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Thread: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I love how these threads usually end up turning into a sales pitch for the U.S. Phase dealer network which is in no way shape or form indicative of the global dealer network.
    Yeah... It seems about inevitable in every MF thread that Phase One Umbrella will get mentioned and that an attempt to clear out the remaining 40mp CCD back stock will ensue... Truth is you can't go wrong with any system and short of wanting to use tech cams/leaf shutters Pentax would be my preferred choice. The camera really is as responsive as a DSLR.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    Well you can still buy new 25mm F4s, it's unclear why they were discontinued, but I would imagine it's because their 28-45 is as great as it is. .
    Diglloyd did a review of the 645Z and strange enough though the DA 25mm f/4 performed very poorly in the corners when compared against a Zeiss 21mm mounted on a Sony A7R.

    Initially I would have thought about astigmatism caused by sensor cover glass, but given the flange focal distance that shouldn't be the case. If it's not due to a poor sample then perhaps it has something to do with the microlens of the Sony CMOS or something else, which also might explain why Leica is stuck with their CMOSIS instead of using the Sony CMOS.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    I have used my Hassy 250/5.6 CF V lens on the 645Z without issue using the Fotodiox adapter. Sure one must MF, but the 645Z beeps and shows you where you are in focus in the OVF which I found amazing for an adapted lens. I read Ming Thein liked the Hassy 150 on the 645Z very much. I have noit yet tried mine.

    I sold my P45+ mostly due to connection issues on my SWC and 503CW. Decided on the 645Z and for about an even money switch the 645Z is more to my liking with ease of use in a modern body with the latest CMOS sensor.

    Lenses-

    I have the new 55/2.8 and it is super sharp even hand held which is not my strong point. It retails in the $1200 range and is worth every cent to me. I also have the 28-45 and even though it is a beast (weighs more than the camra body) it produces excellent images in all FL's I tried.

    I found with every lens/extender purchased so far in the $100 to $800 range from Japan that their conditon assessment is more negative than the actual item, which is refreshing. I have now the 35/3.5, 80-160, 2x and 1.4x extenders and the 300/5.6 from Japan. I also picked up the new 90 Macro which was very slightly used (if ever) for 35% off the new price.

    Have used the 80-160 with good and sharp results. Used the 25 with phenomenal results. I am used to Leica sharpness and these lenses do not disappoint. Personally I find myself cropping 645Z shots less than my 35mm I assume due to 44x33 images which often give me 40MP images even after cropping.

    I found that exposing less to the right (oh gosh did I say that) like I often do with my Leicas yields very nice results and with being able to open up to 5 stops of shadow detail, I process my images very similar to Leica files.

    The Pentaxforum can be useful to any prospective buyer, especially regarding lenses where they are rated by users in 5 categories. Also 645Z discussions have been thought provoking and make for good reading.

    If anyone in the US is looking for aggressive pricing on the new 645Z, I might be able to help with one dealer I found who sells the body considerably less than B&H. Just for those doubting thomas's, I am not affiliated with this dealer in any way.

    At $40 even the battery prices are welcomed by myself as I have purchased too many Leica M batteries for $190 which generally lasts about half the time that a 645Z battery lasts for me on one charge. B&H sells a battery replacement for $20 and it seems to function well from my experience.

    OP-Trust my experiences help you decide. Forgot one thing about warranty. Inside the 645Z box in the US, Ricoh has decided to extend the one year warranty by an additional year, giving 2 years of warranty. What a welcomed policy. I did not know about this until I opened the new box only to read about this policy.
    Wow, that is really useful info. Combined with what I've read from Chris Giles's review and other sites around, I am now convinced.

    I just placed an order for the 645Z with my dealer (I've been buying all my gear from him for many years now). He is getting me the 55 2.8 lens free with the body as part of a deal that has just run out.

    Your experience with the lenses will prove really useful as I build my system slowly.

    Thank you.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    The 645z has three big issues that prevent it from smacking around PhaseOne and Hassy and causing a significant drop in price.

