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04-08-2019, 01:29 PM   #1
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Late to the Party - Pentax 645D for portraits ?

Hi to everyone
That`s been the easy part and now to my question.
I`m thinking about getting into MF with a Pentax 645D for portrait use.
At the moment i`m using a Canon 1Ds Mk3 and a Sony A7R2 for most of my portrait sessions and for the last two years iīve been shooting analog MF. I fell totally for the big format...

So i don`t mind the slow shooting speed or the lacking ISO-performance or even the age. What keeps me thinking is, that there are way to few portrait shoots for such a great camera. Is there a point that i just don`t see ?

So im looking forward to learn from your experience

04-08-2019, 02:29 PM   #2
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I love CCD sensor and pentax 6x7 104mm lens; that's why I'm going to buy a 645D by december for portrait use... and just for hobbie. Meanwhile I'm training with K10D and *ist DS to be used at low ISO

If You're a pro, maybe the 645Z is better choice.

Anyway, IMHO, It's good choice, either 645D or 645Z, if You're shooting analog MF already.
04-08-2019, 05:33 PM - 1 Like   #3
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First, if youíre tethering, make sure thereís a tethering solution that works for you with this camera.

Secondly, make sure your Post Processing solution is to your liking. In particular, Capture One wonít support Pentax MF cameras - whether tethered or not - because Phase One views them as competition to their own (somewhat superior but more expensive) MF camera systems. Most other PP software will probably be fine. This is unfortunate , since IMO Capture One is the best.


As you know, like most Digital MF sensors it's cropped compared to film. But once youíve verified the necessary infrastructure (as above) is in place you should probably find a good lens or two and try it!
04-08-2019, 11:36 PM   #4
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@carabez

The Z would be the technical "better" option but is out of my budget at the moment. And so I could begin with the D get my lenses together and the upgrade to the Z in a couple years

@DSims

Tethering is not necessary for me. And as long as I get the Raw's somehow into PS that's fine for me.
Due to the cropping I would start with 35/75/150 as a set of lenses.

So far Thank you very much and up to now no big disadvantages regarding portraits


Last edited by Shaqabooko; 04-09-2019 at 04:27 AM.
04-09-2019, 02:31 PM   #5
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It's a "little" wonderful camera, and it excels at landscape and portraits, IMO. Both because the sensor (CCD colors rule!) and the format (any MF surpasses FF in bokeh and/or target isolation in the same lens quality and light conditions)
04-09-2019, 11:43 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by VellMerlot Quote
It's a "little" wonderful camera, and it excels at landscape and portraits, IMO. Both because the sensor (CCD colors rule!) and the format (any MF surpasses FF in bokeh and/or target isolation in the same lens quality and light conditions)
That are basically my main points to get into digital MF, it's more about the "feeling" for me if you know what I mean...
04-10-2019, 07:52 AM   #7
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agree, skin tones on the CCD make the 645D a great choice for portrait work.
04-10-2019, 04:59 PM - 2 Likes   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shaqabooko Quote
Hi to everyone
That`s been the easy part and now to my question.
I`m thinking about getting into MF with a Pentax 645D for portrait use.
At the moment i`m using a Canon 1Ds Mk3 and a Sony A7R2 for most of my portrait sessions and for the last two years iīve been shooting analog MF. I fell totally for the big format...

So i don`t mind the slow shooting speed or the lacking ISO-performance or even the age. What keeps me thinking is, that there are way to few portrait shoots for such a great camera. Is there a point that i just don`t see ?

So im looking forward to learn from your experience
Welcome, I shot with the Canon 1DS MIII before switching over to the Nikons D800 series and now with the Pentax 645D. The 645D is slow but oh so much more fun to shoot than those other bodies. While the viewfinder in the 1DS MIII is simply amazing the 645D's will make your jaw drop. The controls are well laid out and very intuitive by nature. The handgrip is the best of any camera I've shot with and extremely comfortable to people with either medium to large hands. 2nd hand lenses can be found extremely cheap compared to the top Canon/Nikon or Sony glass and the optics are excellent to boot. Image quality, especially for portraits and landscapes from that CCD sensor also can't be beat.

Note: The only limitation I found to shooting with the 645D was the 1/125 sync speed. Luckily there is online information to help an owner to circumvent that limitation and be able to go all the way to 1/4000 on the 645D. I have that setup pictured on top of mine in the photos below.


Here are just a couple of quick picks of my setup and accompanying pics.









04-11-2019, 05:18 AM   #9
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Nice Setup But I'm more the handholding type make's everything a bit more flexible while shooting

Lenses are really the point that keeps me thinking. Coming from FF I'm spoiled by really fast lenses and shooting around f0.95 or f1.2. Yes I know you can't beat physics and there are a couple fast lenses like the 80mm 2.0 or the 110mm 2.2 BUT do they work that brilliantly on the 645D? (Focusing troubles aside )
04-11-2019, 06:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shaqabooko Quote
@Thorrulz

Nice Setup But I'm more the handholding type make's everything a bit more flexible while shooting

Lenses are really the point that keeps me thinking. Coming from FF I'm spoiled by really fast lenses and shooting around f0.95 or f1.2. Yes I know you can't beat physics and there are a couple fast lenses like the 80mm 2.0 or the 110mm 2.2 BUT do they work that brilliantly on the 645D? (Focusing troubles aside )
You might be surprised how comfortable that big rig is while handholding, not that I use it all the time, just when I know I'm shooting clients and not for myself.

