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05-05-2014, 12:11 AM   #1
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Might change to Pentax from Canon

Hello to everybody,
This is actually posted also in dpreview forums as I need to clear my mind and I hope here some of you will give me some honest opinions

Lately I am serious thinking about the Pentax 645 Mark II.

I should say that I never had a MF before so its is a new thing for me.

Right now I have the canon 5d mark iii with 17mm tse, 24mm tse, 24-70mm 2.8 mark II, 70-200mm 2.8 IS mark II, 50mm 1.8, 15mm fishey, plenty of flashes and CamRanger to control the camera from far

As you see I have plenty of 'good' lenses but my mind comes to the dynamic range of the new sensor.

Mostly I shoot landscapes and architecture, architecture for me is something that I love really and I like to take the time to "study" the image.

So what do you think shall I wait until canon brings out something that is comparable with the other sensors regarding dynamic range and megapixels? Or shall I start to find a new home for my equipment and move to the side of Pentax MF

PS I am not a professional but when I am really ready them maybe yes I will start my own business, you can check some images here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/envylight/with/8494916858/

Thank you for your time

Nikos

05-05-2014, 01:09 AM   #2
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Good Morning,

I believe that the largest problem you will have is finding a replacement for your tilt/shift lenses - in the particular focal length that you desire. The 67 system has a shift lens (with an adapter to the 645 system). There are also some third party offerings available. Zork offers a tilt/shift appliances also.Hope that helps a bit...

05-05-2014, 03:08 AM   #3
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the 645z must be seen in the field. paper wise sounds superb camera but i want see the rendering of cmos sensor.
i have 645d and in my opinion the rendering of ccd is amazing, the real difference from a d800e. the rendering of tonal especially highlights and transition is superb, and color are amazing, spot on, when i see dxi mark tells color depth is better in my k5 or d800e it makes me really doubt of their results.
the file from 645d not pony po but are amazing straight from camera. i found metering and white balance much better than my k5.
i have the 35 , aka 27, and really is a masterpiece. i doubt you can find a lens under 50 mm in canon or nikon world that compare with this lens for corner sharpness and lack of chromatic. is not too wide but is great. the 55 again is amazing like many other fa
dr is great. it has less shadow recovery than d800 e, much more than canon, but a better recovery of highlight, so i always shoot to the left, differently than with my k5 that uses same sensor technology of d800 and 645z.
i looked your file and apart heavy pp, i see the limits especially of canon, the images look digital, plastic, lack of depth. in my opinion even using the 645d your jaw will drop after the first files, and you began loving a more natural less pled image.
so i suggest you buy a used 645d for much less, you can pay al less as 4.5000 euro add some manual lenses, and keep your 5m3 with the shift, or faste shooting and tele. maybe sell some lenses to finance your pentqax. so you can see if you are into medium format or not.
05-05-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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If you must stay with digital, then Pentax is a good way to go. A lightly used 645D is a good deal now. If you have never shot Velvia 50 for landscape work, I highly recommend it. In both 6x7 and 4x5, it is special. One solution is to keep the Canon for architecture and add a Pentax 67 for landscapes. This would be a cheap way to go versus the 645D or 645Z.

05-05-2014, 06:30 PM   #5
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A good selection of lenses you have. But... I have used the TS-E lenses for more than 20 years and their application in reality is quite limited as opposed to large format. Canon worked wonders with these lenses but they are not a patch on the larger and more precise format that is more commanding of an understanding of perspective, focus, depth of field and procedure.

There is no escaping the inherent imaging quality of medium format, right from the start, and in film, the spectacle of well-exposed transparencies lighting up on the lightbox is a thrill like no other.

Of digital, the 645D — over-priced, overweight and bloated with technology, is way, way too expensive unless you are professional and earning an income that can make the camera pay for itself. Otherwise, it is a total waste of money — sorry, but it is, and too many people are wasting money on mediocre images, patting the camera on the back rather than themselves. Thus, I would recommend you take a step up to medium format via film, say with a Pentax 67 and a selection of lenses, and understand analogue exposure dynamics as opposed to having a camera do all the decision making for you. Yes, Velvia 50, as mentioned by Desertscape, it well worth dabbling in, but it will require skill and experience to expose well, and I consider it better than digital in many respects, including perpetual longevity (where will your digital images be in 20, 30 years' time?).

The shift lens in the 67 system (75mm) is of limited use unless you have tilt also; a shift requires a corresponding corrective movement (chiefly of the film plane) rather than just the lens, something that is best understood using large format. In a nutshell, medium format will be quite a revelation coming from the digital all-singing, all-dancing Canon 5D. And a decent 67 system will not break the bank.
05-06-2014, 04:38 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
There is no escaping the inherent imaging quality of medium format, right from the start, and in film, the spectacle of well-exposed transparencies lighting up on the lightbox is a thrill like no other.
I completely agree, with film, a good MF transparency on a lightbox simply blows the equivalent 35mm tranny into the weeds. After shooting MF for years, I now find it very hard to shoot a 36exp roll of film, I'm conditioned to asking myself whether each and every shot is worth while or not.

