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10-18-2010, 01:44 PM   #1
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Some photos taken with the 645d..

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4152/5094691378_984490440c_o.jpg




For those who've been anxious to see a full-size real-world sample of the 645d, here it goes.

Pentax 645d + FA 45-85mm + Lee 0.6 Soft GND
f16 / 4 sec / ISO 100 / 60mm
Shot in Raw / Adobe RGB
Pentax Digital Camera Utility 4
- Sharpness : +3 (-4 to +4)
- Color Noise Reduction : 80 (0 to 256)
Minimal Processing in Photoshop
- Curve Adjustment
- Contrast Masking
- Converted to sRGB
- JPEG : 11 (0 to 12)


Last edited by harklee; 10-20-2010 at 08:50 AM.
10-18-2010, 02:43 PM   #2
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Pretty impressive, I'd say.

Was this RAW converted using Camera Utility 4 or in-camera JPEG? I would be curious to see it without the USM and NR.


Steve
10-18-2010, 03:04 PM   #3
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Stunning. Very nice!
10-18-2010, 03:41 PM   #4
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Thanks Harklee

This is a jpeg, set to level 11 correct that has an n.d. filter sharpening and noise reduction applied.
With minimal photoshop processing? in addition. What is minimal?

Was the wind blowing. The tree top, left side, looks blurred. Other foliage appears not to be moving, maybe that was the case. Did you use a tripod? I'm sure you did with a 2 second exposure at ISO 100. Did you use AF or MF. If MF where's the plane of sharp focus.

Harklee, I don't mean to sound ungrateful for your efforts on getting us all some much anticipated info. It's good to see some results from the 645D. In my opinion though, it would be helpful, if you would shoot an image like this, use DNG, use a tripod, no N.D. as without gives a clue into the dynamic range the sensor can handle, manual focus on a particular point so the sharpness at the plane can be evaluated, and send 100% full rez crops from portions of the image so that the capabilities of the sensor/lens can be evaluated. Don't do any post process. This also gives valuable info on how the sensor renders an image. For example: the photo may look too sharp, or come up somewhat flat or vice versa, but that can't be determined if you post process. It also can help determine how much detail the sensor is able to deliver.

Thanks for you efforts,

Claude Fiddler

10-19-2010, 05:27 PM   #5
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Guys, sorry for the confusion. I guess I just assumed that anybody who is willing to buy a digital MF would use a tripod and not shoot in Jpeg (note : this was not meant to read sarcastic). I ran hyporfocal (due to lack of experience with this particular lens) using AF (focused on the bottom grass portion) for the above shot and I converted the raw file to AdobeRGB / 16bit / tiff using the Pentax Camera Utility 4 and converted it to sRGB / quality 11 / jpeg in photoshop. I did a slight curve adjustment for better contrast and 15% opacity contrast masking with the desaturated / gaussian blurred / inverted / overlayed mask layer created from the original image to bring out the shadows and suppress highlights. Again, I did not use the spotmeter to measure the exposure range because this was not intended to be a test shot.

Many times in digital photography, you end up with better results with GND filters despite soft, diffused light and low contrast because you can put your shadows and highlights on sweet spots with less noise and better details, not to mention that it better resembles what I saw with my eyes. So, my apologies to Claude, because I know that this is not what you were expecting. However, as much as I appreciate your comments and suggestions, I am neither an official spokesperson for Pentax nor a professional reviewer and I don't think I am obligated to carry out the tests or not do any post-processing on the pics that I post here. Especially when the weather is right and I am on a tight schedule, I cannot afford running thorough tests. I will carry out some tests to figure out the practical (and very subjective) DR of the sensor, which will come later. I just wanted to give you guys a sense of what the final image might look with this camera.

I've been spending a lot of time testing all the lenses and finding where the sweet spots are, where the wide end seems to have potential issues. FA 35mm performed perfectly as expected, FA 45-85mm and FA 55-110mm seemed good enough. However, FA 33-55mm (I currently own two copies) seems to show variations depending on the focus, focal length, aperture and even where it is made (one is made in japan, the other is made in vietnam). I contacted Pentax Japan regarding this, and may send out the lenses for optical calibration. I will also follow up on that.

I post some sample shots from the last weekend. Although I am too tired to post the crop shots, you can assume that most of these shots have similar IQ to the one above. Will get you guys my thoughts after spending enough time with the lenses. Thanks.

Last edited by harklee; 10-19-2010 at 09:18 PM.
10-19-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
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(2) No Title (2010, Fort Point, San Francisco, California, USA)


(3) No Title (2010, Crystal Springs Reservoir, San Mateo, California, USA)


(4) No Title (2010, Marin Headlands, Mill Valley, California, USA)



(5) No Title (2010, Marin Headlands, Mill Valley, California, USA)


(6) 'Waiting for the Light' (2010, Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero, California, USA)


(7) No Title (2010, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California, USA)


(8) No Title (2010, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, California, USA)


(9) No Title (2010, Fort Point, San Francisco, California, USA)

Last edited by harklee; 10-19-2010 at 09:03 PM.
10-19-2010, 07:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by harklee Quote
...So, my apologies to Claude, because I know that this is not what you were expecting. However, as much as I appreciate your comments and suggestions, I am neither an official spokesperson for Pentax nor a professional reviewer and I don't think I am obligated to carry out the tests or not do any post-processing on the pics that I post here...
So, I guess what you are saying is that you are just posting your work, even if some of it is taken with a Canon 5d II. Fair enough, I suppose, though I can't see the logic of posting the whole full resolution JPEG in the OP, if that was the intent.

