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Forum: General Photography 12-20-2018, 09:30 AM  
Why We All Take the Same Travel Photos
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 56
Views: 2,256
This notion of “never been done” bothers me. Nobody has ever made a photo that is identical to another photo. Something will always be different, though not necessarily in a good way.

Finding the best spot to manage foreground and background, or to be “different”, is a matter of technique. But what makes photos unique is not technique (which is a bitter pill for me to swallow, to be honest). It’s about expression.

But, to express something of any relevance, we have to feel something. And to feel something, we have to be open to those feelings. Here’s where the snap shooter runs into problems—they only thing they feel is the need to demonstrate that they were there (which dominates the expressions I see these days), or that they know how to make photos, or they have great equipment (super-telephoto, super-wide, super-format, whatever), or that their kids or pets are cute.

When I’m in the presence of a powerful natural scene, I feel awe, and admiration for the Creator (or, with the constructed scene, the creator), and humility. How to express those feelings? That’s where craft comes in.

Maybe what strikes me is the simply beautiful symmetry, or the sense of height, or simple reverence. Or, maybe the scene brings me joy, or melancholy, or deep outrage. The art is in manipulating craft to deliver those emotions efficiently, without any contradictory clutter. If the scene is powerful enough, we may just need to stay out of its way—any manipulation distracts from that power and undermines awe. Maybe we need to consider what makes it awe-inspiring. Adams describes his decision to use a red filter to darken the sky to emphasize the contrast between the rim-lit Half Dome and the sky, which was the key to the drama of that scene, and his feelings about it.

He describes this as the first photo he made that demonstrated artistic intent.

But we have to have feelings to deliver first, before any amount of technique can deliver them.

If we tune into those relationships, it won’t matter if we stand at the same place as someone else. It won’t even matter if we express the same feeling someone else expressed. That’s a matter of editing, not art-making.

My beef with current photography is that the only feelings considered relevant are cynicism, sadness and outrage. Joy, awe and humility in the presence of dramatic (or simple) beauty seem to be considered untrustworthy, too easily contrived, or too sentimental. They are too much like calendar photos, and the current thinking seems to be that everything about those feelings is unsophisticated and has already been expressed. Artists are expected to be tortured. But those feelings are still important to me, so my photos express them.

But we can also be trapped by technique, relying on specific technical manipulations out of habit rather than purpose. In those cases, we look for camera locations that fit the technical manipulation we want to make, and the divergence from our feelings only increases. The technique becomes a gimmick, and distracting rather than contributory.

Adams complained about sharp photos of fuzzy concepts.

Rick “cataloguing his own weaknesses” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-18-2018, 09:53 PM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13,026
Views: 2,149,193
645z, FA300, f/16, 1 second, iso100:

645z, FA35, f/11, 125, iso400:

Rick “arrested decay” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-17-2018, 08:04 PM  
Any lenses adaptable to Pentax 67?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 15
Views: 6,179
I’ve done that, though not with the 67. But what I have done proves the concept. I used a Pentacon Six bellows, and Kiev 60 body caps as lens boards. It works great with barrel lenses like the 139mm Bausch and Lomb Tessar I used, but not with a lens that has a very large rear cell.

I can adapt that bellows to my Canons or my 645z, but not to the 67 body. A 67 bellows could be adapted to any Pentax K or 645 camera.

You’d be limited to longer focal lengths, as you say—short large-format lenses are indeed not retrofocus.

Rick “who did it to include that B&L in a bokeh test of 8 or 10 lenses of 135mm focal length” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-17-2018, 09:45 AM  
Any lenses adaptable to Pentax 67?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 15
Views: 6,179
No, the flange distance is too short.

Anything can be machined until you run into important things. The original Olympic Sonnars were made like early Elmars, with a lens head mounted on a focus barrel. A good machinist can often craft or modify the barrel, and I have seen old single-coated Sonnars remade to work in a 6x7 (and on Hasselblads). But they are one-offs and expensive.

One of the things on my to-do list is to compare the 67 165/2.8 to the 180/2.8 CZJ Sonnar, using the 645z. Notwithstanding my reverence for the Sonnar, the conversion may not be worth the trouble.

Rick “who needs a lathe—right” Denney
Forum: General Photography 12-15-2018, 06:29 AM  
Why We All Take the Same Travel Photos
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 56
Views: 2,256
A general reaction: There is not necessarily a distinction between interacting with family and making photographs. My wife and I are both photographers, and when we are making photographs on a trips were are sharing the experience at a deep level.

