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Thread: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    I just saw a demo model Pentax 645Z with 50mm lens on sale at my LCS for ≈ $7k.

    If I recall what the Hassi H series cost…. this is a absolute steal.

    The question is whether this is a sign that MF will become affordable for the amateur on a budget - or - whether that train has left the stain and everybody has jumped on the D810, 5DMk etc bandwagon…?

    Interesting times - and a bravo for Pentax/Sony for this development.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Once you factor in the cost of (new) lenses the Pentax option isn't such a steal. But I agree there's much less money to find as an entry point. Usually if you wanted to go mf on a budget you'd have to buy used. Not so now.

    I personally think we're on the cusp of something special, but I feel that it'll come from an unexpected place. Medium Format is becoming cool with the mainstream consumer and whenever there is a mainstream pickup other manufacturers see it as an additional revenue stream.

    With DSLR sales falling overall, the need to keep the bottom line up drives technology forward. I see several new cameras with a large sensor within the next few years. Compact cameras now have 35mm sensors, it isn't a silly notion to assume the upsizing will continue.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    I think perfect examples of that is in the lighting industry where Profoto and Broncolor seem to have changed track on which end of the market they now pitch their products. Who would have imagined 5 years ago Profoto would be selling a range of TTL lights aimed at strobist photographers and Broncolor releasing a monolight with all the technology and reliability as its uber expensive flash packs?

    We just need Phase and Hasselbald (and a sensor developer) to wake up to this market and develop a MFD system for the masses as we all shot in the days of film. A MF camera then was £3K not £33k.

    We can all but dream.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Digital Transitions / Team Phase One already offers brand new Credo 40 kits at $13k with a lens. Other options like a new P45+ for 10k (back only) and a variety of pre-owned digital backs (since the sensor is separate from the body and the back itself does not wear and tear and can be expected to work for well over a decade) at lower than 10k, with warranty, new accessories and dealer support.

    Considering the advantages over the 645Z I think that these are a reasonable price delta for many clients. I don't expect Team Phase One to move much lower in price as our sales have only increased since the launch of the 645Z, presumably because the more people look into and consider medium format the more people Phase One has the chance to work with.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    I think the Canon 5DS/R made the recent crash of second-hand prices of digital backs since Feb 2015.



    The previous wave was the Nikon D800/E back in 2012 (which forced the second-hand price of the Hasselblad H4D-40 to crash at eBay).

    Of course the Pentax 645Z hurt the IQ250/H5D-50C a lot, but the dominant factor would always be the advancement in the 35mm format.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Once you factor in the cost of (new) lenses the Pentax option isn't such a steal.
    You're not forced to buy the new "digital" lenses, and the old ones can be bought used or imported for even less than their already reasonable "new" prices.

    We don't seem to have tests optically comparing the Pentax lenses to those on other systems, but just going on new prices - $1,500 for the Pentax 120mm macro vs. ~$4,300 Phamiya and $5,500 Hassy 120mm macros - I'm willing to believe that those lenses might be a bit better in some performance aspect, just not 3.5x the price better. Even used, there will still be a not-insignificant price differential.

    When comparing new lenses, the Pentax 28-45mm features a faster average aperture of f/4.5 and stabilization over the Hasselblad 35-90mm f/4-5.6 and SK 40-80mm f/4-5.6 wide zooms at nearly half the price, and while it doesn't feature a leaf shutter, you could make the case that you don't necessarily need one for landscapes. The owners of this lens on PentaxForums claim that it's sharp straight from wide open aperture, so the competitors have some proving to do.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    You're not forced to buy the new "digital" lenses, and the old ones can be bought used or imported for even less than their already reasonable "new" prices.

    We don't seem to have tests optically comparing the Pentax lenses to those on other systems, but just going on new prices - $1,500 for the Pentax 120mm macro vs. ~$4,300 Phamiya and $5,500 Hassy 120mm macros - I'm willing to believe that those lenses might be a bit better in some performance aspect, just not 3.5x the price better. Even used, there will still be a not-insignificant price differential.

