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Thread: Pentax 645D

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Pentax 645D

    A friend of mine recently purchased a used (truly like new) Pentax 645D, with four AF lenses. This is the first opportunity I've had to see this camera "in person". I was VERY impressed with the camera itself and the first 17x22 prints I've seen from his 645D images.

    With the many excellent Pentax 645 & 67 manual focus lenses I already own, I've decided that the next camera I purchase will be a Pentax 645D. No more this, that or the other excuse.....my next step up in MFD will be the 645D.

    I can't think of any other 40mp, medium format, weather sealed camera which is available for between $8800 (new) and $6000 (used)....can you?

    That's not to say that my CFV-16II will be up for sale anytime soon. On a sunny day, who needs weather sealing? ;-)

    Of course, if I could afford a Leica S2/S and a few lenses.....different story.

    Gary
    P645NII, 35, 75, 120 macro, 150, 200, 45-85, 80-160
    P67 & P67II, 35 fisheye, 45, 55, 75, 75 Shift, 90, 90LS, 100 macro, 105, 135 macro, 165, 165LS, 200, 300 EDIF
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    You'll like it and you may find yourself using the 67 much less.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    It is about time. Looking forward to seeing your first shots. I have a 40" x 144" pano that is really nice--17x22 is just too small. The downside with the 645D is you will be wanting a 44" large-format printer for the files.
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    It is about time.
    Very true!!

    The downside with the 645D is you will be wanting a 44" large-format printer for the files.
    Ha! In that case....I can't afford a 645D. I will only have room in my home office for a 44" wide printer if I buy a new (and bigger) house!

    I hope I'll be able to post some of my own images shot with a 645D here in the near future.

    Gary
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Gary,

    As you well know, we've been singing the praises of this camera for the longest time. I think you've already seen my extensive comprehensive lens test on multiple samples of all Pentax FA lenses (here on Getdpi. The reason I mentioned this is I have found it critical to Af fine tune any sample of AF lens you mount on a given particular 645D. The differences sometimes is quite astonding...far greater than I've often seen when finetuning Af lenses on most any Nikon 35mm DSLR.

    Shashin and others are right...this camera really shines when printed big and thats where the differences in a number of keyt areas begin to show up when compared to similaay sized big prints (up to a point of course) with even the high MP 35mm DSLR's

    Fo a small fee of R/T airline tickets to your destination (home cooked meals would be a bonus)...I'd be willing to come up ther immediate and instruct how to insert the battery's and turn on the camera. For providing me with an addtional all expense paid journey into the wonderous National Parks to photograph native wildlife in addition to your seeing your vast and spectacular landscapes and of course visiting your lovely vista's with train "run by's" (since all your engine/train images are truly lovely)...I'll even show you how to set the camera's menu's Isn't that what Getdpi friends are for?...LOL!

    Gary, looking forward to your images with this camera and like most of your other pevious posted images in the various forums, I'm sure they will be fantastic.

    As I've recently posted, I did a minio shootout between the new Leica S and Pentax 645D...with Pentax's best 645 lens (the 120 f4 macro) vs. the "S" 120mm macro and the Pentax as they say, aquited itself very well...and thats against a quite astonishing image producing machine such as the "S" and it's amazing lenses.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    It is about time. Looking forward to seeing your first shots. I have a 40" x 144" pano that is really nice--17x22 is just too small. The downside with the 645D is you will be wanting a 44" large-format printer for the files.
    Very true, since i bought my first Hassy [H3DII-39] and i always dreaming or thinking about getting a minimum 40" printer [44" Epson was my main wishlist printer then 60"].
    Tareq

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Ben,

    Enjoy the 645D. I had a chance to play with one briefly and it brought back memories of the joys of shooting with the 645N II that I used to own.

    As regards the printers, it's certainly true that once you hit MF at this resolution you'll find yourself DOWNREZING to fit 24in. Even with my P25+ and D800/D600 I have more native resolution than I need for my Z3200. With the IQ160 it feels almost criminal to output at 300dpi with the subsequent downres although obviously you couldn't see it at 24in anyway. 44in is attractive but the problem I find is that I can print 'em but I've got nowhere to put 'em! (Not to mention the sheer cost of matting/framing).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Ben,

    Enjoy the 645D. I had a chance to play with one briefly and it brought back memories of the joys of shooting with the 645N II that I used to own.

    As regards the printers, it's certainly true that once you hit MF at this resolution you'll find yourself DOWNREZING to fit 24in. Even with my P25+ and D800/D600 I have more native resolution than I need for my Z3200. With the IQ160 it feels almost criminal to output at 300dpi with the subsequent downres although obviously you couldn't see it at 24in anyway. 44in is attractive but the problem I find is that I can print 'em but I've got nowhere to put 'em! (Not to mention the sheer cost of matting/framing).
    I quite agree with Graham in that although it's nice to have a 44" printer...unles the full output is for a client, or the occasional print with approx 40" on the longest size, printing often at anywhere's near that size is expensive and impractical. Even a 24" printer at times can fall to the same fate if printing to max. size. Yes, you can print small on a 44", but if only rarely...then it might actually be more convient to go smaller.

