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07-20-2018, 02:32 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
Iím sure Precision will work on any 645 digital camera, no matter where it was bought. Gray market affects the warranty only.

Rick ďare any 645Ds still in warranty?Ē Denney
As Rick points out, I would expect a paid for repair to be separate from a manufacturer/distributor warranty. In my case, I bought my D used from a UK Pro Pentax dealer with a 12 month warranty from them. Hopefully I won't need it, but I'd expect the dealer to arrange and pay for any repairs, should it be necessary. The warranty was the big decider to buy that D instead of 'cheaper' ones without that backup (having accepted that I've only seen a handful for sale in the Uk in the last two months or so).

John.

07-20-2018, 05:05 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
This topic raised my interest in where prices are at present for both D and Z. Unlike lenses, which while often substantial in cost, have a cost vs. likelihood of needing repair deemed (by me at least) to be low risk. Thus, importing used from Japan when no good examples are available in the USA or Canada doesn't raise warranty issues with me.

However, the 645D and 645Z are complex and expensive enough to raise the question of repair options, even without any remaining warranty. Are repair sources available that will work on these camera bodies independent of whether purchased new in the USA or purchased used from Japan or sold as used from within the USA but possibly imported via the gray market from wherever? An alternative way of asking this is, if there are adequate repair sources, are they controlled by Pentax to refuse to repair any camera bodies that were not sold via Pentax retailers within the USA?

Are USA white market serial number ranges published?

Thanks
Well, the Z at least is the most bomb-proof camera I've ever owned, and I've had decent cameras since the late '70's. There are a few who have had problems, but the issues were less the problems than the wait times and rigamarole. I think some of that has been straightened out now. I think one person to talk to is itshimitis. But I think he had a lens problem...

But I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Z. It's just astounding. And it's really, really robust. Built to last a long time.
07-20-2018, 06:58 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
... But I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Z. ...
I was surprised to see today that Pentax has cut the price of new Zs by $1500 relative to the last time I looked. They are definitely tugging against my hesitation.

Thanks all for your comments.
07-20-2018, 09:16 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by babywriter Quote
Hi all -

I have been thinking about getting into digital medium format for a while now. I have a Pentax 645 (film) with three lenses, and I really love the larger 120 format - even working with scanned film negatives rather than straight digital. However, I know that it's expensive to go digital MF, and my funds are limited.

I'm seeing used 645D bodies for about $2,200 USD. Would this be a better way to go, or should I just save up longer and go to the 645Z? I figure, lens-wise, I can use my 645A manual-focus lenses until I can step up to more modern glass. But I don't want to have to buy another body a few years down the road.

Thoughts appreciated.
I'd suggest renting a 645D and an autofocus 645 lens such as the 55/2.8 FA. I did just that a couple years ago, and it broke me of the desire to own a 645 digital camera. (I still have a P645 and an assortment of manual lenses.)

The camera worked well with the AF lens. The old manual lenses were lovely but way too slow to focus for my taste, which would mean I'd have to spend a pile more money on some AF lenses if I were to buy the body.

And, in the end, I felt like for my uses the K-1 would be a better step.

07-20-2018, 10:14 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by bkpix Quote
I'd suggest renting a 645D and an autofocus 645 lens such as the 55/2.8 FA. I did just that a couple years ago, and it broke me of the desire to own a 645 digital camera. (I still have a P645 and an assortment of manual lenses.)

The camera worked well with the AF lens. The old manual lenses were lovely but way too slow to focus for my taste, which would mean I'd have to spend a pile more money on some AF lenses if I were to buy the body.

And, in the end, I felt like for my uses the K-1 would be a better step.
Well, I do have a fairly extensive set of AF lenses for my 645N that could be used with a theoretical 645D or Z. I like film, but sometimes the cycle time of getting a roll completed, sent off for development and scanning, return of negs and data, cropping or whatever processing, submission for photo printing (if the images are deemed worth it), and then print delivery is pretty long. And only after all of that can any deviations of the printed color from the original scene be evident. Then, if worthwhile, counter corrections can be made to the data for another stab at printing. Some parts of this process can be short-circuited with digital, and a big benefit is that after a shot an immediate estimate can be made of whether the composition, exposure, and speed were appropriate.