I also see no distinction between photographing and experiencing a place. On the contrary, photographing a place requires a deeper awareness of it than just standing at the viewpoints and going “wow!”

I think the article is about people who make photos not for the sake of expression but merely to post on Facebook and the like to show their friends that they were there, sort of like mailing postcards. That’s what I call adventure signaling (“look what we did instead of buying things”), which is, of course, every bit as competitive as buying things.

But I think the natural scene is dynamic enough to survive a million still photos without repeating itself.

Rick “who wrote an essay on this topic recently” Denney
Forum: General Photography 12-14-2018, 09:47 PM  
Why We All Take the Same Travel Photos
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 56
Views: 2,256
In the preface to the book I just assembled of Alaska photos, I called it adventure signaling.

Rick “whose face appears in none of his own photos, at least not on purpose” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-13-2018, 05:51 AM  
It's all about the size (of the viewfinder)
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 20
Views: 1,214
The 24 is designed for 220 film, and it may or may not (they varied) allow the use of 120 film. That would be a deal-breaker for me--220 film is no longer available except for a few boxes in my freezer :) .

The 635 is more like the Rolleicord than the Rolleiflex. The lens is not the four-element Yashinon that is in a Mat 124 (and possibly a 24), but rather the three-element Yashikor that was also used as a viewing lens in the Mat. I had a 635 during my college years, and it makes good photographs. The shutter is not coupled to the film advance, so when you make an exposure, you have to push the button in the advance knob to release it, and then wind the knob until it stops. At least that's what I'm remembering after 40 years.

The 635 allowed a 35mm adapter, but it's unlikely that will be included with the camera, and, truth to tell, if I were wanting to use 35mm, there are zillions of 35mm cameras on the used market that would be better.

The 635 has no meter, and I used Sunny 16 (which I modified to Sunny 11 with negative film): F/16 with the shutter set to the film speed. So, with ISO 100 film, f/16 or f/11 at 125. That's in sunlight, which is when you'll want to use that camera.

Test the shutter at 1 second. If it is very slow (it will probably be a little slow), or especially if it hangs up during the timing, the shutter will need to be overhauled to be reliable. That will be difficult service to find, so keep looking until you find one that has a functioning slow-speed escapement.

Rick "who hasn't laid eyes on that 635 since four houses ago" Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-12-2018, 07:51 PM  
Troubleshooting - 2 out of 5 blank rolls from 645NII / 120mm
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 12
Views: 562
Have you dry-fired the shutter without a lens to make sure the mirror is going up in addition to the shutter opening?

Rick “covering the obvious bases” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-12-2018, 03:13 PM  
It's all about the size (of the viewfinder)
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 20
Views: 1,214
I see a TLR in your future.

If you can find a Mamiya C330 that isn’t worn out, those do have interchangeable lenses. Prices are all over the map, but they may not be hip enough over there to fire up the speculators.

Rick “even Yashicamats are getting pricier” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-12-2018, 11:29 AM  
It's all about the size (of the viewfinder)
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 20
Views: 1,214
If you get a Kiev 60 or 88, spend the money to get one touched up by Arax ( These should NEVER be bought without return privileges and a warranty.

I have an 88CM-MLU that Arax overhauled, and it works reasonably well of you take a marker and cover up “1000” on the shutter dial. It takes most Pentacon Six lenses, but not all—some can’t insert into the recessed mount far enough. Put an old Hasselblad chimney finder on it—one of the best ways to look through an 88.

The Kiev 60 is built like a cheap alarm clock. It never works really well but it keeps on working. The mirror boxes are shiny and need to be covered with flocking—Arax does that for the camera’s they sell. The plastic Kiev label will eventually melt, too. I have three of them, including one from the final production run in 2000. On my best one, the shutter speeds are over by as much as a stop—which never was a problem for color negative film.

When Arax says “new”, they mean new old stock, but probably tested before they go out. Most of this stuff has been out of production since the turn of the century. Gevorg is a good guy and the last of the quality Kiev dealers, but he can’t work miracles and you have to be prepared to send one back if it isn’t functional (perfect is probably unattainable).

