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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-31-2017, 06:21 AM  
no new Pentax645 news
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 7
Views: 1,127
I had been optimistic before, but this time the price drops in combination with patents for a new telephoto zoom are promising though.

I don't need their zooms. I want primes. For many reasons (size, weight, design) medium format is for primes. Unfortunately, Fuji has done it all right. Those lenses. Enviable. And in an amazing short time.

But perhaps Pentax catches on. Eventually.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-07-2016, 12:48 PM  
Pentax 645 to Fuji / Hasselblad? Anyone considering the switch?
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 38
Views: 4,196
I find the Fuji and its conceived lens portfolio incredibly attractive and I was blown away by it initially. Especially the 23 and the 110mm/2 lenses, just what makes me salivate. I had all those odd Fuji cameras during film days, the GSW690, the big 680, and some large format lenses, and I loved those cameras and lenses. Then there is lots of talks about adapters and there seems to be a good chance for adapters for the Mamiya 7 lenses and the Rolleiflex lenses. Thus, it would only make sense for me to get one.

After my initial excitement wore off and I had more time with my 645Z and 645D I once more appreciated what fantastic cameras they are. The native lenses are great, and I am a big fan of the 400, the 300, the 150, the 25, and some of the 67 lenses, but in addition to those I have a plethora of adapted lenses, macro and portrait, and it would make little sense for me to change those setups. Thus, the 645z and 645D are certainly plenty of camera and I occasionally wonder (between episodes of GAS) how much camera one really needs. The Pentax 645 system is just so photographer friendly, almost more so than the CANIKON consumer models, but with an eye for the professional.

I guess I'll get one of those GFXes eventually, but perhaps not with the same sense of rush and excitement that I had at photokina. Also, a new 645 body with even higher MP would be great, and perhaps we'll see some more 645Z price reduction.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 02-18-2016, 07:55 AM  
Is there any faster than f=2.4 lens for 67 system?
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 16
Views: 4,051
If speed is what you want, Astro Berlin lenses show up from time to time on ebay. There is one with a P67 mount right now I believe. They come in various flavors either as 150mm f1.8 or f2 and their names are Pan-Tachar, Tachonar and others. They are not your sterile modern digital medium format lenses, but they certainly have narrow depth of field, speed, and bokeh. Just beautiful drawing from a bygone era.

Another fast lens with narrow depth of field is the 180mm f/2.8 which has been manufactured by Carl Zeiss Jena or Pentacon. They have been occasionally adapted for P67 with good success. Those are sharper than the Astro Berlin lenses and go back to the old Olympia Sonnar. Coatings are not up to modern standards, but once more, it's a fast lens with narrow depth of field. Both are quite nice for portraits. You were asking about a Zeiss, and that would be the one.

If you are willing to give up on the diaphragm and just want to shoot at or around f2 you can also adapt some of those cinema projection lenses. The shorter focal lengths don't cover, but those around 120mm or longer do. They are fairly sharp and some are well coated.

Finally, those Zoomar lenses came at varying levels of performance, but some were remarkably good.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-24-2015, 11:49 PM  
DA645 25mm AL - please let me know your experience.
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 32
Views: 3,866
Guilty as charged. Or charged as guilty. Either way.

That's why you are still married, Al. I had that happen already twice, says the girlfriend, me or the 25mm, well, I have two 25mm lenses. :).

For me its a flashback to my years as a photojournalist in the 80ies. My wide angle lenses were 28mm and 20mm (35mm Minolta way back), and I'd carry a 100mm macro for portraits, and sometimes a 300mm. Well, the 645D and more so even the Z allow you to have a similar set of three lenses in a shoulder bag. Either 25, 55, 150 or 25, 120, 300, or 25, 90, 200. Theoretically, I could also pack the 28-45mm, but it's too clumsy. I sometimes do, but it's really big, and I do see myself wanting to tape those additional degrees of wideangle onto the edge of the frame. 28 is like 22mm on 35mm film, and 25 is like 19mm. Two or three millimeter difference - does it matter? Yes, it does. It is the difference between something looking still almost regular vs. showing some extreme perspective. 25mm (19mm) is a real news-type lens. 28mm (22mm) is almost regular. Not really. But you get my point.

My other medium format system (sort of like another girlfriend), the Rollei Hy6, never got their wide angle range off the ground. I fell out of love with them because of that. They just lost it. You need a real wide angle. Both 35mm lenses fill in nicely for the medium wide angle, the 28mm. But how about the really wide end? I am afraid both Rollei and Pentax (Ricoh) have been taken over by some technocrats, bean counters, you name it. Not photographers. Well, I wish there was some thinking ahead anywhere. I just panicked when I realized this was going to be it. The end of the wide angle range for Pentax medium format. I was worried they'd go the same way as Rollei. Just paranoia. But for real: the zoom is not an alternative.

For some reason I can't really understand why Pentax built some internal default self-destruct mechanism into those lenses, letting you know that it was their last shot. They either had problems with picture quality (not mine), or diaphragm, or simply fell apart without warning. Sort-of like: this is it. This is the end of our wide angle adventure. Then they put a 5K sticker on it. My first lens simply has manual focusing issues, more play in the manual focus ring than it should. Autofocus is spot on though, and manual focus works, but not very neat. Pentax probably thought: let's build in some tricks, make them nervous, and see whether they smarten up and buy two of them. Like the grand slam. 10K for a great picture if the lens works. Then they would be sitting there in some skyscraper office in Tokyo and laugh at us, being so obsessed with the idea of using the 645D/Z like a real camera.

