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04-12-2012, 09:56 AM   #16
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I tell you one thing. If the D800 had come out in early 2011, I would have bought it instead of the 645D. Not because of the quality but because of the money. 10.000 Euros for the body only is not a bargain, at least not to me. A D800 would have made more sense to me, financially and because I own a lot of Nikon equipment. But since it didn't come out back then, I went for the 645D. I do not regret it as it is a stunning camera. But I wished it had cost less.

04-12-2012, 10:05 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Whats_edoo Quote
Good point. I think that thought may be why I didn't just jump on the D800. As much as Nikon has accomplished with the D800 is it just an incremental step? Better than the existing crop of DSLR's in some rights but not quite as good as entry level MF digital?
I assume the inference here when you say not as good as an entry level MFD is just landscape type shots? Don't forget your film heritage. What things could a 135 format film do that a MF or LF film couldn't? The gap is less now but still a D800 is going to get you more variety of pictures under more extreme conditions so you really need more than one camera for the ultimate in the different categories of photography.
04-12-2012, 10:27 AM   #18
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"I would like to see the image."

The shot in question is in Arizona Highways magazine, December, 2011, pages 8 & 9. Shot by Gary Ladd.
04-12-2012, 10:27 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yamanobori Quote
Buy what you want. Only you can judge what you want to pay for a camera and what you want from it. Ultimately, you as the photographer will be more important than the camera.
+1

Your posts always contain level-headed wisdom.

04-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
I assume the inference here when you say not as good as an entry level MFD is just landscape type shots? Don't forget your film heritage. What things could a 135 format film do that a MF or LF film couldn't? The gap is less now but still a D800 is going to get you more variety of pictures under more extreme conditions so you really need more than one camera for the ultimate in the different categories of photography.

Yes specifically in reference to landscape work. I am still after all these years very slow and methodical in my approach. A 35mm style camera can be more versatile over all. But my interest in nature and landscape and large prints are what drew me from 35mm to 4x5 and 5x7 large format and eventually to 6x7 and 6x8 medium format for more ease of use. My Bronica GS-1 could quite easily be hand held for great spontaneous images as well as tripod mounted for the rest of my interests such as landscapes. And if I wanted to get a little more old school I broke out the GX680 III.
04-12-2012, 10:34 AM   #21
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I'll give my stance. I just purchased a 645D. Yes it is two years old. Yes the Nikon D800 is brand new.

Key to below: Bold font are benefits I saw. Underlined bold type are key influencing benefits. (Italics are my thoughts)

My pluses for Pentax 645D:

I had 645 glass already. ((Big plus, but I could have sold all of this to purchase a couple Nikon lenses) Need to purchase lenses from 24mm to 500mm to match my selection in 645. (Your 645 glass is not likely as sharp per area of image circle as new Nikon glass. But the 645D doesn't have the pixel density of the Nikon D800.))
Camera/shooting style. (I am a landscape photographer so don't need AF much. If you hand me a 35mm slr and a 645N my images from the 645N are better from a composition stance. This comes from the design and intent of the camera. The camera is designed perfect for what I use it for. 35mm slrs have give and take all over them by design, the inhibition for me is that they are designed for faster shooting. (It is like stores that play fast upbeat music, it gets you in and out of the store faster but you spend less time making sure it is exactly what you want))
Simpler interface/usability (Pretty much explained above)
Pentax 645 has room to pull more resolution by going larger sensor. ((I wouldn't hold in faith in Pentax doing that within the next 5yrs though, they will when they can smash the market with the value the 645D hit with) But I don't need more than 40MP so wasn't making my decision based on Pentax making a FF 645D.) (If you are banking on this choose Phase)

Pluses I saw for Nikon D800:

Ability to use wider lenses. (Less than 2% of my images need this when I can't stitch images)
Ability to use wide angle tilt shift. (Resolved by focus bracketing)
Faster frame rates. (Don't need it)
Live view. (Big plus for focusing but burns batteries)
Resolution limit. (More of a statement than advantage/disadvantage. I think that this is getting very close to the shear resolution limit of lenses, likely close to the cap for real use)
High ISO. (Comparable in the range I use (100-800) between the two)
Cheaper price. (Even with the higher cost of lenses it comes out cheaper in price (considering I would sell my 645 glass) but not by much)
AF (already explained)


Neither of these cameras is something going out of date tomorrow as a landscape tool. It is a long term investment. Sure a camera with better numbers may come out but do you need that? Or are you purchasing a camera that will do exactly what you want it to do for the next 5-8yrs? With this in mind I chose the one that would make me the happiest when I used it. Just because a camera is cheaper doesn't mean you will get what you want out of it. Just because a camera is more expensive doesn't mean it will do more. The camera style was the final choice as this in conjunction with the mindset of it being a very longterm investment the price difference was very minimal.

