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Thread: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

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    SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Hi All,

    I just got back from a trip in China. A friend in our group has Pentax 645Z and we did a test comparison for fun with my IQ 180. I was very surprised how the pentax performs. For a system that cost 1/5 less than the IQ, it performs very similar, with lighter body and lens, manual focus magnification and focusing peak, weather sealed lens and body, and amazing high ISO...looks very attractive all of sudden.

    I bought the SK 35MM blue ring prior to the trip. I thought this lens will kick ***, being the latest offer from Phase one and because it was advertised as ready for 100MP and beyond...so i thought let's do a test vs the pentax 645Z with 28-45mm to see how good is the blue ring.

    All camera on tripod with timer, same width frame. I was going to process both files with the same program but C1 does not support Pentax (make u wonder why...). So I convert the pentax to DNG and tweak a bit in adobe raw. IQ180 files was straight convert via C1. IQ180 files was downsized to pentax size.

    All DNG and IIQ files can be downloaded @ ( will add more files later)
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kdl9vdojo...-COyWHBIa?dl=0

    For your enjoyment : (first full image from IQ180)






    I was very surprised to see that the Pentax HD 28-45mm SR can hold to the SK35 Blue Ring. Image looks very similar with more pleasant color in IQ180. Color can be adjusted easy, the resolution in other hand can't be created in post.

    The pentax is $1000 cheaper than SK 35MM and it is a zoom lens!! The mighty blue ring that goes beyond 100mp and ready to the future was expected to perform much better only to find itself shamefully almost identical to the zoom lens. Upon more testing against 55MM LS, I found the blue ring optically the same as the old generation LS. If phase one philosophy of blue ring only to provide better solid built, I am not impress!! Where are the qualities that belongs to "beyond 100MP and ready for the future", I am sure it is not the mechanism, electronically serialized and improve feel

    The one thing that I cant let go of phase one now is the capture one, I also like the focus mask to give hint of critical focus. I work in commercial and C1 is mandatory with the digital assistant. As the most expensive and the claim as the best in photography, I expect to see much more improvement from Phase One.

    For those of you who only shoot landscape or first timer investor in MDF and you dont need C1 critically, I suggest the 645Z. It is much cheaper system with less weight, high iso and weather sealed that can rival the best phase one can offer. 2nd option will be Sony A7R II. The 90mm macro I test shows better result than SK 240 LS.

    Here are test from 55LS







    For the extra I throw a A7Rii with Sony 90 macro. I have been hearing about this amazing lens. Sony was converted with C1. All default values.

    Test 1: not same width because i cant move back anymore with my IQ. Nevertheless it shows what this amazing Sony lens can do. IQ has finer details sure it is expected, but I dont think anyone expect Sony to have this level of details for 1/12 of the price of IQ




    Test 2: Macro shots, still amazing Sony almost catch up to the SK



    For those who have been wanting to get A7RII don't hesitate anymore. I'm assure you it is the best 35mm full frame available period

    -Dan
    Last edited by Dan Santoso; 23rd October 2015 at 20:07. Reason: add more content
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the posting.

    The real test to me would be keeping the IQ180 at 100% and uprising the Pentax to the same size, as downsampling always tends to add both contrast and clarity at least with my experience. The fact that a Pentax @ 100% with 50MP looks similar to a IQ180 down sampled to almost 1/2 the resolution, well, 80MP vs 50 is not half but getting close tells me that you have a very good copy of the 35LS and the lens is doing what it's supposed to do. To my eyes, I don't think your 35mm will have any trouble with 100MP.

    The Pentax is no slouch, but take the same Pentax files and uprez them to the same size as 80MP and see if they hold up. I don't think that they will as that is a pretty good stretch in resolution.

    The IQ180 files also seem to have a bit more shadow life to them which surprised me, but that should be easy enough to change in post production.

    But even looking at the IQ180 to Pentax in your examples, I see areas where the IQ180 still seems to have the edge,

    Look for anywhere there is lettering on the buildings, the details of the actual bricks, the air conditioners on the builds and fine details in the greens.

    Also in the tiles of the roof, the 35mm LS seems to have held a bit more hyperlocal distance as the foreground looks just a bit sharper.

    Would these details show up in a web image, no, but would they show up in a print, hugely so, especially if you took the Pentax image to the same size as the IQ180 and then printed both out at 360ppi in LR or a similar program. But for this test, it would be interesting to see just the Pentax uprez'd to 300dpi to the same resolution as the IQ180 native at 300dpi.

    I still feel that the SK35 is a Major step forward for Phase One, and I do hope when mine arrives, it shows the same excellent results are yours.

    Sincerely
    Paul

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Zooming into the images the IQ180 file is much smoother (tones) with better color. The 645Z file looks a bit dull and flat and has quite a bit of texture (noise) that can be seen in areas with more uniform color / surface. Good, but not great.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    The 35LS looks to be quite remarkable, closest one SLR wides have come to tech lenses yet.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    Zooming into the images the IQ180 file is much smoother (tones) with better color. The 645Z file looks a bit dull and flat and has quite a bit of texture (noise) that can be seen in areas with more uniform color / surface. Good, but not great.
    The tone/color difference can be attested to the difference between CCD and CMOS, having an extra few stops of DR tends to make things look terribly flat out of camera, but you can do crazy things with it. The 645D looked nicer OOC, but was far less flexible with exposure control than the Z, I suppose it depends on how much time you're willing to spend on dialing in the look you want.

