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Thread: Pentax 645D Questions

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    Pentax 645D Questions

    So I've been debating selling my M9-P and maybe the 35 Summicron ASPH (while keeping my other lenses in case I want to re-enter the Leica world at some point) the last few months and adding a MF system since I really really like my A7 and A7r combo so much. That will probably cover the cost of a Pentax 645D and maybe a lens or 2 at current prices. I've read and researched through the forums on the camera so I have somewhat of a general idea of what to expect from the camera. I do have a question regarding lenses. How hard is it to find good copies used and how hard is it to purchase them new from overseas sellers? What about the "hidden costs" that you often find out about after the sale sometimes? Any surprises? Any recommended accessories? I know the new one is coming out but I really like the look of the current CCD (but if some great samples come out that blow me away prior to my purchase then maybe I'll swing the extra coin for it.)

    I hope to start with the Pentax 645D + 55/2.8 + 120/4 Macro (if I can find one in like new to excellent condition) If I make the ultimate decision to go this route. Oh yeah and I'd prefer to work with AF lenses but I'm not completely opposed to MF if that's all that's available.
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    It's not difficult to find good used lenses or order new ones from Japan or Europe. I have way too many lenses ranging from 35mm to 600mm; other than the 600mm, none of them is hard to find. I would suggest you add the 35mm A to your lens list. A good copy will cost about $400 and most prefer the manual A version to the auto-focus FA. I had both and sold the FA version. I've had the camera over three years, no surprises other than how long the battery charge lasts (a long time). The write speed is slow, so if you're in hurry and want to see the image on the lcd, you may find that frustrating.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Ditto what tsjanik posted. I was fortunate to own a pretty complete selection of lenses from my Pentax 645N film days. The 35mm is especially outstanding. KEH is a source of used lenses and they offer a liberal return policy if the lens doesn't meet your expectations.

    I've compared images from my 645D against those from the D800/300e. A friend owns a 645D and a Sony a7r. We both prefer the images from the 645D, other pros/cons notwithstanding.

    Pentax service is still lagging badly in this country. Ricoh really needs to get on top of that situation. OTOH, I've had no problems in 2.5 years with my 645D and for the current selling price of $6495.00, a serious user could buy a second body for backup and still be into MFD for less than the entry cost into other systems...assuming of course that the 645D meets your needs and shooting style.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Thanks for the replies and the write speed rob ably wouldn't bother me much if at all. I'm not a heavy chimper at all and I'm somewhat used to shooting slower from owning a pair of M9's as my primary cameras for the last 4 years. I guess I need to take a closer look at what's available on the used market and also another (read: closer look at the competition as well.)
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    All of the above posts mirror my experiences with the 645D and lenses ranging from 35mm to 600mm. Although I am partial to the Af lenses simply due to my own personal requirements, many of the manual focus ones have the same optical formula,, although not all, and can be had for significantly less in many cases.

    Having used and tested the manual focus and AF versions of the 35mm f3.5 lenses, there are differences between the two and I found advantages and disadvantages for each optically. Both though are exceptionally good.

    With regards to the AF lenses, there are though significant differences in performance from sample to sample, even brand new ones out of the box. I found this out by testing many samples of a given lens and not always could AF fine tuning in the body itself overcome these differences. The reason is these lenses were for the most part made during the film era and as such were loosely adjusted (adequately) for that medium...much like some older pre digital Leica lenses that were made during the film era. Many of those had to be readjusted to get their expected performance level on digital. Here on Getdpi I posted a comprehensive lens test of most all of the Pentax Af 645 lenses when used on the 645D (multiple samples of most). I don't have the link handy but maybe someone else does. It will give you a good idea of what to expect.

    As mentioned, the write speeds of the 645D is its weakest point due to a slow processor, but in most cases it's not a hindrance. Reliability as expressed by others is simply fantastic. The look of the output from it's CCD is lovely.

    Keep us posted.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    All of the above posts mirror my experiences with the 645D and lenses ranging from 35mm to 600mm. Although I am partial to the Af lenses simply due to my own personal requirements, many of the manual focus ones have the same optical formula,, although not all, and can be had for significantly less in many cases.

    Having used and tested the manual focus and AF versions of the 35mm f3.5 lenses, there are differences between the two and I found advantages and disadvantages for each optically. Both though are exceptionally good.

