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11-10-2019, 07:43 AM   #1
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Pentax 645 600mm f/5.6 or Pentax 67 600mm f/4

Hello friends,

I wish to buy one of the two lenses mentioned from one of the friends who is more of a collector of items than a photographer who uses the items. I will be using the lens on a Pentax 645Z.

Both cannot be/ will not be used handheld. So I will be using them with Wemberley WH-200 gimbal head on a Kaiser Tiltall TC-284 tripod.

Photography subjects of interest would be wildlife in habitat and birds at rest or moving slowly. Of course I would continue to try animals in action and birds in gentle flight but without much expectation of success.

The 67 lens is 6 kg but half the price of the 645 lens which weighs approx 3 kg.

Please advise on pros and cons considering that both would be used on the gymbal head so portability is equally sacrificed, but there could be other practical issues like quality, resolution, contrast, aberration etc (and the 67 though fast is a vintage lens while the 645 is a star lens). What would you recommend in case price is not a factor?

I would be thankful for early reply if you can as the guy is eager to sell and I am eager to buy.

Regards.

11-10-2019, 10:56 AM   #2
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Can't you borrow the lenses, take a few pictures and decide yourself? being a 645, I assume, they don't come cheap.
11-10-2019, 12:50 PM   #3
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The 645 is a * lens, has ED glass and is much newer, as well as not requiring an adapter to use on your 645Z.

I have the old Takumar 6x7 600/4 and while it works fine on my 6x7, it's not going to be in the same league optically as the 645 version.

Phil.
11-10-2019, 03:29 PM   #4
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I don't have knowledge of either, but would say I was pleasantly surprised by how well the 67 500/5.6 works on my 645D. It's a 3kg lens and I find it enough of a handful mounting it on a tripod. I couldn't imagine something twice as heavy, even on a well balanced gimbal.

I don't think I'll use the 500/5.6 much, it appeared at a price I couldn't refuse (possibly my only opportunity to buy something like it). I could justify it on that basis, but would caution about dropping a huge lump of cash on something that requires significant patience and dedication to use. You're only likely to buy one lens like these, if it was my choice I'd buy the best one I could afford.

11-10-2019, 09:37 PM   #5
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The ED glass used in the 600 5.6 didn't exist when the 600 F/4 was made. The chromatic aberration in the 600 f/4 will be apparent when using the 645Z.
11-11-2019, 06:23 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by bwgv001 Quote
Can't you borrow the lenses, take a few pictures and decide yourself? being a 645, I assume, they don't come cheap.
The lenses are in Canada and I am in Asia. But I trust the condition of the lenses as conveyed to me by the owner.

---------- Post added 11-11-19 at 06:26 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
The 645 is a * lens, has ED glass and is much newer, as well as not requiring an adapter to use on your 645Z.

I have the old Takumar 6x7 600/4 and while it works fine on my 6x7, it's not going to be in the same league optically as the 645 version.

Phil.
Thank you very much Phil. I got similar inputs over the last two days.

---------- Post added 11-11-19 at 06:29 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I don't have knowledge of either, but would say I was pleasantly surprised by how well the 67 500/5.6 works on my 645D. It's a 3kg lens and I find it enough of a handful mounting it on a tripod. I couldn't imagine something twice as heavy, even on a well balanced gimbal.

I don't think I'll use the 500/5.6 much, it appeared at a price I couldn't refuse (possibly my only opportunity to buy something like it). I could justify it on that basis, but would caution about dropping a huge lump of cash on something that requires significant patience and dedication to use. You're only likely to buy one lens like these, if it was my choice I'd buy the best one I could afford.
Thank you very much. Yes looks like 645 600mm would be the better lens. I have almost decided on it.

---------- Post added 11-11-19 at 06:33 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxus Quote
The ED glass used in the 600 5.6 didn't exist when the 600 F/4 was made. The chromatic aberration in the 600 f/4 will be apparent when using the 645Z.
Yes indeed. I have been cautioned about the CA. And if I am never going to buy another lens like this monster telephoto, I should better buy the more modern lens. So 645 600mm f/5.6 it is

---------- Post added 11-11-19 at 06:35 AM ----------

Thank you very much friends for your advice. You have helped me make a better choice. Regards.
11-11-2019, 07:24 AM   #7
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The 600 is a very good lens optically. But don't underestimate how hard you will need to work to get sharp results with it. It seems to need more support than is usual for lenses of its length. I have found two points of support (one at the tripod mount on the lens and one on the camera) to be the minimum. Three points (adding one at the front) is optimal.
11-11-2019, 07:33 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ed Hurst Quote
The 600 is a very good lens optically. But don't underestimate how hard you will need to work to get sharp results with it. It seems to need more support than is usual for lenses of its length. I have found two points of support (one at the tripod mount on the lens and one on the camera) to be the minimum. Three points (adding one at the front) is optimal.
Thank you @Ed Hurst

11-11-2019, 10:18 AM   #9
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I have owned the 600 f/4 Takumar for over 20 years. It is an outer bay lens so your adapter would have to accommodate that. Also, once you stop it down to f/13 or more the CA is near zero. It is very sharp once the CA disappears.
11-11-2019, 12:24 PM   #10
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Thank you @desertscape. I appreciate your advice as a user of the lens. The value proposition of this 67 lens is exceptional as long as one masters the art of executing within its limitations. I mean which 600mm lens is available for less than USD 1000?
11-11-2019, 02:14 PM   #11
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There's an in depth review of the 67 600/4 based on 6x7 film here: 600mm - Luminous Landscape
11-12-2019, 12:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
There's an in depth review of the 67 600/4 based on 6x7 film here: 600mm - Luminous Landscape
Yes I went through that review carefully. While that review does give a thumbs up to the 67 lens, it also brings out the CA issues. Comparatively, the 645 lens appears to be a better one.
4 Days Ago   #13
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One more possibility I am thinking of.

I have a brand new 400mm f/5.6 FA 645 lens. If I am getting an almost new A 645 1.4x Teleconverter, I will get an effective focal length of 560mm at say f/8.

How will be this combination compared to the 645 600mm f/5.6 lens? May not be as good, but is it comparable and are images with this combination are adequately good?
4 Days Ago   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by leonine Quote
How will be this combination compared to the 645 600mm f/5.6 lens?
The ED lenses do really well with converters. I have used the 300 EDIF (6x7) with the 1.4X and see no degradation. The 400 FA should do well. The converters are color corrected, so they do not add CA. In fact they can actually reduce it a bit in some cases. The lenses that do not use extra low dispersion glass can be used with converters but one must stop them down somewhat to avoid the longitudinal chromatic at the marginal zone of the optic ( spherochromatism).
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