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Thread: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!

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    Re: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!


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    Re: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!

    I found that review rather interesting. Basically it says that the camera would have been a revolution if MF wasn't a dead end for the kind of photography where it has the advantage for over traditional MF bodies.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!

    I shot the 645Z, its a great camera. It makes great images.

    I shoot assignments almost every day.

    I don't like shooting Canon or Nikon because the files don't look very good after shooting a MFD camera. And yes I have shot them side by side. I shoot the MFD for the same reason that I used to shoot medium format film. I like the look, and no I don't have any technical reasons. I know what I am looking at.

    If I was looking for my first MFD camera today, I would buy the 645Z. H_ll I just might buy one anyway...
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    Giorgio Niro
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    Re: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!

    If you buy into Lloyd Champers reviews, seems like he thinks the 645Z paired with the new Pentax 90/2.8 is a killer combination. Very interesting as he has never liked MFD systems in the past.
    Steven Kornreich
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    Re: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I found that review rather interesting. Basically it says that the camera would have been a revolution if MF wasn't a dead end for the kind of photography where it has the advantage for over traditional MF bodies.
    I think they were a little too critical of it... (quotes from article)

    Five years ago, the "Z" would have been a photographer's wildest fantasy. An MF camera with world-leading high ISO, and live view, all under $10K. Why then did it induce a bit of a shrug in both of us? The answer has a couple of facets. First, the camera is big. Coupled with a brace of lenses, this system is a serious commitment to carry around. In photography, mass=hassle. There is simply a high physical price to pay to use this kind of gear.
    This is really purely subjective, and kind of strange to hear from MF aficionados, who you'd think ought to be used to lugging backs, cameras and lenses and the large tripods needed to support them to remote locations. It is objectively heavier than 35mm cameras, but then again, for this style of shooting, it's not the end of the world. A camera with some meat on it helps dampen vibrations if that's of any consolation, we've all witnessed with the a7R what happens when you put a full-size dual-curtain shutter into a tiny camera body.

    Second, the field has filled-in from below in stunning fashion. Not long ago, nothing could rival MF backs, notwithstanding their usability deficits. That's all changed. The Nikon D800e/810 produces very similar results at a third the price, with a much broader range of high-quality lenses available, also at a lower price. More recently, the Sony A7r puts similar IQ into a camera the size of a cigarette pack
    This has been so for a number of years now, I don't think this is a complaint leveled against the 645Z as much as MF SLR cameras in general, and there have been enough debates by now to drive the point well enough.

    Remember the accidental 21MP jpeg? An Oly OM-D-E-1M-D-M-E-whatever produces a gorgeous 16MP file. Not all that much of a difference in the vast majority of applications.
    Except that was a 21MP jpeg from the 645Z, not from an Oly, and while I don't doubt that the E-M1 produces great images, one just can't compare a down-sampled imaged off a 33x44mm sensor compared to m4/3 any day of the week. They should know better than ignore the sensor size equation.

    Put simply, who really needs a run-'n-gun MF camera? The high ISO is amazing, yes. The file is huge, yes. The usability is on par with 35mm FF, yes. But it costs a lot and is big and heavy. So why? Moreover, any erosion in the discipline required for maximum IQ (tripod, stopped down, etc) will have some impact on the quality derived from the machine. With the quality of the vastly cheaper next-step-down nipping at MF's heals, it's not clear who will find it worthwhile.
    Personally, a run-'n-gun MF camera is just what's on my wish-list, which is why I've been on the fence for so long, max ISO1600 just wouldn't cut it for me. But it's the second part that I find peculiar, because they say that "any erosion in the discipline required for maximum IQ will have some impact on the quality derived from the machine", but shouldn't that be true for any camera system? In using an a7R, I've determined that it's not really for me simply because it's ease of carry and weight promotes carelessness - the voice in my head says "why would I want to waste using a 'pod on something so small?" read on because they are about to contradict themselves.

    The real problem with this camera, ironically, is that it is so usable that it invites the sort of run-'n-gun work that will inevitably degrade IQ, despite its enjoyability and convenience. So you can very quickly find yourself with a file that has little advantage over one from an A7r....
    Ironically, as I've just stated above, it's the ease of use that made me see that the a7R would have little advantage over my DSLR outside of ISO100 tripod locked shots, or high noon, which is when I never take photos anyway. I find it amusing how the article manages a segue from complaining about it's bulkly size to calling it "too usable", so which one is it already?

    The Hassy is unusable unless used slowly, and properly, in the right conditions. I get no crappy images from it, because under sub-optimal circumstances, I wouldn't bother using it. Ironic, no?
    Wow, it's almost like what I wrote above, have some self-restraint people, there's no reason you can't use the 645Z the exact same way either (and I imagine most people will). What isn't ironic is that Hassy and Phase also have the same sensors available, and the 645Z will actually have the advantage most of time, except for those who desire compatibility with an existing Phase/Hass workflow, fast flash sync, or perhaps tech cam capability.

    Michael, on the other hand, has been working with the 36MP Sony A7r of the past 6 months plus, and is more than happy with its image quality, especially when using a few of the Sony/Zeiss FE lenses. If medium format shooting technique is used...large, heavy tripod and precision head, careful focusing, etc, the files produced by the Sony leave little to be desired, even on exhibition quality 22X30" prints.
    I love it when an article argues with itself, because this is a point I brought up a moment ago, but I'm really not a fan of eating a hotdog (albeit a tasty one) stuffed into a 12" long baguette. This makes the article manage to almost come off as offensive regarding my intelligence as a photographer.

    Regarding the price, there are people happily adapting Leica lenses and other high-priced glass on the a7R, so price of entry doesn't necessarily correlate to how much you're willing to spend for a high quality image. The a7R + FE 55mm are a great start for Sony, but they really need more lenses of equal performance to create an unbeatable value proposition. I feel Nikon needs to update their lens lineup too.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!

    I agree, the logic in the analysis was very flawed. Stating a preference for an old camera because you don't have the self discipline to use the Z in a manner to get maximum quality is silly at best. I find the A7r attractive because of the size/weight difference with the Z, but the cameras that for me are in no-man's-land are the pro 35mm DSLRs. When I was considering the 645D (2010), I compared the system to a Nikon D3x and lenses. The bodies are not very different in weight and in many cases, the Pentax lenses, which are typically a stop or two slower, are smaller and lighter (an extreme example is the Pentax 400mm f5.6 vs. the Nikkor 400mm f2.8 ). Since I use f8-11, the high speed of the Nikons is of no advantage to me. The A7r is a different category, where the weight/size/portability/usability difference is significant. Cost is a significant difference in this case too; a Zeiss WA and an A7r cost less than the Pentax 25mm.

    Tom

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    Re: Pentax 645Z - oh boy!

    I have just returned from Ming Thein's workshop in London where he used the Pentax 645Z with SDM lenses.
    During Photoshopping some of the files and seeing the end result I have no more breath left to say how incredible high quality files comes out of this camera and those SDM lenses.
    The latitude of those files, the tonality range and the inherent resolution makes it the ultimate tool for MF lovers.

    I was sure I've had bought it, but the size and bulk scared me away. It is either no stealth camera.

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