    With regards to the AF lenses, there are though significant differences in performance from sample to sample, even brand new ones out of the box. I found this out by testing many samples of a given lens and not always could AF fine tuning in the body itself overcome these differences. The reason is these lenses were for the most part made during the film era and as such were loosely adjusted (adequately) for that medium...much like some older pre digital Leica lenses that were made during the film era. Many of those had to be readjusted to get their expected performance level on digital. Here on Getdpi I posted a comprehensive lens test of most all of the Pentax Af 645 lenses when used on the 645D (multiple samples of most). I don't have the link handy but maybe someone else does. It will give you a good idea of what to expect.

    As mentioned, the write speeds of the 645D is its weakest point due to a slow processor, but in most cases it's not a hindrance. Reliability as expressed by others is simply fantastic. The look of the output from it's CCD is lovely.

    Keep us posted.

    Dave (D&A)
    Thanks for your reply as well. I did read your lens review when you first posted it and again earlier today. I know it was a lot of work but it definitely saves people a lot of time from scanning the internet only to come to the exact same conclusion that you did pretty much.

    The price is extremely attractive right now being the same exact price as the D4s (not that I want one of those) and it's sort of a sweet spot for those that want to dip their feet in the water. The newer lenses are as expensive as the lenses from other MF companies but I guess thats to be expected with new/ updated designs. I guess my only REAL reservation is the dealer and service network post warranty but many people have had their units for 3+ years without issue. The advent of the new CMOS version is also attractive for a second body provide the lenses can keep up and the IQ of that body lives up to the potential (which I have little doubts about if Sony is the manufacturer.)
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    I'll add a few additional comments:

    I'm not saying the newly released lenses aren't welcomed (they certainly are)... but the legacy lenses for the most part are exceptionally good and in some cases hold their own against their newer counterparts when overlapping focal lengths are compared. That's what makes this system a relative bargain...the legacy lenses.

    Reliability is a big plus and although anything can go wrong with any given camera, there have been very few reports of issues or breakdowns. It's careful lens selection that in my option that is the key to this system, especially that we're all dealing with many lenses designed and made during the film era, and requirements were quite different. Once that's done, you'll achieve some remarkable results. One think to keep in mind though with many of these lenses say as compared to the Leica S system, is that you will have to stop down considerably to achieve most of the performance you're looking for whereas with the Leica S, you can shoot with many of their lenses wide open.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    I'm also thinkig about Pentax 645D. I heard few people at Pentax forum complaining about centerfold issue. Have you guys experienced it, is it a rare problem?

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Pics2 View Post
    I'm also thinkig about Pentax 645D. I heard few people at Pentax forum complaining about centerfold issue. Have you guys experienced it, is it a rare problem?
    I had a 645D for a few weeks and never saw anything like that. Loved the camera.

    Did not love the lenses. They are good at f11. The 35mm FA (AF) is not good for landscape/architecture due to softness in areas of the image (even at f11) when focused at far distances. I had one and sold it. Up close it is a very good lens. The 35mm A (Manual Focus) was awesome for landscape at f11-f16. If you find a good one for sale snatch it asap. Clean samples are somewhat hard to find.

    The new 55mm lens is good optically but feels somewhat cheap for a $1200 lens. Same with the 90mm lens. Great lens but IMHO overpriced at $4500.
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    There have been some reports of the center fold issue (stitching of both half of the sensor), but for the # of cameras sold, I believe the numbers are relatively low.

    The FA 35mm does have considerable field curvature which is evident at infinity, but is a exceptionally good lens optically and has some positive attributes when compared to the manual focus version of that lens. It depends what ones priorities are in terms of what they shoot. Both excellent lenses with different priorities and I've employed both in professional shoots that required edge to edge sharpness for poster sized prints.

    As I pointed out, many of the lenses do have to be stopped down considerably for best performance which is in contrast to the Leica "S" system.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Hmmm.....I have the 55mm SDM lens too and I would not have described it as feeling somewhat cheaply made. I think it feels more solidly made than a few of the 645 FA lenses I own. It's the only "affordable" SDM lens in the lineup.

    If anyone is looking for a 25mm SDM lens in excellent condition (EX+ or LN-), I have a friend who recently sold his Pentax 645D and lenses....this is the only lens he has left. He's asking $3500. He is the original owner and I can vouch for the fact that he takes excellent care of his gear.

