will hit the sensor (or film), resulting in a brighter image. Conversely, a fast shutter speed will result in a shorter exposure time, resulting in a darker image.

Shutter speed is measured in seconds or fractions of seconds, such as “30 seconds” or “½ second.” The faster the shutter speed, the shorter the exposure time; therefore, faster shutter speeds are used to freeze motion while slower shutter speeds are used to intentionally blur moving objects.

For example, a fast shutter speed like would be used to freeze the action of a speeding car while a slow shutter speed like “30 seconds” could be used to capture the light trails of stars in the night sky.

In general, it is best to use the fastest shutter speed possible when taking photographs; however, there are times when a slower shutter speed can be used creatively to achieve a desired effect.

There are two main types of shutters: mechanical and electronic. Mechanical shutters have been around since the early days of photography and are still used in some film cameras today. Electronic shutters, on the other hand, are found in digital cameras and are becoming increasingly popular.

Comparison of Mamiya 645 and Pentax 645

Mamiya cameras have a faster shutter speed than Pentax cameras. This means that you can take photos of fast-moving subjects without worrying about blurring. Pentax cameras have a top shutter speed of only 15 seconds to 1/1000, while Mamiya’s top shutter speed ranges from 8s to 1/500. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Focusing system

Focusing system is important because it affects the sharpness of your images. Mamiya cameras have a reputation for being very sharp, and part of that is due to their excellent focusing system.

There are two focusing systems: manual and autofocus. Manual focus is when you have to manually turn the focusing ring on the lens to focus on your subject. Autofocus is when the camera does all the work for you.

Depending on the exact model, Mamiya cameras have either a manual focus system or autofocus. Same goes for Pentax cameras. [2], [3], [4], [5]

ISO range

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, and it’s a measure of how sensitive your film or digital sensor is to light.

The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive it is, and the less light you need to take a proper exposure.

However, there is such a thing as too much sensitivity. If you have too high of an ISO setting, your image will start to look grainy. This is because each pixel on your sensor gets bigger as the ISO increases, and they start to overlap with each other. This creates what’s called “noise,” which looks like small grains of sand in your image.

Noise can be fixed in post-processing to some extent, but it’s always better to avoid it in the first place. That’s why it’s important to have a camera with a good ISO range.

The Pentax camera has an ISO range of 6-6400 in 1/3 stop increments, which means it’s pretty versatile. You can use it in a variety of lighting conditions without having to worry about noise. [4], [5]

Comparison of Mamiya 645 and Pentax 645

Depth of field preview

When it comes to choosing a medium format camera, one of the most important things to consider is depth of field preview. This function allows you to see how much of the scene will be in focus, and it’s something that’s particularly important when shooting landscapes or other large scenes. Both cameras come with a convenient depth of field preview button, which makes it easy to see the depth of field before taking the shot.

Some photographers prefer the electronic system because it’s more convenient, while others find that the physical button provides a more tactile feel. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. However, if you think you might want to use depth of field preview frequently, it’s worth considering which system you prefer. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Film type

Choosing between the Mamiya and Pentax really comes down to what type of film you want to use. Both cameras support 120 and 220 film and produce a picture size of 6×4.5 cm. [2], [3], [4], [5]


One thing that every photographer should know is that flash is important, especially when shooting in low light. The Mamiya has a built-in flash that can be used in a variety of situations, whereas the Pentax does not have a built-in flash. Instead, the Pentax requires an external flash to be attached to the camera in order to use it.

In addition to that, Mamiya has two flash PC sockets that allow for the use of an external flash, whereas Pentax only has one. This means that you have more options when it comes to using an external flash with the Mamiya.

But the presence of the flash isn’t the only thing that matters. Flash sync speed is also an important consideration. The Mamiya has a flash sync speed of up to 1/60th of a second, and the same goes to Pentax. Such speed might disappoint those who are used to working with DSLRs, but it’s still a decent speed for medium format cameras. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Viewfinder coverage

Viewfinder coverage is the amount of the scene that you can see through the viewfinder.

One of the main differences between the Mamiya and Pentax is that the former offers 100% viewfinder coverage while the latter only offers 93%. This might not seem like a big deal, but it actually makes a pretty big difference when you’re trying to frame your shots. With 100% coverage, you can be confident that what you see in the viewfinder is exactly what will be captured in your photo.

On the other hand, with only 93% coverage, there’s a chance that your photo will end up being slightly different from what you saw through the viewfinder. If you’re someone who likes to have complete control over their photos, then Mamiya’s 100% coverage is definitely the way to go.

Even though Pentax viewfinder coverage is smaller, the viewfinder itself is quite large. In fact, it’s one of the largest viewfinders you’ll find on a medium format camera. This may be a downside for people who prefer portability. The Pentax viewfinder is also quite dim, which can make it difficult to see in low light.