Medium format is different though, there are few zoom lenses, almost no '3rd party' lenses, few 'fast' lenses and when things start to get big, they get very big very fast. As long as you adapt to this (taking a prime rather than a zoom etc.) your bag doesn't need to be bigger or heavier than a large 35mm rig.

I'd suggest you should think about getting a used Pentax 645 film camera and a lens or two. If you get on with it you'll have lenses that will fit a 645Z, if not you won't have spent a fortune and should be able to re-coup most of it.

QuoteOriginally posted by Silent Street Quote
Thus, I would recommend you take a step up to medium format via film, say with a Pentax 67 and a selection of lenses, and understand analogue exposure dynamics as opposed to having a camera do all the decision making for you. Yes, Velvia 50, as mentioned by Desertscape, it well worth dabbling in, but it will require skill and experience to expose well, and I consider it better than digital in many respects, including perpetual longevity (where will your digital images be in 20, 30 years' time?).
Normally I'd agree completely about the P67, but if you're seriously thinking about a 645Z, the 645 film cameras will handle very similarly and the lenses (FA ones in particular) will set you up with a good outfit should you decide to get a 645Z. MF film will teach you a lot that MF digital may not.

If you do go 'pro', you'll need the right camera gear for the work you'll be doing (which you should be able to rent). The jobs you get could be dependent on the gear you use and the right gear can pay for itself very quickly. E.g. for serious architecture you'll probably need a large format camera (for the movements), relatively affordable with a film back, hideously expensive for digital.
05-06-2014, 06:59 PM   #7
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I went from film medium-format cameras to the Pentax 645D. In a little over the first year, the money I saved in film and processing paid for my 645D--and that was the time it was over $9K. I have found it to be a great camera. I don't find it big, especially to use. And while I came from manual film cameras, I have found the technology in the 645D very good.

I think if you like architecture, then there are no tilt/shift options for the 645D/Z. I might look for a Phase One or Leaf back and a technical or view camera. If you are used to the automation of your Canon, this cameras will have a bit of a learning curve. But they can be very rewarding.
05-06-2014, 08:11 PM   #8
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If I were you I would just get a Sony A7R and the Metabones III adapter for your EOS lenses. You will love this setup. Amazing dynamic range and 37MP which is plenty.

05-06-2014, 09:29 PM   #9
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There seems to be a trend in digital photography where shooting several hundred thousand shots in order to get a few hundred keepers is in vogue. If that is your style, then a digital camera will save huge amounts of money over a film MF camera. On the other hand, if quality is what you seek over quantity, then film remains a contender. It is more about your talent than your equipment. Ansel Adams with an Optio could beat a Chimpanzee with a Phase One.
05-06-2014, 11:25 PM   #10
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^^ +1
05-07-2014, 08:21 AM   #11
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Since you already have built a very nice kit of fast lenses, flashes, and specialty lenses suited to architecture for that system, I do agree that you don't need to dump that system quite yet. I like the idea of easing into the MF system with a film body and building up a a few lenses into your arsenal before deciding on if the switch ( whether you focus on just the landscape end or dump canon all together).
05-07-2014, 03:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
There seems to be a trend in digital photography where shooting several hundred thousand shots in order to get a few hundred keepers is in vogue. If that is your style, then a digital camera will save huge amounts of money over a film MF camera. On the other hand, if quality is what you seek over quantity, then film remains a contender. It is more about your talent than your equipment. Ansel Adams with an Optio could beat a Chimpanzee with a Phase One.
It is not a new trend. This has been going on ever since photographic technology has been around. First it was roll film, then 35mm, and then motor drives, etc. Film cameras are not slow--they can get up to 12 frames a seconds, which many digital counterparts can't do. The quality vs. quality dichotomy is just a fabrication. I would put Salgado over Adams and Salgado shot 35mm and lots of it. A view camera or medium-format camera or shooting film does not make you a better photographer. Neither does slowing down--that just gives you more time to make a bad photograph. We should have put these myths to bed long ago.
05-07-2014, 04:02 PM   #13
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Glad to hear the we agree that it is the eye of the shooter and not the equipment that is the determining factor in photographic performance.
05-07-2014, 11:47 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Glad to hear the we agree that it is the eye of the shooter and not the equipment that is the determining factor in photographic performance.

Unfortunately, elsewhere on the Pentax forum that doesn't seem to hold true at all.
05-08-2014, 05:21 AM   #15
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I disagree

QuoteOriginally posted by desertscape Quote
Glad to hear the we agree that it is the eye of the shooter and not the equipment that is the determining factor in photographic performance.
There is a synergy involved encompassing the entire procedure in making images of any kind, photographs, other types of prints, paintings, sculptures. The materials/equipment are part of that synergy. Many artists excel with some materials/equipment and not with others. I doesn't take much research to see this.

That synergy isn't entirely rational, either. Sometimes it's a very minor thing that makes all the difference, something the rest of us scratch our heads over. Sometimes struggling with the materials/equipment produces better work, sometimes it's death. Sometimes having better materials/equipment opens up artistic vision. One thing that is important about artistic endeavor and why it continues to be relevant after so many millennia is that it cannot be neatly placed in a box. As for craft oriented work (here "commercial photography"), crappy tools almost never help.
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