Pentax 645z

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Anyone on here shoot with one of these - what are there your thoughts. This doesn't look unaffordable compared to the latest G master A7R4 things and Panasonic full frame mirrorless rigs. What do you feel about the lenses that go with them. Colour rendition, AF performance in the field. Real world anecdotes.

There aren't a huge number or lenses available, but enough to suit my needs.

Either this or a Fuji mirrorless MF thing next - but I do prefer the SLR form factor
 
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I had one for a while but ultimately found it too cumbersome to carry around. The lenses are good but not cheap - same as any MF system I suppose. I had a Hasselblad H3D-39 before it which was older, lower resolution, and the lenses are more expensive, but the results were nicer! Both required a computer with more grunt than what I had at the time so processing the files was slow although the Pentax files required less work than the Hasselblad ones. AF on the Pentax was faster and more reliable than the Hasselblad, and in the right conditions (good light, ideally tripod mounted) the results are fabulous. After using modern mirrorless or DSLRs you might find the Pentax feels a bit old-school :)
 
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I had one for a while but ultimately found it too cumbersome to carry around. The lenses are good but not cheap - same as any MF system I suppose. I had a Hasselblad H3D-39 before it which was older, lower resolution, and the lenses are more expensive, but the results were nicer! Both required a computer with more grunt than what I had at the time so processing the files was slow although the Pentax files required less work than the Hasselblad ones. AF on the Pentax was faster and more reliable than the Hasselblad, and in the right conditions (good light, ideally tripod mounted) the results are fabulous. After using modern mirrorless or DSLRs you might find the Pentax feels a bit old-school :)
Thanks - I use a D810 and find it fabulous tbh but worried for the future of SLR's after the 850. Lens/body wise it isn't a massive leap. I would only use it tripod mounted ;)

Weight - not massively concerned. One body - two, lenses...big backpack - it isn't undoable for my Pyrenean adventures and I suspect it could become a friend to me. And aye - doing a major PC upgrade first to some mighty spec dual socket massive GPU type thing

How does the AF fare in low light - would you say better, a bit worse or far worse than the D810 which I never find lacking.
 
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Thanks - I use a D810 and find it fabulous tbh but worried for the future of SLR's after the 850. Lens/body wise it isn't a massive leap. I would only use it tripod mounted ;)

Weight - not massively concerned. One body - two, lenses...big backpack - it isn't undoable for my Pyrenean adventures and I suspect it could become a friend to me. And aye - doing a major PC upgrade first to some mighty spec dual socket massive GPU type thing

How does the AF fare in low light - would you say better, a bit worse or far worse than the D810 which I never find lacking.
I've not used a D810 (not a Nikon fan!) but I would expect the Nikon to beat the Pentax in any AF comparison. Any MF system has to haul a lot more glass around so in general AF is always going to be slower. For landscapes that's not a problem, and I always found the Pentax very accurate.
 
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I've not used a D810 (not a Nikon fan!) but I would expect the Nikon to beat the Pentax in any AF comparison. Any MF system has to haul a lot more glass around so in general AF is always going to be slower. For landscapes that's not a problem, and I always found the Pentax very accurate.
Slow isn't a problem...accuracy is. I am one who careful crafts a composition and kind of sticks with it as the light changes. I think I'd really enjoy shooting with it and the bigger files (love to pixel peep and I do sell very big prints).
 
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Slow isn't a problem...accuracy is. I am one who careful crafts a composition and kind of sticks with it as the light changes. I think I'd really enjoy shooting with it and the bigger files (love to pixel peep and I do sell very big prints).
Sounds like you'd get along well with it then. I must admit it's one of the things I regret selling, but I'm not in the first flush of youth anymore and needed to reduce the weight I was carrying around! It might take time to get used to the different form factor - it's a different shape from a DSLR and feels quite different, but it's worth giving it time.
 
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Which lenses were you considering?

I have the older FA lenses. The 75mm f/2.8 and the 150mm f/2.8 are both cracking lenses - esp the 150. Portraits look absolutely stunning with it. The 45-85 is what I'd describe as a workhorse and it's very heavy. Quality though is exceptional. I'm less happy with my 35mm f/3.5 A but it's not auto focus so I'm guessing that's not on your list.

