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Thread: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read more

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    Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read more

    Hello all...

    I own a Pentax 645Z with a good set of DFA, FA and A-series lenses. I do feel a need to have a spare Pentax MF body. I also sometimes feel the need to shoot with film for the sake of deriving the joy of photography of the good old days. Importantly, I have access to aHasselblad X-1 film scanner.

    With the 645Z as the workhorse, I was wondering if I could use the Pentax 645 N II as the spare body to shoot film (Ektachrome/ Fujichrome Velvia). Combined with the X-1, perhaps I could get results which are at least as goodas 645Z. The high running cost of films would be offset by the low cost of a Pentax 645 N II. Also, buying another 645Z would be prohibitively expensive. I wish to use the Pentax 645 N II (with FA35mm f 3.5 or DFA 28-45) mainly for landscapes in Kenya in August this year, while the 645Z remains attached to the 400mm telephoto.


    My question is: How will a 6 cm X 4.5 cm colour transparency scanned at highest 6300 dpi resolution by the Hasselblad X-1 be compared to the same image captured by a 645Z or a 645D, all other things being equal? Also, what will be the effective resolution of such an image from scan of the colour transparency in mega pixels?


    Finally, a used 645D could be available at about 1000 USD more than a used 645 N II and is a tempting proposition particularly if I restrict it to landscapes in available light. So should I rather go for a 645D than a 645 N II? Or are there some compelling value propositions with shooting transparency film with the 645 N II which the 645D (or maybe even the 645Z) cannot match?


    I would be thankful for advice/ comments by members.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    What follows are personal views:
    First and foremost, film looks different from digital. I would be sceptical to use it as backup, but it's fantastic as an alternative, to express yourself in a different way. Ektachrome of course is almost as "boring" as digital, so for backup purposes it's probably the closest you can come. Velvia has much more personality. If it was me, I would load the film body with black & white, preferably HP5 or Tri-X, but then you are moving even further from the backup concept.

    Check Nick Brandt's photos. They're from Africa and most or all of them are shot on b&w film. I believe he uses (or used) one or more Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, but I think he's used other cameras too. Check "Trilogy" and "Inherit the dust":

    https://www.nickbrandt.com/

    From a technical point of view, you'll never get as clean files with film as you do with digital. However, if you're going to print really, really large, film is more "elastic". It doesn't fall apart as fast as digital when stretched beyond its limitations. Maybe that doesn't matter anymore with 50MP files, but it's surprising how much you can blow up an image on film.

    Again, these are personal views. Don't trust me. I'm sure others will comment on this too.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    My 2p,

    If you're used to a 645Z, you'll want as large a film format as possible. A Mamiya 7 with its superb 43mm lens is a great, smallish, film setup for WA. Remember that some of the DFA lenses won't cover the full 645 film frame.

    I love the 645D sensor, and think it would make a great backup to the Z. In my case, it was the Leica S(006) and S(007), the former CCD, the latter CMOS. I liked the OOC color of the (006) a bit better.

    And as much fun as it is to process B&W film (no sarcasm - it is fun), dust sucks.

    Best,

    Matt
    mattgraysonphoto.com
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Thank you Matt & Jorgen :-)

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    As a current 645Z users and former 645D & 645N II user, I would definitely agree with the recommendations posted here. If the 645N II was to be simply used to shoot film aside from shooting digital as an alternative look to your images, that's well and good, but as an adjunct/back-up to a 645Z, especially in conditions you're apt to encounter in Africa, I'd say the 645D is a far better choice. I too like Matt prefer the color output of the 645D (CCD) vs. the 645Z (CMOS) and it's output of 40MP vs. the 50MP of the 645Z is negligible. It's sometimes glaring weaknesses are its general requirement to shoot at ISO's below 1000 for very clean files and its slower processor. Other than that it make a fine lower cost alternative back-up to the 645Z, especially with use of the same battery and general layout. That would be my overwhelming choice short of another 645Z body.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:45.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Thank you very much Dave :-)

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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Great advice above.

    One small thing to note: there is no DFA 28-45. This is a DA lens, which means it covers the 33x44mm sensors of the 645D/Z but not full frame 645, at least in theory. At some focal lengths, it would therefore be liable to vignette when used on a film 645. Now, just because it doesn't claim to cover full frame 645 doesn't mean you would not get satisfactory coverage for your purposes at some focal lengths, but proceed with caution!

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    If the point is a second body, then the 645D would be my choice (I use a 645D). The film will not look like the 645Z and if you are trying to make a consistent body of work with both bodies, then it will be difficult (I have also shot medium-format film, but with different cameras). If you just want to use film for its qualities alone, the the 645 film body would be a good option.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    Great advice above.

    One small thing to note: there is no DFA 28-45. This is a DA lens, which means it covers the 33x44mm sensors of the 645D/Z but not full frame 645, at least in theory. At some focal lengths, it would therefore be liable to vignette when used on a film 645. Now, just because it doesn't claim to cover full frame 645 doesn't mean you would not get satisfactory coverage for your purposes at some focal lengths, but proceed with caution!
    Thank you Ed. I read somewhere that by 30mm, the vignetting disappears. That is pretty good as the lens becomes usable.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    If the point is a second body, then the 645D would be my choice (I use a 645D). The film will not look like the 645Z and if you are trying to make a consistent body of work with both bodies, then it will be difficult (I have also shot medium-format film, but with different cameras). If you just want to use film for its qualities alone, the the 645 film body would be a good option.


