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08-24-2015, 02:56 PM   #1
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Looking for 45mm lens recommendation for 645z

Hello All;

I'm a new Pentax 645z shooter (new to Pentax). I am looking for a 45mm lens recommendation for my 645z. It must have manual focus capability and I prefer a prime lens. (I am already aware of manual focus challenges (split focus screen, focus peak on LCD< etc.).) I know the 645z will support other Pentax lenses with an adapter (6x7, etc.). I shoot primarily environmental portraits.

thanks!

08-24-2015, 03:56 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Victor98109 Quote
Hello All;

I'm a new Pentax 645z shooter (new to Pentax). I am looking for a 45mm lens recommendation for my 645z. It must have manual focus capability and I prefer a prime lens. (I am already aware of manual focus challenges (split focus screen, focus peak on LCD< etc.).) I know the 645z will support other Pentax lenses with an adapter (6x7, etc.). I shoot primarily environmental portraits.

thanks!
I do not have the 645Z yet but bought some lenses from the system in preparation for possible acquisition of the 645Z. They are the A120 Macro f4, FA200 f4 and the FA 45-85 f4.5.

I have used them with my K5IIs and my K3 with great success. I just tried the 45-85 on a Sony A7R and it performed just as good on the full frame Sony as it did on the smaller sensor K3.

That is the extent of my personal experience with the lenses. I ran into a couple of Pentax 645Z shooters at a trade show and one of them uses the 45-85 extensively for landscape work. He said that FA45-85 is his go to lens for most of his work.

Hope this helps.
08-24-2015, 04:09 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Victor98109 Quote
Hello All;

I'm a new Pentax 645z shooter (new to Pentax). I am looking for a 45mm lens recommendation for my 645z. It must have manual focus capability and I prefer a prime lens. (I am already aware of manual focus challenges (split focus screen, focus peak on LCD< etc.).) I know the 645z will support other Pentax lenses with an adapter (6x7, etc.). I shoot primarily environmental portraits.

thanks!
I'd recommend the A 45mm, but if you're fine with a slightly wider field of view then the A 35mm is even sharper. Also, the D FA 55mm F2.8 is a stellar starter lens so you should pick it up if you haven't already.

Note that every Pentax 645 lens (minimally) supports manual focus and all the basic shooting modes. Adapted 6x7 lenses can be used in Av and M mode only.

I've personally found the 45-85mm to be a bit softer and hazier than I'd like (on the 645Z), but it does offer the added convenience of being a zoom.

See also:
Pentax 645 Medium Format Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Adam
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08-24-2015, 04:59 PM   #4
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I have found the FA 45-85 Zoom to be a great lens. It is the sharpest zoom I have used and find it more than good enough for landscapes. I highly Recommend it.

08-24-2015, 10:58 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomasbrowphoto Quote
I have found the FA 45-85 Zoom to be a great lens. It is the sharpest zoom I have used and find it more than good enough for landscapes. I highly Recommend it.
Thomas you da man. Your work is fantastic. I am assuming some of them are shot with the 45-85.
08-25-2015, 01:47 AM   #6
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for environmental portraits, the 55 is really nice, IF you can live with corners that are noticeably softer than the middle.
it is superquick and quiet to focus, light and tacksharp in the middle.
but that's not the look of the classic 35mm focal-length.
can also attest that the 35 is awesome. but own only the manual version.
haven't bought the 45-85, but had all the zooms back in my nikon days and am really enjoying the primes.
make you choose the look more and work with it.
hope this helps
cheers
Z
08-25-2015, 06:41 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomasbrowphoto Quote
I have found the FA 45-85 Zoom to be a great lens. It is the sharpest zoom I have used and find it more than good enough for landscapes. I highly Recommend it.

Agree with this, my copy is superb and again my mainstay Lens
08-25-2015, 07:48 AM   #8
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FA45-85 is my only 645 zoom lens. It is a great lens, even compared to my 645 primes.

08-25-2015, 07:55 AM   #9
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These are my lenses

Used for landscape and weddings

35mm A
45-85 FA
80-160 FA
200FA
120A
75FA

All second hand
All excellent at any given aperture
I use f16 / f22 without issue or concern. No customer has ever said a print they have bought suffers from defraction
I use the 75 wide open seeking the softer corners. I mean really a lens wide open and people want corner to corner sharpness???

You are only using the centre of the lens with a Z after all
08-25-2015, 01:16 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I know you're looking for a prime, but I must say that you won't find a better lens than the DA 645 28-45mm F4.5 in the current line up if what you want is a 45mm lens. It's tack sharp, it has shake reduction, and it's weather sealed. But I won't lie to you, it's super heavy and very expensive, so it's a big investment in the 645Z system. You won't regret it though if you decide to go down that route. I haven't so far.

I also own the FA 645 45-85mm F4.5. The two lenses can't be compared; it's apples and oranges really.

Last edited by BrunoL; 08-25-2015 at 01:16 PM. Reason: mistake
08-25-2015, 04:22 PM - 1 Like   #11
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My experience (and the consensus from online reviews) is that both the 645 45mm prime and the 67 45mm prime are not amongst the strongest lenses in the system when used on 645D/Z. The FA 45-85 zoom is generally held to be superior at 45mm than either prime (and I have found it to be pretty good at that length). However, the new 28-45 zoom beats it by far. (As others have said, the 35mm A and 55 DFA are good options too, but not 45mm as you requested)

Last edited by Ed Hurst; 08-25-2015 at 04:35 PM.
08-25-2015, 08:05 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the very helpful input. I had originally asked for a manual focus capable lens only because I bought the Z with the 55m lens - which is a great lens. I had assumed that in looking at the 35mm and 45mm lens they were NOT manual focus because I did not see the AF/M switch on the barrel of the lens as found on my 55m. And hence my query to the group. But when Adam stated all the lenses do intact support manual focus I had to do some digging online and discovered that those other prime lenses uses a "pull/push" function to support manual focus? Regardless, the confusion on my part prevented me from buying a 35mm or 45mm prime lens. And so based on everyone's great feedback, I'll look into the sharper 45-85mm and 28-45 for my desired 45mm focal length. (As a reference point I am also a Nikon and Leica shooter and hence my search for a AF/M switch (Nikon) and my preference for manual focus (Leica).)
08-28-2015, 02:44 PM   #13
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A manual focus lens will work much better in manual focus because of the long throw. For auto focus, the travel of the focus ring has to be dramatically shortened. If you do not need or want auto focus, buy an A instead of FA. Or buy a 67 lens.
08-29-2015, 01:11 AM   #14
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If you are wanting a manual focus ONLY lens, then I think the best option for 45mm is probably the 45-85mm A lens (better than either of the two other options - the 45mm A prime and the 45mm 6x7 lens). However, optically the 28-45 is certainly going to beat those and can be used in manual focus mode. It's true that the throw of an autofocus lens is going to be more tricky for manual focus, but it's not a massive problem - and no problem at all if you have time to use live view and test frames. Going for the A version of the 45mm 645 lens or the 45mm 6x7 lens purely for this reason would be optimising one operational factor over image quality.
08-29-2015, 09:58 PM   #15
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From my experience you would be better off getting the 35mm. I have the FA 45-85 and find its a disappointment. It's sharp in the center but real soft at the edges. I find the softness at the edges remains even at f11 and up in comparison to the center. It could be that I don't have a good copy.

However my A35mm is sharp to the edges and is more versatile as a wide angle lens.

I'm planning on selling my 45-85, however may buy another one which hopefully is a better copy. The zoom range is nice to have in some situations.

Phil
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