I've not had any issue with focus accuracy but the only lens that really gets tested is the 150 because I regularly shoot it at f/2.8. The 75 and zoom both get used at narrower apertures which means more play in DoF.

If you're looking at DFA lenses then I can't help but presume that they're better than the FA ones, which can only be a good thing.
 
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Blimey , That's a beast of a camera , Didn't even know it was made :eek:
 
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I use mine a lot, superb quality, you get used to carrying the weight, I have the 45-85, 25-45 which is a beast and the 85-160 plus a 120mm macro and 150 F2.8, I don't take them out every time, just the lenses I think I'll need.

Quality from the camera is superb, low light shoots are a dream, you can up the ISO lots and still get superb results, I fairly often shot at ISO 1000 and it tidies up nicely and I have gone up to 6400 before.

Handling is good imho and its a dream to use ;)

645z - 45-85 @ 35mm - F8 - 1000 ISO 1/125 sec on a monopod.

IMGP3555c.jpg
 
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Which lenses were you considering?

I have the older FA lenses. The 75mm f/2.8 and the 150mm f/2.8 are both cracking lenses - esp the 150. Portraits look absolutely stunning with it. The 45-85 is what I'd describe as a workhorse and it's very heavy. Quality though is exceptional. I'm less happy with my 35mm f/3.5 A but it's not auto focus so I'm guessing that's not on your list.

I've not had any issue with focus accuracy but the only lens that really gets tested is the 150 because I regularly shoot it at f/2.8. The 75 and zoom both get used at narrower apertures which means more play in DoF.

If you're looking at DFA lenses then I can't help but presume that they're better than the FA ones, which can only be a good thing.
I think I'd want either the 45-85 or 35-55 and a short tele like an 80-160 and maybe later down the line a 150-300. Three zooms, 1 maybe 2 bodies. It has to be better than the 4 bodies I have in Nikon with 3 zooms, and 4 primes. Some consolidation of gear wouldn't hurt.


Believe it or not this would actually simplify my kit bag massively. In terms of field of view and the style of shots I like to take this would actually cover me. They are not outrageously dear.
 
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I've had my 'Z' for 4-1/2 years now......a classy sensor and overall a joy to use. For 90% of my stuff I use my Canon gear (1DxMkII's and 5DSR) as the 645Z isn't a sports camera.

Lenses for the 'Z'....
I've got twelve 645-FA lenses and five Pentax 67 lenses (manual focus via an adapter). The 645-DFA lenses (55mm, 90mm Macro and 28-45) are all top notch and can be used wide open. The older 645-FA ones do benefit from being 2 stops (or more) from their max aperture. I can't relate to the Nikon glass that you may have but the majority of the Pentax lenses in my collection stand up well alongside the Canon 'L' lenses that I own.
 
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I believe the Pentax 645Z is currently on offer with £2k saving.
I know :D

No
I've had my 'Z' for 4-1/2 years now......a classy sensor and overall a joy to use. For 90% of my stuff I use my Canon gear (1DxMkII's and 5DSR) as the 645Z isn't a sports camera.

Lenses for the 'Z'....
I've got twelve 645-FA lenses and five Pentax 67 lenses (manual focus via an adapter). The 645-DFA lenses (55mm, 90mm Macro and 28-45) are all top notch and can be used wide open. The older 645-FA ones do benefit from being 2 stops (or more) from their max aperture. I can't relate to the Nikon glass that you may have but the majority of the Pentax lenses in my collection stand up well alongside the Canon 'L' lenses that I own.
Thanks - I never shoot wide open - stopped down as I am a landscape shooter. The Nikon stuff is the same, at least two stops from widest aperture bar maybe the latest 2.8 70-200 lens I have which really is the only present satisfactory zoom I have with Nikon.
 
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Presumptious question - would someone be so kind to send me a RAW (not one they value or need for commercial use) but of a landscape/building they've taken with one of these stopped down via we transfer to info at sftphotography.co.uk

I just wanna see one with my own eyes, play with it, sharpen etc.
 
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The 645 is a niche product and a lot more successful than Pentax imagined, and without it 'affordable' MF digital wouldn't be here.

