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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 6 Days Ago  
6x7 fungus
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 6
Views: 358
I would also blast it with ultraviolet to kill the fungus.

All lens faults either degrade the image unacceptably or they don’t. If pixel peeping and the overall image quality pleases you, then use the lens and enjoy it.

As with any flaw, make sure it is shaded. Off-axis light exposes flaws.

Rick “judging lenses by the images they make” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-15-2019, 07:52 PM  
Come on Pentax where’s next 645 !?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 117
Views: 9,859
My 645z and 645nII were both bought new, as was my FA 45-85 and my three flash units and various other accessories.

I didn’t buy my 28-45 new—I let you do that :)

But Pentax could operate a refurbishment and certified pre-owned program that, with reasonable prices, could help capture secondary-market profits.

Rick “who buys new when it makes sense, but who would pay a premium to buy used from Pentax” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-10-2019, 03:31 PM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13,939
Views: 2,341,571
Tuco’s graveyard brought this to mind from about ten years ago. I like his better.



Tombstones, Floyd, Virginia, 2009
Pentax 67, 55 “SMC Pentax”, on Fuji Reala.

Rick “not posting 645z stuff for complaints of lost sharpness” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 11-08-2019, 08:38 AM  
Come on Pentax where’s next 645 !?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 117
Views: 9,859
No, it’s an Arsenal lens, made in Kiev—the glass comes from the Arsat 45/3.5, aka the Mir 26.

And that is the joy and the pain of it. Not sharp, but loved by users back in the day for its color rendering.

Rick “who has several” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-29-2019, 04:00 PM  
645Z -- Fine Art Photography :lol:
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13
Views: 843
Have you tried it?

I have, and large soft boxes created specular reflections all over the paintings. Scrimming those out scrimmed out all the illumination. It’s hard enough with cross-polarized light.

Oil paintings are often glossy and highly textured. Glass-covered watercolors are easier.

But do what you want. Not my gig.

Rick “not a beginner” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-29-2019, 03:54 PM  
New 645z owner. What computing power am I going to need to handle these raws?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 39
Views: 1,754
Which is why I suggested thinking through his RAID strategy carefully.

But there are ways to add redundancy without RAID. One is Unraid, which I use on my backup server. Unraid builds network share folders across drives, but does not split files apart. It also maintains a parity drive in the array. With those strategies, a failed disk can be regenerated, but even two failed disks will not make the files on the remaining disks unreadable. And it’s cheap.

If I wanted to take advantage of a 10G network, I’d have to think of something else—the consumer computers in that case can’t keep up. But I only make deep backups every month.

I do not make a thousand photos a day like some do. I’m careful with the button, and say “100 MB” to myself every time I fire the shutter. But as a long-time large-format photographer, I have never adopted a run-n-gun approach, even when I do events.

The new version of Unraid will, I believe, allow up to 40 TB of storage in its cheaper form. But it’s been a while since I built mine, and I’m not up to date.

Rick “mitigating, not eliminating risk” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-29-2019, 01:29 PM  
645Z -- Fine Art Photography :lol:
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13
Views: 843
The standard technique for lighting is to use crossed polarizers, turned one way over the lights and then adjusted on the lenses to eliminate specular reflections from the artwork surface. Large light boxes make it harder, not easier.

The shorter the lens, the more reflections will be a problem, because reflected light will be admitted from a wider range of directions. Short lenses also have more vignetting, which will require correction in post.

I did a similar project using a P67 and a 135mm macro lens. You don’t need a macro lens for magnification, you need it for flatness of field. That said, the 55 DFA is sharp enough and flat enough, despite the reports that it has a curved field, at f/5.6. I wouldn’t go wider, even if it meant requiring art to be moved to a set to be photographed.

Rick “not an easy project” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-29-2019, 01:05 PM  
New 645z owner. What computing power am I going to need to handle these raws?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 39
Views: 1,754
That describes my situation pretty well, though I was able to make a 1.5 GB image composition using Photoshop and Photomerge. I have 16 GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD for the Photoshop scratch file, and a 1.5 TB disk drive. That drive is starting to fill up, and I have an 8 TB drive ready to be installed. The processor is nearly a decade old now.

I make backups (daily, weekly, and monthly) to an external Unraid server with (currently) 13 TB capacity. The point of RAID is to increase speed by striping across multiple disks, not to increase reliability, so choose you RAID strategy carefully.

