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03-11-2016, 09:50 AM   #16
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id say get the 645Z if you can afford it. The lenses aren't that bad if you buy used. I've seen lenses on here going for very reasonable prices. I was really considering a 645Z over getting the K-1 but what's holding me back is I cant afford it. Think of it this way. Not everyone has medium format. That's a huge bragging right for me in the interior/real estate photography business and I imagine its the same in other lines as well.

---------- Post added 03-11-16 at 08:51 AM ----------

plus they had that flash trigger that allowed for faster than 1/180 flash sync on 645Z so that's pretty awesome

03-11-2016, 10:09 AM   #17
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Rent the Z with the wide zoom(28-45mm) and a longer prime for a week and get to know it. The 2x3 aspect ratio is not me either and I think you will really enjoy seeing your world through the 3x4 of the 645.

As far as sheer IQ, the 645D at base ISO easily beats the D810, so even a modest purchase of a clean used D will get you better images, except for high ISO. For your high ISO work, you may want something else.
Also, consider the K-1 which on paper is an updated analog to the D810 and with a bag full of lenses, may cost less than your current Nikon rig in the long run.

So in summary, you must own the 645Z and should buy one immediately. I mean, stay with what you have and be happy. I mean...
03-11-2016, 10:30 AM - 2 Likes   #18
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If you were going from a lower end FF or APS-C to MF, then the 645Z is clearly an upgrade. From the D810 to the 645Z is not so obvious and I agree with many of the previous posters that the only way to really know would be to rent and when you do side by side comparisons with your D810, either try to use the equivalent focal lengths or go for glass that isn't in your Nikon collection.

In my experience, if I hesitate and want others to encourage me to do something, it means that intuitively I know the answer is 'no'. When I get to the point where I don't need the advice of others, I know it's the right thing. What lenses do you have with your D810? Getting better optics may make more of a difference than getting a 43.8 x 32.8mm size sensor. Personally I shoot both, but can't afford the Z, so I shoot 645 film, then scan.
03-11-2016, 10:41 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by shardulm Quote
A few questions may give you a a good headstart into the decision...

Q1. Is your work eventually going to become a billboard print?
Q2. Will you be shooting in rain and or inclement weather more than 50% of the time?
Q3. Does your D810 not allow you to shoot in extreme or inclement weather or rain?
Q4. Do you need focal lengths less than 100mm for most or all of your work?

alternatively

Qz. Is a client lined up to pay for your work that will involve a billboard print?
These wouldn't be any questions I would ask myself if facing this decision.


03-11-2016, 01:59 PM   #20
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Here's my 2 cents, for what it's worth. The 645z and the D810 could both have a place in your toolbox if you have the funds to run both systems.


The 645z is a very deliberate camera. By that I mean you're going to take your time to compose, meter, etc. It's best on a tripod, although I have found I can handhold given the high iso capabilities, but it's not the best camera for capturing the moment when something happens, and given the bulk and weight, it can be intimidating to unplanned subjects, and tiring to use handheld for extended periods. I'm very deliberate with my photography so I like the 645z, but I would never carry it around the streets of Seattle trying to get candid portraits, for example.


I've never shot Nikon, so I'm going by reputation here, but it seems similar to the 645z in a lot of ways but at 35mm rather than MF. It won't be as good at planned, deliberate photography (landscapes, maybe product photography) but still good, and will be better at other types (faster-paced photography, street photography, etc), but not as good at these things as something like the Nikon D5s. Guess I see the D810 as a very reasonable compromise between MF and high end, faster 35mm DSLR's.


Given what you are planning to shoot (I assume by portraits you mean staged vs candid and that environmental/documentary you mean capturing things like effects of climate change, which can be deliberate), you would probably like the 645z.
03-11-2016, 02:27 PM - 2 Likes   #21
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portrait/wedding guy here

Go for it! It's incredible. If I look back at my work since when I switched to the 645z I can see a serious jump in quality. For a portrait / fashion shoot or similar, it's plenty fast enough. I still keep a SLR for faster things (certain times at weddings) but when I just do a portrait shoot or similar the 35mm based stuff never comes out of the bag.

The only thing to bear in mind though is that the 55mm is probably a bit wide for a lot of portrait stuff - it's a very nice lens but you'll really want something longer as well so if you are pushing it budget wise please bear that in mind as well. When I shoot people on the 645z apart from some old adapted lenses I use the most common pentax lenses I use are the 75/2.8 and 150/2.8 - The 55 I normally pull out for more full body stuff.

I'm producing better stuff now than when I wrote this but you might find this a interesting read ;

The Pentax 645z – a wedding photographers medium format dream | Wollongong, Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Sydney & Destination wedding photography
03-11-2016, 02:40 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaolen Quote
id say get the 645Z if you can afford it. The lenses aren't that bad if you buy used. I've seen lenses on here going for very reasonable prices. I was really considering a 645Z over getting the K-1 but what's holding me back is I cant afford it. Think of it this way. Not everyone has medium format. That's a huge bragging right for me in the interior/real estate photography business and I imagine its the same in other lines as well.