    Anyhow, for a man who has almsot everything, Graham can afford to discard pixels, like they're going out of style. Rumor has it, he's been secretly dumping them in the town dumpster late at night, when no one's looking

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Graham can afford to discard pixels, like they're going out of style. Rumor has it, he's been secretly dumping them in the town dumpster late at night, when no one's looking

    Dave (D&A)
    Damn, busted, again.

    Btw, I think that the 24in roll printers are the sweet spot. Almost the Goldilocks in so far as not too big and not too small. I mostly run 17in paper through mine even though I actually have a both a 24in & 44in printer (long story - thank you Charles!). I like the convenience of rolls but my 3880 is more economical for smaller prints and I don't have to fight the paper curls either. Given the choice though, 24in roll paper printer every time.

    I wish that Pentax would produce some more glass for the 645D btw. The form factor seems like a worthy alternative to the Leica S with the right glass.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Damn, busted, again.

    Btw, I think that the 24in roll printers are the sweet spot. Almost the Goldilocks in so far as not too big and not too small. I mostly run 17in paper through mine even though I actually have a both a 24in & 44in printer (long story - thank you Charles!). I like the convenience of rolls but my 3880 is more economical for smaller prints and I don't have to fight the paper curls either. Given the choice though, 24in roll paper printer every time.

    I wish that Pentax would produce some more glass for the 645D btw. The form factor seems like a worthy alternative to the Leica S with the right glass.
    I was actually going to write in my post above that I too thought 24" was the sweet spot (hmm...almost like 24MP may be the sweet spot for sensors . I agree completely with all else you wrote regarding the convience of a 17" printer for prints up to that size and then the 24" roll for most anything else (larger).

    With regards to additonal Pentax 645 lenses, the few new ones they've released have been a double edge sword with regards to both price and a bit of performance. I realize economic times have changed and since production #'s are relatively small...Pentax has to make up for design and production choice by making every new entry a very expensive proposition. The latest two new lenses go for approx $5000 and $4500 repectfully, which is a far cry from the value oriented brand Pentax. What makes it a bitter pill to swallow is many of their legacy lenses are quite good (if one tests for a good sample) and they are a fraction of the price. The 1st and earliest of the new 645 lenses, although less expensive than $5000.00, didn't trun out to be head and shoulders above legacy lenses in terms of performance....so latest doesn't equate to be better.

    Credit though has to be given where credit is due...the $5000 25mm 645 lens (effective 19mm on the 645D) is one of the widest 645 lenses available and the new 90mm macro/portrait at approx $4300-4500 (although only goes to 1:2 repro ratio)...has image stabilization. Still the legacy FA Af 120mm f4 1:1 macro is one of the best performing Pentax 645 lenses and it's price is a relative bargin at under $1000 for what it does and how it performs. The manual focus version is even cheaper and performs much the same. The lovely FA AF150mm f2.8 legacy lens, which is wondeful as a portrait lens can often be found for around $500 or less. So although it would be nice for Pentax to release more 645 lenses, their price points in many cases make them unattractive for most.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Ouch - they seem as proud of their new glass as Phase One & Alpa!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Ouch - they seem as proud of their new glass as Phase One & Alpa!
    Apparently so...but that's not generally what the Pentax name has stood for over the years....exceptionally good performance at a more than competitive price. That's how the Pentax 645D was marketed when it was initially introduced, which reminded many of the Penatx of old. Unfortunately this recent pricing model for the new 645 lenses emulates what they did a few years ago with their new and recent 35mm lenses and it didn't go over well with long time Pentax users.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    It is a market size problem. How to make these lenses and make a profit is not that easy. But the prices are in line with Phase/Mamiya. But I also think Pentax planned this to be a Japan-only product thinking they would not really get a market outside the country. The Japanese do not mind paying for their equipment. I am not sure if the hesitation come from the Japanese headquarters or the overseas divisions. Certainly the oversea division do not like taking unusual product, especially the US. When I worked on the anniversary Minolta Alpha 7 SLR Limited Edition, the run was basically for the Japanese market with a few going to Europe--the US division just did not want to deal with it. I do not think the Fuji 16 lens golf camera was ever sold outside Japan.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I do not think the Fuji 16 lens golf camera was ever sold outside Japan.
    Note to self: Must find a use for the Fuji Eadweard Muybridge edition :-)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    It is a market size problem. How to make these lenses and make a profit is not that easy. But the prices are in line with Phase/Mamiya. But I also think Pentax planned this to be a Japan-only product thinking they would not really get a market outside the country. The Japanese do not mind paying for their equipment. I am not sure if the hesitation come from the Japanese headquarters or the overseas divisions. Certainly the oversea division do not like taking unusual product, especially the US. When I worked on the anniversary Minolta Alpha 7 SLR Limited Edition, the run was basically for the Japanese market with a few going to Europe--the US division just did not want to deal with it. I do not think the Fuji 16 lens golf camera was ever sold outside Japan.
    Interestingly that's sort of a similar stroy with regards to Pentax's original three limited 35mm lenses....the 31, 43 and 77mm lenses. These gems were originally marketed for the Japanese market only and were quite pricy at the time. They were so highly revered, that many outside Japan would order them from overseas buyers. Eventually in North America, Pentax Canada eventually picked them up but that left the US without a offical importer as Pentax USA was nearly the last to make them avaialble. This was a case where a a fairly expensive product(s) were eagerly purchased outside their intended market.