Rick “sustaining a FireWire interface for the Nikon scanner” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-23-2019, 09:21 PM  
6x7 advice
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 34
Views: 2,843
For the focal-plane shutter in a P67, it hardly matters. The closing of the second curtain is timed electronically, and the springs only control how fast the curtains move.

Rick “who lost touch for a few weeks” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-05-2019, 06:12 PM  
6x7 advice
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 34
Views: 2,843
Springs relaxed mean the shutter has been released. Cocked on a Pentax LS lens means that you have rotated the cocking ring to charge the shutter.

The focal-plane shutter on a 6x7 is cocked when you advance the film.

Rick “who never really worries about how they are stored” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-05-2019, 04:32 AM  
33-55 Lens Hood Differences
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 7
Views: 549
Those are frequently lost. I’ve lost several.

Rick “who leaves them at home now” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 07-25-2019, 07:59 AM  
Finding wide angle lenses for the 645 d
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 14
Views: 871
A. I don’t think the DFA lenses cover the film format, but others will know those details better than I. I guess I’ve never fitted my two digital-era lenses to my 645NII.

B. “Normal” is strictly a convention. Large-format photographers describe focal length as “short”, “normal” or “long”, just as a convenience for discussion. Perspective is entirely controlled by camera position, and focal length only controls how much of the scene will be included in the image from that position. For portraits, long lenses require longer distances (if you want more than just the subject’s nose in the picture), and when viewing a small piece of a scene from a long distance, perspective will seem compressed. But the lens is merely constraining possible camera positions, and camera positions are doing the work of perspective relationships.

“Wide angle”, “normal”, and “telephoto” have to do with lens design, not focal length in relation to format. Wide-angle lenses have wider coverage relative to focal length, which is needed by shorter lenses and larger formats. For SLRs, they are also retrofocus, meaning the distance to the rear node is longer than the focal length, which makes a short focal length possible in front of a deep mirror box. A telephoto lens has a distance to the rear node shorter than the focal length, making fitting on a shorter bellows possible. Normal lenses are often wide-angle designs to accommodate camera movements.

Fora camera like the 645z, I think in terms of short and long, and normal is just a convenient label.

Rick “not normal” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 07-25-2019, 05:52 AM  
Finding wide angle lenses for the 645 d
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 14
Views: 871
Learn lens lengths in relation to the film diameter. This is a model, and all models are false even though some are useful. This one is useful.

Those who have broad multi-format experience soon give up trying to equate focal lengths across formats, and instead learn what focal lengths are long and short for that format.

150mm is a format-diameter baseline for 4x5 large format, for example. And 75mm is half that while 300mm is twice that.

So, if 55 is the format-diameter baseline for 645 digital, then 23 is half that and 110 is twice that. Therefore, 23 on a 645D is like 75 on 4x5.

Likewise, 70 is the format-diameter baseline for 645 film, so 35 is half that and 140 is twice that.

Round to the nearest available lens. The 25 for the 645d is closest to the 35 for 645 film, if you can find (er...afford) one.

I have a 65 for 4x5, a 35 for 645 film, a 45 for 6x7, a 21 for 24x36, and a 12 for APS-C. All are half the format diameter or less. That’s why the lack of a lens in the 20-25 range for the 645 digital represents a hole. But the 28 end of the 28-45 has been useful enough.

When you change format shape, lenses feel different based on how you use that shape, but it’s more productive just to learn them through experience than to try to analyze it out.

Rick “format omnivore” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 07-06-2019, 11:39 AM  
Pentax 6x7 vs 645 systems Advantages and Disadvantages?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 60
Views: 3,766
Not too long ago, the standard term for 35mm was “miniature”. Commercial event photographers might take their miniature on vacation instead of the 4x5 press camera with which they plied their trade. Those same folks called the 2x3” press cameras “Baby Graphics”. And the intermediate 3-1/4 x 4-1/4” version was “quarter-plate”.

In those days, 4x5 wasn’t “large format”—it was more like the default format for pros, not deserving of a special adjective. That was up until the Vietnam War, when the Nikon F established itself as the standard field journalism camera.