During those times I followed their 645 lens listings or road maps to nowhere with some sense of anxiety. Well, first there was the D FA and all the debate over the end of full frame. The DA seemed a tad better. Logical choice. Then there were those roadmaps on which the D FA failed to show up, and that made sense. But to my disbelief the number of signs that the DA version was also deleted started to increase. First it was missing on some obscure sites in Japan. Well - probably they confused it with the D FA - so I thought. Then there were more and more lens listings posted without the 25mm DA. Then there was a short time it was available for discount, and then the price went up to $6K for the final ones.

Mine were about $4K each, still more expensive than a single Leica 24mm for $8K. I know the Pentax sensor is better. I envy those Leica owners at times. But then they only get one perfect lens for what they need. They'll never have the chance to worry about two that might fall apart every moment. Oh Pentax...

Well, I take the 25mm with me most of the time. Probably my favorite lens. Cats and girls come second.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-01-2014, 08:44 AM  
Anything faster than f2.8 for medium format?
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 29
Views: 9,037
The system is called Visoflex and not "visioflex". Many of the lenses designed for that system are well known to cover medium format, including the 65mm, the Hektor, and the 200mm. In fact, these lenses cover the full 6x6 film format and even 6x7 https://www.flickr.com/photos/esquisses/4522415966/.

Especially the Hektor is easily adapted using the readily available M39 P645 adapters. The original poster just bought a P645Z - chances that he/she will swap systems are slim. The 12.5cm Hektor has wonderful bokeh and is ideally suited for portraits. It gets very sharp when stopped down and even at 2.5 it is very usable for portraits on the 645D or 645Z (I own both). In fact, chances are, that because of the sensor and image processing, the P645Z with the Hektor may be preferable to the Leica, even though their new 100 is likely to render clinically sharp images at full aperture. But that depends on the type of application you are going to use the lens for. If it was me, I'd rather use the Hektor with the P645Z, especially if I already own one. I can assure you, there is no light fall-off nor image degradation toward the edge of the frame, especially with the small 44x33 sensor. As I said, those lenses easily cover 6x7.

---------- Post added 11-01-14 at 10:45 AM ----------


I guess the other questions is whether you own any of these.

---------- Post added 11-01-14 at 10:48 AM ----------

... and I should also add that some of these Visoflex lenses are Mandler designs that were calculated and manufactured in the Midland Ontario plant. Some of the best lenses ever made. I used to own both a Midland and a Wetzlar copy, and I sold the Wetzlar copy. Rumors have it that all were manufactured at Leitz Midland, the Wetzlar ones were just relabeled. Anyway, these are marvelous lenses by all means.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-10-2014, 06:42 PM  
Pentax 645Z - Real World Dynamic Range
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 18
Views: 4,464
Gorgeous.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-04-2014, 12:16 PM  
Pentax HD PENTAX-DA645 28-45mm f/4.5 ED AW SR Lens listed on B&H
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 20
Views: 3,446
Everything as expected, so far. I am sure that an excellent lens in this range (with this I mean something better than the 33-55) will be heavy and large. I also think that such a lens is a much needed addition to the line-up and I'd be happy to shell out $8K for it. Folks need to get used to the concept that if Pentax/Ricoh are supposed to produce great lenses they will cost money. And I am not interested in second rate lenses for the system as it makes little sense.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-29-2013, 12:45 AM  
Could next 645D be with out miror?
Posted By Lacunapratum
Replies: 31
Views: 3,108
Current lens designs for MF digital backs proof you wrong. The Rodenstock 23mm/5.6 S-Digaron leaves 16mm from the rear element to the sensor surface - certainly not enough for the Pentax mirror. This lens in fact can be had with focusing mount and theoretically could be adapted to a mirrorless MFD of short mounting distance. Few of the lenses for MF digital backs, even the telecentric designs, would fit a digital SLR with mirror, unless they are of longer focal length, and with these designs compactness certainly is not an issue.

There are also issues of convenience. Returning to the mirror-up design in the 21st century would certainly have commentators and online blogs scratch their pixels. Moreover, saving weight and saving cost does make a difference when one considers the cost for these lenses (e.g. $5K for the Pentax, $8K for the Rodenstock). And the judge is still out as to which designs would be better. Neither you or I have designed the new generation of lenses for the putative mirrorless P645Dii.

As I said - I didn't propose that the new digital P645Dii should become a Sony A7r on steroids. I'd hope Pentax would do their homework and calculate some excellent wide angle lenses in advance. Perhaps they'll also add a global shutter or a front-end shutter to deal with the shuttershock issue the Sony suffers from. I bought a dozen adapters for the Sony mount, but last minute decided to wait for generation II of the camera body. These mirrorless camera manufacturers are incredibly creative and every generation seems to introduce a bunch of innovations.

I am also not proposing that the Pentax K-01 was the cat's pajamas. An unsuccessful design that didn't save weight and had few if any advantages. I'd hope Pentax learns from this and other mistakes and brings something truly innovative on the market, designed for the photographers, as they did in the past.

I simply felt intrigued by the news that Pentax/Ricoh would come up with something new and different for the 645Dii and I am hoping it's mirrorless. You don't. Let's wait and see.
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