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04-20-2014, 09:28 AM   #1
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Coming from Hassy... need advice

I'm giving strong consideration to purchasing a 645Z. I'm currently shooting with a Hassy (which I love) and was debating going to the new CMOS Hasselblad but the price is holding me back. Thus, if the Pentax 645Z lives up to its specs and more importantly the IQ is top notch, I will most likely make the switch.

My work is mostly portraits (you can see samples of my work at Stills and Video) so I'm not concerned about the lack of leaf shutters, high speed sync, tilt and shift, etc. However, my current lens of choice is the Hasselblad 120mm macro which is an amazing lens IMO - incredibly sharp, tone and contrast is superb, has close focusing and great bokeh. Thus, I was wondering if any one on the forum has experience with the Pentax 90mm f/2.8 D FA 645 Macro ED AW SR especially relevant to PORTRAIT use. It's a bit short in focal length IMO so I'm open to any other lens recommendations if you think there is an alternative that is better suited for portraits.

Lastly, I'm very impressed with the 645z's specs but find it interesting that Pentax never refers to the dynamic range of the camera while Hassy and Phase sing praise about the 16bit 14 stop dynamic range of their new CMOS units. Could it be that the 645z's dynamic range and processing lags behind?

Any feedback would be most appreciated. It's always a bit unnerving to change camera systems and I'm trying to be sure it would be a wise move.


Thanks

04-20-2014, 10:28 AM   #2
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I suggest looking at the lens database. DR is going to be top-notch even though they don't advertise it (same sensor as that Hassy, and knowing Pentax, it's going to be even better).
04-20-2014, 10:35 AM   #3
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If you like the Hasselblad 120mm Macro, you will be equally impressed with the Pentax 120mm Macro. The 120mm is probably the most universally praised lens, both the FA autofocus and A manual-focus lenses.

Both Phase One and Hasselblad have 16-bit AD converters. The secret is that none of their sensors are 16-bit; they are 14-bit, just like everyone else, hence the dynamic range. It is a marketing gimmick. Having shot a Phase One p25+ and 645D, I would say that Pentax does as just a good job if not better--ISO 1600 in the 645D is better than I have seen on comparable MFD cameras.

The big question is the secret sauce. What does each manufacturer do with their profiles? So there might be a bit of a break in period for you, or maybe not.

And then there is video...

---------- Post added 04-20-14 at 02:11 PM ----------

BTW, great site.

I have a question, why are you wanting to go to a MFD CMOS camera? Your portraits seem to be in the studio. What do you think the 645Z will give you? A jump from 40MP to 50MP is not very significant--just a 12% increase in resolution.
04-20-2014, 12:24 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I do remember reading a couple of threads on using Hasselblad-V system lenses on the Pentax 645D. This might help you, with at least some posters to follow up with.There is a H mount to 645D adapter You might be able to have the best of both - your Hasselblad-V lens on a Pentax 645Z body.



04-20-2014, 12:58 PM   #5
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You cannot adapt Hasselblad H lenses to the Pentax 645 mount as the flange distance is too short: Hasselblad H, 61.63mm; Pentax 645, 70.87mm. Hasselblad V is possible because it is 74.9mm, but I don't think the OP is using the V system. Adapted lenses cannot take advantage of things like multi-point metering and AF. AWB also works differently. Pentax only has lens profiles for DFA and FA lenses. For some lenses, it is not much of a problem, for others it is.
04-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #6
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Nice work, I see you have the 31 megapixel back. So the 50mp will bring some more juice.

What I see you really only need little. 645Z and 55mm, 90mm and 120mm and you are good to go.

Selling your Hasselblad would also bring some money, so you are in for cheap.
04-20-2014, 04:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hakusan Quote
If you like the Hasselblad 120mm Macro, you will be equally impressed with the Pentax 120mm Macro. The 120mm is probably the most universally praised lens, both the FA autofocus and A manual-focus lenses.