    Thank you Will for your valid points. I guess it is a choice which would get dictated by what I really wish to do. Shoot film for the joy of it and also to put the dormant X1 to good use, or forget it all and settle for a decent used 645D (and be happy that I have a digital camera whose CCD sensor supposedly has an analogue feel :-)

    Difficult choice indeed. I hope to make a rational decision in a while.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    I pretty much agree with previous posts: use film if that's the look you want, otherwise stay with digital. I compared the 645D, when I first acquired one, to the 645N and 67II, both scanned with a Nikon 9000. I'm no Lloyd Chambers in camera tests but my conclusion in terms of detail was that the 645D was about equal to the 67 scans and both were better than the 645N. Here is an old blog post using the 120mm macro on the D and the N:

    https://tsjanik.blogspot.com/search/...%20645N%20crop

    Tom

    One more comment: I'm not sure I see any difference between CCD and CMOS files in the D and Z that are necessarily attributable to the nature of the sensor. I have a series of shots and crops from the D, Z and DP2 Merrill here:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/212941...57649582405234
    Last edited by tsjanik; 4 Weeks Ago at 15:00.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    I pretty much agree with previous posts: use film if that's the look you want, otherwise stay with digital. I compared the 645D, when I first acquired one, to the 645N and 67II, both scanned with a Nikon 9000. I'm no Lloyd Chambers in camera tests but my conclusion in terms of detail was that the 645D was about equal to the 67 scans and both were better than the 645N. Here is an old blog post using the 120mm macro on the D and the N:

    https://tsjanik.blogspot.com/search/...%20645N%20crop

    Tom

    One more comment: I'm not sure I see any difference between CCD and CMOS files in the D and Z that are necessarily attributable to the nature of the sensor. I have a series of shots and crops from the D, Z and DP2 Merrill here:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/212941...57649582405234
    Thank you very much Tom for your definitive Comments with illustrations to support. This would indeed help in my final decision making :-)

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Hi,

    I wouldn't see film as an alternative to digital. Part of that is that I have been there and done that.

    Quite true, my experience is with 3200 PPI scans from 6x7 cm slide film, mostly Velvia and two 6000 PPI drum scans, one from Velvia and one from kodak Ektar.

    What I have seen is that:

    • Film is inherently noisy.
    • Getting correct color may not be trivial.
    • Image quality is below 24 MP digital.


    Also, the X1 scanner can only scan 24x36 mm at 6300 PPI, 120 film is limited to 3200 PPI.

    https://cdn.hasselblad.com/manuals/f...tasheet_v4.pdf

    Michael Reichmann wrote an article on the issue back in 2003: https://luminous-landscape.com/shootout/ Michael compared Fujichrome Velvia 67 to Canon 1Ds.

    Now, I am fully aware that some very knowledgeable authors have a different view and solid proof: https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/1...ra-comparison/

    But, Tim Parkin is a real expert on drum scanning.

    Best regards
    Erik







    Quote Originally Posted by pentaxitin View Post
    Hello all...

    I own a Pentax 645Z with a good set of DFA, FA and A-series lenses. I do feel a need to have a spare Pentax MF body. I also sometimes feel the need to shoot with film for the sake of deriving the joy of photography of the good old days. Importantly, I have access to aHasselblad X-1 film scanner.

    With the 645Z as the workhorse, I was wondering if I could use the Pentax 645 N II as the spare body to shoot film (Ektachrome/ Fujichrome Velvia). Combined with the X-1, perhaps I could get results which are at least as goodas 645Z. The high running cost of films would be offset by the low cost of a Pentax 645 N II. Also, buying another 645Z would be prohibitively expensive. I wish to use the Pentax 645 N II (with FA35mm f 3.5 or DFA 28-45) mainly for landscapes in Kenya in August this year, while the 645Z remains attached to the 400mm telephoto.


    My question is: How will a 6 cm X 4.5 cm colour transparency scanned at highest 6300 dpi resolution by the Hasselblad X-1 be compared to the same image captured by a 645Z or a 645D, all other things being equal? Also, what will be the effective resolution of such an image from scan of the colour transparency in mega pixels?


    Finally, a used 645D could be available at about 1000 USD more than a used 645 N II and is a tempting proposition particularly if I restrict it to landscapes in available light. So should I rather go for a 645D than a 645 N II? Or are there some compelling value propositions with shooting transparency film with the 645 N II which the 645D (or maybe even the 645Z) cannot match?


    I would be thankful for advice/ comments by members.

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    Re: Advice on Pentax 645 N II + Hasselblad Flextight X-1 Scanner Combination Read mo

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    I wouldn't see film as an alternative to digital. Part of that is that I have been there and done that.

    Quite true, my experience is with 3200 PPI scans from 6x7 cm slide film, mostly Velvia and two 6000 PPI drum scans, one from Velvia and one from kodak Ektar.

    What I have seen is that:

    • Film is inherently noisy.
    • Getting correct color may not be trivial.
    • Image quality is below 24 MP digital.


    Also, the X1 scanner can only scan 24x36 mm at 6300 PPI, 120 film is limited to 3200 PPI.

    https://cdn.hasselblad.com/manuals/f...tasheet_v4.pdf

    Michael Reichmann wrote an article on the issue back in 2003: https://luminous-landscape.com/shootout/ Michael compared Fujichrome Velvia 67 to Canon 1Ds.

    Now, I am fully aware that some very knowledgeable authors have a different view and solid proof: https://www.onlandscape.co.uk/2011/1...ra-comparison/

    But, Tim Parkin is a real expert on drum scanning.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Thank you very much Erik. Those links are indeed useful. Looks like beyond the romance of film photography, practical considerations favour the 645D as of now.

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