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06-30-2012, 06:17 AM   #1
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From Canon to Pentax (yay! or nay?)

Hello Pentax!.. As current Canon user I would kindly ask for your advice! I would like to know your honest opinion as far as the Pentax 645D. I am getting a little bored and tired of my Canon equipment and I would like to be able to print my fotos as large as 48 x 60 in. for shows, etc. I currently own several of expensive Canon lenses (5) that I use on my Canon 5D... I am not impressed by the latest Canon top flag ship camera the DX... I don't think is worth the upgrade, plus I feel is gears towards sports, fast moving objects, etc. I do 98% studio shots and I am not in need of a fast camera.... I would like to know if there is a new Pentax in the works to replace the current 645D? should I wait? or should I buy now? ( I have to sell all my Canon equipment to use as a downpayment) Please advice me, thanks in advance!!

06-30-2012, 07:11 AM   #2
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The 645D is designed for studio and landscape photographers, so it sounds like it might be the right choice for you. Check out the 645D review on our homepage- in it, we compare the camera with the nikon d3x, which is also geared more toward action, so you can see the difference for yourself
06-30-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
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I switched from the 1Ds MK III to the 645D. The increase in resolution and fine detail of the images I'm capturing was obvious and significant from the very first image I looked at and printed. But my interest is solely landscapes so it was the right choice for me. I've read a few rumors of a 645D replacement but they are only rumors so far.
06-30-2012, 08:00 AM   #4
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IMO it's not really a question of Canon vs. Pentax, as the 645D has no Canon couterpart. As mentioned above it's a medium format camera with a limited high quality choice of lenses. It's an expensive system, so make sure you fully research it before you invest! I haven't "really" heard of any replacement, and if I were you I would NOT take seriously most of the rumors going on in the Rumors section...
Maybe try and get your hands on one to make sure it works for you?

06-30-2012, 09:15 AM   #5
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Well I used 645D for a few weeks and that is one fine camera. When you controll you photosite (light and everything) then it is going to deliver on image quality up to your expectations.

Would I buy it (if I had money)? Well if I wasn't in a hurry I would wait until PhotoKina in september. One never knows if a new version is coming, but if it does it will be then. Would you regret buying now? I don't think so.
06-30-2012, 09:25 AM   #6
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Thanks to all for the replies. I guess what is concerning me right now is the money. If I sell all my equipment as is, I would probably get around $8000.00 (based on eBay auctions) and then I will have to put the rest to make it up.. I would really hate that after making this big decision a new replacement camera comes out just around the corner... I don't doubt at all that this camera is great, I have been reading a few reviews and it seems like the type of camera I will enjoy. Even though I am not familiar with Pentax... is Pentax just like Leica? a refine brand of cameras? better than Nikon? How many lenses I would I be able to obtain? that actually work with the camera?
06-30-2012, 10:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by arteisfoto Quote
is Pentax just like Leica? a refine brand of cameras?
While that is flattering, I don't think that is true. Pentax is more of a weird camera maker that is looking to make niche products. Obviously they also make basic point & shoots and pretty standard (though on the quality side) dSLRs.
But they're also trying different things: the 645D, the only "affordable" digital medium format, the Q, the smallest interchangeable lens system... It's more about being different (and frankly quite cheap without sacrificing quality) to compete; whereas Leica is more about being a social status symbol (so, quality but definitely not cheap).
06-30-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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In case you have not found the 645 lens review yet, they are located here (scroll down a bit to see them).You can also use the 67 lens on the 645 with an adapter.The lenses come in a couple of different types - A type (non AF) and the FA, or AF type (screwdrive). If you are doing studio work then possibly non AF lenses would work just fine and are much cheaper. You can find a pretty ready supply of 645 lenses on both evil bay and craigslist.The price of the used 645 lenses have risen with the introduction of the 645D.

Also, be advised that Pentax is releasing a 25mm 645 DFA lens and it is priced in the $5K area.