    Not sure what you mean about noise, at ISO100 and without any exposure push or recovery, the image appears smooth as glass. It's the closest I've ever seen a camera render a scene like computer graphics.

    In any case, Pentax really knocked one out of the park with the 28-45mm, makes want to get it more every time I hear something new.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Here, It is pretty obvious:

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    Might be an issue with processing and/or the fact that the IQ180 image is downsampled quite a bit and that reduces apparent noise.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Not surprised to see this at all. When it comes down to it, Pentax makes remarkable glass and cameras. So does Phase and SK! They're all great. However, unless you need some of the P1 killer apps (leaf shutters, studio applications) you are throwing a lot of money their way for not a lot of return on quality. What most surprises me is that P1 or Hassy don't have a market competitor to the 645z. It doesn't have to be their flagship model but there should be something better than those ancient 40mp CCD cams. Just something that is great for location/wedding photographers. *shrug* If they want Pentax to have all that money, that's their call.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    You should see the neg comments about the 645Z over on the Leica side "Re Leica SL (601)...Oct 20th" thread. I am exhausted.

    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/leica/56...ct-20th-5.html
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Dan,

    I took sometime and downloaded the two files. The Phase One appears to be a true raw, but I wasn't sure where how you created the Pentax dng? Is that straight from the camera? if so then C1 opens it OK, albeit with some color issues, mainly blues, or did you open it in LR and then export it out as a dng? The main reason I was curious, as if you exported out from LR, then the sharpening you had in LR would have been saved to the dng. But overall both files have a ton of detail. The Phase One IQ180 to me was easier to master overall colors and it seemed to have more reach in the shadows, not sure why, but to me it just did. Actually, your IQ180 does a very good job. Even the far lower right, where there is bamboo and a tree recovered with plenty of details, at iso 100, FAR better than my IQ260 would have done. The only area where I saw classic CCD noise/low details was in the lower left of the frame, where there is a sidewalk right above the river and a brick wall, here the 645z definitively wins since it was able to pull more details from the shadows, but your IQ180 is close and if you uprez'd the Pentax file to the output size of the Phase, it might be much closer.

    Here are some crops, I hope that show enough but I have never liked on screen crops for comparisons. The colors have changed a bit, when converted to the web, but overall details still show I feel.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a shot from the upper left and I used it because you are pulling in the distant hillside, which has to be miles away and still the roof details in the middle foreground. To me, the Phase file shows a bit more details on the buildings but on the far hillside, the Phase is showing to me a lot more details on the trees, and the colors look better to me in the original. If you were to take the Pentax to the same resolution as the IQ180 native, then you are going to loose some more details on the far hillside. I also feel that for some reason the Phase One is showing more out of the roofs in this crop.









    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a shot of the buildings on the middle right and to me it's a toss up as the Pentax is pulling a bit cleaner image, (note in the white buildings), but I see more details in the grey bricks from Phase. Also the railings seem to stand out a bit better to me on the Phase One.











    Click image for larger version. 

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    I only posted this one to show the details on the side street. Here you can see down the street very easily from the Phase One image but even with shadow recovery I really was not able to get as much from the Pentax, could have been a bit different lighting. The buildings in the background are about the same to me, but again the hills in the distance go to the Phase as there is better details and color to my eyes.


    All of the crops were taken from C1 with both images viewed side by side at a 100% view with sharpening applied.

    To me, the 35LS is doing a very good job. You were at F14 if I remember so there is possibly a bit of diffraction effecting the Phase One shot, but not much. Is the Pentax as good, well, sure it's close and in some cases as good, but again it's working on 30% less sensor so the edges of the shot from the Pentax should be a bit better. I can't remember the pitches of each sensor.

    I sure would hold on to your IQ180 as it's getting really good results @ iso100.

    Paul










    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is taken from the right side middle and I used it to show the foliage. Here I preferred the Phase again, just liked the color and felt that there are just a bit more details coming from the Phase One.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Last note,

    I wanted to add a side by side. Both files were a bit blown in the sky on the right, it was easy to me to even it out in C1 with a few adjustment layers. The Pentax sky never really got where I wanted it, but it might have something to do with the way C1 is reading the dng.

    Name:  IQ180 crop 2 comparison no10.jpg
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    Paul

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Hi Paul,

    I convert Pentax RAW via DNG and open it in CS6 and adjust with adobe raw. I dont use C1 for Pentax.

    Sure the color and background looks better in Phase one but at what cost? 5 times more expensive!!!

    The IQ is also a full frame while the Pentax is not. The SK is a fixed lens while Pentax is zoom.

    So if I were ask which one is the winner? I would say the Pentax for above reasons!

