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Thread: Lenses for the 645Z

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    Lenses for the 645Z

    Some time back I went through the stress of abandoning my H4D and choosing something else. In the end, I got a D800 and mix of adapted Leica R and Zeiss lenses. It's good, as you would expect but I still hanker after MF. With the arrival of the 645Z, I was wondering how the lenses are holding up. As tempting as it was, I just couldn't bring myself to what I saw as a lottery with Pentax lenses. I'm not interested in wide angles very much. I would use lenses from 75 to 200 90% of the time. Any suggestions of what goes with the 645Z would be appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Some time back I went through the stress of abandoning my H4D and choosing something else. In the end, I got a D800 and mix of adapted Leica R and Zeiss lenses. It's good, as you would expect but I still hanker after MF. With the arrival of the 645Z, I was wondering how the lenses are holding up. As tempting as it was, I just couldn't bring myself to what I saw as a lottery with Pentax lenses. I'm not interested in wide angles very much. I would use lenses from 75 to 200 90% of the time. Any suggestions of what goes with the 645Z would be appreciated.
    If you like to shoot wide open the only really good lens (wide open) in that focal range is the new 90mm macro and maybe the 150mm. The other lenses are slower and perform best in mid range apertures. Image quality from what I have seen out of the 645Z files is stunning.
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Thanks Ken. Being a landscape person, i tend to be shooting stopped down. Do you know where I could get some raw files?

    I could be happy with a 90, 45, 150 or 180 setup.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    The 90 is stellar and so is the 28-45, but that one does seem to suit you. The 55 is excellent and also sealed like the 90 and 28-45. Some like the 45 prime, but other options might be the 45-85 or the sealed 55/2.8. Mine is very sharp. The 150/2.8 os so light you will think they left out a couple of elements. It is very good for portraits, but for landscape has a dreamy look to its files. The 300/5.6 is also a nice long lens, but must be rigidly supported.

    The 300, 150, and 45-85 can be had used at good prices. Another lens to consider is the not expensive A 35/3.5. Mine is extremely sharp and even works well for street zone focusing. Another used gem can be the 80-160.
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Hi Jeff, I have a 645Z and faced similar questions to you. You may find what I have written about the camera and some of the lenses useful. There are some full resolution full width image strips there for you to look at.

    Considering your interest in 75mm to 200, I'd consider the 75mm an absolute must. It performs beautifully and at 215g and modest price, its a no brainer.

    I have a 80-160mm A which is very good, but not quite perfect. It seems there is sample variation out there, but all my used A lenses perform beautifully.

    The 120mm macro is a very popular and strong performer, although I find mine needs more stopping down for corner to corner sharp infinity work than is ideal for my uses, but it does get there by f11 (and wider open when closer in).

    The 150mm A is cheap as chips and very good by all accounts.

    My FA 200 has not been fully tested, but seems very good indeed.

    The 150mm to 300 looks very interesting, stopped down to landscape apertures.

    Bottom line is that lenses are so affordable and readily available that there is relatively little at stake. If you get a dud, you can return and try again.

    I'm thrilled with my 645Z purchase and if you do decide to venture wider, the 28-45mm is astonishing.

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Thanks folks. I have an appointment booked to get my hands on a 645Z next week.

    From my reading, I have gathered that the 28-45, 90, 150 and possibly 200 would make a good selection. I still shudder when I read about rendering differences between the lenses. With my current set of Leica R/Zeiss, I have never been aware of this.

    As an aside, the body is significantly cheaper in Australia than the US now.
    Last edited by Jeffg53; 7th July 2015 at 21:39.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Thanks folks. I have an appointment booked to get my hands on a 645Z next week.

    From my reading, I have gathered that the 28-45, 90, 150 and possibly 200 would make a good selection. I still shudder when I read about rendering differences between the lenses. With my current set of Leica R/Zeiss, I have never been aware of this.

    As an aside, the body is significantly cheaper in Australia than the US now.
    Jeff:

    The reported variation in Pentax MF lenses seems to me something like the reports of Mark Twain's death - greatly exaggerated. I have had or have 20+ lenses from the 67 and 645 system. Some are better than others, but I have been unhappy only with two: the 45mm FA, which almost no one likes and the 35mm FA which many like, but mine was a dude.