The really expensive part would be buying a larger house to provide more wall space.
07-21-2018, 05:16 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
Well, I do have a fairly extensive set of AF lenses for my 645N that could be used with a theoretical 645D or Z. I like film, but sometimes the cycle time of getting a roll completed, sent off for development and scanning, return of negs and data, cropping or whatever processing, submission for photo printing (if the images are deemed worth it), and then print delivery is pretty long. And only after all of that can any deviations of the printed color from the original scene be evident. Then, if worthwhile, counter corrections can be made to the data for another stab at printing. Some parts of this process can be short-circuited with digital, and a big benefit is that after a shot an immediate estimate can be made of whether the composition, exposure, and speed were appropriate.
Fundamentally and rationally, you have talked yourself into it. I shot film , of course, for years and years. I don't get too wistful about it these days, so much do the advantages of digital outweigh the disadvantages (are there really any?).

QuoteQuote:
The really expensive part would be buying a larger house to provide more wall space.
And flat-file storage cabinets, a wide format printer, the studio to manage the large prints and frame them, & etc....Or, you could just go full digital with large panel led screens. Don't scoff. That used to be a clunky, not so swift option just a few years ago. No more. I work at the Hirshhorn in DC, and we have a lot of time-based media that we run off these screens, which have gotten bigger and bigger in the 7 years I've been there. I believe it's becoming a very viable option for display of large scale works, and the nice thing is that one can cycle a whole portfolio into them, set them on timers, etc. As I review my own options for my house, it's starting to look like the real deal for my photography. When I consider the hassle of swapping out big prints floated in big frames (and the bigger the frame, the more it weighs because it has to be built very robustly), I am really thinking that a one time purchase of a few big screens may be the way to go. I do love prints, but then there's practicality. For me it's a situation of displaying diptychs, triptychs, and x-tychs, each single sheet at 30x40 or 40x60, for heights with frames up to nearly 6 feet and lengths of 10 feet and more.
07-21-2018, 06:06 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Fundamentally and rationally, you have talked yourself into it. I shot film , of course, for years and years. I don't get too wistful about it these days, so much do the advantages of digital outweigh the disadvantages (are there really any?).
Well, in the old days, one depended mostly on the film for the color balance, and Vericolor III (now morphed into Portra, I think), when decently developed and printed (sometimes with an attached example of the background), led to a straightforward workflow and a nice result (at least for an amateur like me).


QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
And flat-file storage cabinets, a wide format printer, the studio to manage the large prints and frame them, & etc....Or, you could just go full digital with large panel led screens. Don't scoff. That used to be a clunky, not so swift option just a few years ago. No more. I work at the Hirshhorn in DC, and we have a lot of time-based media that we run off these screens, which have gotten bigger and bigger in the 7 years I've been there. I believe it's becoming a very viable option for display of large scale works, and the nice thing is that one can cycle a whole portfolio into them, set them on timers, etc. As I review my own options for my house, it's starting to look like the real deal for my photography. When I consider the hassle of swapping out big prints floated in big frames (and the bigger the frame, the more it weighs because it has to be built very robustly), I am really thinking that a one time purchase of a few big screens may be the way to go. I do love prints, but then there's practicality. For me it's a situation of displaying diptychs, triptychs, and x-tychs, each single sheet at 30x40 or 40x60, for heights with frames up to nearly 6 feet and lengths of 10 feet and more.
I'll never be at that level of print generation, but your display idea is pretty nice. It doesn't take many picture frames before you've bought a 4k OLED TV. In a way, that was a motivation for my only 4k OLED TV, presenting Sach's Marine Aquarium as wall art (Serene Screen dot com) without the water mess (but with an added PC). My wife, however, prefers the TV function. Otherwise, my computer monitors are all 2k IPS. Depending on how one counts 50+ Mpixels allocated to three colors, the camera's native resolution is larger than most large screens can manage, although I will admit that one has to get pretty close to a 4k TV (and still have his lost youth accommodation) to see much granularity. What screens are you using?
07-21-2018, 08:50 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
What screens are you using?
I haven't pulled the trigger yet---still acquiring some other gear, although the camera gear is almost done(!). Next is a big computer upgrade, hopefully within the next several months (desperately need this and a real storage and backup routine). But I am closely watching developments, and have been for several years. Then there's this. They are still $2K for the 55", $2.8 for the 65", so too high for me just yet. Also, for me I really need as small a bezel as I can get---I'd rather mount the screens in such a way that I could adjust them and do surrounds as appropriate. I have an advantage that at my museum there's an AV staff, and they are on this stuff, so I can get tech updates.

The screens would be far more practical for my home, and far, far easier for me to rotate work. They would also be in the long run far, far cheaper as a way to see how things look at scale before committing to prints. For eventual sales I would still want to do prints in limited runs, but now the screens are also a possibility.


