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Thread: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

  1. #1
    Jim2
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    Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Taking the initial cost out of the equation.... I'm still torn between these two. I like the idea that Pentax 645d is weather sealed and in my mind I'll have more 'freedom' and 'carefree' experience with it, firstly I would not care as much about trashing a 10K camera vs a 40K back, secondly it's designed as weather sealed so I'll have more confidence in using it in harsh environment without worrying about dust / water vapour getting on to the sensor / lens, etc.

    On the other hand, I think Phase + rm3di will give me a more 'compact' kit, although I'm not sure about the weight which is also of prime importance.

    Last but not least, there's the resolution - 80mp vs 40 - not sure how important that would be.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Well there is an IQ140 back which is same resolution. The two are so different. If weight is a major consideration can you give more details of your planned use? Backpacking? Day trips? Wide or tele? this will help narrow down the lens selection to compare both kits.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Trashing? Buy Insurance and go make images.

    Weather Proofing is nice, but ever wonder how the heck all these outdoor landscapes got shot before weather sealed cameras?

    Isn't the IQ fairly well sealed anyway?

    Not many newer Pentax lenses, and I doubt the legacy lenses are sealed. Plus, no MFD protects against dusk getting in the front hole when you change lenses ... they are all equal in that way.

    40 verses 80? Importance depends on end use ... plus, the 40 is a crop sensor and the 60/80 aren't, so keep that in mind regarding focal length coverage, etc.

    The 645D means no tech camera even if you change your mind later. Conversely, if you get an IQ and tech camera, you can add a DSLR later if you want.

    -Marc

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Jim2:

    I've had the 645D since December and love the camera. No experience with other MFD, so no comments there. In the 4 months I've had the camera, no dust on the sensor. The 645D has an ultrasonic cleaner that activates each time the camera is turned on. There is also an adhesive strip to collect the dislodged dust. Seems to work. Lens availabilty is an issue, but many used ones are available and new lenses are in stock in Asia and Europe. Lenses range from 600mm to 25mm, very extensive for a MF system. The 645D handles much like a 35mm DSLR and weighs about 6 ounces more than a D3x. The lenses themselves are quite compact (for MF), about the same size as the Canon 35mm counterparts.

    Tom

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    When you buy a IQ you should also buy the DF and 80 lens as the discount is huge. Also this gives you two systems to work with the DF system and the Alpa/Arca system.

    Weather sealing is a BS gimmick sorry. Get a rain jacket for 30 dollars. Count how many landscape Hassy, Phase, Leaf and Sinar shooters are out in the world shooting amazing landscapes. None of them have weather sealing but all of them find a work around to get the job done.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...rm_Jacket.html

    The one issue that NEVER gets addressed here is software. All back OEM's have there software programs extremely fine tuned to there systems. Hassy, Sinar , Leaf and Phase all have programs that get the absolute most out of there software/sensor combination. NOBODY can beat that. People simply do not understand how important this is when you want the most out of your system.

    Now 40,60,80. Pick your poison i shoot them all and after 20x30 is about the only time you will see a difference in print. But any Arca/Alpa offers you flat stitching so anytime you need planet size you can turn to that as well. I do it with my P40+ on a pan a lot. That is 3 40 mpx shots which is 120 mpx gross image than stitched down to about 90 mpx. So I can take my lowly P40 sensor and make hay with it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    (Please Note: Text has been revamped and edited)

    Hi Jim,

    Although I've had some experience shooting with some of the older models of Hasselblads with digital backs, I certainly wouldn't be qualified to make any sort of comprehensive comparison or statement of the relative advantages/disadvantages between the two systems, especially in regards to your particular uses nor comparison of performance. With that said, I have though been intensely working the Pentax 645D and multiple samples (in one problematic case over 10) of almost all of their single focal length FA Af lenses and some of their FA zooms. It's been a case of beg, borrow and ..um...purchase (instead of the proverbial steal) to be able to do a sort of controlled comprehensive testing of these lens samples and also get a feel for the 645D body. If I can just find the time to finish up with some recent samples and also find time in work schedule, I hope to eventually post my observations, which is not meant to be any sort of definitive statement, just my own experiences with all these lenses.

    Let me just say the 645D body has been bullet proof in most users hands. I haven't yet heard of a single case of mechanical trouble or glitches, but that's not to say there haven't been. As for dust, as Tom has pointed out, it's remarkable but I havn't noticed any, even in the most recent images taken at f16 and at closest focusing distance. Whatever Pentax employed really works! Some performance characteristics can certainly be improved upon, but one has to keep in mind the price point of this camera. Others have taken it in some "more extreme" weather conditions than I have and one regular contributor here on Getdpi I often talk with, mentioned he with was impressed when using it in cold wet weather, on how his 645D performed. This I believe is in contrast to his previously owned Hassiblad/digial back system, where he had issues with fogging and possibly some other things of concern. I don't want to speak for him or any others (and I'm sure he'll chime in)) and in addition, this is not at a commentary on any other system performance...just an observation.

