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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-30-2017, 07:26 AM  
645z color rendering I need help
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 21
Views: 996
I agree that something is incorrectly configured if LR and PS are showing radically different results. The raw conversion engine and DNG profile support embedded within LR and PS / Adobe Camera Raw is in fact the same engine. Overall, the entire point of colour management and profiling is to ensure that all devices and tools reproduce colour according to a consistent baseline standard. You will get somewhat (or even large) differences when comparing devices of different classes, such as a narrow gamut monitor vs. a wide gamut monitor, or a monitor and a printer. But two applications properly configured will render the same image the same way on the same monitor. If they don't, then by definition at least one of the applications is not configured correctly, or at least not consistently with the other application.

My second observation is that just because your monitor is calibrated doesn't mean it's calibrated correctly. Depending on what settings you've chosen you may get varying results. As well, the calibration package may not be working properly. Software can have bugs and the hardware colorimeter can fail. I've seen bad calibration results for monitors produce the kind of thing you describe with strange colour shifts, eventually diagnosed as a faulty colorimeter. It's not the thing I normally suspect as the most likely problem, but if other things don't pan out it would be worth looking at the monitor profile to ensure it's reasonable.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 07-07-2017, 08:03 AM  
645Z...Strange Issue with Wireless Cable Release & Exposure Time? Help Please
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 9
Views: 460
Dave, that's basically what I did when I reported above. I just did it again, and the results are the same. There is no significant difference in behavior between the camera shutter button and my wireless IR remote button. When the bulb mode custom setting is set to type 1, as soon as I let off the button in either case, the shutter closes effectively immediately. There is a very, very slight lag with the IR remote in the initial response, if I was to judge super critically, because of the nature of how the IR sensor is polling for input. But it's extremely short, nothing like 1 - 2 seconds.

I can't speak to type "F" wireless remote. All I can report is what's on the back of mine -- it's model Pentax O-RC1, Remote Control Waterproof. Made in China for Ricoh Imaging Co. Ltd.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 07-06-2017, 07:35 AM  
645Z...Strange Issue with Wireless Cable Release & Exposure Time? Help Please
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 9
Views: 460
I just tried this on my 645Z with my Pentax-branded O-RC1 infrared remote. Action is slightly laggy, but essentially the shutter opens and closes immediately upon pressing and then later releasing the IR button. There is no long delay before the shutter closes. As Steve points out, using an IR wireless release in bulb mode can have some issues, so normally I work in mode 2, requiring separate button presses to open and close the shutter. But mode 1 seems to work as one would expect in my case.

Dave, is the O-RC1 one of the Pentax IR releases you tried? If not, give it a go. If it is, perhaps there is some other camera setting that's interfering here.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-22-2017, 07:25 AM  
New 645 lenses
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 16
Views: 1,674
I use zooms on my Z constantly. I own a ton of 645 and 67 lenses from all eras of Pentax glass, primes and zooms alike, and enjoy many things about all of them. But my go-to kit is my FA zoom trio including the 45-85mm, the 80-160mm and the 150-300mm.

If Pentax updated these lenses to stabilized, weather-sealed versions with the optical performance of the 90mm Macro (which I don't own, because I don't use that focal length heavily enough to currently justify that level of expense for a single focal length) or new 28-45mm (which I do own), I would get them all...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-02-2017, 07:42 AM  
Remote Shutter Release for Z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 11
Views: 635
No, I think all these wired 2.5 mm cable releases function identically. Having said that, there's always a chance that your release switch or a wiring connection in it is flakey or something like that. Test the release on another camera if you can. If it works fine there, then I'd say it's not the release that's the problem.

When you plug the jack into your Z, is there any looseness or play at all? The plug should fit firmly into the socket with no motion... if there's any play then I'd say it's likely the socket that's broken, as has happened to a number of us.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-01-2017, 07:57 PM  
Remote Shutter Release for Z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 11
Views: 635
The Pentax wired remote release should work fine on the Z. Check the plastic moulding on the jack, though, to make sure it's not impeding the jack from seating fully into the socket. I did have one wired remote where I needed to shave away a bit of plastic.