Pentacon Sixes (and this goes also for their more modern incarnation, the Exakta 66) suffer from Excess Design Syndrome. They are designed in a way that requires slightly better production quality than they ever received. Their main weakness is the film advance, which uses a star wheel rotated by the passing film. It can stick on smooth color film, which will desynchronize the film advance. I have a Pentacon Six TL and an Exakta 66 Mk. II and both have suffered that fault from time to time. Also, their prisms are like looking in a cave. Use a waist-level finder, or adapt a Kiev 60 prism (baierfoto at least used to make the adapter). They also made a decent chimney finder if you can find one.

I have never owned a Hasselblad, but I have handled them. They are not quite the measure of the legend, but they are pretty good all the same.

I own a vintage Rolleiflex, and it’s like a fetish object. But TLRs are compact and light, if that’s what you want. Mine is old enough to have a Xenar (the Schneider version of the Tessar), and it’s still pretty darn good. I’d be every bit as happy with a Xenotar as with a Planar in a newer model.

But give me a Pentax 67 any day. More consistent operation, serviceable in the US (if you don’t dawdle), superb lenses. I have three now, with TTL, standard prism, and folding waist-level finders. All are excellent, but the prisms don’t see right to the edge. (They get a lot closer than the Pentacon finders, though.)

To summarize, remember that the Second-World stuff is junque, and adjust expectations accordingly.

Rick “none of these can match a view camera for viewing experience, however” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-11-2018, 06:41 PM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13,026
Views: 2,149,193
645z, 200mm FA:

Rick “Root Glacier, Wrangell Mountains” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-11-2018, 06:48 AM  
Grand Lens Test 13A: APPROVED. The real DA645 28-45 ED AW SR is in the house
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 20
Views: 1,244
I do have some ultrawides--a Sigma 12-24, for example, for my full-frame Canons--but it's been a long time since I've had it on the camera. The 24-105 sits on the camera routinely, even for landscape work. I guess it expresses my own shift in thinking that when the Canon 17-40 f/4 L came out, I lusted for it, but still have managed to not buy it despite that used examples are rather affordable now.

And I have and very occasionally use a 65mm Super Angulon for 4x5. The 65 is good for interiors and exaggerated closeups, and perspective control is a bit more possible with 4x5 though that lens's image circle isn't that big, but using it causes the same problem I have with any extreme wide for general landscapes--it renders distant land too small in the image to see. The 47mm Super Angulon XL is available and I've had several opportunities to buy one at a good price, but have never followed through, simply because I doubt I'd get any use out of it. A 65 on 4x5 is like a 24 or 25 on the 645z, and if the right deal came along on a 25 at a time when I was feeling flush, I might jump on it.

I've said in the past that Pentax needs to be able to say they have an extreme wide in the line. It does not have to be fast, even. f/5.6 would be acceptable.

My Arsat is multicoated, but you'll notice veiling flare on that lens when pointed into the light. But I can usually fix that, as in the image below.

Rick "the 30mm Arsat isn't really any wider than the 28 end of this zoom, especially if you want to correct the fisheye distortion" Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 07:41 PM  
Grand Lens Test 13A: APPROVED. The real DA645 28-45 ED AW SR is in the house
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 20
Views: 1,244
It’s wider than you think. Based on the diagonal, it’s more like 22 equivalent: 43/55 times 28. If the target aspect ratio is 4x3, it’s more like 20: 24/33 times 28. It’s only 23 if you want a 3x2 aspect: 36/44 times 28.

I print to 16x20 or at 4x3, so for me it’s pretty wide, and wider than anything I’ve used in medium format except 6x12. 28 is the same for the 645z as the 45 is for 6x7.

A wider lens really is occasionally useful, but I find I’m using ultrawides less often than I once predicted. I had an 18-28 zoom on my Canon F-1 back in the day, and I look at those 18mm images now and wonder what I was thinking. It worked a treat maybe one out of a hundred times, but most of the time, perspective was too hard to control. It was nice in those rare occasions, but there are lots of other photos to make.

Rick “not arguing that an ultra wide prime wouldn’t be impressive in the product line” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 07:10 PM  
Pentax 645z gallery
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 34
Views: 4,221
I’m looking on my iphone—“top right” has no meaning. The site renders based on viewing device.

Rick “who looked at the first dunes photo he saw” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 04:52 PM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13,026
Views: 2,149,193
Both of these with the 645z, 45-85 at 85, f/11.

Rick “from the trail to the Exit Glacier” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 04:47 PM  
Pentax 645z gallery
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 34
Views: 4,221
It looks like footprints in the sand to me, i we are looking at the same image. Take another look.