    What I can say, is with the Pentax system of already existing previous released FA lenses, which are all out of production but can be found, that if one plans on shooting at f11-f13 (generally the sweet spot for many lenses), then individual lens sample selection isn't quite as critical. Most perform well at these apertures. If you are though like me, who often has the need or desire to shoot at wider apertures, then the variability observed in some focal length lens samples that the Pentax 645 system offered, can be quite substantial and greatly affect ones decision to go ahead with the system. This of course depends on how much testing of lenses one wants to do, to find a sample that meets expectations and is usable, especially if output to large format prints are desired.

    My testing has been restricted to only the FA AF lenses. In one case that I've been made aware of, a particular Pentax "A" manual focus lens, which is the counterpart to a Pentax FA Af lens (both having slightly different optical designs), may actually overcome some of the issues often seen with that particular FA lens. My point is that there are alternatives if using manual focus lenses is also acceptable to the 645D user. When a given lens does perform as expected, the results are exceptional and although all previous FA lenses are not weather sealed, as Marc and Guy have correctly pointed out, good techniques and preparedness is the key to shooting in most any condition...otherwise we wouldn't have a plethera of unbelievable shots during the most extreme conditions and those cameras/lenses surviving for future days of shooting.

    Of course with last years release of the WR 55 f2.8 (decent performer for the most part but far from perfect) and the newely released WR 25mm lens, these are water resistant lenses that match the body in terms of weather resistance, and it's nice if if becomes necessary, to be able to quickly take their cameras out for impromptu shooting without much concern for rain/snow etc.type conditions. It's only in these impromptu situations, that having WR is sort of nice, otherwise preparedness is really the key and using any system is possible. I presume it's WR is much like the Leica's S2 system, in that regard. Thanks!

    Dave
    Last edited by D&A; 19th April 2011 at 14:15.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    ....
    On the other hand, I think Phase + rm3di will give me a more 'compact' kit, although I'm not sure about the weight which is also of prime importance.
    If weight is of prime importance, think about the Alpa TC and the compact Schneider lenses. The TC with handgrip is 326g and a 35mmXL is 319g, add to that the Phase back at approx. 600g and you're at about 1.2kg. It does not get much lighter or compact.

    Cheers, -Peter

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    Senior Member KeithL's Avatar
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    I'm still torn between these two.
    You really, really, really - get the idea - need to get your hands on a medium format DSLR and a digital back/tech camera. The two options here are about as different as you could get and the suitability to task is also about as different as you could get.

    My gut feeling is that if you can't decide between these two disparate options then you're not ready for either.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Even the STC to do stitching is still pretty darn compact as well. The RM2DI from Arca is supposed to be as well. Have not seen one yet but I do know someone selling there whole Arca kit including the RM2DI and three lenses. Love to buy it myself to be honest but I need to work on my upgrades or sideways movement on my system first.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    You really, really, really - get the idea - need to get your hands on a medium format DSLR and a digital back/tech camera. The two options here are about as different as you could get and the suitability to task is also about as different as you could get.

    My gut feeling is that if you can't decide between these two then you're not ready for either.
    Have to agree you really need to get this stuff in your hands and try them. Where are you located BTW if you don't mind me asking.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    If weight is of prime importance, think about the Alpa TC and the compact Schneider lenses. The TC with handgrip is 326g and a 35mmXL is 319g, add to that the Phase back at approx. 600g and you're at about 1.2kg. It does not get much lighter or compact.

    Cheers, -Peter
    Sweetest little combo there is. Love the TC

    I have Terry's sitting here ready to ship back to her but I am procrastinating . LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Sweetest little combo there is. Love the TC

