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10-24-2014, 02:59 PM   #1
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Pentax Glass for 645z

So being new (and a newbie here) to Pentax system and looking to build a kit for a 645z.

Pentax make three tiers of glass from what I've found.
There is FA glass from the film days, D FA from the early digital days and DA from the current Digital Days.

I'm taking it that the FA lenses work with 645z okay just not great just like in the early days of digital 15 + years ago with film lenses. Then came along D FA glass which is an improvement in the quality of the images and works better with digital. (plus the chips improved as well). So the DA glass is designed for the newer or newest camera and chips in today's market.

Is there a crop factor to take in to consideration with the 645z glass like with 35mm cropped sensor to full frame?

Which are the better lenses in the DA, D FA and FA line? NOT interested in zooms period. Just prefer primes.

Looking for three lenses wide, normalish and something for portraits.

Did anyone covert from Phase One and Hasselbald over to Pentax. If so why?

Thanks for your time!

10-24-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ru2far2c Quote
Is there a crop factor to take in to consideration with the 645z glass like with 35mm cropped sensor to full frame?
Yes - about 1.36x compared to 645 film. However, this can be disregarded when looking at lens focal lengths.

A 25mm on the 645Z is roughly equivalent to a 19mm on FF and a 15mm on APS-C, if that helps put things into perspective.

QuoteOriginally posted by ru2far2c Quote
Looking for three lenses wide, normalish and something for portraits.
I would recommend the DA 25mm F4, DFA 55mm F2.8, and A 120mm F2.8 macro. User reviews can be found here:
Pentax 645 Medium Format Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

QuoteOriginally posted by ru2far2c Quote
I'm taking it that the FA lenses work with 645z okay just not great just like in the early days of digital 15 + years ago with film lenses. Then came along D FA glass which is an improvement in the quality of the images and works better with digital. (plus the chips improved as well). So the DA glass is designed for the newer or newest camera and chips in today's market.
DFA 645 and DA 645 lenses are the same generation- and feature-wise. It's a long story, but basically the 25mm F4 was released twice, first as a DFA lens and then as a DA. The DA version has a larger, digital-optimized hood which will produce vignetting on film, but the lenses are otherwise nearly identical. As far as features go, these lenses all have weather sealing, in-lens AF, and super-protect/aero bright coating.

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10-24-2014, 03:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ru2far2c Quote
So being new (and a newbie here) to Pentax system and looking to build a kit for a 645z.

Pentax make three tiers of glass from what I've found.
There is FA glass from the film days, D FA from the early digital days and DA from the current Digital Days.

I'm taking it that the FA lenses work with 645z okay just not great just like in the early days of digital 15 + years ago with film lenses. Then came along D FA glass which is an improvement in the quality of the images and works better with digital. (plus the chips improved as well). So the DA glass is designed for the newer or newest camera and chips in today's market.

Is there a crop factor to take in to consideration with the 645z glass like with 35mm cropped sensor to full frame?

Which are the better lenses in the DA, D FA and FA line? NOT interested in zooms period. Just prefer primes.

Looking for three lenses wide, normalish and something for portraits.

Did anyone covert from Phase One and Hasselbald over to Pentax. If so why?

Thanks for your time!
From what I have read so far, you multiply any 645 lens' focal length by 0.8 to get the full frame equivalent when it is used with digital 645 bodies. So an A200mm or FA200mm becomes a 160mm. A35mm or an FA35mm lens becomes a 28mm and so forth.

I have purchased a few 645 lenses in preparation for an eventual move to 645Z. I also had a chance to use the A120 macro with an adapter on my k3 and the results are spectacular.
10-25-2014, 06:53 AM   #4
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All glass is good on the 645z as you are using the sweet spot of the lens. I have been very pleased with the glass whether it's A or later

The glass is not the weak point at all

Considered and careful use of the camera is!

10-25-2014, 09:45 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info.

Are there any legacy lenses in the 645 format that are better than others? MF is oaky. Saying that after not using manual focus lens for a long long time. Hahahaha.

Beside eBay are there any dealers that are better than other for finding used pentax glass. Like KEH, B&H, Adorama, Sammy's etc. These are all state side dealers.