    A similar story for the 645D body as often pointed out but in this case, the body was priced very competitivly and remained so when finially made avaialble outside its originally intended market, especially here in the US. Pentax initially wanted to market the new $5000 25mm lens as a Japan market only product, but here again, the small market demand elsewhere indicated that it might be worthwhile to make it"s sale avaialble elsewhere. Some were taken aback by its price even though there are few if any MF lenses this wide. Same goes for the new $4500 90mm macro, being the 1st MF lens with image stabilization, even though many find it of dubious value in this particular focal length.

    If this is the price trend of new Pentax 645 lens releases...I think they are going to find themselves with an uphill battle, especially outside both the Japanese and well healed markets. In some cases it goes against the perceived value priced market that Pentax is well know for and they made a similar mistake with their newer 35mm line of lenses, which struggles to find sales.

    What happens them is Pentax is forced to keep prices high to make up for reduced sales. Personally I think they need to re-evaluate this approach.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    I am not sure Pentax can drop the price. These lenses are expensive to make and belong to a camera that, while being great value, is out of the reach of many--it is a small market and lowering the price does not translate into sales. Pentax glass was always priced at a level with Mamiya and Bronica--it was not cheap. I think we forget that a film lens had a longer shelf life and production life than the digital competitors. You could make a lens and sell it for ten years and the price would not change. That business model does not exist anymore.

    BTW, the Hasselblad 24mm H series lens is slightly slower, not weatherproof, and $1,000 more than the Pentax 25mm. The Mamiya 28mm is the same price. I don't think Pentax is really that expensive when compared with the competition. The Leica S 24mm is a lot more expensive.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Shashin, I agree. Limited Market but development cost for producing these optivs, equals high cost. Yes I know many who considered the 645D and compared its perceived value as a system as a whole, when the D800 was annouced. They only saw or wanted to consider "digital specific designed lenses and they came to the conclusion that there were too few for the Pentax 645 system and what lenses there were (especially now), consists of only $5000 lenses save one.

    Pentax is limiting their market appeal of the 645D if they also don't maket some entry way lenses...since many perceive Pentax's path as a gateway to new cameras and systems as their hallmark. I know all too well about the value of the leagcy lenses but they either think they're not worth considering or don't even see them on Pentax's website. Sure Pentax can compete with Hassey, Leica and Phase, but their 645D market is and should be different, if they want that systen to grow.

    Regardless of real or perceived differences by many of the 645D vs the D800....unless there are also some entry level lenses like Pentax used to din the days of theo 645N...then they are definitely turning away potential buyers. If nothing else, two or three of these entry lenses will get many more to consider and purchase getting into the 645D system and as we all know, that will lead to some to eventually purchase those $5000 lenses. If not, People will either pick cameras like the D800 or simply use similar funds to buy a used Leica S2 body and some LN lenses, which are priced in that $5000 territory.

    Alternatively they might gravate to say Hassey since lenses may be similary priced, the system as a whole is vastly larger.

    Pentax's marketing as a whole the past 8 years I believe has been their weekness if not their downfall, no matter how good a product they make. You know as well as anyone, marketing a product properly if half the battle.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Dave -- I definitely remember (and have read many times) your excellent tests and reports of the legacy Pentax lenses on the 645D. Thanks again for the time and effort you put into that for everyone's benefit!

    Re the pricing of new Pentax lenses for the 645D....those $4-$5k lenses are beyond my reach and if I didn't already have many legacy lenses or couldn't purchase affordable used lenses, I would not even consider buying a 645D. I think you are absolutely right about the need for Pentax to have a line of affordable, entry level lenses for the 645D, in addition to the newly designed premium "digital" glass. I really think they should simply produce and sell the FA lenses again. If folks could buy NEW FA 120mm macro, FA 75mm, FA 35mm etc lenses for reasonable prices, I think it would help establish the 645D as a real competitor in the market.

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 12th February 2013 at 11:23.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    +1! I couldn't agree more Gary and I've heard many voice the same exact reasoning and desire for Pentax to approach marketing the 645D system to a wider user base.

    Thanks ever so much for your kind words regarding my comprehensive Pentax 645 lens tests. I hVe a couple of additional new lenses to now add to that list that I've tested but something always comes up delaying my write-up.

    It's been suggested that Pentax on a limited basis (possibly by special order), still produces some of the legacy lenses, but even if true and in the home market (only), many now appear prohibitedly expensive compared to purchasing LN samples being sold by others.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    .....compared to purchasing LN samples being sold by others.
    Dave (D&A)
    There are some very good deals on LN/LN-/EX+ condition 645 lenses again, especially the manual focus A versions. I just ordered a LN- 75mm A lens from KEH for $139, which I'm hoping will be in even better condition than the EX+ copy I already own (which itself was only ~$100.) I've been very happy with the optical quality of this lens on my P645NII. If I remember correctly, the FA version of this lens is one that you thought was quite good on the 645D also.

