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11-09-2008, 07:02 AM   #31
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$18,000 645D seems to have killed this thread

Everyone's all a buzz with 645D until you get the bill. I wonder how many pentaxians will jump on a $15,000 plus 645D when it launches?

For me, I would have rather seen pentax offer a full frame 35mm dslr but instead we're back to 645D roadmap and once you see the cost, the room goes quiet.



QuoteOriginally posted by Graydon Quote
Assuming the Kodak 31 MP sensor, yes, it's not going to make 5 kUSD as a price point.

I think this is a big part of why they haven't released it.

Despite considerable rummaging, I'm not finding the translation of the interview with the Pentax guys where they talk about price point for the 645, so I could be totally out to lunch in remembering somewhere around there as the target price.

On the plus side, sensors are going to trend strongly down in price, even at that size.


11-09-2008, 11:40 AM   #32
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If I'm making a living on photography at that point, I'll jump in it like no one's business, since portraiture seems to be a lot of what I do.
11-15-2008, 09:43 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Samsungian Quote
Everyone's all a buzz with 645D until you get the bill.
It's not a bill, it's a write-off.
11-16-2008, 06:20 AM   #34
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Wait a minute folks, is this really a MF application?

Folks. I have tried to read the linked Patent Application titled "RELAY FINDER OPTICAL SYSTEM OF AN SINGLE-LENS REFLEX CAMERA".
United States Patent Application: 0080232791
Havent found anything in the document that says it is for a MF camera.

The article at Photographic Bay claim that figure 10 is from the application. There are absolutely no figures in the linked document. Hm?

11-16-2008, 01:56 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fototim Quote
The article at Photographic Bay claim that figure 10 is from the application. There are absolutely no figures in the linked document.
Click the blue box labeled "Images" at the top or bottom of the USPTO page linked to from the blog.

QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
I read through that, and did a quick search on a relay finder, but I can't figure out what it is supposed to do.
It takes the full-size image from the mirror, which is inverted up-down and left-right, and presents a size- and inversion-corrected image to a viewfinder.

The patent, as I understand it, allows for a viewfinder that is a perfect size for the photographer regardless of the sensor size. It does this by inserting a lens--of 5-5 group-element design, from Figure 1 of the patent--between the pentaprism and the viewfinder window, and another lens--a 2-2 design--between the mirror and the pentaprism. Presumably this could shrink a medium format image to viewfinder-size with a wideangle lens and could beef up an APS-C image to full-frame size with a telephoto lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Fototim Quote
Havent found anything in the document that says it is for a MF camera.
Why would they? Patents are difficult: you need to disclose your invention for it to be protected, but you don't want to disclose more than you need to to be protected. Disclose more, and people use your invention without paying you for it. Saying that it is for a medium-format camera would (a) require a long, technical definition of what that means, and (b) probably mean any competitor could use it on a large-, full-, or small-format camera. Patents are written to be opaque in this manner.

QuoteOriginally posted by ftpaddict Quote
None of the earlier prototypes featured a removable back.
The boxes in a patent drawing show functional units, not physical units. Figure 10 shows item 25 as a box; Figure 1 shows item 25 as 25a, 25b, and 25c and further divided into r6 through r16 and d6 through d15. That's the same item 25, just to different degrees of detail where appropriate. These are legal drawings showing an invention, not engineering drawings showing a product.

Notice, also, that most of the drawings show an invention that doesn't involve the pentaprism. I'd be very surprised if any of these actually were used in a commercial fashion. The last embodiment in Figure 10 is the closest to what'll actually come out. One strong indication of this is that the patent describes this as the "Preferred Embodiment."
11-16-2008, 02:08 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote
Click the blue box labeled "Images" at the top or bottom of the USPTO page linked to from the blog.
Thank you
I can't see them i my browser, but now I at least know they are there
QuoteOriginally posted by JonPB Quote



Why would they? Patents are difficult: you need to disclose your invention for it to be protected, but you don't want to disclose more than you need to to be protected. Disclose more, and people use your invention without paying you for it. Saying that it is for a medium-format camera would (a) require a long, technical definition of what that means, and (b) probably mean any competitor could use it on a large-, full-, or small-format camera. Patents are written to be opaque in this manner.
I see your point. But how do we know it is a patend intended for MF use?
As far as I can see, that's just an assumption from the author of the article. Have I missed something? Or are we jumping to conclusions, when we are discussing this patent as something intended for a 645D?
11-16-2008, 03:59 PM   #37
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The thing that perplexes me is why any company, specifically Pentax, would bring out a completely new medium format digital camera that was not also capable of being used with film..Regardless of how freaking incredible the sensors in the Pentax 645D are, they will not render the same look as any of the various 120/220 color film stocks do..