Here are a few observations:
  • It is not helpful to title a thread as a demonstration sample if that is not what it is
  • If you want to demonstrate a camera's sensor resolution and noise resistance, don't apply sharpening and NR in PP
  • If you want to demonstrate a camera's dynamic range, don't shoot the subject with a GND filter
  • Don't assume that nobody who buys expensive equipment would shoot without a tripod or use in-camera JPEG. People do it every day and post their stuff here on PF and swear that both are just fine. I disagree, but there is no accounting for taste.
  • It is much easier on the user experience if you post an image reduced to forum guidelines and follow that with full resolution crops from pertinent areas
All that being said, you have done some impressive work with both the 645D and with your Canon. Nicely done. I appears that your money for both cameras was well-spent.


Steve
10-19-2010, 08:57 PM   #8
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Stevebrot, sounds like everybody on this forum has to be perfectly clear about what kind of message they want to convey whenever they are about to start a thread. I was not expecting that. I am not used to the online forum activities (in general, I've hardly promoted my work online so far) and English is not my mother tongue. If my intention was unclear or anything that I mentioned on the thread offended you or anybody else on any level, I apologize.

With that being said, what I really wanted to do was to provide information about how a typical landscape shooter coming from digital background would use the camera and how the final pictures would look. My first priority of moving up to digital MF was the megapixels and the quality of each pixel when properly processed. I have seen some unprocessed samples from Japanese websites and was very curious about how far I could push them (or more real-life processed). Since only god knows what the makers do in their in-camera processing (even in terms of basic in-chip NR) and how they define their default settings, what matters to me the most is how the final images would look.

Dynamic range is my third priority, mostly because I do not have high expectations about it at the moment. I read from the specs that the DR would be close to 11.5 stops on this camera and any of the DSLRs I've got my hands on so far does not exceed the rest by a large margin, I wasn’t expecting anything new and I don’t think it would change anytime soon. As I mentioned above, I am planning on carrying out some tests to figure out the practical bounds of underexposing or overexposing to get me satisfactory details, but that would also be very different from what was suggested in the specs and not that scientific because it would be very subjectively dependent upon how I define 'satisfactory'. So what it means in the real-world shooting is, I will take out the GNDs or bracket whenever I feel like I am close to the limits and see the flashing white or black dots on my LCD.

I was copying the links from another thread that I posted on the private forum that I share with some local shooters, so the 5d II shot slipped in by accident because it was the first shot that I took last Saturday and the thread was more about how my weekend went. I will take it out now. I do not have any need to promote my work to the fellow photographers on this forum (what would be the point of that? And if I wanted to, I would have my websites at the end of every comment that I posted), so don’t get me wrong. Thanks for your comment and I hope this may help you understand where I stand.

Hark


Last edited by harklee; 10-19-2010 at 09:14 PM.
10-19-2010, 10:02 PM   #9
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Hi Hark,
I think what a lot of people interested in the 645D are waiting for, is for someone to post a raw file, taken at optimum aperture, with the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod, so they can get an idea of the performance of the sensor. Please understand, I am not criticizing your approach, I'm interested in seeing any and all results from this camera. But I think you can understand why prospective buyers would like to have a raw file to play with before dropping 10k on a camera.
Have fun with the camera, and keep us posted on your progress with it.

Scott
10-20-2010, 03:15 AM   #10
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Hi Hark,

Firstly, I would like to say welcome to the Pentax MF camera forum. This forum accepts, and for the most part appreciates, a diversity of opinions and styles of posts. Unfortunately, it looks like some of our contributors fell out of bed on the wrong side and went directly to responding to your posts! It is not always like that, and I hope you are not dissuaded from future posts.

You said "...what I really wanted to do was to provide information about how a typical landscape shooter coming from digital background would use the camera and how the final pictures would look". Yes, I have found this view very helpful, and you have provided a number of photos that contribute to this topic. When all is said and done, it is the picture that matters, the final judgement on the contribution of all of the elements that went into it. Now maybe that does not satisfy some, who may feel it is an unscientific approach to the evaluation of a new expensive camera. Well, those who have such a view will just have to wait until some other post of that type comes along. Or they can undertake such a study themselves, if it is so important, and perhaps they can post the results for the rest of us to appreciate.

As for this business of not applying NR or sharpening within an assessment of the noise levels and sharpness of a digital photo, I would say that we have no idea how much sharpening and noise reduction is already applied within the digital algorithms of the camera at default settings, where sharpening and NR are turned "off". So it is a bit silly to insist that the user not manipulate levels in any such test. The final verdict on the noise levels and sharpness appearing in a production photo will be passed on optimal, not default settings. So I would say that any test of these qualities should involve adjustment to the optimal - let the camera/processing give it the best its got, then judge.