    I have Terry's sitting here ready to ship back to her but I am procrastinating . LOL
    Not for long....I may come pick it up very soon.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Time to chime in, face it, most of us who are not "professional photographers" and don't have a huge wallet, The 645D is an excellent value, I jumped into the MF game over a year ago after going on one of Guy and Jacks workshop, I new MF was for me, but I still didn't have the money to go "all in" so I tried a D3x, and all 3 of Nikons PC-E lens, so at least I can have some of the functionality that MF Tech View could bring me.
    Well after shooting the D3x, because of it's 24mp sensor unfortunately on the PC-E lenses, only the 85mm was up to the task, the 24mm and 45mm just didn't cut it, not sharp enough for the demanding 24mp FF chip.
    At this time I joined DigiLloyd site and learned that if I wanted to stick with the D3x, and get the maximum performance out of it, I would have to give up on my 24 and 45mm PC-E lenses and go Zeiss glass, I actually rented some zeiss glass to confirm this and he was correct, at this exact time, when testing out the zeiss glass, I found a used Hasselblad H3D39 for 6500.00, sure it had a few bumps and bruises, it wasn't the newer H3DII model, but the price was right and for 165.00 I think it was I den the camera into Hasselblad for checkout, It came back with a clean bill of health, I then proceeded to buy some used HC glasss, 28mm, 50mm, 80mm, 150mm lenses all for almost 50% of new ones would have costed me. At the time I was living in Fountain Hills, AZ, I shot this camera down in the warm weather and got great results, and thought at the time I made the right choice, I was able to upgrade from my D3x to MF for very little money.
    I was happy.
    Well due to my wives new job in Park City, UT, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, to make a long story short, on the first cold weather day 17 degree out, I could not get my H3D to turn on, I had 3 fully charged batteries, no go. I called hasselblad and they told me over the phone, the camera was only rated to work at 32 degrees and above but my milage would very, well apparently I hit that point. At the same time Pentax had just released there 645D in Japan, I was not going to buy this camera until it was available in the USA, in the mean time, I sold my H3D system, actually made a little money on the sale and did my research. I looked at the Phase/Mamiya body with a P25+ back and the Aptus II 5 back, this was before the DF body existed, IMHO I did not like the system, Though I am sure today with the changes to the DF body, my opinion would be different, yet, still the entry cost was very high, so I just sat tight until this January when the 645D started shipping in the USA. For my needs of course no tilt or shift, something that I always wanted but just can't afford, I felt this was a good option, and yes the lens situation is a disgrace IMHO, release a very good body at an excellent price but only have 1 new lens to go with it and worse not a very good performer, What were they thinking? Yet I went through all the testings of different FA and A lenses and ended up with a very workable system that did not cost me an arm and a leg, and as much as I would love to be able to afford a RM3di, and a 39mp back, and 3 schnieder lenses, there is just no way, and I know at the end of the day it would not make me a better photographer. I always go by my "golden rule" 90% photographer 10% equipment.

    So in summary, I agree with all the other posts in regards to this thread, all very valid points that Guy, Dave, and Marc make all true, but then they are all professional photographers and some of us are not but want it all at the same time.

    Maybe I will win the Lottery one day, oh yeah what looter in Utah
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Nicely said Steven and yes coming from a Pro's mouth the perspective is slightly different. But we can agree you need to try these things and see what you like and dislike about them.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Thanks Guy :-)
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Jim2,

    I have followed your various posts over the past several weeks with quite some interest, because I went through a similar thought and decision making process for over a year. I posted my first question on MFD here in November 2009 and took the plunge in February 2011, eventually settling for the S2. Actually, I went back to my 2009 post http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11358 and must say that, after having shot the S2, the advice I got was spot on.

    During my decision making process, I mentally went through all the various options (Hassi, Phase, Leaf, Arca/Alpa/Cambo, and S2/Pentax). I figured that as regards image quality all of them provide plenty, and probably more than I can handle (I am a hobbyist with limited time as I have a demanding job--how else could I afford this--, a family, and a few other interests than photography). I eventually settled for the S2 because of the versatility, the form factor, the weather sealing, and the fact that it allows sponteneous shooting. I am fully aware that in the right hands, a back with 65 or 80 MP on a tech camera may give more IQ for landscape (which I shoot) or architecture (which I don't shoot). But I am not certain that I would get this out of the camera and that it would show in the prints that I am producing (as opposed to pixel peeping). More importantly, I shoot the S2 on many more occasion than I would shoot a tech camera. I am also extremely happy with the results I am getting, although I am still on a very steep learning cave, despite the fact that I came from 5 years of M shooting (i.e., knew that I had to think before pressing the shutter). Having said that, I feel/fear that, in the true spirit of this sub-forum, one day when I hopefully have more time (and hopefully still the financial resources) I will get a tech camera.

    Please note that what I am saying here is very subjective and the last thing I want to do is getting into a discussion what is better. IMHO, all systems are great. You need figure out what's right for you (and whether you really want MFD). Take your time. Shoot the systems for a week or a weekend. Find out whether you prefer something that gives you the versatility of a SLR but can also be put on tripod for more deliberate shooting or the slow and deliberate style of tech camera, knowing that with a wide angel you can almost use it as a point and shoot. It took me over a year, including a trip to Photokina, to decide on that. Things only got better during that time.

    BTW, I think the Pentax is a great camera. I just preferred the S2, despite the price difference.

    It's an agonizing process, but once you have found the right system, you will be a happy camper. Good luck!

    Georg

  17. #17
    Jim2
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Have to agree you really need to get this stuff in your hands and try them. Where are you located BTW if you don't mind me asking.
    I'm travelling in the USA right now. I'm on my way to Las Vegas tonight to have dinner with friends, then spend a few days in Zion / Bryce, then fly over to Atlanta for the weekend. I'm going to see Capture Integration on this visit to check out rm3di. After that, I'm heading over to California... Death Valley for a week then fly out of USA.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Okay good the folks at CI will be able to show you a lot of stuff to look at.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  19. #19
    Jim2
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Currently I have a 1ds3 - and apart from the occasional use to take photos at friends' weddings, I have NEVER used it to take spontaneous photos. I have my waterproof Olympus tough camera for those snapshots.

