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12-21-2010, 03:02 PM   #1
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645D-First Impressions~an Amateur's view

Hi all:
Yes, I am an Amateur, but no stranger to big prints from MF negatives. Built my first darkroom in 1959, was making 16"x20" color prints by 1960, using "Kodak Color Print Material Type C" (It didn't even have a name). I used Hasselblad 500C, Pentax 6x7 and 645 cameras. Scanned negatives of those old shots using a Polaroid 4000 dpi 120 Sprintscan yield great 20"x30" prints.

Pentax has a winner here, as I believe the target audience is people like me: serious photographer/print maker, sell enough big (20"x24", 24"x30" and 30"x36" mat and framed) fine art prints every year to allow me to use fine equipment. I wanted to check out all the focus issues I have read here and elsewhere. I used 4 of my 7 accumulated lenses of a shot from my deck looking at the bay. For each lens, focus #1 was at the end of the pier. No2 was mid-pier. No 3 was at house on island ("Almost" infinity), and focus 4 was at infinity, achieved by manually moving the focus ring as far as it would go. 645 lenses do not go past infinity. I checkd the AF 45~85 at 45mm, 65mm, and 85mm. I also checked my manual focus 35mm f3.5, 55mm manual f2.8, and 75mm f2.8 manual. All hand held, f11 at about 1/250 Aperature preferred. ISO 200. No post processing/sharpening. I will try to upload a down sized jpg to show the test scene. The biggest prints I will be making will be 24"x32", limited by my 24" printer. Here is what I found:
1. For all focus points, both MF and AF lenses, when viewed at "print size" which is natively about 22"x 30"@240 dpi, everything looks very vey sharp, and it does not seem like I missed focus. It should make stunning prints that size. At "Actual Pixels" it still looks like I hit focus, but I did not see the detail I thought I would see (however I would never make a print this big). So far using this quick check at one f stop only, the 75mm manual focus is a real gem; probaly best of all of them. The 55mm was either a wee bit softer, or I slightly missed focus, or both. This lens will however be a good performer at "print size" magnifications. I also have the 45mm manual, 80~160 manual and 200mm AF, which I will check tomorrow.

My first shock was half way through testing I filled up a 32 GB card, the only one I have. There were only 24 shots on it! I promptly ordered 3 more cards. I shot DNG RAW; tomorrow I will try the native Pentax RAW, which perhaps uses lossless compression????
I hope I can upload the picture...
Here goes
Dave in NJ


Last edited by gurtch; 04-07-2011 at 09:11 AM.
12-21-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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Quote from my above post:
At "Actual Pixels" it still looks like I hit focus, but I did not see the detail I thought I would see (however I would never make a print this big).

I made a quick test of the same scene using an Alpha 900 with 24~70 Zeiss lens. When looking at those shots of "actual pixels" there is no comparison. 645D wins im my camp, and workflow/interests.
Dave
12-21-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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Thankyou for posting Dave - will be keen to see more pictures and reviews from you. Keen to know how you're finding the new 55 for sharpness across the image
12-21-2010, 07:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdownunder Quote
Thankyou for posting Dave - will be keen to see more pictures and reviews from you. Keen to know how you're finding the new 55 for sharpness across the image
Thanks, my 55mm is the old manual focus lens.
Dave

12-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #5
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gurtch,

How does it compare to your older pentax (if you used them in the past).

I never shot MF with Pentax until now. All my stuff was Mamiya. I hated lugging those RB's around. I really love how well this camera handles
12-21-2010, 11:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shuttershane Quote
gurtch,

How does it compare to your older pentax (if you used them in the past).

I never shot MF with Pentax until now. All my stuff was Mamiya. I hated lugging those RB's around. I really love how well this camera handles
I used a Pentax 67 & 645. Life was simpler then: set f stop on lens, and shutter speed by dial on camera. I always knew when I went on the beach here on Long Beach Island, sunny day, TRI-X, the exposure was 1/125 at f16, or 1/250 at f11. If the meter said differently, I knew it was wrong. Having said that, the 645D is the most intuitive digital camera I have yet used. I have a Japanese User Manual, but was able to figure out the basics by playing with the buttons and menues. I did, somehow screw up by getting only 24 shots on a 32 GB card...should be several hundreds. I may have pushed a button inadvertanly, not knowing what it did. I had a 2GB card in slot 2, 32 GB in slot 1. When I took the 2 GB card out of slot 2 and played around, it seems I am getting more than 300 shots with the 32 GB card in slot 1. Still pondering whats going wrong.
Best luck....
Dave
12-21-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
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That's a much appreciated post Dave. I'm super happy for you, and you are getting me pretty excited about the product as well. Please do keep us informed as you learn about the camera's capabilities. I'm curious about the ease of manual focusing and its accuracy. And your evaluations of printed output too of course.
Thanks so much.

