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Thread: Pentax countdown..........

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Leica is a failing grade right now for Pro work 2 lenses and no profile and a promise it will come.
    I don't want to argue with anything else you said, but the 35/2.5 is now ready, and the test reports are already starting to come back. It is a winner, but for that price I guess that was a given. 3 lenses still don't make a system, but at least there is one flag in each corner now.
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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    WHERE. It is not shipping until April from what Leica said to me. Carsten this is maybe 3 years since the birth of this system. Announced almost 2 years ago at Photokinia and was being made for about a year before announced. That is a long time, now given it does take time to build a system no doubt it just seems a long time since it came to market and when this 3rd lens hits the streets and no CS on any of them. The question remains how long before one jumps in. Obviously we all have a different time table for that but trying to get Pro's to jump it is going to be tough at this pace. More my point is it is just taking a long time to get this system fully in the market.
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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    While we're on the subject of lenses....

    Does anyone here have recommendations for which lenses are the standout performers (besides the 35mm, which by all accounts is excellent) and which should be avoided? Either the older manual focus or later autofocus lenses.

    If the Pentax 645D camera performs well....then the obvious question is yeah, but how good are the optics?

    I've always been happy with my Pentax 67 lenses, but I don't really know much about the Pentax 645 lineup. I'm guessing that prices for used ones will trend upwards now.

    You know me....always thinking about the next camera system to add to my collection.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    WHERE. It is not shipping until April from what Leica said to me. Carsten this is maybe 3 years since the birth of this system. Announced almost 2 years ago at Photokinia and was being made for about a year before announced. That is a long time, now given it does take time to build a system no doubt it just seems a long time since it came to market and when this 3rd lens hits the streets and no CS on any of them. The question remains how long before one jumps in. Obviously we all have a different time table for that but trying to get Pro's to jump it is going to be tough at this pace. More my point is it is just taking a long time to get this system fully in the market.
    Actually, I'm a bit worried in general about Leica ... nothing much is coming from them. Dealers are screaming for M9s due to huge back orders, many of which that have lens sales riding on camera delivery.

    -Marc

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    WHERE. It is not shipping until April from what Leica said to me. Carsten this is maybe 3 years since the birth of this system. Announced almost 2 years ago at Photokinia and was being made for about a year before announced. That is a long time, now given it does take time to build a system no doubt it just seems a long time since it came to market and when this 3rd lens hits the streets and no CS on any of them. The question remains how long before one jumps in. Obviously we all have a different time table for that but trying to get Pro's to jump it is going to be tough at this pace. More my point is it is just taking a long time to get this system fully in the market.
    Guy,

    Pentax has been working on the 645D since 2004. There were prototypes in 2006, again in 2008, etc. And so far they've announced one new lens along with a body ... and all the older A and FA series ones seem to be out of production.

    Leica's got more going with the S2 body and two lenses than Pentax does, other than that Pentax has a number of legacy users who are beside themselves wanting this body to use their old lenses on.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    ... and all the older A and FA series ones seem to be out of production.
    This is not correct - the FA series is still in production. The 645NII camera is still available new from its final production run as well. They're just not imported to the US any more.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    This is not correct - the FA series is still in production. The 645NII camera is still available new from its final production run as well. They're just not imported to the US any more.
    Oren,

    That's really good to hear (I know you mentioned that in a earlier post above). Now I'm just wondering which of those FA (and the earlier A) lenses might be worth buying now....before prices on used ones go up when the 645D arrives here in the USA.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    This is not correct - the FA series is still in production. The 645NII camera is still available new from its final production run as well. They're just not imported to the US any more.
    It's good to hear they're still available somewhere ... But not in the largest photographic equipment market in the world. :-\

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Well I presume we'll get the full lineup of lenses here when the camera is actually available in the US. I don't recall seeing a date for that yet. May 2010 in Japan....no date set for the US or Europe yet or did I miss it?

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by tetsrfun View Post
    Hmmmm...looks like a Windows only app.