    I suspect many reports of poor performance have their origins in one or both of two factors: focus error and shutter vibration.
    Live view solves the focus error problem (it can be used stopped down as well to avoid focus shift) and the shutter issue can be minimized by using a higher ISO with little loss of quality.
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    I agree that the issue of lens variation is probably overrated but, without any files to look at, I am inclined to err on the side of caution. My starting expectation is high. I have been using Zeiss or Leica lenses exclusively for years, and the best of them when I had a choice. I was happy with the Pentax lenses that I had with my old 645. They lacked the impact of the Zeiss V series lenses that I was also using then but they were OK.

    I can't see myself starting to use LV any time soon. I'm far too happy looking through a viewfinder. I would also only ever work off a good tripod so I'm hoping that shutter vibration won't be an issue. From memory, the old 645 had the best mirror damping system by a long way.

    It occurs to me that Pentax has produced a superb camera and then cut it loose. I guess that Phase had a similar issue with the old Mamiya lenses but they have that sorted now.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    I agree that the issue of lens variation is probably overrated but, without any files to look at, I am inclined to err on the side of caution. My starting expectation is high. I have been using Zeiss or Leica lenses exclusively for years, and the best of them when I had a choice. I was happy with the Pentax lenses that I had with my old 645. They lacked the impact of the Zeiss V series lenses that I was also using then but they were OK.

    I can't see myself starting to use LV any time soon. I'm far too happy looking through a viewfinder. I would also only ever work off a good tripod so I'm hoping that shutter vibration won't bean issue. From memory, the old 645 had the best mirror damping system by a long way.

    Jeff:

    Like you, I prefer the optical finder. I hadn't used LV until I had a Z and I find it very useful for close shots where I thought I was in focus, but LV tells me otherwise. The mirror is not a problem, it's the opening of the first shutter. The speeds of 1/4 to 1/60 can be a disaster. One example: I purchased a used 600mm. My tests at slow shutter speeds (winter, no light) were very discouraging, the images were soft. I tried a few using flash and the images were razor sharp. I have seen a similar result with other lenses as well, particularly those with a tripod mount. I built a support mechanism for use with telephotos to diminish the problem, but high ISO is better.

    Tom
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Thanks Tom. I can't see myself going over 200 with a Z. I often used the 210 on the H. Is the shutter an issue on all lenses? Is it able to be avoided? Talking of supports. I'll attach what I ended up with on the H.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Thanks Tom. I can't see myself going over 200 with a Z. I often used the 210 on the H. Is the shutter an issue on all lenses? Is it able to be avoided? Talking of supports. I'll attach what I ended up with on the H.
    LOL. Here's my device for the 645D.
    When the camera is mounted at the tripod, shutter shake is much reduced, but of course that's using shorter focal lengths. Another result of using LV: when I used a Pentax 67, I would put my body weight on the tripod mounted body thinking it would help minimize vibrations. LV show me quite the opposite, better to hang mass on the camera.

    _IGP1179 by tsjanik47, on Flickre.
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Heath Robinson would approve.
    Cheers,
    Jeff
    www.jeff-grant.com
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Heath Robinson would approve.
    Say “Rube Goldberg” and it will be better understood in North America.
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    Say “Rube Goldberg” and it will be better understood in North America.
    Quite right, as I had to look up Heath Robinson. In my defense of what appears to be and over-engineered device, I should mention that the articulated portion attached to the body may appear superfluous, but it allows easy adjustment for use with a extender (as shown) or without.
    The full implementation of my stabilizer includes a Manfrotto long lens support. It attaches to a tripod leg and the portrait plate of the camera and prevents motion in the x-y plane. It works, but higher ISO is easier.
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Would Wallace and Gromit be universal?
    Cheers,
    Jeff
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Would Wallace and Gromit be universal?
    Indeed, at least for me. I reluctantly agreed to watch one of the films several years ago (Were-rabbit), it had me laughing out loud , absolutely hilarious. Thanks for reminding me of Wallace and Gromit Jeff; I just ordered the Matter of Loaf and Death DVD.

    Tom

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffg53 View Post
    Would Wallace and Gromit be universal?
    Probably not; Seppo culture tends to be inward-looking. Perhaps Canadians?

    Though with the advent of the internet, people can now watch video that was never shown on FTA TV in their own countries. There are Monty Python devotees in the US, I understand.

