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Thread: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    I just couldn't resist, so I took the plunge back into MFD, and so far my opinion is mixed about the 645D, On it's own as a body only, I can't find one think I don't like about it, sure you can't remove the back, but that's what I wanted something totally integrated and weather sealed.
    Now the part that I am not to sure about.
    Lenses, Lenses, Lenses, buying used or old 'new stock FA" lenses is a total crap shot. Sure there are some good deals out there but.. you never know what you are going to get.
    I started with all used of course:
    45mm FA = great in 2/3rds of the frame edges start to go fuzzy even at F16
    75mm FA = A little better then the 45mm but still something missing.
    120mm A = A is manual focus btw, not a bad lens, a keeper.
    200mm FA = Jury is still out on this one, need to do more testing.

    I looked at a 35mm FA, I thought looked like garbage, so I passed on that, this one was a new one old stock in the box for 1300.00.
    Acephoto was my dealer, I know not the greatest reputation, but they are listed on the pentax usa website as a 645D dealer and they had a few in stock. Actually the transaction went very smooth, and they did do some test shoots for me with the 35mm FA which I just mentioned about.

    So for now, I really not sure where I am at. I broke down one more time and am awaiting deliver of a 45-85mm FA lens, keeping my fingers crossed but not holding my breath.

    Now here are a few sample from the other day....
    Steven



    Steven Kornreich
    www.kuau.com

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    I had the Pentax A35mm f/3.5 645 lens for a while and found it to be a fine performer. The A45mm f/2.8 also seemed to be a better performer than the FA model that succeeded it.


    Leonard Iron & Metal - Virginia 2006
    Pentax 645 + A35/3.5
    Tri-X in XTOL, Av mode
    Scanned with Epson V700


    Never worked with either of them on a digital body, however.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Godfrey,
    great images,
    yet these lenses that performed well on the original 645's means nothing now in the digital world. This is what is so frustrating.

    -steven
    Steven Kornreich
    www.kuau.com

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Hi Steven,

    I've worked a little bit with the 645D and you hit the nail on the head so to speak. The lenses (quite a few of them) are the weak point of the system...specifically their interaction and performance on the 645D body. Not all of them but many don't perform up to the standards they did when shot on film. This not only includes some of the FA lenses but older legacy lenses, that did well on film 645, have the optical wekanesses you described on the 645D digital body. It's a crap shoot. Pentax had this issue with many of their incredible FA 35mm lenses used on film...some of the best in the industry and even in some cases outperformed Nikon's best, but since so few shot with both systems at the time (I did), few knew how exceptional and sometimes ahead of their time they were (both optically and construction. It was no wonder their 80-200 f2.8 was over $1900.00 when all Nikon had at the time was their excellent 2 touch 80-200 f2.8 at approx $900.00. When Pentax came out with their 35mm DSLR's (their first up to the present, ...many of those great legacy lenses lacked in optical performance (besides other well known issues). I had a long association with Pentax USA and even they quietly acknowledged this. I believe Pentax is aware of some of the issues using these legacy lenses with the 645D (including some of the FA's) and it will be some time before there are new releases. The same situation occured in resolving some of their similar 35mm DSLR issues with 35mm FA lenses, but designing digital specific lenses that really made a difference. In some ways the underlying platform is not too dissimilar for them (their 35mm DSLRs and the 645D).

    P.S....Steve, I just sent you an e-mail.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 12th January 2011 at 20:42.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Wish I had a 645D here to test some of my many 645 and 67 lenses on.

    Steve....what lens did you use for the images of the frozen waterfalls? Those look pretty good in the web sized display on my monitor....how do they look to you at full resolution?

    I agree (and I think I've said it before) that for the 645D to be a real success, Pentax has got to step up and produce some equally fine new lenses. Disappointing to hear that the new 55mm released with the 645D may not be up to snuff.

    I would really like to try some of my Pentax 67 lenses on a 645D someday.