    I am very much an amateur and just a hobbyist, however I have _always_ used my 1ds3 on top of a tripod, with manual focus and live view. I take deliberate time in composing, as much as I can. I am very very very picky (or try to be) as to what I shoot. On a good day, I can come up with one or two great photos, but most of the time I got none. And if on one visit I can get 2-3 'nice' photos out of it, I'll be very happy.

    I wake up 2-3 hours before sunrise, to the same spot, for 4-5 days in a row, or as long as my schedule allows, and I do the same waiting for the sunsets. I bring food to eat while waiting for sunsets because I know, by the time I'm done, restaurants are closed usually

    I think my shooting style works well with a technical camera, but at the same time a Pentax 645D can work too - I can deal with the difference in handling - after all it's all just a tool to take photos.

    My aim is to take the best possible photo that _I_ can. At the same time I want some sort of convenience - not bulky, so I can pack the camera inside my hiking backpack, light weight as possible, ease of focusing (live view would be great), but at the same time I would like to have tilt if possible.

    I have thought LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG and HARD about spending 50-60K on IQ180 and rm3di and I've decided that I'm only young once, and I only live once. I do have the money - that's not a problem. My problem was justifying whether it's a wise use of my money because that is ethically important to me.

    The question now is that which will be the best for me to use - taking money out of the equation.

    I wish I can just 'try' both camera systems for a week(end) on my own without a sales person breathing down my neck but that's probably not possible unless if I know someone who owns either/both systems. I wouldn't mind flying over to you in the USA if you have time to play with me I am a tourist in the USA and my visitor's visa runs out soon (I've been here for over two months). I'm due to fly out of USA through LA on the 5th of May.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Well there is an IQ140 back which is same resolution. The two are so different. If weight is a major consideration can you give more details of your planned use? Backpacking? Day trips? Wide or tele? this will help narrow down the lens selection to compare both kits.
    I plan to take it everywhere I travel. I travel a lot - on average 5-6 months - not for work or business. I haven't done a lot of back packing, so mostly just day hike to a spot, take photos, hike back to stay at the motel. But I have a few backpacking trips in mind in the future - hike up a mountain in Taiwan, around Nepal, etc. Whatever may come up in the future.

    Because I don't have any specific plan as to what I'll be shooting, it would be nice to be flexible but remain light / compact. I currently just use the Canon 24-105mm lens. It has served me well, but sometimes I needed longer. It would be great if I can just use two primes but I have a feeling I might need 3. In any case I'll start with just 2 and see. I don't want to buy 5 different lenses only to ever use / take 2 with me.

  21. #21
    Jim2
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    One thing that I think the Pentax 645d will have an advantage over a tech camera - for example if I'm in the middle of a cultural event, a handheld SLR like camera would be great, but maybe that's why people have an M9 or whatever pocket camera they like.

  22. #22
    Jim2
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    If weight is of prime importance, think about the Alpa TC and the compact Schneider lenses. The TC with handgrip is 326g and a 35mmXL is 319g, add to that the Phase back at approx. 600g and you're at about 1.2kg. It does not get much lighter or compact.

    Cheers, -Peter
    That would be awesome if I can also get tilt / swing. I'm beginning to think that the Cambo compact solution (no shift) with tilt / swing lenses might be a good candidate.

  23. #23
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Well due to my wives new job in Park City, UT, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, to make a long story short, on the first cold weather day 17 degree out, I could not get my H3D to turn on, I had 3 fully charged batteries, no go. I called hasselblad and they told me over the phone, the camera was only rated to work at 32 degrees and above but my milage would very, well apparently I hit that point.
    Phase One always claims that they work in extreme conditions... and some people attested to that. However their specifications only say 32F minimum. I don't know what to think about this.

    I do not want to climb a mountain all the way for 6hrs or even 5 days only to find that my camera doesn't work.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Jim, I can tell you yes you can hand hold a 645D, but you have to keep in mind the problem you are going to have is shutter speed, Since most of the FA / A pentad lenses need to be shot at F11 for the best results, you need a lot of light, or high ISO,
    This is where the S2 smokes the pentax, because you can actually shoot the thing more towards wide open because the lenses are fantastic, where as the Pentax glass not so great when opened up. So bottom line unless you are using flash or a strobe unit, I would not plan on doing to much hand holding of a 645D IMHO, others may disagree.

    Steven
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    Phase One always claims that they work in extreme conditions... and some people attested to that. However their specifications only say 32F minimum. I don't know what to think about this.

    I do not want to climb a mountain all the way for 6hrs or even 5 days only to find that my camera doesn't work.
    FWIW I have used my DF and P65+ in -20C (-4F) with no problem whatsoever. Take a couple of spare batteries though!

