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04-10-2014, 04:14 PM   #1
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Great news for US 645D users: a bigger lens selection!

The number of 645 lenses available new has just increased from 3 to 16 in the US. No need to import from Japan any more, and among the FA lenses there are some very affordable alternatives to the newly-launched DA and DFA 645 lenses.

FA-Series 645 Lenses to be Sold in the US - Pentax News - PentaxForums.com


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04-10-2014, 05:19 PM   #2
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So Ricoh followed through on what they said they'd do in the recent interview, when Ricoh Japan realized these lenses weren't for sale on their US website! Very good!
04-10-2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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Just curious, but why were these lens not for sale in the US? Did they doubt there was a demand?
04-10-2014, 06:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Just curious, but why were these lens not for sale in the US? Did they doubt there was a demand?
It appears to have been the result of poor communication and a lack of awareness of what still needs to be fixed at Pentax/Ricoh USA.


Also, no one may have cared that much until the release of this new, possibly "groundbreaking" ~645Z was imminent. Pentax actually has a complete system that someone can purchase new without hassle, yet they were leaving the impression that one had to buy used, "antique" lenses in order to make it viable. Even though I've been a digital Pentaxian since well before the 645D was released, I had no idea these lenses were still being produced until reading the recent interview. I believe this makes the system so much more attractive to a prospective buyer!

I hope the new camera suddenly makes the whole system look really desirable, as a great alternative to Hasselblad, Phase One, and even the Nikon D800E. Considering what the Nikon costs once you invest in lenses (and realize the IQ still isn't as good) it should make a lot of sense for many informed, prospective D800E buyers. Nearly Phase One quality for close to a D800E price? Why not?


I think the most important potential advance in the new 645 is one I haven't heard mentioned much - fast AF capability, especially with these FA lenses. Combined with features like high speed flash sync and proper tethering support, this camera could be a serious contender in most of the appropriate markets.


Last edited by DSims; 04-10-2014 at 06:36 PM.
04-10-2014, 07:47 PM   #5
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thank goodness! I'm dying over here...

04-10-2014, 08:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The number of 645 lenses available new has just increased from 3 to 16 in the US. No need to import from Japan any more, and among the FA lenses there are some very affordable alternatives to the newly-launched DA and DFA 645 lenses.

FA-Series 645 Lenses to be Sold in the US - Pentax News - PentaxForums.com
Great news!
Looks like Ricoh planning to make a splash with the 645z, and I wish it is a success!

Now it appear as a pretty complete MF system.

go Ricoh!
04-10-2014, 08:20 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
thank goodness! I'm dying over here...
wow that's quite a collection! Think I could fit all that in my messenger bag?
04-10-2014, 10:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
wow that's quite a collection! Think I could fit all that in my messenger bag?
not when i'm chasing you.

04-14-2014, 09:47 AM   #9
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The next thing Ricoh needs to fix is Pentax customer service and professional support in North America. Farming technical support out to an independent repair shop in Phoenix doesn't exactly match Canon or Nikon factory services. They need to bring it in house with a full complement of spares, instrumentation and some technicians from Japan to train American staff. Sending 645Ds or lenses back to Japan for service or waiting months for DSLR parts is illogical. Admittedly Ricoh inherited all this from Hoya but it's time for them to take some action and correct the situation.
04-14-2014, 08:33 PM   #10
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That is not only an issue in North America. It is a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad similarly in Australia as well. Really needs to be fixed - so that issues (even major ones) can be fixed in-country. They need loaners as well...
04-16-2014, 08:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
The next thing Ricoh needs to fix is Pentax customer service and professional support in North America. Farming technical support out to an independent repair shop in Phoenix doesn't exactly match Canon or Nikon factory services. They need to bring it in house with a full complement of spares, instrumentation and some technicians from Japan to train American staff. Sending 645Ds or lenses back to Japan for service or waiting months for DSLR parts is illogical. Admittedly Ricoh inherited all this from Hoya but it's time for them to take some action and correct the situation.

Agreed. Customer and technical support is the weakest link on the Pentax chain for many users. Great cameras, but when you compare service to their competitors (Nikon, Canon, Hassy, Phase) they don't match up.
04-16-2014, 01:03 PM   #12
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Hope this isn't a dumb question, but here goes…..
Why does the 25mm Pentax SMC 645 lens cost over $4,000?
Even when compared to Pentax's other new lenses for the 645D or 645Z that is significantly higher
Is it particularly difficult to produce UWA lenses for Medium Format cameras?
Is this lens that good?
Thanks
04-16-2014, 02:28 PM - 1 Like   #13
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There are only 3 new lenses for the 645D / 645Z, and two of them (the DA 25mm and DFA 90mm stabilized macro) are priced relatively close to each other. The only one that's significantly cheaper is the DFA 55mm; it's cheaper in part because it's not ultra-wide, and unstabilized. Also it's more or less the kit lens of the system, and in my opinion its quality is below the other two.

Ultra-wide angle, high performance lenses are usually expensive. This is multiplied on medium format because the optical elements are proportionally larger, and because sales volumes are dramatically smaller than for more common focal lengths on medium format, or any lens on 35mm formats. The new Pentax designs are fully weather sealed with hypersonic motor autofocus, and at least the 25mm and 90mm have great optics designed for digital (i.e. modern coatings). Also the 25mm supports in-barrel, drop-in filters and comes with a blank and a circular polarizer. This adds a bit to its cost. (The stabilization of the 90mm macro adds to its cost.)

It's a bit difficult to judge the price or value of the Pentax DA 25mm because virtually nobody has made a lens wider than 30 - 35mm for any medium format system, with the modern specs and performance of the Pentax lens. Phase One does make a 28mm f/4.5 lens for its medium format system, with a list price of about $5500. I'm sure its optics are superb... but equally it's 3mm less wide than the Pentax, has a slightly slower aperture, has no drop-in filter support (requires sheet filters on the back element), and I suspect isn't weather sealed. So based on that one point of comparison with a second modern MF UWA lens, the Pentax is reasonably priced.

Last edited by Royce Howland; 04-16-2014 at 06:29 PM.
04-16-2014, 03:33 PM   #14
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Well said Royce, thanks!
04-17-2014, 08:55 AM   #15
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agreed, makes sense Royce
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