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FORUMS Other Digital Cameras Medium Format Digital Cameras and Backs 
Thread started 18 Oct 2015 (Sunday) 09:03
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Pentax 645D

 
thc1979
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Oct 18, 2015 09:03 |  #1

Does anyone own and use one of these? I currently have a 5D3, 1DX and a Pentax 645nII. I really like my MF Pentax, so much so I am thinking of a digital version. Most of the reviews I read for the 645D are from 4 or 5 years ago when it was released and due to the fact it was new, the reviews are very good, if not initial impressions.
I think a 645z is a bit pricey, but wondered what people think of the 645D.
My primary uses would be landscape and portrait.




  
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Kolor-Pikker
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Kolor-Pikker.
     
Oct 18, 2015 16:47 |  #2

The 645D was a pretty solid camera, even if slow as a snail, you'd think it was the year 2000 all over again.

The way the D is so slow to do anything makes its SLR shape rather deceiving, as you can't handle it like one. The Z is pretty much on the spot though, as the faster buffer, shooting speed, AF and better dampening make it very easy to use hand-held.

For landscape it's a fine camera, pair it with the 35mm and away you go, but for portraiture it'll a bit more tricky due to the mentioned reasons.

I only had the D for a few months, as it was on loan from a friend who wanted to sell it, but I kept the lenses and bought a Z afterwards; addition of live view alone made it worth it for me.

But then came the first shots and oh dear that dynamic range. Let's just say I've attempted to capture a few HDRs and ended up not blending them, just one shot with shadow recovery alone was enough.

Images from the 645D were also very good, with punchy colors and contrast, and a very smooth highlight roll-off as with all CCD sensors. Dynamic range wasn't much better than my 5D2, if you attempt to recover shadows too much the noise pops in rather soon, even at base ISO.

With the selection of excellent high-resolution cameras available today, such as the A7RII and 5DSR, the D seems to me like less of a good deal than it used to be, even if you manage to score one for $3000 or less.

Again, I have to emphasize that the 645D is slow, as in 3+ seconds from capturing an image to seeing the preview slow. It felt like forever... Well, better than the speed at which you can see what you shot on film, that for sure!


5DmkII | 24-70 f/2.8L II | Pentax 645Z | 55/2.8 SDM | 120/4 Macro | 150/2.8 IF
I acquired an expensive camera so I can hang out in forums, annoy wedding photographers during formals and look down on P&S users... all the while telling people it's the photographer, not the camera.

  
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thc1979
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Oct 19, 2015 11:35 |  #3

The Z is certainly appealing, but the cost is not, although it is down to about £5999GBP. You don't see many second hand ones of either the D or Z. I have read a lot of people prefer the images off the CCD sensor rather than the CMOS on the Z, saying they are truer to he scene. I think if I went for th Z I would have to lose the 1DX, which to be fair I don't often use.




  
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Kolor-Pikker
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Oct 19, 2015 12:42 |  #4

thc1979 wrote in post #17751826 (external link)
The Z is certainly appealing, but the cost is not, although it is down to about £5999GBP. You don't see many second hand ones of either the D or Z. I have read a lot of people prefer the images off the CCD sensor rather than the CMOS on the Z, saying they are truer to he scene. I think if I went for th Z I would have to lose the 1DX, which to be fair I don't often use.

Neither one looks truly accurate out of camera, the D is more contrasty and saturated, while the Z is flat as a board. I would call the CCD image rendering "crunchy". Another thing to point out is that CCD sensors really don't like fluorescent lighting, portraits look terrible with any such lights.


5DmkII | 24-70 f/2.8L II | Pentax 645Z | 55/2.8 SDM | 120/4 Macro | 150/2.8 IF
I acquired an expensive camera so I can hang out in forums, annoy wedding photographers during formals and look down on P&S users... all the while telling people it's the photographer, not the camera.

  
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thc1979
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Post edited over 2 years ago by thc1979.
     
Oct 19, 2015 14:41 |  #5

I am struggling to decide. I am leaning towards a 645D purely down to price and the fact that slow image processing and lack of live view aren't really a concern coming from MF film. Some say MF film is better...




  
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Kolor-Pikker
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Oct 20, 2015 01:58 |  #6

thc1979 wrote in post #17752091 (external link)
I am struggling to decide. I am leaning towards a 645D purely down to price and the fact that slow image processing and lack of live view aren't really a concern coming from MF film. Some say MF film is better...