    Steve
    RPP for mac will also show you your actual raw data, unlike nearly all of the mainstream converters.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    This is an interesting area of discussion in itself. In every sense Ben, myself and Guy are all Pro photographers, but each of us has different demands and pressures on our businesses. I would hazard a guess that Guy is the most diversified, and best poised to weather the economic crap we live with now. IMO, unquestioned quality at the personal level fuels Guys justifications of providing the best possible solutions for all clients ... with the quality curve being at the high end .... and ALL levels of clients receive.

    I have been heavily researching photographic business opportunities because everything I can find about the wedding business says it just isn't going to ever rebound to former levels even if the economy makes a full recovery. Every single guru I read said the same thing ... diversify and reinvent yourself or perish.

    What I see is that if you do not follow that path, you will be squeezed until the justifications for lesser quality start ringing true to your own ears. "Good Enough" is he watch word of a segment of photography so crowed with "Good Enough" that it begins to smack of "commodity" goods.

    In my personal opinion, I'd rather go under fighting my way upstream, rather than being washed over the cliff with the "Good Enough" crowd. At least I can hold my head up knowing I tried my best to deliver what I think is the best quality work (creatively and technically), and not what someone else thinks it is.

    Which, to bring this back on topic, were I a high-end DSLR user I'd seriously consider skipping the next round of bells and whistles, 80% of which I'd never use, and look to up my "Technical Game" with a camera like this.

    -Marc
    Of course it all depends on where your definition of 'good enough' lies. Also 'good enough' compared to what?

    No the cameras being used to shoot weddings around the world are only 'good enough' compared to 4X5. Compared to the P65+. I would say however that it's an utterly irrelevant comparison as wedding photography and its market (in general) does not and never has demanded that kind of level of quality. Not close to it.

    We are in this game for economic reasons. We are trying to put food on the table with our businesses. As such equipment consideration must be an economically justifiable decision.

    Personally I'll sink my money and energy into upping my lighting game and technique. This has all got a bit silly IMO..

    I used to get upset when the wedding industry changed to 'good enough' for photography. I believe however that the tale of 'good enough' has not been relevant to megapixel count for a while now. Years. I just think that in my business, 'good enough' was passed a long time ago and we are living in the age of 'more than plenty' vis a vis IQ. The game now is to stay above the hungry pack and the line of battle is content, content, content - not the IQ of the camera.

    I've been shooting weddings for 7 years. Not including event and portrait work. I'm now in the top tier of pricing for my market in the entire UK outside of London. I've never, over hundreds of weddings, ever had a complaint about IQ or even a mention about it. I've had complaints about colour (on a third set of reprints for a wedding shot in the summer where the client is demanding catalogue accurate colour on the dresses and hair while I'm still desperately trying to tone down the orange makeup) but never contrast, 3D, sharpness or detail. I've lost jobs because of style or lighting. Never because of megapixels or because I used a CMOS sensor. The top guy in my market in the UK shot weddings for years with a 10D and then a 20D. Said his clients couldn't tell the difference between his 10D and his hasselblad so why should he bother. He makes 5 times what I do with about 3 times the amount of bookings. Because he is the best at what he does. Visually. More to the point, he knows what equipment he needs to surpass client expectations and as a good business man doesn't see the need to provide more for no gain.
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 15th March 2010 at 01:26.
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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    50k shutter? hmm. Seems low for a pro cam. Must not be a pro cam...

    Looks like a marketer-designed camera to me...take features a mid-range DSLR has and put them into a medium format cam (which it isn't quite as it's not full frame 645). SD cards, 11 point AF, etc.

    Interesting but will pros buy this combination? Will high-end amateurs buy it?
    For the price...yes.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........


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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Watched the videos and it seems a really well designed and solid camera. Very promising indeed! The current exchange rate would mean I could buy one here in NZ for less than the price of a new D3x... Makes you think!

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Of course it all depends on where your definition of 'good enough' lies. Also 'good enough' compared to what?