    Phase one should be able to pull ahead much more from the Pentax given its price!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    Last note,

    I wanted to add a side by side. Both files were a bit blown in the sky on the right, it was easy to me to even it out in C1 with a few adjustment layers. The Pentax sky never really got where I wanted it, but it might have something to do with the way C1 is reading the dng.

    Name:  IQ180 crop 2 comparison no10.jpg
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    Paul

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    I can't see the mentioned noise in the Pentax image, so I looked at the downloaded files. I still don't see it. Here are crops of the same portion of the building. The Pentax image is enlarged ( no up-rez, just bigger pixels) to fit the resolution of the Phase; the resolution difference is noticeable, but so is the contrast difference. Both opened in ACR.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    I am sorry but the IQ will not be able to compete at all with noise vs the pentax.

    Pentax can produces clean usable ISO 40,000. My IQ is screaming noise at ISO 400. No contest here!!!! I even sure Pentax will have better ISO than IQ 250/350.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    I can't see the mentioned noise in the Pentax image, so I looked at the downloaded files. I still don't see it. Here are crops of the same portion of the building. The Pentax image is enlarged ( no up-rez, just bigger pixels) to fit the resolution of the Phase; the resolution difference is noticeable, but so is the contrast difference. Both opened in ACR.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Hi,

    Just a few observations:

    • Both images were shot at f/14, which means that the sharpness is limited by diffraction.
    • Both lenses seem very good out to the corner (I was checking lower right corner that has some good detail).
    • Pentax 645D has clipping in the sky on the green channel while IQ 180 is about one stop below ETTR. So Pentax is overexposed and the IQ-180 could take one step more.
    • I did my conversion in LR6 that supports both backs. I have some significant reservation about the demosaic part in Lightroom. I set noise reduction to zero on both.
    • When viewing in Photoshop the Pentax 645Z image was upsized to IQ-180 dimensions.
    • I would say the Pentax image was remarkably good. Even pixel peeping the differences were not that great. The part that Ken said was grainy was smooth on the Pentax in my conversion while the IQ-180 had some not really obtrusive noise


    Interesting comparison and reasonably well made, I would say.

    Best regards
    Erik





    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    I am sorry but the IQ will not be able to compete at all with noise vs the pentax.

    Pentax can produces clean usable ISO 40,000. My IQ is screaming noise at ISO 400. No contest here!!!! I even sure Pentax will have better ISO than IQ 250/350.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    Hi Paul,

    I convert Pentax RAW via DNG and open it in CS6 and adjust with adobe raw. I dont use C1 for Pentax.

    Sure the color and background looks better in Phase one but at what cost? 5 times more expensive!!!

    The IQ is also a full frame while the Pentax is not. The SK is a fixed lens while Pentax is zoom.

    So if I were ask which one is the winner? I would say the Pentax for above reasons!

    Phase one should be able to pull ahead much more from the Pentax given its price!!!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminishing_returns

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    While I could never afford to buy an IQ180 new–I own a Credo 60 that I bought used–there are many compelling reasons someone might prefer one over the Pentax. Price isn't one of those reasons, but for certain use cases it'd be worth it. In terms of this scenario, it clearly illustrates the law of diminishing returns for one type of work / shooting scenario. The Pentax seems an awesome camera. Brilliant, in fact.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    While I could never afford to buy an IQ180 new–I own a Credo 60 that I bought used–there are many compelling reasons someone might prefer one over the Pentax. Price isn't one of those reasons, but for certain use cases it'd be worth it. In terms of this scenario, it clearly illustrates the law of diminishing returns for one type of work / shooting scenario. The Pentax seems an awesome camera. Brilliant, in fact.
    And the fact that you get 28+35+45mm in one lens, with weather sealing and image stabilization... you could probably hold it down to 1/8th sec. I actually hope that the new zooms Pentax will release will also be optimized for this sensor size, then we'll have a killer set covering everything from 28-160mm in just three lenses.

    Going back to the noise issue, I think it may have had to do something with being a demosaicing artifact, since it had a maze-like pattern to it. I double-checked with some of my own images, and here is a before/after of old image I posted here before:



    And a 100% crop of where I think the worst of the noise is:



    If I didn't add exposure or shadow recovery, this would be even less perceptible, not that it matters, since a pattern this fine will ultimately get lost in the surface texture of any print media... Which I think is the smoking gun we need, if someone prints these crops out for visual inspection, possibly even with third-party blind testing, I think we can all be happy that we use the best cameras on earth, whether or not you have or desire that last 5% of image quality.

    Edit: and here is another crop of a different image where I used the legendary Sony +5 Stop Exposure Push™ - Not bad for shadows that are effectively ISO3200.

    Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 24th October 2015 at 04:24.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    No doubt the 645z is appealing. I just noticed it is now 7K at BH Photo. I did not realize the body had come down from 8.4K.

    Paul

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Interesting comparison. I've owned the IQ180 (but not the 35LS) and now own the 645Z (but not the 28-45).

    To my eyes, in the posted samples, the Phase files do look sharper and hence better if only resolution is compared.

    Several points need to be understood in a comparison of this sort, IMHO.

