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01-11-2020, 12:39 PM   #1
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What is the state of Pentax MF??

I can't find much about if Pentax has dropped MF, but the 645D came out in 2011; The 645D came out only 3 years later in 2014.....so we are now 6 yrs on with no successor to the 645Z

I'm just curious if there's any news?

Did Fuji MF defacto kill the Pentax MF line? They used to be the only "affordable" digital MF game in town.

Part of me hopes Pentax is still in the game here.....but another part doesn't see how they could realistically compete with Fuji's latest offerings, and would rather have them focus their R&D on the FF, and APS-C lines that I use instead lol

01-11-2020, 01:30 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The same question has crossed my mind. However, in November Philippe Farreng , Ricoh Imaging Sales Manager for Europe, clearly confirmed the companys commitment to all three product lines, APS-C, FF and MF. Therefore it would appear logical to expect a new 645 after the K-new.
01-11-2020, 02:58 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by PePe Quote
The same question has crossed my mind. However, in November Philippe Farreng , Ricoh Imaging Sales Manager for Europe, clearly confirmed the companys commitment to all three product lines, APS-C, FF and MF. Therefore it would appear logical to expect a new 645 after the K-new.
That is interesting...If true I'm curious how they will differentiate themselves from the Fuji offerings. I think they will need to be the first ones to offer an affordable non-crop 645 to be competitive.
01-11-2020, 03:14 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
That is interesting...If true I'm curious how they will differentiate themselves from the Fuji offerings. I think they will need to be the first ones to offer an affordable non-crop 645 to be competitive.
Fuji seems to have stolen all the MF thunder lately. Ricoh will have to do something truly remarkable to avoid being tagged as too little, too late with their next MF camera.

01-11-2020, 05:27 PM   #5
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If there were news you would not have to ask it.
01-11-2020, 06:03 PM - 3 Likes   #6
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The 645Z is fast becoming my favourite camera, and the files are a joy to work with. The DFA35, DFA55, FA75, DFA90, FA120, FA150 and FA*300 are fantastic lenses. If I could find an acceptably priced (D)FA25 I reckon I'd be done.

I remain confident a new 645 body will come, but the replacement cycle for such cameras is long. Personally, I think that's a good thing. I shudder at the potential cost (especially if it's full frame), but I'd still be sorely tempted.
01-11-2020, 08:34 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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As PePe wrote, Pentax representatives (not just this one, but Japanese ones as well) have stated that 645 is part of Pentax's plan. So, since Pentax (and the other Japanese manufacturers as well) is very tight lipped, that they have said publicly that 645 is in their plans is to me significant.

Yes, Fuji has stolen all the thunder lately---but we need to remember how. Part of that how has to do with 2 major internet review sites having buried the excellent 645Z testing results for years, and being pretty disrespectful to Pentax in general. Part of that has to do that Fuji is a major photography company , and can sling its weight around---don't forget how they nearly disappeared in the digital arena before they launched their interesting line of apsc cameras. They made a big push to come back. Pentax is a much smaller company, and Ricoh, its parent company, has done a better job than Hoya before it, but that's faint praise, and they have done much less than Fuji to shake the marketing tree. Those of us who know Pentax know how good their products are. And everyone also seems to forget a significant timing aspect: the 645D came out in 2010----and the effects of the 2008 financial crisis were still hot. The Z comes out in 2014, but still for many business and economic stability was just beginning to come back. When Fuji released their first camera 2 years after that, business was looking much better, and they were also riding the somewhat irrational mirrorless wave, plus a lot of positive buzz they had gotten about their apsc line---even though it's not really better than anyone else's, just maybe more visually attractive.

That brings me to Sandy's comments. The Z is my favorite camera, not fast becoming. And I also have an upgraded K1. I've been shooting since the '70's (really the '60's as a kid). It's my favorite camera ever, and I've had some wonderful cameras that I loved. For the exacting work that I do professionally, the Z is a fantastic camera. The K1 is a great backup---and for some things my first choice (more run and gun, or when "only" really excellent IQ is required. Sandy is right to love it. Hey, Sandy---keep trying to find that 25. I managed to scoop one up used at an "affordable" price.