Last edited by interested_observer; 06-30-2012 at 10:18 AM.
06-30-2012, 11:45 AM - 1 Like   #9
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Cost is always a consideration. If you can use film in your studio work, you can save a huge amount of money. A used, near mint Pentax 67 with the 90 Takumar (leaf shutter lens) and the 165 LS (their other leaf shutter lens) will be a fraction of the cost of the 645D with lenses. The Mamiya RB and RZ 6x7s are also candidates.
06-30-2012, 12:40 PM   #10
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I asked myself the same question one year ago. Back then I was shooting with a Canon 5D Mark 2 and a whole bunch of L lenses. I sold everything to buy a 645D with some 645 FA/A lenses. I don't regret my decision at all. The difference is significant. Even when you use a 30 year old Pentax 75mm A lens, which will cost you around 150$, you will get much sharper images, than everything Canon has to offer. I primarly do landscape photography, so I don't care about AF. But maybe that would be important for you. The FA version is usually more expensive than the A version. But still much, much cheaper than buying Canon L lenses.
Overall you pay more for the camera, but also you save a lot on the lenses.
I think there will not be a replacement for the 645D soon. Usually such cameras have a 3-4 year cycle.
06-30-2012, 01:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Cost is always a consideration. If you can use film in your studio work, you can save a huge amount of money. A used, near mint Pentax 67 with the 90 Takumar (leaf shutter lens) and the 165 LS (their other leaf shutter lens) will be a fraction of the cost of the 645D with lenses. The Mamiya RB and RZ 6x7s are also candidates.
If you're doing a LOT of shooting, then in the long run the 645D will save money vs. a film medium format with the film and developing and scanning costs. Plus, the obvious advantage of being able to review the image a few seconds after you shoot it
06-30-2012, 01:54 PM   #12
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I recently converted from a Canon 5D mark II system to the Pentax 645D, selling my Canon gear to pay for the 645D. I shoot landscapes and print large and do not regret it, or miss my Canon gear very much (except for long night exposures, where it is superior to the 645D).

The lens availability initially concerned me, but I have gotten past that, as the used lenses available are excellent quality for both landscape and studio work. It would be a poor system for action or wildlife photography, however. The wide end of the Pentax 645 lens line up leaves the most to be desired, as the 35mm is equivalent to 28mm on the 5D and the 25mm, which is equivalent to 19.5mm costs $5000 (I bought a used version of the 25mm on the marketplace of this forum for $4000).

Here are the lenses I'd look at for landscapes if I were you:

to start with:

35mm A (easy to focus, got mine used for $700 on ebay, I LOVE this lens)
45-85mm FA (should be able to find for $750-850 on this forum or KEH.com)
80-160mm FA (around $650-800 used)
120mm A macro ($350-400 used, a VERY sharp lens)

can't speak much for studio work, but many folks like the 150mm A or FA for portraits as it's sharp, but not too sharp and has nice bokeh.

Down the line you can look at other longer lenses or if you need wider go for the 25mm.

Hope this helps!
06-30-2012, 01:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ryan Tischer Quote
can't speak much for studio work, but many folks like the 150mm A or FA for portraits as it's sharp, but not too sharp and has nice bokeh.
The FA 150mm/f2.8 is a very good lens:
Jeans

But I guess a lot of that can be done with FA80-160mm as well.
06-30-2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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I sold my Canon 1Ds Mk III, but fortunately was able to keep the 1D MkIV and lenses. I use it for wildlife and the Pentax for landscapes. The image quality of the Pentax 645D vs. the 1Ds Mk III is certainly better. Whether it's enough of a difference to justify making the switch is up to you. I assume Canon will come up with something with a sensor along the lines of the Nikon D800, so if you're not in a hurry it might pay to wait to see what that is and whether Pentax updates the 645D since it's been out nearly two years now.
06-30-2012, 07:00 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by arteisfoto Quote
Thanks to all for the replies. I guess what is concerning me right now is the money. If I sell all my equipment as is, I would probably get around $8000.00 (based on eBay auctions) and then I will have to put the rest to make it up.. I would really hate that after making this big decision a new replacement camera comes out just around the corner... I don't doubt at all that this camera is great, I have been reading a few reviews and it seems like the type of camera I will enjoy. Even though I am not familiar with Pentax... is Pentax just like Leica? a refine brand of cameras? better than Nikon? How many lenses I would I be able to obtain? that actually work with the camera?
If you constantly shy away from buying for fear of an upgrade coming out, you will never buy anything at all. If you are selling all your gear to finance your purchase then you need to research, research, research. Have you tried the camera out yet? If not, you definitely should to see if it suits you in it's build and handling. I don't believe (unless I've missed it) you've told us what genre of photography you normally shoot. If it's action/sport then the 645D is a poor fit. If it's landscapes that you do, then it is a perfect fit.

You are making a very big step so ask yourself what you want to do with the 645D that you can't do with a FF camera. I too moved from a 5D mk II to a 645D and I bought the 5D mk III as a back up. I use both cameras for mainly landscape photography. If your approach is fairly slow and methodical then the Pentax will suit you well. It will fill up your hard disk very fast though. I put a 8GB card in my 645D the other day and in my mkIII it would give me around 300 shots. In the 645D it gave 86. I always shoot in RAW so my file sizes are generally large. Also have a look at your computer set up and check you have the best processor you can afford and loads of RAM

I would be very reluctant to change systems completely overnight. You'll need a little time for aclimitisation, as there are differences to be discovered. I would hold on to your present gear for as long as possible so you can have time with the new camera and see how it compares. The IQ is outstanding especially with good glass.
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