    No the cameras being used to shoot weddings around the world are only 'good enough' compared to 4X5. Compared to the P65+. I would say however that it's an utterly irrelevant comparison as wedding photography and its market (in general) does not and never has demanded that kind of level of quality. Not close to it.

    We are in this game for economic reasons. We are trying to put food on the table with our businesses. As such equipment consideration must be an economically justifiable decision.

    Personally I'll sink my money and energy into upping my lighting game and technique. This has all got a bit silly IMO..

    I used to get upset when the wedding industry changed to 'good enough' for photography. I believe however that the tale of 'good enough' has not been relevant to megapixel count for a while now. Years. I just think that in my business, 'good enough' was passed a long time ago and we are living in the age of 'more than plenty' vis a vis IQ. The game now is to stay above the hungry pack and the line of battle is content, content, content - not the IQ of the camera.

    I've been shooting weddings for 7 years. Not including event and portrait work. I'm now in the top tier of pricing for my market in the entire UK outside of London. I've never, over hundreds of weddings, ever had a complaint about IQ or even a mention about it. I've had complaints about colour (on a third set of reprints for a wedding shot in the summer where the client is demanding catalogue accurate colour on the dresses and hair while I'm still desperately trying to tone down the orange makeup) but never contrast, 3D, sharpness or detail. I've lost jobs because of style or lighting. Never because of megapixels or because I used a CMOS sensor. The top guy in my market in the UK shot weddings for years with a 10D and then a 20D. Said his clients couldn't tell the difference between his 10D and his hasselblad so why should he bother. He makes 5 times what I do with about 3 times the amount of bookings. Because he is the best at what he does. Visually. More to the point, he knows what equipment he needs to surpass client expectations and as a good business man doesn't see the need to provide more for no gain.
    I don't think that is the narrow context of this "good enough" discussion, and is specifically related to a $9,400. MFD camera Ben ... not a 4X5 or P65+. This Pentax is not much more money than a 1DsMKIII or D3X which a lot of wedding shooters use. Not a majority, but a lot more than you might think. I do believe that many shooters that moved to the higher meg 35mm Pro DSLRs did so because of their style of photography, or to distance themselves from the masses now using ProSumer cams and hanging out a shingle as a "Pro" Wedding photographer.

    I'd also speculate that clients may never comment on IQ unless presented with better than they are used to seeing. I have had clients comment on how clear the photos are on a 30" cinema display ... and it's quite often MFD shots that solicit those responses. They don't care what was used, it's the results that count. One of my former assistants now shows his work on a giant screen, and sells a huge amount of prints compared to before doing that presentation technique. People don't buy what they can't see.

    Now, whether one can turn all that into more business and profit is another subject. That has a lot to do with the diversification I mentioned. I firmly believe that wedding photography will become more and more of a difficult way to put bread on the table, and other avenues must take up the slack.

    In the end, I could be satisfied with a certain level of IQ for 90% of my work ... the fly in the ointment is having tasted the higher IQ ... from then on, the rest loses its appeal as you strive for your personal best.

    Agree with the lighting priority BTW. For wedding work I find this subject the most difficult equipment area of them all. Where the camera lens subject is more cut and dry, portable lighting is the bane of my existence for weddings. Clients are so darned impatient, and are expecting/demanding more and more different shots while paying less and less. Weight, convenience, battery power, speed of set-up, ability to schlep it all over the place, etc. just makes it a nightmare.

    -Marc

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    But not in the largest photographic equipment market in the world. :-\
    And neither is the camera, yet. Part of the hangup for them surely must be figuring out whether sales of the camera here, even if it's wildly successful for a model at that price point, will be enough to justify the overhead involved in bringing back the lenses as well and setting up to service the thing here.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    And neither is the camera, yet. Part of the hangup for them surely must be figuring out whether sales of the camera here, even if it's wildly successful for a model at that price point, will be enough to justify the overhead involved in bringing back the lenses as well and setting up to service the thing here.
    Hopefully they can figure it out.