    1. Lens: More than the camera, I believe the lens is the key, especially if the sensors are both equally capable. I wonder how the Pentax would have performed say with the DFA 55 or DFA 90, both being modern prime lenses well suited to the digital medium, or if the two systems were compared with zooms of a similar range.

    2. Ultimate objective: I may be wrong, but the final resting place of any image must be a print, whether on paper or aluminum or whatever. I doubt we are all happy to just have them sit on a hard drive or on a webserver. In the latter instance, nobody is going to look at the right lower corner at 100% etc. Hence the comparison is useless unless the final destination is taken into account. If it is a print, as I think it would be, then too, the differences at the 'usual' size would be minimal, as was shown so long ago by Michael Reichmann.

    When I bought my Phase IQ180 I was told by all the enthusiasts present that the difference in print quality between Phase and a Canon DSLR would be visible at '8X10' size, a blatant untruth.

    Having printed large (over 24X36) with Phase 180, Canon 1DX and now Pentax 645Z, I can tell you that unless you are 3 inches from the print or using a loupe, the difference is not noticeable at all at anything smaller than 20X30 and above that, the Pentax and Phase files are absolutely indistinguishable!

    So a lot depends upon what you want to do with the images you shoot. Granted, you can 'crop into' a larger resolution file with greater ease but that is hardly the purpose of shooting with a high resolution camera to begin with.

    3. Cost: This is the big issue I think with the OP as it was with me. I discovered that the value for me was not there, given my style of shooting and there were several major limitations to boot. However, this is a very subjective matter and for many the value is in the joy they get out of using the system and nobody can argue with that.

    BTW, I also own the A7RII now and the superb Batis lenses and as I've said repeatedly, the combination of the Sony and the Batis 25 is just about the best IQ for the price and heft.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    I think I have said this before: if you take two cameras, use the resolution of the lesser camera, make sure you use very good lenses at their sweet spot (f/11-f/16), make sure you have enough light to use relatively low isos, take a scene with relatively limited dynamic range, etc... you will find identical results between these two cameras, whatever are the two cameras you chose. Because you will have explicitly designed the test so that any differences will be equalised. It is not a problem with the cameras and lenses, it is a problem with the test.

    The only thing we learned from that particular test is that the Pentax 28-45mm is quite good at f/14. That is hardly a surprise, all lenses are quite good between f/11 and f/16.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Very interesting thread with lots of sensible comments!

    My only contribution concerns the use of f14. I have tested my SK 35 LS extensively. It is sharpest at f5.6 and f8. F11 shows very minor deterioration due to diffraction, but after that things definitely get soft. I would not choose to use this lens at f14 if the ultimate in resolution is required.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    F/14 will hide much of the magic of the 35LS+80mp magic.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Hi Bill,

    Will 5.6 or 8 render all depth of field sharp on such a scenery above?


    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    Very interesting thread with lots of sensible comments!

    My only contribution concerns the use of f14. I have tested my SK 35 LS extensively. It is sharpest at f5.6 and f8. F11 shows very minor deterioration due to diffraction, but after that things definitely get soft. I would not choose to use this lens at f14 if the ultimate in resolution is required.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    Hi Bill,

    Will 5.6 or 8 render all depth of field sharp on such a scenery above?


    Thanks
    With my Rodie 32HR, at f8, I find that HF of about 70ft gives me everything from 15-20 ft out to be in focus. I think the above image falls in that range.
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Hi,

    I guess the posting says a couple of things:

    • The Pentax 645Z performs on par with IQ-180 within it's resolution limits.
    • The zoom lens seems to be performing very well (which is the reason to check a corner)
    • So you can make significant savings if you don't need the 80 MP


    What I would add is that with f/14 there is significant diffraction in the play. The Pentax would have a larger DoF (due to crop factor / shorter lens), so it could be shot at f/11 thus having somewhat less diffraction. On the other hand, diffraction can be corrected for by sharpening and no resolution will be lost at f/14.

    I also agree mostly what you say about print sizes. I had a small discussion about demosaic artefacts I have observed in Lightroom on one of my Sony A7rII images with Mark D Segal. Mark pointed out to me that:

    • That image would make a great 30"x45" print
    • Those artefacts I observed would be visible with a loupe in that print
    • But those artefacts would not be visible to then naked eye


    So, I repeated the experiment, just using a small crop. My print would be 49" on the long size (if I recall this correctly). Looking close (8" or so) with the naked I could see that foretold artefacts, but I am near sighted. Moving away from the print the jaggies were no longer visible. With my progressive glasses I could not observe those jaggies at any distance.

    So, what I have observed that small differences in actual pixels images or small artefacts are not very visible in prints. The details are transferred but a loupe may be needed to observe them.

    What I could see in a few previous experiments, there was very little difference in prints made from 24MP and 39 MP at A2-size. But I have been told by an experienced printer that there is a clear and observable benefit of 36 MP to 16MP (or even 24P?) at A2-size when printing on glossy paper. I have also learned that we can learn to see certain differences. First you don't see it than you see it.

    I guess, if we have enough pixels that are good enough we can print large and reach near optimum. Adding more pixels may not yield significant benefits.

    Close scrutiny on screen corresponds to wall size prints. If we assume 100PPI on screen, it would correspond to something like a 2.5 m wide print from the IQ-180.

