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07-10-2015, 03:45 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
I find it amusing that Sony regularly makes lesser implementations of their own sensors, the D810 is better than the A7r, the D750 is better than the A7 and A99, and before that the D3x was better than the A900.
That may now be changing with the new A7RII. Sony's strategy may have been to get others relying on them for sensors for a while as Sony surged ahead of competitors in technology and manufacturing capacity. Now that others are "hooked", they have little choice but Sony. And now Sony can put their best foot forward in their own cameras.

QuoteQuote:
While Sony brings hope of there being a company that has capacity and technology to produce a mirrorless medium format camera, I'm also worried that we'll get the same max ISO6400 sensor that the digital back manufacturers are using, instead of the Pentax-improved variant.
If, and now it's looking like more of a big if, Sony were to come out with a medium format camera, I would think we'd see something more like an RX1, hopefully with a viewfinder.

Sony is an electronics giant, not an optics company. Pentax has optics experience, from miniature through 6x7. Nikon has optics experience, now from sub-apsc through 35mm, and then large format, but skipping medium format (although they may have patents for same...). Fuji also, with a very good background in compact medium format . And of course Mamiya, but they seem to have already made their choice, and Hasselblad---who has already partnered with Sony, albeit in outlandish ways.

I am hoping for Sony or Fuji to produce a compact medium format camera. I don't think it's an outlandish hope. What a travel camera! (says the guy who just carted 17-18 kilos of gear around Ecuador, in addition to the regular luggage---never again!) I don't see Pentax doing it---it's not their history.

07-11-2015, 05:06 AM   #32
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Sony does have Zeiss up their sleeve though, who do have experience with medium format glass. Although they do not currently produce any modern MF lenses, Gavin set me a 645Z Raw shot with the Zeiss 110mm f/2, and it was amazingly sharp wide open; with minimal adjustments to this design, Zeiss could add autofocus, and sell it as a modern lens very easily.
07-11-2015, 05:55 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
Sony does have Zeiss up their sleeve though, who do have experience with medium format glass. Although they do not currently produce any modern MF lenses, Gavin set me a 645Z Raw shot with the Zeiss 110mm f/2, and it was amazingly sharp wide open; with minimal adjustments to this design, Zeiss could add autofocus, and sell it as a modern lens very easily.
Oh, good point! So, you've made me slightly happier today, considering that Sony could do this in conjunction with Zeiss.
07-11-2015, 09:25 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
"High-Definition" , it used to be Coated, Multi-Coated, or if you were really fancy, Super Multi-Coated, regardless of brand.

ala the smc in some Pentax lens names I would imagine. Thanks.

07-13-2015, 04:15 AM   #35
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if zeiss released a modern AF version of the 110mm they can take my credit card numbers and debit whatever they want
07-13-2015, 06:25 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by gavincato Quote
if zeiss released a modern AF version of the 110mm they can take my credit card numbers and debit whatever they want
A small caveat, but from what I understand, the reason that every modern Zeiss lens is manual-focus other than those on Sony cameras, are due to a contract between the two companies that allows Zeiss to implement AF only on lenses intended for use on Sony cameras.
Perhaps Sony supplies the tech... It's only a theory, but the most prelevant one on photography forums.

One more reason to get Sony in the MF game.

To be fair, there are a bunch of optics companies that I would love to see make lenses for traditional cameras, like Rodenstock (peerless tech cam lenses) and Cooke (peerless cinema lenses). They are fairly small outfits, and Cooke is always back ordered for months even within their niche, but it's still fun to fantasize about these things. Cooke does make large-format 4x5 lenses, so their expertise does not only fall into the S35 format. Tell me this isn't the most beautiful lens you've ever seen:


Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 07-13-2015 at 06:44 AM.
07-13-2015, 12:57 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vitzthumb Quote
Like the title says, I've wanted to try out a 645Z for a long time now and finally got to handle one in a Munich camera store. It's even larger than I had previously thought--with a longer lens or older lens (I used it with a fancy shmancy autofocus 50mm something or other) I bet it would be absolutely monstrous! That said it wasn't uncomfortable at all to hold and actually felt very well-balanced. I think having such a massive piece of equipment in my hands made me feel more professional in some way.

Anyways, for those of you who actually own one, would you recommend purchasing one? Upgrading to medium format might be a possibility in a few years...
Coming back to the OP question.

It depends on what you currently own, what you want to do and how much you are willing to spend.

