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02-19-2016, 05:05 PM   #1
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Pentax 645z or k-1

I was initially going to upgrade from my k3 to the 645z. There was something about the pictures of a larger format i enjoy, and it is something i just cant explain. Now that the new k-1 came out it got me thinking.

Am i struck by the full frame bug that will pass or do i keep with my initial thought and go even bigger?

I just do photography for my own self enjoyment.
Taking pictures of buildings, bridges, and landscapes.
I dont do large prints, usually stay between 8x11 and 13x19.
My friend and his fiancÚ asked me to do photos of them before their big day and i wanted to give them something special( not saying the k3 cant do it, but it is about that special look).

The part that has me thinking about the k-1 is the new pixelshift and if it compares to the 645z, the price (woohoo), low light abilities, new features, i have a few lenses that will work, and the size.

The part that keeps me thinking about the 645z, the feel of that medium format look, the dynamic range, the quality of lenses, large difference between crop sensor and medium format, and i know i said it before but that medium format look.

Although getting both would be ideal, i dont need that many cameras.

Do i go with the 645z or the k-1?

Any help will be much appreciated to nudge me to either side of the fence.

02-19-2016, 05:15 PM   #2
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Erm. If you can afford the 645z, why would you bother with anything less? (I've ordered a k-1, so it's not like I don't like what it offers, but it's not in the same league as the 645z)
02-19-2016, 05:20 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I sympathise. I have had the same thoughts. In fact, K3 for travel, hiking etc, and 645Z for when size and weight are not issues is a very nice combination. But like you, I'm not a professional, and I have a hard time justifying the MF option logically. It's very tempting though.

So, I have boldly decided to ... procrastinate.
02-19-2016, 05:27 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
I sympathise. I have had the same thoughts. In fact, K3 for travel, hiking etc, and 645Z for when size and weight are not issues is a very nice combination. But like you, I'm not a professional, and I have a hard time justifying the MF option logically. It's very tempting though.

So, I have boldly decided to ... procrastinate.
Do yourself a present and buy 645z. Life is short/


I often find myself doing it, trying to put myself from buying something. Something that is not necessary etc. If you can afford it, go for it~! You never know what will happen tomorrow... Make yourself happy and enjoy the life.

02-19-2016, 05:31 PM   #5
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I wouldnt call it less. Its just different, and thats why im trying get peoples thoughts on the subject.

How can someone argue that full frame is better then medium format?

Its a huge step for me to get into the medium format system. Just trying to squash any doubts before taking that leap.
02-19-2016, 05:34 PM   #6
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I would get a K-1 and spend the difference on buying a motorcycle..

Now, yea, MF photos have something special to them. FF is the compromise between APSC and MF, basically. What lenses do you have? If you own a bunch of 645 lenses, then a move to that format might not be very traumatic.
02-19-2016, 05:38 PM   #7
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I like MF, I just don't want to carry it. I'm an outdoor canoeist kind of guy. Weight is important, and size taken in the packs is important. While I have a few trips I've done where I'd love to go back with an MF, there are many where the physical exertion involved with extra size and weight would mean it stayed home. I need both. Cheapest first.
02-19-2016, 05:39 PM   #8
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Pentax 645z or k-1

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
I sympathise. I have had the same thoughts. In fact, K3 for travel, hiking etc, and 645Z for when size and weight are not issues is a very nice combination. But like you, I'm not a professional, and I have a hard time justifying the MF option logically. It's very tempting though.

So, I have boldly decided to ... procrastinate.

I completely agree.

---------- Post added 02-19-16 at 05:45 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I would get a K-1 and spend the difference on buying a motorcycle..

Now, yea, MF photos have something special to them. FF is the compromise between APSC and MF, basically. What lenses do you have? If you own a bunch of 645 lenses, then a move to that format might not be very traumatic.

I have no 645 lenses yet, its a world of unknown for me. I was going to start small with the 55mm lens because of the bundle on adoramas website, and eventually pick up a 35 mm and 75 mm.

As far as lenses i currently have with the k-3. i have the hd da 16-85 wr ( was planning on selling that one to replace with the 15-30 mm, it fits the range i take pictures with better), the da 55* 1.4, and the hd da 55-300.


Last edited by Fcsnt54; 02-19-2016 at 05:47 PM.
02-19-2016, 05:53 PM   #9
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I'm in the same boat. If I have the money to get the 645Z and sustain it as a system by the time the K-1 is out, I definitely will. If not, I don't mind getting at least a K-1. I might invest in a second as a backup too depending on how it handles after a few months.
02-19-2016, 06:07 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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For your friend's big day, and so you know what the 645z is like, just rent it for the week.
02-19-2016, 06:08 PM   #11
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The one thing to remember about the medium format system is that it's big, heavy, and much more expensive than both APS-C and full-frame. MF can of course be very rewarding in terms of image quality, but whether or not it's "better" will depend on how you plan to use it, and what lenses you need / can afford.