    So, my take from that test is that we now have great tools at affordable prices and I am the last one to complain.

    Best regards
    Erik




    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    Interesting comparison. I've owned the IQ180 (but not the 35LS) and now own the 645Z (but not the 28-45).

    To my eyes, in the posted samples, the Phase files do look sharper and hence better if only resolution is compared.

    Several points need to be understood in a comparison of this sort, IMHO.

    1. Lens: More than the camera, I believe the lens is the key, especially if the sensors are both equally capable. I wonder how the Pentax would have performed say with the DFA 55 or DFA 90, both being modern prime lenses well suited to the digital medium, or if the two systems were compared with zooms of a similar range.

    2. Ultimate objective: I may be wrong, but the final resting place of any image must be a print, whether on paper or aluminum or whatever. I doubt we are all happy to just have them sit on a hard drive or on a webserver. In the latter instance, nobody is going to look at the right lower corner at 100% etc. Hence the comparison is useless unless the final destination is taken into account. If it is a print, as I think it would be, then too, the differences at the 'usual' size would be minimal, as was shown so long ago by Michael Reichmann.

    When I bought my Phase IQ180 I was told by all the enthusiasts present that the difference in print quality between Phase and a Canon DSLR would be visible at '8X10' size, a blatant untruth.

    Having printed large (over 24X36) with Phase 180, Canon 1DX and now Pentax 645Z, I can tell you that unless you are 3 inches from the print or using a loupe, the difference is not noticeable at all at anything smaller than 20X30 and above that, the Pentax and Phase files are absolutely indistinguishable!

    So a lot depends upon what you want to do with the images you shoot. Granted, you can 'crop into' a larger resolution file with greater ease but that is hardly the purpose of shooting with a high resolution camera to begin with.

    3. Cost: This is the big issue I think with the OP as it was with me. I discovered that the value for me was not there, given my style of shooting and there were several major limitations to boot. However, this is a very subjective matter and for many the value is in the joy they get out of using the system and nobody can argue with that.

    BTW, I also own the A7RII now and the superb Batis lenses and as I've said repeatedly, the combination of the Sony and the Batis 25 is just about the best IQ for the price and heft.
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 25th October 2015 at 02:52.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    I guess the posting says a couple of things:

    • The Pentax 645Z performs on par with IQ-180 within it's resolution limits.
    • The zoom lens seems to be performing very well (which is the reason to check a corner)
    • So you can make significant savings if you don't need the 80 MP


    What I would add is that with f/14 there is significant diffraction in the play. The Pentax would have a larger DoF (due to crop factor / shorter lens), so it could be shot at f/11 thus having somewhat less diffraction. On the other hand, diffraction can be corrected for by sharpening and no resolution will be lost at f/14.

    I also agree mostly what you say about print sizes. I had a small discussion about demosaic artefacts I have observed in Lightroom on one of my Sony A7rII images with Mark D Segal. Mark pointed out to me that:

    • That image would make a great 30"x45" print
    • Those artefacts I observed would be visible with a loupe in that print
    • But those artefacts would not be visible to then naked eye


    So, I repeated the experiment, just using a small crop. My print would be 49" on the long size (if I recall this correctly). Looking close (8" or so) with the naked I could see that foretold artefacts, but I am near sighted. Moving away from the print the jaggies were no longer visible. With my progressive glasses I could not observe those jaggies at any distance.

    So, what I have observed that small differences in actual pixels images or small artefacts are not very visible in prints. The details are transferred but a loupe may be needed to observe them.

    What I could see in a few previous experiments, there was very little difference in prints made from 24MP and 39 MP at A2-size. But I have been told by an experienced printer that there is a clear and observable benefit of 36 MP to 16MP (or even 24P?) at A2-size when printing on glossy paper. I have also learned that we can learn to see certain differences. First you don't see it than you see it.

    I guess, if we have enough pixels that are good enough we can print large and reach near optimum. Adding more pixels may not yield significant benefits.

    Close scrutiny on screen corresponds to wall size prints. If we assume 100PPI on screen, it would correspond to something like a 2.5 m wide print from the IQ-180.

    So, my take from that test is that we now have great tools at affordable prices and I am the last one to complain.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Erik, I think print size really is the final determinant, as is of course the paper type.

    Having said that, viewing on a monitor is a variable phenomenon and also depends upon what the resolution the monitor is set at. So 100ppi may be different on a 4K vs a standard HD monitor, at least that is my understanding.

    I have a B&W image of the NYC skyline at night taken with the IQ180. It has great detail obviously, being a very high res file. I printed this on my Epson 9900 on BC vibrant metallic and BC Elegance velvet at 30 X 40. The matte print had more detail in it but I had to view it from 6-8 inches to notice the difference. So it is not true (at least from my own observations) that a glossy print will necessarily bring out the best detail.

    The smaller the print, the closer the viewing distance, people can hold an 8X10 to their nose. I have a 44 X 72 print from my Canon 1D4 that hangs in my basement. At 'normal' viewing distance of say 4-6 ft it looks fine. Obviously as you come closer you see the fuzziness.