If that's not it, then you might need to determine whether yours is working intermittently because the cable release socket on your Z is broken. Quite a number of us have had that issue with our Z's, it seems to be a design defect of the camera. Most of us have had to resort to using the IR wireless remote instead. I don't like the IR remote exactly for the reasons you describe. My Z's socket broke within weeks of owning the camera. I sent it in for repair (took 10 weeks), and then within 3 months the socket broke again. So now I live with the IR release even though I really dislike it...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-11-2017, 08:30 PM  
A plan for Pentax MF going forward
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 34
Views: 2,690
That all sounds pretty good to me...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-08-2017, 07:02 AM  
Fuji GFX useage compared to 645Z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 51
Views: 5,272
Good thoughts. I'm sure some will have a different take, but your view is similar to my own.

Personally, I'm still amazed at how all-around good even my 645D's feel (and are) when I pull them out to use them. And of course my Z, which built on that and added most of what we'd expect from a modern CMOS-based camera. They just feel and act like really well thought out, enjoyable, highly shootable work horses. I have been wanting a small companion camera with equivalent image quality but much lighter weight & more compact, and ideally bringing along some option for lens movements via something like the Hasselblad HTS. I still might end up with either an X1D or a GFX. But having played with both of them for a bit, neither one of them screamed "I must have this camera right now!" :) But that's exactly what the 645D did to me when I tried my first one a few years back, and I still feel that way today, in particular about the Z.

So I withdrew the order I had placed for an X1D, and refrained from placing one for a GFX. I'm going to wait and see. Maybe one or the other of these cameras will grow on me... especially if I become convinced the HTS will work well with either one. But right now what I really want is to keep shooting my Pentaxes. I'm going to order the 28-45mm that I've been holding off on, because I see that for me it makes sense to continue investing in the Pentax 645 system, rather than starting into either one of the other systems at this point.

What I hope is that both of the new mirrorless cameras do well in the marketplace to add more vitality to this segment, and that Pentax responds by pressing forward with their own innovations on a perhaps more lively schedule. Hasselblad may be in trouble, so who knows what will happen with them. But Fuji should have the chops to push things forward fairly aggressively.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 02-12-2017, 12:17 PM  
Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f4.5 reviews?
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 12
Views: 1,169
I've shot the FA 45-85mm for years on the 645D and 645Z. It's a perfectly serviceable lens for landscape work, one of my most heavily used lenses in fact. Many of my portfolio images were shot on this lens. The A version should be optically very comparable to the FA that I have.

I shoot a mix of A, FA and even 67 glass on my bodies, and don't have hesitations on using any of them that are fundamentally okay. The 645 45mm fundamentally wasn't as good, for example, so I got rid of it.

(Side note: If you're using your 645 camera for a lot of portraiture and you already have the 67-to-645 adapter, then do also see if you can find a 67 105mm f/2.4. It's a great option for portraits, at a budget price.)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-01-2017, 12:49 PM  
645z versus X1D
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 41
Views: 4,441
Carsten, I use a heavy Velbon CF Sherpa Pro tripod with a BH-55 ballhead from Really Right Stuff. I also have the RRS long lens support rail. Plus various bean bags and so on for additional damping. There are probably some things I could do yet to improve stability of the overall platform, such as a heavier tripod with no movable centre column, and a heavier head. But for now I just have a range of shutter speeds that I stay away from with longer lenses. I can go slower or faster for single shots and escape the danger zone. For auto bracketed series with multiple shutter actuations, which I do a lot, sometimes all I can do is boost the ISO way up.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-31-2016, 11:18 PM  
645z versus X1D
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 41
Views: 4,441
I have shutter shock issues with my 645Z all the time when shooting on a tripod, with lenses from the 80-160mm on up. One of the few significant updates I hope Pentax will address in the next iteration of the 645 system is electronic first curtain shutter, at a minimum. I'm interested to see how this plays out with the X1D, being that it's 100% leaf shutter lenses. Since the X1D has no focal plane shutter and a completely fly-by-wire system, there will be essentially no lenses for it other than Hasseblad's own X and H leaf shutter lenses.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-31-2016, 12:57 PM  
645z versus X1D
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 41
Views: 4,441
I too have heard that the HTS adapter should be supported on the X1D, including from a Hasselblad Bron rep at a launch event some months ago. But so far I've seen no official statements or evidence of it. Likewise no real info about the H system lens adapter... some talk, but no actual device, no test reports, and nothing shipping that anyone can get hold of. Various other things have been stated about the camera that either are proving not to be the case (e.g. some recent info indicates builtin GPS is no longer happening) or will be delayed (various functionality that would be expected on day 1 like remote cable support or auto exposure bracketing, plus the mentioned lens adapters).