Thanks
10-25-2014, 11:31 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I use many lenses from most Pentax generations on my 645D's and 645Z, and almost all of them have worked very acceptably for me. Only 2 didn't... the older FA 645 45mm f/2.8 prime, and the new DFA 55mm f/2.8 prime. The old 45mm is well known not to be the sharpest knife in the drawer; for landscape work or anything else needing good, consistent edge-to-edge rendering, it's not what I want. The new DFA 55mm is certainly better, but in terms of edge-to-edge performance it didn't have what I was looking for in a high-priced modern optic. 55mm was not a critical focal length for me, but I'd been hoping to use it for the decent f/2.8 max aperture, modern autofocus, etc. In the end the optical performance I felt wasn't worth the money so I sent it back. I do know others are happy with this lens.

All other A, FA, DFA and DA 645 lenses that I've personally used, plus some 67 lenses, have been anywhere from good to outstanding. I have the DA 25mm, A and FA 35mm, FA 45-85mm, A and FA 75mm, FA 80-160mm, A 120mm Macro, FA 200mm, FA 150-300mm, FA* 300mm f/4, FA 400mm, a few 67 models like the 105mm f/2.4. And a few others. I'll use any of these without reservation. Very few were bought new; most I bought used from KEH, eBay, or direct from individuals.

Asking which lenses are better than others, though, is a bit of a loaded question. Better in what way? You'd need to describe more of what your desired application is, your subjects, shooting style, budget, tolerance for usability quirks, etc. There are many trade-offs in lenses and what's excellent for me (tripod, low ISO, static scenes, manual everything most of the time, etc.) may not cut it for you.

E.g. for portraits you could spend serious money on the new optically stabilized DFA 90mm f/2.8 Macro, or you could spend peanuts on the old manual 67 105mm f/2.4 with a 67-to-645 adapter. Which would be better for you? Both can be used to make fantastic looking portraits, so you're trading off something else (money and some level of convenience / usability) in the choice.

As an aside, there are a number of past threads here on the forum talking about lens performance on the 645D and to a lesser extent on the 645Z; some are quite extensive. Plus there's the lens review section on the site. So one thing you can also do while waiting for others to chime in is read some of what has been written before...

Last edited by Royce Howland; 10-25-2014 at 11:37 AM.
10-25-2014, 02:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
I use many lenses from most Pentax generations on my 645D's and 645Z, and almost all of them have worked very acceptably for me. Only 2 didn't... the older FA 645 45mm f/2.8 prime, and the new DFA 55mm f/2.8 prime. The old 45mm is well known not to be the sharpest knife in the drawer; for landscape work or anything else needing good, consistent edge-to-edge rendering, it's not what I want. The new DFA 55mm is certainly better, but in terms of edge-to-edge performance it didn't have what I was looking for in a high-priced modern optic. 55mm was not a critical focal length for me, but I'd been hoping to use it for the decent f/2.8 max aperture, modern autofocus, etc. In the end the optical performance I felt wasn't worth the money so I sent it back. I do know others are happy with this lens.

All other A, FA, DFA and DA 645 lenses that I've personally used, plus some 67 lenses, have been anywhere from good to outstanding. I have the DA 25mm, A and FA 35mm, FA 45-85mm, A and FA 75mm, FA 80-160mm, A 120mm Macro, FA 200mm, FA 150-300mm, FA* 300mm f/4, FA 400mm, a few 67 models like the 105mm f/2.4. And a few others. I'll use any of these without reservation. Very few were bought new; most I bought used from KEH, eBay, or direct from individuals.

Asking which lenses are better than others, though, is a bit of a loaded question. Better in what way? You'd need to describe more of what your desired application is, your subjects, shooting style, budget, tolerance for usability quirks, etc. There are many trade-offs in lenses and what's excellent for me (tripod, low ISO, static scenes, manual everything most of the time, etc.) may not cut it for you.

E.g. for portraits you could spend serious money on the new optically stabilized DFA 90mm f/2.8 Macro, or you could spend peanuts on the old manual 67 105mm f/2.4 with a 67-to-645 adapter. Which would be better for you? Both can be used to make fantastic looking portraits, so you're trading off something else (money and some level of convenience / usability) in the choice.