Both Phase One and Hasselblad have 16-bit AD converters. The secret is that none of their sensors are 16-bit; they are 14-bit, just like everyone else, hence the dynamic range. It is a marketing gimmick. Having shot a Phase One p25+ and 645D, I would say that Pentax does as just a good job if not better--ISO 1600 in the 645D is better than I have seen on comparable MFD cameras.

The big question is the secret sauce. What does each manufacturer do with their profiles? So there might be a bit of a break in period for you, or maybe not.

And then there is video...

---------- Post added 04-20-14 at 02:11 PM ----------

BTW, great site.

I have a question, why are you wanting to go to a MFD CMOS camera? Your portraits seem to be in the studio. What do you think the 645Z will give you? A jump from 40MP to 50MP is not very significant--just a 12% increase in resolution.
I would like to thank everyone for the prompt feedback thus far. In response to why I want to go to a CMOS when I'm getting good results from a CCD and shoot under a controlled studio environment, it's because of the following: I'm currently shooting the HD4-31 and although I love the look that I'm getting, going from 31 to 50 megapixels can be advantageous at times (Note: I certainly agree that an increase in megapixels is probably not enough of a reason solely on its own, but nonetheless, it is still an advantage at times). Secondly, I do a fair amount of work in the boating industry. I use a FF Canon for that segment and I'm thinking that having a MF with the potential of shooting at a higher ISO, up to 3fps, multipoint focusing, etc., may give me the ability to expand my use of the MF for some of that work as well. As much as I respect all of the major brand DSLR's, there is nothing like the look you get when shooting with a MF under the right conditions (IMO anyway). If I could increase the frequency of my medium format shooting by using a CMOS MF and not sacrifice the special look and IQ that I've grown accustomed to with my CCD sensor, I'd be inclined to make the leap. That's what's driving my thinking at this time.
04-21-2014, 11:17 AM   #8
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Interesting - as others have mentioned - 'Medium format is the new Full Format' - for you, this will actually hold true, as you'll be able to use a medium format to possibly replace a FF DSLR.
Nice thing is that this (just like the 645D, and most Pentaxes) are weather sealed. I'm not sure about many of the lenses that you are looking at though.

04-22-2014, 05:53 PM   #9
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I believe the P645z is 14bit, you might want to consider that if 16 bit is important for you...
04-22-2014, 10:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by LFLee Quote
I believe the P645z is 14bit, you might want to consider that if 16 bit is important for you...
As pointed out already, since the sensor is the same, the Hassy and PO also "only" record 14 bits of actual data.
You can create a 32 bit file out of a JPEG, but you'd still only get 8 bits of data.

It is true, however, that you might get infinitessimally smoother colour gradation.
04-23-2014, 03:45 AM   #11
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Although my concern about the 16 bits and a 14 stop dynamic range is somewhat important to me as for some reason, I partly equate it to the look of a CCD, the most critical consideration in my case is that I want to be sure I'm going to at least maintain the same tonal gradation, color and depth (for lack of better scientific terms) that I'm currently getting from my CCD sensor. It's hard to explain, but the look of the CCD at low ISO's, in a controlled studio environment, is magical IMO. It is imperative that I don't loose that look and those characteristics. I've had opportunities to shoot with a D800 and although it offers so much at such a reasonable price, when I switched to the H4D-31, I gave up pixels but gained so much in the tone, gradation and color accuracy of the images.The difference in the overall look was significant. Again, hard to explain but there is no doubt the CCD sensor that Hasselblads and Phase Ones (and even the 645D) have a very characteristic look. My possible switch to a CMOS MF is enticing but it is essential I don't loose the characteristics of the CCD look that I've grown so found of. Ultimately, if I could get that look, with high ISO capabilities, a modern operating system, and a higher frame rate, it would be a significant step forward for me. Here is a link to a sample file that I feel portrays the CCD type of look I am referring to. This file is a compressed JPG but it will hopefully provide a visual reference for you. http://www.caughtinthecamera.com/pics/Olga.jpg