    Ricoh backed out of the US Market but the high end GRD + a few others cameras were available by a couple of dealers (PopFlash and Adorama). If you had problems those few dealers dealt with it and got it back to Ricoh (I never needed to use the service).

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I firmly believe that wedding photography will become more and more of a difficult way to put bread on the table, and other avenues must take up the slack.

    -Marc
    Interesting observation, at least you are aware of the trend. Wedding Photography in the UK is a 'race to the bottom' at the moment.

    Strange thing is that a lot of Pros are oblivious to where its going and seem to believe that things will pick up soon, not going to happen.

    Our wedding enquiries are way up but getting a contract signed is ten times as hard as it was a couple of years ago. My studio has operated in the 'mid-upper end' of the wedding market for about 10 years, its dog eat dog now. Its also not helped by the number of other photographers 'diversifying' into the wedding market, while it was always cooler to say you shot fashion and editorial now most of the competition are happy to pay the mortgage and chase weddings.

    The interesting thing is that now the commercial shooters around me get to see how easy an advertising exec. is to please compared to a bride on her wedding day Its a stressful and exhausting way to make a living.

    I dont think MFD has much of a role to play in modern wedding photography.
    Last edited by Aaron; 15th March 2010 at 06:12.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Re Lens availability

    I have been trying to search on the Japanese Yodobashi camera shop to work out which lens are available for the Pentax.

    This link shows the Pentax stock at the shop. Camera and new digital lens is under reservation.
    http://www.yodobashi.com/ec/category...krs=0000035700

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    Interesting observation, at least you are aware of the trend. Wedding Photography in the UK is a 'race to the bottom' at the moment.

    Strange thing is that a lot of Pros are oblivious to where its going and seem to believe that things will pick up soon, not going to happen.

    Our wedding enquiries are way up but getting a contract signed is ten times as hard as it was a couple of years ago. My studio has operated in the 'mid-upper end' of the wedding market for about 10 years, its dog eat dog now. Its also not helped by the number of other photographers 'diversifying' into the wedding market, while it was always cooler to say you shot fashion and editorial now most of the competition are happy to pay the mortgage and chase weddings.

    The interesting thing is that now the commercial shooters around me get to see how easy an advertising exec. is to please compared to a bride on her wedding day Its a stressful and exhausting way to make a living.

    I dont think MFD has much of a role to play in modern wedding photography.
    I'm lucky in that my market, Orthodox Jewish Weddings, follow a specific formal/documentary style and are actually quite difficult to shoot if you have no experience of them and their associated customs and ceremonies. The Chassidic weddings for example can differ greatly not only from regular Orthodox weddings but even depending on which Chassidic 'sect' or 'clan' is involved. It does narrow the competition down to pretty much only Orthodox or traditionally Jewish photographers who know the intricate ins and outs of the weddings involved. That said the competition in my neck of the woods has become much more fierce from just 3 shooters seven years ago to now 7 in a relatively small market. I know that for my market the answer is not MF. Heck I'll be the only shooter with a 21 megapixel camera (when it arrives tomorrow). It's lighting, capturing moments, style, personality, client interaction and of course the always annoying price. I'm not willing to even think of bargaining on the latter. Although, as with every niche market, when the prices are high the clientele are fewer, decending to the lower price points is just not an option. Don't need to revert to the rat race where the opposition is fierce nor do I want to turn back the clock on years of making it to my current price point.
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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Thanks for this link & info Neil. Looks like a very good lineup of lenses.

    I'm really getting excited about this camera.....sure hope it comes to the USA in 2010.

    Gary

    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    Re Lens availability

    I have been trying to search on the Japanese Yodobashi camera shop to work out which lens are available for the Pentax.

