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12-13-2010, 10:22 AM   #1
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Tried the 645D briefly...

magnificent camera. Much bigger than I thought it would be, quite a bit bigger than the original film 645, which was small for a medium format camera. Nice controls, looks amazing, the one complaint I would have is the vast expanses of plastic make it feel a bit cheap...they'll have to spruce up the design a bit with some bling, I think. The mirror slap is really well damped, and the controls are rock solid and accurate, as was the autofocusing. The control layout was familiar, and ergonomically superb, in typical Pentax style; it just felt like a Pentax, with all the controls acting and falling where they feel right, and where they should be. Beautiful display, as well, and the one thing I would say i that it DID take quite a while for the images to appear in the browser...probably a slow, cheap card.

Pentax is finally back with a vengeance, with the K5 blowing everybody away (even the salesmen in Leo's were excited about Pentax K5 and the fabulous Limited lens lineup). The 645D is magnificent, for 1/2 the price of the Mamiya, and 1/3 of the Hasselblad/Leica, and as for the other Japanese 35mm DSLR makers, it's bye bye to Nikon and Canon...they're a distant third again in image quality, just like they were in the film days. Sorry, boys. Formula One vs Nascar...not even close.

Reviews are glowing:

Pentax 645D - A First Review

Pentax 645D Digital Camera - First Shots - The Imaging Resource!

Now, if they'd just build a nice DA* 135 f=2.8 (or a weather-proof limited), and a WP flash, the world would be perfect.

Merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) everybody.

Cameron

12-15-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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as a person who owns both the 645D and a D3x, I have to say that you are out to lunch when you say that Nikon/Canon are a distant third when it comes to image quality. From my 3 weeks of experience, when I'm in a rush, I grab the Nikons - the 645D ain't even a thought. When I have time and my intended purpose will be big prints on either the 9600 or 9800, then the 645D and the 35/45-85/80-160/150-300/55/75/120M/400 lenses come out to play. When prints will be small(less than 13-19s) or web use, I will use the Nikons - the 2 Fx bodies or the 12 Dx bodies or both. Oh, and some combination of 80 odd lenses. I fit what I have to my end use. Its more like Formula 1 vs Indy - they both go 200mph.
12-15-2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
as a person who owns both the 645D and a D3x, I have to say that you are out to lunch when you say that Nikon/Canon are a distant third when it comes to image quality. From my 3 weeks of experience, when I'm in a rush, I grab the Nikons - the 645D ain't even a thought. When I have time and my intended purpose will be big prints on either the 9600 or 9800, then the 645D and the 35/45-85/80-160/150-300/55/75/120M/400 lenses come out to play. When prints will be small(less than 13-19s) or web use, I will use the Nikons - the 2 Fx bodies or the 12 Dx bodies or both. Oh, and some combination of 80 odd lenses. I fit what I have to my end use. Its more like Formula 1 vs Indy - they both go 200mph.
Good god......

LBA AND CBA much?
12-15-2010, 07:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
as a person who owns both the 645D and a D3x, I have to say that you are out to lunch when you say that Nikon/Canon are a distant third when it comes to image quality. From my 3 weeks of experience, when I'm in a rush, I grab the Nikons - the 645D ain't even a thought. When I have time and my intended purpose will be big prints on either the 9600 or 9800, then the 645D and the 35/45-85/80-160/150-300/55/75/120M/400 lenses come out to play. When prints will be small(less than 13-19s) or web use, I will use the Nikons - the 2 Fx bodies or the 12 Dx bodies or both. Oh, and some combination of 80 odd lenses. I fit what I have to my end use. Its more like Formula 1 vs Indy - they both go 200mph.

Harvey, is that you?

12-16-2010, 07:26 AM   #5
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surprise!
12-16-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
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I based my opinion on the test reports I have read....

QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
as a person who owns both the 645D and a D3x, I have to say that you are out to lunch when you say that Nikon/Canon are a distant third when it comes to image quality. From my 3 weeks of experience, when I'm in a rush, I grab the Nikons - the 645D ain't even a thought. When I have time and my intended purpose will be big prints on either the 9600 or 9800, then the 645D and the 35/45-85/80-160/150-300/55/75/120M/400 lenses come out to play. When prints will be small(less than 13-19s) or web use, I will use the Nikons - the 2 Fx bodies or the 12 Dx bodies or both. Oh, and some combination of 80 odd lenses. I fit what I have to my end use. Its more like Formula 1 vs Indy - they both go 200mph.
Look at the bottom of this page to see how your camera faired against the 645D in controlled tests...sorry, not even in the same league. Same with the top Canon...not even close...

Pentax 645D Digital Camera - First Shots - The Imaging Resource!

...and when Indy cars ran on the same track as Formula One cars few years back (Montreal) the FASTEST Indy car was something like 6 seconds behind the slowest Formula One car, as I recall.

Also, there are ways to can disagree without being disagreeable...



Name calling comes next...

Cameron
12-16-2010, 12:03 PM   #7
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Actually Cameron, it is quite close. 100% view is like looking at a negative through a microscope. Below 13x19, I doubt there's any practical difference b/w a D3x and a 645D in terms of output image quality. Or, to use your metaphor, the Indycar and the F1 will both get me to work in rush hour traffic at exactly the same time.

The Canon and Sony cameras in this league offer the same thing at a vastly lower price.

The Pentax is exciting because there obviously is much more resolution present in a very usable camera. If you get it in focus (not a small 'if') and if no other environmental factor, shutter vibration, etc. degrades your image (also nto a small 'if'), it provides a superior file.

The Pentax is also exciting because it drops the price of entry into the upper-echelon of quality quite significantly.

Digital photography has hit some pretty rare-air at the high end.

- N.
12-16-2010, 06:37 PM   #8
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so far, the 645d does not measure up to my high end Nikons(and I will assume the other guys big toys) when it comes to focusing speed or accuracy, compared to what I'm used to, the metering is poor. I am spending more time tweaking settings before my final shot in the 645d - this reminds me of my first D70. I use a 27" monitor and quite frankly I see no difference in the on-screen images. I am not interested in 100% peeping as I do not look at my prints through a magnifying glass - I look at the content of the image. I am more concerned with tonal rendition and dynamic range. We will see when we print big as both cameras are relatively new to my stable.

12-16-2010, 07:51 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
so far, the 645d does not measure up to my high end Nikons(and I will assume the other guys big toys) when it comes to focusing speed or accuracy, compared to what I'm used to, the metering is poor. I am spending more time tweaking settings before my final shot in the 645d - this reminds me of my first D70. I use a 27" monitor and quite frankly I see no difference in the on-screen images. I am not interested in 100% peeping as I do not look at my prints through a magnifying glass - I look at the content of the image. I am more concerned with tonal rendition and dynamic range. We will see when we print big as both cameras are relatively new to my stable.
I would expect the focusing to be worse than the Nikon or even canon...we are talking about a medium format system. Now the metering is a little concerning however I never really have relied much on built in metering on my cameras....I always carry a sekonic with me.

The extra megapixels really wont make a difference on your screen unless you zoom in. I want the megapixels personally for prints larger than 20x30

Tonal range and DR are very important and I would expect you to be happy with the results you get.
12-17-2010, 10:45 AM   #10
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I think I am going to have to spend some time fine-tuning my AF lenses - I was getting a lot of out of focus shots. Don't like that. The multiple Af points are so concentrated as to be almost pointless - it appears they sucked out an APS AF module an stuck it into the 645. I am having to dial in a constant over-exposure because my body has a tendency to underexpose. I think this camera will be a learning process again.
Some folks just don't see that big a difference in the Imaging Resource tests.
Pentax 645D vs. Nikon D3X (print quality in A2)
Me, the only good tests are the ones I make.
12-19-2010, 11:44 AM   #11
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Wow...

QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
as a person who owns both the 645D and a D3x, I have to say that you are out to lunch when you say that Nikon/Canon are a distant third when it comes to image quality. From my 3 weeks of experience, when I'm in a rush, I grab the Nikons - the 645D ain't even a thought. When I have time and my intended purpose will be big prints on either the 9600 or 9800, then the 645D and the 35/45-85/80-160/150-300/55/75/120M/400 lenses come out to play. When prints will be small(less than 13-19s) or web use, I will use the Nikons - the 2 Fx bodies or the 12 Dx bodies or both. Oh, and some combination of 80 odd lenses. I fit what I have to my end use. Its more like Formula 1 vs Indy - they both go 200mph.
QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
so far, the 645d does not measure up to my high end Nikons(and I will assume the other guys big toys) when it comes to focusing speed or accuracy, compared to what I'm used to, the metering is poor. I am spending more time tweaking settings before my final shot in the 645d - this reminds me of my first D70. I use a 27" monitor and quite frankly I see no difference in the on-screen images. I am not interested in 100% peeping as I do not look at my prints through a magnifying glass - I look at the content of the image. I am more concerned with tonal rendition and dynamic range. We will see when we print big as both cameras are relatively new to my stable.
QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
I think I am going to have to spend some time fine-tuning my AF lenses - I was getting a lot of out of focus shots. Don't like that. The multiple Af points are so concentrated as to be almost pointless - it appears they sucked out an APS AF module an stuck it into the 645. I am having to dial in a constant over-exposure because my body has a tendency to underexpose. I think this camera will be a learning process again.
Some folks just don't see that big a difference in the Imaging Resource tests.
Pentax 645D vs. Nikon D3X (print quality in A2)
Me, the only good tests are the ones I make.
Sorry it sucks so bad for you. Maybe you should stick to your Nikons and Canons since you can't see any difference in quality, and since you expect a medium format camera to outperform a 35mm equivalent DSLR in terms of 'speed'...



And actually, they stuck the 645 AF module into the K5...

Thought this was a Pentax forum...

Rich guys...

Cameron
12-19-2010, 11:54 AM   #12
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I won't go as far as Cambo, but I also sense that hsteeves is missing the whole point of Medium Format here. This camera while faster in AF and usability over other MF systems is not suppose to be fast like the Canon and Nikon Pro lever cameras. Medium format in my personal opinion is suppose to be about quality and of course that MF look.

The d3x along with Canon 1ds MKIII (or 5d mkii) are awesome 35mm DSLR cameras but they have AA filters and lower resolution. I was using a 5d MKII for landscape work. I print big and sometimes crop large for panos. Last week I printed out 4 20x44 prints that were bought locally here in dallas. They look good but lack the detail I really want. If these were taken with the Pentax 645d I think the end result would be much better.
12-19-2010, 06:38 PM   #13
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as someone who has used medium format cameras since the 80s, in both personal and professional endeavors, let me assure you, I understand their function. I make my judgements based on my use of equipment(ie. I own it) and Cambo, I've paid dues in this world.
12-19-2010, 08:17 PM   #14
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Harvey,

Looking through your beautiful work has made me more than a little homesick for the west!

I'll be intereted in your longer term reaction to the camera. I'm still a bit ambivalent as well. I don't care about exposure, because I do that manually and tweak anyway (since no one has invented an 'expose to the right' mode yet), but AF accuracy is a bit of a question mark. And by this I mean the ability of the system to be ultimately accurate enough to fully resolve for the sensor, not that it takes a while to find focus, or sometimes misses altogether .

What lenses are you using?

- N.
12-19-2010, 09:02 PM   #15
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where I live Nick, you could send some snow back; the local sledders can barely get their machines going. As far as exposure goes, I've usually been an adjuster as well. It doesn't usually matter about focusing speed on this camera with me but the accuracy is bothering me - my 150-300 sucked, a lot of back - focus. My 55 did not do so well either, not really happy with anything out of it. My latest use of the 645D has involved a 400/5.6 and with this lens I am satisfied but I ain't going to handhold it anytime soon. Later this week I hope to head off to the mountains either in Alberta or Montana to get some involved shooting time. And maybe some sun. I will be using my other zooms and some manual lenses as well as some adapted Hassie glass.
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