    When comparing new lenses, the Pentax 28-45mm features a faster average aperture of f/4.5 and stabilization over the Hasselblad 35-90mm f/4-5.6 and SK 40-80mm f/4-5.6 wide zooms at nearly half the price, and while it doesn't feature a leaf shutter, you could make the case that you don't necessarily need one for landscapes.
    This is totally true.

    All my 645z lenses are used and are just stunning. To the point that I can't see why people take issue with lenses from the film era as they're just as good to my eyes.

    I also found out recently that the 25mm and the 28-45mm are the widest lenses available, more so than anything from Phase and Hasselblad. That took me by surprise, I don't know why it did.

    (edit: turns out I forgot about the HCD 24mm) doh!
    Last edited by Chris Giles; 4th March 2015 at 04:40.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    This is totally true.I also found out recently that the 25mm and the 28-45mm are the widest lenses available, more so than anything from Phase and Hasselblad. That took me by surprise, I don't know why it did.
    From what I understand, the 28-45mm is tailored to the 44x33mm sensor of the 645Z, so 28mm and 35mm are both FoV equivalent to around 22mm as you would get on a Canon, assuming you have a full-frame 645 back. Wider lenses include the Mamiya 28mm and Hass 24mm*, but they have a reputation for not really being sharp, most people here use em as a case as to why you should go the tech cam route if you're a wide-angle junkie.

    *for crop sensors only

    So... I wouldn't say they are the widest available, Leica has it's 24mm which is wider-still than the Pentax 25mm and helped by the 1mm wider sensor, and it certainly must be the better lens too**.

    **not supported by evidence, as is everything Leica.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Wider lenses include the Mamiya 28mm and Hass 24mm*, but they have a reputation for not really being sharp, most people here use em as a case as to why you should go the tech cam route if you're a wide-angle junkie.

    The Hasselblad HCD 24mm and HCD 28mm lenses are amongst the sharpest lenses available on the market. I would imagine that the 28mm from Mamiya and Schneider are just as fine, but I have not tested them personally. Leica also has a 24mm for their S cameras, BTW.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    The wider lenses from Phase/Mamiya drove many including my self to a tech camera.

    28mm has never been a great lens wide open, and only really starts to get good in the corners by F11 (on some versions ) and F14 on the two I owned. Nothing wrong with F11, but my lens still did had coma aberration even at F11 and this in daylight this causes smearing of the edges, very evident in foliage and at night butterfly wings on stars, making the edges not useable. Thus my 28's (I owned two of them), were better 35mm lenses. If you use filters, the 28 as any wide with a fixed tulip and curved outer element poses a lot of problems unless a system like the Lee can be adopted to it.

    The 35mm, (owned 3 of them) still have the "best" one. Not bad but still a bit soft not smeared, in the corners and just can't get to the level of details that a Schneider 35XL can.

    Neither of these lenses will allow movements, you can set them up for a nodal pan, (of which I did many), the need to be level with camera always posed an issue.

    As for the prices, the only thing that will drive Phase One into a realistic price point for the CMOS backs, is competition and it's pretty obvious that the 645z and 50c have not been enough yet to do anything. That may change over time. To purchase a Credo 40/80mm for 134K, I just don't see any advantage to that for landscape work, possible if you are a studio shooter as you will have an LS lens.

    Phase seems to have a very good market in the far east, China, Japan, etc. and that market is huge, and more than likely will continue to drive the price points for years to come.

    I also don't the Canon 50MP sensor changing the game. But it's yet to ship and not too much has is known about it.

    What has hindered Phase the most seems to be their current camera body, which is overpriced and not very feature rich when compared to others. This will all change later this year when the "new" body is announced. Most shooters still don't use tech solutions, instead prefer a body with no LCC issues. So I figure for the rest of this year, once the body ships Phase will do just fine. Next year more than likely they will continue with full frame CMOS at the same price structure, so it will not be an easy move.

    Phase has also could care less that a 160, which cost in the 39K range, just sold for 11K on ebay. I care as that it a huge hit for someone. Where as the price of the 250 at 22K is tempting

    Paul

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    The Hasselblad HCD 24mm and HCD 28mm lenses are amongst the sharpest lenses available on the market. I would imagine that the 28mm from Mamiya and Schneider are just as fine, but I have not tested them personally. Leica also has a 24mm for their S cameras, BTW.
    Well, even if it is a great lens, the HCD 24mm could also buy you an inexpensive tech cam and a Schneider wide for about the same price and you can use your H back on it with movements. Already mentioned the Leica.

