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01-28-2015, 01:37 AM   #1
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Colour: 645D vs 645Z?

Hi,
After many years in the lands of Canon and Leica, I have decided to move back to Pentax medium format. Previously, I shot with a Pentax 67.
I am considering the purchase of either a 645D (now at a much reduced price) or the new 645Z.
However, after much searching on the web, I believe that I see a significant difference in the colour rendition between these two cameras.
As a landscape photographer it is vitally important that I am able to capture the subtle "pink" tones of the early and late light. I could do this with film but have had varied success with digital cameras despite many attempts at profiling etc. To my eyes, the best and most film-like results came from my Leica M9 but I do not like the 3:2 format for composing landscape images.

I do not think that colour can be entirely controlled by profiling, and the recording of subtle tones in the first place has a lot to do with sensor design and the filters (cyan in colour) used to reduce IR/UV contamination.

I have seen images from the 645D that give the colour and look that I am after but I am also aware that there are split sensor issues with this camera and I do not know if these we ever satisfactorily resolved.

I also know that in general the ease of use, noise and resolution are improved in the new camera but to me, the overall "look" of the files is much more important.

In short, I would be extremely grateful if any landscape photographers with experience of the 645D and the 645Z could share their experiences of the colour palette produced by these two cameras.
Kind regards,
Stephen

01-28-2015, 02:36 AM   #2
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Answering your questions in reverse order:

QuoteOriginally posted by S E Scott Quote
I have seen images from the 645D that give the colour and look that I am after but I am also aware that there are split sensor issues with this camera and I do not know if these we ever satisfactorily resolved.
I personally have not experienced this problem however - I'll point out to you than other manufacturers ( i.e DALSA) also stitch sensors together, and there have been issues with them in the past but statistically few have experienced any problems.

QuoteOriginally posted by S E Scott Quote
However, after much searching on the web, I believe that I see a significant difference in the colour rendition between these two cameras.
I would chalk that up mostly to the style of image processing the photographer has used - the 645Z has a massive dynamic range, even bigger than the classic 645D. I will also state that the design of the CFA may be causing the differences between them. The only way you could make such a call is to get both a 645D, 645Z,your Leica M9 and do a straight comparison - and from there decide which you like the most**.

QuoteOriginally posted by S E Scott Quote
As a landscape photographer it is vitally important that I am able to capture the subtle "pink" tones of the early and late light.
The colour gamut of Film Vs Digital is a rather heated topic, but my personal opinion is that if you use ETTR, you can improve the colour accuracy and rendering of complex and delicate colours - however with this technique extreme precision of exposure is required for this along with tedious profiling of your camera*,monitor,and printer to achieve the results that you are aiming for.

QuoteOriginally posted by S E Scott Quote
To my eyes, the best and most film-like results came from my Leica M9 but I do not like the 3:2 format for composing landscape images.
The Leica M9 uses a CCD sensor from Kodak - who if you remember from the film days always put a distinct priority on colour rendering. The 645D also uses a Kodak CCD and produces images that are in many ways similar to the M9 - albeit with considerably higher resolution.

* Any filters you use should also be carefully checked for neutrality.
** Though personally, I'd say comparing Pentax lenses to Leica M glass is a bit unfair. I'd suggest you also try the Leica S2, which has the best lenses currently going for a medium format camera, Pentax lenses render things differently from Leica lenses.

Last edited by Digitalis; 01-28-2015 at 04:46 AM.
01-28-2015, 06:42 AM   #3
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I had the M9 for 4 years, and now the 645z. Sold my Leica gear for the Pentax.
My first Impressions, one word: wow ! One of my first shots, a handheld Portrait with the 90Macro, with very little postprocessing in LR5 showed really excellent tonal rendition and Colors. The only issue is weight, of course.


Carsten
01-28-2015, 08:40 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Pink enough for you? This was as close to how it looked that I could achieve. Doesn't show on the web, but the small pink wisps of cloud are on fire.