The 645Z shines for studio and landscape applications. On the other hand, if you travel a lot or like to have your camera everywhere, it will probably be much more convenient to go with the full-frame system. There are lots more compact, travel-friendly lens options in the K-mount. Another example would be low-light handhelds. Faster lenses are available in the K-mount, and if you combine that with the built-in SR, chances are you'll get much better results with the K-1 than with the 645Z. I would also argue that the FF is better suited for hand-held / field portraits since you have access to classic portrait lenses like the FA* or Sigma 85mm F1.4. If you wanted the same FoV/bokeh on the 645Z, you'd have to adapt the manual focus 6x7 105mm F2.4, get the expensive 90mm macro, settle for a F4 lens, or use a shorter focal length.

Speaking of the sensor itself, the pixel density on the K-1 is just slightly higher than on the 645Z, so noise levels at 100% as well as dynamic range should be comparable. The 645Z's larger sensor will always win the noise battle at the end of the day, but both are already way better than APS-C. Another way to look at it is that going from APS-C to FF, your sensor area increases by 2.25 times. It's only a 1.68x jump going from FF to 645 digital. Whichever path you choose, you'll do much better in the image quality department, but you certainly get more bang for your buck with the K-1 (which would in turn allow you to invest in better lenses).

For me, FF is the perfect middle ground because it doesn't make too many sacrifices compared to APS-C, apart from a little bit of weight and a more costly body. As I said before, whether or not the 645Z would be better for you will depend on how you plan to use it. I hope this post helps in making your decision!

Adam
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02-19-2016, 06:38 PM   #12
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I like your answer, Adam. I've pondered the same question as the OP over the past year (since the FF announcement around a year ago). One factor that pulls me to the Z from an economic sense is that used lenses of very good reputation can be downright cheap. That said though, I'll probably opt for the K-1...it's a little less conspicuous to the family accountant (that is until I start buying new lenses for it).
02-19-2016, 06:45 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fcsnt54 Quote
I was initially going to upgrade from my k3 to the 645z. There was something about the pictures of a larger format i enjoy, and it is something i just cant explain. Now that the new k-1 came out it got me thinking.

Am i struck by the full frame bug that will pass or do i keep with my initial thought and go even bigger?

I just do photography for my own self enjoyment.
Taking pictures of buildings, bridges, and landscapes.
I dont do large prints, usually stay between 8x11 and 13x19.
My friend and his fiancÚ asked me to do photos of them before their big day and i wanted to give them something special( not saying the k3 cant do it, but it is about that special look).

The part that has me thinking about the k-1 is the new pixelshift and if it compares to the 645z, the price (woohoo), low light abilities, new features, i have a few lenses that will work, and the size.

The part that keeps me thinking about the 645z, the feel of that medium format look, the dynamic range, the quality of lenses, large difference between crop sensor and medium format, and i know i said it before but that medium format look.

Although getting both would be ideal, i dont need that many cameras.

Do i go with the 645z or the k-1?

Any help will be much appreciated to nudge me to either side of the fence.
i am having second thoughts about 645Z too. I was going to sell all my DSLRs (K3s and bunch of lenses) to fund the 645Z purchase. I do have three 645 legacy lenses already. My reason for going up to the 645Z was to print big. I do landscapes and still work and want to get into printing and selling large prints. After the K1 talk came about, I held my purchase decision until the K1 intro and to see some samples before the final decision.

If money was no object, I would get the 645Z in a heart beat. But since the cost is a major factor. I might stay with K1 for a while and fund the 645Z purchase from cash flow.

K1 delivers crazy good stuff. Another factor less discussed is the aspect ratio. K1 is 2x3 and 645Z is 3x4. If you crop K1 to 3x4 you will lose a lot of pixels creating a bigger gap between the two formats in favor of MF. The same is true with 645Z. If you crop MF to 2x3 aspect ratio, you lose pixels. In the second scenario the resolutions get a lot closer.

There are bunch of other factors separating the two formats such as "the look" (bokeh), physical size, lens selection just to name a few. The decision is not as simple as it may look. For me, the major deciding factor is cost. In that case K1 wins big.

The cost of K1 is so low! it is almost a no brainier for anybody wanting to go hi-res from the current APSc crop of cameras.
02-19-2016, 07:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I would get a K-1 and spend the difference on buying a motorcycle..
My problem is that I want both.
02-19-2016, 07:34 PM   #15
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I can afford medium format, but as an amateur I just can't justify it. The K-1 is only slightly more expensive than my K-5's and K-3 were at launch, and I don't need to buy any more lenses (but I almost certainly will )

It's a no-brainer for me.
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