    Bill

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    Taking the initial cost out of the equation.... I'm still torn between these two. I like the idea that Pentax 645d is weather sealed and in my mind I'll have more 'freedom' and 'carefree' experience with it, firstly I would not care as much about trashing a 10K camera vs a 40K back, secondly it's designed as weather sealed so I'll have more confidence in using it in harsh environment without worrying about dust / water vapour getting on to the sensor / lens, etc.

    On the other hand, I think Phase + rm3di will give me a more 'compact' kit, although I'm not sure about the weight which is also of prime importance.

    Last but not least, there's the resolution - 80mp vs 40 - not sure how important that would be.
    Jim,

    If movements are essential, then a RM3d is a good choice. I too, was concerned with weather sealing, but an inexpensive Kata rain bag (E-702), will mitigate any weather issues. I agree with Guy, that a 645DF with an 80mm is a great deal, and allows the use of 2 types of camera shooting styles, plus you have a focal plane and leaf shutter option.
    Also, if movements are not a concern and you want the ultimate portable system, then the Alpa TC, should be considered too. It's the smallest MFD.

    This part of your purchase is the most fun, enjoy your quest and keep us posted.

  27. #27
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Jim2,

    The ambient temp. range seems to be the same for most cameras. Many have used their gear in extreme conditions. Just let any camera acclimate to the ambient temp. of a location before shooting. Sensors and glass can collect moisture from extreme variables in temp. When traveling in humid locations bring those desiccant packs that reduce moisture, throw them in you bag and your good to go!

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    I had waited for 5 years for the Pentax 645D, and my lenses were waiting as well. In the meantime, I used film with my 645NII. I also acquired a Hasselblad 501cm and 4 lenses, just to give the square format a try (and I love it). After a recent trip to the southwest, I was scanning film taken with both cameras (or more precisely, both sets of lenses). That was an eye-opening experience. The Zeiss lenses ran circles around those from Pentax. At that moment, I gave up any notion of purchasing the 645D; I felt the current lenses could not deliver like lenses from other manufacturers, and there would be no used lenses of the "new" variety for quite some time. I was also troubled by the less than stellar reviews of the new Pentax 55mm, and the 25mm carries a $5k price tag. If I were to get a Pentax 645D, I'd seriously consider a lens adapter that would enable the use of non-Pentax glass (although that would be much less convenient in actual usage). In the end, I opted for a different system with the lenses made for that particular camera, and the software (emphasized by Guy) that came with the camera (something I didn't fully appreciate at the time of my purchase).
    Stephen Penland
    www.stephenpenland.com

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by kuau View Post
    Jim, I can tell you yes you can hand hold a 645D, but you have to keep in mind the problem you are going to have is shutter speed, Since most of the FA / A pentad lenses need to be shot at F11 for the best results, you need a lot of light, or high ISO,
    This is where the S2 smokes the pentax, because you can actually shoot the thing more towards wide open because the lenses are fantastic, where as the Pentax glass not so great when opened up. So bottom line unless you are using flash or a strobe unit, I would not plan on doing to much hand holding of a 645D IMHO, others may disagree.

    Steven
    Steven (Kuau), whom I have a great deal of respect for, especially in regards to his landscape work, (including those with the 645D), often has different priorities in shooting the 645D than I do and we've often talked about this vis-a-vis Pentax 645 lenses. My requirements often have me needing to shoot lenses at wider apertures than he does, sometimes open as much as 0.5 to 1.5 stops closed down from the len's maximum aperture. The reasons are many and this would include the occasional need to hand hold the 645D, so performance of lenses shot wider than f11-13 is why I 1st started testing so many samples of FA lenses. In time I found quite a few lenses (although certainly not all), that were able to make a set of most of the focal lengths I required, which all could be reliably used one stop down from maximum aperture and even a few that were exceptionally good wide open. Of course they are not at their best resolution at these apertures, but with careful selection of ISO and shutter speed, resulting images can be printed very large (with a discerning and critical eye used as part of the criteria for determining what is exceptionally good for at least a 16x24 or 24x36 print in a great many cases and sometimes larger.). Still it all depends on a lot of factors and Steven knows as well as anyone what a person has to go through to both find these "samples" as well as set up the 645D's AF fine tune, in order to be able to get performance as I described. I cannot comment though as to their capabilities when compared to some of the exceptional Zeiss and Hasselblad lenses, and this is where those that have made direct comparisions, possibly on the same body, could evaluate this aspect of comparison.

    Except for a few brief minutes of shooting with the Leica S2, I can't really comment on that system, but something tells me (along with my long time experience with many of their fantastic M lenses) that the S2 would be a much easier way to go in purchasing and utilizing lenses at very wide apertures, when compared to the current 645D system of lenses (both the two current Pentax "WR" ones as well as all the recently discontinued FA Af series of lenses). This I would suspect is not only due to the consistancy of lens samples of a given lens but in their optical design with the ability to perform well specifically at more open apertures.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 20th April 2011 at 07:32.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    But any Arca/Alpa offers you flat stitching
    [cough] Not to mention the Cambo Wide RS. [cough]

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithL View Post
    You really, really, really - get the idea - need to get your hands on a medium format DSLR and a digital back/tech camera. The two options here are about as different as you could get and the suitability to task is also about as different as you could get.