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    There are some very good deals on LN/LN-/EX+ condition 645 lenses again, especially the manual focus A versions. I just ordered a LN- 75mm A lens from KEH for $139, which I'm hoping will be in even better condition than the EX+ copy I already own (which itself was only ~$100.) I've been very happy with the optical quality of this lens on my P645NII. If I remember correctly, the FA version of this lens is one that you thought was quite good on the 645D also.

    Gary
    Hi Gary,

    I believe the MF 75mm f2.8 645 lens is optically identical to it's FA Af counterpart (sometimes coatings are different between "A" and FA versions of lenses)... but I don't know for certain since I only tested the Af version. The lens was a surprise and a little gem on the 645D, but as my lens test indicated, had to be stopped down approx 1.5 stops to achieve good sharpness. One important thing to note is all samples (some more than others) showed some of the highest levels of CA of any Pentax FA 645 lens...espcially when bright light refected off metalic items. A good deal of it was easily removed in post processing.

    Used at f5.6 and beyond, how can one go wrong with a medium format lens priced like this....and so compact. These are some of the types of gems that makes the 645D system so desirable.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 12th February 2013 at 19:35.
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    Re: Pentax 645D

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

    I believe the MF 75mm f2.8 645 lens is optically identical to it's FA Af counterpart (sometimes coatings are different between "A" and FA versions of lenses)... but I don't know for certain since I only tested the Af version. The lens was a surprise and a little gem on the 645D, but as my lens test indicated, had to be stopped down approx 1.5 stops to achieve good sharpness. One important thing to note is all samples (some more than others) showed some of the highest levels of CA of any Pentax FA 645 lens...espcially when bright light refected off metalic items. A good deal of it was easily removed in post processing.

    Used at f5.6 and beyond, how can one go wrong with a medium format lens priced like this....and so compact. These are some of the types of gems that makes the 645D system so desirable.

    Dave (D&A)
    Dave: Is there someplace I can down load and save your 645D lens tests? I read it initially on either this forum, or possibly the Pentax forum, and value them very much. I would like to save them so I can refer to them. Strange thing about lenses: I owned a Pentax 67 and 645 way back when, and having come from a Hasselblad 500C with Zeiss lenses (I could only afford two), the Pentax lenses were a bargain. I think 5 minutes after the 645D was announced, I started on a used lens buying spree. Every lens from 35mm to 300mm, none over about $150 to $175, (except the pristine 300mm) from KEH and ebay. I had two zooms; I had both A and later, FA versions. Here's the funny thing: I prefer the manual focus A versions, so I sold all my FA lenses, except the 45~85. There is a precise feel to the beautiful helicals of the A lenses. I now have 35mm A, 75mm A, 120mm macro A, 150mm A, 200mm A and 300mm A with 1.4X, and the FA 45-85 zoom. A beautiful lens line up that was probably no more than $1200 to $1400 total!
    Best regards
    Dave in NJ
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Dave (in NJ): I prefer the feel and build quality of the manual focus A versions too. They come closest to matching the quality of my Pentax 67 SMC lenses (all the latest versions).

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    I got a 35mm A and 120mm A. Very nice lenses, although the 120mm makes me feel weird sometimes--it can look like you are trying to overcompensate for something.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    Dave: Is there someplace I can down load and save your 645D lens tests? I read it initially on either this forum, or possibly the Pentax forum, and value them very much. I would like to save them so I can refer to them. Strange thing about lenses: I owned a Pentax 67 and 645 way back when, and having come from a Hasselblad 500C with Zeiss lenses (I could only afford two), the Pentax lenses were a bargain. I think 5 minutes after the 645D was announced, I started on a used lens buying spree. Every lens from 35mm to 300mm, none over about $150 to $175, (except the pristine 300mm) from KEH and ebay. I had two zooms; I had both A and later, FA versions. Here's the funny thing: I prefer the manual focus A versions, so I sold all my FA lenses, except the 45~85. There is a precise feel to the beautiful helicals of the A lenses. I now have 35mm A, 75mm A, 120mm macro A, 150mm A, 200mm A and 300mm A with 1.4X, and the FA 45-85 zoom. A beautiful lens line up that was probably no more than $1200 to $1400 total!
    Best regards
    Dave in NJ
    Hi Dave (in NJ) and everyone else!

    Sorry for the delayed response...work sometimes gets in the way...LOL!

    Serious though, your experiences with Pentax "A" MF 645 lenses in comparison with the FA versions is completely understandable. A bit of Pentax history. Your experiences actually emulates what very long time Pentax 35mm SLR and DSLR users experienced including myself. The "A" and "A*" manual focus 35mm lenses were simply beautiful in construction, optical performance and of course the all important build quality and tactile feel. Nearly second to none when compared to other Pentax lenses..even their Af ones. Many of these "A" lenses had their own unique optical formulas and lens speed in comparison to the Af versions were not the same in terms of optical design. In some cases they were identical in this respect.

    Fast forward to the Pentax 645 lenses. Again the MF versions had a beautiful build quality as well as focusing helical and tactile feel. Thinks were a bit different this time around. Some of the newer FA AF 645 lenses had the same optical design as their manual focus predecessors....some didn't,. Even if their optical arrangement was similar, lens coating (which I confirmed) were often different...which may be why differences in CA is seen with match pairs of the MF and AF versions of the same lens. Each lens therefore has to be evaluated on a case by case basis, especially when used on the 645D.

