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Thread: Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

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    Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

    Nothing earth shattering and the "enthusiast" view was a tiny bit naive. All good though.

    Medium well done: Two takes on the Pentax 645Z: Digital Photography Review

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    Re: Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

    Ehhh... that could have been better. Well, I'm throughly enjoying my 645Z, but some of their concerns do apply to me too, like no profiles in C1 for the 645Z, so for the time being I'm getting excellent results in Lightroom.
    Forcing myself to use the catalog is torture though, why couldn't Adobe just add a plain directory mode for people who already have 6+ years of photos on external media?
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    Re: Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

    Yes the second perspective was not very useful. But the first guy got it right on. This is a medium format camera for people used to use medium format out in the field doing editorial and location based photography.

    I rented it from Lensrentals.com with the 55 and 35mm lenses. The process could not have been easier although you need to have sufficient coverage on your insurance or take their insurance. But it all arrives neatly packaged at your door like they say.

    I planned on trying it out on two shoots upcoming, so I did a week rental over the weekend friday to friday. Basically after configuring some of the buttons, back button focus, turning off the Green button (that could get you in trouble in a hot second!) and turning off the RAW button it was ready to go.

    Coming from the 5DkII it was almost like there was no difference, the live view just works- with the caveat that the exposure is perhaps not that accurate but there is a histogram for that, which I kept turned on, plus the overexposure blinkies in playback.

    I found I could also manually focus this camera with the 55 on, and in decent light with the 35 also, and my eyes are starting to go now as I near the midcentury mark. This was a welcome feature, if you are shooting a portrait and want to not do the focus recompose dance which really breaks the flow it is great. I didnt try the face recognition in live view- but sometimes I shoot portraits on a tripod in live view and manually focus- facial recognition could be a great thing but I bet you need to be a decent aperture.

    It is what everyone says- forget about underexposure, there are really 5 stops of push from base ISO. And this sensor is the sensor us location guys have been waiting for, LV and amazing high ISO- generally going in to a shoot indoors and balancing strobe against available light you need 400 which got us by in the film days, 800 I used occasionally in kodak or fuji, but with this, the game is totally changed- 3200ISO interiors if you want, that said, there is a decent amount of color loss it seems after about 1600ISO- but it is amazing none the less. Obviously good light yields better results, but on a lark I also used it on a journalistic assignment handheld wide open at 1600 and 3200 ISO and once reduced for output I doubt you could tell the difference to the 5D. Apart from focus issues.

    I'd sell everything and buy this camera in a heartbeat save for one thing: do we think Ricoh/Pentax is going to be around for 5 years? and then what? It is not the same size investment as going into Hasselblad or Phase with lenses, but it concerns me that in 5 years it is going to be an orphan and no way to get something out in resale if you needed to.

    But it would totally pay for itself over that time. I just hate that technological obsolescence aspect of all this.

    Hoping the 'blad comes down in price sufficiently- 30k is ridiculous for that camera, forget all the stuff about support etc. its all about protecting margins. I get that they don't have the numbers to sell any more but still, come down by half and maybe your numbers go up?

    No its not an RZ, it doesn't have that real medium format feel. You get a little bit of it and thank goodness at least its not 2x3 aspect- that's worth the price right there to me. ...look for my leica lenses on the buy and sell???

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    Re: Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by robertwright View Post
    Coming from the 5DkII it was almost like there was no difference,
    Except for knocking it's socks off in every way!
    the live view just works- with the caveat that the exposure is perhaps not that accurate but there is a histogram for that, which I kept turned on, plus the overexposure blinkies in playback.
    The over exposure blinky is the most accurate metric since it's based on the Raw data and is the 100% saturation point, but the histogram is still based on RGB data. Setting exposure on the Z is very easy, just reduce exposure until the blinky is gone (within reason), and shoot.
    It is what everyone says- forget about underexposure, there are really 5 stops of push from base ISO. And this sensor is the sensor us location guys have been waiting for, LV and amazing high ISO- generally going in to a shoot indoors and balancing strobe against available light you need 400 which got us by in the film days, 800 I used occasionally in kodak or fuji, but with this, the game is totally changed- 3200ISO interiors if you want, that said, there is a decent amount of color loss it seems after about 1600ISO- but it is amazing none the less. Obviously good light yields better results, but on a lark I also used it on a journalistic assignment handheld wide open at 1600 and 3200 ISO and once reduced for output I doubt you could tell the difference to the 5D. Apart from focus issues.
    Focus-wise, it's actually pretty decent, the live view AF is miles faster than the 5D2 for sure. You're right about ISO, even at 12,800 you get a nice film-like grain when you convert to B&W, no need for filters! Regarding color, make sure to dial down Lightroom's default color NR, even at 12,800 the 645Z only needs 15 points in to get rid of all color noise, it's amazing how little of it there is.