    My gut feeling is that if you can't decide between these two disparate options then you're not ready for either.
    +1.

    Jim, you have been posting in circles for a short while now, and to jump on the bandwagon: forget looking at the specs lists, the web chatter, the product catalogues, and go and TRY these systems out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    I think my shooting style works well with a technical camera, but at the same time a Pentax 645D can work too - I can deal with the difference in handling - after all it's all just a tool to take photos.
    Using a tripod, getting up at dawn and being picky with what you shoot is one thing. Bear in mind that the ergonomics and user-interface (for want of a better term) of tech cameras are vastly different to 35mm and MF DSLR's. Again, I echo KeithL's comment above. I'm not saying any one system is lesser/more or better/worse. They are all just DIFFERENT.

    An analogous example that I have seen many times before are those who lust after an M Leica. If they were friends I always lent them my M6 and they mostly always came back gushing over the quality, but wouldn't buy one because it wasn't what they had expected or were used to. Too quirky, too hard, too different etc. On the face of it the M is 135 format just like a Canon/Nikon, but until you actually pick one up and USE it then you will very quickly discover whether you love it or hate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    My aim is to take the best possible photo that _I_ can. At the same time I want some sort of convenience - not bulky, so I can pack the camera inside my hiking backpack, light weight as possible, ease of focusing (live view would be great), but at the same time I would like to have tilt if possible.
    This is an unbelievably loaded statement. Define convenience, ease of focusing etc. Relative to what? You can't possibly answer these questions until you've spent some time with these systems yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    I do have the money - that's not a problem. My problem was justifying whether it's a wise use of my money because that is ethically important to me.

    The question now is that which will be the best for me to use - taking money out of the equation.
    Despite saying that you have taken money out of the equation, you still seem to be conflicted between having the "best" because you can afford it, but at the same time worried about putting down a significant truckload of cash on something you may end up regretting. To be honest, until you sort out this internal conflict you will most likely not enjoy ANY system you buy because you will always be thinking either that you spent too little or that you spent too much.

    I can't tell if you are trying to decide on a new system yourself or whether you are hoping someone on this forum will do it for you.

    Do some research on cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. You may find it interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    I wish I can just 'try' both camera systems for a week(end) on my own without a sales person breathing down my neck but that's probably not possible unless if I know someone who owns either/both systems. I wouldn't mind flying over to you in the USA if you have time to play with me I am a tourist in the USA and my visitor's visa runs out soon (I've been here for over two months). I'm due to fly out of USA through LA on the 5th of May.
    You can rent these systems from a good dealer – so you will not have the salesperson breathing down your neck – and have the rental fee deducted if you decide to purchase from them. Some will even ship the cameras out to you.

    Unless I am mistaken, you mentioned in another post that you are Australian? Some of these systems are available for rent from the major Oz dealers. However, last time I checked (which was earlier this year) there was only one Alpa TC for hire/test in Sydney and no Arca-Swiss R-series anywhere in the country.

    Options are available to you if you choose to proactively seek them out. You are in a better position than most considering that by your own admission you travel for pleasure half the year and money is no option.

    Finally, playing devil's advocate, have you considered that maybe your Canon is what's best for you?
    Last edited by cng; 19th April 2011 at 20:14.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Where's leicashot when i need him? Dude, can we still be friends?

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Honestly speaking, if i bought that tech camera and DB then i know 100% that i need a DSLR type camera no doubt, but if i have DSLR MF then i know that i am not in rush for tech camera + DB, i always forget that i will not shoot landscape only, when i travel i shoot cityscapes and people and events, in this case tech camera will slow me down more than a DSLR, i have been to USA and unfortunately i never been to NP or landscapes, that time i had my H3D2 using it around in NYC, i am sure i may not able to do much more with tech camera against DSLR, but now i am really ready and willing to get tech camera + DB + Schneider lenses to go with for landscapes and architecture.

    I think i started with DSLR and i am shooting with LF helping and etching me how to use tech camera in the future, in fact i bought an adapter to use my Canon DSLR on my LF camera, so it is look like i have a tech camera, but still the resolution is of Canon not of MF, which if they have that adapter for MF to use it on my LF then i may not think about tech camera for longer time until i can get one, now i feel i want that tech camera so badly even its use it a bit different than DSLR, but with practice and patience there is nothing impossible or difficult, and about weight, well, i remember i was hiking around in NYC carrying my Canon DSLR and H3D2 both together at same time and taking photos here and there, and even when i go to shoot football match i take my 2 1-series camera both attached to long lenses heavy and i don't use monopod either [300 is not bad to handhold, if i will have 400 then i must get one], so weight will never make it an issue for me, and for that if i will have any tech camera so lightweight then i will feel that i have a toy camera to carry [due to weight not performance].
    Tareq

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Jim2:
    I also shoot with both a technical camera and a MF DSLR and I'd also recommend that you get your hands on a technical camera for a weekend to see if it's for you or not. If you've never used one before then you're in for a shock because the operation is so different and manual compared to traditional DLSR shooting. It's definitely not for everyone and getting into a system only to find that you can't or don't like using it is an expensive undertaking. From the description of your shooting conditions and style you might be best served by starting out with a MF DSLR system as it'll be like your 1DS III only with better tonality. The 645D might be just that camera and you can be sure that if you try it and want to move to something more ambitious then you'll be able to sell it very very easily.

