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Thread: Pentax 645D blowout

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Pentax 645D blowout

    Excuse me if this is already common knowledge, but I thought that a new 645D body selling for $4K sounded like a heck of a deal by medium format standards. You're welcome.

    Pentax 645D Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) 17971 B&H Photo Video
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    I'd be more tempted by the 645z for US$8000 for the very high ISO, very good to 50k ISO. Am reading up on that and the S2 at the moment which is about US$5000 or so.

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by 4season View Post
    Excuse me if this is already common knowledge, but I thought that a new 645D body selling for $4K sounded like a heck of a deal by medium format standards. You're welcome.
    Seeing as used 645Ds are starting to hit $3000 on eBay, a grand more for a new one sounds about right, and with the recent Leica S for $8K sale, I can't help but think that something big is going on.

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Yes, the Sony A7RII is almost out and it will test so good that it will make other cameras a hard sell. Specially for landscape/architecture folk who work on a tripod using live view and dont really care about camera handling and an optical viewfinder.

    I owned a 645D for a short while but really liked it. It is a really nice all around camera. I used a Leica S for just a studio session one afternoon but it felt amazing in hand and the viewfinder was just breathtaking. The AF worked well. Definitely the best feeling medium format digital camera I have used. Bar none. It really did not fit in my kit since I wanted something with a higher resolution but I would not mind owning one. Superb camera for shooting people but the lens lineup covers a wide range so it should be good for just about any type of photography.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Or it could simply be a case of clearing inventory of something that they haven't sold any of for ages.

    The Z has been out over a year now and it's dead stock sitting around. Personally, I'd much prefer to get a Z even if the D was 2k.
    Chris Giles Photography

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Or it could simply be a case of clearing inventory of something that they haven't sold any of for ages.

    The Z has been out over a year now and it's dead stock sitting around. Personally, I'd much prefer to get a Z even if the D was 2k.
    I am sure Pentax will lower the price of the 645Z soon. Once the A7RII is out and widely used and tested. It is gonna shake up the camera marketplace.

    Pentax needs to lower the price of the new 645 lenses. 5 large for the 28-45mm lens is just way too much money. Bundle that lens with the 645z for $8k total and it will sell a LOT more.

    But again, once the A7RII is out even that deal is not gonna look so good. Word of how good the A7RII is will spread like wildfire in no time once the camera is in a lot of people's hands and tests/reviews posted. I give it 2-3 weeks.

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Ah yes, a new 35mm camera comes out with a lot of pixels and it is the death of MFD...again.
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Ah yes, a new 35mm camera comes out with a lot of pixels and it is the death of MFD...again.
    Oh, no no no. Let's not start that fire again.

    Just that the 645Z sits in an odd place in the marketplace. The Hasselblad H's and the PhaseOne cameras offer something different so even though they are expensive they are appealing to professionals or people who value robust tethering and software integration, really good service and support and excellent lens choices (leaf shutters) among other things (like being able to use tech cameras/lenses with the backs).

    The 645z is an awesome DSLR but with somewhat limited lens choices and of course a significant weight and size penalty. So it's raison d'etre is its image quality. When another camera comes along with quite similar image quality (or better) but with a huge range of lens options and more features and a much lower price then the 645z starts making less sense. Again to a wider customer base. So the likes of an A7RII threatens a lot more a camera like the 645z than a PhaseOne or Hasselblad H system.

    This is specially true for photographers who could care less about having an optical viewfinder.

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Ken, it is the same old story again and again. I remember when the D800 was supposed to be the 645D "killer." I have and use both cameras. The 645D gets the most use by far. Yes, the D800 on paper is "better," but in use it is not. And that is the biggest problem with the technical argument, the specs don't show the difference which may be far more important than the numbers. And I am not unique in my preference of the 645D over the D800.

    As far as the argument that those that don't like an optical finder will buy a different camera, it is a not an argument. We all have preferences. To say one preference has greater validity than another is going to require some data to support. The number of lenses is not an argument either. My Mamiya 6 had three. My Hexar had one. For some people, it will be important, for others not so much. But it is a funny argument since I hear the greatest thing against the Sony alpha line is that they don't have enough lenses...

