Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-06-2010, 05:21 PM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 164
Struggling between 645D and MFDB

Hey guys,

I am ready to jump to medium format. Right now my decision has come down to two different solutions (for my budget).

Leaf Aptus II-7
Mamiya AFD III
Mamiya 80mm f2.8 lens

or

Pentax 645D w/ 55 f2.8

On the used market I should be able to get some nice glass later as I build. However I really have no idea who makes the better glass of the two solutions above.

Here is my take so far.

The Pentax is a simple solution that works very much like my canon gear. It also has a slightly larger file size. I also like that this camera is weather sealed. One downfall I see with it is that you cannot shoot tethered. However I rarely do this now with my Canon gear. Another negative is the sensor size is smaller. Base ISO is 200 which I am not a big fan of, however I do like that it goes to 1600 and looks pretty decent.

The Aptus has a larger sensor so I get less of a crop factor. It does however look to be a pain to use at times. I do like that its base ISO is 50, but from what I have seen anything past iso400 is not the best. And lastly if I were to ever want to use a View Camera I could do so with this back.

I am not really searching for any answers here, just want to hear some opinions from others here. BTW, As a profesional I shoot weddings, and portraits. I also sell occasional landscape prints. I do want to expand in the landscape area.

I was leaning towards the MFDB last week until dpreview posted there samples. The portrait shot looked great when I put it through lightroom and corrected exposure and white balance....very sharp.

12-06-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 6,929
QuoteQuote:
The Pentax is a simple solution that works very much like my canon gear. It also has a slightly larger file size.
40MP is "slightly" larger than 20 something MP?

QuoteQuote:
One downfall I see with it is that you cannot shoot tethered. However I rarely do this now with my Canon gear. Another negative is the sensor size is smaller.
I thought they added tethering. And it reads as if you are saying the 645D has a smaller senor than your Canon.
12-06-2010, 07:16 PM   #3
Veteran Member
Warped's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 351
My advice - pick up the 645D (if you find a shop with a demo model) and use it for 5 minutes .... my bet is that'll pretty much make up your mind for you.

I was stuck between the 'Blad H4D-40 or the 645D - didn't take me long with Blad to cross it off the list, the 645D is much easier to use and live with.

As for no tethering, there are options. Use a wireless SD card in slot 2 with slot 2 set to medium res jpg files - transfer rate shouldn't be too bad then - and have the PC or laptop set up to watch the file the wireless SD card is sending the files too.

ISO isn't a big issue either, Images shot at ISO 100 on the 645D show no noise, 200 is the same, if you do get a bit of noise using 400 - 800 it's very easily taken care of using any number of noise reduction programs and ISO 1600 is very usable. The more modern sensor and image processing engine in the Pentax makes having no ISO 50 a non-issue and good, usuable ISO 400-1600 images swings favour the way of the 645D.

Used gear Vs brand new with warranty and back-up services/support ..... for that kind of money if I can buy a comparable new product I'd be steering clear of 2nd hand every time.

Accessories and lenses - there's a huge range of good quality 645 and 67 glass at affordable prices ..... what's the Mamiya range like for range and price?

Battery life - one thing often overlooked. Do you like changing batteries mid-shoot? Batteries have come a long way in recent times and 300+ images from the 645D is easily acheivable on the one charge with lots left in reserve.

Another one often overlooked - Pentax .PEF and the .DNG Raw files will open striaght into Adobe Camera Raw ... no need for additional software like Capture One of Phocus to open your Raw files.

I'm a long time Pentax 35mm and DSLR user, but I'm no fan-boy and will always buy the best value for $$ and compare everything available. I'd been wanting to get into MF for a long time and when I could make the $$ work I shopped around and tried everything I could get my hands on - the 645D got my money and I couldn't be happier with it - in my opinion, when it comes to value for money you just can't beat a brand new 645D with warranty and support and the performance it offers.
12-06-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 164
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
40MP is "slightly" larger than 20 something MP?



I thought they added tethering. And it reads as if you are saying the 645D has a smaller senor than your Canon.
What I meant to say was "Slightly larger than the Aptus II-7 (33mp)

12-06-2010, 08:48 PM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 164
Original Poster
Warped:

The MFDB option I have would have a 1 year warranty supplied.

The mamiya lens options are actually pretty close to the Pentax Gear. Also the Aptus Raw files open fine in Lightroom/PS CS5

Shooting at ISO 50 does have it's advantages in the studio. But I agree the Pentax has a very nice edge when it comes to iso 800 and 1600.

The battery on the aptus will last a while, but it does stick out of the back which I find very annoying.


One major issue I do have with the Pentax (which I just found out) is the shutter life. 50k seems really really low. Now I don't plan to use this as a main camera for weddings or anything like thata, but 50k as a professional adds up really quickly. I just checked my backup 5d MKII and it has 26K on it already. I bought it in Jan of 2010.

The Aptus I believe is guaranteed to last 200k, and the mamiya body warranty carries a 150k shutter life guarantee
12-06-2010, 11:06 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Warped's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 351
QuoteOriginally posted by Shuttershane Quote
Warped:

The MFDB option I have would have a 1 year warranty supplied.

The mamiya lens options are actually pretty close to the Pentax Gear. Also the Aptus Raw files open fine in Lightroom/PS CS5

Shooting at ISO 50 does have it's advantages in the studio. But I agree the Pentax has a very nice edge when it comes to iso 800 and 1600.
That's cool to know about the Aptus files - needing other software put me off the Phase One products right from the start and I didn't hate Phocus from Hasselblad .... but didn't like it either. Didn't get to try or look at Aptus so wasn't sure what format it uses.