FYI, when I was out at The Broad in L.A. (I'm the tech rep for an exhibition that the Hirshhorn is touring, so I go to all the installs and de-installs), their shop was selling limited edition copies of time-based artworks (many thousands of dollars, IIRC), some by major artists. So, you can have them for your home as artworks, running on your screen. I would imagine there are quite a few people out in the L.A. area who have impressive home systems, so this only makes sense. Museums used to (and some still do---the AGO in Toronto still does) have sales and rentals operations, a mix usually of copies of multiples (lithographs, for instance) from major artists through original works by decent locals. This is the 21st century version of that. I think it will eventually catch on with photography as the tech improves, and it doesn't have to go much further to be viable. In advertising it's already taking over for the duratrans.

07-21-2018, 09:58 AM   #39
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On the LG 55 OLED 4k TV, the physical (metal) bezel is about 1/16th inch. The un-imaged (black) portion of the glass is about 5/16-inch on the sides, and 1/2-inch on the top and bottom. There may be computer monitors with smaller "dead zones." Some of these, though, use LCD technologies that won't provide the wide view angle expected from a photograph.

Thanks for the background information.
07-24-2018, 10:45 PM - 1 Like   #40
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Precision quotes an initial $800 estimate to look at a 645Z for repair, so factor that in if you are considering buying used without a warranty. I bought and returned a couple of them with shutter issues, which is how I learned about the initial repair estimate. I would only buy a used one with a warranty unless it was under $3700 and had a low shutter count.
07-25-2018, 03:19 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by loveisageless Quote
Precision quotes an initial $800 estimate to look at a 645Z for repair, so factor that in if you are considering buying used without a warranty. I bought and returned a couple of them with shutter issues, which is how I learned about the initial repair estimate. I would only buy a used one with a warranty unless it was under $3700 and had a low shutter count.
Thank you. That is an even higher cost than I imagined. It may be time for Pentax to do what the automobile manufacturers do and provide fairly deep analysis functions into their software so that the mechanics do not have to be the engineers that designed the car.

Sensing that repair costs (and time delays) might be an issue all of their own, I finally dropped the hammer (so to speak) on a new one. New ones do not come with even the most minimalist memory card, so the phrase "some assembly required" extends beyond just the neck strap. I can use the time waiting for cards to try to memorize the button, dial, and menu functions (or maybe attacking my backlog of house upkeep tasks).

---------- Post added 25th Jul 2018 at 06:38 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
I haven't pulled the trigger yet---still acquiring some other gear, although the camera gear is almost done(!). Next is a big computer upgrade, hopefully within the next several months (desperately need this and a real storage and backup routine). But I am closely watching developments, and have been for several years. Then there's this. They are still $2K for the 55", $2.8 for the 65", so too high for me just yet. Also, for me I really need as small a bezel as I can get---I'd rather mount the screens in such a way that I could adjust them and do surrounds as appropriate. I have an advantage that at my museum there's an AV staff, and they are on this stuff, so I can get tech updates. ...
I forgot to mention that if your future display computer also has to be your photo post processing computer, and if Lightroom, Darktable, whatever, are multithreaded (haven't seen any info on this), then one of the more recent multi-core AMD processors in the Zen line (Ryzen, etc.) may be appropriate. Also, I use a Synology NAS for storage. So far for the past few years it has worked well and still receives updates to its firmware as well as to the many functional programs that are included with it.

Long ago (when I had to deal with the pain of installing Windows whenever a drive failed) I adopted Western Digital server grade hard drives for all of my PCs as well as for the NAS (these have a "Y" in the model number) and those in the NAS and on the PC I'm typing on are run 24/7 and have run so for years without issue. Server grade hard drives are only slightly more expensive than consumer hard drives for the same storage and speed specs.
07-28-2018, 12:54 PM - 2 Likes   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by babywriter Quote
Hi all -

I have been thinking about getting into digital medium format for a while now. I have a Pentax 645 (film) with three lenses, and I really love the larger 120 format - even working with scanned film negatives rather than straight digital. However, I know that it's expensive to go digital MF, and my funds are limited.

I'm seeing used 645D bodies for about $2,200 USD. Would this be a better way to go, or should I just save up longer and go to the 645Z? I figure, lens-wise, I can use my 645A manual-focus lenses until I can step up to more modern glass. But I don't want to have to buy another body a few years down the road.

Thoughts appreciated.
You can get a used 645Z for around $3,200. Best place to look is LensAuthority.com, part of LenRentals.com. If you can get a good one for that price, JUMP on it. I LOVE mine. And stay away from the 645D, the Z is far and away a better camera. DxOLabs rated it the second best sensor ever tested.
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