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MP1 and P8D for 645



Can you please tell me how much height the MP1 power drive adds to the camera body? As this accessory screws to the base of the camera, does it accept the Contax Quick Release plate for tripod mounting?
Also, the P8D external supply holds 4 "D" cells; does this clip to one's belt or must it be put into a jacket pocket?
Thanks for your replies and help
>Colin Elliott,

From my measurements, the Contax Battery Holder/Vertical Grip MP-1 adds 3.2 centimeters (or about 1.26 inch) to the height of the 645. The grip has the same style tripod screw base with two holes for stabilizing pins as the camera base. I use the B43 Quick-Release camera mounting plate from Really Right Stuff since it appears to add less additional height to the camera than the Contax Quick-Release plate (which serves also as a spacer for easier mounting of the Polaroid Back). The B43 plate has two anti-twist pins which fit into the two holes on the base of the camera or the MP-1 Grip. The Contax Quick-Release plate should work just as well, but I don't believe that it has the two anti-twist pins (judging from the pictures of it that I have seen).

I did not buy the Power Pack P-8D. I chose the P-8 model using four AA NiMH rechargeable cells. The P-8 has a metal loop on the back of its case which can be used with the supplied neck cord or can be attached to a belt loop. The P-8 fits very easily into a pocket. [Four "D" cells seemed to me to be too much added weight with all the other gear that I carry.]

Best regards, Don Savoy

Can you use L/ion rechargebles in the MP1 hand grip for the 645 and what are users findings with regards to battery life of the standard lithium CR25.
I`ve heard that using the grip extends life of batteries but having had experience with the lithium camera batteries in the past(Canon Eos 1n) i can`t see how the AA`s can improve the amount of film per set over the standard battery.

Thanks in advance

Has anyone any experience with using the vacuum 220 back please.

Hi Dave,

I have two magazines, one with the standard holder and another with the vacuum holder. After bad experiences with 120 film I use type 220 whenever I can. In my experience I can't tell you whether there is a visible difference between using type 220 with the standard back or the vacuum back, but there can be a tremendous difference in quality using 120 or 220 !


Thanks for coming back. Would you care to enlarge on the problem you had with 120?

I did wonder just how much the vacuum back would make any difference. When you say you can`t detect any difference in the image when viewed, is that on the light table or scanned or enlarged?

Thanks again

Hi Dave,

ok, I'll do my very best: The problem I've had with 120 was whenever the film was resting for more than a few days in the film back (I'm no professional photographer, I'm shooting for me and for fun ... ;-)) ). Now when you take two shots in short one after the other its possible (!) that you see a degradation in brilliance and contrast in the center of the upper third of the picture on the _second_ frame. Because this piece of film was wounded up in the opposite direction against the natural curl of the film for the whole time. Therefore the flatness of the film inside the back is really bad. I've seen this on pictures taken with 4/350 and 2.8/45.
Now I'm using 220 and the vacuum back whenever possible. When I say I can't see a difference (with a magnifier on the light table) I have to say I haven't done any deeper examination of the problem standard film back versus vacuum film back with 220. The combination 220 and vacuum back is the best for sure.


There is an article from Zeiss of 1979 (!) on this site about this filmflatness problem in 35mm and medium format cameras. It is proven that only afer a couple of minutes already, the film is not in the ideal position anymore and results in sometimes significant differences of image quality. That's why they introduced the vacuum system already with th RTS III.

Look in the Forum in the Topic "Overview..." then click on Zeiss articles. Or click on this link: http://www.contaxinfo2.com/HTML_Seiten/T_system.htm

Dear Dave,

Your battery concerns are the subject of a thread in the "Review 645" forum--you might want to take a look at the last 3 entries or so there regarding battery usage.

As for the 220 vacuum inserts, I have two. I also have two regular inserts that I use with 120 film. Theoretically, 120 film has a stiff paper backing that makes film flatness less of a problem. 220, with no backing, needs "extra" help for flatness. I never use 220 in the regular inserts.

Really, I don't know how much impact (in real-world terms) the vacuum insert makes because I always use them. All I can say is that the images have uniform sharpness falloff from center to edge and no "soft spots" or other irregularities when using the 220. To me, every edge for quality is important so I went with the vacuum inserts. By the way, I mostly shoot transparancies and use a light box with 6x and 10x schneider loupes--by far the best way to evaluate critical sharpness because scanning/projecting/enlarging introduce many additional elements of optical degradation.

I have not experienced any problems with 120 film. I use a variety of Kodak, Fuji and Ilford films in 120 format and, sometimes, the film is left in the camera back for days or even a couple of weeks. I have two backs, one for regular color transparencies and one for specialty films such as B&W or high-speed film. Because I shoot fewer images on the specialty films, they are in the back longer before the roll is finished.

I can only suggest that people check the "regular" insert to make sure the pressure plate is properly oriented to the "120" position. Otherwise, maybe try a new insert.

Good Shooting!

Guy Harrison
Regarding the battery consumption problem, someone suggested an alternative for the camera which is a 2CR5 rechargable from a brand called "Quest" and I have found its web site:


It seems it offers a very basic solution without adding size, weight, cord etc. to the camera. Has anyone tried this rechargable 2CR5 on the Contax 645 yet ? How many 120 rolls can be shot ? Any advice will be very useful for the potential Contax 645 (as well as the rechargable) buyer like me. Thanks.