I know it takes time to prepare posts such as you have done. Please do not think there is no one here who appreciates your effort.

Best, Alan


QuoteOriginally posted by harklee Quote
Stevebrot, sounds like everybody on this forum has to be perfectly clear about what kind of message they want to convey whenever they are about to start a thread. I was not expecting that. I am not used to the online forum activities (in general, I've hardly promoted my work online so far) and English is not my mother tongue. If my intention was unclear or anything that I mentioned on the thread offended you or anybody else on any level, I apologize.

With that being said, what I really wanted to do was to provide information about how a typical landscape shooter coming from digital background would use the camera and how the final pictures would look. My first priority of moving up to digital MF was the megapixels and the quality of each pixel when properly processed. I have seen some unprocessed samples from Japanese websites and was very curious about how far I could push them (or more real-life processed). Since only god knows what the makers do in their in-camera processing (even in terms of basic in-chip NR) and how they define their default settings, what matters to me the most is how the final images would look.

Dynamic range is my third priority, mostly because I do not have high expectations about it at the moment. I read from the specs that the DR would be close to 11.5 stops on this camera and any of the DSLRs I've got my hands on so far does not exceed the rest by a large margin, I wasnít expecting anything new and I donít think it would change anytime soon. As I mentioned above, I am planning on carrying out some tests to figure out the practical bounds of underexposing or overexposing to get me satisfactory details, but that would also be very different from what was suggested in the specs and not that scientific because it would be very subjectively dependent upon how I define 'satisfactory'. So what it means in the real-world shooting is, I will take out the GNDs or bracket whenever I feel like I am close to the limits and see the flashing white or black dots on my LCD.

I was copying the links from another thread that I posted on the private forum that I share with some local shooters, so the 5d II shot slipped in by accident because it was the first shot that I took last Saturday and the thread was more about how my weekend went. I will take it out now. I do not have any need to promote my work to the fellow photographers on this forum (what would be the point of that? And if I wanted to, I would have my websites at the end of every comment that I posted), so donít get me wrong. Thanks for your comment and I hope this may help you understand where I stand.

Hark
10-20-2010, 04:09 AM   #11
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Nice work. The pics look great, but shouldn't this be in the Post Your Photos section?

I'd like to suggest a title change so as not to confuse anybody else. When someone around here says "fullsize sample from X camera", there's a bit to be expected, such as unprocessed RAW files among other things that have already been mentioned.
10-20-2010, 04:34 AM   #12
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Thank you Hark!

Hi Hark!
Thank you for taking the time to post your photos. While I can understand some folks desire more technical data, I enjoy seeing what comes out after someone first gets their gear and shoots naturally. Lovely shots indeed!

I currently shoot an Alpa Max with a Phase One P45 back as my medium format digital camera for travel, but since I have loved my 67ii since the day I received it, I have my eye on the Pentax 645D big time.

Please do post more images when you can!

Kind regards,
Darr
10-20-2010, 04:48 AM   #13
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Hi,

Many other people have posted photos taken by the 645D in this forum or links to such photos. We even have a long running post in this forum of photos taken by Pentax MF film cameras. It is very useful for people like me who are only interested in MF photography and who don't want to wade through all of the Photos posted in the Post Your Photos section.

I should add that the introduction of the 645D presents the first real MF digital alternative to us Pentax users, many of whom have been scanning MF film for years. The possibility of having MF capability in a digital format is very enticing indeed, especially with real time feedback on shots taken, and the elimination of scanning film. But it comes at a hefty price - money that can be used on so much other gear, if it is to be spent that way. Personally, I am delighted to see so all of these 645D photos showing up in this forum. It provides a chance to see the results of the camera in action taking "real-life" photos. The more the better, as it is only by examining many shots taken in many situations that one can get a true understanding of a camera's capability.

Best, Alan

QuoteOriginally posted by r0ckstarr Quote
Nice work. The pics look great, but shouldn't this be in the Post Your Photos section?

I'd like to suggest a title change so as not to confuse anybody else. When someone around here says "fullsize sample from X camera", there's a bit to be expected, such as unprocessed RAW files among other things that have already been mentioned.

Last edited by ARCASIA; 10-20-2010 at 05:28 AM.
10-20-2010, 08:30 AM   #14
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It is exciting to see these presentation shots for sure. NR, color and curve adjustments show us the kind of finished pictures to expect out of the camera. But I'd think techniques such as focus stacking and multiple image blending should be disclosed on shots where they were employed if you are posting to demonstrate results from this new camera. Otherwise, I'd think the shots would look like the results from any other FF DSLR out there also heavily manipulated that way when viewed on our low dynamic range devices.
10-20-2010, 08:49 AM   #15
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I tried changing the title last night, didn't know how. Just figured that I need to press 'edit' button twice to get there. So hopefully this thread will serve general purposes. : )

I can see how we all have different approaches to understanding the performance of a camera. In addition to occasionally posting normal, processed shots, I will also take an idle afternoon, take some test shots with spotmetered exposure distributions and post some RAW files later. I appreciate all of your comments and and I will get back to you guys soon.
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