    Gary

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Gary,

    I had heard through colleagues that there have been quite some serious QC issues with many samples of the new 55mm they recently released, unfortunately. The good samples are exceptionaly good..but it has been troubling for some. I've seen one and immediately saw what might have been a contributing factor to its poor performance. I'm sure in time if the 645D prooves to be successful, Pentax will sort much of this out.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Hi Dave. I hope Pentax sorts it out fairly quickly. In this day and age, folks don't have alot of patience.....especially after spending $10k for a camera. I wouldn't either. I had hoped that more than a few of the 645 or 67 legacy lenses would be useable (ie meet most folks needs) on the 645D....until Pentax came out with a complete new line of lenses optimized for the 645D. In this market, Pentax really can't afford to dilly dally.....not if they hope to move some high end prosumers or even pros from their Canons and Nikons. I really doubt that many Phase One or Hasselblad owners will be switching to Pentax (not to mention those in the market for a Leica S2).

    Now if we could only find a way to put Leica S2 lenses on a Pentax 645D body.....or maybe some of those fine Mamiya lenses. Heck, I've got an adapter to mount my Hasselbald V-series lenses on my 645NII....so I suppose almost anything is possible. :-)

    Gary

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Hi Gary,

    You're right. Pentax needs to get a move on this but to be honest, I think it will be slow going. If their response to their DSLR situation is any indicator, then its going to be quite some time...and remember, in the last 3-5 years, their DSLR was their bread and butter in general photography. They initially came out with the 645D to showcase their talents and to demonstate to those thinking of purchasing a Pentax DSLR, that Pentax has advanced developmental skills. Its like a company showing what they could do with their R&D and that there wil be a trickle down effect in regards to technology into to their regular DSLR and general product line. That was the initial reason for the eventual green light to put the 645D into production. Whether Tokina (the parent company now) finds it feasable to put more $$ into the system is hard to say...and if they do, how much.

    I recall when Pentax came out with their DSLR's..a few of us had some of the highest performing Pro Pentax glass imaginable...including their rarely produced 250-600 f5.6 ED lens (a behemoth) and 600 f4 and 300 f2.8 etc. Although they were superb on film, most of these mentioned were downright mediocre, if that, on their various their DSLR's. There were athough some of their high performance lenses that kept their great performance on the DSLr..but it was a case by case basis. Even some of their other excellent wider focal length lenses lacked the same performance characteristics on their DSLRs. I discussed this at length with Penatx USA on many occasions. The same thing, to some degree, appears to be happening with the 645D...although how universal with various lenses only time will tell. There are also some alignment issues talked about, but this is seperate from the lens performance characteristics on the 645D just described. I think regarding 67 lenses on the 645D..it will have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

    I think if anything, their primary customer for this camera may be the DLSR user stepping up..more so then users of current DMF systems. Thats a personal take on my part.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 12th January 2011 at 21:14.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    I think if anything, their primary customer for this camera may be the DLSR user stepping up..more so then users of current DMF systems. Thats a personal take on my part.
    Dave (D&A)
    And if that is the case, then having a line up of good lenses for the 645D is even more critical....since DSLR users are accustomed to a wide selection of lenses, even from the smaller makers such as Pentax and Olympus.

    I had thought that the initial customers for a 645D would be existing 645 or 67 users who could become "early adopters" by using their existing 645 and 67 lenses on the 645D....assuming of course, that these produced the kind of high quality images they are accustomed to achieving on 645/67 film. If I hadn't already bought a Hasselblad 503CWD/CFV16 setup, I would have been a likely buyer of the 645D, to use with my P67 lenses. Ever the optomist...I even went out and bought a nice used 645NII and a few 645 manual focus lenses, thinking that someday I might pick up a 645D. Well, I'm still hopeful that this will all pan out....but somewhat less so than I was a few months ago.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    On my 645D, I've now tested: FA35, FA75/2.8, FA120/4, FA150/2.8, FA200/4, FA300/5.6, A*600/5.6, FA45-85, and a P67 55/4 (latest model). I think all are superb. The weakest is perhaps the 45-85. (I purposefully avoided the FA45 and new 55 lenses.) A surprise was how amazingly sharp was the P67 55/4. (Still need to test is a late model P67 45mm.) All of the lenses have wonderful corner to corner sharpness and excellent contrast, especially by f5.6. Only the FA35 needed a focus adjustment.