    Gary
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Hmmm.....I have the 55mm SDM lens too and I would not have described it as feeling somewhat cheaply made. I think it feels more solidly made than a few of the 645 FA lenses I own. It's the only "affordable" SDM lens in the lineup.

    If anyone is looking for a 25mm SDM lens in excellent condition (EX+ or LN-), I have a friend who recently sold his Pentax 645D and lenses....this is the only lens he has left. He's asking $3500.

    Gary
    If I sell off my Leica M9/ 35 Cron ASPH, make a final decision on the Pentax 645D, and he still has the 25 I would probably be interested. It's definitely on my list of lenses to own as I prefer something in the 18-24 range above something in the 28mm range(one of my most hated focal lengths on a prime or zoom that starts in that range) like the 35/2.8 gives (when speaking in 35mm FF terms.)
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    There have been some reports of the center fold issue (stitching of both half of the sensor), but for the # of cameras sold, I believe the numbers are relatively low.

    The FA 35mm does have considerable field curvature which is evident at infinity, but is a exceptionally good lens optically and has some positive attributes when compared to the manual focus version of that lens. It depends what ones priorities are in terms of what they shoot. Both excellent lenses with different priorities and I've employed both in professional shoots that required edge to edge sharpness for poster sized prints.

    As I pointed out, many of the lenses do have to be stopped down considerably for best performance which is in contrast to the Leica "S" system.

    Dave (D&A)
    I think that's a thing I'd have to get used to if I switch... Not being able to get great results even wide open. It's almost one of those thing where you're like why bother making a lens f/2.8 when you don't get acceptable results until f/4-8? Just make it a f/4-5.6, make it for a reasonable price, and call it a day.
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    I think that's a thing I'd have to get used to if I switch... Not being able to get great results even wide open. It's almost one of those thing where you're like why bother making a lens f/2.8 when you don't get acceptable results until f/4-8? Just make it a f/4-5.6, make it for a reasonable price, and call it a day.
    Some of the lenses are quite sharp wide open; they all improve by stopping down, but not many lenses don't. I sometimes suspect that some reported softness at wide aperatures may be focus issues.
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by D&A View Post
    There have been some reports of the center fold issue (stitching of both half of the sensor)
    That centerfold issue is not caused by stitching of the sensor; it's caused by splitting the readout through two different registers, one left and one right, leading to separate outputs with their own slightly different gain and noise characteristics. This trades off frame uniformity for frame rate.



    "Each remaining line (row) of charge is first transported from the VCCD to a dual parallel split horizontal register (HCCD)...Readout of each line in the HCCD is always split at the middle and, thus, either two or four outputs are used. Left (or right) outputs carry image content from pixels in the left (or right) columns of the VCCD...Left and right HCCDs are electrically isolated from each other except for the common transfer gate (XG)."

    Ray

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Some of the lenses are quite sharp wide open; they all improve by stopping down, but not many lenses don't. I sometimes suspect that some reported softness at wide aperatures may be focus issues.
    I didn't mean to imply that many of the Pentax 645 lenses couldn't be shot wide open or a stop down from max. aperture....but one can readily seen the marked improvement in many of these lenses by stopping down, especially if one needs to achieve edge to edge sharpness. The other consideration is what one intends to do with the output. If its for large format printing at larger sizes, then many of the legacy lenses do benefit from stopping down a fair amount.

    One thing is for certain...in my lens testing, I found with almost all 645 lenses, that carfule Af fine tuning them on the 645D is mandatory and one can see the remarkable difference as a result.

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Dave, my comment was not directed at you. I've seen a number of posts from people who've had little experience with the camera and lenses but proclaim that the lenses are "soft".

    Tom

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    I'll share a few thoughts as I bought a pre-owned Pentax 645D about 3 months ago replacing my D800.
    I am a hobbyist not a pro, so keep that in mind if you draw any conclusions from my input.

    CAMERA: I am happy with Pentax 645D. I find its color output very pleasing. Like yourself, I am a Leica M9 user and I feel the color fidelity is similarly pleasant. Resolution is great but it needs a very sturdy tripod. The results, when used correctly & deliberately are very rewarding (to me).