    #1: Service and Support. Expect to be without your 645z/645d 8--10weeks if you need to send it in for service/repair.

    #2: Tethering performance is lacking.

    #3: Lenses. The new Pentax 645 lenses (with the exception of the 55mm) are not cheap. Leaf shutter AF lenses not available.

    All three of those issues can be fixed by Ricoh/Pentax if they want to (im sure they have the money to do it). But it has not happened yet...

    So Pentax, keep the new lenses under $3k USD, add some quick service and support and improve tethering (firmware?) and you will have a MUCH improved product without having to release a new one.
    #1. I had a shutter problem with my DF 645+, unfortunately just a month after my warranty ran out (should have read the fine print that the VA warranty only applied to the digital back). It had to be sent to Denmark for replacing the EPROM chip, cost me $700 and took six weeks.

    #2. Absolutely of no interest to anybody not doing studio shoots, certainly no good for me.

    #3. Phase/Schneider lenses are even more expensive and bulkier and the options for long lenses are severely limited. Most non-studio/flash photographers do not care about leaf shutters either, they are in fact a liability in terms of durability.

    The lure of an all-in-one, weather sealed body, with good AF, high megapixel MF-sized CMOS sensor with superior DR is simply irresistible.

    I predict the party will soon be over for some MF brands, it started with the A7R.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Wow, that is really useful info. Combined with what I've read from Chris Giles's review and other sites around, I am now convinced.

    I just placed an order for the 645Z with my dealer (I've been buying all my gear from him for many years now). He is getting me the 55 2.8 lens free with the body as part of a deal that has just run out.

    Your experience with the lenses will prove really useful as I build my system slowly.

    Thank you.
    Congrats on your new camera. If I were in the market for a MF at this time the 645Z would be on my short list of options having handled a pre-release model early last year. I was able to try it out side by side with a 645D using the 33-55, 55, 45-85, and one of the telephoto lenses but I don't remember if it was the 120 or something longer off the top of my head.

    The 645Z was a huge improvement in usability every way but both models make outstanding images. The 645Z fit's your hand like a glove and the button layout was slightly more natural to me initially but those are things you'd get used to over time anyway.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    If I were just getting into MFD then I would certainly opt for the 645z as I have come close a few times in switching from Phase to that system, except for the fact that I still enjoy shooting my tech cam.
    Bryan

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Stephens View Post
    If I were just getting into MFD then I would certainly opt for the 645z as I have come close a few times in switching from Phase to that system, except for the fact that I still enjoy shooting my tech cam.
    And that is the key, isn't it Bryan. If you enjoy something you wouldn't give it up easily even if something 'better' came along. That is my problem. I was not enjoying the Phase, thinking all the time that this is not working for me and look how much money I paid for it.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    #1. I had a shutter problem with my DF 645+, unfortunately just a month after my warranty ran out (should have read the fine print that the VA warranty only applied to the digital back). It had to be sent to Denmark for replacing the EPROM chip, cost me $700 and took six weeks.

    #2. Absolutely of no interest to anybody not doing studio shoots, certainly no good for me.

    #3. Phase/Schneider lenses are even more expensive and bulkier and the options for long lenses are severely limited. Most non-studio/flash photographers do not care about leaf shutters either, they are in fact a liability in terms of durability.

    The lure of an all-in-one, weather sealed body, with good AF, high megapixel MF-sized CMOS sensor with superior DR is simply irresistible.

    I predict the party will soon be over for some MF brands, it started with the A7R.
    In the states, Precision Camera is the service center for Pentax. I have just sent in my 645d for a bit of TLC, and they said it would be about 7 days. I have no idea where the 8-10 week turn around number comes from.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I predict the party will soon be over for some MF brands, it started with the A7R.
    You really can't compare MF and 35mm format, but if you want to make that comparison, then you mean the Nikon D800/e not the Sony.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by BlinkingEye View Post
    You really can't compare MF and 35mm format, but if you want to make that comparison, then you mean the Nikon D800/e not the Sony.
    The first time I heard that statement was at a presentation in the Sony booth in October 2013 during the annual Photoplus Expo in New York. I forget who the presenter was but he had just switched from MF to the A7R (was one of the people on the test team).

