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03-26-2019, 05:05 PM - 7 Likes   #1
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Pentax 645Z vs Fujifilm GFX 50R

Hello All,

I did a youtube video review featuring both cameras, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Just a short summary for those that don't want to view the youtube video

Pentax 645Z is much cleaner when recovering shadows compared to the 50R, also is less noisy at ISO 6400 in LightRoom. Last night which is not shown in the video, I loaded up the raw files into Capture One, I had to change the EXIF of the 645Z DNG files to read PhaseOne IQ250, and it seems that there is a lot of noise reduction going on with the 50R files, smoothing out the ISO 6400, but to my eyes the 645Z is still cleaner. The GFX 50R though can recover highlights better than I noticed. Also, the new GFX lenses are super sharp!! Wow!! They can clearly resolve 100MP for the new GFX 100 camera. The 645Z has more affordable lenses, and if you have a Pentax 645 film camera, you can easily use it on the digital 645D and Z, the Fujifilm you can't since its a new mount. One more thing, the raw files from the 50R seem more magenta looking, where the 645Z files are much warmer and pleasing to my eyes.

let me know if you guys have any questions



03-26-2019, 06:17 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by jberry Quote
Hello All,



I did a youtube video review featuring both cameras, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Just a short summary for those that don't want to view the youtube video



Pentax 645Z is much cleaner when recovering shadows compared to the 50R, also is less noisy at ISO 6400 in LightRoom. Last night which is not shown in the video, I loaded up the raw files into Capture One, I had to change the EXIF of the 645Z DNG files to read PhaseOne IQ250, and it seems that there is a lot of noise reduction going on with the 50R files, smoothing out the ISO 6400, but to my eyes the 645Z is still cleaner. The GFX 50R though can recover highlights better than I noticed. Also, the new GFX lenses are super sharp!! Wow!! They can clearly resolve 100MP for the new GFX 100 camera. The 645Z has more affordable lenses, and if you have a Pentax 645 film camera, you can easily use it on the digital 645D and Z, the Fujifilm you can't since its a new mount. One more thing, the raw files from the 50R seem more magenta looking, where the 645Z files are much warmer and pleasing to my eyes.



let me know if you guys have any questions



Fujifilm GFX 50R vs Pentax 645Z feat. Guam Model Salina Borja Eseroma - YouTube
Great video

03-26-2019, 06:40 PM   #3
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The 645z is the Rolls Royce, the GFX has the lenses, with Fuji showing they are active in that format. Is Pentax still doing anything for 645?
03-26-2019, 10:18 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jberry Quote
the new GFX lenses are super sharp!! Wow!! They can clearly resolve 100MP for the new GFX 100 camera.
That's dumb, how do you know lenses can resolve 100Mp based on seeing images from a 50Mp sensor?

03-27-2019, 12:46 AM   #5
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Thanks for the video!
Sharpness and noise on the gfx almost seems like there would be some in-camera sharpening going on.

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The 645z is the Rolls Royce, the GFX has the lenses, with Fuji showing they are active in that format. Is Pentax still doing anything for 645?
They said they are watching the market.
03-27-2019, 12:51 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sbh Quote
Sharpness and noise on the gfx almost seems like there would be some in-camera sharpening going on.
Yes, your statement makes sense. The sensor is the same, I can't imagine how the Fuji implementation would show more noise, unless there is some additional sharpening applied on the Fuji, or noise reduction applied to the Pentax. The 645z is large, it can be a disadvantage, but the handling / grip and controls of the 645z are pro-level. I've been contemplating MF for awhile, I like the 645z concept, but Ricoh's lack of perspective puts me off. My guess is that after Fuji will release the 100Mp, there will be a number of GFX50 for sale used.

Note: in the video , there are a number of incorrect statements. Such as "the 645z have more sealing points because it's a larger body" (the number of seals has nothing to do with body size), or comment from the lady implying that the GFX is lighter and "more durable"... more durable? based on what?

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-27-2019 at 01:00 AM.
03-27-2019, 06:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The 645z is the Rolls Royce, the GFX has the lenses,
I agree.