    SLR wide angles are generally a poor spot because of the difficulty of having to clear such a huge mirror box, and so a lot of the price and design work actually goes into making them able to mount on your camera. Don't forget that 24mm by definition implies that the focal point of the lens should be 24mm away from the sensor, which in practice is not even half-way through the mirror box (61.63mm). They have to work some scary voodoo to capture a wide field of view and send it over a longer lens group.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    The Z is the answer IMO, and it did push prices down a lot. Remember the rebate deals pre-xmas last year on H cameras? They got close to or matched the Z, which of course was with that old 40mp CCD sensor. Studio photographers only. I'd take a 645D over the Hassy just for the better screen, focal plane shutter, and cheaper glass, for still half the price of the on-rebate H4D.

    There is also this pervasive myth that older A, FA, and 67 Pentax lenses are so old and unusable that you MUST buy the current line up. This is ridiculous, come on. First of all even if they're not amazing wide open and you require ultimate sharpness, stop down! Also, the lenses in my experience are great! Not every one, but most. I really like the 75mm FA. It's renders to me like a Planar. The telephotos are pretty sweet too. My current fav that I'm using on a 645Z is the 75mm 2.8 AL from the 67 system. Focuses very close, and renders in a lovely way. I haven't compared them to H lenses or Schneider LS optics, which I'm sure have some advantages. But also some huge disadvantages like giant gaping holes in your bank account, so you better be sure it's going to return that investment.

    Speaking of investments, there are some "sold listings" for H4D-60s on fleabay for under $10k. That's gotta hurt. These things are not investments. They are so expensive that most people can't afford them, and when tech moves forward their value tumbles and tumbles. Stores are even reluctant to take them on trade sometimes because of reliability issues. Phase and Hassy are gonna be themselves though, and are not going to try to be competitive as long as the rental houses keep using them exclusively.

    35mm's effect on prices is debatable. I could see it making things MORE expensive as larger sensor cameras are moved to an even more specialized market. I'm just not sure. I do think that medium format users know that many of the advantages are inherent in the larger format and tools themselves, and that throwing more megapickles in a 35mm frame is about the same as using a slower film. Velvia 50 in 35mm did not replace Velvia 50 in 120 and up. Just not the same hamburger.

    I'm probably the exception in this forum that isn't trying to ebb every once of resolution out of my sensor, working in wedding, portrait, and reportage. But those are big areas of photography too, so it's a valid perspective.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    I hope systems like the 645Z drive down prices, especially on second hand CCD backs. Although the Sony CMOS sensors are great (I have a D800E and an A7R...also have a D810 coming in the mail today...this point has also been beaten to death in other threads), the other older CCD backs still take great images. I've owned a D800E for as long as I've owned my H4D-40, and my favorite images I've taken with the Hassy. The Hassy I have may not have the advantages of CMOS, but I'm well aware of it's limitations and prefer shooting with it over the Nikon for my landscape work. I'd happily pick up a second hand IQ160 (esp for $11k!) or 180 for my landscape work in the future once I have the $$.

    The 645Z is really attractive for sure. People have been taking great images with it and if I were entering the MF market right now I'd probably start there.

    Speaking of wide angles, the only thing that has really peaked my interest in 35mm world lately is the new Canon 11-24mm. Preliminary reviews are very very positive (sharp, low distortion, etc). Thinking about picking one up and throwing it on the A7R.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Digital Transitions / Team Phase One already offers brand new Credo 40 kits at $13k with a lens.
    So, for about 4 grand more, I can get an older 40MP CCD rather than a state-of-the-art 50MP CMOS. I can also get a camera body that is long in the tooth.

    I am glad Phase is doing well. We always need choices. But when do they take some of that revenue and invest in a camera platform to replace the DF+? Yes, I understand that is soon, but it has been soon for years now. I guess I would not mind dropping an extra $4K if I thought I was getting something at least on par to the Pentax camera.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Well, even if it is a great lens, the HCD 24mm could also buy you an inexpensive tech cam and a Schneider wide for about the same price and you can use your H back on it with movements.
    You are probably thinking about the Schneider 24mm f/5.6 Apo-Digitar XL. You don't have movements with that lens on a MF back, the imaging circle is too small.


