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Thread: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

  1. #1
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    Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    I recently completed editing of a portfolio shot in Iceland this May (my second trip), using the Pentax 645Z exclusively. I thought presenting sharing these images might be useful to any prospective or undecided 645Z buyer, because my work is B&W and I come from a darkroom/film background. I am therefore incredibly fussy about B&W!

    You can read about the trip, see example images and find links to the rest of the portfolio here, but before I write about the camera more extensively, here are some initial impressions (size and bulk aside):

    1. Handling is excellent and intuitiveness superb. This camera was designed by people who know what they are doing.
    2. Image quality is a clear jump up from what you will get from the Sony A7R, for example.
    3. Dynamic range seems to be greater than the A7R. You can see this in just how flat the RAW files are and the boldness with which you have to process them.
    4. The files are very robust indeed and the best I have ever worked with. The lower noise compared to the A7R (and more pixels) means you have more headroom when it comes to bending files around.
    5. Newer lenses have the edge over most legacy lenses, but the legacy lenses are still very good if you have a good copy. This means you can can get some superb glass for as little as $150 or so.

    With this camera, I really feel I am in the same realm as working in 5x4 film again. I can produce beautiful files with an extra something that I cannot quite put my finger on. I will be able to make huge prints, but can do all of this hand-held, with Image stabilisation, if I wish.

    On the above note, many have complained that the 28-45 SR (21-35mm equivalent in FF terms) could have been smaller and lighter without SR and this is true; however, I like to shoot freehand a lot of the time (33 out of 48 in the portfolio were shot without tripod) and I found it enormously useful (along with the amazingly low noise throughout the ISO range).

    I also enjoy the fact that my Ricoh GR, Sony A7/A7R and now Pentax 645Z files all have their Sony sensors in common and this helps me when it comes to post processing. You can feel the family connection, despite the variations in how the various cameras cook them.

    I will write up more in due course and post here when I do. In the meantime, if anyone has questions about this first major use of the camera and lenses, I'd be happy to help. After buying this camera and adding the 28-45 SR I was (to be frank) a wee bit concerned that I had taken on a financial liability that would prove not to have been worthwhile. Now, however, I am absolutely thrilled with the camera and will be investing in it extensively. It has exceeded by expectations by some margin....
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    Senior Member segedi's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Very nice shots in the portfolio. I'm betting big prints look fantastic.
    I held a friends 645Z the past weekend and was surprised by how light it was for its size. I'm used to the Leica heft in a small package. The 645Z is surprisingly hand-holdable as you've mentioned.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Segedi, the grip is so deep you can really hook your fingers around it and I have not held a camera like it. With the 75mm on it, it feels light and no more trouble to use than any DSLR.

    The viewfinder is magnificent, the AF better than expected, the shutter pretty smooth and in overall terms its just plain easy and enjoyable to operate. A truly excellent tool that made working my *** off much easier than it might have been.

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    Senior Member viablex1's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    the portfolio. ooga ooga ooga!! My wife and I are digging it!!!!
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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Great set and I like the post processing. Thank you for the set.

    On the photo named South Coast Bridge II, It appears you got some moire pattern (on the bridge deck, above the centerline of the photo particularly.) Can you discuss this and the moire situation in general? Thank you. Peace.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Hi, thanks for the kind words.

    That moire is not on the file when viewed at 100%; however, it appears only when the file is downsized or viewed at smaller magnifications in LR. I can't produce a smaller file from LR without the moire being generated. I guess its some sort of software artefact, but the bottom line is that its not organic to the file at all.

    Generally I have found the 645Z to be very low on moire. Having that much resolution surely helps. I do see it sometimes in urban scenes, from finely pitched railings at distance, but generally it is more colour moire one sees rather than patterns.


    Quote Originally Posted by BlinkingEye View Post
    Great set and I like the post processing. Thank you for the set.

    On the photo named South Coast Bridge II, It appears you got some moire pattern (on the bridge deck, above the centerline of the photo particularly.) Can you discuss this and the moire situation in general? Thank you. Peace.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Great write up and I agree with your takeaways in my short time handling the 645Z last year in store. With the Priolite Strobes for Pentax the 645Z would make a really great studio option once they figure out the tethering deal.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Very nice B&W work. I leave in a month with the 645Z and have never been.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Enjoy! I don't think you can fail to!

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    Re: Pentax 645Z in Iceland

    Can you explain which 645 lenses you took with you to Iceland and which did you use the most. Perhaps indicate with a percentage guess on how much you used your different lenses on this trip. TIA.
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