I have not owned on but handled it and in terms of handling it is a K-5 times 3, Having owned a K-5 and now on a K-1 and with a parallel Nikon system (D500 and D810) going to Pentax from Nikon isn't difficult. The menu systems aren't hugely different but the only thing I have to remember is everything works backwards on the other system,

I hear nothing but praise from 'Z' owners but as the model is a few years old there is concern whether Ricoh wishes to prolong the line and come out with a 100MP model before long.
 

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.....would someone be so kind to send me a RAW (not one they value or need for commercial use) but of a landscape/building they've taken with one of these stopped down via we transfer to info at sftphotography.co.uk
I just wanna see one with my own eyes, play with it, sharpen etc.
I can dig out the .dng for this shot if it's likely to give you what you need....plenty of detail in the roof structure. It was shot with the 28-45
 
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The 645 is a niche product and a lot more successful than Pentax imagined, and without it 'affordable' MF digital wouldn't be here.

I have not owned on but handled it and in terms of handling it is a K-5 times 3, Having owned a K-5 and now on a K-1 and with a parallel Nikon system (D500 and D810) going to Pentax from Nikon isn't difficult. The menu systems aren't hugely different but the only thing I have to remember is everything works backwards on the other system,

I hear nothing but praise from 'Z' owners but as the model is a few years old there is concern whether Ricoh wishes to prolong the line and come out with a 100MP model before long.
Yep - from what I see it looks usable for me.

I am concerned though re Ricoh and long term viability - which leads me to Fuji and their newer system. I just prefer the bigger form factor. 50mp would be enough but it is nice to know there is an upgrade path and you aren't sinking £10k nearly into a dead system.
 

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Even if I was a pure landscape shooter I wouldn't swap my A7RIV for the Pentax 645Z. That body and sensor is 7 years old. FF has basically caught up in all respects including dynamic range and pixels. If you really want to pixel peep, the sensor shift shots from A7RIV gives you 240mp. I tried it couple times and was impressed but decided it was just crazy big and unusable for me. Went back to 61mp which is good enough.

Also the primes available for Sony are small and really nice. No reason to carry extra weight just because you can for no real gain.
My favourites are the 24mm f1.4 GM and the sigma 85mm f1.4 ART (the small mirrorless version). Such nice sharp lenses with really nice rendering and amazing for astro too.
 

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I am concerned though re Ricoh and long term viability - which leads me to Fuji and their newer system. I just prefer the bigger form factor. 50mp would be enough but it is nice to know there is an upgrade path and you aren't sinking £10k nearly into a dead system.
Fuji MF is very decently sized even at my standards. If all the rest including cost can tick all the boxes then I see no reason not to go that route.

I had a few minutes to play with 645Z at an exhibition. Form factor is comfortable to handhold in landscape orientation, but it is a very different shape than dSLR. VF is very large and bright. Sadly AF - slow and I think noisy. Another nice trick it supports 2x large tripod plates - 1x vertical and 1x horizontal. I thought that was very nice. Worst issue - most likely no more new lenses, like ever and the existing set is not particularly broad. And it would never fit in my very large Think Tank back pack. I have no idea what case would.
The Fuji can even adapt Canon EF lenses. There is now one with premium TC inbuilt so you can use just about any of them. You know what - this is a system for me.
 
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........ FF has basically caught up in all respects including dynamic range and pixels......
Most respects but not all respects as it never can. One advantage of a larger sensor for landscape photography is the delayed onset of diffraction. It equates to 0.8 stops for the 645Z and around 1.5 stops for a true 645 size sensor.
 

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Even if I was a pure landscape shooter I wouldn't swap my A7RIV for the Pentax 645Z. That body and sensor is 7 years old. FF has basically caught up in all respects including dynamic range and pixels. If you really want to pixel peep, the sensor shift shots from A7RIV gives you 240mp. I tried it couple times and was impressed but decided it was just crazy big and unusable for me. Went back to 61mp which is good enough.
I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with large density 35mm. But it is the same like the argument against 35mm vs dense, modern APS-C sensor. Most of us made that choice so same arguments would apply for going even larger to medium format. Except it is only half-medium format - 433 instead of 645.

GXF 100 - not too small? https://fujifilm-x.com/global/products/cameras/gfx100/
 

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Most respects but not all respects as it never can. One advantage of a larger sensor for landscape photography is the delayed onset of diffraction. It equates to 0.8 stops for the 645Z and around 1.5 stops for a true 645 size sensor.
0.8 or even 1 stop isn't really that big an advantage tbh. Not something I'd give up a good progressive FF system for.
 