    This link shows the Pentax stock at the shop. Camera and new digital lens is under reservation.
    http://www.yodobashi.com/ec/category...krs=0000035700

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    I'm still surprised that we don't have any full-res images posted online. I hope they are not having problems with image quality.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    From Michael Reichmann's "What's New" today:

    "Interested in the new Pentax 645D? This fascinating new cameras was shown in production form last week at the CP-Plus show in Yokohama, Japan, and our intrepid reporter Bernard LANGUILLIER was there. We'll have his observations as well as an exclusive interview about the camera with Pentax's Product Planning executive here tomorrow – and yes, the 645D will be eventually available outside of Japan."

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    From Michael Reichmann's "What's New" today:

    and yes, the 645D will be eventually available outside of Japan."
    Hey Guy. Does this mean no more workshop in Japan?

    I could see a stop at the Yodabashi Camera Store...it's about six floors + stacked full of goodies. If anything qualifies as the red light district of camera porn, this is it.


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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Ok, I'm ready for it.....four Pentax 645 lenses (35, 55, 75, 150) and a backup 645NII body are on the way to Alaska. With that and my full complement of ten Pentax 67 lenses (and a P67 to P645 lens adapter) I should be set. Can't wait to get my hands on a 645D.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    RPP for mac will also show you your actual raw data, unlike nearly all of the mainstream converters.
    What does "actual raw data" look like, other than a big bunch of ones and zeros in a 2D array? LOL

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    I also sigh a 645D. If 645NII is delicious, the 645D is not just a digital version has too many improvements. Quiet and fast shutter, better flash system sync, better measurement, better autofocus ...

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Ok, I'm ready for it.....four Pentax 645 lenses (35, 55, 75, 150) and a backup 645NII body are on the way to Alaska. With that and my full complement of ten Pentax 67 lenses (and a P67 to P645 lens adapter) I should be set. Can't wait to get my hands on a 645D.

    Gary
    Oh wow!!! I hope the "estimated" ship date to the states will work in your favor. Or maybe a trip to Japan?

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    You can get them from Dirk @ Japan Exposures

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by roanjoh View Post
    Oh wow!!! I hope the "estimated" ship date to the states will work in your favor. Or maybe a trip to Japan?
    If it doesn't arrive here in the US until 2011, that would work better for me. I'll need that time to save up the big $$ and work on getting the wife's ok.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........


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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Just read the whole thing......... the interview sounds reassuring. I have a gut feeling that this camera will be wildly popular once they are available to the market.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    From that interview, I think Pentax did a good job of identifying a target market and meeting their needs (weather proofing, DSLR like handling and features, legacy Pentax 645/67 users). I for one am a happy Pentax owner and look forward to the day when the 645D is available in the US.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    I'm with you guys. It looks to be a real winner and to the system for me - one that won't bankrupt me but give me the end quality I need, plus more. Look forward to this being confirmed with images samples and user reports in the near future.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    If the 645D performs on par IQ wise with something like the Hasselblad CFV-39 ($13,995 list) and it sells in the USA for under $10,000 then I think Pentax will have a very competitive product in the highend DSLR and MF digital marketplace.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    What a frustrating process. I want to know full details as much as anyone. But it's not even slated to ship until May (assuming it's one of the few MFD products to ship exactly on time) and then only in Japan for some undetermined time.

    Unreleased systems always have such unanswered questions, so it's not a negative comment on Pentax or anything.

    Just one that came up in that interview:
    - the body sounds like it's very very weather sealed and should do well in extreme environment. But as the LL experience in Antartica shows some systems claim a high level of weather sealing but do not hold up well in extreme environments. Companies like Phase have a proven history holding up extremely well in bad environments even thought they don't claim much at all when it comes to weather sealing. So the first question is how will the real world results come out. The second question is what lenses will have weather sealing built in at the mount? I don't know the Pentax lens line (can anyone fill us in here) - if they aren't weather sealed at the bayonet then using the camera in rain is a bad idea period. With Canon for instance the L series lenses are weather sealed but the consumer grade and older professional lenses are not. Still a nice thing that they have recognized a demand for it and I look forward to seeing how it holds up in the real world.