    SLR wide angles are generally a poor spot because of the difficulty of having to clear such a huge mirror box, and so a lot of the price and design work actually goes into making them able to mount on your camera. Don't forget that 24mm by definition implies that the focal point of the lens should be 24mm away from the sensor, which in practice is not even half-way through the mirror box (61.63mm). They have to work some scary voodoo to capture a wide field of view and send it over a longer lens group.
    I don't care how they make it if it works and it does.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    You are probably thinking about the Schneider 24mm f/5.6 Apo-Digitar XL. You don't have movements with that lens on a MF back, the imaging circle is too small.
    That lens is specified for use with up to 36x48mm sensors, so it's about as wide as the 'blad 24mm. I was probably thinking about the Schneider 28mm f/5.6 which is a wider lens when used with a full-size sensor, though looking it up online I see it's quite a bit more expensive than I expected, still a lot less dough than the HCD24 though.

    I don't care how they make it if it works and it does.
    If you need convenience and autofocus on your super-wide then of course nothing can replace a lens you can just slap on your camera and have at it.

    I think it's pointless to keep talking about this, so long as one isn't too critical about optical performance on really wide lenses, most SLR options will get you about the same result at about the same field of view. I doubt the HCD 24mm is magically leaps and bounds better than similar Mamiya, Pentax or Leica offerings until some people get together and do a controlled test using their systems. Personally, a 28mm on a crop (33x44) or 35mm on a full 645 sensor is about as wide as I'd go just for practical reasons and you can expect decent optics as well, but as you get closer to 20mm things get obscenely wide and hard to get under control for me. YMMV.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I am glad Phase is doing well. We always need choices. But when do they take some of that revenue and invest in a camera platform to replace the DF+? Yes, I understand that is soon, but it has been soon for years now. I guess I would not mind dropping an extra $4K if I thought I was getting something at least on par to the Pentax camera.
    Its coming......(we have been hearing this for over 2 years now.)
    Bryan

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    That lens is specified for use with up to 36x48mm sensors, so it's about as wide as the 'blad 24mm. I was probably thinking about the Schneider 28mm f/5.6 which is a wider lens when used with a full-size sensor, though looking it up online I see it's quite a bit more expensive than I expected, still a lot less dough than the HCD24 though.
    It is about the same price as the HCD 28mm and a full stop slower.


    I think it's pointless to keep talking about this, so long as one isn't too critical about optical performance on really wide lenses, most SLR options will get you about the same result at about the same field of view. I doubt the HCD 24mm is magically leaps and bounds better than similar Mamiya, Pentax or Leica offerings until some people get together and do a controlled test using their systems.
    You are saying above that tech cam lenses are leaps and bounds better than SLR lenses. I simply do not believe it.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    It is about the same price as the HCD 28mm and a full stop slower.
    Going by B&H prices, $5,500 is quite a bit less than $6,800... Aperture doesn't matter much on a lens you'll almost certainly be shooting at f/8 or smaller all the time, unless you're that fringe user who does star trails.

    You are saying above that tech cam lenses are leaps and bounds better than SLR lenses. I simply do not believe it.
    I've been lurking around for years and the many people who post here and on LuLa have often done comparisons that I remember were regularly in favor of tech cam lenses when it comes to corner sharpness.

    I don't have ready access to medium format gear where I live and had to buy overseas, but if someone were willing to do a shootout between the SLR super wides and a tech lens to prove there isn't a very large difference, then I'll shut up about this, but so far you're the only person that has claimed the opposite of what everyone else says. If you're just using the fact that I said "leaps and bounds", then I admit that was hyperbole, since we're talking about the top 5% of the high end in imaging.
    Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 4th March 2015 at 11:04.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    For the most part, it is true that tech cam lenses are sharper corner to corner.

