I need help

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I am a beginner in medium format (35mm for that matter). I bought a Mamiya 645 Pro with automatic exposure. My pictures are coming out like double exposure. The developer said it was due to camera movement, but I use a tripod. It takes forever for the shutter to click, so I know something is wrong - - but what? Can someone give me some pointers?

-- Sue Priddy (ardmore@brightok.net), March 01, 1999


Your Mamiya 645 pro probably has the AE reflex viewfinder, which is an aperature-preferred autoexposure system. That means that you set the aperature, and the camera sets a shutter speed that it calculates will give the correct exposure. Because the camera sets the shutter speed, you need to be aware when speeds too low for hand holding the camera occur-- Mamiya uses a blinking light in the viewfinder. If you are using slow film like Velvia, shutter speeds can get extremely long, especially if you select smaller aperatures. You mentioned the pictures are coming out like "double exposure" but if the pictures show normal density but blurred movement, chances are the camera is working right and you are simply selecting aperatures with film that requires long shutter speeds to get correct exposure. You don't have much choice in that case, you either need faster film or wider aperatures. If you are closing down the aperature to achieve sharpness, remember that you should get maxium sharpness at around half aperature--- for example, if you lens will stop down to f32, you should get best sharpness at about f16. (For best results, though, shoot some test shots for your particular lens.) If you are closing down for depth of field, use your depth of field preview and don't stop down any farther than you must to get the depth of field you need. Also, don't assume that because you are using a tripod, your pictures will be sharp. When I switched to medium format I needed to get a new tripod because my old tripod (for my 35mm camera) was simply not strong and steady enough for my heavier medium format camera. Now that I've added a 4X5 view camera, I find that I must get yet another tripod to properly support the new camera. Good luck in your new endevour. I know once you get used to your new camera you'll swear by it (instead of at it.)

-- Randy Shafer (heavysteam@aol.com), March 02, 1999.

Are the batteries at full power? Do you use a cable release? Is your lense faulty? Take it back to where you bought it if you can and have it checked out.

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), March 05, 1999.

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