If you wish to print big, i.e. at least 24" on the long side, then MF may be good for you. I've owned the Phase IQ 180, and now have the 645Z. I also have the Canon 1DX and the A7R. They are all different animals, best suited for their own special uses and of course the costs are highly variable.

In terms of cost and heft, assuming you are comparing the DSLR models with the 645Z, I can tell you that the 1DX with the current crop of good lenses going from wide to 300mm will cost you more than the Pentax overall. The 1DX plus the 24-70 weighs 5.6 lbs while the 645Z plus the 55 DFA weighs 4.4, with the 45-85 it weighs 5.4 lbs.

The Pentax does not weigh as much as you think but it does look bigger and boxier. Performance wise it produces far better quality images even with the standard legacy lenses. Of course it is not an action camera and yet at 3.5 fps it is not much slower than the 5D when it came out. The AF is also slower than any DSLR but if you are primarily using it for landscapes, portraits, wildlife that is not running towards you it is fast enough.

I personally doubt a full frame 645 will be out very soon, at least 3 yrs, if at all. By then you would have gotten a fair bit of use from your purchase and of course there is always the used market. The really important thing to determine is what you are looking to do with your images.

Pradeep
07-13-2015, 01:54 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
Coming back to the OP question.

It depends on what you currently own, what you want to do and how much you are willing to spend.

If you wish to print big, i.e. at least 24" on the long side, then MF may be good for you. I've owned the Phase IQ 180, and now have the 645Z. I also have the Canon 1DX and the A7R. They are all different animals, best suited for their own special uses and of course the costs are highly variable.

In terms of cost and heft, assuming you are comparing the DSLR models with the 645Z, I can tell you that the 1DX with the current crop of good lenses going from wide to 300mm will cost you more than the Pentax overall. The 1DX plus the 24-70 weighs 5.6 lbs while the 645Z plus the 55 DFA weighs 4.4, with the 45-85 it weighs 5.4 lbs.

The Pentax does not weigh as much as you think but it does look bigger and boxier. Performance wise it produces far better quality images even with the standard legacy lenses. Of course it is not an action camera and yet at 3.5 fps it is not much slower than the 5D when it came out. The AF is also slower than any DSLR but if you are primarily using it for landscapes, portraits, wildlife that is not running towards you it is fast enough.

I personally doubt a full frame 645 will be out very soon, at least 3 yrs, if at all. By then you would have gotten a fair bit of use from your purchase and of course there is always the used market. The really important thing to determine is what you are looking to do with your images.

Pradeep
Hi Primus,

Thank you for your very informative reply. I noticed that you owned the IQ180 which in most charts is the ultimate in resolution albeit slow and limited in ISO, etc.

Since you own and have owned both (IQ180 and the 645Z), would you say that the 645Z's resolution is adequate for super large prints (30x40, 42x54, etc.) or the IQ180 is the way to go. My primary application would be landscape and still life images. The final output will be canvas and as large as I can get them printed.

I am currently using a K3 which is fine for small prints but I have been looking for a while to go with a bigger sensor but was not sure which way given my budget limitations too. FYI, I have purchased a few legacy Pentax 645 lenses (FA 200, FA 45-84 and A120 Macro) in anticipation of going with the 645Z. Since I have to let go of my K3s, FA limiteds and a few other lenses to fund the 645Z, I wanted to hear more from actual users of the 645Z before taking the leap.

Thank you for any feedback you may be able to provide.

Boris

07-14-2015, 11:18 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
Hi Primus,

Thank you for your very informative reply. I noticed that you owned the IQ180 which in most charts is the ultimate in resolution albeit slow and limited in ISO, etc.

Since you own and have owned both (IQ180 and the 645Z), would you say that the 645Z's resolution is adequate for super large prints (30x40, 42x54, etc.) or the IQ180 is the way to go. My primary application would be landscape and still life images. The final output will be canvas and as large as I can get them printed.

I am currently using a K3 which is fine for small prints but I have been looking for a while to go with a bigger sensor but was not sure which way given my budget limitations too. FYI, I have purchased a few legacy Pentax 645 lenses (FA 200, FA 45-84 and A120 Macro) in anticipation of going with the 645Z. Since I have to let go of my K3s, FA limiteds and a few other lenses to fund the 645Z, I wanted to hear more from actual users of the 645Z before taking the leap.

Thank you for any feedback you may be able to provide.

Boris
Boris, my primary interests are wildlife and landscapes. I had the former all taken care of with my Canon gear. I bought the IQ180 while on a trip to Svalbard as I had read so much about it and the Phase rep was there with sample equipment for us to try.

