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10-24-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
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MF vs. FF

Hello,

I am a "Pentaxian" possessing a lot of 135-FF-lenses. However, I (as an amateur photographer) have never been attracted to the 645-system. Thus, a 645D does not meet my needs or demands. Due to the price tag and similar considerations, which apply to the APS-C vs. 135-FF debate, I probably never would buy a MF-camera. However, Pentax seems to favor MF over 135. My question therefore is: Do you consider to buy a MF over a 135-FF? Please do not be too emotional, I just want to find out, whether the strategy of Pentax is reasonable...

Best regards,
froeschle


Last edited by froeschle; 10-24-2008 at 02:35 PM.
10-24-2008, 02:35 PM   #2
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Pentax can make a ~FF body w/ FF sensor, but w/ native MF mount, not K-mount...
10-24-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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That depends on what it costs. Maybe I'll just stick to film.
The main philosophivcal difference between them is that a 645D will still be tripod camera used like a MF film camera, whereas an FF camera can replace both a MF camera (if the pixel count is high enough) and an APS DSLR (with its advantage) in cropped mode.
10-24-2008, 02:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
Pentax can make a ~FF body w/ FF sensor, but w/ native MF mount, not K-mount...

That would be a patently absurd idea!

10-24-2008, 02:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
That would be a patently absurd idea!
you have no issues w/ APS-C w/ FF mount ? why should you have issues w/ FF w/ MF mount ?
converter to use K-mount lenses on MF mount is doable, right ?
10-24-2008, 03:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
you have no issues w/ APS-C w/ FF mount ? why should you have issues w/ FF w/ MF mount ?
converter to use K-mount lenses on MF mount is doable, right ?
Because FF and APS use the same mount so all K-mount lenses can be used.
No. Converter to use K-mount lenses on MF is impossible.
Using MF mount on an FF camera will utilize 50% of the lens potential. It will grossly reduce the potential user base because lenses are 1/50th as common! The camera will be big and bulky and significantly deeper than a K-mount camera. Lastly, lens quality is on average lower.
It would promptly drive Pentax into bankrupcy.
10-24-2008, 03:20 PM   #7
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MF's main advantage over FF is DOF, and if sensor development catches up low light with lower noise, not to mention the possible enormus pixel count.

Think like this, your a studio or land scape photographer, you compete against guys with canon 1ds Mkxx cameras and now 5d mkII's. You need an edge so MF can give you that with massive print sizes, shallower DOF etc. If they develop for higher iso capabilities in MF you can even get noise at a per pixel level similar to that of FF if not better but your now playing with 2-3x the pixels, imagine the IQ now.

For me if Pentax releases a 645D for under $5gs with at least 32mp and good high iso etc it will be worth it.
10-24-2008, 03:25 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Torphoto Quote
MF's main advantage over FF is DOF, and if sensor development catches up low light with lower noise, not to mention the possible enormus pixel count.

Think like this, your a studio or land scape photographer, you compete against guys with canon 1ds Mkxx cameras and now 5d mkII's. You need an edge so MF can give you that with massive print sizes, shallower DOF etc. If they develop for higher iso capabilities in MF you can even get noise at a per pixel level similar to that of FF if not better but your now playing with 2-3x the pixels, imagine the IQ now.

For me if Pentax releases a 645D for under $5gs with at least 32mp and good high iso etc it will be worth it.


Shallow DOF is a read herring. One in a million published images have very thin DOF and most of those would be better without it. The main problem with MF, and particularly landscape photographers, is too little DOF. Many type of images i impossible to shoot with MF because you cannot get the whole subject in focus. I rarely shoot wider than F:16 on my MF camera for a reason. The main reason for large formats "popularity" is that it gives you more DOF than MF due to the tilting function.