    Over the past few years, I've shot with Leaf 65 on a Mamiya 645, Hy6 (fizzle...), Contax 645 with eMotion 75 and Phase 65+. The Pentax 645D has a superior body and sensor, with the sensor only bested in the above group by the Phase 65+ on an Alpa. Autofocus is as fast as I remember on the Mamiya (and more accurate), and faster and quieter than the Contax.

    I've carried the above systems on lengthy international trips and up to now, only the Alpa has been enjoyable to carry. (The Contax 35 and 210 lenses are monsters compared to the Pentax versions.)

    However, I look forward to a rather light pack with the 645D and the 35, 75, 150 and 300/5.6 lenses (the 300/5.6 version is around 700 gms; the 300/4 version, about 1400 gms). I've no concern about sacrificing quality as compared to the other systems (well, maybe I'd substitute the FA35 with the Alpa/P65+ and the 35 Rodenstock HR.)
    Last edited by rjones; 12th January 2011 at 22:25.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Interesting info! I tested two samples of the FA35 (taking into acc't any focus adj needed)..one was very good (not exceptional), the other was not good. Agree, the 45-85 was so-so and the findings regarding the new 55 mirrors yours (see my comments above). My experience and testing of the 645D was brief, but opinions have specifically varied (sometimes greatly) on which lenses performed well on the 645D and which haven't. I think it will take some time to get this sorted out, so there will be a more consistent consensus regarding specific lens performance, alignment and other sorted details.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 12th January 2011 at 22:51.

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by rjones View Post
    On my 645D, I've now tested: FA35, FA75/2.8, FA120/4, FA150/2.8, FA200/4, FA300/5.6, A*600/5.6, FA45-85, and a P67 55/4 (latest model). I think all are superb.
    It would be great if you could share some of your images with us here!

    Gary

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    (...)
    Steve....what lens did you use for the images of the frozen waterfalls? Those look pretty good in the web sized display on my monitor....how do they look to you at full resolution?
    (...)
    + 1
    the rendring of the frozen waterfall looks formidable, Steven

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Steven, the exif data says your 1st shot of the frozen waterfall was taken with the 75mm lens. Was #2 the 120mm and #3 the 200mm? Just a guess. Thanks!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 13th January 2011 at 01:07.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Wish I had a 645D here to test some of my many 645 and 67 lenses on.

    Steve....what lens did you use for the images of the frozen waterfalls? Those look pretty good in the web sized display on my monitor....how do they look to you at full resolution?

    I agree (and I think I've said it before) that for the 645D to be a real success, Pentax has got to step up and produce some equally fine new lenses. Disappointing to hear that the new 55mm released with the 645D may not be up to snuff.

    I would really like to try some of my Pentax 67 lenses on a 645D someday.

    Gary
    Gary, does anyone make a V adapter for the Pentax mount?

    CFE 40/IF would rock on this camera ... so would the 60, 100, 180 and 250SA ... then there are the fast F & FEs ... 110/2 ... yummy!

    If there isn't one, someone should make it quick

    -Marc

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Marc,

    Kipon makes a good adapter that I've used; available through eBay.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Gary,

    Here is one image with the FA 150/2.8 at f3.2 (ISO 200 and 1/125 s).

    Unfortunately, you cannot accurately judge the color. Something odd happens after I upload. I've tried output using different color spaces, but I cannot get any to upload that like what I have on my computer. What you see is as close as I can get but the skin tone is off. So what I see and print, is not coming across.
    Last edited by Cindy Flood; 13th January 2011 at 20:04.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    rjones...might you have any shots from the FA 35mm that you could post? Thats the one that seems to be all over the map, in terms of performance (and sounds like you got a good one). I believe a new FA 28mm (which I eroniously thought previously might be a 24mm) is due to be released sometime in 2011. Thanks!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Wow I just woke up to a firestorm.
    Dave, the first image was take with the 75mm fa, images two and three were both taken with 120mm "a" manual focus, that's why there is no exif info on those images, only fa lens show up in exif.