If the sharpness findings in the video are correct, then I can't believe Pentax putting out a killer body with subpar lenses. I can understand Pentax legacy, film era lenses being soft or not sharp enough. There is no excuse for a modern lens not being up to the task.

I would choose Fuji just for the lenses. After playing with the Fuji offerings at last month's WPPI. I think they are just as big as the 645Z when you consider how big the Fuji zoom lenses are. In another words both systems are big and bulky.
03-27-2019, 09:14 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
I think they are just as big as the 645Z when you consider how big the Fuji zoom lenses are. In another words both systems are big and bulky.
The GFX50S is about the size of a K1, and f4 GF lenses are about the size of f2.8 lenses on the K1. The problem is the prices. I consider that pricing and resolutions are ridiculous. For a Panasonic S1R with 47Mp crammed into 24mmx36mm, it's overpriced because no matter what the S1R is still 24x36. I feel like pricing around $2K for full frame 30Mp and $4K for MF 50Mp would find more full frame users and more MF users. At the end of the day, as I've just posted in another thread, cramming more mega pixel in the sames sensor areas doesn't proportionally increase the quality of image output.

---------- Post added 27-03-19 at 17:20 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
If the sharpness findings in the video are correct, then I can't believe Pentax putting out a killer body with subpar lenses.
I suppose the newer DA lenses like the 28-45 and 90 macro are good, it's just that there aren't many and they aren't cheap. GFX lenses aren't cheap either... most GF lenses are priced between 2K and $3K.

03-27-2019, 12:41 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
... I've been contemplating MF for awhile, I like the 645z concept, but Ricoh's lack of perspective puts me off. ...
Me too, but for me it's more the available lenses. I wouldn't want to invest a bunch of money and then have to use legacy lenses. A modern version of the 80-160 would be nice and the 90mm macro feels a bit short. But currently I'm more than happy with the K-1 so I'll wait and see.
03-27-2019, 02:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Yes, your statement makes sense. The sensor is the same, I can't imagine how the Fuji implementation would show more noise, unless there is some additional sharpening applied on the Fuji, or noise reduction applied to the Pentax. The 645z is large, it can be a disadvantage, but the handling / grip and controls of the 645z are pro-level. I've been contemplating MF for awhile, I like the 645z concept, but Ricoh's lack of perspective puts me off. My guess is that after Fuji will release the 100Mp, there will be a number of GFX50 for sale used.

Note: in the video , there are a number of incorrect statements. Such as "the 645z have more sealing points because it's a larger body" (the number of seals has nothing to do with body size), or comment from the lady implying that the GFX is lighter and "more durable"... more durable? based on what?
I do use the gfx fairly regularly and have done tests comparing the files using only Pentax lenses to keep the files consistent. I was not comparing lenses I want to just compare files/sensor. the Fuji files are larger by a good amount. Didn't matter if I placed the 645Z in dng or pef. That tells me there is probably more processing I'd imagine going on with the Fuji. As far as files go, the Fuji tends to be more on the contrast side, to where the shadows are darker and more of a sharp drop off compared to the Pentax which seemed more gradual and lighter on the contrast.

03-27-2019, 05:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fcsnt54 Quote
Great video
Thank you!!

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The 645z is the Rolls Royce, the GFX has the lenses, with Fuji showing they are active in that format. Is Pentax still doing anything for 645?
I hope they still are :/

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
That's dumb, how do you know lenses can resolve 100Mp based on seeing images from a 50Mp sensor?
Maybe youtube compression doesnt show it, but its the sharpest images I have ever seen, and I've used some sharp lesnes, what comes close is the Leica Summicron APO that I used for a video review, but this GFX lens is on another level, plus Fujifilm is gonna use the GFX lenses on their new 100MP body, im sure they knew while creating the GFX50s that they gonna go higher on the MP in the future

QuoteOriginally posted by sbh Quote
Thanks for the video!
Sharpness and noise on the gfx almost seems like there would be some in-camera sharpening going on.
They said they are watching the market.
yeah there could be some in camera sharpening, its just crazy sharp.

