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09-19-2014, 12:58 PM   #1
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New Pentax 645n! Now for a lens...

Well, new to me anyway. I finally pulled the trigger on an eBay deal. I haven't received it yet (shipping from Japan) but can't wait for it to get here. It doesn't come with a lens so I'm now on the hunt for a lens or two. I'll almost certainly start with a 75mm since it's the normal lens for this camera it seems. But looking at the information I've been able to find here on this sight I'll also l look for a 35mm and a 120mm Macro. Although it seems the 45mm isn't all that bad actually and a lot less money so I'll probably end up with one of these instead. I do want a wide angle as I plan to do some landscape photography.

Question: For those that have used both the A and FA versions of the 645 lenses, do you see much (if any) difference in IQ between the two? From what I'm reading it seems that there isn't much. I don't really need auto focus so I'm thinking of just sticking with the A primes to get the most IQ for the money.

I'm reading all I can on these forums but if anyone has any input or wants to offer advise about lens, please feel free to reply. This site is really is a wealth of knowledge. This isn't my first film camera but it IS my first 120/220 film camera. I'm looking forward to learning a lot here.

Now I'm off to order some film too!

Scott

09-19-2014, 01:21 PM   #2
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Welcome Scott, I don't have any firsthand experience because like you, I'm waiting for a 645, mine's a Z though and I'll start with a loaner from the dealer to make sure I like it. From my reading I opted for the 120 macro, 200 and 300 ED IF, all A lenses as the price differential just didn't sit well and like you I shoot pretty much everything manual focus, even birds and wildlife.

On the wide end is my only FA but that is a significant investment as it is the 28-45, I had to sell an awful lot of camera gear to get close to a number that made more sense to management but so far she's onside iwth it
09-19-2014, 01:30 PM   #3
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Ohhhh... 645Z... drool... I've seen some pics from those and that's one impressive camera to say the least. I hope you post some pics once you get it.

Yeah, I may have to sell some other toys to help pay for some of this stuff. I've got too many hobbies and not enough time as it is already.
09-19-2014, 01:33 PM   #4
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Hi & welcome

Have 645N and have used both the 75mm A manual focus and the 75mm FA auto, I can't tell any difference between the two.

I also have the 45mm FA f2.8 auto focus. It's a nice lens, I just dig wider lenses and finally got my hands on a 35mm A that wasn't too outrageous.

I'm actually about ready to list a number of 645 and FX lenses this weekend on this site. Just need to get a little time and organize my pics. So if you want to PM me, I can tell you more about them.

John

09-19-2014, 02:54 PM   #5
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I'd recommend getting the FA 75 as it's the normal lens (35mm film equivalent to a 50mm lens, and AF as well). It's a good starter lens.
09-19-2014, 03:11 PM   #6
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Just throwing it out there that the 45-85 FA zoom is a great lens, if quite heavy. That covers wide to normal. It's my go-to lens on my 645NII, I ended up selling my 75mm prime.
09-19-2014, 03:19 PM   #7
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I have the A lenses 45, 55, 75, 150, 200, and 80-160 for my 645N. I use the 45mm the most and have no complaints about any of them. Okay, one complaint: the A80-160 zoom is HUGE and HEAVY, but it works well. The A35mm doesn't come up for auction very often, but when it does, it tends to go for around $400.
Even though the A lenses are not auto-focus, you still get the focus confirmation beep with a green light in the view-finder. The 645N is a joy to use, a work-horse, and a film-eating machine. Consider getting a 220 back for it. Velvia 50 is available in 220 from Japan. The 645N metering is so good, you should have no fear shooting slide film.
09-19-2014, 05:17 PM   #8
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Thanks blackcloud - I think the 75mm will be my first lens. By the way, love your signature.

---------- Post added 09-19-14 at 05:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by adelorenzo Quote
Just throwing it out there that the 45-85 FA zoom is a great lens, if quite heavy. That covers wide to normal. It's my go-to lens on my 645NII, I ended up selling my 75mm prime.
adelorenzo, did you find that it was as sharp or close to the 75mm? I had a 45-85 in my sights but let it get away thinking the primes would be noticeably sharper. Maybe I should have tried harder.