---------- Post added 03-11-16 at 08:51 AM ----------

plus they had that flash trigger that allowed for faster than 1/180 flash sync on 645Z so that's pretty awesome
1/4000th FLASH SYNC ON 645Z WITH PRIOLITE They must have updated it since it was first announced. IIRC it was many thousands of dollars originally, but this starts under $300

FWIW, remember that you can adapt other lenses to the 645z - all the 67 lenses (which seem to be cheaper used) work on it with the adapter. Lenses from other cameras (hasselblad for example) can work as well, with their own specific adapters
67: http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Mount-Adapter-Pentax-Camera/dp/B0054EP3EA

Last edited by narual; 03-11-2016 at 02:46 PM.
03-11-2016, 03:14 PM   #23
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If you're UK based Mifsuds have a 645Z and the 55 2.8 for less than 5900. It's being sold as used but fully boxed and unused.

In fact it's less than 5500:

http://mifsuds.com/pentax/Used-Pentax-645Z-Digital-Medium-Format?sort=p.price&order=DESC

Mifsuds are a well established retailer with a good reputation.

03-11-2016, 04:43 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
As far as sheer IQ, the 645D at base ISO easily beats the D810,
??? given that the 645z barely holds it's own against the d810 at iso200 and up, i have to question that claim: Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting

the 40mp 645d is nearly $3400 new at b&h, it's a dinosaur that came out in 2010... you can get a 42mp a7rii for $3200, it'll have silent shutter, efcs up to 1/1000th, and it'll probably be able to use all of the nikon lenses that the o.p. currently has.

but really, if you already own a d810, you've gotta be pretty motivated to want to spend the $$$ for a 645z or an a7rii... i don't see where the o.p. has a made a valid case for doing that?

i would wait another year, see how the k-1 turns out, see what sony does, they are leading the pack in technology, see how canikon addresses that.
03-11-2016, 05:53 PM - 6 Likes   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
??? given that the 645z barely holds it's own against the d810 at iso200 and up, i have to question that claim: Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting

the 40mp 645d is nearly $3400 new at b&h, it's a dinosaur that came out in 2010... you can get a 42mp a7rii for $3200, it'll have silent shutter, efcs up to 1/1000th, and it'll probably be able to use all of the nikon lenses that the o.p. currently has.

but really, if you already own a d810, you've gotta be pretty motivated to want to spend the $$$ for a 645z or an a7rii... i don't see where the o.p. has a made a valid case for doing that?

i would wait another year, see how the k-1 turns out, see what sony does, they are leading the pack in technology, see how canikon addresses that.
Sorry, but as someone who owns the 645Z and the A7RII, in real life shooting, there is clear water between the Z and the A7RII. The Sony is a great camera for sure, but the files from the Pentax are both more pliable than the raw files from the Sony - and I shoot uncompressed raw, and actually about 25% smaller. That doesn't mean that there is necessarily more useful data in the Sony files. I have one or two issues with my camera which I have workable go arounds, and because unfortunately Pentax's servicing department takes too long, I don't want to be without my 645Z for very long. The Sony is no replacement for my Z. It's good, but also remember that the OP wants to shoot natively in 4:3. There aren't too many options there.

The 645D may be older but it is no dinosaur. In fact some may say it is better for the OPs use as some think that the CCD sensors yield better skin tones.

If I had the use of my Z and lost the use of my A7RII, the world would not be at an end for me, and I wouldn't be wondering what the A7RII would be capable of. If I lost the the use of the Z and only had the A7RII I would end up getting another Z as I would be left wondering, no matter how good the files from the Sony, how much better the Z files would have been.

We don't have too many arguments on here, but, try and be a little more balanced for the OP's sake. What experience do you have of the 645D/Z to shout down someone that is VERY experienced with the D and is getting great results from the Z? This is no theoretical discussion.

OP - Hire a Z and a D. compare the tones. What you will find is that if you are exposing to the right (for the avoidance of doubt, where the histogram leans to the right) then files will look a little bland SOOC. As long as you haven't pushed the highlights you will get great detail from the shadows and have plenty of scope for contrast. The D will probably have more punch straight from the camera, and still have quite a bit of pliability.

I share your love of 4:3 as opposed to 3:2. I'm a landscape photographer, but it's even more important in portrait photography as 3:2 just (in my view) looks too narrow.

