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05-23-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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What kind of lenses do you use on your 645D?

Superwide to medium tele. What is out there for somewhat affordable, sharp glass.

05-23-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
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I've had the 645D for about three months, these are my main workhorse lenses:

35mm A --very sharp, and easy to focus manually, as it's typically just set to infinity

45-85mm FA - also very sharp, especially from 45-65, and pretty fast autofocus. A few chromatic abberations when shooting backlit scenes, but very correctible

80-160mm FA --another very sharp lens, fairly fast AF, but not as fast as the 45-85. It's a heavier lens.

These three have been my main three workhorse lenses, and they are pretty easy to find in good condition used. I believe several of them are actually for sale in the forums here for good prices.

Additionally, I have the 120mm A Macro...sooo sharp, a great lens. I don't always keep it in my bag as it starts to get heavy, but bring it whenever I know I'll be using it. It's pretty easy to focus manually, as infinity is all the way to one end of it's focusing ability...always sharp there for landscapes.

I also have the 200mm A lens, which I've only used a few times, I bought it because it was so cheap ($115 on Adorama!) and it is my longest lens. This one's harder to focus as infinity isn't sharpest cranked all the way to one end...it's sharper just before infinity most of the time. I've read this is due to the nature of telephoto lenses...the focusing changes with temperature I guess, so they have to build them that way. I do a lot more wide angle shooting vs. telephoto.

I just picked up a 2X teleconverter and did some testing with it. It definately 'softens' the images, but they are in the acceptable range in a pinch. The softening looks similar to shooting at your smallest aperture (so f/9 with the 2x looks like f/32 without it, in regards to sharpness, in my opinion).

Lastly, I just purchased the 25mm D FA from another forum member and it should arrive tomorrow! I plan to make that a workhorse as well (for the price, it better be!)

When I was first considering purchasing the 645D I was trying to find a copy of the 33-55mm zoom, but couldn't find many online...and the ones I did find were pricey. Combining that with the so-so performance I'd read about, I decided not to get that lens. There haven't been many circumstances, if any, where I wasn't able to get the shot I wanted becasue I didn't have that 36-44mm range.

If I were you I'd read through the lens database...lots of helpful reviews and specs on lenses.

Here's what I paid for my lense lineup:

25mm D FA $4000 (private party)
35mm A $700 (ebay)
45-85mm FA $820 (KEH)
80-160mm FA $650 (Adorama)
120mm A Macro $365 (ebay)
200mm A $115 (Adorama)
2X Teleconverter $160 (KEH)
05-23-2012, 07:03 PM   #3
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Thanks Ryan!

Any cheaper options or adaptations for something in the 20's. Pentax's 25 is pretty high priced.

Last edited by slackercruster; 05-23-2012 at 07:13 PM.
05-23-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Any cheaper options or adaptations for something in the 20's. Pentax's 25 is pretty high priced.
Nope, the 35mm A is going to be widest 'cheaper' lens. You could consider getting a nodal slide and doing panos for a wider perspective...I understand that doesn't work in every situations, but it's much less expensive than the 25mm.

Check out the lens database here and you'll see what's available: Pentax 645 Medium Format Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

One more option is getting the Pentax 67 45mm medium format lens (has a larger image circle since it's meant for 6x7 instead of 6x4.5) and the Zork Panorama Shift adapter...but that's not exactly cheap either, though with the 67 45mm should be less expensive than the 25mm. Once the files are stitched you'll have a much higher mp file than you would with the 25mm and shouldn't have any parallax issues. I believe they say it will give you approx equivalent of a 22mm wide (though I don't remember if that's on MF or 35mm format...which makes a big difference!) http://www.zoerk.com/pages/p_psa.htm

Making panos isn't ideal for many situations (handheld, windy with grass/trees, waves, moving objects, etc.).