---------- Post added 01-28-15 at 08:41 AM ---------

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01-28-2015, 10:06 AM   #5
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I have both the 645D and the Z, which I purchased about a month ago. I haven't noticed any huge differences in color, but haven't done any scientific comparison either. I think the ISO, frame rate, live view, etc. make the Z a far superior camera, though if you aren't concerned with those features the D is a steal.
01-28-2015, 02:25 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I do find that the Z struggles slightly with differentiating subtly different red tones - which can translate into sunrise/set shots that lack, out of the box, that lovely feel that the D delivered naturally. However, with processing, that can be 99% remedied and, given the huge benefits of the Z, to me that is a small price to pay.
01-28-2015, 08:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
do find that the Z struggles slightly with differentiating subtly different red tones - which can translate into sunrise/set shots that lack, out of the box
Which is why I resorted to profiling the camera myself - using the canned adobe profile for the 645Z in lightroom doesn't serve it any favors either.

Last edited by Digitalis; 03-29-2015 at 02:37 AM.
01-28-2015, 11:37 PM   #8
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Yes, the D has split sensor issues. A Pentax rep even spoke openly with me about it after the Z was announced. I already knew about it from personal experience on two D bodies. Underexposure would produce the split. So I couldnt rely on the underexpose , process up workflow I can use with the Z. Also uniform backrounds (monotone walls, open sky) would produce the split even on "properly" exposed frames. And I had some split with extreme Telephoto lenses (600 and up) no matter what the subject. All in all , I am very glad I got into Pentax digital medium format early on. The D bodies are a smokin deal on the used market ! I got rid of mine to finance a Z.

As to the color tones. I have photographed a spot in the Sierra at sunrise for years , but not with the Z yet. The *istD shots fall apart pretty quickly but when I print the Pentax 67ll chromes big , they beat the 645 D out quite comfortably in terms of color rendition and gradations and richness. Cant wait to see how the Z stacks up...

01-29-2015, 08:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Which is why I resorted to profiling the camera myself - using the canned adobe profile for the 645Z in lightroom doesn't serve it any favors either.
Adobe standard v1 is awful. We told them so. There is a v2, not sure if it has been pushed out yet on an update. It's much better. The Huelight profiles are also better.

What are you using to make you own profile?

- N.
01-29-2015, 06:00 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I have used camera calibration tools from X-Rite, PictoColor, and more recently basICColor, for profile generation over the past few years - in the past I did use X-rite but their target is too small to cover the large gamut of most DSLR cameras. Another reason I changed to basICColor profiling system because of the ability to use multiple target images into the one profile which helps reduce metameric failure. Also the ability to alter the profiles manually after they are generated and compare them with previous profiling attempts is extremely useful. I have separate profiles for portraiture, product and landscape images and for different lighting 3200K, 5500K, 7200K. - I do this because sensors can do weird things when spectral components in the light are missing, sometimes it is a simple problem to fix: but when one is working with multiple light sources* within the same image things like skin tones, models can end up looking anemic, or look like they had their face pelted with a meat tenderizing mallet.

* e.g Two Kino Flo Diva 401 lightbanks with a central HMI spot.

Last edited by Digitalis; 01-29-2015 at 09:27 PM.
01-30-2015, 08:25 AM   #11
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Let me know if you need any beta testers for your profiles ;-)
01-30-2015, 10:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ndevlin Quote
Let me know if you need any beta testers for your profiles
Unlike some software companies and app developers I have an aversion to using my fellow photographers as Beta crash test dummies. I may release the 5500K profile if Adobe doesn't come up with a V2 profile that produces acceptable results - seriously, I hope they get it right next time.
01-30-2015, 11:45 AM   #13
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Thanks to all!

Hi,
I would just like to thank everyone who replied to this thread. Your comments have provided me with much useful information which will help me with my decision.
Kind regards,
Stephen
01-30-2015, 02:28 PM - 1 Like   #14
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There is a v2 Adobe profile. It just isn't public yet, I believe. It's fine. Much better than the first. If you're unhappy with using the embedded profile in LR5 get the Huelights one till the Digitalis ones hit the market :-)
01-30-2015, 07:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ndevlin Quote
If you're unhappy with using the embedded profile in LR5 get the Huelights
I'll give that profile a go, and see how it stacks up against my own profile.
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