So, this brings me to my final point. To surpass the Z is going to require a lot of---I don't know what. It's already one of the finest cameras that has been made. There are some tweaks I'd love to see for pro use, but they're not sexy if that's what people need to see. Video? Going to need some significant processing power for that if it's going to be any good. More MP? Well, I could use it, but again I'd also need more in-camera processing power---I don't need my Z to be rocket fast, but I'd rather it not be slower either, even the way I use it. Full Frame 645? Great, but not if I and others couldn't afford it. Part of the appeal of the Z, and why I even have it, is that it was and is "affordable", along with some many of the lenses. I could never have afforded the Fuji system---there's no used market. Just being able to have that was so important, and allowed me to build my lens collection slowly but steadily---and thanks to the marketplace here!

Last edited by texandrews; 01-11-2020 at 08:46 PM.
01-12-2020, 09:22 AM   #8
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The 50 megapixel GFX bodies are cropped MF without IBIS. The 100 megapixel GFX is overkill in size, megapixels, and expense for amateur photographers. A new 645 body with a full MF sized sensor and IBIS would be the sweet spot especially if it was similar in cost to the 645Z. Given the 645 DFA lenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the next iteration of a digital 645.

01-12-2020, 09:51 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by loveisageless Quote
The 50 megapixel GFX bodies are cropped MF without IBIS. The 100 megapixel GFX is overkill in size, megapixels, and expense for amateur photographers. A new 645 body with a full MF sized sensor and IBIS would be the sweet spot especially if it was similar in cost to the 645Z. Given the 645 DFA lenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the next iteration of a digital 645.
Ah, yes, IBIS. Even a crop body Z2 with this would be attractive. So, maybe a few more MP, IBIS, PS, better video (even if clips were "time challenged"---I don't need 20 minute long continuous shots), but especially better tethering! These things would turn my head, if the price could be kept down. I still think FF 645 will be over $10K, so out of range for me probably.
01-12-2020, 03:45 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by loveisageless Quote
The 50 megapixel GFX bodies are cropped MF without IBIS. The 100 megapixel GFX is overkill in size, megapixels, and expense for amateur photographers. A new 645 body with a full MF sized sensor and IBIS would be the sweet spot especially if it was similar in cost to the 645Z. Given the 645 DFA lenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the next iteration of a digital 645.
QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Ah, yes, IBIS. Even a crop body Z2 with this would be attractive. So, maybe a few more MP, IBIS, PS, better video (even if clips were "time challenged"---I don't need 20 minute long continuous shots), but especially better tethering! These things would turn my head, if the price could be kept down. I still think FF 645 will be over $10K, so out of range for me probably.

Well if Pentax is still truly in the MF game. I suspect a FF 645 will be needed to compete. Even if it's less than 100MP, a FF 645 would be great!!
01-12-2020, 04:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Leumas Quote
Well if Pentax is still truly in the MF game. I suspect a FF 645 will be needed to compete. Even if it's less than 100MP, a FF 645 would be great!!
Well, yes, it would be----and the lens lineup would mean advantage, Pentax (I think too much is made of the "new glass" argument that the older lenses can't resolve well enough to get the most out of the sensor...).

But....here's a direct question to everyone, all current Z users, including me, and you, too, Leumas. How much could you pay for one? I'd have a lot of trouble right now paying more than $6Kusd right now. If I could get rid of some debt, or get a business loan, maybe I could get up to $10Kusd. But if the FF 645 was much more than that, I'd be out of the game.

And then....how about pushing those files around? In the camera and after. Surely you'd need a new computer. I have to give my clients 16 bit TIFFS, and for some of the most serious work full size ones at that. In the camera FF 645 raws are going to need quite a processing boost to just stay equal with the Z's speed now; PS would take forever, probably; IBIS will be much harder; video would be literally hot, and so very short clips. So, it's nice to dream about FF645, and I do, but what would the reality mean?


I guess maybe a FF645 with a crop mode to do some things might work....
01-12-2020, 07:17 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Well, yes, it would be----and the lens lineup would mean advantage, Pentax (I think too much is made of the "new glass" argument that the older lenses can't resolve well enough to get the most out of the sensor...).

But....here's a direct question to everyone, all current Z users, including me, and you, too, Leumas. How much could you pay for one? I'd have a lot of trouble right now paying more than $6Kusd right now. If I could get rid of some debt, or get a business loan, maybe I could get up to $10Kusd. But if the FF 645 was much more than that, I'd be out of the game.

And then....how about pushing those files around? In the camera and after. Surely you'd need a new computer. I have to give my clients 16 bit TIFFS, and for some of the most serious work full size ones at that. In the camera FF 645 raws are going to need quite a processing boost to just stay equal with the Z's speed now; PS would take forever, probably; IBIS will be much harder; video would be literally hot, and so very short clips. So, it's nice to dream about FF645, and I do, but what would the reality mean?


