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09-22-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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MF news from Photokina

Has the 645D started something .... and in doing so Pentax will miss their own MF revolution opportunity?

The day I bit the bullet and ordered the 645D I said to a few people - Watch the price of other MF gear drop like a stone now, the day I upgrade and recieve my new camera I'd bet that I'll already be behind the 8-ball and something better will be out.

Some scoffed at the suggestion that the likes of Hassy and Leica would respond to the "cheap" Pentax and lower prices or produce affordable options ..... Well - http://www.electronista.com/articles/10/09/22/hasselblad.unveils.3.camera.systems.at.photokina/

I bet if I'd told someone a month ago you'd be able to buy a digi-MF Hassy for under $15K I'd have been laughed at.

"The H4D-31 is one of the company's cheapest ever complete cameras and shoots at 31 megapixels while still sharing all the features of the larger models, including the off-center focusing adjustment that defines the H4D line. It will cost 9,995 euros ($13,416) with either an 80mm prime lens or a CF-mount lens adapter to use existing Hasselblad optics."

That H4D-31 looks gorgeous. Still a few Mp short of the 645D, a bit more expensive and lenses/accessories cost a HEAP more .... but the off centre focusing, tethered shooting and Hassy Optics for under $15K ...... wow!!

Back to Hassy reality though - the new 50Mp back is "just" USD$16K and you still need to have the camera body + lenses to attach it too.

The 200 Mp beast sounds more like digital trickery rather than a new 200Mp sensor "....an improvement of the H4D-50 Multi Shot that moves the pixels just half a step away versus the full shifts of today but produces four times as many pixels"

Still glad I bought the 645D, but just wish the damm thing would turn up!! Will be interesting to see where things go from here and if Leica bring out an all in one, or back/camera/lens, solution in the sub-$15K range.

If Pentax keep pushing back the international release of the 645D they may just miss the boat on this one - with the exchange rate for the Aussie Dollar Vs the USD$ the H4D-31 and the 80mm prime is actually cheaper than the 645D and 55mm prime. If my 645D doesn't arrive in late October as per the latest advice from the Aussie Petax distributers I'll be seriously considering cancelling my order and buying my first Hassy.

09-23-2010, 12:54 AM   #2
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One thing that I will point out with the Hasselblad is that they charge a premium on accessories,Batteries,cables,viewfinder accessories..and don't get me started on the extortionate maintenance costs.

and then there are the lenses which have leaf shutters that are typically not as durable as focal plane shutters are these days, sure that 1/800th top synch speed sounds sexy, but the mechanism that drives them can become a bit shaky after 20,000 releases. Not to mention the extra cost of hasselblad zeiss lenses (which are actually made by fuji these days)

The pentax 645D has a large selection of legacy optics, Hasselblad have already changed their mount once with the H3D, and they will likely do so again. So in my opinion with a maker like hasselblad your equipment will end up costing you more in the long run that pentax hardware.

I will also tell you that the digital backs that come with the hasselblad V mount plate are locked. Meaning you cannot take them off and use them on a view camera, they are exclusively designed to be used with a hasselblad MF cameras. What makes this any different from the Pentax 645D you ask? simple, integration. The pentax 645D has been sealed and designed with the digital sensor built into the camera, therefore you are less likely to have issues with camera/back communication as there have been cases of this happening. The backs with(some) Hassleblad cameras are detachable, which means there is more flexibility and an upgrade path to future sensor designs (that new 80Mp Back is nice I have to admit) but you also miss out on the in camera sensor cleaning - while it isn't 100% effective, I'm certain there are situations where it will prove a shoot saver.

Last edited by Digitalis; 09-23-2010 at 05:41 PM.
09-23-2010, 08:25 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
One thing that I will point out with the Hasselblad is that they charge a premium on accessories,Batteries,cables,viewfinder accessories..and don't get me started on the extortionate maintenance costs.
...
In other words, nothing has changed since the MF film days That's why my first MF camera was a Pentax 6x7 because it got me into MF at much cheaper cost compared to a Hasselblad system. But it didn't have all the features of a Hasselblad system but nevertheless you could still take pictures.
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