As far as the lenses and their performance, the Pentax 645 lenses "only" open up to 2.8 which at first doesn't seem especially fast but you will notice the narrow dof combined with the focus roll off when you start viewing your first shots when shooting wide open. I've shot with the same fast glass as yourself and still own a couple of Nikon 200 f2s to go along with my D800s. In the year that I've been shooting with the 645D and it's lenses they perform on par with anything I have shot with from any other system.


Good luck with your search and hope you can find a medium format system you really like, it's definitely something I enjoy.
04-11-2019, 07:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thorrulz Quote
Welcome, I shot with the Canon 1DS MIII before switching over to the Nikons D800 series and now with the Pentax 645D. The 645D is slow but oh so much more fun to shoot than those other bodies. While the viewfinder in the 1DS MIII is simply amazing the 645D's will make your jaw drop. The controls are well laid out and very intuitive by nature. The handgrip is the best of any camera I've shot with and extremely comfortable to people with either medium to large hands. 2nd hand lenses can be found extremely cheap compared to the top Canon/Nikon or Sony glass and the optics are excellent to boot. Image quality, especially for portraits and landscapes from that CCD sensor also can't be beat.

Note: The only limitation I found to shooting with the 645D was the 1/125 sync speed. Luckily there is online information to help an owner to circumvent that limitation and be able to go all the way to 1/4000 on the 645D. I have that setup pictured on top of mine in the photos below.


Here are just a couple of quick picks of my setup and accompanying pics.







Why do you have a video monitor attached to your rig? How do you get video out of the 645D? doesnít even have live view.

---------- Post added 04-11-19 at 08:24 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Shaqabooko Quote
Hi to everyone
That`s been the easy part and now to my question.
I`m thinking about getting into MF with a Pentax 645D for portrait use.
At the moment i`m using a Canon 1Ds Mk3 and a Sony A7R2 for most of my portrait sessions and for the last two years iīve been shooting analog MF. I fell totally for the big format...

So i don`t mind the slow shooting speed or the lacking ISO-performance or even the age. What keeps me thinking is, that there are way to few portrait shoots for such a great camera. Is there a point that i just don`t see ?

So im looking forward to learn from your experience
The 645D is great for portraits in studio, but not on dark interior locations or at night, you cannot use iso higher than 400, and even that lowers the quality noticeably.

645D







But for Location portraits, you already have a Sony A 7Rii

This is with the A7Riii



04-12-2019, 05:03 AM   #12
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@Thorrulz

That way medium formats generates the bokeh is what fascinates me. 0.95 on FF is stunning but bokeh on a MF is just another league.
I guess Pentax is the system I'm looking for, I've shot with several Hasselblad and P1 backs but they never felt right as a camera system. There was always something annoying.


@Pablo Villegas

First of all, really great pictures
And since I'm no Pixelpeeper and I'm used to "noise" I hope the 645D isn't that bad at higher iso. Yeah decreassing quality is to be expected but I've seen now a few samples and they haven't been unusable
04-12-2019, 08:31 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablo Villegas Quote
Why do you have a video monitor attached to your rig? How do you get video out of the 645D? doesnít even have live view.
In case Thorrulz missed this question, see the preview directions on page 61 in the 645D Operating Manual. Preview would be one use. Playback would be another. High definition is available via the HDMI connection.
04-12-2019, 03:08 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
In case Thorrulz missed this question, see the preview directions on page 61 in the 645D Operating Manual. Preview would be one use. Playback would be another. High definition is available via the HDMI connection.
That is precisely what I am using it for, beats lugging a laptop with me when shooting on location. The larger screen lets me give the client immediate feedback on a somewhat larger screen.
04-12-2019, 07:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thorrulz Quote
That is precisely what I am using it for, beats lugging a laptop with me when shooting on location. The larger screen lets me give the client immediate feedback on a somewhat larger screen.
QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
In case Thorrulz missed this question, see the preview directions on page 61 in the 645D Operating Manual. Preview would be one use. Playback would be another. High definition is available via the HDMI connection.

Thanks you both! I didnít know that. I use my iPad with a WiFi SD card. Itís not immediate, but itís doable.

Iím not using my 645D on location anymore, but it would have been nice to know that when I did.

Thanks again.

---------- Post added 04-12-19 at 08:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Shaqabooko Quote
@Thorrulz

That way medium formats generates the bokeh is what fascinates me. 0.95 on FF is stunning but bokeh on a MF is just another league.
I guess Pentax is the system I'm looking for, I've shot with several Hasselblad and P1 backs but they never felt right as a camera system. There was always something annoying.


@Pablo Villegas

First of all, really great pictures
And since I'm no Pixelpeeper and I'm used to "noise" I hope the 645D isn't that bad at higher iso. Yeah decreassing quality is to be expected but I've seen now a few samples and they haven't been unusable
Thanks.
Is not that it is unusable, but it does lower the quality drastically, youíre better off using an APS-C Camera, without the ISO and flash sync limitations or workarounds. Thatís why I bought a Sony A7Riii, for the price of the body and 3 lenses, all I could have gotten was a used 645Z. And still have some flash sync limitations or workarounds and itís an old camera.
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