    I decided for a variety of reason and uses to primarily focus on the FA Af versions but those identical manual focus version will generally perform the same and in a couple of cases may actually be preferable image wise to their AF counterparts.

    The bottom line is many of not most are very capable performers and often stellar! The key with the FA Af lenses is to find samples that perform above the norm when used on the 645D. Since almost all these lenses, both MF and Af were designed in the film days...adjustment at the factory was often sloppy but more than adequate with film..but not when used in conjunction with a digital sensor. Same thing was observed with Leica M lenses when the M8 body was released. After finding the best possible sample, the next step with the AF versions was to find tune AF with each lens. The differences are as nearly as dramatic as different samples of manual focus 645 lenses.

    As for my comprehensive Pentax 645 lens tests, they were only posted here on Getdpi and once I can find the posting, I'll provide the link in this thread.

    I've been meaning to ask Guy and Jack if they could make it a "sticky", since I get requests elsewhere for links to this test. I've since tested two more important lenses in the 645 system and just have to finish writing up the mini review...something I've been promising to do for 6-12 months...LOL!

    If one chooses carefully, whether using MF or Af lenses, quite a remarkable system can be achieved for a reasonable amount of investment.

    Again different lens samples and Af fine tune with Af lenses seems to be the key and I cannot overemphasize the difference this has made in a great number of cases.
    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Dave (D&A):
    thanks for the thoughtful and complete answer.
    A sticky would be great.
    Dave in NJ

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Gary - congrats on your very sensible decision! I look forward to comparing notes with you on your 645D :-)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Congratulations Gary! I think it is a very good decision, and I know you have been thinking about this for ages.

    Regarding the printing, I agree that 17x22 is not even breaking a sweat for these cameras. I print the S2 to 1mX1.5m (40x60 inches, roughly), and they still look quite sharp on close inspection...very sharp from even a foot or two back.

    I do the printing for a living, and work with the 44" Epson 9900. Trust me, while they are great printers, they are also high maintenance, expensive to run, take up a huge amount of space, and really need to be running all the time. I would never want one unless I was printing for a living. Of course, there are photographers who own them and it works great for them, but you really need to be printing very large on a regular basis for it to be worth it.

    I would, of course be happy to print for any of you though, haha. Special GetDPI discount! I send work out fairly often. I did two very large jobs for a national museum and a gallery in Norway last year, and have sent work to the UK, Germany and the States in the past few months. But really, not meant to be a hard sell, if you can find a local person with the printer and be face to face with them as they work, that's really the best situation. Most of the work I send abroad is for clients whom I have already established a good working relationship with, so I know their preferences etc.
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    You can load 8x10 paper in the Epson 9800. You can more use out of it that way and it really impresses your visitors.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    One thing to watch is that Pentax customer service is about the worst I have ever dealt with. I have a 645D and 3 months out of warranty with maybe 2500 shots on it I found the back sd card slot was working. You could push the card in but it wouldn't stay, just kept popping out. Everything else on the camera was perfect. Sent it in for repair in November and it just came back. Cost $1200 to fix the spring clip. No consideration that it was just out of warranty or the low shot count and over 3 months to repair.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Tim,

    I feel your pain as I'm sure many here do. Prior to Pentax being sold/part merger with Hoya (which was even before their current buyout from Ricoh)..they were basically a family owned company which few knew. I had a close working relationship with them, but even those that didn't were surprised and even shocked that they would do a large percentage of out of warrenty repairs free or for a nominal charge. Maybe thats one of the reasons they eventually found themselves in financial hardship.

    Pentax USA no longer does repairs but farms it out to CRIS and like a lot of 3rd party companies who repair for a variety of concerns, they often charge an arm and leg. I don't know what lengths you went to fight this, but Pentax has usually looked upon 645D purchases as professional purchases and would still try and bend over backwards when possible. Prior to getting a estimate, did you try to contact every possible channel to plead your case? I even think it would have been far less expensive to ship to Pentax Canada or Japan, since it was out of warrenty. For a 645D , I am surprised by what you decribed.

    Again I wish someone could do something even after the fact that it's been repaired and it wouldn't hurt contacting Pentax USA again and explain how rediculous this repair bill was...unless the repair involved something else. When a 3rd party repair facitlity is often involved in a repiar, even the tinest repair often becomes a major ordeal. This has been my personal experience.
    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 16th February 2013 at 04:57.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Yes, that really does sound beyond the pale! It sounds like they put an extra zero on by mistake.

    (P.S. Shashin: I only have one printer, so I am printing A4/8x10 on the 9900! Not the most efficient...a 3880 or smaller would be easier for sheets, but better to consolidate all the consumable costs into one machine for me).
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Tim:

    That's outrageous.

    Dave's analysis agrees with my own experience. Pentax USA repair was great when it existed. I remember a long conversation with repairperson who worked on my 67 300mm ED lens. CRIS is a different story, you can only talk to the receptionist and I really doubt if any of the repair techs have any factory training. Pentax Canada is still good, but has become less accessible. I live about a 2 hr. drive from them and have had several repairs done there and had face-to-face conversations with the repair people - no longer, you can't get past the front desk now. Additionally, they no longer ship to US addresses; you have to have a Canadian address. This happened around the same time Pentax USA closed their repair facilities - coincidence? More likely they are afraid of being overwhelmed by US repairs.