    PENTAX LENSES:
    As far as lenses are concerned I purchased the following lenses:

    55mm AW: I bought it with the camera, sold it but then re-purchased it. I like it. I think its under-rated.
    90mm AW: Excellent performer. Shake reduction is handy. I think its over priced. I found a used one.
    25mm AW: I have returned 2 copies, one bought from B&H and another from Japan. One FA the other D FA.
    Sharp but shows a LOT of purple fringing and chromatic abberation in strongly backlit subjects.

    120mm FA: My copy was nothing special. Had to stop it down considerably. Sold it.
    150mm FA: Nice but nothing special. Still have it. Probably will sell it.
    300mm FA: My copy was pretty good. I found it difficult to use even on a stable tripod. Sold it.


    ZEISS LENSES:
    I've converted & used a lot of Leica-R and Zeiss lenses with Nikon D800/D700 and I loved them (and miss them). In that spirit, I decided to explore some alternative lenses for the Pentax 645D. After a lot of reading and research I got these...

    Hasselblad/Zeiss 40mm CFE IF: Wow. I feel its a lens that does justice to the sensor. Excellent resolution.
    Hasselblad/Zeiss 100mm CFi: Very very nice. Optically very similar (I think better than) Pentax 90mm AW.
    Hasselblad/Zeiss 250 Superachromat: Wow. What fine resolution and color fidelity. Awesome.


    CONCLUSION:
    I am very glad to have purchased 645D and even more glad that it lead to the purchase of 40mm CFE IF and 250 Superachromat. I think they are gems and I was lucky enough to buy them for very close to the price of a new 25mm AW.
    Its been a fun few weeks of buying/trying/selling. In general I found the older Pentax lenses not really that great (my opinion).

    I think one of the prime reasons for getting a medium format digital camera is to achieve the resolution, sharpness and the-look that is generally attributed to medium format. I feel matching high performing lenses to high quality sensors is a step toward achieving that goal.

    I hope you (or someone else) will find this helpful.
    Good luck with your decision.
    Cheers !
    Last edited by Jamgolf; 7th March 2014 at 07:38.
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Hi Jamgolf,
    Interesting observations and appreciate your sharing them. I too believe the full potential of the 645D hasn't always been fully realized with the use of many of the legacy lenses.

    I've had the opportunity to shoot with the 25mm and also found at times excessively high levels of CA, especially with strongly backlit subjects. I assume you found little difference between the D FA and DA samples your tried? Something tells me the only difference between the two was Pentax extending the hood over the front element in the DA version. Not even sure if additional coatings were employed. Thanks.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Dave >>>> I assume you found little difference between the D FA and DA samples your tried?

    I did not get a chance to test the two 25mm versions side by side or in similar lighting conditions so I can't really say definitively.
    If I rely on my memory and impressions, I would say that D FA (older-model from Japan) showed less CA but more flare.
    DA (newer-model from USA) showed more CA but seemed flare proof.

    Please note, I did not keep these lenses for an extended period of time, just did some quick tests to make up my mind.
    Last edited by Jamgolf; 7th March 2014 at 10:46.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    I'll share a few thoughts as I bought a pre-owned Pentax 645D about 3 months ago replacing my D800.
    I am a hobbyist not a pro, so keep that in mind if you draw any conclusions from my input.

    CAMERA: I am happy with Pentax 645D. I find its color output very pleasing. Like yourself, I am a Leica M9 user and I feel the color fidelity is similarly pleasant. Resolution is great but it needs a very sturdy tripod. The results, when used correctly & deliberately are very rewarding (to me).

    PENTAX LENSES:
    As far as lenses are concerned I purchased the following lenses:

    55mm AW: I bought it with the camera, sold it but then re-purchased it. I like it. I think its under-rated.
    90mm AW: Excellent performer. Shake reduction is handy. I think its over priced. I found a used one.
    25mm AW: I have returned 2 copies, one bought from B&H and another from Japan. One FA the other D FA.
    Sharp but shows a LOT of purple fringing and chromatic abberation in strongly backlit subjects.

    120mm FA: My copy was nothing special. Had to stop it down considerably. Sold it.
    150mm FA: Nice but nothing special. Still have it. Probably will sell it.
    300mm FA: My copy was pretty good. I found it difficult to use even on a stable tripod. Sold it.