Rick “who needs to edit this well, but doesn’t” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 03:01 PM  
Grand Lens Test 13A: APPROVED. The real DA645 28-45 ED AW SR is in the house
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 20
Views: 1,244
The 28-45 is not discontinued that I know of. It’s the 25 that is no longer being made, reportedly because they lost their contractor who could make the front element within their cost structure.

Rick “28 is about as wide as I go before getting into seriously limited applicability” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 05:42 AM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13,026
Views: 2,149,193
Don't sell a 645D to get a Kiev 88 anything--that leads to madness. The Kiev stuff is what you can buy in addition to having a camera you can actually depend on.

And I say that as the owner of three Kiev 60's (all with prisms), a specially hot-rodded Kiev 88CM (with prism and five backs), a Pentacon Six Tl (yup), and an Exakta 66 Mk. II with an adapted Kiev 60 prism (using the Baierfoto adapter). And a Fed 3 and Fed 5, so that I can be unreliable in two formats. And a Moscow V folder.

Rick "adapt the lenses to the Pentax instead" Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 12:45 AM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13,026
Views: 2,149,193
645z with 120 macro:

Rick “a couple from the new Alaska portfolio” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2018, 12:22 AM  
Grand Lens Test 13A: APPROVED. The real DA645 28-45 ED AW SR is in the house
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 20
Views: 1,244
Series Contents

Those of you who read the prior test of the DA645 28-45 will know the story. I purchased a pre-owned lens from Adorama at a good price, and the lens turned out to be a problem performer. It was fine at some angles, but when level on the tripod, aimed at my test scene, it did not match the performance of either the 35mm prime or the 45mm end of the 45-85 zoom, and it missed by a mile. My suspicion is that something that is supposed to not be loose was, and fell out of alignment under certain conditions and into alignment at other times. Adorama took it back without a hiccup, and I sent that money to Australia to a forum member who offered me his lens instead. The beast was proving physically unmanageable for him, and I can understand that. It is indeed a beast, as all who have reviewed it will confirm. But compared to my Sinar P, it's light as a feather. And compared to a Zeiss Jena 180mm f/2.8 Sonnar (or, Heaven forbit, the 300), it's not particularly beastly. Put that Sonnar on a Kiev 60, and carry that around for a bit. Or a Pentax 67 with a 300mm lens and TTL finder. You'll never complain about the 645z again.

But I do consider carrying it around as part of my workout regimen. I warm up using my dumbbells, usually in the range of 35-50 pounds each, as a warm up for the big lift of carrying this puppy. Okay, it's not that bad, but it will still be favored by those who work out in the gym.

Today I made new test photos with the replacement lens, and conditions were a bit more like my original test in terms of lighting. It was a gray day just as it was in the late spring when I tested the other lenses in this series. But unlike that prior occasion, it never made it above freezing here so the camera got a bit of a cold-weather workout. The winter conditions also mean that the bushes and trees at Chez Denney are more leafless than in prior photos.

Here's a general view at 28mm:

As before, these are straight out of the camera, processed in DxO Photolab with the driest possible settings.


Here's a 100% crop from the middle of the image, at f/4.5. Remember that these 1:1 crops, when displayed on a typical monitor at 100 pixel/inch, are part of an image seven feet wide.

One of the tests of a zoom is whether it's better to carry a range of primes. The only good prime that competes at this end of the zoom range is the DA or DFA 25mm lens, which is of course no longer in production. The only lens I have in my collection that hopes to compete at this focal length is an Arsat 30mm Fisheye. So, what the heck, let's show the center crop from that lens (which is itself also a beast). Here is the image made at f/11, so we are comparing the best aperture of that lens with the wide-open aperture of the 28-45.

The Arsat doesn't stand a chance. But if you need a fisheye, and only a fisheye will do, then the Arsat is one.

But the real test of a wide-angle lens is in the corners. Is there field curvature? Does the sharpness hold up in the corners? Let's look. Here's the lower right corner:

This isn't curvature--it's just loss of sharpness in the extreme corner at f/4.5. But this IS just the very corner--compare this with the full image above. We're talk the four or five inches from the corner on that seven-foot print. This loss of sharpness in the corner nearly completely cleans up at f/5.6, and we'll look at f/8 further down and see that the effect is completely resolved once we've stopped down a bit.