    If the new 35mm sensors keep getting crammed with more pixels, they are going to have to be absolutely certain that there are lenses capable of handling all of that extra information. If not, even the slightest flaw or aberration is going to be extremely obvious in the image.
    Bryan

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Digital Transitions / Team Phase One already offers brand new Credo 40 kits at $13k with a lens. Other options like a new P45+ for 10k (back only) and a variety of pre-owned digital backs (since the sensor is separate from the body and the back itself does not wear and tear and can be expected to work for well over a decade) at lower than 10k, with warranty, new accessories and dealer support.

    Considering the advantages over the 645Z I think that these are a reasonable price delta for many clients. I don't expect Team Phase One to move much lower in price as our sales have only increased since the launch of the 645Z, presumably because the more people look into and consider medium format the more people Phase One has the chance to work with.
    I was thinking something a bit more current technology than a back using sensor tech from 2008 and a body from 1986.

    I know you continually tell us Phase sales are booming which is great for dealers and the share holders/equity company but I personally see that as a negative as there is no incentive to push boundries or price points. Phase should take a leaf out of Profoto's book and worry less about being a luxury brand and produce a system more people can use. I no longer use a compact camera because I have my iPhone. If Phase or Blad priced their cameras like top tier (or just above) 35mm cameras every serious photigrapher would jump all over them and leave 35mm in the dust even with MF's more expensive lenses. In the 35mm market HQ lens sales (Zeiss, Sigma Art etc) is a growing market so people see the value in good glass and don't mind spending meaning potentially excellent profit margins.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    I can't help but laugh when I read about the fantastic deals on the DF+ and Credo 40. I like the back but honestly, I woudn't take the DF+ body even if it was given to me. This is my very subjective opionion of course, but it seems I'm not the only one that feels this way.
    For tech camera users like myself, the CFV-50c fits a great space in the market. It's more expensive that the 645Z though.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    gazwas

    The fact that Phase One keeps dragging their feet with regards to releasing an updated and more user friendly body they keep losing customers. I am just one small example.

    I bought into the Phase DF system 3 years ago, and coming from Hasselblad I was somewhat disappointed as the camera just didn't feel right and was not finished in the same manner as their digital backs. All I kept hearing from the dealers was that Phase kept promising a new and much improved body coming in the near future.

    After Photokina, Phase missed the boat yet again, and I and quite a few others that I know said enough is enough and dumped their DF+ bodies.

    I still love my IQ back and was and am still hoping that Phase does come up with a camera body that compliments the back and doesn't appear to be an afterthought the way the DF body did appear. If that happens, I may go back into that system, but otherwise, I am quite happy with my tech cam, and using my 35mm digital for other needs.
    Bryan

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I can't help but laugh when I read about the fantastic deals on the DF+ and Credo 40. I like the back but honestly, I woudn't take the DF+ body even if it was given to me. This is my very subjective opionion of course, but it seems I'm not the only one that feels this way.
    For tech camera users like myself, the CFV-50c fits a great space in the market. It's more expensive that the 645Z though.
    And the 645Z will take Hasselblad lenses, including the focal plane ones. No leaf shutter though (I bet somebody could design an adapter that would fire it though!)

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Going by B&H prices, $5,500 is quite a bit less than $6,800...
    I was comparing the 28mm to the HCD 28, which is $5,910 at B&H.


    I've been lurking around for years and the many people who post here and on LuLa have often done comparisons that I remember were regularly in favor of tech cam lenses when it comes to corner sharpness.

    I don't have ready access to medium format gear where I live and had to buy overseas, but if someone were willing to do a shootout between the SLR super wides and a tech lens to prove there isn't a very large difference, then I'll shut up about this, but so far you're the only person that has claimed the opposite of what everyone else says.

    I posted some tests of the 24mm and 28mm here: “Field” test of Hasselblad H wide-angle lenses. and also there:

    24mm: HCD 4.8/24
    28mm: HCD 4/28

    I don't see much corner degradation on these particular lenses. People are free to do the same test with a tech cam (or with PhaseOne, Leica S, etc...). All one needs is an open field and a tripod.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Those old MF hassy lenses are pretty amazing as well. Some of them render wonderfully.
    Bryan

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Stephens View Post
    For the most part, it is true that tech cam lenses are sharper corner to corner.
    I have yet to see samples of that.