It is true that the IQ180 files are huge and provide the maximum detail for very large prints. However, the system is slow, with limitations in noise beyond ISO 200 (the base ISO is actually 35). The lenses are heavier and very very expensive (compared to legacy ones from Pentax). The newer backs from Phase are CMOS equipped and will be easier to use (now that they've got the new camera body), but since there is as yet no FF CMOS sensor, the resolution and quality from the IQ250 is no better than the Pentax 645Z.

IMHO you get very little extra in going for the IQ180. You may be able to squeeze the maximum sharpness out of it using tech cameras and Rodenstock lenses, with all the trouble that entains. The cost of such a system would be several times that of the Pentax. I spent over $50K on my Phase system, when I sold it just over a year later, it was worth less than $25K. There is very little value in used Phase gear, and yet the dealer will still charge you over $35K for a used system.

As far as the printing ability goes, I have an Epson 9900 and have printed large on it, at the sizes you mention without a problem. Or course it also depends on your viewing distance.

You can stitch the Pentax files, just like you can with any other camera and you can then easily print as large as your printer is capable of. Canvas typically prints well at lower dpi (150-200) than fine-art paper (180-240).

So yes, the Pentax 645Z is quite capable of high resolution prints at sizes of 30X40 or 42X54. However, for best results you may need to stitch your files or extrapolate and print using a program like QImage. At 8256 X 6192 per frame, it should not be difficult to get a 30 to 40 inch print even at high resolutions. If you stitch then the sky is the limit.

At this time, there is nothing else in MF that delivers as much bang for the buck as the Pentax.

Did you check out MR's review on LuLa? If not, here is the link. Well worth reading.

https://luminous-landscape.com/pentax-645z-in-depth-review/

Pradeep
07-14-2015, 01:16 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
Boris, my primary interests are wildlife and landscapes. I had the former all taken care of with my Canon gear. I bought the IQ180 while on a trip to Svalbard as I had read so much about it and the Phase rep was there with sample equipment for us to try.

It is true that the IQ180 files are huge and provide the maximum detail for very large prints. However, the system is slow, with limitations in noise beyond ISO 200 (the base ISO is actually 35). The lenses are heavier and very very expensive (compared to legacy ones from Pentax). The newer backs from Phase are CMOS equipped and will be easier to use (now that they've got the new camera body), but since there is as yet no FF CMOS sensor, the resolution and quality from the IQ250 is no better than the Pentax 645Z.

IMHO you get very little extra in going for the IQ180. You may be able to squeeze the maximum sharpness out of it using tech cameras and Rodenstock lenses, with all the trouble that entains. The cost of such a system would be several times that of the Pentax. I spent over $50K on my Phase system, when I sold it just over a year later, it was worth less than $25K. There is very little value in used Phase gear, and yet the dealer will still charge you over $35K for a used system.

As far as the printing ability goes, I have an Epson 9900 and have printed large on it, at the sizes you mention without a problem. Or course it also depends on your viewing distance.

You can stitch the Pentax files, just like you can with any other camera and you can then easily print as large as your printer is capable of. Canvas typically prints well at lower dpi (150-200) than fine-art paper (180-240).

So yes, the Pentax 645Z is quite capable of high resolution prints at sizes of 30X40 or 42X54. However, for best results you may need to stitch your files or extrapolate and print using a program like QImage. At 8256 X 6192 per frame, it should not be difficult to get a 30 to 40 inch print even at high resolutions. If you stitch then the sky is the limit.

At this time, there is nothing else in MF that delivers as much bang for the buck as the Pentax.

Did you check out MR's review on LuLa? If not, here is the link. Well worth reading.

https://luminous-landscape.com/pentax-645z-in-depth-review/

Pradeep
Hi Pradeep,

Thank you for the LuLa link. I had seen his initial test but forgot about his followup in depth review.

The projects I have in mind will require stitching of the files anyway as some of the prints will be 15ft. or longer canvas prints. However, I do have single frame subjects that can benefit from highest res image I can get without resorting to stitching. I know that 645Z has the additional resolution compared to current FF DSLRs but I am also interested in 645Z's higher ISO and wider DR capabilities.