    You should have received a contact person with Pentax Professional services with the camera. If not, pm me and Iíll send a name and number

    Tom

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Hi

    Actually I am in Canada, Montreal to be exact. I sent the camera in to Pentax Canada for what I thought would be a minor adjustment or repair and now 3 months later get it back with a $1391.20 bill. I always had 2 cards in the camera but always shot to the front one and had the rear just in case. Because of that it almost always stayed in the camera but when I took it out in November it would not go back in.


    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Tim,

    I feel your pain as I'm sure many here do. Prior to Pentax being sold/part merger with Hoya (which was even before their current buyout from Ricoh)..they were basically a family owned company which few knew. I had a close working relationship with them, but even those that didn't were surprised and even shocked that they would do a large percentage of out of warrenty repairs free or for a nominal charge. Maybe thats one of the reasons they eventually found themselves in financial hardship.

    Pentax USA no longer does repairs but farms it out to CRIS and like a lot of 3rd party companies who repair for a variety of concerns, they often charge an arm and leg. I don't know what lengths you went to fight this, but Pentax has usually looked upon 645D purchases as professional purchases and would still try and bend over backwards when possible. Prior to getting a estimate, did you try to contact every possible channel to plead your case? I even think it would have been far less expensive to ship to Pentax Canada or Japan, since it was out of warrenty. For a 645D , I am surprised by what you decribed.

    Again I wish someone could do something even after the fact that it's been repaired and it wouldn't hurt contacting Pentax USA again and explain how rediculous this repair bill was...unless the repair involved something else. When a 3rd party repair facitlity is often involved in a repiar, even the tinest repair often becomes a major ordeal. This has been my personal experience.
    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by TimWright View Post
    Hi

    Actually I am in Canada, Montreal to be exact. I sent the camera in to Pentax Canada for what I thought would be a minor adjustment or repair and now 3 months later get it back with a $1391.20 bill. I always had 2 cards in the camera but always shot to the front one and had the rear just in case. Because of that it almost always stayed in the camera but when I took it out in November it would not go back in.
    Ouch. Right after I sing the praises of Pentax Canada I see this. I must say I'm surprised. I would certainly call them for an explanation.

    I'll pm the US contacts, but not sure they can help you.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Tim's service experience certainly gives me reason to pause re buying a used 645D. I would expect Pentax to offer better service on a camera costing so much.

    It's probably been 10+ years since I have had any service done by Pentax. My older Pentax 67 bodies had developed the erratic film advance problem. As I recall, fixing both bodies cost about $300.

    I would hate to spend $7k on a used 645D, only to get a $1,300 bill later to fix the spring clip on a SD card slot or something else.

    I wonder how long the warranty period on a new 645D is...

    Gary

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    1 year. You can also check the net to see how many folks have been having trouble with the 645D. I think you will find the numbers low. Certainly better than that other $7,000 camera by Leica.
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Tim's service experience certainly gives me reason to pause re buying a used 645D. I would expect Pentax to offer better service on a camera costing so much.

    It's probably been 10+ years since I have had any service done by Pentax. My older Pentax 67 bodies had developed the erratic film advance problem. As I recall, fixing both bodies cost about $300.

    I would hate to spend $7k on a used 645D, only to get a $1,300 bill later to fix the spring clip on a SD card slot or something else.

    I wonder how long the warranty period on a new 645D is...

    Gary
    Gary:

    I wouldn't let that dissuade you. I've had my 645D since December 2010 without a hiccup. I have over 10,000 exposures, which had I been using my 67, would have cost about $10,000.

    Tom

    PS I kept my 67II thinking I would use both, in fact the film camera only gets used when I need a fisheye.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    +1

    I have also shot over 10,000 frames on my 645D. If I had shot that number of frames on the film medium-format cameras that were replaced by the 645D, it would have come out a lot more than the camera.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    1 year. You can also check the net to see how many folks have been having trouble with the 645D. I think you will find the numbers low. Certainly better than that other $7,000 camera by Leica.
    I couldn't agree more with both Shashin and Tom with their personal thoughts regarding reliability with the 645D and all the rest they expressed.

    For myself, the 645D has been flawless in every way, reliable to a fault and never misses a beat. That doesn't mean that an occasional unit doesn't encounter issues as any reliable product might encounter. I think with all the years Pentax has had developing the 645D..they got it "right". Something tells me if Pentax never had financial issues, the 645D it would have been released years earlier (with a smaller sensor of course) and also had a higher percentage of problems.

    Case in point: Think of a high school student who has to hand in a major paper in 2 weeks..it may be good but could use improvement. Give them an extra 3 -5 years to work on the same paper and it should be close to perfect. That's sort of what happened to the 645D in development.

    Getting back to the issue of Tim's 645D and the repair needed for the spring loaded mechanism responsible for ejection of the SD card. I would make continuous calls to Pentax Canada repeatedly until you reach the very highest levels of management, explain the situation and demand an explanation. I realize labor often costs more than possibly a $5.00 part but the cots of your (Tim's) repair is beyond comprehension if that's all was needed.