What about curvature: Here's the upper left corner:

The branches you see are about in the focus plane, and they are sharp. The loss of sharpness that would correspond to the lower right corner is suffused into the bit of house that is quite out of focus. I don't see evidence of curvature here.

And here's the lower left corner, which was generally sharp with the FA35 (which is known for curvature). The field looks acceptably flat at 28mm.

While we are at 28mm, let's look at several apertures and see if we can determine the ideal aperture. Here's the center again at f/5.6:




And f/22:

There is no practical difference between f/4.5, 5.6, 8, and 11 in the center of the image and in the focus plane. F/16 starts to degrade slightly, though I may be imagining it, but not enough to keep me from using it even for a large print. F/22, though, would allow only a more subdued print size. But insufficient depth of field trumps diffraction.

Before moving away from 28mm, here's the lower right corner at f/8:

At f/8, it's sharp right to the corner.


I'll spend less time at longer focal lengths now that we know the basic behavior of the lens. Questions for 35mm: Does it out-perform the FA35mm prime lens? Are the corners better than at 28?

Here's the center at f/4.5:


And at f/8:

Here is the FA 35/3.5 at f/11:

This makes me want to check that f/8 exposure, which is very slightly softer than the f/4.5 image. F/5.6 is the clear winner of all of these, but the 35 may be diffracting a touch at f/11. The 35mm prime is very good in the center, but it's not better than the zoom. It is a LOT cheaper, though.

Here is the upper left corner at f/8:

Again, no sign of field curvature. The branches and dead leaves are close to the focal plane. The wood at left is only five feet from the lens, and the background pines are three times as far as the focus plane. There is a touch of movement blur here--shutter speed was 1/13 second. The camera was, of course, mounted on a tripod, but that river birch tree will move in not much breeze.


Center of the image at 1:1, F/4.5:

Here's the 45-85 zoom at 45 and f/4.5:

The 45-85 is stunningly good, especially at the short end. The 28-45 is a bit better.

Here's the same comparison at f/8:

Again, the 45-85 is outstanding, and the 28-45 is a bit better.

Finally, a word about focus accuracy. This lens front-focused very slightly, and I set the focus adjustmentment for this one to -3.

In conclusion, a good example of the 28-45 is an amazing performer. Please see my previous test of the failed lens for details about shake reduction, which I did not test again here. I find that shake reduction is good for about a stop, but I did not use it in the above images that were made on a tripod using mirror pre-release.

But these lenses are not bullet-proof. If you buy one pre-owned, test it.

Rick "just about thawed out" Denney
Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 12-07-2018, 10:00 AM  
Amateur Photographers (UK) Predicts End for Pentax
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 887
Views: 60,114
They are fine if displayed as we once did, using prints generally no larger that 8x10 or optically projected onto a screen seen from a healthy distance.

Even now, though, the prints I’ve seen from 50mp full-frame cameras suggest that 12x18 (nominal) is the point at which tonality starts to suffer, even though sharpness may be fine up to larger sizes. It’s like too little butter spread over too much bread.

But few print anything, let alone making large prints. I certainly need to make more prints.

More general response to many comments leading up to the quoted post:

I said 15 years ago that digital bumps us up a format—APS-C digital is as good as 35mm film used to be, full-frame digital is as good as 645 film (though not really, back then), 645 digital is as good as 6x7, etc. I think digital actually now lives up to that.

I used 35mm a lot in the day, simply because of convenience. But we always compromise for convenience in one way or another.

My iPhone sees a lot of use, too, because of convenience. But it is only good displayed small. Seeing them blown up even to computer monitor size is always disappointing. Again, it’s more about tonality than sharpness. Detail is there but not color or tonal subtlety.

Technology has rendered the mastery to achieve technically competent results obsolete, but in so doing has redefined “good”. A technically competent photo is no longer good enough—anyone can do that.

But camera companies are not sustained by the few quality photographers who rise above producing merely technically competent photos. They are sustained by the many people who want pictures they and others will admire, mostly because of the subject.

The Canon Digital Rebel brought that to former point-n-shoot users. Camera phones have nearly caught up to that, but not if they want to photograph their kids playing soccer, or any other distant detail. For that, digital magnification is just going to an even smaller format, and quality suffers even on the small screen. There’s just no headroom for any additional magnification. Anyone with a hankering to pull in a distant subject, no matter how inexpert, will need a longer lens, if they don’t want to see that loss of quality. I don’t expect that to ever change, especially as digital displays get bigger. So interchangeable-lens cameras will persist. And as long as too pros use SLRs, they will persist with dilettantes. But pros are becoming more scarce.