    Of course many pros are paid to become the mouthpiece for a company's product, but that is when I realized that there were significant changes on the horizon.

    I am not suggesting for a moment that 35mm will cause MF to disappear, but unless the MF world wakes up to the realization that they can no longer command a huge price differential they will suffer considerably. Which is where I think Pentax has made a smart move. It is a better design, better sensor and costs way less than other MF brands. It does not quite have the glamorous pedigree of the big H or Leica but it does represent tremendous value for money.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by BlinkingEye View Post
    You really can't compare MF and 35mm format, but if you want to make that comparison, then you mean the Nikon D800/e not the Sony.
    It's all about perspective. I often compare 35mm to MF in the sense of what each individual system can let me do. For me, other than the larger sensor 'look' and image quality there is nothing MF has over 35mm.
    I'll say it again though, this is from my perspective.

    I don't think Medium Format will die a death, even if they charge 100k per body because there will always be enough people with enough cash flow to support what is in essence three companies.

    But what I do feel is happening now is people are being given a much easier option to choose with much clearer defining arguments. Lots of A7r owners now, lots of Pentax owners too and while it's good that the CMOS has invigorated medium format interest and sales, how long will it continue for I'm not so sure because I think a lot of the new sales are due to pent up demand from people who refused to buy another CCD for minor improvements. Hasselblad and Phase could easily break away from Pentax by sticking a full frame CMOS in their bodies.

    This is really just echoing a lot of comments I've seen online for the last few years. I'm still happy to use my Sigma for holiday photos and my clients don't really care what camera I use so long as I get the shot. I'll never be able to bag a client by saying my camera cost 25k and they won't care about any of that pixel peeping weights and measures stuff.

    I guess that's why price is mentioned so often as it often boils down to 8k or 25k and it's miles easier to pick a system when the price gap is so massive.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    It's all about perspective. I often compare
    I guess that's why price is mentioned so often as it often boils down to 8k or 25k and it's miles easier to pick a system when the price gap is so massive.
    Chris, the price differential is actually higher. I am getting the Pentax kit (lens, body, sensor) for just over $8K. The same in the Phase world is still priced at $40K (slightly longer lens, 80mm) on the CI website. Is the quality FOUR and a half times better with the same sensor in both kits?

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Wow, that is really useful info. Combined with what I've read from Chris Giles's review and other sites around, I am now convinced.

    I just placed an order for the 645Z with my dealer (I've been buying all my gear from him for many years now). He is getting me the 55 2.8 lens free with the body as part of a deal that has just run out.

    Your experience with the lenses will prove really useful as I build my system slowly.

    Thank you.
    Can you explain more about the deal for body+55mm lens that expired, please? That could be helpful info for me. TIA.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Can you explain more about the deal for body+55mm lens that expired, please? That could be helpful info for me. TIA.
    Apparently, there was a wedding photographers' convention in Las Vegas a few days ago. Pentax were offering a bundle where the 55 2.8 lens was included in the price of the body, only during the convention.

    Big dealers like B&H and Adorama also put up the same deal on their websites to attract customers. That expired on Friday I believe. However, my dealer managed to get my purchase order in to Pentax just in time for me to get the same deal.

    I think this is something that may come around again.

    Other options for getting a good price would be to order from Europe, with the Euro being so weak, it may be a bargain. There was also a pop-up ad on Pentax Forums yesterday with a US price of under $8K.

    Hope this helps.

    Pradeep
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Yup as he state it was part of a promotion associated with the WPPI conference that was going on in Vegas. The deal originally ended on 4 March 2015 but was extended until Friday. Pretty great deal if you ask me as that's one of the good lenses in the system.
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