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02-15-2015, 04:16 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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New 645z Owner And New To The Forum

So I've had a just a few days with the 645z that I bought 'used' (actually new) from B&H. I'm new to MF, new to this forum and mostly new to Pentax. I originally had ordered a used Hasselblad H3D-39 with one lens for $9k. After placing that order and before it got to me I did a little reading on the 645z. Uh oh, Hasselblad... big mistake for me. There's no way I would withstand the expensive repairs I hear about with Hasselblad and I then heard the H3Ds are some of the worst. So I opted to refuse delivery of the H3D shipment. Second big mistake by refusing the package instead of shipping it back myself. B&H told me refusing a package would only cause an additional 3-5 day delay, compared to me actually paying to ship it back. I thought, "that's no big deal, I can spare 3-5 days." Well, 3-5 days became 3 weeks and then I realized I better start making some important phone calls. I first talked to the postmaster in my town and he is telling me, not to worry, the package has $100 insurance added to the standard $50 provided by the PO. You're kidding?!? I tell him the package should be insured for $9k. He then says oh,... well some companies self insure all their shipments, so that's could be the case. Ah, but why add $100 B&H? Ohhh goush, this situation's turning into some bad shyte. He makes a copy of my shipping receipt showing my refusal of the package and tells me it has left that office, but he would get on the phone next business day with the Brooklyn PO. So the next business day, I called the PO main customer service to get the ball rolling and got a case# for the matter. Thankfully, the package arrived at B&H in the next two days and I was told they ARE self insured on their shipments. Well ok, that's good to know. Biggest lesson leaned here is that I will never refuse a package again.

When I RMA'd the first order, I told them I would like to exchange the Hasselblad for the used 645z I found on their website for $7800. It was listed as a 10 and in the orig box. I called and asked if it was a grey market camera. Nope. Does it have blank warranty card? Yes. They held it for me the entire time (over 3 weeks) with only a $100 deposit. I tried to get them to tell me the shutter count, but they just said they couldn't find that out. Ok, so I get the 645z shipment and obviously, the first thing I want to know is how many clicks are on this thing. ZERO. That's right, ZERO. All the inner packages were taped shut just like new. The battery was practically vacuum sealed in the thin plastic pouch it comes in. It was pretty obvious this camera probably hasn't even had a battery in it after leaving the factory. Now my questions are, why? Who? Why is a brand new camera like this on the used shelf? Ok, for some odd unknown reason they get it in on trade. Why? They can't sell it as new so it shows up used... I guess. Who? I guess I should thank some unknown benefactor who probably took at least a two to three thousand dollar loss so I could get $700 off. Thank you someone.

Well it certainly took long enough and gave me enough of a scare, but I'm quickly finding this camera to produce amazing detail, but also is so easy to use. It weighs more than most pro DSLRs but it handles easier IMO. After drinking the Canon coolaid for twenty years and this being my first Pentax since the K1000, I'm starting to be blown away by Pentax. What do I like so far? How about the physical knob for mirror lockup, or the tripod receiver on the side, the angled LCD display, the firmly affixed round eye cup (whoever thought a square would be a good place to put your eye up to, duh), the increased useability of higher ISOs, the amazing shadow detail. But it's the fact that Pentax is the only camera mfg to pretty much make ALL of their old lenses useable with a new corresponding system is just something else. But remembering my old Pentax K1000 days, I'm realizing they've always been doing this and they always will. Because of this, I can buy older and inexpensive manual lenses while I recover from purchasing this camera. In waiting for the camera, I bought a used 55mm f/2.8 manual focus lens off ebay for $180 from Japan. I also bought with the camera, a new FA 645 45mm f/2.8 (which I plan to return). Now according to the lens reviews here, the old 55mm is supposed to be the one of highest quality Pentax 645 lenses ever made and the 45mm is supposed to be the one of the worst (in terms of ratings). I bought the 45mm intending on returning it and just thought I should at least be able to make sure the camera's AF is working properly. Then thought this would also be a good lens to try to compare the two lenses that are of the farthest apart in this forums lens rating system. We shall see.

Lastly, what I thought was the biggest thumbs up sign for Pentax was when I read the warranty card. It states this:

"If you also own a Pentax K-mount camera, as a professional courtesy, (RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS) will extend the benefit of routine and customary cleaning to cover your K-mount camera during the 2 year eligibility period of this offer (which is 2 years for customary cleaning)."

If Canon ever makes good on their long rumored D-MF system, I highly doubt they would ever do something like this. Not that it's that big of a deal even if I had another Pentax for them to clean. It's just the principle and showing their customers, that it's the customers that matter, not the small amount they spend by doing something like this for their flagship camera owners.

