Getting to know the Pentax 645…

Earlier this week a new camera arrived: a Pentax 645 medium format SLR. Came equipped with the SMC-A 75/2.8, 120 insert, and a bunch of old film. I’d been looking for something new to try to get me out of a creative slump. All my large format shooting has started to look alike. Add to that the inherent cost, time, and hassle involved in shooting LF (or ULF), and I was beginning to burn out. Some folks on APUG suggested working in a smaller format for a while; I wanted the availability of different focal lengths, and found a good, used, 645.

I’ve put a few rolls through it already. One of just kids (go figure) yielded some nice shots of Maddie:

But today I was in Reading, so I drove to nearby Wyomissing to stroll a couple parks along the Tulpehocken Creek. One boasts the largest single-span covered bridge in the state; the other was a grist mill in centuries passed. I ran through a roll of Acros while there; some shots are presented below.

The restored Gruber Wagon Works:

A closeup of a wagon wheel, through the Canon 500D diopter, which fits the SMC-A 75/2.8:

Wertz’s Bridge:

A web in a hole in the bridge:

Some buildings at Gring’s Mill:

A stitched pano from Gring’s mill:

And a sluice gate at Gring’s Mill:

I am LOVING this camera! I’m also, admittedly, a little glad for the respite from large format. I’m finding it liberating to just sling a camera over my shoulder and go. No planning, no hassle, no mess. There’s a place for that, but for now, I’m truly enjoying shooting again. And, I want a wider lens…


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