    So, a new camera will come out. We will all get excited about it and predict the fall of something or other. People will get models into their hands and declare that the camera "blows everything out of the water." A few weeks later they realize that it is flawed in some esoteric way and condemn it as a piece of junk. We become bored with the shiny new toy and start looking for the next piece of technology we demand manufacturers make to entertain us. Meanwhile, none of the prophesies became true. And so it goes...
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    The 645z is an awesome DSLR but with somewhat limited lens choices and of course a significant weight and size penalty. So it's raison d'etre is its image quality. When another camera comes along with quite similar image quality (or better) but with a huge range of lens options and more features and a much lower price then the 645z starts making less sense. Again to a wider customer base. So the likes of an A7RII threatens a lot more a camera like the 645z than a PhaseOne or Hasselblad H system.
    I think that Pentax left themselves vulnerable to attack from beneath by A7RII-type and 5Ds-type cameras, because of their design decision that the 645Z would stay with the original film Pentax 645 and 645D mirror box dimensions, flange distance and overall form factor. These physically oversized specs were understandable in the 645D - Pentax had to get their first medium format digital camera out the door without too much redesign of the film platform, complete compatibility with the film Pentax 645 system was a selling point, and large CCDs must have a reflex optical viewfinder.
    But several years on, with no increase in the sensor size and with the change to CMOS, the second iteration in the 645Z should have been either (1) a medium format CSC in the Fuji X-T1 mode, or failing that, (2) a more size-optimized DSLR in the Leica S mode, supplied with a tube to automatically couple the original long-flange lenses to the new shorter-flange body. It would be able to compete better on size/portability, and could adapt even Mamiya/PhaseOne lenses, like the Leica S does.

    Ray

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    I think it is difficult to make pronouncements one way or the other.

    Often it comes down to personal needs and aesthetic preferences do you want/desire/need XX meg in a 3/4 or 2/3 format, and/or XX meg in 35mm size or a larger MFD sensor (and their attendant differences)? Do you prefer a traditional OVF or an EVF? Do you really need/use high ISO or not? All academic arguments aside, do you personally like CCD rendering or CMOS?

    43 meg A7R-II, 50 meg Canon, 40 meg CCD, 50 meg CMOS?

    Personally, I've always liked working with a bigger camera for a lot of the work I did. Since retiring, those "likes" now hold less sway over my preferences. However, try as I might, I can't seem to connect with the Sony A7 series cameras, and my A7R is the least liked/preferred/used camera of all those I've worked with for the past decade. I fear the A7R-II will be just more of the same. This isn't based on paper spec's or doubting the ability of any camera I just do not like it for any of the reasons I make photographs.

    There is a place for each choice, and hopefully there will be those choices for some years to come. The only disappointment I see on the horizon is the demise of the CCD sensor in any format which is why I snatched up a new Leica S(006) while I could. If I didn't have that and 6 CS lenses, then the Pentax 645D would be attractive at those prices.

    IMHO.

    - Marc
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    I think that Pentax left themselves vulnerable to attack from beneath by A7RII-type and 5Ds-type cameras, because of their design decision that the 645Z would stay with the original film Pentax 645 and 645D mirror box dimensions, flange distance and overall form factor.
    I'll agree that there is a lot of dead space between the sensor plane and rear LCD, but overall dimension-wise, I don't find the 645Z to be objectionable.

    These physically oversized specs were understandable in the 645D - Pentax had to get their first medium format digital camera out the door without too much redesign of the film platform, complete compatibility with the film Pentax 645 system was a selling point, and large CCDs must have a reflex optical viewfinder.
    The Pentax 645NII isn't even remotely similar to the 645D in looks or functionality, besides for the lens compatibility. Pentax very much had to build a system from the ground up for digital, they could have made a smaller camera but didn't, so there had to be a good reason for it.

    But several years on, with no increase in the sensor size and with the change to CMOS, the second iteration in the 645Z should have been either (1) a medium format CSC in the Fuji X-T1 mode, or failing that, (2) a more size-optimized DSLR in the Leica S mode, supplied with a tube to automatically couple the original long-flange lenses to the new shorter-flange body. It would be able to compete better on size/portability, and could adapt even Mamiya/PhaseOne lenses, like the Leica S does.
    It would have been better optimization of the platform, but since they're so hard on keeping the form-factor the same, it's hard to imagine Pentax have anything else in mind than integrating a full-frame 645 sensor sometime in the future.

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    The whole industry is like Charlie and the Chocolate factory, unfortunate things happen but nobody actually dies.
    Chris Giles Photography

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    The whole industry is like Charlie and the Chocolate factory, unfortunate things happen but nobody actually dies.
    Maybe that's a good thing!

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Bronica, Contax, and Rollei would like a word with you...
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Art Panorama, Widelux, Noblex, Minolta, Konica,...
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    I was sticking with Medium Format, but heck. Yashica (still miss that T4 Still have my 124 TLR)

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    So was I.

    That is the other thing we do not notice, the shrinking offerings. Fuji no long offer medium-format cameras. Pentax has mothballed its excellent telescopes that would take medium-format cameras--not many scope manufacturers did that. Wista makes fewer large format cameras as does Horseman. In some senses, we live in a rather diminished photo market.

