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11-04-2015, 01:27 PM   #1
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645d Advice?

Hi All. Since getting my pentax 67 several years back, I have lusted over the Pentax 645d from a distance, always wondering what it would be like to shoot with and how the images would compare to whatever digital camera I was using at the time - currnetly the Sony A7Rii. Now due to some money I have made from my photography and the drop in the price of the 645d, I would actually be able to buy one if I want.

With that in mind, I have rented a 645d and the D FA 55mm and D FA 150mm lenses. I will recieve them tomorrow, Thursday and send them back on Monday. On Saturday I will be doing a portrait session for a local musician, who I know fairly well. I am looking forward to shooting both the A7Rii and the 645d side by side for a few days and in the context of a paid session.

I sold my K5 and moved to ff about 3 years ago, so while I am familiar with shooting with a Pentax, I am a bit rusty. So I was wondering if any of you who have used the 645d/z had any advise about the setup and use of the camera. Since I only have a few days to use it any advise would be welcome.

Also I have serveral Pentax 67 lenses (45mm, 75mm, 90mm, 105mm, 135mm, 165mm and 200mm) and I should be getting an adaptor for them tomorrow as well.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.


Last edited by DougLee; 11-04-2015 at 02:02 PM.
11-04-2015, 05:11 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DougLee Quote
Hi All. Since getting my pentax 67 several years back, I have lusted over the Pentax 645d from a distance, always wondering what it would be like to shoot with and how the images would compare to whatever digital camera I was using at the time - currnetly the Sony A7Rii. Now due to some money I have made from my photography and the drop in the price of the 645d, I would actually be able to buy one if I want.

With that in mind, I have rented a 645d and the D FA 55mm and D FA 150mm lenses. I will recieve them tomorrow, Thursday and send them back on Monday. On Saturday I will be doing a portrait session for a local musician, who I know fairly well. I am looking forward to shooting both the A7Rii and the 645d side by side for a few days and in the context of a paid session.

I sold my K5 and moved to ff about 3 years ago, so while I am familiar with shooting with a Pentax, I am a bit rusty. So I was wondering if any of you who have used the 645d/z had any advise about the setup and use of the camera. Since I only have a few days to use it any advise would be welcome.

Also I have serveral Pentax 67 lenses (45mm, 75mm, 90mm, 105mm, 135mm, 165mm and 200mm) and I should be getting an adaptor for them tomorrow as well.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.
Forget the camera and make a portrait. Wonderful as the Pentax Medium Format cameras are, they won't improve lighting, compositon, mood or trust of your model. As far as using the camera, it pretty mucn the same as a K5 except bigger and heavier. I love renting and shooting the Z but it doesn't replace my K5IIs bodies and nothing replaces lighting and client trust. Evaluate your sitter, plan your lighting and make your exposures as carefuly as you can. Great camera but its not a silver bullet. It won't make anyone a better photographer.
11-04-2015, 10:19 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DougLee Quote
Hi All. Since getting my pentax 67 several years back, I have lusted over the Pentax 645d from a distance, always wondering what it would be like to shoot with and how the images would compare to whatever digital camera I was using at the time - currnetly the Sony A7Rii. Now due to some money I have made from my photography and the drop in the price of the 645d, I would actually be able to buy one if I want.

With that in mind, I have rented a 645d and the D FA 55mm and D FA 150mm lenses. I will recieve them tomorrow, Thursday and send them back on Monday. On Saturday I will be doing a portrait session for a local musician, who I know fairly well. I am looking forward to shooting both the A7Rii and the 645d side by side for a few days and in the context of a paid session.

I sold my K5 and moved to ff about 3 years ago, so while I am familiar with shooting with a Pentax, I am a bit rusty. So I was wondering if any of you who have used the 645d/z had any advise about the setup and use of the camera. Since I only have a few days to use it any advise would be welcome.

Also I have serveral Pentax 67 lenses (45mm, 75mm, 90mm, 105mm, 135mm, 165mm and 200mm) and I should be getting an adaptor for them tomorrow as well.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you may have.
Sorry, I'm not a portrait photographer so I can't help you there, however I have been using a 645D for a few months and I also have an A7R (Mk 1) and a Leica M9.I sold a 5D Mk III when I found I was using the A7R and the M9 almost exclusively.

I like the output from the 645D although like any CCD sensor it will bloom highlights more readily than CMOS types.