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Indeed, at least for me. I reluctantly agreed to watch one of the films several years ago (Were-rabbit), it had me laughing out loud , absolutely hilarious. Thanks for reminding me of Wallace and Gromit Jeff; I just ordered the Matter of Loaf and Death DVD.

    Tom
    The Wrong Trousers” [29 minutes] was my first exposure to W&G—as a some-time animation lecturer, I was most impressed by the malevolent beadies of the penguin.
    Last edited by mediumcool; 18th July 2015 at 06:18. Reason: added duration

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    Probably not; Seppo culture tends to be inward-looking. Perhaps Canadians?

    Though with the advent of the internet, people can now watch video that was never shown on FTA TV in their own countries. There are Monty Python devotees in the US, I understand.
    Flying Circus was first publically broadcast in the US during the 1970s the movies have always been available. Quotes were quite common among students of my generation, e.g., "..and another minute passed..." during a boring lecture.
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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    The Wrong Trousers” [29 minutes] was my first exposure to W&G—as a some-time animation lecturer, I was most impressed by the malevolent beadies of the penguin.
    Thanks for the link

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Hi Jeff,

    Guess I am late to this thread but you have been given some excellent advice with regards to Pentax 645 lenses. Early on with the advent of the release of the 645 D, I tested multiple samples of virtually all Pentax 645 AF lenses with that body and posted my comprehensive results here on Getdpi.

    Subsequently in a part 2 of my lens testing, some time after my initial testing and posting of results, I tested the remaining newly released weather resitant lenses (25mm, 28-45, 90mm) as well as the manual focus 600 f5.6 with at least two samples of each of these. Finially with a borrowed 645z, I went back and tested many of these lenses. Of course the rendering of the two cameras were different but the results were essentually the same. A so-so sample in the corners with say a FA 35mm f3.5 on the 645D was still medicore when tested on a 645z.

    I've been so consumed with work and other things that I never got around to posting these more recent results but have gladly provided my observations if asked. As others aptly pointed out, there is generally a marked improvement of performance with the new lenses and far less sample to same variability sans the 55 f2.8 and 25mm f4...the earlest two of this new grouping. Saes of both did vary in optical performance by auite a bit and others bore this out.

    With regards to variability in lens samples, its very subjective from user to user. It greatly depends how one examines and uses their files and their personal expectations. I can only speak for myself but in testing I examined each file at actual pixels, corner to corner and also in crops of what would be equivelent to very sizeable large format prints since that is what was required for my particular use and needs.

    Once again I don't have the link to the page on Getdpi where my comprehensive Pentax 645 lens test is posted but others here have always kindly provided it.

    As for W&G, they are helarious and I would love if someone would post a simple list of all their (W&G's) available DVD's for purchase.

    Thanks everyone!

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Lenses for the 645Z

    Back from Iceland where I used the 150/2.8 more than I had expected. Its images are outstanding in every respect. It is hard to explain the lenses abilities, but they have a mellow feeling when viewing on monitor, however sharp as a tack. I used f16 and f22 a lot. Even the 300/5.6 performed flawlessly when used.

    Of course my go to lems was the 28-45 and it performed as expected-brilliantly. When using the 55/2.8 I could see its nice bite to images even on the LCD screen. The 75/2.8 images look every bit as good as any other lens. Barely used the 90/2.8 as it is so heavy and with the sometimes steep and/or long hiking demands of the trip, I had to leave something behind which usually ended up being the 90/2.8.

    Due to fatigue after 3am wake ups and mignight to bed after sunsets, I took the 28-45, 75 and 150 toward the end of my exhausting 10 day camping trip to the Central Highlands. It has been a cpold summer so on some evenings under clear skies we were sleeping in -2 degree weather. When it rained then temps got all the way up to +5-7 degrees.

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    Coverage of new lenses for the 645Z

    I'd like to ask a few questions to those colleagues here with the Pentax 645 digital cameras.
    I find the "digital-ready" new lenses expensive. Of course, it doesn't matter if the lenses are keepers for many years to come. My problem is that I am under the impression that these lenses only cover 44x33. If so, what will happen with these lenses when (if) Pentax comes with a bigger sensor for the 645 system?
    My second question: Is there room for a bigger sensor, mirror box and bigger viewfinder in a body size like the current D and Z?
    Ok, by now you figured it out what my intensions and hopes are. Nothing new under the sun, anyway.
    Thanks in advance guys
    Eduardo

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