    ZEISS LENSES:
    I've converted & used a lot of Leica-R and Zeiss lenses with Nikon D800/D700 and I loved them (and miss them). In that spirit, I decided to explore some alternative lenses for the Pentax 645D. After a lot of reading and research I got these...

    Hasselblad/Zeiss 40mm CFE IF: Wow. I feel its a lens that does justice to the sensor. Excellent resolution.
    Hasselblad/Zeiss 100mm CFi: Very very nice. Optically very similar (I think better than) Pentax 90mm AW.
    Hasselblad/Zeiss 250 Superachromat: Wow. What fine resolution and color fidelity. Awesome.


    CONCLUSION:
    I am very glad to have purchased 645D and even more glad that it lead to the purchase of 40mm CFE IF and 250 Superachromat. I think they are gems and I was lucky enough to buy them for very close to the price of a new 25mm AW.
    Its been a fun few weeks of buying/trying/selling. In general I found the older Pentax lenses not really that great (my opinion).

    I think one of the prime reasons for getting a medium format digital camera is to achieve the resolution, sharpness and the-look that is generally attributed to medium format. I feel matching high performing lenses to high quality sensors is a step toward achieving that goal.

    I hope you (or someone else) will find this helpful.
    Good luck with your decision.
    Cheers !
    Thanks for sharing your experiences. They are very helpful and like you Im a hobbyist. I love the MF look but the more I read and research MF I think I would be much better served by a M Monochrom to replace my M9-P. I think MF instill a generation or two away from what I'm looking for. A digital Mamiya 7 would be "perfect" for me to get the IQ but not have ungainly size or restricted portability. Thanks everyone for the input but I think I'm gonna hold for a bit and see how the CMOS MF cameras fair and watch Photokina 2014 closely.
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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    Dave >>>> I assume you found little difference between the D FA and DA samples your tried?

    I did not get a chance to test the two 25mm versions side by side or in similar lighting conditions so I can't really say definitively.
    If I rely on my memory and impressions, I would say that D FA (older-model from Japan) showed less CA but more flare.
    DA (newer-model from USA) showed more CA but seemed flare proof.

    Please note, I did not keep these lenses for an extended period of time, just did some quick tests to make up mind.
    Thanks ever so much Jamgolf. On paper, it would make perfect sense that the D FA would exhibit far less flair due to its extended hood. What I can't reconcile is how it would be possible for that version to exhibit greater amounts of CA?

    Only thing I can think of is since CA is sometimes a random event like flair which depends on lighting and subject...could the difference in CA simply be due to prevailing conditions each was exposed to? Like you mentioned, going head to head with these two lenses is really the only way to know and which version if any would be preferable to use on the 645D. Just curious, which USA store did you order the lens from?

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Dave

    Yes the difference could be due to prevailing light and subject. I just remember I noticed fringing readily and more pronounced with the lens I got from B&H the DA version. The DF A version lens demonstrated it to a noticeably lesser extent as far as I can remember.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamgolf View Post
    Dave

    Yes the difference could be due to prevailing light and subject. I just remember I noticed fringing readily and more pronounced with the lens I got from B&H the DA. The DF A lens demonstrated it to a noticeably a lesser extent as far as I can remember.
    Good info to keep in mind. Thanks again!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    A few months ago I bought a rarely used 645D kit plus 5 lens (including the 55mm). I had been looking for a new 800E plus a few lenses, but this as new kit was cheaper.

    Love the camera. Image quality is excellent, and it is very easy to use. My comments on the lenses I have:
    35FA - it does have that odd curved focus zone, but i seem to have figured out how to use it & now get outstanding sharpness from here to infinity.
    55 FA 2.8 - Very sharp, I use it all the time.
    75 FA - one of the best lenses I have come across in 30+ years
    120 FA macro - very sharp & I use it alot.
    200 FA - I find this one quite good, but not as good as the others. I have yet to figure out the best way to use it.

    I have heard the 150mm lens is good, but it is quite hard to get where I am.

    In summary - the camera is so easy to use & the image quality is so easy to work with.

