Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Contax 645 & Kodak Proback 645C Experience Report

A review note by Uwe Steinmueller


Please post all your comments and questions here in our News Group

This short review took a long time to happen as we started investigating into the Kodak Proback in April. Now we could use for the first time latest Kodak ProBack 645C on a Contax 645. The lenses we used were the 35mm, 80mm and 120mm Macro (thanks to our friends at Keeble & Shuchat Photography).

Having used mostly 35mm SLRs the last 20 years (we owned a Hasselblad about 1980) the view finder on this MF camera is just heaven (because of the big size). There is nothing much to tell about the Contax 645 camera. I just love it! Everything worked intuitive and smooth.

Also the Proback 645C worked fine and was easy to handle on the Contax. The last proback we used was still tethered to a battery. Although that was not really a problem the new un tethered 645 backs are a pleasure to use. You have to get used to the histogram as the histogram can get closer to the right side (highlights) as we would risk with any Nikon D100 or D1x (too easy to get overexposure)

All photos (ISO 100 only) were converted with the Kodak Photo Desk 1.6 (no sharpening and no noise removal) and used in ProPhotoRGB mode (saved as 16bit TIFFs). Sharpening was performed in Photoshop with Nik Sharpener and PowerRetouche Sharpness PR.


Ristorante in Los Gatos (80mm)

100% pixel crop


Often it was not that easy for us to get the right colors with the Kodak 760 and also our first ProBack. This time the colors were really excellent and very natural.

Most pictures were taken in Alviso (South Bay) where you can find very interesting murals. The 120mm Macro was our love from the first moment and most of the photos were shot with this manual lens.


Boardwalk wood


Alviso Mural

100% pixels crop

Noise? We did not photograph scenes with really deep shadows but think that the noise is very much under control (even without noise removal in Photo Desk 1.6).

Alviso Dragon

Blue Windows

Alviso Totem

Resolution is there. We do not know whether other backs like the PhaseOne get more resolution from the same chip. But the ProBack 645C is the only un tethered Back at the lowest price on the market. ($12000 which is a lot of money but cheap compared to the other backs with a 16MP sensors)
We are very positive surprised with the Contax & Proback 645C combination. A couple of 21" wide prints also second our findings. This is a camera and back we would like to own. Only our bank account has a different opinion right now.
Review methodology (or lack of :-)) here.


For Comments post in our News Group

2000-2007 Digital Outback Photo