    Rjones, sounds like you tested a lot of the fa lens, my question thoughts try testing them for landscape work, shooting on a tripod, mlu f11 or so and infinity or close to infinity focus and then tell me about how the corners look. The image you posted was shot almost wide open portrait so the edges don't matter, the only way to post images so they display correctly on this site is to use the(img) http link to your img (/img) I found the same problem you did using attach image does something to the color.
    Check with Jack he can explain better.

    What scares me about adaptors is then I'm stuck with Mf the 645d does not offer a split prism focusing screen so to me focusing would very difficult.

    I checked my fa lenses yesterday with my lens align pro to check for front / back focus and they were all very close, so I know my af is working well

    I just find this whole thing interesting when pentax finally released the 645d last year in japan, they were marketing the camera as a good choice for landscape shooters.
    I wonder what lenses they were using? Diglloyd I think tested 2 or 3 copies of the 55mm swd, and although the close up shots looked really good he told me he thought it was not a good performer when shot at infinity, soft corners.

    Now what?

    Even if I and the money for the S2, I really didn't want another 3:2 camera I already have an M9 and a d3s.

    Steven
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Pentax has said that not all of the lenses will be optimal (up to snuff) on the 645D. I believe the 80-160 is supposed to be a good performer. Have you also watched the video on Luminous Landscape where they had a Pentax rep? Have you spoken to anyone from Pentax on lenses?

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Wow I just woke up to a firestorm.
    Dave, the first image was take with the 75mm fa, images two and three were both taken with 120mm "a" manual focus, that's why there is no exif info on those images, only fa lens show up in exif.

    Rjones, sounds like you tested a lot of the fa lens, my question thoughts try testing them for landscape work, shooting on a tripod, mlu f11 or so and infinity or close to infinity focus and then tell me about how the corners look. The image you posted was shot almost wide open portrait so the edges don't matter, the only way to post images so they display correctly on this site is to use the(img) http link to your img (/img) I found the same problem you did using attach image does something to the color.
    Check with Jack he can explain better.

    What scares me about adaptors is then I'm stuck with Mf the 645d does not offer a split prism focusing screen so to me focusing would very difficult.

    I checked my fa lenses yesterday with my lens align pro to check for front / back focus and they were all very close, so I know my af is working well

    I just find this whole thing interesting when pentax finally released the 645d last year in japan, they were marketing the camera as a good choice for landscape shooters.
    I wonder what lenses they were using? Diglloyd I think tested 2 or 3 copies of the 55mm swd, and although the close up shots looked really good he told me he thought it was not a good performer when shot at infinity, soft corners.

    Now what?

    Even if I and the money for the S2, I really didn't want another 3:2 camera I already have an M9 and a d3s.

    Steven
    Hi Steven

    My posted thoughts regarding performance of the legacy lenses both MF and older FA ones) was based on landscape use..ie: at or near infinity setting, 645D on a tripod, mirror lock-up on some of the shots and at different apertures...and examining across the frame.

    Pentax was marketing the camera as a landscape camera, initially from the standpoint of it being weatherproofed..not specifically on the performance of existing lenses for landscape work.

    That new 55mm along with the FA35mm has been hard to get a handle on regarding performance with the 645D.
    I had been following Diglloyd initially in his testing of the 645D but not where he's at presently.

    "Addition"---> Steve, I realize only the FA lenses will pass along the exif data Thanks for the info on images #2 &3.

    Steven, not sure if you saw the e-mail I sent you last night?

    Thanks.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Terry,
    Yep spoke to the two so called 645d tech guys at pentax usa and they said its hit or miss with all the fa lens some copies work well and some don't of the same lens. Really no differrent then nikon or canon but the problem is since all these lens are no longer being made, its not like I can call b&h and order a lens and if I know it to be a good performer and the copy they send me is bad I can send it back for another one.