I have a canvas print which is 36"x165". It was printed on an Epson 9600. The source image was Canon 7D (10 frame stitch). The print looks good because I shot it on ISO 100 and at f8 with a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 lens. This was during my Canon days of course. The image I wanted was a dusk image and it forced me to push the 7D to ISO 3200 and open up the aperture to f4 or so. By the time I got finished the image quality was junk due to high ISO artifacting. So my quest is to get higher res and also get better high ISO and DR out of the images. I am starting a project and do not want to do the work twice (K3 then 645z).

I noticed MR had taken a lot of the sample shots he posted with the 45-85 and the 80-160. My lens selection is week on the wide side but I may be ok on the long end. What is your opinion on the various Pentax 645 lenses you have used so far?

Thanks
Boris
07-14-2015, 04:04 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
Hi Pradeep,

Thank you for the LuLa link. I had seen his initial test but forgot about his followup in depth review.

The projects I have in mind will require stitching of the files anyway as some of the prints will be 15ft. or longer canvas prints. However, I do have single frame subjects that can benefit from highest res image I can get without resorting to stitching. I know that 645Z has the additional resolution compared to current FF DSLRs but I am also interested in 645Z's higher ISO and wider DR capabilities.

I have a canvas print which is 36"x165". It was printed on an Epson 9600. The source image was Canon 7D (10 frame stitch). The print looks good because I shot it on ISO 100 and at f8 with a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 lens. This was during my Canon days of course. The image I wanted was a dusk image and it forced me to push the 7D to ISO 3200 and open up the aperture to f4 or so. By the time I got finished the image quality was junk due to high ISO artifacting. So my quest is to get higher res and also get better high ISO and DR out of the images. I am starting a project and do not want to do the work twice (K3 then 645z).

I noticed MR had taken a lot of the sample shots he posted with the 45-85 and the 80-160. My lens selection is week on the wide side but I may be ok on the long end. What is your opinion on the various Pentax 645 lenses you have used so far?

Thanks
Boris
Boris, there are many stalwarts here and on GetDPI who have a greater experience and have done more thorough testing. HERE is one such post from Dave.

I have a few lenses, the widest is the 45-85 and it is really very sharp esp at the wide end. I've heard great things about the 35 too and the ultra-heavy 28-45 is supposedly really good. If you are stitching though, you may not need that wide a lens. My 120 Macro is probably a bad copy but all the others I have - 55DFA, 75 FA, 150 FA and the 300 FA are good, the last probably a bit weak.

Of my selection, the following would be the order from sharpest to softest: 55DFA, 45-85 FA, 150 FA, 75 FA, 120 FA and the 300 FA.

One thing you can be sure of, the high ISO performance and the DR of the camera is superb. Really impressive is the ability to pull out 4.5 stops of shadow detail which is eye-popping. When Chris Giles first posted an image where he had done that, I thought it was just not possible. But I've done that too and if the ISO is under 800, there is almost NO noise in the shadows even when you pull them up that much.

One thing though, you need to be careful of clipping the highlights. If there is one thing the Pentax is poor at, it is highlight recovery. You cannot exceed even one stop of over exposure. There will be times when you just need very high ISOs, I believe there is at present no other high resolution camera that can do a better job than the Pentax in low-light conditions.

Bottom line - you print big, you need high a resolution camera. IMHO the best bet right now is the Pentax 645Z.

Pradeep
07-14-2015, 04:28 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
My 120 Macro is probably a bad copy but all the others I have - 55DFA, 75 FA, 150 FA and the 300 FA are good, the last probably a bit weak.
Do you have the f4 or f5.6 version of the 300. Curious as I'm interested in picking up a 300.
07-14-2015, 05:31 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Primus Quote
One thing though, you need to be careful of clipping the highlights. If there is one thing the Pentax is poor at, it is highlight recovery.
Maybe I've missed something, but isn't that the definition of clipped highlights?When it is impossible to recover anything...
07-15-2015, 04:24 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrpower10 Quote
Do you have the f4 or f5.6 version of the 300. Curious as I'm interested in picking up a 300.
I have the 5.6

It is very light and easy to use. If stopped down to f8 and at 1/500 or so it is sharp enough. Obviously there is no IS and in the situations I was using it, there wasn't enough light, hence it is a bit limited.

---------- Post added 07-15-15 at 07:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Pål Jensen Quote
Maybe I've missed something, but isn't that the definition of clipped highlights?When it is impossible to recover anything...
Perhaps I should have rephrased it.

But, I can recover up to 4.5 stops of underexposure but less than 1 stop of overexposure. In that sense it is worse for highlights than my Canon gear. It is unbelievable though for shadow recovery.

Pradeep
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