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Ah. Showing my ignorance. I didn't know Minolta did MF. Sorry for getting ...
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    So.. cheaper than a Leica Q? Interesting comparison.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    It is starting...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsG-Hkmmk-8

    much more to come in the next few days

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    the shrinking offerings
    I'm not sure I know what you mean: The selection of selfie-sticks and iPhone accessory lenses, mounts, lights and microphones has never been better

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Why is it always that this or that camera will kill sales of that or an other camera. I shoot professionally all sorts of camera's, from Hasselblad H4d-50 to Pentax 645z and from Nikon D800 to canon 5dMk3 with all great lenses. To me the most important reason to use this or that system is the result i get out of it on a given job. I really hate the D810 camera, worst camera ever to work with and always with that harsh nikon glass..... but it has the best DR there is. The canon is DR limited but has best AF and some of the nicest lenses ever made. It feels good in hand, works as it should but lacks DR an Mp.
    The Pentax 645z to me is almost a dream becoming reality: if you want to shoot MF handheld on location, use high ISO and enormous DR at a reasonable cost, no other camera matches the performance of the 645Z.
    In studio the Hasselblad remains King of the Hill :-)
    Shooting MF is not only about numbers and pixel peeping: the MF system forces one to think and rethink every time before you take a shot resulting in a complete different way of taking images. A 645Z works great, works fast, works in the rain and cold and keeps on delivering great images. It is like a way of living... The Medium Format way :-)
    I also had the sony A7r and must say that that camera was even worse than the D800: AF that did not work properly when light got dim ( where the 645Z focusses perfectly), horrible Jpg output, RAW not comparable with MF files etc.... but it was small and lightweight.
    So my recomandation to all people giving opinions about cameras without having used them for more than a month in real live working situations is to maybe not vent opinions or statements about this or that camera but go rent one and shoot some great images with that camera. And certainly never think that someone that tested a camera on the internet, even when he has got the best reputation, really knows best because we are al human and we are all biased towards this or that system.
    It is a shame there are so few camera brands left. In the fifties and sixties we had thousands of camera brands, much less people shooting pictures but many people taking beatiful images that were kept in an album or printed to hang on a wall. Now in 2015 pixel peepers shoot gigas of digital info not even worth to keep on a harddrive :-)
    Photography is all about creating images, making your dreams come reality and some can do that by using a SonyA7r2 and some prefer to do that with a Hasselblad H6d-400Mp camera or a 8/10 inch wista field camera :-)
    Best, Peter.
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Also keep in mind that for those of us who work a lot in the studio with flash we generally prefer OVF's over EVF's due to the fact that we work at low light levels (modeling lights) even though the exposure has a lot of light (flash). No one ever seems to mention this when talking about mirrorless cameras.

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Could you expand on that? I prefer OVF to EVF, but I would think that low light is one of the situations where an EVF would have advantages.

    --Matt

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    Also keep in mind that for those of us who work a lot in the studio with flash we generally prefer OVF's over EVF's due to the fact that we work at low light levels (modeling lights) even though the exposure has a lot of light (flash). No one ever seems to mention this when talking about mirrorless cameras.
    FYI,

    With "Setting Effect ON" on an EVF camera, you get what you see which means that if you are shooting at f/11 with only modeling lights in a dark studio, the viewfinder will be too dark.

    When working in studio with strobes, you have to go into the menu and set the camera to "Setting Effect Off". Then it is the same as regular OVF cameras.

    - Marc

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Could you expand on that? I prefer OVF to EVF, but I would think that low light is one of the situations where an EVF would have advantages.

    --Matt
    Light levels can get so low where the camera cannot make an image for the EVF. At night, I have to stick an OVF on my RX-1 to be able to frame. Same is true for a DSLR. Yes, the OVF is dark, but you can still see what you are framing.
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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    FYI,

    With "Setting Effect ON" on an EVF camera, you get what you see which means that if you are shooting at f/11 with only modeling lights in a dark studio, the viewfinder will be too dark.

    When working in studio with strobes, you have to go into the menu and set the camera to "Setting Effect Off". Then it is the same as regular OVF cameras.

    - Marc
    I know. But still, OVFs are much nicer to use in low light in the studio. The EVFs work but are quite grainy at those low levels and somewhat distracting, at least for me. I generally keep my modelling lights 1/2 level (250w bulbs)

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    Re: Pentax 645D blowout

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    I know. But still, OVFs are much nicer to use in low light in the studio. The EVFs work but are quite grainy at those low levels and somewhat distracting, at least for me. I generally keep my modelling lights 1/2 level (250w bulbs)
    Actually Ken, you won't get any argument from me regarding EVF verses OVF. I almost exclusively use a Leica S(006) in studio due to its big bright OVF and higher sync speed. Before that it was a H4D/60.

    However, I'm not sure what you mean by grainy when using a mirrorless camera with "Setting Effect Off" since it sees the ambient studio light as it is, without "gain", the way it would when the camera is set to "Setting Effect On".

    - Marc

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