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06-02-2012, 06:00 PM   #46
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I bought a 645D back around the first of April, and while I've had only a little time with due teaching and preparing an exhibition (pre-645D work), I have been out and about a little. I love shooting when it's wet out, and not having to worry about getting the camera wet is just what I need. Probably as with most people using DSLR's of any brand, it took me all of an hour to become familiar with the camera. I have been using two P-76's and eight lenses since the mid-90's, and it is those lenses that I've been mostly shooting with, however, I did acquire a couple of P-645 lens -- a 35mm A, a 45mm FA, a 75mm FA, a 120mm A micro, a 200mm A, and a 300mm ED A plus extenders -- in a trade for some 8x10 film equipment. From the P-67 bag, I have a 45mm, 55mm, 75mm PC, 90mm, 135mm macro, 165mm, 200mm, and 300mm, all of which I have been using on the 645D with the P-67 to P-645 lens adapter. I am literally lens poor. (I should mention here that I also own and shoot with a Canon 5D2 and six lenses, four of which are the "L" series.) One of my biggest surprises was the older 300mm f/4 P-67 lens. I had always thought it was barely usable (if you didn't make a print bigger than 11x14"), but when I put it on the 645D which obviously has superior shutter/mirror dampening, the lens is very good at f/8-to-f/16. However the 300 f4 ED is good from wide open through f/16. The P-67's shutter/mirror action just created too much vib -- even with the mirror locked up. I use a Gitzo 300 series tripod which can easily handle large format cameras.

One of the first things I did after receiving the camera from B&H, was to test every lens I had. That's where i found out about the older 300 f4. I think that every lens I have is usable, some better than others. The 45mm P-67 has been very good along with the 90mm P-67. And the 135 macro P-67 is good, but the 645 120 macro is a little better, but not much -- with a little sharpening in PS, they look pretty equal. Of course, the P-67 135 macro is about twice the size of the P-645 120mm macro. My opinions on usable lenses are based on shooting with them in real situations, and not in anyway scientific.

I bought the 645D to literally replace my view camera systems and the P-67's-- I wanted out of film. With the disappearance of TXP-120, I felt lost. And now TXP in 8x10 is gone. Bye-bye film for me. I HAVE NOT BEEN DISAPPOINTED IN THE RESULTS I GETTING FROM THE 645D!!! 18x24" prints when the files are printed at 300ppi on my Epson 4900, and this fall I will have the use of an Epson 9900! YAY!

Of course, detail is wonderful -- those 40 mp's are really nice. I have the camera set for max dynamic ranger in both highlights and shadows because of the stuff I shoot, I don't want to be wanting for details in both the low and top end. Pine needles in pine trees are now rendering visually. One of the things straight up is the color rendering of the camera. It seems to understand just about any kind of light, and I shoot it on AWB at all times. That's a big plus for me. And the metering is very accurate. I pay little attention to the image I see on the back of the camera, but rather put all my attention on the histogram making sure that I'm exposing to the right. That's a no-brainer for me since I've been shooting digital since 2002, and teaching digital at Clark University since 2005. Took me awhile to understand the linearity of the exposure response of sensors vs. what I had been doing for the previous 35 years -- expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights. And of course, I shoot only in RAW currently processed with CS5/ACR 6.7 (I'm move to CS6 sometime this summer -- at the same time we install CS6 on our computers at school).

Interesting that the 645D is quieter than my Canon 5D2 -- or at least, it's a softer noise. That makes it a little easier to shoot people on the street, however, I really didn't buy the camera to shoot on the street -- I use my Canon and 28mm 1.8 for that. And the viewfinder is nothing short of wonderful -- big, bright, and all the necessary info across the bottom. I do wish they had put a gridded screen in the camera (I added such to my Canon 5D2), but the built-in level helps in that department. I would say that 95% of what I've shot so far has been on a tripod, and with a little more attention to detail, I can get stuff pretty straight. I am a stickler for students, and me, for have buildings architecturally correct in images UNLESS you actually want strong convergent lines in the image. Horizon lines need to be level, and drives me crazy if I see water running uphill on a horizon. The 645D's viewfinder makes it pretty easy to get things straight. And of course, those 40 mp's give me enough leeway in Photoshop using "transform-->distort" to correct converging lines that I can't control in the camera. I do shoot with the P-67 PC lens for a number of images where that focal length give me the image I'm looking for, and that solves a number of problems.

You can see a number of images shot with the 645D on my blog here: I'm more than happy with my purchase. I rented the camera for a weekend from ACE CAMERA in Virginia before purchasing it, and most of the images on the blog are from that period. Looking forward to being out and about this summer with the camera on my travels. You can view some of my pre-645D images here: http://www.panopticongallery.com which are currently on display in the their exhibition: "Train, Plane, and Automobiles."

Onward, Y'all.

06-03-2012, 03:35 AM   #47
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Welcome aboard, Frank.
Been on the site you link to. My absolute fave is this one. Outstanding!

06-03-2012, 07:56 AM   #48
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phonoline -- the images you selected didn't show up.....which one was that again?
06-03-2012, 10:14 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frank Armstrong Quote
I do wish they had put a gridded screen in the camera (I added such to my Canon 5D2)...
One of the first things I did to my 645D was buy the gridded screen.

06-07-2012, 02:10 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frank Armstrong Quote
phonoline -- the images you selected didn't show up.....which one was that again?
The theatre picture - absolutely fantastic!
06-07-2012, 06:21 AM   #51
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Theater pic

Sorry to disappoint you, but this is not a digital image, the theater picture was made with my Ebony 45WA using a 75mm 5.6 Super Angulon, TMax 100 processed in D-76 1:1. The attached image was made with the 645D using the 75mm 2.8 FA lens. North Brookfield, MA just yesterday.
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06-09-2012, 09:04 AM   #52
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I never thought it was made with a digital camera, Frank. It's just a great image.
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