    Pentax as I explained earlier in my professional dealing with them, would do most anything to keep a working relationship on a level that's expected. Fast forward years later, you can only speak to a receptionist at CHIS repair when dealing with Pentax USA repair and as I had a serious questions and issue regarding a older lens....and it was as though the receptionist was simply a go between her and the tech and would allow nothing more. I think Pentax USA is simply now a office and is involved in nothing more that paperwork and keeping track of import of equipment and a few other administrative things. Of the record I've spoken with a few present and past contacts.

    Personally, when it comes to out of warranty Pentax equipment, I'd bypass CHIS and go directly to Pentax Japan since it now appears Pentax Canada which I greatly admired when I had some Canadian shoots and required their assistance. is becoming similar to Pentax USA.

    I have a feeling that the 645D that needed the eject mechanism repaired, was sent back to Pentax Japan as most 645D's do when needing attention...and that's why it took so long to repair. Pentax Canada probably tacked on a $900.00 surcharge for their services much as CRIS does.

    It appears like a lot of companies, that certain subsidiaries have becomes nothing more than clearing houses.

    Nikon USA is becoming the same way with regards to repair charges and evaluation. Send most any lens or camera under warranty (such as lens that is front or back focusing...and it will come back with a $300.00 or more estimate for "impact damage". That's been the new catch phrase for Nikon USA the past 3 years for almost anything your send them in or out of warranty that has an issue...even a lens that was removed from the box brand new and mounted once. Luckily the web has spread the word about this sort of unethical practice and a couple of sharp words with upper level management and all of a sudden...all charges are usually removed and repair is free. They depend on most not being aware of this. Literally hundreds if not a few thousand have reported this practice and still Nikon doesn't get "it" that word is spreading via the web.

    With many companies like Pentax in dire economic straits and like Nikon, with their profits reportedly reduced significantly the past 12 months...this is what these companies now resort to, to survive. Don't get me started with Nikon raising prices on small parts by as much as 200% and charging $25.00-$35.00 to mail a piece of 1" x 2" rubber for the bottom of a grip in a 50 cent envelope. This began a few months ago as well as their no longer allowing independent service facilities to order and sell parts to the general public. What a wonderful "new" way for all these companies to generate customer loyalty..."Not"!
    Last edited by D&A; 17th February 2013 at 06:10.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Thanks everyone for all the info. I will definitely be in touch with Pentax.

    Let me clarify though. It is a fantastic camera and I would not hesitate to buy one. ergonomics is unmatched, image quality is excellent, I could go on and on. Just not happy with customer support. Early last summer my 110 macro jammed up and I had to send it in and it cost me 1k to be fixed. I lived with it as I may have caused the problem but this was a definite defect. I know it did go to Japan for repair and it took 3 months as apparently they "forgot" about it and it just sat there.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Tim...I assumed you read my post above....but since the time you posted your latest response, I added some additions to it (my post). Even the price you paid for your macro is ridiculous. You almost could have simply purchased another LN lens for that price. I'm not sure Pentax Japan or even Nikon Japan knows what these subsidiaries are doing to the good name of the parent company. Truly amazing!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 17th February 2013 at 06:06.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Tim...I assume you read my post above....but since you posted your latest repsponse, I added some additions to it (my post). Even the price you paid for your macro is rediculous. You almost could have simply purchased anotehr LN lens for that price. I'm not sure Pentax Japan or even Nikon Japan knows what these substideraries are doing to the good name of the parent company. Truly amazing!

    Dave (D&A)
    Dave, equating repair cost to secondhand prices is not really very useful. Pentax does need to pay for their repair staff--not minimum-wage earners. I would simply buy another lens, but that mean Pentax can do the repair work for less.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    I know it was high but at the time it would have been about $500 more for another lens and then I wouldn't be sure what I was getting so I paid as like I said I believe it was my fault that it needed repair. I also shoot Leica M and went through the IR issue. I actually didn't have a real problem with what I was shooting but sent it in. They handled everything including giving a huge discount off on a new lens shipped from Germany with all taxes duties etc paid and I had it back in 6 weeks. I sent an M9 in for calibration which was done for free and they sent me a new spare battery. Very professional.

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    Tim...I assume you read my post above....but since you posted your latest repsponse, I added some additions to it (my post). Even the price you paid for your macro is rediculous. You almost could have simply purchased anotehr LN lens for that price. I'm not sure Pentax Japan or even Nikon Japan knows what these substideraries are doing to the good name of the parent company. Truly amazing!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by TimWright View Post
    Thanks everyone for all the info. I will definitely be in touch with Pentax.

    Let me clarify though. It is a fantastic camera and I would not hesitate to buy one. ergonomics is unmatched, image quality is excellent, I could go on and on. Just not happy with customer support. Early last summer my 110 macro jammed up and I had to send it in and it cost me 1k to be fixed. I lived with it as I may have caused the problem but this was a definite defect. I know it did go to Japan for repair and it took 3 months as apparently they "forgot" about it and it just sat there.
    Tim:

    I am really surprised at this, I've had at least five lenses and a 645 body serviced by Pentax Canada and they always gave me a price before the repair was done. They weren't cheap, but they were reasonable; perhaps they too have changed. In the future, for lenses consider sending them to Eric Hendrickson in Tennessee in the US. He's a former Pentax repairperson and does a great job at a fair price.