    Also from that interview I find it really annoying to use "first sensor anti-dust vibration in medium format" as a selling point. I would much much rather have a sensor that is wicked easy to clean because it's completely and easily accessible than a sensor which is inside a mirror box and requires dedicated cleaning solutions (like the very good Artic Butterfly solution) any day. Not even a hard choice. The fact that they have included anti-dust vibration is great because if you can't access the sensor you need that technology to stay sane. But no dust-shaker I've seen on the market in any camera is 100% effective at removing dust, and can do next to nothing if, god forbid, something other than light dust works it's way onto your sensor (e.g. mist depositing something there while changing lenses) and you'll be stuck using the Artic Butterfly like a spelunker rather than a quick wipe with a Digiclean of an exposed medium format sensor. Of course I'm very biased in that all the medium format products my company sells are separate body/back combos rather than a ZD-Camera or Pentax 645D all-in-one SLR like solution.

    Also for landscapers the idea that you can't use the sensor on a technical camera is disappointing. Of course for the very low entry price it's not a deal breaker, but since there is no upgrade path other than strait-selling your equipment used and since there is no track record on what the market will value a used Pentax 645D at it will be a hard investment for landscape photographers who think they might eventually transition to a technical camera or view camera. MANY of the photographers who have purchased Phase backs in the last two years for the purpose of landscape have later upgraded to a technical camera with large format Schneider/Rodenstock lenses, and for them they could keep 100% of their initial investment and simply add a tech body and lens.

    Surely someone else cringed when they read "we already have 15 concrete orders at one retail location". Buying a system that not only you have used, but that no one has used is scary to me. Very very scary. Trust me I am all about loving and getting excited about gear - just - ya know - wait until you can put it in your hands (or in the very least until someone you trust has put it in theirs) before you put actual money on it.

    Another question that comes up is how they are getting a base ISO 200 out of the same sensor technology that Hassy is only rating at 100. And how does their ISO of 1000 compare to the H4D's higher ISOs? One big caveat here of course is that the H4D-40 is shipping - a very big caveat in medium format known for delays/cancelations/spec-changes or vaporware.

    Surely as Pentax comes closer to actually shipping the announced system we will get more details, and especially some raw files to play with. That will answer a lot of the questions.

    As I conclude all the above writing it comes off more negative than I mean it to be. I guess probably because the question marks are all in potentially negative categories. The HUGE positive (and it is huge) is not in question: low price. So the questions that I bring up above are many and likely won't be answered until there is a shipping system, but the really big plus is written right with the announcement (though what US price would be is still in the air along with when "sometime" will be in regard to US availability). As far as announcements go it is very exciting - a lot of details need to be filled in and real world vs. announcement needs to be seen, but it is a very exciting announcement.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    To be completely honest Doug, it sounds like you are trying to run damage control more than anything else. It also seems like this camera is filling a bit of a niche that other medium format makers did not want filled.
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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Hi Doug,

    All good points. Of course, I see this camera thru the eyes of my own particular needs as perhaps a serious but amateur photographer. My own view is that Pentax will not be competing for the higher end Hasselblad or Phase One MFDB systems where a removable back may be desirable, if not for the photographer's needs now, then in the future. I do think there may be quite a few folks like myself who would consider something like the 645D instead of a high end Canon or Nikon. I think Pentax will have to develop more new lenses that meet their own stated goal of weather proofing, if the existing lenses don't meet that requirement. Lots of unanswered questions still.....but I'm hopeful the camera will fit the bill for many of us who aren't ready, willing or able to spend $15-$30k for a MFD camera. It's a great entry point for a medium format digital system.

    My earlier statment might have been misleading....I think they will be competitive with the high end DSLRs and LOW END medium format digital systems. After all, if a person didn't already own either Pentax 645/67 lenses or Hasselblad V-system lenses, it might be pretty tough to sell a person on a CFV-39 instead of a Pentax 645D....assuming the IQ are comparable when all is said and done.