Last edited by itshimitis; 03-11-2016 at 06:40 PM.
03-11-2016, 06:19 PM - 4 Likes   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
??? given that the 645z barely holds it's own against the d810 at iso200 and up, i have to question that claim: Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting

.
in your dreams mate, you might be able to compare the d810 vs 645z and make the numbers match up to put a case together that the 645 is only marginally better in a studio just comparing numbers - but in the real world shooting it's a different story.
03-11-2016, 07:02 PM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
??? given that the 645z barely holds it's own against the d810 at iso200 and up, i have to question that claim: Photographic Dynamic Range versus ISO Setting

the 40mp 645d is nearly $3400 new at b&h, it's a dinosaur that came out in 2010... you can get a 42mp a7rii for $3200, it'll have silent shutter, efcs up to 1/1000th, and it'll probably be able to use all of the nikon lenses that the o.p. currently has.
...
You misunderstood me. At base(low) ISO, the IQ (including color rendering, resolution) wins vs the Nikon.
D810 cannot show that much detail.
03-11-2016, 09:43 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by gavincato Quote
in your dreams mate, you might be able to compare the d810 vs 645z and make the numbers match up to put a case together that the 645 is only marginally better in a studio just comparing numbers - but in the real world shooting it's a different story.
that graph is based on measurements, and bill claff, the guy behind it, has a solid rep for accuracy... those numbers aren't going to change just because the cameras are out in the field.

---------- Post added 03-11-16 at 08:59 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
We don't have too many arguments on here, but, try and be a little more balanced for the OP's sake. What experience do you have of the 645D/Z to shout down someone that is VERY experienced with the D and is getting great results from the Z? This is no theoretical discussion.
well, if it's not theoretical, where are the photos that prove that either of the mf cameras are going to be a giant step up from the d810 that the o.p. has? the only really valid point i see is 4:3, and is that really worth spending thousands of $$$ on?

as for the a7rii, if someone can't see the benefits of efcs, ibis, etc., over these mf cameras, they aren't pushing the limits nearly hard enough

ming thein is a nikon apologist, i really can't stand the guy, but at least he's tried to make this comparison: Review: The Pentax 645Z, part II: compared to the 645D, Nikon D800E and Hasselblad CFV-39 ? Ming Thein | Photographer

i don't need to own the gear, or even listen to him, to see what these cameras can do.
03-11-2016, 11:02 PM - 1 Like   #29
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What a great thread !!! It reminds me of when the canon 5D (first one) came out and all the die hard aps-c shooters said "we don't need a bigger chip" . Well , I did , and I have never looked back. Aps-C was never close to Full Frame and Full Frame is not close to 44x33 , period !

I say to anyone with the means and interest to get a 645Z as soon as possible !!! You will not regret it........
03-12-2016, 02:58 AM - 2 Likes   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by osv Quote
that graph is based on measurements, and bill claff, the guy behind it, has a solid rep for accuracy... those numbers aren't going to change just because the cameras are out in the field.

---------- Post added 03-11-16 at 08:59 PM ----------



well, if it's not theoretical, where are the photos that prove that either of the mf cameras are going to be a giant step up from the d810 that the o.p. has? the only really valid point i see is 4:3, and is that really worth spending thousands of $$$ on?

as for the a7rii, if someone can't see the benefits of efcs, ibis, etc., over these mf cameras, they aren't pushing the limits nearly hard enough

ming thein is a nikon apologist, i really can't stand the guy, but at least he's tried to make this comparison: Review: The Pentax 645Z, part II: compared to the 645D, Nikon D800E and Hasselblad CFV-39 ? Ming Thein | Photographer

i don't need to own the gear, or even listen to him, to see what these cameras can do.
Of course it makes it theoretical for you. You don't own the 645Z and I'm not sure you even own the A7RII, though you rave about Sony's products all the time. I speak from a practical basis, and own both cameras. 90% of what I shoot is with the Pentax. I'd love to have electric front curtain and IBIS in the 645Z, sure, and you'll see others would like this in the next iteration of the 645Z. Having these things don't make me choose to shoot with the Sony rather than the Pentax when I have both with me. There are two reasons I occasionally shoot with the Sony when I have both cameras with me and one when I choose to carry the Sony over the Pentax:

I only choose the Sony over the Pentax to travel if the larger size of the Pentax is completely impractical.
I shoot with the Sony when I need something wider than what I have with me, or when I need something narrower and wider than 4:3 and don't want to crop. For example, My DFA 35 is a similar equivalent to my Batis 25 on my A7RII. As they are different formats, they provide quite a different shot, and a different FOV. I could crop a 4:3 format to get 3:2 and I could crop a 3:2 to get a 4:3 (and frequently do), but I gain nothing from doing so - in fact I lose size.

Where you are missing the point is that choice of aspect ratio is not a post shoot decision, it is a pre shoot decision. You can crop a 3:2 to get a 4:3 but it doesn't make the shot less narrow in what is captured in the frame. It just changes the shape. Same vice versa. Aspect ratio is a perfectly good reason to choose one camera over another and is one of the factors that makes me choose the 645Z over the Sony. It was also one of the reasons why I would frequently choose the 645D over the D800 when I had them - I posted about it in the Medium Format images thread a few years back. It's more crucial than some of the things you've highlighted as it affects how you take the shot, which lens you use, where you stand and how you frame. Yes you can change afterwards in post, but trust me, it's not the same. That's before you get to the sensor size.

Too many people debate the theoretical side of photography rather than go out and shoot. What are you shooting with incidentally, OSV?

Last edited by itshimitis; 03-12-2016 at 03:05 AM.
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