M
12-21-2010, 11:25 PM   #8
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Dave, this is a great intro to an serious amateur's perspective on the 645D.
Thanks for sharing it.
Indeed you should definitely be getting more than 24 images on a 32Gb card - the DNG files aren't over 1Gb each!
Check your SD card for compatibility. Have you allowed the camera to format the SD card? If it still gives you trouble after that, browse the card on your PC and look for evidence of other files existing on the card. Hope you work this one out.

12-22-2010, 06:42 PM   #9
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I had a camera that I couldn't download off of it for some reason and instead of figuring it out I just yanked the card out and put it in a USB SD card reader and plugged it into the computer and got the pictures off that way. I would delete files from it once I moved them over.

Then one day the card would not hold anymore pictures. When I did a listing, it was pretty much empty via the GUI. I opened a shell and looked at it the old fashion way. I noticed a hidden directory that was the "trash can". The operating system put deleted pictures there and it must have created that directory too.

Needless to say I blew the trash directory away and all of sudden had much more space. Do you have something like that going on?
12-23-2010, 08:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I had a camera that I couldn't download off of it for some reason and instead of figuring it out I just yanked the card out and put it in a USB SD card reader and plugged it into the computer and got the pictures off that way. I would delete files from it once I moved them over.

Then one day the card would not hold anymore pictures. When I did a listing, it was pretty much empty via the GUI. I opened a shell and looked at it the old fashion way. I noticed a hidden directory that was the "trash can". The operating system put deleted pictures there and it must have created that directory too.

Needless to say I blew the trash directory away and all of sudden had much more space. Do you have something like that going on?
I don't have an English User Manual, so I'm guessing here. I *THINK* what happened is this:
I only have two cards, a 32GB which went in slot 1, and a 2 GB which was in slot 2. I somehow told the camera to record RAW DNG files (as opposed to jpg, etc). But apparently I told it to write to both cards simultaneously. When the 2GB card filled after 24 shots, the camera would not fire, and the LCD said "memory card full". Well I assumed the camera would write, first to card 1, then card 2 when 1 was filled. But it must not have done that. My clue to the answer, was I took card 2 out of the camera, then was able to test shoot a quick 100 shots, and the camera said it still had room for several hundreds more. Now I need to figure out how to tell the camera to only use card 1, and when that fills, then use card 2!!
Thanks for the help.
Dave
12-23-2010, 09:15 AM   #11
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Dave,

Set card 2 to "reserve".
12-23-2010, 10:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tim Wilson Quote
Dave,

Set card 2 to "reserve".
AHHHHHH......Thank you Tim! That easy, dumb me.
Dave
12-23-2010, 03:33 PM   #13
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Dave,
Have you had a chance to try your 200mm FA yet? I am starting to put a 645d system together, and so far only have the FA version of the 75mm, Thinking about the 45mm FA also and wish I could find a used 35 A manual focus, I am also thinking about the 150.
12-23-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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Today I went out and took some typical photos that I do. I used a manaul focus 645 lens set at f13 for DOF. I had the camera set to preserve highlights "ON" and preserve dhadows set to "ON-HIGH" This forced me to use ISO 400. I applied PK Capture sharpener. There is some noice in the shadows, possibly because of ISO, but at "Print Size" (30.267"x22.667, at 240 dpi) no problem. I am uploadind a small JPG to show where I manually focused. I will then attempt to upload three 100% crops-one where I focused, another well behind where I focused, and a third well in front of where I focused. Even at 100% (God only knows how big a print that would be), the focus and DOF are good enough for me. YMMV. Hope I can upload, as the files may be too big. I could not upload, so I will convert PSD files to jpg--sorry!
Dave

Last edited by gurtch; 04-07-2011 at 09:11 AM.
12-26-2010, 06:38 AM   #15
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All the settings like "preserve shadows" and "lens-correction" are jpeg-only. If you're shooting RAW, don't bother. They just slow down the preview processing.

- N.
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