    What is true is that we have so many options at all price points and you just pick what suits your style and budget. I think many of us (myself for sure) make the mistake of thinking 'resolution' without thinking what one would end up doing with the image in the end.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    Hi Bill,

    Will 5.6 or 8 render all depth of field sharp on such a scenery above?


    Thanks
    Yes, I'm sure f8 would be fine. I have my XF's Hyperlocal distance set to f11 and 5 meters. Everything from 3-4 meters to infinity is sharp.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    No doubt the 645z is appealing. I just noticed it is now 7K at BH Photo. I did not realize the body had come down from 8.4K.

    Paul
    The 645z price at B&H just went back up to 8.5K.
    Carl
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    I wonder what the temp discount was for the photoshow in NYC?

    Darn good savings.

    Paul

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    No doubt the 645z is appealing. I just noticed it is now 7K at BH Photo. I did not realize the body had come down from 8.4K.

    Paul
    Still $1k more expensive than a phase one xf, it doesn't even come withe an elk leather strap like the phase one.
    I guess you do get a 50mpixel sensor thrown in with the Pentax though.
    never trust the opinion of anyone who lists a load of gear in their forum signature. Dealers do not email me asking to buy your products.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSmith View Post
    ... it doesn't even come withe an elk leather strap like the phase one....
    Whoa, wait a minute. You got a elk leather strap with your XF? Where's mine?

    Am I the only one that would love to convert a Pentax 645z to full spectrum/IR?

    ken

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    The 645z price at B&H just went back up to 8.5K.
    I spoke to a B&H representative about this over the weekend and he said that there was "no indication the price drop was temporary" in his system, but it looks like it was indeed a temp price drop for PPE .

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    I know it was valid as I had one in my cart ready to checkout then I had a sane moment and backed out. Just can't afford to switch from Phase One as I have a bit too much invested. But it was really tempting.

    Paul C

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul2660 View Post
    I know it was valid as I had one in my cart ready to checkout then I had a sane moment and backed out. Just can't afford to switch from Phase One as I have a bit too much invested. But it was really tempting.

    Paul C
    Oh it was definitely valid. I was thinking about getting one myself. I just asked B&H if it was a temporary sale price for the PPE show or a permanent price drop to see how much time I had to pull the trigger. They said they thought the price drop would stick around for awhile. However it appeared to be a weekend sale only.
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    I see the IQ180 having a hair better detail when downsized, but suspect that gap would open up a bit with the 645Z uprezzed to 80MP. The big issue I suppose is whether 50MP is the point at which you don't need more resolution for your uses. For some this will be 'yes' and others 'hell, no'. If yes, one reaps the many benefits of the 645Z and its amazing sensor. For someone routinely making 60" prints and selling them for $5K each, I could see why 80MP would retain its allure.

    Regarding the 28-45mm, it is indeed amazing. At the apertures I need to use it (landscapes) it performs better than any zoom lens I have ever used and better than most of the primes I have ever owned. It is staggering and would say its in the same ballpark as using Leica M (or Zeiss ZM) wide angle primes on a digital M at landscape apertures. The edges and corners are astonishing. It also will perform a touch better at f8-f9 than f13, but that said, the difference is not that great. I see it as a slight reduction in 'bite' - perfect edge contrast softens a bit - but the results are still incredible. I think this lens will be able to handle more resolution so a good bet for the next 645 model too.

    I am awaiting the new 45-85 and 80-160mm lenses from Pentax. If they are anything like the 28-45, we're in for a treat.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    FF Pentax is coming next year with new tech and new IQ I hope.

    While the IQ 1 to 2, and 3 only has improvement in high iso and new features that is not connected to IQ. Studio uses will not give you difference quality.

    The XF is out now i want to see the next generation of the back hopefully by next year. Is it about time Phase one up their game? I would love to have anti shake in the back


    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    I see the IQ180 having a hair better detail when downsized, but suspect that gap would open up a bit with the 645Z uprezzed to 80MP. The big issue I suppose is whether 50MP is the point at which you don't need more resolution for your uses. For some this will be 'yes' and others 'hell, no'. If yes, one reaps the many benefits of the 645Z and its amazing sensor. For someone routinely making 60" prints and selling them for $5K each, I could see why 80MP would retain its allure.

    Regarding the 28-45mm, it is indeed amazing. At the apertures I need to use it (landscapes) it performs better than any zoom lens I have ever used and better than most of the primes I have ever owned. It is staggering and would say its in the same ballpark as using Leica M (or Zeiss ZM) wide angle primes on a digital M at landscape apertures. The edges and corners are astonishing. It also will perform a touch better at f8-f9 than f13, but that said, the difference is not that great. I see it as a slight reduction in 'bite' - perfect edge contrast softens a bit - but the results are still incredible. I think this lens will be able to handle more resolution so a good bet for the next 645 model too.

    I am awaiting the new 45-85 and 80-160mm lenses from Pentax. If they are anything like the 28-45, we're in for a treat.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by tcdeveau View Post
    I spoke to a B&H representative about this over the weekend and he said that there was "no indication the price drop was temporary" in his system, but it looks like it was indeed a temp price drop for PPE .
    Back down to 7K at B&H.
    Carl
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!



    trouble time

    paul
    Paul Caldwell
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    FF Pentax is coming next year with new tech and new IQ I hope.

