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Thread: Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

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    Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

    I'm trying to budget for an entry level MFD system, to get my feet wet and so I'm looking at buying a fat pixel back or an older Pentax645d.

    My budget is not a lot, around 5K, so my options are pretty limited. I was thinking AFDIII with a P20/P21 or maybe a Pentax645D since they are going down in price. The camera would mostly be used for portraits and probably be tethered.

    The pentax sounds pretty nice, but I understand the sync is limited to 1/125, which can be worked around with ND filters, but is not great. I'm also not too keen on getting the shutter replaced after only 50K shots. I used to have a Pentax 645N so I'm familiar with the handling, which is pretty nice.

    The AFDIII/DF seems like it has more flexibility, plus I can use capture one, but the backs are a little older and I'm not sure how they would compare against the 645D back.

    I haven't looked at Hasselblad, just because the lenses seem more expensive.

    I wish I was looking at IQ backs, or something a little better, but I simply don't have the budget right now. I do like the slow pace of working with MF which is why I'm interested in getting a system and trying it out.

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    Re: Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

    If you look at many Japanese cameras, the shutter life is given at 50,000. I had a Nikon FM with a shutter life of 50,000. I think it made it well passed that. But do a search for Mamiya DF shutter problems and I think you might find the Pentax shutter more reliable.

    I use a p25+ and 645D. Both I have had both in the studio. Both make great images. The difference in resolution is real. Both have great color. DR in the Pentax is better as is ISO. There is no limit to long exposures with the Pentax, you need to check you Phase spec for that--many backs have a limit. The Pentax is a modern DSLR with all the bells and whistles. Some are very handy.

    The p25+ is less flexible and its operation is clunky--I hate the menu system and the display is small and dark. Batteries are also expensive with Phase so check the accessories for the system. But tethering is smoother--the Pentax can be tethered, but not as nicely.

    As far as the limit of the snyc speed with the 645D, I have not found it a problem in the studio with the 645D. I can use the flash duration and power to control exposure and motion. But that depends on what you are doing. I also don't do most of my work in a studio.

    If you want this back for a view camera or technical camera, then the Phase is the answer. That is what I use the p25+ for. Even at GetDPI, there does not seem to be a lot of love for the DF camera, which was a really nice camera...in 2000.

    I would look to rent the systems. We all have limits to what we put up with to achieve a certain quality and you will not really know until you have had one in your hands. When I was looking for another MFD system when I had the p25+, I did not end up buying another Phase camera.
    Will

    http://www.hakusancreation.com
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    Re: Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

    The Pentax 645 system does have two leaf shutter lenses, a 75mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/4, but they seem somewhat clunky to use as you need to connect a sync cable to the lens and manually cock the shutter after every shot, but the option does exist.

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    Re: Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

    You don't mention where you're located, but a visit to a good dealer can give you the chance to play with a system, and see what you do and don't like about it. They can also send you raw files for your examination, but I can tell you that there's very little chance you'll be disappointed in the image quality of either system assuming you'll be using them at low ISO.

    There's a ton of considerations, and some will matter more to some than others. Some are obvious (resolution, color, etc) and others are less obvious.

    In particular you mention tethering, which is a huge strength for the Phase kit since it natively tethers to Capture One and offers fast, reliable, fully featured tethered workflow.

    (since you're new I'll give my disclaimer that I can't be considered unbiased as my company sells Phase One, but not Pentax)
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

    Factory refurb H3D/39 with 50-110/3.5 zoom: $8,500. "Buy It Now" price. If you do some hunting, you may do even better, but this one is a factory refurb.

    Hasselblad H3D 39 39 0 MP Digital SLR Camera HC50 110mm 3 5LENS | eBay

    H3D camera can still take film H backs. 50-110 zoom is a great focal length range, and this zoom is known for its optical excellence. Really no need for much more for portrait work either environmental (50mm to 80mm), or regular (70mm to 110mm)

    Pay Pal credit for 12 months gives you a year to pay it off doing portraits.

    1/800 sync speed. Great tethered operation via Phocus software, with optimal color fidelity and control.

    Just saying'

    - Marc
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    Re: Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

    FWIW, Hasselblad has an HD3II-50 in ex condition, 6000 shots for $7,500-no lens. 6 month warranty.

    Steve

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    Re: Pentax 645D vs Fat Pixel backs

    Quote Originally Posted by timn420 View Post
    I'm trying to budget for an entry level MFD system, to get my feet wet and so I'm looking at buying a fat pixel back or an older Pentax645d.

    My budget is not a lot, around 5K, so my options are pretty limited. I was thinking AFDIII with a P20/P21 or maybe a Pentax645D since they are going down in price. The camera would mostly be used for portraits and probably be tethered.

    The pentax sounds pretty nice, but I understand the sync is limited to 1/125, which can be worked around with ND filters, but is not great. I'm also not too keen on getting the shutter replaced after only 50K shots. I used to have a Pentax 645N so I'm familiar with the handling, which is pretty nice.

    The AFDIII/DF seems like it has more flexibility, plus I can use capture one, but the backs are a little older and I'm not sure how they would compare against the 645D back.

    I haven't looked at Hasselblad, just because the lenses seem more expensive.

    I wish I was looking at IQ backs, or something a little better, but I simply don't have the budget right now. I do like the slow pace of working with MF which is why I'm interested in getting a system and trying it out.
    For working tethered I would suggest the phase back with either a hasselblad h1 or a mamiya 645 or phase body. With the mamiya/phase body you can get used lenses for little money compared to the Hasselblad but all the H lenses have leaf shutters so you get sync up to 1/800 speed.

    Untethered the 645D is the best choice since it basically handles and works like any DSLR (no live view though) without any issues. It has a very nice viewfinder and lcd. Yes the lcd on a Phase P/P+ back is junk, same in the older Hassy backs. You can get a wide range of AF or MF lenses for the Pentax for very little money. It is extremely reliable but if you need service be prepared to be without the camera for up to 10 weeks. You can expect MUCH better service with a phase one or hasselblad product, specially if you buy from a good dealer.

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