    Now if you were coming into MF digital from a larger format such as 4x5 film then maybe starting out with a technical camera system would be an easier undertaking. It's not that shooting a tech camera is difficult, because it isn't. It's just a slow deliberate process that doesn't lend itself to many facets of general shooting but what it does excel at is raw image quality so long as you shoot it correctly. The Pentax is much closer to your Canon and by comparison you can pretty much use it anywhere anytime.

    Good luck!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    What I don't understand Jim is what your actually buying this MF/tech camera for?

    Is it just some hobbyist urge (no offence meant) to have the best or do you have a specific need for it. It seem to me you are so full of doubt you must be loosing sleep over it and for what.........?

    I went MF/View camera because I had a specific need that my Canon couldn't meet and the best solution to all my headaches for my line work. It seems to me you've said you don't print large, have TS-E lenses your happy with, like AF and enjoy using your camera in a methodical way using live view.

    I just don't get what dragon your chasing as you seem pretty content with your present gear to me.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    A voice of reason ... how refreshing.

    -Marc

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    The bottom line a IQ 180 or Aptus 12 with any tech cam with the Schneiders /Rodenstock lenses will be the best you can get. So work back from there on what you are after. The real question remains and I agree with gazwas is where do you really want or need to be on this IQ scale. To me from you questions and answers not sure a tech cam is really the answer but you can have both a tech cam and a DSLR MF system with one back and make a choice when you shoot.

    Honestly as much as i like a tech cam i have not pulled the trigger on one. For me it is too slow to work with and more importantly not versatile enough. Look at my images on what lenses I use a lot just doing landscapes. Hint here it is not a normal lens but mostly a 110, 150 and 300. To me those longer lenses are a absolute nightmare to focus on a tech cam. If i did go down tis route I would HAVE to have a IQ back just to confirm focus since it is tough to achieve by the time I did that in the field I most likely would have missed other shots. My main reason for a tech cam would be on the shorter end since this is where most lenses in any MF system are going to have there hardest time against the tech lenses be it Hassy , Phase , Leica, Pentax they are all going to come up ultimately short. Now having said that let me use guy english here it ain't enough to sweat it either and given what i know of the Phase glass not enough to care. Frankly no modesty here my images are not lacking for anything on the IQ side of the house. As long as my technique is good and my raw processing than it will be always really damn close. Yes the Schneiders are awesome and will not deny that but the real question is will you notice it by LARGE margains. I contend you will not and for me not sure it will always be worth it to slow myself down. That for sure is not me is slowing my shooting down.

    If your not after a tech cam down the road or now and prefer more DSLR 35mm style than the S2 is a contender here but there are limits here also 37mpx tops and no real upgrade path. Nice system though but again never ever buy for today you always want to buy for down the road that goes with any system that you are thinking about. You have to pick something to compare against right now your just floating over the whole thing and not settling down on a solution. BTW the folks at CI are not salesman to pressure you into buying far from it to be honest, they are there to help just like any other good dealer out there. They also sell S2's as well as leaf backs. Try them all out or at least look at them and see what may fit you. No one here can make up your mind , all we can do is give suggestions on what each system is capable of or not. I get these PM's everyday on what to buy but you need to decide at least what direction you want to go.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    BTW not a downer on Tech cams. I totally love them myself and I totally get why folks love to shoot them.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    BTW not a downer on Tech cams. I totally love them myself and I totally get why folks love to shoot them.
    Yeah....I was thinking good thing you shipped back my TC....I will certainly show it more love than your post

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    LOL I really like tech cams but have a real hard time pulling the trigger on one. At least I would not give up the DF system like some I know. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    A voice of reason ... how refreshing.
    Ever notice how threads in the MF forum lose steam when everyone starts getting sensible.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Yea this sucks being sensible i need to go buy something stupid now to make up for it. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Yea this sucks being sensible i need to go buy something stupid now to make up for it. LOL
    How about an IQ180 and Arca RM3di or a Pentax 645D?

    And so we begin again!

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    "I need to go buy something stupid now?"

    Living where you do, I'd recommend a boat.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    "I need to go buy something stupid now?"

