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06-30-2013, 12:58 PM   #1
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645D Checkup

My pentax 645D has been working flawlessly for nearly two years. I had it in snow, deserts and jungles, and it continues to perform great. But like all equipment, it can fail at some point and I don't want that moment to be in some remote part of the world.

Next year I'm taking the camera to antarctica and patagonia and I'm not sure what the best approach is to having it checked out by pentax to make sure there is nothing lingering in it that could increase it's chances of failing. I'm also not sure if having someone tinker with it at the company can increase it's chances of failing when it has been fine until now.

Is this a service pentax even does ? If so, how much does it generally cost ? I'm also going to be taking a backup body in the form of a D800e or whatever the best full frame body happens to be at the time.

Any advice would be great.

06-30-2013, 03:36 PM   #2
672
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The price of a brand new 645d has come way down.........maybe a back up body?
06-30-2013, 04:05 PM   #3
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I do a lot of travel photography and always take two bodies. Sounds like you will be doing the same. Don't worry about it.
06-30-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by 672 Quote
The price of a brand new 645d has come way down.........maybe a back up body?
Sounds like a lighter and less expensive option than getting a D800e, plus all the separate Nikon glass.

06-30-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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If you're lucky maybe the 645DII will be out in time...
06-30-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, Pentax support in the US for users of their professional products is not up to the standards of Nikon or Canon, in particular. That said, my 645D has worked flawlessly for over two years. As others have said, go with a backup of your choice and don't worry about it. I'm headed to Brazil in a few days with another photographer who also shoots with a 645D. We're taking a Pentax K5 and K01 as emergency backups and casual shooting.
07-01-2013, 10:01 AM   #7
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You could send the camera in for a cleaning. This would involve doing some work in the sensor & mirror chamber which is where the majority of your potential issues are likely to happen. Sensor failure in the electronics, plus shutter and mirror failure in the mechanicals, seem to be the most common severe faults. In the case of the sensor I don't think there's much that can be done to inspect it to make sure it's not about to malfunction. But the shutter and mirror assembly could be looked at and cleaned; if they pass this sort of inspection they would be likely to keep going for you on a big trip. One caveat is that Pentax does rate the 645D shutter for 50,000 actuations; since I blew one between 55K and 60K I'd say that estimate is not overly conservative.

I bought a second 645D for backup. As stated above it's actually a cheaper and lighter solution than getting some other kind of system as a backup. A 2nd system would involve not only a duplicate body, but also extra lenses, different batteries & chargers, possibly different storage media (since most 35mm still run on CF card), etc. With baggage restrictions and costs on air travel right now, I'm cutting weight every way I can. I travel with 2 x 645D bodies and a minimal lens kit, plus a pocket camera like the Sony RX100 for times when I want to be ultra light at the destination. KEH is starting to get some used 645D bodies at attractive prices, that could be an effective way to get into a backup body. If you don't want to maintain the backup body permanently, you could buy used and re-sell it after your trip.

Of course you may want a different system not strictly as a backup, but also for different capabilities like faster frame rate, high ISO available light shooting, longer telephoto reach, or whatever. That's a different matter than strictly having a backup for your main system...
07-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
Of course you may want a different system not strictly as a backup, but also for different capabilities like faster frame rate, high ISO available light shooting, longer telephoto reach, or whatever. That's a different matter than strictly having a backup for your main system...
This is mostly why I would want to take the D800e but the extra glass is also a concern. If the 645D II comes out it will be a no brainer to take that and my current body as a backup.

07-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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KEH.com has used 645D bodies in LN and EX+ condition for $5800-$5900...may even come with a 6 month warranty, though I'm not sure if that's just on lenses or bodies too.
07-03-2013, 05:20 PM   #10
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Hi, is there somewhere in the SW that the amount of shutter actuations can be checked ? mine is 2YO and i have put a few clicks on it ;-0 , would like to check this out as off to the rockies later this year and contemplating backups etc...
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