    Tom

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Dave, equating repair cost to secondhand prices is not really very useful. Pentax does need to pay for their repair staff--not minimum-wage earners. I would simply buy another lens, but that mean Pentax can do the repair work for less.
    .

    Hi Shashin,

    I can certainly identify and mostly agree with your assessment. I realize economic times have changed and many of these companies are fighting for survival and have to watch every penny that contributes to the bottom line. No issue with that and also that repairs (like with auto's) don't cost what they used to be. Tech's and those employed have to be paid more and so the companies have to charge more. Again no issue with that!

    The issue I have though is gouging! Certain auto repair facilities (both the manufacturers as well as independent) engage in this practice and it appears some of the major camera manufacturers have been doing the same lately. When one is on the other side like Tim was, it takes on a whole different interpretation. What's fair is fair..but not when the consumer is taken advantage of in the name of the company using this approach in order to survive. Like the elderly couple that doesn't know any better about the cost of their car repair and are charged hundreds more than someone who knows is far more knowledgeable... so too have some camera manufacturers attempted the same principals. Interesting when a consumer speaks up and makes a legitimate case, they quickly back off...but what about those that don't know any better.

    As for Leica, I've seen it go both ways...but like Pentax Japan, Nikon Japan and Leica in Solms...the home company always seems to be the most direct and honest in their approach. It's the independently owned subsidiaries where these fairly recent practices seem to now emanate from and the reports are coming in from various parts of the world. As you can see, I haven't thought highly of these practices and neither have many others.

    I have a lot of respect for these company's products, their complexity and the amount of work that goes into making sure that reliability levels are kept high. Regardless of price, sometimes a part fails or a glitch develops, and this too can be expected to occasionally happen. Generally it's not the fault of an under-designed or inadequately tested product prior to market release. It's how these issues both in and out of warranty are handled that speaks volumes about the value these companies place on customer loyalty and repeat business.

    I don't think it's the faulting economy alone that has a few of these highly successful companies now developing a less than stellar reputation for some of their recent consumer related practices and a profitable bottom line that's shrinking. I also believe the parent company doesn't quite know (or want to know), how their similarly named subsidiaries have been handling customer related issues recently. Can you imagine if Tim sent his 645D in for repair of the SD card rejection mechanism, while the camera was still under warranty, and it came back with a $1200.00 estimate for repair due to "impact damage"? That's the response many are receiving for their "in-warranty" products that develop issues through no fault of the end user....which when uncontested, often leads to exorbitant repair estimates for minor out of warranty repairs (for all consumers in general).

    I would bet it someone walks through the door of Pentax Japan with a out of warranty 645D that had the same issue/problem as Tim's 645D...my guess would be the cost of repair might be in the neighborhood of $300-$400 (give or take), if that.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 17th February 2013 at 06:47.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    I am interested in where to get the 645D for $6K as posted in the original post. In my area, when you see one they are close to the "new" body price.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Congratulations on the 645D, hopefully you enjoy it for a long time. I have used mine in a variety of places and so far is has always performed well. I have been stuck in a typhoon in Japan and a rainforest with it and it also survived. I would suggest being careful when changing lenses in high humidity though. The weather sealing can seal in humid air inside of the camera if you are not careful and cause problems. Same goes for the lenses.

    On another note, does anyone here know if Pentax does maintenance service to their cameras if still under warranty ? I want the camera checked and the CCD cleaned before a trip to Antarctice with it. I'm not sure if this is something that other companies do.

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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Quote Originally Posted by larkis View Post
    Congratulations on the 645D, hopefully you enjoy it for a long time. I have used mine in a variety of places and so far is has always performed well. I have been stuck in a typhoon in Japan and a rainforest with it and it also survived. I would suggest being careful when changing lenses in high humidity though. The weather sealing can seal in humid air inside of the camera if you are not careful and cause problems. Same goes for the lenses.

    On another note, does anyone here know if Pentax does maintenance service to their cameras if still under warranty ? I want the camera checked and the CCD cleaned before a trip to Antarctice with it. I'm not sure if this is something that other companies do.
    Here in the States an independently contracted out service center now performs most all Pentax (35mm and 645 lens/camera) in and out of warranty service. They are called C.R.I.S. and are located in Arizona. They also are an offical service center for a variety of major brands. I've heard very mixed feedback on their performance....some very good, so OK, and some not so good...a mixed bag. My one phone call to them did not instill a lot of confidence.

    Not sure if Pentax Camera in Canada are still doing their own repair on premise but I think they are. From some Canadian forum members here and elsewhere, recently like in the States, there has been a remarkbale change to Pentax USA, Canada and elsewhere in their handling of service and it hasn't been all good.....not in the slighest. Economy, donsizing, cost cutting measures and farming out to indendent service centers has all contributed to a less than ideal situation.

    Prior to all this, Pentax USA used to be exceptional both for the consumer and for Pro's who relied on their impecable handling of most situations. I can testify to that and also with my relationship with them for many years.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 23rd February 2013 at 05:46.

  50. #50
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    Re: Pentax 645D

    Can Pentax 645D users please post some photos? let's start a thread here. I'd love to see some shots before I consider the system. THank you!

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