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Yes, your statement makes sense. The sensor is the same, I can't imagine how the Fuji implementation would show more noise, unless there is some additional sharpening applied on the Fuji, or noise reduction applied to the Pentax. The 645z is large, it can be a disadvantage, but the handling / grip and controls of the 645z are pro-level. I've been contemplating MF for awhile, I like the 645z concept, but Ricoh's lack of perspective puts me off. My guess is that after Fuji will release the 100Mp, there will be a number of GFX50 for sale used.
Note: in the video , there are a number of incorrect statements. Such as "the 645z have more sealing points because it's a larger body" (the number of seals has nothing to do with body size), or comment from the lady implying that the GFX is lighter and "more durable"... more durable? based on what?
Yes I love how the 645Z feels in the hands . I am assuming the 645Z has more seals since it is a larger body with 76 seals, and 50R is a smaller body at 64 seals, just makes sense to me. 645Z more durable based on those that owend it that I talked to, B&H marketing reps came to Guam and we all met at the beach, and I brought the 645Z, one guy said he had the camera for over a year, and took it with him to I believe Bali or Thailand? not sure, but he took it through the rain and mud and still worked.

QuoteOriginally posted by btnapa Quote
I agree.

If the sharpness findings in the video are correct, then I can't believe Pentax putting out a killer body with subpar lenses. I can understand Pentax legacy, film era lenses being soft or not sharp enough. There is no excuse for a modern lens not being up to the task.

I would choose Fuji just for the lenses. After playing with the Fuji offerings at last month's WPPI. I think they are just as big as the 645Z when you consider how big the Fuji zoom lenses are. In another words both systems are big and bulky.
True, both can be big and bulky

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The GFX50S is about the size of a K1, and f4 GF lenses are about the size of f2.8 lenses on the K1. The problem is the prices. I consider that pricing and resolutions are ridiculous. For a Panasonic S1R with 47Mp crammed into 24mmx36mm, it's overpriced because no matter what the S1R is still 24x36. I feel like pricing around $2K for full frame 30Mp and $4K for MF 50Mp would find more full frame users and more MF users. At the end of the day, as I've just posted in another thread, cramming more mega pixel in the sames sensor areas doesn't proportionally increase the quality of image output.

---------- Post added 27-03-19 at 17:20 ----------


I suppose the newer DA lenses like the 28-45 and 90 macro are good, it's just that there aren't many and they aren't cheap. GFX lenses aren't cheap either... most GF lenses are priced between 2K and $3K.
Thats why I like the 645Z system most lenses are within my reach ($$).

QuoteOriginally posted by sbh Quote
Me too, but for me it's more the available lenses. I wouldn't want to invest a bunch of money and then have to use legacy lenses. A modern version of the 80-160 would be nice and the 90mm macro feels a bit short. But currently I'm more than happy with the K-1 so I'll wait and see.
I do want to try out the 80-160 Maybe ill get it when im in Japan next month.

QuoteOriginally posted by Fcsnt54 Quote
I do use the gfx fairly regularly and have done tests comparing the files using only Pentax lenses to keep the files consistent. I was not comparing lenses I want to just compare files/sensor. the Fuji files are larger by a good amount. Didn't matter if I placed the 645Z in dng or pef. That tells me there is probably more processing I'd imagine going on with the Fuji. As far as files go, the Fuji tends to be more on the contrast side, to where the shadows are darker and more of a sharp drop off compared to the Pentax which seemed more gradual and lighter on the contrast.
Yes this is true, from what I noticed.
03-27-2019, 11:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fcsnt54 Quote
As far as files go, the Fuji tends to be more on the contrast side, to where the shadows are darker and more of a sharp drop off compared to the Pentax which seemed more gradual and lighter on the contrast.
More contrast in shadow area is a disadvantage for post processing, due to data expansion from zones 0, 1, 2 leading to lower tone gradation when expanded. The best RAW data to work with is when the low contrast is used in between zine 0 and zone V. It is much easy to increase shadow contrast then it is to had to decrease shadow contrast.