    While the IQ 1 to 2, and 3 only has improvement in high iso and new features that is not connected to IQ. Studio uses will not give you difference quality.

    The XF is out now i want to see the next generation of the back hopefully by next year. Is it about time Phase one up their game? I would love to have anti shake in the back
    I doubt very much Phase or anyone else will be coming up with a FF 645 CMOS sensor. It will not offer that much more quality than the cropped sensors in the Pentax, Hassy and Phase backs and will probably cost too much to make. The profits realized would be minimal and if I was the CEO of any of these companies I would not invest in such a venture. Better to maximize qualities of the existing sensor and cameras the way Sony has shown with the humble 35mm model. There is still valuable real estate in the MF sensor that can be better utilized.

    The need of the hour, IMHO is to make a smaller body capable of utilizing the cropped 645 sensor to its fullest and allowing 3rd party lenses to be used with adapters. I am sure Pentax can do it and probably will. If they can then sell it at the current $6-8K price point, it would be a winner.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I doubt very much Phase or anyone else will be coming up with a FF 645 CMOS sensor. It will not offer that much more quality than the cropped sensors in the Pentax, Hassy and Phase backs and will probably cost too much to make. The profits realized would be minimal and if I was the CEO of any of these companies I would not invest in such a venture.
    On the other hand, maybe the CEO of these companies think that there are enough customers ready to pay a premium for a bigger sensor to justify these costs.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I doubt very much Phase or anyone else will be coming up with a FF 645 CMOS sensor. It will not offer that much more quality than the cropped sensors in the Pentax, Hassy and Phase backs and will probably cost too much to make. The profits realized would be minimal and if I was the CEO of any of these companies I would not invest in such a venture.
    I'm not sure if your seen any Phase marketing material since the IQ3 was launched, but it's patently obvious it's coming.

    Why else do you think they'd put on the front page words to the effect of "ready for >100MP"?

    Or even more obviously, what do you think could have possibly motivated the change in the naming structure of the backs.

    There is a reason why it's called the IQ3 80, and not the IQ380.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    The IQ180 works much better than the 645Z with tech camera lenses.
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    My Credo 60 is in V mount, but I don't own an SLR, only a Linhof Techno and tech lenses. I was thinking about getting the mount changed to H mount at some stage so I can at least use it with AF and chop and change bodies when the job calls for that kind of workflow. I guess the question now is do I bother when the Pentax setup would be overall cheaper and give a backup sensor integrated into the body, not to mention water proofing. It's obviously a great camera and the price is right. I do love my Credo though, and wouldn't trade it for the world! (Ok, that's an exageration, I'd gladly swap it for an IQ3 80!)

    I think in many ways Phase and Hassey would be well served to develop a selection of high grade tilt / shift lenses to fit on their respective SLR bodies. Hassey is way ahead in that regard, with the HTS, but at 1.5x crop and a loss of light. With CMOS live view and focusing, the HTS works suprisingly well, but I'd still like to see 28 or 35mm and 70mm true tilt / shift options. Perhaps Phase's collaboration with Schneider might lead to them making use of their knowledge in this respect? Do Pentax still have any TS lenses in production? If so, how do they hold up? I ask all this because for my work I can't give up movements and imagine having a fully waterproof TS setup!

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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    I just got informed that the A7r-II is the first full-frame camera with BSI sensor, that is with the photodiodes at the surface rather than in deep "wells". In theory this should reduce the crosstalk and color cast issues as seen on tech wides a lot. Microlens design and other factors I don't know about could still mess it up though I suppose, but anyway I'm super-curious to know how the A7r-II works together with a Schneider Digitar 35mm tech lens for example. The old A7r did not works so well with it due to crosstalk.

    If the A7r-II works great on that, it's fantastic news for us tech cam lovers because I think BSI will come to a Sony MFD-sized sensor sooner rather than later. The my current strategy to cling to a Kodak CCD while waiting for CMOS to become useful for my wide Digitars may actually be successful
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    I just got informed that the A7r-II is the first full-frame camera with BSI sensor, that is with the photodiodes at the surface rather than in deep "wells". In theory this should reduce the crosstalk and color cast issues as seen on tech wides a lot. Microlens design and other factors I don't know about could still mess it up though I suppose, but anyway I'm super-curious to know how the A7r-II works together with a Schneider Digitar 35mm tech lens for example. The old A7r did not works so well with it due to crosstalk.

    If the A7r-II works great on that, it's fantastic news for us tech cam lovers because I think BSI will come to a Sony MFD-sized sensor sooner rather than later. The my current strategy to cling to a Kodak CCD while waiting for CMOS to become useful for my wide Digitars may actually be successful
    Anders, not so sure. Leica wides seem to have a marginal improvement, but not by much with the A7RII/BSI. I have not seen any samples with the lenses, but would be great if someone can try the A7RII with tech lenses.