I think it's clear this product was not fully fleshed-out when it started to be talked about openly as being launch-ready, and even now it remains something of a work in progress. The time from concept to market launch for Hasselblad on this project has been quite fast, as such things go -- about 2 years. How many years did it take for the Pentax 645D to become a reality -- over 5? Hasselblad is a small company taking a big step in a different direction than anything they've done before. I'm prepared to cut them some slack as long as they don't fall for their own hype, and make the classic arrogant innovator mistake of "over promise, under deliver, and blame the customer and everyone else when expectations fall short". As much as possible I like to reward companies that take bold, innovative steps in making things that are actually useful to me. :)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-31-2016, 09:34 AM  
645z versus X1D
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 41
Views: 4,441
Great report Carsten, thanks very much for posting this info! I have been waiting to get my hands on an X1D, and would be interested in it for a similar type of work that you describe. My interest in the camera has cooled off somewhat since Hasselblad has not really executed the product launch very well, nor have they communicated very well with the customers who made early orders based on the original and (and several times revised) ship dates. From your description, even though the camera apparently is finally available in very limited quantities, I have to say the product sounds like it still is not feature complete. Even when it is complete it will still lack some performance factors that we've grown accustomed to especially with the 645Z. But that's not surprising for something this new in its design and intent.

Still, the Hasselblad X1D would have some advantages if it will work well enough. I'm specifically interested in something smaller and lighter for travel and general use, while still having at least equivalent image quality that I expect from my 645Z. Although the poor AF and shooting performance of the X1D might mitigate against that purpose, to some extent. I'm also highly interested whether Hasselblad will support the HTS tilt-shift adapter with their H series wide angle lenses on the X1D. If they do, this alone would convince me to get the camera for architectural work.

Thanks again for your field report...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-11-2016, 08:06 PM  
Philip Bloom is also using 645Z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 9
Views: 2,514
Thanks for posting that great video by Philip Bloom.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-07-2016, 11:24 AM  
Pentax 645 to Fuji / Hasselblad? Anyone considering the switch?
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 38
Views: 2,928
I have no plans to ditch my Pentax digital 645 kit, there's just too much satisfying and right about the system for me to consider giving it up. And I think Ricoh will continue to develop the system in ways that are useful to me. But the system isn't perfect or fully fleshed out, as we all know. Besides the level of (or should I say "lack of") professional grade service, which fortunately isn't a daily problem, there's the issue of some holes in the lens lineup for some things I want to do. Pentax is moving very slow with its lens roadmap, and probably will never add certain things I'd very much want to see, such as a wide angle tilt-shift.

The new Fuji system doesn't look compelling for my purposes, so I'm not paying much attention to it. Except to be curious about the effects on other vendors that may be triggered by Fuji entering this market. But I am much more interested in the Hasselblad X1D, especially if the HTS tilt-shift adapter will be supported on it. A lighter weight, compact body with fast flash sync and image quality at least equivalent to my 645Z, plus the potential for wide angle lens movements via the HTS adapter? Yeah, almost certainly that's something I would get into, to supplement my Pentax kit.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-21-2016, 05:33 AM  
Water-damaged 645Z: not covered by warranty?!?!
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 63
Views: 4,600
This is pretty typical. As stated by others, not only does the Pentax warranty explicitly exclude water damage, but my experience is that Ricoh service works pretty hard to avoid making good on warranty claims in other circumstances as well. I've had to fight them hard on two occasions to get warranty coverage of something they legitimately should have covered, but which they initially tried to get out of. (Nothing to do with water damage in those cases.) My fastest ever repair took 8 weeks, so your experience with the timeframe is typical as well in my experience.

Ricoh stills makes a lot of marketing noise about the weather sealing of the 645Z. I was at a Pentax-sponsored event just 2 weeks ago, where the regional rep did the usual trick to show the weather sealing of the camera. He placed a 645Z with 90mm macro lens in a plastic bucket and dumped glasses of water over it while it was powered on, then shot a few images around the room before drying it off. To do this kind of live demo, as well as have the online videos showing the same kind of thing for years, and then deny warranty claims for damage from a simple rain shower is misleading at best. Although the company has warranty fine print on their side, you might have cause to fight the issue depending the state of consumer protection legislation in your jurisdiction, given the relatively common practice of Pentax to demo the camera in wet conditions.