Coming from a film background to begin with and 95% of my work being portraits and studio work I used to long for a Pentax that would allow ISO 50 .... but after my experiences with the 645D to date I've let it go and am more than happy with the ISO 100 or 200 performance and the output straight from the camera.

I'd still go for the "pick one up and try it" route .... it really is a different, more modern beast to operate and use.

As for the shutter life ....I hadn't read up on that but know I'm on my 6th trip around the clock (so 50K+) on my ageing K100D and that's still going strong and Australia has a very good Pentax back-up and support service, so if things do pack it in I should be sorted.
12-07-2010, 07:03 AM   #7
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 164
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Warped Quote
As for the shutter life ....I hadn't read up on that but know I'm on my 6th trip around the clock (so 50K+) on my ageing K100D and that's still going strong and Australia has a very good Pentax back-up and support service, so if things do pack it in I should be sorted.
I found it really surprising that the 645D is only rated at 50k. In fact I was reading that the k-7 is rated at 100k.
12-07-2010, 07:33 AM   #8
Senior Member
Roberts's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Latvia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 127
QuoteOriginally posted by Shuttershane Quote
I found it really surprising that the 645D is only rated at 50k. In fact I was reading that the k-7 is rated at 100k.
Yes, K10D, K20D, K-7 and K-5 is rated for 100k shutter actuations. Maybe 645D shutter is rated lower because of bigger shutter? I know that Pro-DSLRs are rated for some hundreds of thousands shutter actuations, but that doesn't mean that MF cameras are rated for such numbers. Actually, I never saw anywhere rated shutter actuations for medium format cameras, only for some dslr-s (and not for all dslr-s). Meybe other MF camera numbers are not better?

12-07-2010, 07:48 AM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 164
Original Poster
As far as I know the Phase and Leaf backs are rated to 200k. The Mamiya camera bodies are rated to go to 300k but the standard warranty only covers them up to 100k.

I hate to say this but if the Pentax 645D wants to take some of the business away from the Canon and Nikon wedding photographers it is going to have a major issue with that shutter life. Heck my 5D MKII is rated at 150K and its not considered a pro body. 1ds MKIII is rated at 300k

When I was shooting a ton of weddings I would easily shoot 50k images a year. I know wedding photographers who shoot 8-10 weddings a month at 1,500 shots average per wedding. That would be well over 100k shots a year.

Now I am guessing the Sensor life is way more than 50k, if that is the case I hope Pentax would replace the shutter for a decent price.
12-07-2010, 07:51 AM   #10
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Boston, PRofMA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,053
QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I thought they added tethering.
Adding.
But I'll bet a 3rd party will end up adding it before Pentax...he's already got it working for the K-x which supposedly didn't have tethering...

For the price of the 645D, it seems to be like getting a free body with the databack (compared to the cost of other MF databacks). When you upgrade the sensor, you upgrade the entire body like you do w/ DSLRs...
12-07-2010, 08:00 AM   #11
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 164
Original Poster
That shutter life is the only thing really concerning me about the Pentax body. I really like what Pentax is offering. I just found out that it also can do micro lens adjustments and this really comes in handy. I use it on all my Canon bodies for precise focusing. The weather sealing is also a huge plus.
12-08-2010, 10:00 AM   #12
Senior Member




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 132
Frankly, rated shutter life is irrelevant. It will be functionally similar on all MFDSLRs. You will also shoot way less because of the slower frame rate; it just slows your trigger finger down, and that's usually not to the detriment of quality.

Besides, this is the 'rated' life. Even if it is the median, real life shutter life will be longer for most users.

Lastly, if you've done 50K paying frames, a shutter-rebuild is like a your 96K service on your car. It's earned it.

This is neither a reason to buy, or not buy, this camera.

And yes, you're right, the micro-focus adjustment is VERY important.
12-08-2010, 01:51 PM   #13
Pentaxian
Pål Jensen's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Norway
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,064
It is not the life of the shutter. It is the number of exposures the shutter can be relied to be within specifications without adjustments or servicing. I have never heard about shutter problems on Pentax MF cameras and they have been making them for over 40 years. I just think that Pentax don't take any chances regarding what kind of usages this camera might see....
12-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #14
Forum Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Montreal
Posts: 60
Claims made by different manufacturers about their rated shutter life are not comparable, unless we know the exact statistical method they used or the tolerances they thought are acceptable.

Pentax might be employing a conservative engineer or their marketing department may have forgotten to put in an extra zero at the end.

Honestly, Pentax 645D and its successors will be king of the medium format market because of innovations and research that Pentax can share with its APS-C line. Pentax just needs to update its lens collection.
12-08-2010, 06:39 PM   #15
Pentaxian




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 6,929
QuoteOriginally posted by hal_a Quote
Claims made by different manufacturers about their rated shutter life are not comparable...

Pentax might be employing a conservative engineer or their marketing department may have forgotten to put in an extra zero at the end.
Yikes. That is reaching for straws to assume the Marketing department put down a wrong number. If they say X-number of shutters is the mean time between failure, then that is it. You may get more or you may get less. What would be different between the different manufactures is how many units were tested to establish their number.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
base, camera, canon, glass, iso, landscape, medium format, sensor, size, solutions
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Struggling with autofocus adjustments JamieP Pentax DSLR Discussion 13 12-15-2010 01:31 PM
struggling with consistancy...... janstew Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 6 09-13-2010 12:49 PM
Struggling with Tokina MF 28-70mm Morzsi Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 2 08-14-2010 04:02 AM
Struggling with metering, k200d ytterbium Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 14 04-08-2010 12:07 AM
Really struggling with zoom choice... joeyc Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 0 06-21-2009 08:25 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:14 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top