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    Last edited by bensonga; 16th March 2010 at 17:58.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Doug, this is a digital Pentax 645, it's not a Hasselblad wannabe. The interview reinforces that. It's a direct successor to the Pentax 645 film cameras, and makes the same kinds of tradeoffs aimed at more or less the same market.

    When the original Pentax 645 was new, there were pundits who gave Pentax grief over the fact that it had only swappable inserts, not interchangeable backs like Mamiya and Bronica (and later Contax). But sales of the camera made clear that there was room for both approaches.

    The simpler construction certainly is part of what allows Pentax to target this very aggressive price point with the digital version.

    The weather-proofing doesn't have to be monsoon-grade to have value - all it needs to do is give the targeted buyer peace of mind that the camera will hold up decently well and not be very finicky in the intended use. I don't take my EOS-1v's out in a heavy rain either without wrapping them in something, regardless of what lens is mounted. But I'm confident that they won't die just from getting a few drops on them.

    I don't think the camera even needs to match image quality with the current MF players to be successful, though it might well achieve that. To hit the market niche targeted by Pentax, it just needs to be a distinct step up in IQ from the D3x and 1DsIII under conditions where low-ISO, tripod-mounted working is appropriate. That should be a slam dunk unless something has gone horribly wrong in development.
    Last edited by Oren Grad; 16th March 2010 at 18:10.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    I don't think the camera even needs to match image quality with the current MF players to be successful, though it might well achieve that. To hit the market niche targeted by Pentax, it just needs to be a distinct step up in IQ from the D3x and 1DsIII under conditions where low-ISO, tripod-mounted working is appropriate. That should be a slam dunk unless something has gone horribly wrong in development.

    Exactly how I would be using it. For everyday shooting I am perfectly happy with my m4/3 gear. Essentially this would be my tech camera.....just an automated one.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    To be completely honest Doug, it sounds like you are trying to run damage control more than anything else. It also seems like this camera is filling a bit of a niche that other medium format makers did not want filled.
    Yeah it does sound like that. I wish you and I knew each other better so you could understand my simultaneous excitement about this camera and trepidation about expectations being so high before any real world usage is out there. I've seen friends and customers hurt by their unfulfilled expectations of (fill in the blank here: ZD, mamiya 45-90, hy6, wireless tethering for phase, h3d-60 available April 2009, etc etc).

    Even this specific camera has been announced in various incarnations for several years.

    This could not only be good; it could be great. I just want to see it before I believe it because I've lived through some very exciting announcements that went nowhere fast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    The weather-proofing doesn't have to be monsoon-grade to have value - all it needs to do is give the targeted buyer peace of mind that the camera will hold up decently well and not be very finicky in the intended use. I don't take my EOS-1v's out in a heavy rain either without wrapping them in something, regardless of what lens is mounted. But I'm confident that they won't die just from getting a few drops on them.
    Absolutely right. Like I said the weather sealing is one of the most exciting parts of the announcement (along with the price). I would still want to see the equivalent of the Antartica hell-test (assuming that was a feature I was interested in) before I placed too much weight on it. But for sure it's a very exciting part of the announcement.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    The 645D got me curious about what else might be out there that I have overlooked (not having been in the market for a MFD system since I bought a 503CWD).....so I just had a look at the Mamiya/Leaf systems available at B&H Photo. Certainly the Mamiya DM22 with an 80mm lens for $9,995 is a very attractively priced option! Unfortunately, the new DM40 is priced quite a bit higher. But again, removable back vs integrated body etc....lots of differences between these and the 645D to consider.

    All in all...I think 2010 and beyond could be a good time for prospective buyers of MFD cameras!