    Since I am living in park city utah now, it's been very cold here in the teens and below
    Those waterfall shots I posted it was 9 degrees out. Yeah would love a tech camera with a sliding back, i don't know if phase or leaf backs will even work in those conditions and when it's that cold forget about taking off your gloves. I was freezing yet... The 645d performed flawlessly. I had it out another day and my car temp said -2 and still 645d worked no problem. Oh well nothing is perfect, well maybe my M9 :-) what a great system for landscape IMHO for prints up to 16x24 and you don't mind 3:2 format

    Steven
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Terry,
    Yep spoke to the two so called 645d tech guys at pentax usa and they said its hit or miss with all the fa lens some copies work well and some don't of the same lens. Really no differrent then nikon or canon but the problem is since all these lens are no longer being made, its not like I can call b&h and order a lens and if I know it to be a good performer and the copy they send me is bad I can send it back for another one.

    Since I am living in park city utah now, it's been very cold here in the teens and below
    Those waterfall shots I posted it was 9 degrees out. Yeah would love a tech camera with a sliding back, i don't know if phase or leaf backs will even work in those conditions and when it's that cold forget about taking off your gloves. I was freezing yet... The 645d performed flawlessly. I had it out another day and my car temp said -2 and still 645d worked no problem. Oh well nothing is perfect, well maybe my M9 :-) what a great system for landscape IMHO for prints up to 16x24 and you don't mind 3:2 format

    Steven
    Steven...as I said in my post above..."It's a crap shoot" at this point when it comes to 645 lenses and the 645D..at least for certain applications. Not only specific model of lenses but individual samples. This was even so with Pentax lenses on their 35mm DSLR's...Most all the AF ones and a great many MF of them included. Nikon has the best consistanty in the world with their high speced lenses, if compared to Pentax, at least in this regard. Thats not taking anything away with the potential of the system..just that lenses can make or break a system like this and so unfortunately I believe it will take some time to sort this all out, especially for certain applications.

    As for the M9 and certain prints up to 16x24...completely agree and depending on subject matter (not generally landscapes), even larger. I'm as picky as they come when it comes to large format printing and have to give credit wheres credit is due...the M9 system can really sing in this regard. For the 645D to reach its potential, the lens issues obviously have to be addressed.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 13th January 2011 at 08:42.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Dave I agree with you 100%
    A total crap shoot.
    Steven
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    I make my living with studio photography and understand the great interest in Pentax 645D. It has some great features. I went with Hasselblad when I made the decision to go mfd in part because Pentax didn't have a line of new lenses to go with their new camera. It just didn't make much sense to me to buy into a system and then look around for used lenses until they get around to releasing lens to go with their new body.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Itís actually Flavor Aid.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Hi Marc. I bought the Fotodiox adapter for Hasselblad V lenses to Pentax 645 camera from Amazon. It seems well made and I've tried it a few times (using my 80mm CFE on the 645NII)...no problems.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Adapt.../dp/B002JY4KME

    Steven....while I certainly understand that you'd like to have autofocus ability for your 645D, my experience with the 645NII using manual focus lenses (P645, P67 and Hasselblad V) has been very good, thanks to the focus confirmation signal incorporated into the 645. It's an audible/visible signal which seems to work very well. I've heard that this feature is also built into the 645D....is that correct?

    Gary

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    David,
    I would have stuck with my H3D-39, but the first day I took it out in sub freezing weather from my car, everything was all fogged up. No weather sealing on the back.
    If I was a studio guy, for sure Hasselblad for me, and I knew I was taking a big risk with the 645D, and now paying for it.