    Good luck with your decision.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Idillic, your experience mirrors mine with the same lenses. I've noticed a tendency for some high-end MF users to dismiss the 645D as somehow not worthy of the positive reviews it has achieved. If Ricoh/Pentax deliver with some additional lenses and the 645D II delivers on features and performance, the MF game for landscape/field shooters who want a MF system with DSLR convenience, may change significantly.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Wood View Post
    Idillic, your experience mirrors mine with the same lenses. I've noticed a tendency for some high-end MF users to dismiss the 645D as somehow not worthy of the positive reviews it has achieved. If Ricoh/Pentax deliver with some additional lenses and the 645D II delivers on features and performance, the MF game for landscape/field shooters who want a MF system with DSLR convenience, may change significantly.
    Indeed. Specially if the 645D II has live view in camera.

    A lot of people do not like to give up the functionality of Live View from their DSLRs when switching to medium format unless the MFDigital product has a significant advantage in resolution and image quality. The original 645D does not have an edge in IQ over the D800E. With the 645D you also have less dynamic range when compared to the D800E. Also the lenses that can be used on the 645D do not have an advantage over what you can use on the Nikon.

    These are all things that matter a LOT to landscape photographers which are the main target of the 645D. Yeah I know, demanding bunch.

    All this results in a LOT of potential 645D customers choosing the D800E over the 645D. They just can't justify the extra expense and functionality compromises, even if they have money to burn.

    The 645D II changes a LOT of the things I mention. It has (in theory) at least equal dynamic range to the D800E, at least equally good high iso and long exposure performance, it has significantly more resolution potential and hopefully it also has live view. The lenses are still a question mark but there are a lot of very good lenses (specially for landscape and macro) available now at very reasonable prices.

    So if the 645D II is as good as we hope it is it will change the game for sure and it won't be left in the photography equipment limbo like the 645D thanks to the D800E.

    Of course if you have the dinero $$$ the IQ250 is the best choice because you can configure a system that suits you best whether it is a tech camera or SLR based system or both (like I have done with the IQ160)

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    The 250 for a tech camera, may not be the best choice. From all the testing, that DT did, it's clear that if you use a wide angle setup, then you will most likely get some compromised color shifts. DT even went back and revised the usable image circles for the 250 with the 32mm an 40mm, and the revisions are interesting @ 70mm for the 32Rod (90mm total IC) and 80mm for the 40mm R0d (90mm total IC).

    To me at the cost point of any of these lenses, that a lot to be not able to use that much of the image circle.

    If you also go back and look at the test files, in detail you can see for sure that the even though the shadow recovery next to amazing compared to the 260, the amount of saturation/color fall is just as amazing. I totally missed this when I reviewed the files, until Torger posted his results.

    The big question to me, is can a CMOS chip be designed that give all the benefits shown in the Sony 50MP CMOS that won't have the issues shown when shifting which appear to be around the microlenses and design of the chip.

    As a tech camera shooter who uses wides 85% of the time, the color issue on top of the 1x3 crop of the sensor really make the 250 a non player. If Phase One can design a new algorithm to resolve some of the extreme color/sat loss which may in fact be possible, then the 250 may be a possible solution, however not at the current prices being given for upgrades but that's another story completely.

    If the color issues show up in a outdoor scene, well that really yet to get tested, but I feel that on a blue sky (solid) or with few clouds, they very well create a blue that will not come together due to the loss of sat and hue shifts. I wonder too how these same issues would effect a typical green hillside, as the green color seems to be by far the most effected.

    Paul C,.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    The 250 for a tech camera, may not be the best choice. From all the testing, that DT did, it's clear that if you use a wide angle setup, then you will most likely get some compromised color shifts. DT even went back and revised the usable image circles for the 250 with the 32mm an 40mm, and the revisions are interesting @ 70mm for the 32Rod (90mm total IC) and 80mm for the 40mm R0d (90mm total IC).

    To me at the cost point of any of these lenses, that a lot to be not able to use that much of the image circle.

    If you also go back and look at the test files, in detail you can see for sure that the even though the shadow recovery next to amazing compared to the 260, the amount of saturation/color fall is just as amazing. I totally missed this when I reviewed the files, until Torger posted his results.

    The big question to me, is can a CMOS chip be designed that give all the benefits shown in the Sony 50MP CMOS that won't have the issues shown when shifting which appear to be around the microlenses and design of the chip.

    As a tech camera shooter who uses wides 85% of the time, the color issue on top of the 1x3 crop of the sensor really make the 250 a non player. If Phase One can design a new algorithm to resolve some of the extreme color/sat loss which may in fact be possible, then the 250 may be a possible solution, however not at the current prices being given for upgrades but that's another story completely.