A Rolleiflex was a “rollfilm camera”—its own beast. The term “medium format” came into vogue with the advent of the Mamiya RB67 and maybe the earlier Press Universal. These were similar to small press cameras. They were a reaction by non-journalist pros to the emerging dominance of the Nikon F. The Pentax 6x7 and the Hasselblad each also had their own pro fan base. The ‘blad was the system alternative to the Rolleiflex, but I recall both being generally called “rollfilm cameras” before the late 60’s.

Europeans used different terms. There, the Rolleiflex was the default pro camera rather than the Graflex. And the field action camera was the Leica for reportage.

Terms come and go. Now, “full frame” means 24x36, medium format is anything bigger, and (sadly) there is no large format digital camera.

Rick “terms dominated by users of tiny sensors” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-28-2019, 07:24 AM  
Need advise on some lenses
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 11
Views: 1,170
15 months ago, I was prepared to buy a used 645z in perfect condition for $3900, body only. I had to pass on the deal when I learned my wife had reserved a new one for my birthday. But if they are rare where you live, the ability to inspect it beforehand is worth a lot.

The 120 is an excellent lens, among the best of the film-era lenses. It has the advantage of focusing down to 1:1 without an adaptor. I have made critically sharp macro photos with the 120.

The 75 is a completely competent pro-quality lens from the past.

The 33-55 is one I don’t own, but reports indicate it gets good results when used carefully, though it not among the best in the lineup. If you don’t like it, you can probably sell it and use the money for a 35mm fixed lens and a 45-85 zoom, both of which enjoy an excellent reputation.

Rick “favorable” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-27-2019, 05:06 PM  
Pentax 6x7 vs 645 systems Advantages and Disadvantages?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 60
Views: 3,766
My answer: 645 film isn’t providing the marginal improvement over my digital cameras to be relevant, and now with the 645z I doubt I will shoot 645 film again.

But I still use my 67, though it takes a pretty good scanner to make it worth the trouble (my Nikon 9000 is good enough—barely).

The lenses for the 67 are one Pentax-made adapter away from use on the 645z.

I think Eric Hendrickson will still CLA 67’s. I’ve had him do that for two of mine. Build that into the cost consideration.

For me, their is a secondary aesthetic enjoyment—the 67 cameras are just so beautiful that they beg to be used. The 645 has the same ingenuity in its design, but it just doesn’t match those acres of slightly brassed (you know, real brass) lacquer-and-leatherette P67. I feel the same way about my Sinar P.

Rick “big camera fetishist” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-04-2019, 09:13 PM  
Lightroom Alternative
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 22
Views: 1,994
When I tried Affinity last year, I found its printing module undermined detail in the file, while Photoshop did not. And it provided monitor calibration only on the primary monitor, which would have required reconfiguration of my system. My high-end (ish) editing monitor is the second monitor so I can be working an image there while dealing with text-based stuff on the primary monitor.

I also tried On1, but its catalog management annoyed me.

I preferred DxO Photolab, which works in a straightforward manner and provides a lot of decent features.

I do not use software to organize my photos—I do that by how I build folders. Photolab allows that model, and does not require adding photos to a catalog.

I also tried the Pentax cut-down version of SilkyPix, and it has a couple of nice features in terms of inherent lens corrections.

When I put together an Alaska book, I used Photolab to process all the photos, and it did everything I needed with a lot of useful time-saving features. I’m finding that with the Pentax, I’m not needing all the power of Photoshop, or even much in the way of masking and local edits. But I did use Photoshop (I still have the last ownable version installed) for a couple of images where I needed a particular tool.

Where Photoshop has no equal among these other programs is in prepress. I cannot soft-proof with the other programs nearly as flexibly as with Photoshop, and its printer control is still unmatched. When I target those Alaska images for big prints, I will probably end up using Photoshop.

But for preparing images for on-demand printing, Photolab was perfect.



I don’t and never have used Lightroom, but have used Photoshop for about 20 years.

Rick “needing to resume the search for a publisher” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-25-2019, 07:08 AM  
Come on Pentax where’s next 645 !?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 117
Views: 9,859
Capture One making a deal with Fuji but blocking out Pentax makes me angry at Phase One’s childish inconsistency. They said they would not support a medium-format solution because it competed with their medium format products. So much for the purity of that silly position.

Rick “not blaming Pentax” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-24-2019, 11:34 AM  
Come on Pentax where’s next 645 !?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 117
Views: 9,859
I’m much more interested in their commitment to servicing cameras into the future than in their commitment to make new ones that I can’t afford or won’t buy.