It's still early days yet for my conclusions on the 645D (I'm strictly am amateur) however one lens that has impressed me greatly has been the FA 45-85 (not on your list!). I also have P67 55f4, 105f2.4 and the 200f4. I bought the P67 75, however haven't used that yet, finding the the P645 A 75/2.8 a great performer too. The 55 is a favourite amongst those primes.

If I have to characterise the 645D I would say (not surprisingly) it's rendering is like the M9, in that the tonality, colour and resolution are all very satisfying and I like the look more than the colours I get from the A7R (although it also has awesome resolution of course). To me the look is 'less digital'.

I also have to say that I am a great fan of Phase One's Capture One Pro RAW software, however they have clearly taken a commercial decision to 'hobble' their Leica S and P645D/Z competition in not supporting those cameras with proper profiles (just a generic DNG profile). I'm not a Lightroom user primarily so my findings are coloured by using LR as my non-standard RAW processor when PP-ing 645D files for optimum results.

There are lots of great P645D and P645Z images on this thread, along with film MF etc:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/48-pentax-medium-format/87027-post-your-m...at-photos.html


If any help, noting again that you are shooting portraiture not landscapes, here are some of my own Flickr album links for the 645D:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskiXAcy1 (Most of these using DCP (ICCs) profiles I created in an attempt to improve on C1 pro's generic DNG profile).

https://www.flickr.com/gp/smoooooth-lll/csEa30 (you'll have to look for 645D images in this one - it's a mix of MF digital and film).

good luck,
David
11-05-2015, 02:45 AM   #4
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My experience with the P67 glass is that it has to be stopped down a couple of stops to be usable. The first two stops make pretty soft images on all that glass.

Backdrops without patterns can cause sensor split issue, (different exposure on the two halves)…….

Highlights clip early and shadows don't recover (compared to modern cameras)

The prints will be light years beyond your other two cameras…….

---------- Post added 11-05-15 at 01:47 AM ----------

The DFA 55mm is also pretty weak performer until about 5.6.

11-05-2015, 03:54 AM   #5
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just a reminder that DOF is pretty thin at f/2.8 on 645D, so stop down a little more than you might have on the Sony when shooting your portraits. But you already know that from shooting the 67.
Have fun and post up a few when you have 'em!
11-05-2015, 04:36 AM   #6
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Don't use UHS cards or you might get corrupt images, and you won't know about it till later unless you chimp all the time.
11-05-2015, 05:34 AM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for your thoughts everyone, much appreciated. I've had the itch to photograph with the 645d since it was release and today, I'll finally get the scratch that itch!

Brooke, thanks for you advice. I know better than to think that the 645d will make me a better photographer. However, having photographed with large, medium and small format cameras, I also know that not all formats are equal, my job is to exploit the strengths of the format and minimize the weaknesses. The big question for me is what are the strengths of crop sensor on the 645d and how do they compliment the gear I already have. BTW, I very much enjoyed your ballet photos, I was a modern dancer some years ago and I always enjoy dance photos that are well executed as yours are.

David, I appreciate your comments, particularly on the rendering of the files from the 645d, this is everything for me. I have looked at all the photos I could find on the web and will check the links you posted - I always love looking at other peoples work. It will be exciting to see what I can do with the camera and how that compares to my work with smaller format cameras.

672, I am keen to see how the 67 lenses I have perform. It would be a real bonus if I can use them and if I can manually focus them and get shots that are in focus, manual focus on the A7 cameras is so easy and accurate. I'll check my highlights and look for any sensor split issues - this is a concern.

Mike, Hopefully shooting with the 67 will provide some preparation for the 645d! One of my goals is to stop down more.

Kolor-Pikkor, thanks for the advise. I did find one comment about this in my research, I'll have to look through my cards and be sure to avoid the UHS cards.

Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I'll report back next week with my thoughts, hopefully they will prove interesting and maybe even helpful to someone else at some point.
11-07-2015, 01:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
Don't use UHS cards or you might get corrupt images, and you won't know about it till later unless you chimp all the time.
I need to upgrade mine for a faster writing speed, so what cards should I get?

11-09-2015, 03:28 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
I need to upgrade mine for a faster writing speed, so what cards should I get?
Unlike CF, SD cards can't read/write data faster than the controller chip's capabilities (CF has no controller, data is dumped straight from the buffer), so there is no reason for using faster cards than what the camera is rated for.

Just get the fastest non-UHS card, unless you already have them, because it won't get any faster than it already is.
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