The Mamiya viewfinder is slightly smaller than the Pentax, but it’s much brighter. This makes it easier to see in low light and makes framing your shots a breeze. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Battery type

You definitely want to take battery type into consideration when choosing your camera. Both the Mamiya and Pentax use AA batteries. You will need at least 6v of power and it’s generally recommended to use Lithium AA batteries for the best results.

If you plan on using the power winder with your camera, then you’ll need to use more power, so keep that in mind. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Comparison of Mamiya 645 and Pentax 645

Multiple exposures

One of the most important aspects of any camera is its ability to take multiple exposures. This feature allows you to take more than one picture at a time, which can be very useful when trying to capture fast-moving subjects or when taking pictures in low light conditions.
Both the Mamiya and the Pentax have this feature, but Mamiya also comes with a mirror lockup feature that can help reduce camera shake when taking multiple exposures. [2], [3], [4], [5]

Winders and grips

Winders and grips allow you to shoot faster and easier than if you were hand holding your camera. They also help to keep your camera more stable, which is important when shooting at lower shutter speeds or in low light conditions.

Pentax 645 comes with a built-in power winder that can shoot up to 1.5 frames per second. This is a great feature if you need to shoot fast-moving subjects or want to capture a series of images in quick succession.

Mamiya also offers a power winder, but it must be purchased separately. If you don’t think you’ll need the extra speed, then you may want to save your money and stick with the Pentax.

One neat thing about Mamiya, is that they offer grips for left-handed shooters. This can be a big advantage if you’re left-handed and find it uncomfortable to use a camera that is designed for right-handed shooters.

Another important consideration is that the Pentax is compatible with a manual film winding knob, whereas the Mamiya is not. This means that if you ever run out of battery power, you’ll still be able to shoot with the Pentax. However this may not be an urgent need for many people as we think you will only need to use it in case of emergency. [2], [3], [4], [5]


Features can make your shooting experience better or worse. It’s important to think about what you need and want in a camera before making your decision. One thing we should mention is that different models of the same brand can have different features. For example, selected Mamiya modes can have a self timer. The self timer is an important function for anyone who wants to take pictures of themselves. With a self timer, you can set the camera to take the picture a few seconds after you press the shutter button. This gives you time to get into position and smile for the camera.
Pentax models do not have a self timer however so if this is an important feature for you, then Mamiya might be a better choice. [2], [3], [4], [5]


Of course we couldn’t talk about these cameras without mentioning the price. The Mamiya is definitely more expensive as the price for it can vary between $200 and $700 depending on model. However Pentax isn’t far off, with an average price between $130 to $650.

Price can be influenced by a lot of factors, but mainly it comes down to what you need the camera for and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re just starting out in medium format photography, the Pentax might be a better option as it’s more affordable. But if you’re looking for something with a bit more power and flexibility, the Mamiya will be worth the extra investment.


Is the Pentax 645 reliable?

Yes, the Pentax is a very reliable camera. With its metal construction and weather-sealed body, it can withstand a lot of abuse.

What is the best Mamiya 645?

We believe that the best Mamiya 645 camera is the Mamiya 645 Pro. It is a great choice for anyone looking for a high quality camera that is easy to use. The Mamiya Pro has a number of features that make it a great choice for anyone looking for a high quality camera. It is easy to use, has a variety of shooting modes, and produces excellent results.

What is the difference between Mamiya 645 Super and Pro?

The Mamiya Super has a TTL flash metering system and an AE lock. The Pro does not have these features.

Both the Mamiya Super and the Pro use 120 film, but the Super can also use 220 film. The dimensions of the image are the same for both types of film, but with 220 film you get twice as many exposures.

The Mamiya Super has a faster shutter speed than the Pro (up to 1000th of a second vs. up to 500th of a second).

What film does Mamiya 645 take?

Mamiya cameras take 120 and 220 film. This gives you more options when loading film and lets you get higher-quality images.

Useful Video: Best 645 film cameras in 2022? Pentax 645N vs Mamiya 645 Pro


Medium format cameras are still a great investment for many photographers. Even though digital cameras have made great strides in recent years, medium format cameras offer a number of advantages that make them worth considering. When deciding between the Mamiya 645 and the Pentax 645, it really comes down to what you need and want in a camera. If you value portability, the Mamiya 645 is probably the better choice. Mamiya also offers a few unique features that Pentax doesn’t have, like self-timer and 100% viewfinder coverage. On other hand Pentax’s leaf shutters are not only quieter than Mamiya’s, but also offer a wider range of shutter speeds. Price wise, Pentax is slightly cheaper than Mamiya, making it a better choice for budget-conscious photographers. Whichever camera you decide on, make sure to do your research and choose the one that best suits your needs. Thanks for reading!