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10-21-2020, 12:36 PM   #1
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New 645z owner looking for lens advice

Long photographic history thatís taken me from large format film, medium format film, full frame digital, foveon(!), and now I find myself the fairly impulse owner of a 645z with a 80-160 lens.

Previously I loved the Mamiya 80mm 1.9 back in the day. It didnít bother me it was manual, old, had all kinds of optical flaws... it had loads of character.

Looking at the second hand lens market it seem flooded with disturbingly cheap manual lenses, I wondered if any are worth picking up for their character? Currently Iím planning on grabbing the modern 75mm for a normal lens and the modern 35mm for the wide side, which reflects more or less my previous lens choices.

10-21-2020, 02:10 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by benpalladian Quote
I find myself the fairly impulse owner of a 645z with a 80-160 lens.

Looking at the second hand lens market it seem flooded with disturbingly cheap manual lenses, I wondered if any are worth picking up for their character? Currently Iím planning on grabbing the modern 75mm for a normal lens and the modern 35mm for the wide side, which reflects more or less my previous lens choices.
My two favorite lenses are the 645 35mm and 75mm primes. The 75mm will give you the resolution and bokeh beyond the 80-160mm, and the 35mm has characteristics (distortion at the edges and some vignetting) that works for my taste.

I think you're on the right track and would recommend your choices before a third alternative.
10-21-2020, 07:51 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by benpalladian Quote
Long photographic history thatís taken me from large format film, medium format film, full frame digital, foveon(!), and now I find myself the fairly impulse owner of a 645z with a 80-160 lens.

Previously I loved the Mamiya 80mm 1.9 back in the day. It didnít bother me it was manual, old, had all kinds of optical flaws... it had loads of character.

Looking at the second hand lens market it seem flooded with disturbingly cheap manual lenses, I wondered if any are worth picking up for their character? Currently Iím planning on grabbing the modern 75mm for a normal lens and the modern 35mm for the wide side, which reflects more or less my previous lens choices.
My favorite 645 A lens is the 120mm F4 Macro. I have both the A version and the FA version and they are both superb. Take a look at the reviews here. The A version is quite inexpensive on eBay, though I don't know the quality.

Enjoy!
10-21-2020, 08:35 PM   #4
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The DFA645 35/3.5 and FA645 75/2.8 are definitely worthwhile.

I agree with @Jim P that the 120/4.0 Macros (either the A or FA) are fantastic, either for close up nature or even as a portrait lens. Mind you, your FA645 80-160/4.5 is no slouch, and obviously covers that focal length....

Don't discount the DFA645 55/2.8 "kit" lens either. Having a weather sealed lens is always a good idea.

10-22-2020, 03:14 AM   #5
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Lenses for Pentax 645Z

QuoteOriginally posted by benpalladian Quote
Long photographic history thatís taken me from large format film, medium format film, full frame digital, foveon(!), and now I find myself the fairly impulse owner of a 645z with a 80-160 lens.

Previously I loved the Mamiya 80mm 1.9 back in the day. It didnít bother me it was manual, old, had all kinds of optical flaws... it had loads of character.

Looking at the second hand lens market it seem flooded with disturbingly cheap manual lenses, I wondered if any are worth picking up for their character? Currently Iím planning on grabbing the modern 75mm for a normal lens and the modern 35mm for the wide side, which reflects more or less my previous lens choices.
Welcome to the adventure of Pentax digital medium format. I have the D as well as the Z. Unfortunately, the Mamiya 645 80mm f 1.9 cannot be adapted to use on Pentax medium format cameras because of incompatible registry distances, though it can be used on the K-1. However, when you are ready to reach out a bit you can adapt all the Pentax 67 lenses to the 645Z, and Pentax makes an adapter for that. There are some great P67 lenses at bargain basement prices.
10-22-2020, 04:08 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Based on my experience, I can highly recommend the 45-85! Always, of course, based on the requirements or the motives.
But for landscape, portrait and street (as far as it works with the giant thing) this is a very universal lens.
There are also very inexpensive and well-preserved copies of it!
The (FA!) 120mm macro is also a very good choice! FA, because there is only a marginal difference in price.
Below an exmaple with the 45-85mm @45mm, f20, ISO100

I own the 645z for 3 months...here are some of the results

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomasschwarze/albums/72157715883289752
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PENTAX 645Z  Photo 

Last edited by bratzmahn; 10-22-2020 at 04:21 AM.
10-22-2020, 05:52 AM   #7
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Welcome, and congrats on your impulse purchase. You will be astounded when you start serious processing.

I agree with what others have said above. I have a pretty extensive Z kit now, and one thing that has been great is how "easy" it has been to build up over the last 6 years. When you can, buy that 55 f2.8---not ony is it one of the fastest of the lenses, and as pointed out WR, it is just a great lens on the Z. I'm not a "normal" lens sort of guy, but this one is on my camera by default.

The A35 is an excellent lens, but I have upgraded to the DFA 35 and prefer it. Having AF is handy, and I think it's more flare resistant---the only ding probably on the older lenses---many are terrific. Definitely get the 75, excellent yet so small. The A120 is great, and you should definitely get the FA45-85. I also recommend the FA 150.

There's others, some quite inexpensive, others not really. Let us know if there's more we can add. Do some searching over in the medium format forum for lots of good info and some user tests
10-22-2020, 05:56 AM   #8
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These are beautiful. How did you catch the landscape at the right time? You camp at a farm?

10-22-2020, 11:07 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your insight! A lot to take away and consider.
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