Now for the controversy:
Fifteen years ago, I predicted to a friend that I thought it possible for medium format digital to eventually die from competition from the 35mm systems, despite MF having the advantage of the larger sensor. I never wanted that to be true. It hasn't happened yet and I am hoping it never will. With the flagships from Nikon, Sony and now Canon producing arguably as mush detail in their images as many medium format systems, my prediction is more possible now than ever. What's unfortunate is this cat and mouse game called the megapixel war and the concern given to only this one attribute of digital photography. If half of the R&D for all the megapixels was spent on furthering dynamic range capabilities... imagine the possibilities, unless you like getting images with no highlight and shadow detail on bright sunny days. But it's the MP that sells cameras? Doesn't have to be if they did a little 'edu-marketing' and showed people what it's like getting that additional detail in areas that normally get blown out. So perhaps this will be what allows MF to prosper, or at least continue if that should be the case.

02-15-2015, 05:03 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, that's quite some intro, I hope to see more of your interesting posts in the future.
02-15-2015, 05:17 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, and enjoy what has been called (even by non-Pentaxians) "the best image-quality camera available today."

QuoteOriginally posted by 72ndPoolShark Quote
Now my questions are, why? Who? Why is a brand new camera like this on the used shelf?
Dollars to donuts it was ordered by someone who read that it was the best, and when it arrived they opened the box (Pentax boxes are not sealed), took it out, and said something like "gosh, that's big!" and proceeded to buy a Leica M instead. Alas, B&H cannot risk that they registered the camera with Ricoh or took a few shots, so it has to be sold as "used." (Lucky you, B&H is honorable that way!)

Now get out there and shoot and post some photos for us to enjoy!
02-15-2015, 05:20 PM   #4
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Can't believe you got a zero shutter count unit for a discount! Well played...

There have been a few people who have used the high MP full frames as well as the 645z and they seem to be noticing enough improvements in the MF pics to make them want to keep it so to me that speaks volumes. Hope you end up seeing the same things - I'd love to play around with one let alone owning one - I think you're in for some fun!

02-15-2015, 05:53 PM   #5
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As in the days of film a MF camera would outdo any 35mm no matter what lens you used and what you did in the darkroom. Same thing with digital, no matter how many pixels they pack into those sensors they will never outdo a medium format camera. Especially one with 50 MG pixels. Welcome !
02-15-2015, 06:26 PM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
As in the days of film a MF camera would outdo any 35mm no matter what lens you used and what you did in the darkroom. Same thing with digital, no matter how many pixels they pack into those sensors they will never outdo a medium format camera. Especially one with 50 MG pixels. Welcome !
It's not the question if MF is better. Lots of things that are better go by the wayside due to economics. If the number of people who go MF is reduced to a small enough quantity, it could die. If people are led to believe they can get MF quality while still making use of their existing 35mm based lenses, the economics are made worse for MF. In the film days, MF was the standard for wedding photography. Now, 35mm based digital systems rule that market. In large part the DSLRs have had the quality to, at the very least, meet the level set by MF film. With the 645z being the first digital camera that could return wedding photographers to MF (645D falls short in a few ways as do the other CCD MF systems), my question is will that ever happen? I think it could and I think if cameras like the 645z continue to come out, I hope we sensors going back to true MF size as the 645z and 645d are 645 in name only. The sensor is quite a bit smaller than 645 film, let alone 67 film and larger. To me MF has the 'extra tool in the toolbox' of more easily producing background blur, but it's one of those things that can get forgotten about in favor of all the bells and whistles the 35mm systems offer.

---------- Post added 02-15-15 at 08:37 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Welcome to the forum, and enjoy what has been called (even by non-Pentaxians) "the best image-quality camera available today."



Dollars to donuts it was ordered by someone who read that it was the best, and when it arrived they opened the box (Pentax boxes are not sealed), took it out, and said something like "gosh, that's big!" and proceeded to buy a Leica M instead. Alas, B&H cannot risk that they registered the camera with Ricoh or took a few shots, so it has to be sold as "used." (Lucky you, B&H is honorable that way!)

Now get out there and shoot and post some photos for us to enjoy!
Too damn cold! I took it out today and wound up having to help another guy at the state park get his car unstuck from a snow bank in minus 13 degrees. Not to worry though, it'll get used. I'm in Michigan. I see you're in Toronto, so I'm sure you know :c]

---------- Post added 02-15-15 at 09:22 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
Welcome to the forum, and enjoy what has been called (even by non-Pentaxians) "the best image-quality camera available today."



Dollars to donuts it was ordered by someone who read that it was the best, and when it arrived they opened the box (Pentax boxes are not sealed), took it out, and said something like "gosh, that's big!" and proceeded to buy a Leica M instead. Alas, B&H cannot risk that they registered the camera with Ricoh or took a few shots, so it has to be sold as "used." (Lucky you, B&H is honorable that way!)

Now get out there and shoot and post some photos for us to enjoy!
panoguy, what kind of panos you do? Are you on 360Cities?
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