I guess maybe a FF645 with a crop mode to do some things might work....
Speed would primarily be dictated by pixel density, and if it was an 80mp FF 645 with modern image processors, it'd be faster than the old 645z.
Video should just be forgotten entirely in MF, imo.
IBIS would be great.

If they could manage a FF645 at 7k$ or so, it'd be a real winner.
They have to do something, or forfeit to Fuji
01-12-2020, 08:37 PM   #13
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For me, I would be very keen to see the following:
1. Higher pixel count, ideally 100, but would settle for 80 or so;
2. Lower noise at high ISOs (super clean 6400 or 12800 would be a winner for me - in fact, I would be willing to compromise on pixels to achieve this - say setting it at 65MP);
3. Full frame 645
4. Price under US$10k
5. An attractive upgrade or trade-in path for people who bought DA lenses to full frame DFA equivalents (without this, I would probably not upgrade, as I would then be stuck with buying a new body and new lenses to make use of full frame, and that is asking too much of me; a crop mode designed to allow use of DA lenses would not interest me)
01-12-2020, 09:30 PM - 3 Likes   #14
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What is the state of Pentax MF??

I haven’t had my Z long enough to even consider paying for a replacement. No additional features would do it, even if I wanted them.

IBIS is one I’d want. I do not need more pixels—I already can’t print big enough to use up the pixel density of the Z.

Full-frame? Appealing at some level, but only to get wider lens coverage. And the 28 is just about wide enough. Finding a25 would be cheaper.

Higher ISO? No biggie for me. But I don’t do Milky Way photos like Ed. I have made indoor photos at 6400 that were excellent—the equivalent of color negative film 5 stops slower. I’d rather put that money into a Gitzo tripod with carbon-composite legs.

Faster processing? Don’t need it.

Video? I’ve never used it.

But the Pentax has two things Fuji doesn’t: Proper optical SLR viewing, and cheap, excellent lenses. My 35FA is excellent, the 55DFA is superb, the 45-85FA is amazing, the 120 macro outstanding, the 200FA really good, the 400FA even better. All those together cost about what one Fuji lens costs, and as Tex mentioned, there is no secondary market. Getting those cheaply (I already had the 45-85 from the film era) made it possible to afford a used 28-45, which is an amazing lens.

Fuji makes cameras that are fun to walk around with. And they always have. But even back when they made the plastic fantastic Texas Leica, they also made the GX680 SLR for serious work. Not any more.

Pentax provides both Live View (the only viewing mode Fuji offers) plus through-the-lens optical viewing. Sometimes an SLR is a compromise, but sometimes not having it is a worse compromise for a given set of requirements.

I think in-camera one-button focus-stacking would be a great new feature. That would appeal to me more than the usual upgrade suspects. Focus on the near plane, press a button, focus on the far plane, press again, and the press the shutter and the camera takes it from there.

But I’d still have to wait until all you guys are kvetching about when Pentax would come out with the Z3 before the price would come into range on a Z2.

Rick “whose 645z is not quite 8% of the age of his newest 67, or 15% of the age of his N2, both of which make photos as well as they ever did” Denney
01-13-2020, 03:32 AM - 1 Like   #15
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I too wonder what Pentax plans for the futur of 645 line. Starting with sensors, we already know what is possible and what is not : Sony is that this moment the only supplier, and they have 4 products, all CMOS. 2 small sensors (44x33mm) :
- the 50MP of our dear Z, which is an old one, that Hasselblad continues to use for new products, which is a bit surprising as Sony probably wants to phase it out.
- the 100MP which is the latest generation BSI, allowing on sensor PDAF, used in the GFX100 (for example)
2 big sensors (54x40mm) :
- 100MP, same generation & technology as the 50MP of the 645Z, used by Hasselblad and PhaseOne, but not sure Sony wants to launch new products with this one
- 150MP BSI launched at around the same time as the GFX100 sensor, used only by PhaseOne at the moment, even if Hasselblad is working on it.

So any new Pentax 645 product will have to pick up one of the 4 sensors above, depending on what Sony wants to sell. And a short disclaimer : no big sensor is cheap. None of them. Big sensor Pentax 645 <10K is not going to happen. 65MP or 80MP Pentax 645 is not going to happen either. Sony roadmap is published, there is no secret.
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