Technology improves, but so do standards of excellence.

Will Pentax make it? Who knows? But they do need to see 645 as their halo product—the thing that makes them different from Canon, Sony, and Nikon—even if it’s a loss leader. And photographers interested in excellence need to start making prints and seeing more attributes than mere sharpness. Photography by photographers is as much endangered as are SLRs.

Rick “time to make some prints” Denney
Forum: General Photography 12-06-2018, 10:37 AM  
Updated US Ricoh Authorized Dealers
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 26
Views: 1,710
The FedEx “superhub” is actually in Memphis.

Rick “who has been there” Denney
Forum: General Photography 12-05-2018, 10:05 PM  
"Professional" Canon fotog had a go at my Pentax!!!!!!!!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 56
Views: 2,750
A pro who can’t deal pleasantly with Uncle Harrys is going to have annoyed clients. It goes with the territory.

A pro who doesn’t pay himself with his show-up price is going to go broke. The days of making the money on albums and enlargements are long gone.

Bring your camera and don’t worry about it, but do give the pro first shot and don’t distract his subjects until he’s done.

As to disparaging someone’s camera, that’s just social ineptitude. It’s hard to take that sort of thing seriously.

One comment I heard about a top musician’s choice of tuba: “I’ve played those Yamaha’s, and for her to sound that good on that tuba really impressed me!” That is the Insult Concealed, artfully done. Photo geeks are like many geeks—inept at personal interaction. They mean well. It’s a real liability in event work, though.

I always insult my own camera and than add, “but it really gets results.”

Rick “who describes the 645z to friends as ‘a beast of a camera’” Denney
Forum: General Photography 12-05-2018, 09:43 PM  
Updated US Ricoh Authorized Dealers
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 26
Views: 1,710
Ace is a good store. I bought my 645z there, plus a couple of used lenses. Come to think of it, I bought my 645NII and 45-85 there 15 years ago. And my Canons, and the Redhead’s Nikons. And a couple of used 67 lenses. And tripods...cases...

Moe will always match New York prices.

Lots of rich geeks out here in Loudoun County. And Moe is himself a 645z user.

But the days when dealers drive the market are long gone. Moe can’t keep much Pentax stuff in stock—the geeks all want Nikon and Canon stuff, and they walk in the door with that decision already made.

Rick “camera shops make most of their money on accessories these days” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-04-2018, 10:19 PM  
Why Medium Format?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 21
Views: 1,539
I used a Mamiya C-3, for which I paid $100 with a 80mm Sekor, from the early 70’s until the late 90’s. I replaced it with an old C-33, which cocked the shutter automatically when winding the film. Amazing! I had a Rolleiflex also, and it is remarkably compact and light. But it is also inflexible.

Mostly to get access to a 45mm wide-angle lens—the widest I could do with the Mamiya was 55—I bought a Kiev 60 with a Mir 26 lens. It was flaky and I bought two more. Lens and finder diversity was the reason.m, and I couldn’t afford the quality stuff.

The Mamiya was the only twin-lens system camera, and I have always used and wanted a wide selection of lenses. Finders, too—I even have the high-eyepoint speedfinder for my old Canon F-1. The Kiev led to a collector’s interest in Soviet stuff, and I ended up with an 88CM box SLR and an Exakta 66.

Those were always fun but scary—they didn’t always work. I couldn’t do commercial work with them and the Mamiyas were worn out. Also, my wife wanted to do weddings with bigger film (having seen my results), but needed high levels of automation. So, we bought a 645NII with the 45-85 zoom and a flash. I added a 645N with a 75LS as a backup and many inserts and other accessories.

Soon after that she went digital and never looked back.

The 645 negative was feeling constricting and in 2007 I bought my first 6x7 (in Fairbanks, as it happens). That became my go-to kit for serious work when large format was infeasible, and I expanded it to 3 bodies and a full complement of lenses, plus folding and chimney finders.

The only thing more exciting than a 6x7 Velvia transparency on a light table is a 4x5 Velvia transparency. And so I maintained a 4x5 capability throughout.

The 645z is changing my patterns, to be sure. It may be the best compromise yet between image quality, system flexibility, and portability.

But I have never second-guessed the decision to go bigger as much as possible.

Rick “like Adams: the biggest camera I can carry” Denney
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