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Most respects but not all respects as it never can. One advantage of a larger sensor for landscape photography is the delayed onset of diffraction. It equates to 0.8 stops for the 645Z and around 1.5 stops for a true 645 size sensor.
But doesn't that work the other way too? At 16mm on FF you have almost infinite DOF with a top end lens at say f/7.1 which is the limiting aperture on 5Ds, I think.
On 433 and more so on 645 you will shoot at like 24mm or even 30mm for the same FOV and you will need to stop down far more to get the same DOF. The difference between 35mm and 50mm is even more exaggerated. So you effectively hit the same brick wall just in different circumstances and this time you are tied to a tripod even more (not that it's an issue shooting landscape). Probably all mostly depends on the lens quality on one system vs the other...

I would perhaps put more emphasis on dynamic range and colour fidelity in the first place. Larger pixels will always better smaller ones with the same underlying tech. In fact you can probably find true 16bit MF cameras, maybe not this Fuji. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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I would perhaps put more emphasis on dynamic range and colour fidelity in the first place.
I'm sure we discussed colours on the canon thread but if you are starting with and using Adobe colour profiles as your baseline does it matter which brand you shoot with? Wouldn't that just equalise or remove any colour difference between brands for you?
 
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Fuji MF is very decently sized even at my standards. If all the rest including cost can tick all the boxes then I see no reason not to go that route.

I had a few minutes to play with 645Z at an exhibition. Form factor is comfortable to handhold in landscape orientation, but it is a very different shape than dSLR. VF is very large and bright. Sadly AF - slow and I think noisy. Another nice trick it supports 2x large tripod plates - 1x vertical and 1x horizontal. I thought that was very nice. Worst issue - most likely no more new lenses, like ever and the existing set is not particularly broad. And it would never fit in my very large Think Tank back pack. I have no idea what case would.
The Fuji can even adapt Canon EF lenses. There is now one with premium TC inbuilt so you can use just about any of them. You know what - this is a system for me.
The two tripod plates is something I would definately take advantage of. Of course you can buy that Fuji and get an L bracket....

I would find the lenses...whilst not a massive range...probably suitable enough for my landscapes, maybe the lack of an ultra wide might irritate a bit, not so much for my foreign stuff but for Glencoe maybe - but I could still keep a 35mm system anyway.

I would expect AF speed to be slower...and noisy - not arsed but if it isn't accurate then that is hopeless.

Fuji do a very good 23mm on their MF system would fit fine and two other zooms and that would be me.

And aye - I know it isn't true MF but neither system really costs much more than a new Sony one and I just don't want a Sony camera. Seen and tried to many of them - I know a lot like them but it not something I will ever buy. Think of it as 35mm plus or super 4 3rds and you have the idea - and cost wise these 50mp super 4 3rds seem to be the same more or less as the Sony's and a few G master zooms and primes

This isn't an immediate purchase but one in the medium term. I wanna make the right choice. I agree the Fuji system looks immense - and the lenses newer than the Pentax - my only reservation is the camera lay out and controls. Fuji's controls and menues are very different to what I use - and I rather like the lay out of my DSLR's - and in the field that matters. The Pentax system looks more akin to what I have, just a bigger sensor and a more limited range of lenses.
 
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I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with large density 35mm. But it is the same like the argument against 35mm vs dense, modern APS-C sensor. Most of us made that choice so same arguments would apply for going even larger to medium format. Except it is only half-medium format - 433 instead of 645.

GXF 100 - not too small? https://fujifilm-x.com/global/products/cameras/gfx100/
GXF 100 is a dream but price...I'd be at the 50mp body. But aye that's a stunning machine but am happier at £4000-6000 for a body, not £10000
 

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I'm sure we discussed colours on the canon thread but if you are starting with and using Adobe colour profiles as your baseline does it matter which brand you shoot with? Wouldn't that just equalise or remove any colour difference between brands for you?
There is only so far you can go before you start processing the noise instead of signal. Larger pixels expand these boundaries.
 