I have shot my 645D's and 645Z in rainy conditions. I realize it's a calculated risk, so I take reasonable steps to provide additional water protection around the camera & lens mount. I did have a 645D stop functioning from the rain one time years ago. I stuck the camera in a sealed plastic box with desiccant packs for 2 days, and the camera came back fine. It sounds like your Z was hit harder by the moisture than my D was.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-20-2016, 09:26 PM  
645D Need a wider angle
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 14
Views: 1,580
Agree with the others. The old manual focus A 35mm lens is a great choice, if you can find one in good condition. I have one and use it constantly on the 645D and 645Z. No complaints at all on how it performs, optically. And I love the simplicity, compact size, light weight, etc.

I do have the new 25mm as well for occasions when the 35mm simply isn't wide enough. I'd love to have more of the new lenses such as the 90mm macro or the 28-45mm, but the sticker price on these new designs has blocked me for now, with the exception of the 25mm which I really needed...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-18-2016, 05:41 AM  
Live View Shutter Issues 645z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 6
Views: 878
Okay, then you've checked what you can check. Based on that it sounds like a mechanical shutter issue. My experience is these repairs have to go to Japan. I don't know if Ricoh has really improved the capability of regional repair depots over the past year. Certainly up through the end of 2015, the lack of capability in North America was highly aggravating, likewise the lack of a professional grade support offering on the level CPS or NPS. I run multiple camera bodies for that reason... it's a variation of self-insuring.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-17-2016, 09:46 PM  
Live View Shutter Issues 645z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 6
Views: 878
Have you checked that you are running the latest 645Z firmware? If not, update if necessary and see if that fixes the issue. If it doesn't, or you're already running the latest firmware, have you tried activating Live View with a lens not mounted? I'm not clear from your description if you tried this. Look inside, do you see the mirror flip up and shutter open? If so, it's a sensor or electronics problem. If not, it's a mechanical problem that you should see with the mirror and/or shutter. Either way it will have to go in for service, but at least you'll have some idea of what to tell them needs fixing. I've found with Pentax service that it's good to be quite specific.

Also, if it goes in for service and has to be sent to Japan, I suspect you'd be extremely lucky to have it back in 10 - 14 days. The shortest service I've ever had on my Pentax digital 645 gear was 8 weeks (even for a relatively trivial issue, a broken cable release socket), while the longest was 22 weeks (for a shutter & mirror assembly replacement). So if you need to send it in, make plans in your shooting schedule to be without the camera potentially for a long time.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-06-2016, 10:31 AM  
Weather-sealing and the Pentax 645z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 10
Views: 988
I have shot my 645Z and 645D's for years in all kinds of weather conditions, with old and new lenses. Pouring rain, high humidity, high heat, super cold, strong wind (with dust and/or rain), etc. I've never had any weather related issues. I do wrap the camera body and some of the older lenses in some rain protection when needed, and I don't leave any of the rubber gaskets open (e.g. the remote cable socket cover) in a lot of rain. One of the best forms of weather sealing is simply not being reckless. :)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-27-2016, 09:27 AM  
645z - do I need a backup?
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 32
Views: 2,752
I can easily believe the results of pixel-shifting, at its best, rival the current state of ~50MP crop-645 capture. The idea of super-resolution has been around for awhile. Aside from the few cameras supporting sensor pixel-shift, super-resolution has been mostly a multi-frame technique blending multiple shots with desktop software. Putting it in the camera is simply an extension of the technique that can also take advantage of in-camera reduction of de-mosaicing issues. A Foveon type result working around the Bayer array, if you will. I don't think there's any doubt that Foveon images can be enlarged beyond the level possible with Bayer images, and enjoy greater tonal and colour resolution than Bayer images.

Unfortunately, super-resolution suffers from the same limitations as do other multi-frame techniques like stitching, depth of field frame stacking, and HDR -- for best results it requires largely static scenes. And there's always potential manual frame blending & retouching work to fix stuff the software couldn't handle automatically.

I prefer the look of the larger sensor & optical platform of 645. (And would shoot even larger if it was feasible to do so in digital, in a cost-effective way.) But if & when super-resolution comes to 645, I'll happily use it in the situations where it can work. Same as I do with stitching, DOF stacking and HDR, all of which I employ when needed to augment the camera's limits.