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Some time ago I predicted that the fun would be watching the reaction of the established MFD players. It seems - for once - that I wasn't wrong

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    for landscapers the idea that you can't use the sensor on a technical camera is disappointing.
    it's simply a different concept. Literally all cameras have non removable sensors - just DBs are removable. So there's nothing special with the Pentax 645D. The upside is they can build the camera within the tolerances needed with those high rez sensors. How does Phase One handle the tolerances? Why do I have to shim the screens of my Contax' to match the focus plane of the sensor? Why do I have to adjust my large format lenses to match the focus plane of the sensor? Why I have been shipped a P45 with a tilted, swinged an rotated sonsor first? Why I have been shipped 3 (new!) P21+ just to get one that works flawlessly (and that, btw, already needs recalibration again! And so my P45 does!). Is there any quality control at Phase One? Why did J. Holmes write an extensive report on "medium format precission"? Why can't I check focus reliably (and be it based on an in-camera JPG) on the LCD of a Phase One back? Why is a refurbished black metal box without any camera at all so much pricier than the 645D? Is it so much better and so much more accurate that the price is justified in any way?
    I don't care what I've payed once for my DBs. I've decided to pay and I don't think back about that. However the 645D raises some serious questions when it comes to the prices of MFD.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    The HUGE positive (and it is huge) is not in question: low price.

    [/font]
    Yes the price is good, not amazingly good, more relatively good. Probably the price is where MFD should have been to start with, there would still be a healthy number of people using the medium if that was the case.

    But the price is only one factor here. If it cost the same as a H3D40 or Phamiya P40 it would still have my attention, the build quality and specification look to be top of the game to me.

    If i were the competition i would be reacting fast to this, and reacting by offering discounted old technology like the H3d31/P30s etc.. is not going to cut it, too late for that.

    All that remains is to see the results.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron View Post
    If i were the competition i would be reacting fast to this, and reacting by offering discounted old technology like the H3d31/P30s etc.. is not going to cut it, too late for that.
    No doubt that is exactly what they will do or and it sounds rather plausable given their stick head in the sand philosophy, they will do nothing until it's released for worldwide use then wring their hands and start going bust.

    Lets face it, the phase or 'blad or even Leica camera bodies are a joke compared to this one. If a Phase body and P31 was offered at the same price or even a bit less, I'd laugh all the way to the Pentax stand.
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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    Make no mistake, unless it turns out to be a dog, which is highly unlikely, this Pentax is a game changer.

    The 1.3 crop sensor is no good for my own applications, but for many out there the mere thought of a 40MP MFD camera for roughly a third of the price of the competition will have them drooling.

    All those folk who have been seriously thinking of going the MFD route but have baulked at MFD prices will now sit on their wallets until the Pentax is released worldwide and then the fun will begin to see if they can actually make enough of them to meet demand.

    Good on Pentax!

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    I think one of things we have to remember here is that the 645D shares a lot of commonality with the Pentax K-7 (as evident from the interview), which is a fairly mature and proven camera on the field - and also offers more functionality than the current MFD in the market. With this in mind, I'm sure the handling of the 645D will almost mirror a DSLR. This is not a bad thing.

    As far as image quality is concerned, this is a Kodak CCD sensor - also a proven manufacturer and is used by many professionals (and in many MFD backs that currently cost 2x or more than the Pentax). Another score for Pentax.

    The big question is how the camera outputs the files when viewed on a computer. If they can slightly surpass the high end C/N, even at base ISO - then they will have a winner for sure.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    It occurs to me that if this new Pentax sells well, and I think it will, then it might motivate Nikon and/or Canon to get in the MF game. I've always believed that this hasn't happened because the entire MF market is too small to warrant their participation. On the other hand, corporate "pride" may motivate them where potential sales haven't, i.e. "if Pentax can do it... we can do it better". I have fond memories of my "King of the Road" Dodge SRT-10 pickup truck... a financial loser on it's own but it sure brought a lot of folks into the dealership who bought something else.

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    Re: Pentax countdown..........

    I have serious doubt that C/N will get into the MF market. They might focus their R&D on mirrorless, smaller DSLR (aka - m4/3, Samsung NX10) as the majority of the market is heading towards that direction to compliment their current gears. Ideally for me, Canon/Nikon will introduce a direct competition to the M9 - a small, mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor :-)

    But then again, you never know...........Pentax pretty much jumped the ship on full-frame DSLR and went straight to MF territory.

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