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09-02-2013, 07:33 PM   #16
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The 645D works and works well, at least for me. It would be nice however if there were some news about the plans for a 645Dii and for new lenses, e.g. the new wide angle zoom.

09-03-2013, 10:48 AM   #17
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I am not surprised about the lack of communication or a new body not being out yet. Somebody said something about medium format digital on a 5-7yr upgrade path. That is off. Look at Hassy and Phase much faster than 5-7yrs... But then I need little more than what the 645D offers. FF would be nice and if it comes with 60mp sure. I would love to see them fix up the body a bit with more full coverage AF sensors, maybe some ingenious auto focus bracketing for AF lenses, improved focus screen, and option to void this dark frame shot for long exposures (at least up to 5min).

What surprises me is slow addition of new lenses. This 30-50mm thing on the roadmap should have been higher priority than the 90mm macro portrait thing. The 645D's market is more landscape than portrait. On top of that it is a cropped 645 so the wide angle is needed even more. That lens as well as the 25mm should have been out within the first year or preferentially at announcement of the 645D.

So my concern about Pentax's devotion to the 645 digital comes more from them not pushing out these higher priority lenses than them not bringing out a new body. I new body can wait a year or two. Get these high priority lenses out to market two years ago... Ricoh should tell them to quit playing around with these k-mount reintroduction of limited lenses and finish designing the real pro lenses. Pentax wasn't motivated to the lenses. Just look they throw out there the 25mm FA then strip it from everywhere but the Japan market and say we actually weren't ready to release it and now here you have the improved DFA version...
09-03-2013, 11:04 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by larkis Quote
Does anyone else feel like Pentax's lack of communication about their medium format plans makes the system feel like a dead end ? The 90mm 2.8 lens seems to be nice but who wants to spend the money on something with a very uncertain future ? I still love the camera and the image quality it delivers, but I absolutely hate the way pentax handles and markets their professional products. Saying "we are working on a new body and more lenses" does not alter their competitive advantage, it simply encourages people to buy into a system that is not a dead end.
uncertain future? I did not get that impression. In fact, in the recent user calls with Jim M, he made it clear that Pentax intends to continue to develop the 645 platform. Clearly, the company is transitioning with the Ricoh acquisition and the roadmap of 2 yrs ago may not be the same as today, but I have confidence Pentax sees value in supporting 645 for a good while still.
True, the company is not highly communicative in general, but that just adds to its charm and enigmatic nature.
09-03-2013, 06:27 PM   #19
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If you look at the previous Pentax medium format cameras, how many years passed between new bodies, and how often new lenses were brought to market I would say that things appear pretty normal. The difference is that in this digital camera era we've become accustomed to new products every 3-4 months; and thanks to the internet we've come to expect tweets and blogs about the upcoming products almost daily.

Having said that, I think it would be pretty exciting if Pentax actually came out with uncropped sensor MF cameras that are more like their chemical predecessors in terms of frame size, and then added all the digital functions that current technology provides.

09-06-2013, 04:11 PM   #20
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Internet noise for both Canon and Nikon to come out with a digital medium format camera is increasing. This is a great opportunity for Pentax to establish its hold on the market.
09-06-2013, 06:32 PM   #21
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I don't envy planners at Pentax/Ricoh or any other major, traditional camera company. Who can predict advances in technology? In five years, a cell phone may produce a file the equal of a 645D. That said, I'd like to see the WA zoom and a full frame 645 sensor. Today that would be very useful. In a few years, maybe too heavy and too big, who knows?

Tom
09-06-2013, 07:45 PM   #22
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As usual, Tom, I agree. I was even thinking the other day that my OM-D gives me most of the time what I want. The Pentax is reserved for the wow effects.

I got into medium format during the 80ies, when 35mm film just wasn't providing enough dynamic range. Now even m43 has good shadows and highlights, at least for my taste.

In the meantime though I came to learn just how good medium format digital is, especially the Pentax, and I sort-of got addicted to the level of quality. But esthetically, it's no longer as necessary as it was during my burning dissaticfaction with my Tri-X 35mm negatives in the early 80ies.

I'll stick with it as long as my wallet allows, I guess, but already now I am just super impressed with the quality of those P645D files.
09-06-2013, 11:01 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
I don't envy planners at Pentax/Ricoh or any other major, traditional camera company. Who can predict advances in technology? In five years, a cell phone may produce a file the equal of a 645D. That said, I'd like to see the WA zoom and a full frame 645 sensor. Today that would be very useful. In a few years, maybe too heavy and too big, who knows?

Tom
A cell phone may produce the resolution but not be equal. DOF, aperture control, lenses from 600mm to 25mm, usability, noise, diffraction, etc.; these would all be much further out than 5 years. And with little demand for the R&D to take it that far I doubt it will be achieved. A photographer is always going to want a camera just like a mechanic will always want the correct spanner not a multi tool. The soccer moms, college girls, and business man will never demand that quality from their phone.

But I understand what you are saying kind of like the D800 came as a bit of a shock when it was out; nobody expected that large a jump from the D700...

09-07-2013, 12:51 AM   #24
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If you consider that the 645D's price is now in the neighbourhood of the Leica M's, it puts quite another perspective on matters, I think. Granted, the Leica is quite a different sort of camera to the 645D, but the two are aimed at similar demographics (well-off enthusiasts, with a smattering of professionals), whereas the other (real, not vapourware) medium format digital cameras are targeted at different ones (mostly high-end professionals, with a smattering of wealthy enthusiasts).