    Steven

    Quote Originally Posted by David Schneider View Post
    I make my living with studio photography and understand the great interest in Pentax 645D. It has some great features. I went with Hasselblad when I made the decision to go mfd in part because Pentax didn't have a line of new lenses to go with their new camera. It just didn't make much sense to me to buy into a system and then look around for used lenses until they get around to releasing lens to go with their new body.
    Steven Kornreich
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    Workshop Member kuau's Avatar
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Gary,
    I was told by Lloyd over at Diglloyd, that the focus confirm light in the 645D is not to be counted on.
    You see again,
    Who do I believe, everyone has a different experience and story.
    Very frustrating indeed.

    Steven

    ps. does this adaptor stop down the lens or you have to do it manually?

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Hi Marc. I bought the Fotodiox adapter for Hasselblad V lenses to Pentax 645 camera from Amazon. It seems well made and I've tried it a few times (using my 80mm CFE on the 645NII)...no problems.

    http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Adapt.../dp/B002JY4KME

    Steven....while I certainly understand that you'd like to have autofocus ability for your 645D, my experience with the 645NII using manual focus lenses (P645, P67 and Hasselblad V) has been very good, thanks to the focus confirmation signal incorporated into the 645. It's an audible/visible signal which seems to work very well. I've heard that this feature is also built into the 645D....is that correct?

    Gary
    Steven Kornreich
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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    [QUOTE=kuau;280273]David,
    I would have stuck with my H3D-39, but the first day I took it out in sub freezing weather from my car, everything was all fogged up. No weather sealing on the back. /QUOTE]
    Off topic, but if car is warmer and you go outside to colder temps, fog up is normal regardless of kind or make of camera. At least that's been my experience.

    Weather seals are better. Complete agreement, no argument from me. But I have had non-weather sealed cameras get soaked, and I mean soaked, in the rain and were fine. Biggest issue will be water rusting some wires of the camera's computer parts and frying the board. So I wouldn't hesitate taking my H3D2-39 out in cold or snow. (Well, only for something special otherwise I rather take the Canon 5dMK2 gear outside. lol)

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Gary,
    I was told by Lloyd over at Diglloyd, that the focus confirm light in the 645D is not to be counted on.
    That's unfortunate, because it does seems to work well on my 645NII....although I've only run about 6 rolls of film through the camera and haven't done any rigorous testing for critical focus subjects.

    ps. does this adaptor stop down the lens or you have to do it manually?
    If my memory is correct, it's manual stop down aperture. I can verify that when I get home this evening.....it's been more than a few months since I last used the 645 with the adapter and a Hasselblad lens.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Steven,

    I mostly shoot landscape. I tested all the lenses on tripod, MU and wireless release. I tested brick walls at 5-7 meters and distance subjects at 2 km. Sharp corner to corner, at f5.6.

    Admittedly, the image I posted was not flat field. I was simply showing what the 150/2.8 could do for those of us who shoot other subjects than distant landscapes. I like selective focus on occasion and the bokeh of Pentax lenses is usually quite nice. I plan on using the 645D for many subjects.

    Since I've had many MF systems over the years, I seen lens variations. While my sample size is small, all of my Pentax lenses are just fine. I had much more variation with Mamiya 645 lenses. (In film days, the RZ system was consistently good.) I bought all of the lenses used off eBay except for the 300/5.6, which was NIB from stock in NYC.

    I think those of us reading the forums have seen large variations even with Leica, especially if we buy used lenses. (And the 645D's method of correcting front/back focus is certainly easier than shipping lenses and camera off to Lecia for RF adjustments.) When we buy used lenses, as many of us are doing for the 645D, we'll source them from people who have abused the lenses. Without a history, some of the lenses may have even been rentals. So to maintain that all Pentax is a crap shoot is not truly fair based on evaluating mostly used products; it is more a reflection of the source, not the manufacturer. (Being pessimistic, all used buys can be said to be a bit of crap shoot, but maybe I've just been lucky.)

    On another note, if any of you have a Pentax 67 (latest version) 55/4, you might check it out. It is superb and it is the WA I will use in that range. I briefly checked a 45/4 and is also looks very good, but not quite as well defined as the 55/4.