    If the new 35mm sensors keep getting crammed with more pixels, they are going to have to be absolutely certain that there are lenses capable of handling all of that extra information. If not, even the slightest flaw or aberration is going to be extremely obvious in the image.
    The new 35mm sensors will be crammed with more pixels and lenses already struggled with the cameras from 2009. This may indeed be one of the reasons why Sony decided to invest the money to develop a MF sensor (the one in the 645z): they think their strategy of getting the users to always buy more pixels will hit a limit in 24x36. But only time will tell.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I was comparing the 28mm to the HCD 28, which is $5,910 at B&H.
    Same focal length, but different field of view, the HCD24/28 lenses only accept sensors up to 37x49mm while the 28XL covers the full 40x54mm, thus the HCD24 and 28XL will both result in the same subject framing if you account for sensor size. I go by framing since it only makes sense to do comparisons based on how a lens will used and not the number attached to it.

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    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I have yet to see samples of that..
    Then you have never shot a tech cam.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    I can't help but laugh when I read about the fantastic deals on the DF+ and Credo 40. I like the back but honestly, I woudn't take the DF+ body even if it was given to me. This is my very subjective opionion of course, but it seems I'm not the only one that feels this way.
    For tech camera users like myself, the CFV-50c fits a great space in the market. It's more expensive that the 645Z though.
    When I was looking to buy my recent back I was told about the Credo deal by my dealer. I really like the back as well and would have gone that way except in Australia I could only get a good price if I bought the camera as well. Turned me off the whole thing as I also use a tech camera and had no need for an aging body that I didn't want and would have a very hard time selling. It's a shame as I noticed great pricing for the Credo 40 in the USA but, as usual, in Australia we were left out again.
    Stop chasing gear, start chasing photos instead.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    It could be worse on the being left out of deals front, you could live in NZ!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogs857 View Post
    When I was looking to buy my recent back I was told about the Credo deal by my dealer. I really like the back as well and would have gone that way except in Australia I could only get a good price if I bought the camera as well. Turned me off the whole thing as I also use a tech camera and had no need for an aging body that I didn't want and would have a very hard time selling. It's a shame as I noticed great pricing for the Credo 40 in the USA but, as usual, in Australia we were left out again.
    Last edited by tjv; 5th March 2015 at 10:35.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Stephens View Post
    Then you have never shot a tech cam.
    I said "I have yet to see samples showing that wide angle tech cam lenses are sharper corner to corner." You answer "Then you have never shot a tech cam".

    Let me rephrase my opinion:

    I have seen samples of wide angle tech cam lenses. Their corner sharpness was plagued by color shifts and general fuzziness. I have seen samples of wide angle SLR lenses. The worse ones had lower resolution around the 2/3 zone, but generally better corners than the tech cam lenses. The best wide-angle SLR lenses were generally more homogenous than their corresponding tech cam equivalents.

    Tech cams have obvious advantages if one needs to shift or tilt, of course. Their longer lenses are generally excellent, we were only discussing wide angles here (24 and 28 mm specifically).

    I will end this discussion here, since it is not related to the 645Z or the price of MF cameras.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    And the 645Z will take Hasselblad lenses, including the focal plane ones. No leaf shutter though (I bet somebody could design an adapter that would fire it though!)
    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.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    I have noticed a recent increase in second hand sales here on the Swedish market. It's mainly Hassy systems as Hassy is the most common MFD system around here. It's not many new systems though, but 39 to 50 megapixel CCDs that's being sold. I think the reason is Canon's 5Ds and some now choose to leave rather than upgrading. Feels like the competition from below (135) hits harder than from the side (645z).

    I don’t think Hassy or Phase One will reconsider pricing (it's too hard and risky), but will try to expand into other markets like luxury and industrial, and well, they're already doing it. Why compete if you don't have to?

    Considering 645z I have heard a central Hassy representative say that Pentax is probably losing money on it (priced too low and selling poorly) and they expect prices to go up sooner or later. I don't know if they're right or if it's just wishful thinking. I haven't been able to find any numbers on how 645z sales are going. It would be interesting to see. If Hassy and Phase are hit from below, 645z shouldn't be immune either.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    The 44x33 40mp backs have been pushed down in price by the competition already, but it ends there. Products that lose mainstream attraction are then removed, and the clock is ticking for these.