I'm sure someone in Ricoh/Pentax has done the numbers on allowing the current 645d's price to drop a bit more, and gaining a greater following of enthusiasts, so that a follow-up body can target the professionals, with, say, a full MF sensor and interchangeable viewfinders. Before anyone gets hung up on that last point, it could include a HD EVF, even with a separate viewfinder sensor. Whatever scenario is adopted, if any, digital MF will always offer something that 35mm can't, so I'm sure there'll always be a market for it, and I hope Pentax continues to play in it.
09-07-2013, 02:44 AM   #25
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In it's September issue (2013!) the well respected German "Photografie" magazine compared the 6465D with the Nikon D800 in an article titled "Size matters:-)" covering several pages. The 645D came out as the winner. The comparison was not so much about "hard measurements" like noise or resolution but more about the visual impression of the shots.

Last edited by volley; 09-07-2013 at 02:46 AM. Reason: correcting typos
09-07-2013, 09:20 AM   #26
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I guess the issue is that the D800 comes in at roughly half the price of the 645D; and while image quality may not be the same, it is getting close. From a creative perspective, while not exactly on the same level in terms of pure image quality, the D800 is aided by a huge arsenal of lenses, higher sensitivity, larger apertures, and relatively larger wide angle and telephoto reach. I don't have the D800 and I do own the 645D and a sizable system; that's why I do think Pentax needs to keep going to stay in business.
09-07-2013, 09:23 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
In it's September issue (2013!) the well respected German "Photografie" magazine compared the 6465D with the Nikon D800 in an article titled "Size matters:-)" covering several pages. The 645D came out as the winner. The comparison was not so much about "hard measurements" like noise or resolution but more about the visual impression of the shots.
No doubt. CCD sensors render beautiful images. But the 645D is a specialized camera with most lenses for it being manual focus. It does well with the shots it can take. The D800 is a general purpose camera capable of shooting ultra wide to extreme telephoto and capturing images that require fast focus and low light. So pick your frame of reference for saying which is the better camera.
09-07-2013, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by volley Quote
In it's September issue (2013!) the well respected German "Photografie" magazine compared the 6465D with the Nikon D800 in an article titled "Size matters:-)" covering several pages. The 645D came out as the winner. The comparison was not so much about "hard measurements" like noise or resolution but more about the visual impression of the shots.
Not too surprising, every poster I've seen who owns both a D800 and 645D prefers the Pentax files; however, the Nikon is certainly more versatile for sure.

QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
........ But the 645D is a specialized camera with most lenses for it being manual focus. ...........
????? Off the top of my head :25, 33-55, 35, 55, 75, 45-85, 90, 55-110, 150-300, 120, 150, 200, 300f/5.6, 300 f/4 and 400mm all avaiable as auto focus lenses. That leaves the 600mm and two LS lenses as only manual.

Last edited by Thomas; 09-07-2013 at 11:57 AM. Reason: forgot some lenses
09-09-2013, 12:22 PM   #29
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I don't see Ricoh nor any other shareholder wasting the enormous upheaval the 645D brought to the Pentax 645 system, and thereof to the PENTAX brand.

I even heard an official rep. from Phase One - in the presence of his silent (but undenying) Leica counterpart - saying "the model to follow as far as digital medium format success had beeing achieved was PENTAX ; in his opinion".

As a 645D regular user, i must admit i don't need any revolution.
Just more SDM and WR lenses maybe... but the existing line covers about all i need.

The possible improvements besides sensor resolution (but 60 MPix for what kind of use ?...) could be dynamic range (actually not so good as the best sensors of the market) far behind processor (chip) capability.
But please no video, nor even live view : more or less useless with such a terrific pentaprism...
I wish they would come back on 645 FF digital sensor though.

Last edited by Zygonyx; 09-09-2013 at 12:31 PM.
09-10-2013, 01:33 AM   #30
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You know, it sounds funny, but in the end the only thing that really still bothers me, and it is not even the slow recording time, is the stupid LCD screen. The thing is downright insulting for a $10,000 camera. But then again, it used to be that we didn't get to see the end results until they were, you know, developed. So I decided not bother, just trusting it, and not at all stopping to look at what I just shot. Surprisingly, the shooting itself became much more enjoyable for me, and I thought the results reflected.

As far as lens selection goes, finding out what was out there was a process that I enjoyed very much. First looking for pics shot by lenses that I was thinking about buying, and obviously most of them were shot on films. Finding out how that would translate to digital sensor was at best trial and error - a rather an expensive process yet very very interesting and I learned a lot about lenses in general. The lens is also weird in that you just don't know until you shoot more than just one copy. I feel like every lens is subtly different, and at least in the used lens market this is even more so magnified. But now finally I have a collection of lenses that includes stuff like Hasselblad/Zeiss 110/2 planar FE.

The thing was that at least for me buying into a system that costs over 10K meant I would be using this system for a fairly a long time, if not indefinitely, much like how there still are plenty of film 645/67 shooters around. And I have done just that. I don't even know exactly how many years it's been since I bought it. 2-3 years? I plan to continue to shoot, and not update when the new models comes out. I just don't need a new one. I am utterly satisfied, and rarely I feel this about any products out there.
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