---------- Post added 28-03-19 at 07:49 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jberry Quote
Maybe youtube compression doesnt show it, but its the sharpest images I have ever seen, and I've used some sharp lesnes, what comes close is the Leica Summicron APO that I used for a video review, but this GFX lens is on another level, plus Fujifilm is gonna use the GFX lenses on their new 100MP body, im sure they knew while creating the GFX50s that they gonna go higher on the MP in the future
It's a good case of being biased in your assessment: you believe something that's you believe is going to happen in the future , without facts. This is bias. Good evaluation does rate a system now based on speculation of what might be done in the future.

---------- Post added 28-03-19 at 07:51 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jberry Quote
I am assuming the 645Z has more seals since it is a larger body with 76 seals, and 50R is a smaller body at 64 seals, just makes sense to me.
You are assuming and it makes sense to you, it's all very subjective. If you wanted to be correct, you could remove the sense in the video.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 03-27-2019 at 11:51 PM.
03-28-2019, 03:01 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I just did a head-to-head test with the Australian Fuji rep with the 50s, 50R and my 645z.

I have to say that the experience of using the Fuji bodies was the most frustrating and unrewarding experience I have had in quite some time. I doubt based on that experience if I will ever own a Fuji body.

In saying that, I feel that the P645 system is all but dead as well, so I am weighing up my options of possibly going to FF mirrorless later this year and forgetting about medium format for my landscape and travel work. What Canon is doing with the RF mount is truly spectacular, I have never used lenses quite like them, they just need to put out a high res R body to match.
03-28-2019, 06:42 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
I just did a head-to-head test with the Australian Fuji rep with the 50s, 50R and my 645z.

I have to say that the experience of using the Fuji bodies was the most frustrating and unrewarding experience I have had in quite some time. I doubt based on that experience if I will ever own a Fuji body.
Hmmm. So the grass wasn't greener?
QuoteQuote:

In saying that, I feel that the P645 system is all but dead as well, so I am weighing up my options of possibly going to FF mirrorless later this year and forgetting about medium format for my landscape and travel work. What Canon is doing with the RF mount is truly spectacular, I have never used lenses quite like them, they just need to put out a high res R body to match.
Sounds like a great plan for you.
03-28-2019, 07:06 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I've been reading this thread with great interest.

I'll point everyone to Jim Kasson's lens testing (Fuji only, sadly) over at that notorious site, in the Medium Format Forum. While you are at it, go to his website. There you will find the best---really the best---combination of rigorous technical analysis of a variety of lenses and bodies (mostly sensor aspects, though) with a sophisticated and excellent aesthetic sensibility in his images (you'll need to dig back into his archive for all of those, but it's worth it(there's one street image from many years ago I want to buy....).

He feels the Fuji lenses really are special.

It would not surprise me if there isn't some "secret sauce" in the processing of the files, though. Fuji is actively working on these things---I think everyone is. I don't have a big problem with that as long as I'm not getting something weird out of the camera. For instance, I happily upgraded my K1, and whatever oddments I got in the bargain are offset by the benefits for certain uses of that camera in my practice. More of this is coming from all manufacturers.


But I would be concerned to get files that were very contrasty, especially in the shadows. I like my neutral, Pentax files. As far as the highlight issue is concerned, it's so easy to adjust for that in Pentax with no penalty to speak of that I can't say I ever have a problem there. I've often pondered what Pentax did there---it seems like a conscious exposure bias of some kind.


I have had the Fuji's in my hand. Impressed by the compactness of the bodies, and a couple of other things. Their current EVF's are a deal breaker for me---I am one of those bothered by flicker in them, which was not a problem in my A7R. Don't find the ergonomics awful, but don't find them in any way better than my Z. I'm a Fuji fan from film days, having had until 2014 a Texas Leica, one of my all time fave cameras.


But as good as they are, one basically has to pay full retail for those Fuji lenses at this time. It will be some years before those lenses appear on the used market at significantly lower prices. That puts me out of the Fuji game right there, until I win a lottery. So, it's idle I think to discuss the prices of new Fuji against new Pentax unless you are loaded, and then why discuss it at all? Buy your Ferrari and enjoy it. For me, It's Pentax digital medium format or no digital medium format. Pretty easy call!
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