As an aside, there are a number of past threads here on the forum talking about lens performance on the 645D and to a lesser extent on the 645Z; some are quite extensive. Plus there's the lens review section on the site. So one thing you can also do while waiting for others to chime in is read some of what has been written before...
Hi Royce,
I had heard of the 45 not being not up to snuff but the 55 is a total surprise. I have bought a few 645 lenses in prep for switch from K3 to 645Z. From your experience is the 35 wide enough for interior architectural work? I know the 25 is the lens but it will be a while before I can get it. Thanks, Boris
10-25-2014, 02:33 PM   #8
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Like I said, lots of folks find the new DFA 55mm fine. But I was less impressed, and it wasn't a focal length that I didn't already have covered more than adequately for my needs with something else (mainly the FA 45-85mm). The DFA 55mm seemed a bit more kit-lens-ish.

I don't find the 35mm is quite wide enough for interiors especially considering the lack of shift for perspective control (or shift stitching). But it's the best bang-for-buck wide angle currently. The 25mm is great, but it comes at a price.

10-25-2014, 03:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
Like I said, lots of folks find the new DFA 55mm fine. But I was less impressed, and it wasn't a focal length that I didn't already have covered more than adequately for my needs with something else (mainly the FA 45-85mm). The DFA 55mm seemed a bit more kit-lens-ish.

I don't find the 35mm is quite wide enough for interiors especially considering the lack of shift for perspective control (or shift stitching). But it's the best bang-for-buck wide angle currently. The 25mm is great, but it comes at a price.
I guess I have to save up! BTW, I already have the FA45-85 and tried it on my k3. I also have the A120 macro and the FA200. They all work fine in manual mode but I cannot check the autofocus. I am covered on the long end but missing big time on the short end.

Is the 75 long enough for shallow DOF portrait work, or should I look at the FA150 f2.8?
10-25-2014, 04:54 PM   #10
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I prefer a longer focal length than the 75mm for portrait. The DFA 90mm which I don't have, or the 120mm Macro which I have. Or the 67 105mm f/2.4 which I also have, and is a nearly ideal focal length in my opinion. A 150mm also would work, but I find a bit more versatility with the somewhat shorter focal lengths. I have to admit portraiture is no kind of specialty for me but I really like the look of photos from the 67 105mm.
10-25-2014, 07:06 PM   #11
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OP, there's a good bit of info in the lens reviews section. I recommend you go through those if you haven't already.
In my experience shooting with the 645D, my favorite lenses are DFA25, A35, DFA55, A120Macro. I find the A45 and A75 to be decent, perhaps not as stunning as the aforementioned.
I also use some 67 lenses on the 645D: SMC105 and M*300 and they both perform superbly on that format.
To your other question, I do not find the 35 to be wide enough for interiors, definitely want to try to get a 25.
Good luck and have fun shopping!
10-26-2014, 07:34 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
I use many lenses from most Pentax generations on my 645D's and 645Z, and almost all of them have worked very acceptably for me. Only 2 didn't... the older FA 645 45mm f/2.8 prime, and the new DFA 55mm f/2.8 prime. The old 45mm is well known not to be the sharpest knife in the drawer; for landscape work or anything else needing good, consistent edge-to-edge rendering, it's not what I want. The new DFA 55mm is certainly better, but in terms of edge-to-edge performance it didn't have what I was looking for in a high-priced modern optic. 55mm was not a critical focal length for me, but I'd been hoping to use it for the decent f/2.8 max aperture, modern autofocus, etc. In the end the optical performance I felt wasn't worth the money so I sent it back. I do know others are happy with this lens.

All other A, FA, DFA and DA 645 lenses that I've personally used, plus some 67 lenses, have been anywhere from good to outstanding. I have the DA 25mm, A and FA 35mm, FA 45-85mm, A and FA 75mm, FA 80-160mm, A 120mm Macro, FA 200mm, FA 150-300mm, FA* 300mm f/4, FA 400mm, a few 67 models like the 105mm f/2.4. And a few others. I'll use any of these without reservation. Very few were bought new; most I bought used from KEH, eBay, or direct from individuals.