Last edited by stillsandvideo; 04-23-2014 at 11:19 AM.
04-23-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillsandvideo Quote
Although my concern about the 16 bits and a 14 stop dynamic range is somewhat important to me and for some reason, I partly equate it to the look of a CCD, the most critical consideration in my case is that I want to be sure I'm going to at least maintain the same tonal gradation, color and depth (for lack of better scientific terms) that I'm currently getting from my CCD sensor. It's hard to explain, but the look of the CCD at low ISO's, in a controlled studio environment, is magical IMO. It is imperative that I don't loose that look and those characteristics. I've had opportunities to shoot with a D800 and although it offers so much at such a reasonable price, when I switched to the H4D-31, I gave up pixels but gained so much in the tone, gradation and color accuracy of the images.The difference in the overall look was significant. Again, hard to explain but there is no doubt the CCD sensor that Hasselblads and Phase Ones (and even the 645D) have a very characteristic look. My possible switch to a CMOS MF is enticing but it is essential I don't loose the characteristics of the CCD look that I've grown so found of. Ultimately, if I could get that look, with high ISO capabilities, a modern operating system, and a higher frame rate, it would be a significant step forward for me. Here is a link to a sample file that I feel portrays the CCD type of look I am referring to. This file is a compressed JPG but it will hopefully provide a visual reference for you. http://www.caughtinthecamera.com/pics/Olga.jpg
in a much smaller format than yours...
I missed the CCD look when switch from K200D to K5. But clean high iso is better for average joe shooter like me, in less controllable situation. and after a while the flexibility of high iso from CMOS wins over. But this is MF, I can't say I know much.

the 645z is target studio and, outdoor. Why not try it out and see if you like it? In the past, PENTAX has shown that they are able to squeeze more out of a sensor than other company using the same sensor. Maybe they can do magic here too.
Looking forward to more of your work!
04-23-2014, 09:17 AM   #13
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I have the Pentax-A 645 120mm macro and it's a subperb lens, my understand is that the FA is the same lens but with AF. I've never needed or even wanted AF with a macro lens, though if you use it for non-macro use I can see that being handy.


If you're looking for a great portrait lens the Pentax-FA 645 150mm f/2.8 is praised, though I don't own that one. My guess is that many folks will be switching from Phase One and Hassy to Pentax (and some Canikon users may also be stolen)...the result is that lens prices will soar. I'd consider getting a copy now...you can always sell it later at a higher price!
04-24-2014, 08:40 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillsandvideo Quote
Although my concern about the 16 bits and a 14 stop dynamic range is somewhat important to me as for some reason, I partly equate it to the look of a CCD, the most critical consideration in my case is that I want to be sure I'm going to at least maintain the same tonal gradation, color and depth (for lack of better scientific terms) that I'm currently getting from my CCD sensor. It's hard to explain, but the look of the CCD at low ISO's, in a controlled studio environment, is magical IMO. It is imperative that I don't loose that look and those characteristics. I've had opportunities to shoot with a D800 and although it offers so much at such a reasonable price, when I switched to the H4D-31, I gave up pixels but gained so much in the tone, gradation and color accuracy of the images.The difference in the overall look was significant. Again, hard to explain but there is no doubt the CCD sensor that Hasselblads and Phase Ones (and even the 645D) have a very characteristic look. My possible switch to a CMOS MF is enticing but it is essential I don't loose the characteristics of the CCD look that I've grown so found of. Ultimately, if I could get that look, with high ISO capabilities, a modern operating system, and a higher frame rate, it would be a significant step forward for me. Here is a link to a sample file that I feel portrays the CCD type of look I am referring to. This file is a compressed JPG but it will hopefully provide a visual reference for you. http://www.caughtinthecamera.com/pics/Olga.jpg
maybe you also want to read this: Medium Format Digital Camera and 35 mm Full-Frame Camera / PENTAX 645Z Special site | RICOH IMAGING
04-24-2014, 04:18 PM   #15
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Your attached shot reminded me of film work.
If it were me, I would keep the FF Canon for the boating work and get a Pentax 6x7II and shoot Portra 160, 220 size. There were several modern lens designs employed for the portrait range you are interested in. The 165LS and 200 Pentax come to mind. Remember that slower speed print film has a super fine grain and enlargements could go very large.
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