    As soon as 645 fullframe CMOS is here I think CCDs are done, because too few will want them. The 60 and 80 mp backs will be discontinued rather than priced lower.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    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.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Considering 645z I have heard a central Hassy representative say that Pentax is probably losing money on it (priced too low and selling poorly) and they expect prices to go up sooner or later. I don't know if they're right or if it's just wishful thinking. I haven't been able to find any numbers on how 645z sales are going. It would be interesting to see. If Hassy and Phase are hit from below, 645z shouldn't be immune either.
    Not true. Z sales outpace Hasselblads by a significant margin and I've seen numbers. This should not be a surprise. Whether they're taking a loss...idk. I doubt they would gamble that way. But by all accounts the Z is a success for Pentax.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I have yet to see samples of that.
    I can't vouch for what you have or not have seen personally, but there is no question at all that the sharpest wide angle lenses available at the moment are Schneider and Rodenstock tech camera wides. The 23HR, 28HR, 32HR, 40HR, 43XL, 60XL will all out perform any SLR wide.

    Here, for instance, is a 32HR at 60mp:
    28mm & 32mm Lens Comparison - DT Blog

    Some of the older and lower performing tech camera lenses are "only good" rather than "exceedingly excellent". Maybe those are the ones you've seen samples from?
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    With regards to the 645 lens pricing, their lenses seem to be, for the most part half the cost of those of hassy and phase, so unless the image quality is severely lacking in comparison (I have not had the opportunity to use either the camera or the lenses) I don't see how much less expensive these lenses can be, especially since the body is already 45% of the cost to get into a similar system with Hassy and even less for Phase.
    Bryan

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    Workshop Member Bryan Stephens's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    I can't vouch for what you have or not have seen personally, but there is no question at all that the sharpest wide angle lenses available at the moment are Schneider and Rodenstock tech camera wides. The 23HR, 28HR, 32HR, 40HR, 43XL, 60XL will all out perform any SLR wide.

    Here, for instance, is a 32HR at 60mp:
    28mm & 32mm Lens Comparison - DT Blog

    Some of the older and lower performing tech camera lenses are "only good" rather than "exceedingly excellent". Maybe those are the ones you've seen samples from?
    The three sharpest lenses that I have ever used personally are the 32HR, 40HR and 60XL
    Bryan

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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. Phase and Hasselblad are not great either. Not like NPS or CPS, no way. But you could have 2 Z's for the price of one IQ250 kit so... (Plus the Z feels rock solid and has a 100k rated shutter which is great news, that's a subjective thing, I know.).

    2. True. But they've always marketed it as a field camera. Weather sealing support is lacking on the Phase and Hassy, as is file redundancy and AF performance. They should add better tethering support, but not until they have a great leaf lens. And I agree, one or two great LS lenses would be a big deal.

    3. Are the Phase/Hassy offerings dirt cheap? I wasn't aware they were having regular fire sales. Considering how cheap the body is and that the lenses are cheaper than the competitors I think they're doing fine. And as we've pointed out ad nauseum the old FA/A/67 options are of surprisingly good quality for budget minded photographers. Plus the whole Hasselblad V line.

    I think you have to work pretty hard to convince yourself that there are serious problems with the Z. In my opinion there are 2 kinds of MFD photographers who should not buy one. Regular flash/studio photographers who need leaf shutters, and people wanting the tech cam option. There are simply other great options out there, and I don't think Pentax is or ever really has tried to satisfy those markets. I sort of like products that are targeted specific tasks, while not trying to be the swiss army knife of MFD cameras. Though I have to say the Z comes close.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Considering the financial trouble Pentax got into before being acquired by Ricoh I can't see them selling the Z at a loss. There's more belief in Hasselblad reps talking up their product value or smacking the competition down than Ricoh doing something illogical as selling a product at a loss.

    About two years ago I said that a company rep advised me that Hasselblad were working with Sony on a Medium Format CMOS. The UK rep phoned me and denied it wanting to know who'd told me this.

    One year later. Sony MF CMOS.

    It's not like they're made out of solid gold, if it was it would be worth £30,000 GBP (depending on the spot price).