    If the color issues show up in a outdoor scene, well that really yet to get tested, but I feel that on a blue sky (solid) or with few clouds, they very well create a blue that will not come together due to the loss of sat and hue shifts. I wonder too how these same issues would effect a typical green hillside, as the green color seems to be by far the most effected.

    Paul C,.
    With the IQ250 you can use it on an ALPA FPS (or Hartblei cam) and use the excellent Canon TSE-II 17 and 24mm lenses. You would get just superb Ultra Wide Angle performance like it has never been available with CMOS. That is only possible with a back.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Ken, you bring up a good point, I totally overlooked, and I agree 100%. My post was really from a Cambo/Arca standpoint. The FPS does make this a great solution, especially with the Canon 17 and 24mm TS-E lenses.

    One note, the Alpa test that came out about 1 month ago, where they compared the 24 or 17mm Canon (I think it was the 17mm) to the Rod 32mm on the IQ250. The Rod 32mm was hands down a better performer all round. It makes you appreciate just how good that particular lens is. On shfits the 17mm really suffered quite a bit, but even on center the difference was clear.

    Based on that test, I was pleasantly surprised by their results. However that has been the only outdoor landscape oriented testing I have seen so far.

    As an Arca owner, I forget to consider the FPS in my though process. Plus I have too much invested in the Acra and various wides to go there now.

    I keep hoping that Arca will come out with something before 2017, that will work similar to the FPS, at least offer a shutter solution.

    Paul C.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Ken, you bring up a good point, I totally overlooked, and I agree 100%. My post was really from a Cambo/Arca standpoint. The FPS does make this a great solution, especially with the Canon 17 and 24mm TS-E lenses.

    One note, the Alpa test that came out about 1 month ago, where they compared the 24 or 17mm Canon (I think it was the 17mm) to the Rod 32mm on the IQ250. The Rod 32mm was hands down a better performer all round. It makes you appreciate just how good that particular lens is. On shfits the 17mm really suffered quite a bit, but even on center the difference was clear.

    Based on that test, I was pleasantly surprised by their results. However that has been the only outdoor landscape oriented testing I have seen so far.

    As an Arca owner, I forget to consider the FPS in my though process. Plus I have too much invested in the Acra and various wides to go there now.

    I keep hoping that Arca will come out with something before 2017, that will work similar to the FPS, at least offer a shutter solution.

    Paul C.
    I hope so too. I have a RM3Di as well and love it. I am sure Arca can design a shutter unit that fits like the rotamount does or just behind the lens mount. Would be awesome.

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    Re: Pentax 645D Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    The original 645D does not have an edge in IQ over the D800E. With the 645D you also have less dynamic range when compared to the D800E. Also the lenses that can be used on the 645D do not have an advantage over what you can use on the Nikon.

    These are all things that matter a LOT to landscape photographers which are the main target of the 645D. Yeah I know, demanding bunch.

    All this results in a LOT of potential 645D customers choosing the D800E over the 645D. They just can't justify the extra expense and functionality compromises, even if they have money to burn.
    I would offer a slightly different viewpoint. Having used a D800e for over a month, and extensively comparing images and post processing time against files from my 645D, I did not miss the D800e when it was time for it to go back to it's owner. The FPS capability, focusing and dynamic range differences between the two cameras were non-issues for my style of shooting. I much prefer how the 645D feels in my hands and it's ergonomics over the D800e, and especially prefer the 645D viewfinder.

    By the time the D800/800e were released, the majority of 645D sales had already been made and most likely to owners such as myself, who had shot Pentax 645 film systems and had an existing bag of compatible lenses. This made the financial entry into DMF fairly easy. The market has pretty much devoured the legacy P645 lenses for use with the 645D. Pentax will have to release some new lenses in order for the II version to be successful with a new group of buyers.

    The reality, in my view, is the the SONY a7r is really the the camera that has brought 645D sales to a halt. One photographer friend who also shoots with the 645D, gave the D800 a try and returned it for the same reasons I noted in my use of it, and subsequently purchased a a7r for travel. For traveling light, the D800e doesn't really offer much advantage over a 645D. The a7r, with the Zeiss lenses especially designed for it, does have some advantage in size. I've looked at files from the a7r and find them far more visually appealing than those from the D800e. Mileage may vary, of course.
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