One of the advantages that the current medium format digital backs have is their ability to be used with a variety of different medium format film cameras that have interchangeable backs..This allows the professional photographer the option of choosing digital for the majority of their work flow; & switching to a film back loaded with any number of film stocks for other looks that a client might desire..

I do not know for certain what percentage of the professional medium format market Pentax occupied during the heydays of film photography, but I do know this..Hasselblad was the leader during those times & they continue to lead today almost exclusively because of the Hasselblad camera's versatility & tremendous number of accessories..

I do not care what anyone says, $15,000.00 is not a sum of money that the average consumer is going to pay for a basic medium format digital camera outfit..Even if that sum is one half, one third, or one fourth of the amount needed to purchase a digital back that will fit onto a film camera..$15,000.00 is a sum that will appeal to the aspiring professional photographer, & perhaps the pro desiring a second, less expensive camera..

If Pentax truly wants to be competitive in the medium format digital market I believe they will need to bring to market a camera that boasts both film & digital interchangeable backs..This way any sensor upgrades would be in the back, not the entire camera..

If Pentax wants to attract high-end amateur photographers to medium format digital then I believe that a simplistic digital back as part of camera system with interchangeable film & digital backs would have a far better chance of succeeding..Many of the menu options could be eliminated in favor of simplicity..For the truth is, regardless of how sophisticated & varied the menu options for any digital camera are; most photographers still spend a tremendous amount of time in post processing their digital images..A simpler digital back with only basic controls would be far less expensive to manufacture, as well as less prone to failure..If a price point of $7,500.00 or less could be met, then I think such a camera might have a reasonable chance to succeed..

The only drawback that I can see is that such a simplistic digital back would require photographers to start thinking like they had to in the days of less complicated film photography..This would require a completely different marketing strategy from the trend of the past two decades where the manufacturers have extolled the camera's abilty to think for the photographer..

Bruce
11-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #38
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Not everyone agrees

QuoteQuote:
Regardless of how freaking incredible the sensors in the Pentax 645D are, they will not render the same look as any of the various 120/220 color film stocks do.
I agree with you, but not everyone else will. I'd even wager that most people here will not.

QuoteQuote:
I do not care what anyone says, $15,000.00 is not a sum of money that the average consumer is going to pay for a basic medium format digital camera outfit.
I don't think your average consumer is likely to buy medium format for any amount of money. Medium format is more the domain of serious amateur and professional.

Buffy

11-17-2008, 03:46 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
The thing that perplexes me is why any company, specifically Pentax, would bring out a completely new medium format digital camera that was not also capable of being used with film..
I think that those that need to use medium format film already have MF film cameras. Interchangeable digital back would also add to cost while 654D is meant to be low cost camera in terms of digital MF.
11-17-2008, 01:43 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
The thing that perplexes me is why any company, specifically Pentax, would bring out a completely new medium format digital camera that was not also capable of being used with film..Regardless of how freaking incredible the sensors in the Pentax 645D are, they will not render the same look as any of the various 120/220 color film stocks do..
I guess, if Hasselblad, Leaf, PhaseOne, Sinar can do it, there must be some market for it. Or to put it more bluntly: film is dead - at least from a commercial viewpoint. There will always be some film-enthusiasts (I count myself among them), but camera makers will not make any significant money with film cameras anymore.

QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
One of the advantages that the current medium format digital backs have is their ability to be used with a variety of different medium format film cameras that have interchangeable backs..This allows the professional photographer the option of choosing digital for the majority of their work flow; & switching to a film back loaded with any number of film stocks for other looks that a client might desire..
It is simply cheaper to use an existing old film camera besides a new digital camera. Look at the Hasselblad V system. The digital back for the old 503 etc. Hassys is basically dead - no further development.

I think, that PhaseOne, Leaf, Sinar choose to bring their own cameras onto the market, not only relying on the nakes digital backs, has a significant message: digital needs to be highly integrated.

QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
I do not know for certain what percentage of the professional medium format market Pentax occupied during the heydays of film photography, but I do know this..Hasselblad was the leader during those times & they continue to lead today almost exclusively because of the Hasselblad camera's versatility & tremendous number of accessories..
This is true and it will be true for the H3 system, even if nobody ever wants to buy a film magazine for that camera, and who would do that?

QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
I do not care what anyone says, $15,000.00 is not a sum of money that the average consumer is going to pay for a basic medium format digital camera outfit..Even if that sum is one half, one third, or one fourth of the amount needed to purchase a digital back that will fit onto a film camera..$15,000.00 is a sum that will appeal to the aspiring professional photographer, & perhaps the pro desiring a second, less expensive camera..
There will be very, very few non-professionals, who will buy digital medium format. Just forhget the consumers completely. Pentax aims at those folks who used the old 645 systems and hopefully will also attract some of the 67 fellows, too. Pentax only has a chance, if they convince pros, that they will be longer on the market, than Bronica or Mamiya...


QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
If Pentax truly wants to be competitive in the medium format digital market I believe they will need to bring to market a camera that boasts both film & digital interchangeable backs..This way any sensor upgrades would be in the back, not the entire camera..
My thinking is, that film is dead and that any Lego-bricks camera stays simply no chance on the market. Interchangeabilty of backs is a thing of the past, because the electronics and other components are much higher intergrated, than was necessary with film.

QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
If Pentax wants to attract high-end amateur photographers to medium format digital then I believe that a simplistic digital back as part of camera system with interchangeable film & digital backs would have a far better chance of succeeding..Many of the menu options could be eliminated in favor of simplicity..For the truth is, regardless of how sophisticated & varied the menu options for any digital camera are; most photographers still spend a tremendous amount of time in post processing their digital images..A simpler digital back with only basic controls would be far less expensive to manufacture, as well as less prone to failure..If a price point of $7,500.00 or less could be met, then I think such a camera might have a reasonable chance to succeed..
Pentax won't target amateurs. There is no money in that market (or at least an insignificant amount), because with Nikon FF or Sony FF or Canon FF the advantages of medium format digital are not too obvious in most cases.

I have been discussing the viability of professional products for many years with all the big companies and they were all united (even in film days), that amateuers simply do not buy pro products, because they get dry lips and a certain glimmer in theirs eyes, if they see the latest top-notch model, but they don't put the money, where their wishes are.

QuoteOriginally posted by baltochef920 Quote
The only drawback that I can see is that such a simplistic digital back would require photographers to start thinking like they had to in the days of less complicated film photography..This would require a completely different marketing strategy from the trend of the past two decades where the manufacturers have extolled the camera's abilty to think for the photographer..
Do you expect Pentax to do this kind of education? They would be broke, before a handful of amateurs (apart perhaps from some old Leica M3 enthusiasts) would even start thinking about these arguments...

I don't want to ridicule your thoughts. They have some merits. But Pentax is, as all other manufactureres dependend on making money. I hope at least they finally have learned that, otherwise there will no Digital 645, not for amateurs and not for püros.

Ben
11-17-2008, 01:52 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
I read through that, and did a quick search on a relay finder, but I can't figure out what it is supposed to do.
A relay lens system is a device which projects the focal plane image to a farther away plane. At the same time a true relay system won't affect the image scale or the angle of view. It simply "relays" the image to another plane.

If you look at the existing Pentax 645: They have a small telescope as a viewfinder (a telescopic viewfinder), which made it possible, to have a comfortable viewing position behind the camera, without a very large prism housing. This patent allows a further reduction of the prism size or the use of small mirrors, thus reducing the size and weight of the camera. The image will be relayed to allow a comfortable viewing position.

On top it seems (though the patent isn't clear about the details), that they intend to have avery high eyepiece magnification. This is usually a problem, because eyepiece tend to heavily distort and have a strong loss of sharpness in the corners, if their magnification AND angle of view get bigger.

As Pentax is well-known for their high-grade astronomical eyepieces, they should be able to overcome these limitations and include a high-magnification/large angle of view eyepiece in theri camera. The advantage is, that the basic viewfinder optics (prism/mirrors) can be made as small as possible, without sacrificing a comfortable view.

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11-17-2008, 01:57 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by clawhammer Quote
IIRC, most MF chips are 36x48mm, which isn't true 6x4.5 (which in reality wasn't true 60x45, but yeah). Even though I will probably never be able to afford one, I eagerly await a digital 645.
The current sensor generation is already 645 full-format (so to say). Pentax would be stupid, if they did not incorporate that sensor.*

As far as I know, the Mamiya ZD is like lead on the shelves, because the sensor is basically obsolete. That is the result of the slow development and obviously the inability of the Mamiya engineers to adapt to newer, more capable sensors during their development phase. We have seen the same kind of blunder from Pentax in the past (MZ-D or the first 645D aperations). I can only hope, that Pentax has learned the lesson and will use the latest sensor. After that, they still have to meet the already very competetive pricing of Hasselblad or PhaseOne. With the K10 and K20 they have shown, that they can it...

Ben
12-12-2008, 01:39 PM   #43
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I bet these bodies will come with LoJack installed.
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