Edit: had some benefits in the wrong spot

Last edited by atlnq9; 04-12-2012 at 10:42 AM.
04-12-2012, 10:41 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
I'll give my stance. I just purchased a 645D. Yes it is two years old. Yes the Nikon D800 is brand new.

Key to below: Standard font are benefits I saw. Underlined standard type are key influencing benefits. (Italics are my thoughts)

My pluses for Pentax 645D:

I had 645 glass already. ((Big plus, but I could have sold all of this to purchase a couple Nikon lenses) Need to purchase lenses from 24mm to 500mm to match my selection in 645. (Your 645 glass is not likely as sharp per area of image circle as new Nikon glass. But the 645D doesn't have the pixel density of the Nikon D800.))
Camera/shooting style. (I am a landscape photographer so don't need AF much. If you hand me a 35mm slr and a 645N my images from the 645N are better from a composition stance. This comes from the design and intent of the camera. The camera is designed perfect for what I use it for. 35mm slrs have give and take all over them by design, the inhibition for me is that they are designed for faster shooting. (It is like stores that play fast upbeat music, it gets you in and out of the store faster but you spend less time making sure it is exactly what you want))
Simpler interface/usability (Pretty much explained above)
Pentax 645 has room to pull more resolution by going larger sensor. ((I wouldn't hold in faith in Pentax doing that within the next 5yrs though, they will when they can smash the market with the value the 645D hit with) But I don't need more than 40MP so wasn't making my decision based on Pentax making a FF 645D.) (If you are banking on this choose Phase)

Pluses I saw for Nikon D800:

Ability to use wider lenses. (Less than 2% of my images need this when I can't stitch images)
Ability to use wide angle tilt shift. (Resolved by focus bracketing)
Faster frame rates. (Don't need it)
Live view. (Big plus for focusing but burns batteries)
Resolution limit. (I think that this is getting very close to the shear resolution limit of lenses, likely close to the cap for real use)
High ISO. (Comparable in the range I use (100-800) between the two)
Cheaper price. (Even with the higher cost of lenses it comes out cheaper in price (considering I would sell my 645 glass) but not by much)
AF (already explained)


Neither of these cameras is something going out of date tomorrow as a landscape tool. It is a long term investment. Sure a camera with better numbers may come out but do you need that? Or are you purchasing a camera that will do exactly what you want it to do for the next 5-8yrs? With this in mind I chose the one that would make me the happiest when I used it. Just because a camera is cheaper doesn't mean you will get what you want out of it. Just because a camera is more expensive doesn't mean it will do more. The camera style was the final choice as this in conjunction with the mindset of it being a very longterm investment the price difference was very minimal.

Edit: had some benefits in the wrong spot

Well said.
04-12-2012, 11:28 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Whats_edoo Quote
I was involved in high end audio for twenty years or so and the need to upgrade was a common disease. I see and feel similar tendencies when it comes to camera gear
I found out about HiFi changelings when I researched two speakers left behind in the house we purchased last summer. I thought I remembered them when I had been looking for affordable but classy speakers, and yes they were good, if in pristine condition, which they are not, but the forums I ended up in spoke of continuous change. And in a very similar way, highly appreciative of the technical details, and no doubt blessed with discriminative aural reception, but also with a kind of gadget fever which is not unlike discussions in camera forums: appreciative of the technical detail (which evolves much faster, I admit, than in HiFi), and certainly with an eye for photography, but no less feverish in gadget mode.
QuoteOriginally posted by Zygonyx Quote
So in this respect, i will just give you the prices i paid for my 645 Lens collection :.....
Apart from the new lenses, I think quite a few can be had for less, although it takes effort. But if you want to buy via a respected dealer, with the option to return, you would of course have to pay more.

04-12-2012, 11:36 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Smolk Quote
Apart from the new lenses, I think quite a few can be had for less, although it takes effort. But if you want to buy via a respected dealer, with the option to return, you would of course have to pay more.
But you have to evaluate what your time is worth looking for them. If it takes you an extra 8hrs searching to find them then negotiating with the seller to save $200 is it worth $25/hr to you at the higher risk?
04-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
But you have to evaluate what your time is worth looking for them. If it takes you an extra 8hrs searching to find them then negotiating with the seller to save $200 is it worth $25/hr to you at the higher risk?
Yes, I agree, that's what I hinted at with my qualification. For professional use, I would not go down that route myself. But I'm not a professional, and I find that it does not take me that long if done on the fly. But there is a risk, no doubt about it. I feel that with the Plaubel Makina 67 I once bought. A huge risk as they are fragile, and using it made me keenly aware of that, although it did pay off, as it was a fantastic camera in good condition.