    For anything longer than 55mm, the present Pentax 645 line up I think is really good. The FA75 is inexpensive, light and plentiful. And the 120 macro has same elements whether FA or A, so one gets the same results from either.

    I have the Japanese literature for all of the lenses and have managed to get the schematics translated, so it anyone is interested I can post. But suffice it to say that the FA lenses, especially the 120, 150 and 200 have non-standard elements inside and I found all 3 to be really, really nice lenses. If you can't find the 150, get the FA200.

    I'll try posting some distance shots with the WA lenses. The one thing I noticed with the FA35 was that there appeared to be field curvature from f3.5 to f5.6. I adjusted focus on the 645D body at f5.6 and this was still accurate for f8. However, at f3.5, despite the adjustment at f5.6, the lens back-focused. To me, no problem. I virtually never shoot WA lenses more open than f5.6, rather usually at f8. But, at f5.6, the image was evenly sharp from center to edge.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    rjones, thanks for your post. When I mentioned "a crap shoot" with some of the Pentax lenses, I wasn't referring to just used lenses where the history of how it was handled was in question. Even NIB or NOS on identical lenses appeared to be different on the 645D and this happened when Pentax 1st went to digital with their 35mm DLSR's...lenses that were spectacular on film were no longer. Sometimes it was the optical formula of a given lens, sometimes sample to sample variation. Even Pentax has acknowledged this with the 645D. When it works, it really works quite nicely but when it doesn't, it can be frustrating. I witnessed it first hand with Pentax as I'm sue others have with their own systems. So as you say, it's not exclusively a phenomenon with solely Pentax and they are a good company! As an aside, sometimes what one finds acceptable image wise is not always the same as another, so that variable aslo has to be taken into acc't.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Steven...I received the full res image of Mount Michener and the frozen lake from Royce on the Pentax MF forum which he took using his FA 35mm lens and Pentax 645D. I was impressed with the quality of the image and made a beautiful Letter and 11x14 size print from it using my 3880. I'd encourage you to contact Royce and get a copy to check out....he was very kind to offer this.

    I'm going to keep looking for a 35mm lens (A or FA, doesn't matter to me) to use with my 645NII. The more images I see from the 645D the more I like it.....hopefully someday I'll pick up one on the used market.

    Gary

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Hi Gary,

    I had a look at some images (not mine) taken with the FA 35mm on the 645D and wasn't all that impressed. Center sharpness was good but as you headed towards the edge and corners of the frame, the image softened considerbly. Not the wost I've seen but far from the best. I'll have to go back and look at the f-stop but I think they were well stopped down too. It may just be its performance on the 645D specifically that was the issue causing this lack of sharpness and on film might be fine...or possibly it was just this particular sample of the lens....I honestly can't say. If one was shoting landscapes with the combo I just mentioned, and wanted good edge to edge sharpness, even with the lens stopped down considerable, I personally would have felt it was disappointing. Again had to say what the specific issue was in this case.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Hi Dave. Check out this thread on the Pentax MF forum and perhaps contact Royce for a full res copy of the image. Perhaps he has a very good copy of the FA 35mm lens (or my eyes aren't as well trained as they could be), but it looks quite good to me, based on this one image. I look forward to seeing more examples as more people get their hands on a 645D.

    http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...e-fa-35mm.html

    On the other hand, I really should try my Hasselblad 40mm CFE IF lens on my 645NII (with the Fotodiox adapter I have). It would probably be the equal of even the best copy of a Pentax 35mm lens.....just wish I had a 645D to put it on!

    Gary

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    one from today 200mm fa 4 seconds f11
    DOF is a real bitch on MF when using this lens.

    Steven
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    another one this with the 45-85mm FA 2 seconds F11

    Steven
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Hi Dave. Check out this thread on the Pentax MF forum and perhaps contact Royce for a full res copy of the image. Perhaps he has a very good copy of the FA 35mm lens (or my eyes aren't as well trained as they could be), but it looks quite good to me, based on this one image. I look forward to seeing more examples as more people get their hands on a 645D.

    http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...e-fa-35mm.html

    On the other hand, I really should try my Hasselblad 40mm CFE IF lens on my 645NII (with the Fotodiox adapter I have). It would probably be the equal of even the best copy of a Pentax 35mm lens.....just wish I had a 645D to put it on!