---------- Post added 09-19-14 at 05:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
I have the A lenses 45, 55, 75, 150, 200, and 80-160 for my 645N. I use the 45mm the most and have no complaints about any of them. Okay, one complaint: the A80-160 zoom is HUGE and HEAVY, but it works well. The A35mm doesn't come up for auction very often, but when it does, it tends to go for around $400.
Even though the A lenses are not auto-focus, you still get the focus confirmation beep with a green light in the view-finder. The 645N is a joy to use, a work-horse, and a film-eating machine. Consider getting a 220 back for it. Velvia 50 is available in 220 from Japan. The 645N metering is so good, you should have no fear shooting slide film.
AquaDome,
Thanks for the info. Glad to hear what you had to say about the 645n. Luckily the one I bought is coming with both a 120 and a 220 back. I was thinking I was going to just convert it to 120 but after seeing your post I think I'll try some 220 at least first.

I have read that the A lenses give you focus confirmation and I think that'll be useful and all I need. My film shooting right now is with a Pentax K-1000 and Program Plus and so a focus confirmation will be a step up.

I've not shot much slide film, actually only once back in high school because we had to for a class assignment, but after seeing shots on Flickr and how they scan for posting the electronic world, I just may have to try some. And with MF it's just that much better. I stuck with black and white mostly back then.

09-19-2014, 08:14 PM   #9
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QuoteQuote:
adelorenzo, did you find that it was as sharp or close to the 75mm? I had a 45-85 in my sights but let it get away thinking the primes would be noticeably sharper. Maybe I should have tried harder.
I'm not really an expert on sharpness. It's sharp enough for me and if you read the lens reviews on this site people seem to rate it as being very sharp. I'll post a few photos taken with this lens, keep in mind I never use a tripod and I'm terrible at scanning film. If you want more they are on my flickr.





09-19-2014, 08:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by adelorenzo Quote
I'm not really an expert on sharpness. It's sharp enough for me and if you read the lens reviews on this site people seem to rate it as being very sharp. I'll post a few photos taken with this lens, keep in mind I never use a tripod and I'm terrible at scanning film. If you want more they are on my flickr.





Very nice Adelorenzo! Thanks for sharing.
09-19-2014, 09:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
Consider getting a 220 back for it. Velvia 50 is available in 220 from Japan. The 645N metering is so good, you should have no fear shooting slide film.
Is Japan the only place where 220 film can still be found? I bought a 220 back a couple of years ago but have never used it.
09-19-2014, 11:21 PM   #12
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You can still buy Portra in 220 format.
09-20-2014, 12:30 AM   #13
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From the reviews, the A 45mm is much better than the FA 45mm - I think they changed the optical formula. Personally, as the reviews are better and it's a better general focal length (I'm not much of a wide person), I got the A 55mm for use with my 645 and I find it to be superb.

I think you can get 220 in most places, but only Portra. Unfortunately, it costs more than double what 120 does, which makes no sense as it works out more expensive per shot.

I got 7 rolls of expired Portra NC with a Yashica Mat last year, and that's the only camera I have which can use it, but I'd never buy it at full price.
09-20-2014, 03:50 AM   #14
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Japan is the only place to get Fuji's Velvia 50 in 220. Well, Japan via eBay. Other 220 films are available in the USA, though not very many varities.
09-20-2014, 06:15 AM   #15
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Just checked B&H and Adorama and Porta is the only 220 they offer and the cost is about 3x the price of 120. I may try to find some on ebay for a variety. It looks like the rest of the world or at least Japan and others still shoot enough 220 to make it available. I'd like to shoot a little bit of 220 if for no other reason than to say that I did. Something to tell my grandkids someday I guess. But twice the shots for 3x the money doesn't make a whole lot of economic sense.

---------- Post added 09-20-14 at 06:38 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
From the reviews, the A 45mm is much better than the FA 45mm - I think they changed the optical formula. Personally, as the reviews are better and it's a better general focal length (I'm not much of a wide person), I got the A 55mm for use with my 645 and I find it to be superb.
I didn't look closely at the 55mm thinking it wasn't wide enough for what I wanted to do and it was fairly close to the 75mm. But those reviews are impressive. It just may have to be on my "to get later" list. Thanks.
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