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11-12-2016, 10:44 PM   #1
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Long Time 35MM/DSLR Newbie to MF: Need ADVICE

Can you offer me some advice? I am new to the MF world, after 48 years with films and about 12 overlapped with digital SLs. (Up to Nikon d2x and Canon d5 Mark III. - lots and lots of lenses.)

I decided to move up to MF for a trip that I hope becomes a publication piece, and just bought a mint demo 645Z and 75 mmm dfa 2.8 lens

I am planing to take the 645Z on the NZ trip, and am planning to add a couple more lenses for the trip before I go. This will encompass everything from helicopter shots of waterfalls to epic trail hikes, meaning I will need some flexibility to consider weight and sheer packing limitations. I'm in an unusual spot... I have the HB x1d on order, but have no way of knowing if it will come with its lenses by mid January. So, I bought the 645 to use in case the HB doesn't show, and might sell it afterwards either way.

I am accustomed to using stepped zooms to work throught he focal lengths, with a couple of prime lenses for those perfect setups. So I figured I'd try to buy some good used glass and resell when done - if I buy right it will be cheaper than long-term rental for sure, unless the market totally falls out of bed.

In short, are there zooms that are both AF and sufficient quality to cover the range from wide to decent tele and aren't crushingly expensive? I'd say in 35mm terms (I'm going to have to adjust my thinking i know ) from 28mm to 300mm? Keeping in mind I hope to re-sell them when the HB shows up and I have had the time to familiarize myself with it. Any help would be appreciated!!

11-12-2016, 11:40 PM   #2
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AF film-era zooms are generally cheap compared to the new digital-era DA and D FA 645 lenses, especially second-hand. Your options are pretty limited, though, as far as focal lengths go. Here's a complete list of autofocus 645 zooms:

Pentax 645 Zoom Lenses | PentaxForums.com

Personally I'd recommend just sticking to primes, especially if image quality is your main concern. Otherwise I think you'd be better of with a full-frame camera with a quality lens. I've never been a fan of the FA 645 zooms, though others might disagree (the user reviews linked above are worth reading). That said, if you have the possibility of picking up the DA 28-45mm, it's definitely worth it.

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11-13-2016, 12:31 AM   #3
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Welcome, it will be interesting to know... once you get the HB how you get on with it.
11-13-2016, 01:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
AF film-era zooms are generally cheap compared to the new digital-era DA and D FA 645 lenses, especially second-hand. Your options are pretty limited, though, as far as focal lengths go. Here's a complete list of autofocus 645 zooms:

Pentax 645 Zoom Lenses | PentaxForums.com

Personally I'd recommend just sticking to primes, especially if image quality is your main concern. Otherwise I think you'd be better of with a full-frame camera with a quality lens. I've never been a fan of the FA 645 zooms, though others might disagree (the user reviews linked above are worth reading). That said, if you have the possibility of picking up the DA 28-45mm, it's definitely worth it.
Adam,

sound advice, though that 28-45 is an expensive chunk of glass!
The Mark III Canon is a full frame DSLR - so the K-1 is just a step up in resolution - if I went that route I would just upgrade to the Mark IV - I have a sackfull of lenses already.

I guess I will buy a wide angle prime and a tele prime in the used market, and sell the lot if the HB makes me feel love. If not, I will bounce the HB, and iinvest in the zoom and stick with the Pentax.

Very frustrating, these release delays. Wait, that sounds weird. Well,

11-24-2016, 05:59 AM   #5
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Hello, and a belated welcome to the forums. Great to have you with us
11-26-2016, 02:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Hello, and a belated welcome to the forums. Great to have you with us
Thanks... And I need some help on lens designations...

The Pentax is a remarkable piece of equipment, and I am staggered by the images it produces, even of rather prosaic subjects. I am feeling immense lens envy, and so far do not feel that it is any huge task to carry the thing around. I may feel differently when I decide how much to plunk down for a zoom lens. I can not, honestly, discern the difference between lenses. There is a 33-55mm lens offered around eBay and descibed thusly:
PENTAX-FA-645-ZOOM-33-55mm-F4-5-AL-MediumFormat-645d-645Z
or:
Pentax SMC FA 645 645Z 33-55mm F/4.5 AL Lens

These run $1000 or less.

I do not understand the lens designations, and what I would expect from this lens in terms of quality? What is the designation of the highest-quality zoom/AF lens I would normally buy in the wide angle to "base" focal length range? All manufacturers make this hard to sort out, Pentax seems to have made it absolutely impossible. I see what appears to be an extremely high quality zoom for $800, the seemingly identical lens for $2,000, and then an ED DA 28-45 that runs from $3-4k - and just under that a "DA 55-300 ED zoom 55-300 for $300?? So, his is totally confusing. Can anyone help me sort this out? The Pentax website is no help.

Should I start a new thread or maybe there is one already???
11-28-2016, 04:06 PM   #7
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Well in response to to designations DA means its optimized for digital bodies. The ED is extra-low dispersion glass. just search for Pentax Lens Terminology and you shoiuld hit a result right away that explains all of them,
For the $300 ones are using the K mount and meant for 35mm/DSLR.
The difference between 2k and 800 would be between a New one in the US and a used one from Japan. Even comparing used to used you will see a decent discount from japan, but good luck with it if there is anything wrong with the item.
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