10-24-2008, 03:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
you have no issues w/ APS-C w/ FF mount ? why should you have issues w/ FF w/ MF mount ?
converter to use K-mount lenses on MF mount is doable, right ?
If I get your question.. NO... MF mount would not be backward compatable w/ FF lenses without more glass thrown in the way. Registration distance is greater on MF then FF.
Now it wouldn't hurt if you had exchangeable sensors and had a choice of sensors, 1 FF, others MF, and maybe even B&W. One of the prototype 645D's had a removeable back module BTW.
10-24-2008, 05:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by froeschle Quote
Hello,

...My question therefore is: Do you consider to buy a MF over a 135-FF?...
No, I probably would not. I currently enjoy the K20D, but I've carefully chosen many high quality ff compatible lenses, in anticipation of a sensor which meets thier capabilities.

I'd rather continue to use these lenses on an SR body either APS-C or FF, rather than to start from scratch.
10-24-2008, 05:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
If I get your question.. NO... MF mount would not be backward compatable w/ FF lenses without more glass thrown in the way. Registration distance is greater on MF then FF.
you can move the sensor (the whole assembly I mean, mirror, etc) closer to the mount (inside the body) instead of moving lenses closer to the sensor.
10-24-2008, 05:43 PM   #12
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I don't even currently consider buying a so-called "FF" body, much less a larger format...
10-24-2008, 07:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
you can move the sensor (the whole assembly I mean, mirror, etc) closer to the mount (inside the body) instead of moving lenses closer to the sensor.
If I remember correctly it's the upswing of the mirror that mostly dictates the registration distance. Without retculating the mirror (expensive and a weak spot I suppose) your pretty well stuck w/ it.
Remove the mirror and you could have a sliding sensor to go from one registration to another (25.41mm).
Pentax 6x7 bayonet 84.95 (74.10?)mm
Pentax 645 bayonet 70.87mm
K-mount bayonet 45.46mm
10-25-2008, 04:26 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by froeschle Quote
My question therefore is: Do you consider to buy a MF over a 135-FF?
Hi froeschle

No, I don't. Not because it's too expensive (ok, ok, because of this as well ). Because it's far too big (e.g., looking at the Leica S2 which isn't even MF). But for the same reason, digital FF is no option yet (for me). I am still watching anybody making digital FF as versatile analog FF once was (e.g., with Pentax MX and Olympus OM).

I understand Pentax 645D is an opportunity to be successful in some professional niche (with as few players as Hasselblad, Leica, Rollei, ...)

Personally, I consider the "small and versatile digital FF" niche to be much more promising, though...
10-25-2008, 06:31 AM   #15
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Regardless of if when Pentax releases a MF or FF first or both eventually, the price will almost play the largest factor in anyone purchasing the MF. I can't image Pentax releasing a D-MF body for less than the cost of 10 APS-C bodies or 5 FF bodies would cost. (lucky if it will cost under $20,000 USD). When it comes down to it, how many of us here can justify our hobby, as serious as it may seem, to that kind of price? The Professionals among us can justify that purchase I suppose, but it doesn't change the fact that the body alone will be very expensive. Do I have a crystal ball? No. But if you compare the costs to other D-MF bodies out there (Leica S2 at $25k est. and the Hasselblad H3 at $22k) I cant imagine Pentax releasing a new one for so much less...ok, if less, lucky to see one for anywhere near what the general user will buy. I see the 645D as an anomaly rather than a mainstream body.

I think at the end of the day, most Pentaxians just want to, for some reason be able to say there is a kick-ass Pentax MF on the market, maybe for bragging purposes, or maybe for some sort of security reasons. In the meantime, I look forward to what Pentax releases next year in the way of an upgrade or logical replacement for the K20D and wont have my feelings hurt if a FF body doesn't reach market in 2009 or 2010. I think we all focus way too much on the buttons, settings, model numbers, resolution lines, etc. than we do on mastering our technique and making the most from the best we have right now, which like it or not is more than most of us can handle anyway. Measurbation is like masturbation...you can do it all you want, but it never gets you anywhere when it really counts.

Anyway....yours truly.

Jason
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