Last edited by Smolk; 04-12-2012 at 12:00 PM.
04-12-2012, 01:27 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by phonoline Quote
...and if you have been the proud owner of the 67 system, you even save a lot of money on lenses. Most of the 67 lenses I tested on my 645D deliver outstanding performance.
But let's face it: if you are a passionate photographer you'll never stop buying more equipment, old and new, and you will probably always be a little tempted towards what's new out there that might outdo the equipment you own. Only a few stay with what they have and are satisfied.

Not so sure...
There is a point when image quality gets so good that upgrading is mostly academic. We may not be there yet...or? Many eg landscape photographers, who the 645D system is primarily targeted at, used old LF camera and lenses for years without utdating for the latest gizmo. I believe MF digital may fit that position the future... I mean when the 645D2 gets 80mp and great dynamic range and low noise in high ISO, who needs more....
04-12-2012, 04:29 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zygonyx Quote
So in this respect, i will just give you the prices i paid for my 645 Lens collection :

D-FA 25/4 : 4600 USD, new
Where did you find the 25mm for that price?
04-12-2012, 05:53 PM   #28
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Do your homework guys, there are certainly bargains to be had when chasing camera gear..

I picked up 5 A lenses and a 645N Camera and kit and hard case all of Fleabay, from a dude in the USA for approx $600 something dollars. (45mm, 55mm, 75mm, 120mm, 150mm) All absolutely amazing glass and as new not a scratch or mark on them, the owner was very particular and had loved them.. And they all work superbly on the 645D...Crisp/sharp great colour etc etc..

My 645D again purchased second hand ( 8 months or so old) at 30 % discount of NEW price WITH the 55mm Digital lens..
Canon 44 inch LF printer, 12 months old with heaps of ink/paper/frames ...Owner had to sell i was looking 70% discount on new price....

Maybe i was lucky, and im sure others have similar stories, just dont rush it, take your time and look around...

Anyway slightly off topic, but thought i would share my experience.
04-12-2012, 11:11 PM - 1 Like   #29
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My needs may be a bit different than for some I suspect. For example, I use Nikon DSLR's for photographing extremely fast moving subjects, often in very low light..such as those encountered in the professional performing arts. Images range from close up of performers to entire stage production numbers. Much of the work was being used both for the web as well as substantial size large format printing. Being both realistic and obvious, for the majority of this work, the 645D would not be applicable.

Yet, there was a need to a higher resolution camera than most current Nikon DSLR's when certain relatively stagnant finale' numbers were staged. This is where the 645D came in, producing quite staggering images for these large format prints. It meant working with these two systems virtually simultaneously. This wasn't the sole use of the 645D but I am using it as an example. With the advent of the D800, it's possible to partially fill the role of the 645D, although I do feel that ultimately, in print, the 645D images will often have greater impact that those from the D800. Time will tell though.

Luckily, I had use of a close acquaintances 645D for much of this work, and only after a considerable time working with the 645D and most all of Pentax's Af lenses for the 645 system, did I gain a real appreciation for the capabilities of its system...enough so that I built up and purchased a similar system for myself. With the advent of the D800 though, sometimes the question of system redundancy (use of the 645D and D800) pops up, especially for certain applications. If it was simply landscape work, I am fairly certain which system I would go with, if starting from scratch.

Dave (DandA)
04-13-2012, 05:08 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by DandA Quote
My needs may be a bit different than for some I suspect. For example, I use Nikon DSLR's for photographing extremely fast moving subjects, often in very low light..such as those encountered in the professional performing arts. Images range from close up of performers to entire stage production numbers. Much of the work was being used both for the web as well as substantial size large format printing. Being both realistic and obvious, for the majority of this work, the 645D would not be applicable.

Yet, there was a need to a higher resolution camera than most current Nikon DSLR's when certain relatively stagnant finale' numbers were staged. This is where the 645D came in, producing quite staggering images for these large format prints. It meant working with these two systems virtually simultaneously. This wasn't the sole use of the 645D but I am using it as an example. With the advent of the D800, it's possible to partially fill the role of the 645D, although I do feel that ultimately, in print, the 645D images will often have greater impact that those from the D800. Time will tell though.

Luckily, I had use of a close acquaintances 645D for much of this work, and only after a considerable time working with the 645D and most all of Pentax's Af lenses for the 645 system, did I gain a real appreciation for the capabilities of its system...enough so that I built up and purchased a similar system for myself. With the advent of the D800 though, sometimes the question of system redundancy (use of the 645D and D800) pops up, especially for certain applications. If it was simply landscape work, I am fairly certain which system I would go with, if starting from scratch.

Dave (DandA)


Sounds like interesting work. Good point multiple tools for multiple purposes.
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