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GXF 100 is a dream but price...I'd be at the 50mp body. But aye that's a stunning machine but am happier at £4000-6000 for a body, not £10000
The other option for that price range is a used Hasselblad X1D - mpb usually have a couple in stock. That would be my choice if I were going back into MF digital.
 
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The other option for that price range is a used Hasselblad X1D - mpb usually have a couple in stock. That would be my choice if I were going back into MF digital.
And this amount of money I would rather buy new.


What would it offer over the Fuji - does it render colour better, are the lenses that much better for it etc etc. It looks a lovely thing but there's a £1300 premium for this and the lenses are a good chunk more. But then it is a 'Blad...
 
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If I was going the Fuji route I could get this as a short tele @magicolor1

It's no means cheap glass but it isn't hideously expensive either.


and this as a wide zoom


It doesn't blow the bank. There are a few other primes I would add in later years but I can see this is a very very viable system to buy into as well. I shoot landscapes and that is pretty much it. @LongLensPhotography as a mirrorless upgrade path this would work nicely for you too.
 
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Hasselblad X1D
There is now II version. Sensor may be similar but the rest is improved.

What would it offer over the Fuji - does it render colour better, are the lenses that much better for it etc etc. It looks a lovely thing but there's a £1300 premium for this and the lenses are a good chunk more. But then it is a 'Blad...
https://photographylife.com/fuji-gfx-50s-vs-hasselblad-x1d-50c This is a rather interesting comparison raising a few points, but not much on raw image quality. Could it even be the same sensor?
It sounds like Hasselblad is the way to go in the studio or for using flashes in general, otherwise Fuji easily wins for ergonomics, features and even lens options.
Personally, I would be inclined to wait, unless you can make serious money of it today. There are still many features from today's mirrorless FF cameras that are yet to filter down to one of these. Better EVF, faster fps, global shutter (ok that's not out yet, but will be), the dual / quad pixel AF, and so on. It's an expensive purchase so I'd like it to tick all the same boxes that todays Canon does, and in a different way - my 50MP Canon dSLR.

But then it is a 'Blad...
well now it's the red dragon, namely DJI. Another reason I would feel better spending on Fuji.

This is rather interesting https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/...ne-appears-from-hasselblads-chinese-owner-dji
 
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There is now II version. Sensor may be similar but the rest is improved.



https://photographylife.com/fuji-gfx-50s-vs-hasselblad-x1d-50c This is a rather interesting comparison raising a few points, but not much on raw image quality. Could it even be the same sensor?
It sounds like Hasselblad is the way to go in the studio or for using flashes in general, otherwise Fuji easily wins for ergonomics, features and even lens options.
Personally, I would be inclined to wait, unless you can make serious money of it today. There are still many features from today's mirrorless FF cameras that are yet to filter down to one of these. Better EVF, faster fps, global shutter (ok that's not out yet, but will be), the dual / quad pixel AF, and so on. It's an expensive purchase so I'd like it to tick all the same boxes that todays Canon does, and in a different way - my 50MP Canon dSLR.



well now it's the red dragon, namely DJI. Another reason I would feel better spending on Fuji.

This is rather interesting https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/...ne-appears-from-hasselblads-chinese-owner-dji
It is the same sensor - pretty much everything bar Canon camera's has some form of Sony made sensor. The 'Blad does use a different processing engine so does render colour differently. However let's be intelligent about this - Fuji make camera's, even this silly little APSC things, that render colour beautifully.

I don't do studio and it really would be Fuji or if the Pentax stuff continues that would be in the running whenever I swap over. FPS is of no concern to me, you know how I shoot...the dual/quad pixel AF though is interesting to me. You know me, I plan purchases way way ahead before I make them. It'll take me 3 years to decide :D
 

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It is the same sensor - pretty much everything bar Canon camera's has some form of Sony made sensor. The 'Blad does use a different processing engine so does render colour differently. However let's be intelligent about this - Fuji make camera's, even this silly little APSC things, that render colour beautifully.

I don't do studio and it really would be Fuji or if the Pentax stuff continues that would be in the running whenever I swap over. FPS is of no concern to me, you know how I shoot...the dual/quad pixel AF though is interesting to me. You know me, I plan purchases way way ahead before I make them. It'll take me 3 years to decide :D
GFX100 will be more more affordable in 3 years :D
 
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