Asking which lenses are better than others, though, is a bit of a loaded question. Better in what way? You'd need to describe more of what your desired application is, your subjects, shooting style, budget, tolerance for usability quirks, etc. There are many trade-offs in lenses and what's excellent for me (tripod, low ISO, static scenes, manual everything most of the time, etc.) may not cut it for you.

E.g. for portraits you could spend serious money on the new optically stabilized DFA 90mm f/2.8 Macro, or you could spend peanuts on the old manual 67 105mm f/2.4 with a 67-to-645 adapter. Which would be better for you? Both can be used to make fantastic looking portraits, so you're trading off something else (money and some level of convenience / usability) in the choice.

As an aside, there are a number of past threads here on the forum talking about lens performance on the 645D and to a lesser extent on the 645Z; some are quite extensive. Plus there's the lens review section on the site. So one thing you can also do while waiting for others to chime in is read some of what has been written before...
Royce Thanks. That's exactly what I looking for in a review.

Sorry for such an open ended question. It got me an answer that I was after.

Before I joining the forum I searched for information on lenses and 645z and found some information that lead to ask my above.

Shot 6x6 for a very long time. Large format as well for personal work. There were some older lenses that were know to be better than others in the used market back in the day. Another reason I asked the question I did. The lenses review were not giving me the information I was looking for to be honest. It was helpful just wanted a little more information that what I found there. When there was no internet you had to depend on your local camera store. Ken Hansen usually had a great selection of used lenses to choice from in all formats. Digital and internet changed that years ago. The small mom pop camera store is hard to find these days even here in NYcity. Now you can shop the world and ask questions to much larger group to help you out. Of course you already knew that.

I'm still thinking if want drop that kind of money into another new system. Will my current business model support it? Pentax has made getting at least getting into a MF system reasonable to look into. I okay buying used glass. Looking around a little bit lenses seem to be limited for pentax 645 format.

Would of never thought of looking into an adapter to use 67 lenses with 645. I read that here and some place else. Thanks for the idea guys.

Looking into a medium format system to do some portrait work and landscape. With the hope that the large sensor will be better than the full frames sensors that are out there today. Dropped my FF 35 for a mirrorless system for doing events. It's more than enough for my clients and my needs. This may be more of a want more than it is a need.

MikeSF and btnapa thank you for your help.
10-27-2014, 02:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ru2far2c Quote
So being new (and a newbie here) to Pentax system and looking to build a kit for a 645z.

Pentax make three tiers of glass from what I've found.
There is FA glass from the film days, D FA from the early digital days and DA from the current Digital Days.

I'm taking it that the FA lenses work with 645z okay just not great just like in the early days of digital 15 + years ago with film lenses. Then came along D FA glass which is an improvement in the quality of the images and works better with digital. (plus the chips improved as well). So the DA glass is designed for the newer or newest camera and chips in today's market.

Is there a crop factor to take in to consideration with the 645z glass like with 35mm cropped sensor to full frame?

Which are the better lenses in the DA, D FA and FA line? NOT interested in zooms period. Just prefer primes.

Looking for three lenses wide, normalish and something for portraits.

Did anyone covert from Phase One and Hasselbald over to Pentax. If so why?

Thanks for your time!
Not interested in zooms, you should be in the new 28-45, its a gem.

My view on lenses is like this, if you have a weather sealed kit, but have to change lenses, whats the point? Cant change lenses in the rain really.
10-27-2014, 05:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Not interested in zooms, you should be in the new 28-45, its a gem.

My view on lenses is like this, if you have a weather sealed kit, but have to change lenses, whats the point? Cant change lenses in the rain really.
Do you own 28-45? I am looking for personal experience with this lens, considering buying it.
10-27-2014, 05:50 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by dgdb Quote
Do you own 28-45? I am looking for personal experience with this lens, considering buying it.
I do yes. It was between that or the 25 and it won for the zoom, OS and the filter thread.

I am taking more handheld shots now with the OS too. The lens is sharp with little CA.

No difference between it and the 25, but it's more flexible. I now have my kit down to a 28-45 and 80-160 and am waiting on the replacement for that too.

Some say that with the 25 you can zoom with your feet, I can step back a meter and get the 25 fov too, plus I can zoom in on those times when you can't step forward.

Whatever works for you, I shot with primes for a long time with leica so I learnt the composition thing then but moved on now.
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