It remains that, for my purposes, a K1 (or virtually any other 35mm system) still wouldn't be close enough to my 645Z in enough circumstances to be considered a "backup". For me, a backup system is one that lets me keep doing my main work, how & for the purposes I want to do it, if a primary piece of kit goes down. For me that means my current benchmark is a 645 digital system. Of course others will make that trade-off decision differently. Which is why these threads usually are challenged in providing "answers" to an OP... it's all subjective. What's right for one person is useless for another. Mainly we can share what we've personally chosen & why, and perhaps the OP can glean some decision criteria from that... :)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-26-2016, 07:08 PM  
645z - do I need a backup?
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 32
Views: 2,752
The primary backup to my 645Z is a 645D. Actually a pair of them, since originally I had 2 D's to back each other up, and simply didn't get rid of one when I got the Z. The value of the D kinda plunged upon the launch of the Z, and it was worth it to me to hang onto all the bodies while sorting out some stuff. (I figured the used value of the D's would level off, and getting rid of one or both of them later wouldn't cost me much more than the decline in value that hit once the Z shipped.)

I have a separate "backup" system consisting of a Sony a7R but I never use it because it doesn't really do what my 645 system does, the way I want it done. I'd rather give up the functionality that I lose by dropping down from the Z to the D, if necessary, than by dropping the entire system down to 35mm. Plus, when I travel, I don't want to carry 2 systems. It's easier and more effective in my mind to carry a single system with 2 bodies that share common lenses and all other accessories.

The 645D's needed backup since I had several major failures with them; that's why I had 2 of that model. The Z has been much more reliable, for the most part. It did have a cable release socket failure within weeks of purchase that took the camera out for 10 weeks for servicing in Japan. The socket failed again a few months after repair but I just haven't sent it away again. The Z has stood up to all the punishment my gear takes, with no issues other than the broken socket.

If money was no object, I'd have a pair of 645Z's. Maybe I'll end up there. But I'm also looking into the new Hasselblad X1D, and will look for what else comes out in the realm of digital MF over the next year or so from Fuji, hopefully Pentax and perhaps Sony. Another brand of camera would put me back into a full set of different lenses again which I don't really want. After a 2nd 645Z, my next best backup would be a more compact mirrorless Pentax 645 body with a new line of compact lenses, and compatibility with bigger 645 glass via adapter. We'll see what shakes out...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-26-2016, 08:35 AM  
New Hassie Medium Format announced where next for Pentax 645Z and successor
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 49
Views: 5,306
I hope Pentax is working on something like this because I think it's a legitimate direction. It's interesting enough to me that I've put my name down to get a crack at an X1D at my local dealer as soon as they have them available. I dearly love using my Pentax digital 645 system, and there are very few things about it that really bug me. But there's no getting away from the fact that it's a large, heavy bunch of kit. Something that can maintain the image-making quality from the same sensor platform in a smaller, lighter, more maneuverable package would have a lot of appeal for me.

The X1D looks well-enough spec'ed to me, especially for a "first in category" product. Heck, the 645D was quite primitive in comparison. Sure there will be certain limitations, and the armchair designers of the internet will rage about "why didn't they do this or that", just as happened with the 645D and even the hugely improved 645Z. But if Hasselblad's execution is there, I wouldn't refuse to get one just because it's not a Pentax... I'd be quite tempted, even just sticking within the limitations of the Hasselblad ecosystem. If electronic focal plane shutter could be supported in the body and adapters for alternative glass made it conceivable to use a range of the Pentax glass, then it would be become a virtual no-brainer for me.

I always felt the Pentax digital 645 system -- especially the 645Z -- would have to produce responses from other manufacturers. Just like Canon's original 5D in the 35mm range, Pentax made too compelling a price-performance story for others not to want a piece of that action. Here's the first real response from another manufacturer. Well played, Hasselblad. Now let's get ahold of the camera and see how it really works.

After that, who's next? Fuji is highly likely. Pentax, hopefully. It's going to be interesting... :)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-19-2016, 09:17 PM  
HDR Question with the 645Z
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 9
Views: 852
Actually, there is a custom setting to make the camera hold the aperture constant during exposure bracketed sequences, the way we would expect based on how pretty well all other cameras work. it's described in this thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/48-pentax-medium-format/298412-exposure-bracketing-645z.html
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-11-2016, 09:00 PM  
Lens wish list for Pentax 645
Posted By Royce Howland
Replies: 11
Views: 1,056
I would likely purchase a 45mm tilt-shift, and would certainly purchase a 35mm tilt-shift. Both tilt and shift would be useful for my landscape and other outdoor work, and shift would be useful for perspective control with architecture work. Beyond that, I'm pretty happy with my current lenses. Or the potential of some that are available that I simply haven't acquired yet. Tilt-shift is what I miss the most from my old 35mm system; other things that would be nice to have are a distant second for me.
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