If you are fine with your film workflow, then the D is going to be more of a cross-grade than an upgrade, since you'll lose some field of view due to the 33x44mm sensor, but gain the advantages of digital shooting. The image quality upgrade was immediately obvious compared to my 5D2 in any case.

To give you an idea of the color output from the two cameras, the 645D looks like this straight out of camera:

IMAGE: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41183616/_VIE3987.jpg

While the 645Z requites a bit of elbow grease to process, but you can go to town on the RAWs if that's your thing:

IMAGE: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/41183616/_IMG1129%20copy.jpg

An extreme example here: https://dl.dropboxuser​content.com …reen%20Shot%20%​282%29.jpg (external link)

5DmkII | 24-70 f/2.8L II | Pentax 645Z | 55/2.8 SDM | 120/4 Macro | 150/2.8 IF
I acquired an expensive camera so I can hang out in forums, annoy wedding photographers during formals and look down on P&S users... all the while telling people it's the photographer, not the camera.

  
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thc1979
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Oct 24, 2015 14:06 |  #7

Still undecided.

Looking around I can't find any used 645d's, so currently only new available but cost is only £2500. Only one used 645z I've seen, likely to go for nearly new price.

645z files certainly looked more flexible regarding shadows/highlights and the 645d raw files I have downloaded have been a bit disappointing in terms of sharpness.

I think I'd like a used 645z but they're too new to come into the used market i think.




  
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thc1979
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Oct 24, 2015 14:39 |  #8

When I say about disappointing files, I didn't mean any from this site!! Just thought I'd better add that!!!!




  
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Kolor-Pikker
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Oct 24, 2015 14:58 as a reply to  @ thc1979's post |  #9

Actually, the 645D had a slightly higher impression of sharpness than the Z does, but it probably has to do with how CCD renders. I add extra clarity, vibrancy, saturation and sharpening by default to Z files just to make them start off looking similar to the cameras I've used before.

The images you find online tend to be rather terrible, it took me a while before I found some shots with the Pentax 28-45mm that weren't JPEGs nor poorly shot. Even worse are those images that come around the time of a camera's release, I remember when the D800 was nearing release and the first JPEGs
made rounds around the net, they were so poorly shot that people were bashing Nikon for using a sensor crammed with so many pixels... little did they know.


5DmkII | 24-70 f/2.8L II | Pentax 645Z | 55/2.8 SDM | 120/4 Macro | 150/2.8 IF
I acquired an expensive camera so I can hang out in forums, annoy wedding photographers during formals and look down on P&S users... all the while telling people it's the photographer, not the camera.

  
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thc1979
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Oct 24, 2015 15:22 |  #10

Maybe I will go for a 645D and see how it goes...

First impressions, I preferred the images from the 645D but then examples of the shadow recovery on the Z such as yours make me want the Z. £6k is just too much at the moment.

It is the medium format look I like, more than MP.




  
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thc1979
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Oct 26, 2015 16:08 |  #11

I bought a 645D today....

Only got to use it in the kitchen so far but impressed with the results out of camera, haven't processed/sharpened any in LR yet




  
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maverick75
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Oct 26, 2015 16:14 |  #12

Kolor-Pikker wrote in post #17750721 (external link)
Again, I have to emphasize that the 645D is slow, as in 3+ seconds from capturing an image to seeing the preview slow. It felt like forever... Well, better than the speed at which you can see what you shot on film, that for sure!

I get impatient even waiting the 15 seconds I have to on my RB67, color film is even worse 60-90 seconds!

I shoot instant film only when using it because it gives me an even bigger 7×7 negative.


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Kolor-Pikker
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Oct 27, 2015 04:18 |  #13

thc1979 wrote in post #17761161 (external link)
I bought a 645D today....

Only got to use it in the kitchen so far but impressed with the results out of camera, haven't processed/sharpened any in LR yet

Hope you like it! Mind I ask which lenses you're using?

If you have any further questions about the camera, feel free to ask.


5DmkII | 24-70 f/2.8L II | Pentax 645Z | 55/2.8 SDM | 120/4 Macro | 150/2.8 IF
I acquired an expensive camera so I can hang out in forums, annoy wedding photographers during formals and look down on P&S users... all the while telling people it's the photographer, not the camera.

  
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thc1979
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Oct 27, 2015 15:41 as a reply to  @ Kolor-Pikker's post |  #14

FA 45mm f2.8
FA 80-160mm f4
A 55mm f2.8
FA 55mm SDM AW f2.8

I need to get out in the daylight with it, although now our clocks have changed there's not much of it outside of work!




  
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thc1979
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Oct 30, 2015 07:08 |  #15

Couple of test images.....


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