    I'd sell everything and buy this camera in a heartbeat save for one thing: do we think Ricoh/Pentax is going to be around for 5 years? and then what? It is not the same size investment as going into Hasselblad or Phase with lenses, but it concerns me that in 5 years it is going to be an orphan and no way to get something out in resale if you needed to.

    But it would totally pay for itself over that time. I just hate that technological obsolescence aspect of all this.
    Pentax has done fairly well for itself and is getting a lot of publicity, my only reservation about the system is the low rate at which new lenses are coming out, with only 4 of them designed to handle a digital sensor. When a 55mm lens is every bit as sharp as my 120 and 150mm, I'm thinking it's the older lenses that are having trouble keeping up.

    Even if Pentax will cease to be in 2020, by then I'll probably be shooting on the mirrorless medium format Sony A11 with my Pentax lenses via Adapter.

    Hoping the 'blad comes down in price sufficiently- 30k is ridiculous for that camera, forget all the stuff about support etc. its all about protecting margins. I get that they don't have the numbers to sell any more but still, come down by half and maybe your numbers go up?
    Besides the higher price, there are many things I personally don't like about the Hass in comparison to the Z:
    No tilt-screen
    Small, low-res screen
    No focal plane shutter
    Even bigger/heavier
    Phocus not as good as C1/Lightroom
    No weather sealing
    CF instead of dual SD slots
    Capture speed half as fast
    12sec vs 30sec max shutter duration

    I'm sure it's a great studio camera though.

    No its not an RZ, it doesn't have that real medium format feel. You get a little bit of it and thank goodness at least its not 2x3 aspect- that's worth the price right there to me. ...look for my leica lenses on the buy and sell???
    Agree on the aspect ratio, I didn't think it would be a big deal until I started shooting stuff and realized that framing was easier and I had to crop less often and to a lesser extreme than I used to.
    I never shot "real" medium format, but I still do notice a rendering difference to 35mm, after all it's a bigger difference than going from APS-C to full-frame, and I can spot the difference there too.

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    Re: Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

    People seem to have forgotten about formats- basically it was a prime differentiator in style and also camera design- the format dictated so much about everything,. camera size, handling, lenses, viewfinder, etc.

    The move to cameras being consumer electronic devices has altered that tremendously- now we only have two formats, 2x3 and 4x3, and both are tiny- its like saying to painters you will only get canvasses in two shapes and up to a certain size. Scale matters not just on the presentation end.

    One thing the article got sideways was the second reviewer didn't like the attention he got shooting the Pentax because of its size- he obviously never toted around an 8x10....the size to my mind is a bonus in many cases, anything to break the subject out of the mindset that this is what they are used to, the selfie pose, etc. The longer it take me to make an image the better, they get bored, they lose control they thought they had, they become my subject. Its not all about speed.

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    Re: Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

    Great insights Robert and I agree on many fronts.

    I have found manual focus to be more than adequate, in fact in Mexico last week I took a 400mm and shot birds in flight focussing manually very successfully. My eyes aren't so great but I find the 645Z MF tends to snap in, even without blinkies, I have it configured to show me blinkies in live view but not through the viewfinder.

    A big part of the reason that I bought the 645Z was because of its size. I generally shoot landscapes and like the added thought of setting up on a tripod to compose so the size and presence shall we say never lets you forget that pressing the shutter will be an event! It forces me to remember that I am there for that image not the next one (unless the mosquitoes attack so viciously which they did).

    As a side note, I found that the different format to the 5D Mk2 was a nice surprise, everything seems to frame up an awful lot easier, landscapes included. That said, with all those pixels I can crop if I need to. I took only the 400mm for the birds as I thought I would need to crop as the 2X TC is garbage and I had a few waterfront shots that I could only take with some foreground distractions as I couldn't get on the boat that was in my way.

    I have yet to process one particular bird image but an initial check in LR suggests that I may have some recoverable highlights that I thought were totally blown, it seems there may be information there so it seems that the DR is on both ends of the histogram.

    It really does forgive alot of operator error.

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    Re: Interesting DPR perspectives on the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    ...
    Forcing myself to use the catalog is torture though, why couldn't Adobe just add a plain directory mode for people who already have 6+ years of photos on external media?
    Because to do parametric, non-destructive editing requires that the editor keep track of the original file.

    Just tell LR where the files and have them ADDed to the catalog. They're always entered into the catalog by reference, and you can use files from any internal and external volumes you want. You don't have to MOVE or COPY them at all.

    G

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