    Last edited by Chris Giles; 5th March 2015 at 12:23.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    It shall be interesting to see how well Hassy and Phase will maintain their tech cam support with the transition to CMOS. Hassy just discontinued the best tech cam sensor in favour of CMOS, which we try hard to pretend it's a good for tech cams but it does need new wide angle optics to really work properly.

    A fullframe CMOS sensor with the same technology will reduce compatibility further.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    I can't vouch for what you have or not have seen personally, but there is no question at all that the sharpest wide angle lenses available at the moment are Schneider and Rodenstock tech camera wides. The 23HR, 28HR, 32HR, 40HR, 43XL, 60XL will all out perform any SLR wide.

    Here, for instance, is a 32HR at 60mp:
    28mm & 32mm Lens Comparison - DT Blog

    Some of the older and lower performing tech camera lenses are "only good" rather than "exceedingly excellent". Maybe those are the ones you've seen samples from?
    and

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Stephens View Post
    The three sharpest lenses that I have ever used personally are the 32HR, 40HR and 60XL

    As I already wrote: I will end this discussion here, since it is not related to the 645Z or the price of MF cameras.

    Please open another thread on tech cam lenses if you have info to post about them.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedgraphic View Post
    1. Phase and Hasselblad are not great either. Not like NPS or CPS, no way.
    I take issue with this. At Digital Transitions we put huge effort into providing excellent service that I think well exceeds NPS or CPS. We provide regular "service days" at our office where we offer many services for free which normally carry a nominal charge (replacement of sync ports, sensor cleaning, calibration, etc), have options for overnight shipment of a loaner back during any repair/service, carry an extensive inventory of units on hand to help us provide same-day loaners, have four full-time US-based highly-trained support staff (a much higher ratio, I would guess, of customer:support-staff than Nikon/Canon), thoroughly test every unit we sell (which is a redundant double-check of the testing and calibration Phase One does on every unit they ship), include training with all of our purchases, run more advanced training programs out of our office for those that want to dig deep into the hardware/software, and spend a huge amount of time doing R+D to know what recommendations to make to customers regarding lens selection, aperture selection, ISO range, software combinations etc.

    And most body/lens repairs can be done inside the US at the New York service center with pretty fast turn around time.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Stephens View Post
    With regards to the 645 lens pricing, their lenses seem to be, for the most part half the cost of those of hassy and phase, so unless the image quality is severely lacking in comparison (I have not had the opportunity to use either the camera or the lenses) I don't see how much less expensive these lenses can be, especially since the body is already 45% of the cost to get into a similar system with Hassy and even less for Phase.
    I don't think you're making an apples to apples comparison.

    Pentax only has two currently available prime lenses with modern designs.

    For the remaining lenses you should compare to the legacy Mamiya AF non-digital which share the same legacy film-era vintage. They are similarly priced with the Pentax legacy film-era lenses, and like Pentax's line, include some very good priceerformance options.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Ricoh tells me that repair work is farmed out to one place in the US at the moment.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    I don't think you're making an apples to apples comparison.

    Pentax only has two currently available prime lenses with modern designs.

    For the remaining lenses you should compare to the legacy Mamiya AF non-digital which share the same legacy film-era vintage. They are similarly priced with the Pentax legacy film-era lenses, and like Pentax's line, include some very good priceerformance options.
    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. So far Pentax has had 2 MFD cameras out, one while undergoing pretty big internal shake ups. Give them some time! How many designed for digital lenses did Mamiya or Phase or Hasselblad have when Phase was on it's 2nd generation back?

    And ignoring the old designs is fine when you want to be dismissive but they're all available brand spankin new and perform well. What's the problem? Would Jose Villa care if his 80mm f2 Planar was designed for digital when/if he eventually switches? I for one think it's great that I could shoot on a 645n, 67II, and 645Z all while using the same lenses.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    I love that old Pentax glass. It outshines the Canon stuff of which I know it REALLY well. On par and in many cases better than the Hasselblad HC glass too. (Personal opinion). That 300 A 645 lens at F4 has to be seen to be believed.

    Though, as with anything photographic if there's nothing decent in the resulting frame it doesn't matter what you use
    Last edited by Chris Giles; 6th March 2015 at 00:35.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z and the price of MF

    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.
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