    If you're not looking for tech lenses, I'd say the 645Z + 28-40 is hard to beat.
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by gerald.d View Post
    I'm not sure if your seen any Phase marketing material since the IQ3 was launched, but it's patently obvious it's coming.

    Why else do you think they'd put on the front page words to the effect of "ready for >100MP"?

    Or even more obviously, what do you think could have possibly motivated the change in the naming structure of the backs.

    There is a reason why it's called the IQ3 80, and not the IQ380.

    Kind regards,


    Gerald.
    You probably are better informed than me. I am simply making an assumption based on what I as a buyer with the means but not necessarily the inclination to spend that kind of money would want in return.

    From the conversation I had with my Phase One dealer six months ago, it seemed that a FF CMOS version was 'not on the cards' yet. It is entirely possible that the next sensor may indeed be 100MP, but still cropped! If the 35mm sensor can be stuffed with 50MP, why not 100MP for the cropped MF? After all, who would have thought even 5-7 yrs ago that 50MP on a 35mm was possible?

    If the current pricing structure is anything to go by, if a FF 100mp from Phase did materialize say in late 2016 or 2017 for $40K, and meanwhile Pentax were selling their new 80MP cropped MF camera for $8K it would be a truly committed person who would want to keep spending that kind of money for essentially a limited advantage in quality.

    I think we are again ignoring the final resting place of an image which will usually be as a print somewhere. I am not sure a 100MP FF 645 sensor can deliver the kind of image that when printed at 24X36 is easily distinguishable from that produced by a 60-80MP cropped 645 sensor.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    On the other hand, maybe the CEO of these companies think that there are enough customers ready to pay a premium for a bigger sensor to justify these costs.
    True, there do seem to be people willing to pay that much and I may well be wrong, but something tells me they would be making a mistake thinking there is still a large market for their products if they continue to sell them at that price.

    Regards,

    Pradeep
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Anders,
    Like Jagsiva said, it's not much of an improvement. But Sony's problem is the thick cover glass. So I think a BSI sensor with smart micro lens design and a cover glass as thin as possible would be the ticket to me ever considering an upgrade.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    I just got informed that the A7r-II is the first full-frame camera with BSI sensor, that is with the photodiodes at the surface rather than in deep "wells". In theory this should reduce the crosstalk and color cast issues as seen on tech wides a lot. Microlens design and other factors I don't know about could still mess it up though I suppose, but anyway I'm super-curious to know how the A7r-II works together with a Schneider Digitar 35mm tech lens for example. The old A7r did not works so well with it due to crosstalk.

    If the A7r-II works great on that, it's fantastic news for us tech cam lovers because I think BSI will come to a Sony MFD-sized sensor sooner rather than later. The my current strategy to cling to a Kodak CCD while waiting for CMOS to become useful for my wide Digitars may actually be successful
    How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains! - John Muir

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  48. #48
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    If you go to Pentax web site you will see this:



    Is this the next Pentax MDF or 35mm?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pradeep View Post
    I doubt very much Phase or anyone else will be coming up with a FF 645 CMOS sensor. It will not offer that much more quality than the cropped sensors in the Pentax, Hassy and Phase backs and will probably cost too much to make. The profits realized would be minimal and if I was the CEO of any of these companies I would not invest in such a venture. Better to maximize qualities of the existing sensor and cameras the way Sony has shown with the humble 35mm model. There is still valuable real estate in the MF sensor that can be better utilized.

    The need of the hour, IMHO is to make a smaller body capable of utilizing the cropped 645 sensor to its fullest and allowing 3rd party lenses to be used with adapters. I am sure Pentax can do it and probably will. If they can then sell it at the current $6-8K price point, it would be a winner.

  49. #49
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    Quote Originally Posted by dchew View Post
    Anders,
    Like Jagsiva said, it's not much of an improvement. But Sony's problem is the thick cover glass. So I think a BSI sensor with smart micro lens design and a cover glass as thin as possible would be the ticket to me ever considering an upgrade.
    A "scientific" test could still be interesting. Crosstalk is manifested through mazing and desaturated colors. If that can be triggered with the A7r-II then it's game over, because then different microlenses or cover glass won't help. Crosstalk is when the light comes in through one color filter (say red) but jumps over to a neighboring pixel of different color and gets registered there (say green). The color filters should sit directly on the surface of the chip, microlenses and cover glass is above. So crosstalk must happen inside the chip. In the old chip designs this happened because the photo diodes where deep down in "wells" the chip, and the wells lacked walls so light could easily get past to the neighboring pixel.

    In theory BSI should put the photo diode really really close to the color filter and then there's no opportunity for the light to pass to the neighboring pixel.

    In theory BSI should perform well without microlenses too, so if we're really really lucky we'll see a microlens-free MFD BSI sensor with negligible crosstalk issues in the future...
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  50. #50
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    Re: SK 35&55mm/IQ180 vs Pentax 28-45mm/645Z test and A7RII 90mm macro..Must Read!

    That is commonly believed to be the first Pentax FF 24x36 camera, which is expected to be available by spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    If you go to Pentax web site you will see this:



    Is this the next Pentax MDF or 35mm?

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