    Living where you do, I'd recommend a boat.
    That would be really stupid but hate to say this there are a lot of boats here. Weird

    IQ 180 would do one or two things . Get dead really quick from my lovely wife or fast move to a apartment . Not that appealing.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    On a serious note i am still torn between a used P65+ or IQ 140 lateral. Now that is a legal purchase as it has gone through the clearing house with sort of a approval ( Grunt sound). Buy now get beat up later is a okay deal. That one I can live with. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim2 View Post
    Taking the initial cost out of the equation.... I'm still torn between these two. I like the idea that Pentax 645d is weather sealed and in my mind I'll have more 'freedom' and 'carefree' experience with it, firstly I would not care as much about trashing a 10K camera vs a 40K back, secondly it's designed as weather sealed so I'll have more confidence in using it in harsh environment without worrying about dust / water vapour getting on to the sensor / lens, etc.

    On the other hand, I think Phase + rm3di will give me a more 'compact' kit, although I'm not sure about the weight which is also of prime importance.

    Last but not least, there's the resolution - 80mp vs 40 - not sure how important that would be.
    If you're really taking the initial cost out of the equation why wouldn't the choice be between the Leica S2 and the Phase/rm3di?

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    im with guy on this whole tech view vs dslr mf debate.
    i agree with him in regards to shooting longer glass for landscape, my set of pentax lenses range from 35mm to 300mm and my experience like guys is very similar, my best shots are always from my longer lenses. i wish i was a better wa landscape shooter but im not, and i know thats where tech view plus large format lenses shine, 28mm, 35mm, 47mm, 72mm all great large format wa lenses. if ihad the money, i really like the linhof techno, i know you can use up to 150mm ona rm3di, yet for me thats not long enough,
    but on the techno, or arca swiss d2 you can use almost any lf lenses out there, yet focusing the longer lenses on a ground glass can be a bitch and very timely.

    lastly, if you like to go on photo workshops, tech view is to slow for many other people so that can become an issue. you end up missing the shot.

    if you are a real purist ls shooter and go out on your own, tech view is vey compelling.

    steven
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    I am in the category of gearaholic and so the RM3D and a digital back is more interesting and keeping the state of satisfaction much longer than the Pentax 645D. One of the many reasons for the longer term growth of learning with a digital back + tech camera and a medium format SLR camera is the versatility of the system. Another example for me is the diversity of different optics one can use with the digital back. I am willing to taylor my own rain/wind coat for the few occasions I am faced with the environment. I wish I was in the situation where I spent my time chasing the light all day and run into challenging factors but I am not and like most folks.

    On another note I live next to movies stars and here in the City of Angel there are substance clinics for artists to treat their addiction but there is no gearaholic clinic available currently. This forum only offers workshop and preview gears at location but does not offer clinical treatment in many infected cases. I feel under the current regime of this forum induction is not offset with treatment and thus thread like this may occur at high rate. If a clinic is setup here I would like to be the first to enroll joining all my old pals who helped me to this stage. Perhaps with the proper treatment I and other will no longer be torned by choices of gears and owning duplication and in some cases quadruple copies. Thank you for your kind consideration.
    Last edited by MP7; 28th April 2011 at 08:29.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    Quote Originally Posted by stpf8 View Post
    I had waited for 5 years for the Pentax 645D, and my lenses were waiting as well. In the meantime, I used film with my 645NII. I also acquired a Hasselblad 501cm and 4 lenses, just to give the square format a try (and I love it). After a recent trip to the southwest, I was scanning film taken with both cameras (or more precisely, both sets of lenses). That was an eye-opening experience. The Zeiss lenses ran circles around those from Pentax. At that moment, I gave up any notion of purchasing the 645D; I felt the current lenses could not deliver like lenses from other manufacturers, and there would be no used lenses of the "new" variety for quite some time. I was also troubled by the less than stellar reviews of the new Pentax 55mm, and the 25mm carries a $5k price tag. If I were to get a Pentax 645D, I'd seriously consider a lens adapter that would enable the use of non-Pentax glass (although that would be much less convenient in actual usage). In the end, I opted for a different system with the lenses made for that particular camera, and the software (emphasized by Guy) that came with the camera (something I didn't fully appreciate at the time of my purchase).
    When I decided to go down the MF road, I loved so much about the concept and development of the 645D. But I couldn't see committing to a system that had one lens and one on the way and expected you to buy old used lenses in the mean time. Got a very nice used Hasselblad h3d2-39 and four lenses because that made sense to me and my business. The Pentax just did not.

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    Re: Torn between Pentax 645d and IQ + RM3di

    My often repeated mantra. Buy a system not a camera. My issues with both the S2 and Pentax although the S2 has gotten better in the system. But this comes from a Pro view as well. I do NOT want to be waiting for the OEM to come out with a lens I need. I also want software dedicated to my sensor. These systems are not setup up like that and i am picky as hell about my files. But that is me and my needs and I totally get why the S2 and 645 are very appealing to the hobbyists crowd.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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