    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    I truly appreciate the link. Although the images there look good, the issue (problem) is when examining a crop of the image (100%)...and this is where the softness can be readily seen when you head towards the edges and corners...even when that particular lens is stopped down. Of course it's subject dependent as to whether it will make a difference. The second thing to consider is how large a print is going to be made. If large enough, then that image softness will matter. I just got back to a regular computer, so I'll re-examine the link and images again. Thanks!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 16th January 2011 at 20:03.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    another one this with the 45-85mm FA 2 seconds F11

    Steven
    Hi Steven,

    I just got back to a regular computer moment ago and just took a peak at your posted images. They look really nice and quite natural. What focal legth did you use for the 2nd posted image? Where I am a bit concerned is on the wide end where interaction of a wide angle lens with edge and corner pixels, may be an issue with softness. On the telephoto end of things, it looks really good! Great images indeed! Thanks for posting.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 16th January 2011 at 20:04.

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    another one this with the 45-85mm FA 2 seconds F11

    Steven
    Those images look terrific to me Steven...even at web-sized resolutions. How do you like the full res files from these two lenses?

    Gary

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Dave,
    the second image was shot at 45mm on my 45-85mm FA lens, Far from perfect, but for now as good as it gets at that focal length, it's much better then my 45mm FA fixed I still have.
    On the first image using the 200mm FA, much better to me at least, but have to be careful with composition / DOF issues shooting with a longer lens.

    Steven

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Hi Steven,

    I just got back to a regular computer moment ago and just took a peak at your posted images. They look really nice and quite natural. What focal legth did you use for the 2nd posted image? Where I am a bit concerned is on the wide end where interaction of a wide angle lens with edge and corner pixels, may be an issue with softness. On the telephoto end of things, it looks really good! Great images indeed! Thanks for posting.

    Dave (D&A)
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Thanks Gary,
    Well from the 45-85mm zoom there "OK" i still wish they could be better, yet I am not sure what direction to go, On the image taken with the 200mm, full size pretty happy with.
    I tried using my 120mm "A" lens manual focus, but had a difficult time getting good focus because I was not at an infinity situation.

    Steven


    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Those images look terrific to me Steven...even at web-sized resolutions. How do you like the full res files from these two lenses?

    Gary
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Hi Steven,

    Appreciate the info. Still all in all, the posted images look really good. I think Pentax realizes they have some work to do regarding the wide end on the 645D. They may have the FA35mm but there is too much inconsistancy from sample to sample and this issue will have to be addressed. The "in-development" not yet released 24-25mm Pentax lens, is more of a specialty lens than the 35mm. Therefore on the wide end, it seems to be a "wait and see" what Penatx does, if one wants to use a wide angle Pentax lens on the 645D.

    The 200 though looks exceptionally good and glad to hear thats working out.

    Regardless of lens, my impression with the 645D, is that the most of the lenses have to be well stopped down to achieve good edge/corner shapness...maybe more so than some other DMF lenses/systems. I noticed that when I shot with the camera briefly.

    Lens variability simply seems to be due to the much looser tolerances in those lenses designed in the film era, where exacting precision wasn't necessarily needed for use on film bodies. In addition, certain design pricipals weren't incorporated or considered in their optical design that would have made it advantagous when used on a digital body. Therefore testing a potential sample for use, almost becomes manditory, until this all gets sorted out.

    Dave (D&A)

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid


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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Where can I get some RAW images?
    Uwe Steinmueller
    -------------------

    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Right here is where I found some...

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18585

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    Re: I'm drinking the Pentax 645D Kool aid

    Quote Originally Posted by BJNY View Post
    No longer a rumour: http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/con...=7-11225-11258

    Has an April 2011 release.

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