05-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #5
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Some of the trade offs to using medium format are the lack of super wide and super long lenses, lack of IS, fewer lens choices overall, and less high ISO capabilities. BUT, if you want to make beautiful large prints with outstanding detail that's the trade off. It's worked out well for me, but I'm a landscape shooter.
05-23-2012, 11:23 PM   #6
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645D lenses

i have the 645D for a year with FA35, FA45-85, FA80-160, FA120, FA300 5.6.
The 35 and 300 are not as good as the rest, the FA300 is low cotrast and FA35 is soft in beyond mid and extreme edges the others are as good as glass can be " any where any brand" specially the 45-85 and 120
05-24-2012, 01:21 AM   #7
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Hello Ryan,

what do you think about the performance of the 200mm A lens? I also own a very good copy of the 150mm, so I am not sure if I really need this focal length. But the price is very tempting, as it was in your case.

dA
05-24-2012, 05:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Tischer Quote
One more option is getting the Pentax 67 45mm medium format lens (has a larger image circle since it's meant for 6x7 instead of 6x4.5) and the Zork Panorama Shift adapter...but that's not exactly cheap either, though with the 67 45mm should be less expensive than the 25mm. Once the files are stitched you'll have a much higher mp file than you would with the 25mm and shouldn't have any parallax issues. I believe they say it will give you approx equivalent of a 22mm wide (though I don't remember if that's on MF or 35mm format...which makes a big difference!) http://www.zoerk.com/pages/p_psa.htm
The Panorama-shift-adapter is not available for the 645. It is a Pro Shift Adapter which is available. I use it with a 45mm (67). Works just fine. See here.
As I am selling my Pentax 645D soon, I can sell you my PSA plus the 45mm (which has to get altered before it can fit on the PSA - I had this done by Zoerk, Munich). Lmk.


Last edited by phonoline; 05-24-2012 at 05:11 AM.
05-24-2012, 05:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Tischer Quote
Some of the trade offs to using medium format are the lack of super wide and super long lenses, lack of IS, fewer lens choices overall, and less high ISO capabilities. BUT, if you want to make beautiful large prints with outstanding detail that's the trade off. It's worked out well for me, but I'm a landscape shooter.

I don't make big prints. Pretty much only look at photos on the computer. Will the 645D be overkill for my use?
05-24-2012, 05:12 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by phonoline Quote
The Panorama-shift-adapter is not available for the 645. It is a Pro Shift Adapter which is available. I use it with a 45mm (67). Works just fine. See here.
As I am selling my Pentax 645D soon, I can sell you my PSA plus the 45mm (which has to get altered before it can fit on the PSA - I had this done by Zoerk, Munich). Lmk.

Why are selling it? What didn't you like about it?
05-24-2012, 05:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by phonoline Quote
The Panorama-shift-adapter is not available for the 645. It is a Pro Shift Adapter which is available. I use it with a 45mm (67). Works just fine. See here.
As I am selling my Pentax 645D soon, I can sell you my PSA plus the 45mm (which has to get altered before it can fit on the PSA - I had this done by Zoerk, Munich). Lmk.
Why is an adapter needed for pan? Don't you just take a few photos and stitch them?
05-24-2012, 06:47 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by derAngler Quote
what do you think about the performance of the 200mm A lens? I also own a very good copy of the 150mm, so I am not sure if I really need this focal length. But the price is very tempting, as it was in your case.
The 200mm that I have is sharp, my only complaint is that it's manual focus and my hardest lens to focus with the 645D. I have perfect vision, and it's still tough to know if focus is spot on with it. BUT, for the $115 dollars I paid for it, I can't complain. It was cheap, I wouldn't have paid much more for it, as I don't often use long lenses...it's just nice to have a little more reach than I get with my 80-160mm.

I did a 4 shot pano at Mono Lake last week with the 200mm...end result was VERY sharp (of course the result was also > 100mp!)
05-24-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Why is an adapter needed for pan? Don't you just take a few photos and stitch them?
I honestly have no idea how to stitch. I have never done it. Can you explain?
05-24-2012, 06:51 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Why is an adapter needed for pan? Don't you just take a few photos and stitch them?
It's not 'needed' but if you don't at least shoot with a nodal slide you may get paralax in your images, which means that objects in the foreground change in relationship to the background and therefore won't line up correctly when the images are stitched together. Sometimes this is a bigger issue than other times. I use a RRS nodal slide and very little of the image is 'wasted' due to parallax.

QuoteOriginally posted by phonoline Quote
The Panorama-shift-adapter is not available for the 645. It is a Pro Shift Adapter which is available.
My mistake misquoting the product name...at least I got the company right! I don't actually own the product, so can't speak for it.
05-24-2012, 06:53 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
Why is an adapter needed for pan? Don't you just take a few photos and stitch them?
The adapter is for architectural photography.
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