My, how we let sensors make our decisions for us. We demand the cutting edge sensor, then we demand lenses that can perform up to the level of the sensor. Yet in practice, lack of depth of field and camera shake (IBIS or not) will undermine the marginal improvements in both. Don’t misunderstand—results even with those issues can be excellent, but they undermine the value of paying double for double the resolution. And then there’s the computer storage problem. We have a sensor and lenses that can make superb prints FAR bigger than 99.9% of any of us will make, yet here we complain that Pentax isn’t sufficiently feeding our gear acquisition frenzy.

The features that made the 645z the best camera in the market five years ago haven’t gone poof! and left us with substandard work. We complain about Ricoh’s commitment, but what of our commitment to doing quality work with the tools available?

I do not see photography these days that justifies all the kvetching about stuff not being good enough. Except from large format, that is. Instead of a $10K camera with a sensor with 3-micron pixels and lenses that have to cost five large to exploit them, why aren’t we pushing for a 4x5” sensor solution for a Graflok mount? Are we committed to quality or not? Do we want to demonstrate our professional skills or not?

Ricoh should have come out with a 645zII that made incremental improvements two years ago. Better shutter handling with Live View, a faster processor with better video capability—stuff like that. Maybe that would have been sufficiently symbolic to hold the frenzy at bay.

Rick “not really kidding about the need for a 4x5” sensor” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-17-2019, 06:18 PM  
Pentax 67: just one lens
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 26
Views: 1,707
Probably for me, too.

But if that’s how I used the camera, I’d get a Fuji Texas Leica and be done with it.

Rick “who has a good selection of lenses for every mount owned” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-03-2019, 08:42 AM  
FA80-160 is dead. Replace with same or FA120??
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 4
Views: 1,084
It’s a big hole from 55 to 120, but the 200/4 FA is cheap, compact, light, and excellent, as is the 75, so the holes left by getting the 120 are not hard to fill. I have an 80-160, but it rarely ends up in the bag. Sometimes you need a do-all short tele zoom, but sometimes you also need macro, and an 80-160 doesn’t offer much solution there.

Rick “whose 120 is usually in the bag” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-03-2019, 08:23 AM  
Is The Worlds Greatest Camera the 645D and Its CCD Sensor?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 17
Views: 2,744
The 645D will do everything now that made it the greatest digital camera on the market when it came out. It will do everything that made people line up to pay $10,000 for it then. It will turn out solidly professional results when used with skill (less skill than getting similar results using color film).

It will still outperform even current smaller formats in sheer image quality when using similarly priced lenses.

But it will not do things that newer, more expensive cameras will do in low light. And larger formats require more skill to get excellent results, all else even remotely equal. That has always been true.

Your optical focusing skills will need to be at their best, too, if you take advantage of abundantly available and excellent manual focus lenses.

Rick “not seeing very much photography made great by newer features, though certainly made easier” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-03-2019, 08:09 AM  
FA 45-85mm at 85.....any good?
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 8
Views: 1,012
The 45-85 is completely competent at 85, as long as you stop down to F/8 or so. Don’t expect the same performance as a new 90, but at around one-tenth the price it’s a solid addition to the bag.

Rick “for whom it rarely stays home” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-19-2019, 12:59 PM  
Post your medium format photos!
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 13,939
Views: 2,341,571
Heh—you needed a headphone cord with a 1/4” phone plug for that subject.

Rick “who owns a suitable prop” Denney
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-31-2019, 11:11 AM  
Grand Lens Test 8: PCS lenses Part B: The Arsat PCS 55/4.5
Posted By rdenney
Replies: 9
Views: 1,558
Sorry, I have no idea what you are saying.

No, the DFA 55/2.8 does not shift. The Arsat 55 PCS does. If you must have shift, the choice is clear between those two.

I have made a panorama from images made with the Pentax lens, and gotten sharper results even after the geometric correction in software.

I am a collector of the Ukrainian equipment and have no shortage of experience with it. The Arsat wide-angle lenses usually have limited sharpness even though they make pleasing images if not printed too large. The 55 is the best of the Arsat rectilinear wides, even those reworked by Hartblei, by a healthy margin.

You’ll note from my review that I did not find any lateral chromatic aberration at appropriate apertures, which is truly excellent for a SLR shift lens of such coverage. But the sharpness is merely good.

Rick “not understanding your complaints” Denney
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