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Forum: Pentax K-1 06-18-2016, 09:19 AM  
I asked 'Mr. Leitax' when a Zeiss-NF.2-to-K-mount adapter might be coming.
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 32
Views: 5,950
Very interesting.

I just bought a NOS Zeiss Distagon 35mm F2 ZK for the K1 (both just arrived this week), and it's a lovely lens from what I've seen so far- being able to use more on my Pentax would be very interesting. I'd jump on the 85mm ZK if I could find one, but so far the closest I can do is a line on a SMC A* 85mm F1.4 in like new condition (functionally similar, not a Zeiss, but well regarded.

Ironically, my initial first hand experience with Zeiss is on Sony mirrorless...
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 09-29-2015, 05:28 PM  
Will You Be An "Early Adopter" of the Pentax Full Frame?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 177
Views: 15,906
As almost all of my K series lenses are older full frame film lenses, there's no real downside to jumping on this (other than bucks out of the pocket), though I have to say I'm still getting a lot of good use out of my K3. I doubt it's going to replace my 645's, but there are times I don't want to lug that kind of weight around... just very curious to see what the final feature set looks like- my suspicion is that they're going for a much as possible with a very up to date sensor design plus the resolution enhancement tricks using the anti-shake positioning, so getting all that dialed in properly is not trivial, I expect.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-27-2015, 07:00 PM  
645 A*600/5.6 (to buy or not to buy?)
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 11
Views: 1,821
For me, the key to getting good performance out of the 600mm/f5.6 was the Kennan Ward Super tele package from Really right stuff.



This similar unit, in the lens review on the forum, is supposed to accomplish the same thing, but it doesn't look nearly as mechanically locked together to me, as having the lens mount and the camera connected via this L shaped beam, then mounted on a (sturdy!) tripod.




The sample of the lens which I bought in the USA was essentially mint unused, though pre-owned, a lucky find, but still not inexpensive, at about $3500 USD. It looked totally new, works quite well, and has no signs of use at all. Sometimes I get lucky...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-04-2015, 08:23 AM  
645 Tilt Shift
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 105
Views: 25,586
I have a Hartblei, purchased some years ago. If you don't need the tilt function, I think the Pentax SMC Pentax-6x7 75mm F4.5 Shift is somewhat better optically, and often can be found for a relative song on eBay. It does have a rotator function for changing the direction of shift. Drawback is that it's not as wide angle as the Hartblei, if you need that field of view, that's the way to go.

There's a very clean one on eBay from Georgia, USA, right now, for about $625. (No, it's not me!) See the reviews on this forum for more info.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-04-2015, 08:14 AM  
645D foto editor
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 11
Views: 1,064
Just to name one somewhat secondary feature- Lens Profiles and geometry correction.

I did an experiment with a landscape photo of Sydney skyline with high dynamic range 645z image done by an Australian photographer- evaluating Iridient Developer 3- did everything I could to try to match the results I got rather easily with Lightroom. Couldn't come nearly close enough. And I used to use Iridient Developer quite a bit back in the mid 2000's, back when Lightroom didn't exist. Maybe I just need to study up on it more. It's a good product, about $90 if I recall correctly.

BTW, those prices I mentioned were for Lightroom on Amazon- no need to hunt at eBay for software, though I do get lenses from Far East dealers through eBay, and musical instruments from time to time (mostly guitars).

While I've used Aperture quite a bit in the past, with good results, Apple has abandoned it, and the current version of photos (I'm a registered developer) does't even match the image processing in the OS X Preview App. Or iPhoto. To say it's not ready for prime time as anything more than a photo organizer is a major understatement.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-03-2015, 05:05 PM  
645D foto editor
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 11
Views: 1,064
Mmmm, free of charge, this sounds like my GF and her iPad apps, somehow she just can't see that she should have to pay for an iPad App... and she's an ex IBM systems engineer, used to rather expensive software at one time...

Having tried a lot of RAW developers, including Iridient Digital (which is rather good with some of the odd fuji sensor and the DP Merrills) I ALWAYS have the current version of Adobe Lightroom on my drive. Aperture is still there, too, but rarely used. And Lightroom is a single charge purchase, $149 MSRP for first purchase, $79 for major upgrades. Fairly frequent updates. It really helps in getting the most out of the 645z or 645D in difficult lighting situations with the final image.

In comparison to the cost of the camera and good lenses, it's a nice dinner out at a fancy place (well, not TOO fancy in the SF Bay area...)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-18-2015, 03:40 PM  
How does 645z compare to K-3 in real world ?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 19
Views: 2,216
I own the 645D, K3, and the 645z. On the K3, I mostly use D* or older full frame glass, including the 31mm and 77 mm limiteds, and the 200mm macro. For the 645's, I have a selection of 645 and 67 system glass. I mostly use the K3 for documenting project builds, or when I really need a light weight camera- the combination of lens rendering, resolution, freedom from aberration in the better MF lenses, and dynamic range of the 645z put it in a rather different class for me. But then, that's also for large prints. OTOH, I find I can do things at ISO 3200 on the z that I wouldn't go beyond 800 on the K3. The K3 is a very nice ASP-C camera, and a significant step up for from the K10 I still have as backup to it- but it's not remotely in MF territory for large prints... but you may not need that, I agree the best path is likely to rent one and see for yourself. It's all about your usage needs, after all.

I just got back from Antarctica, took both the D and the z, (backup and dual usage scenarios in field without changing lenses) and got great shots with both- but the z has more flexibility for poor lighting and weather conditions. As a backup, the K3 wouldn't have been in the same class- but I did have fun with a Ricoh GR for casual shots- it's surprisingly competitive with ASP-C DSLR's under selected conditions.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 02-26-2015, 11:55 AM  
Hand holding 645D?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 27
Views: 3,137
I shot a friend's wedding as a secondary photographer, all hand held, but with the 45-85 zoom, and it took some care balancing ISO and exposure time to get good results.

I have on occasion gotten some good landscape shots at low ISO handheld in Europe, but I'd say, even with practice, only about 25% really comparable to tripod results.

MOSTLY I use my K3 for hand held work, with FA Limited lenses or older A lenses (all full frame lenses, thank heavens!) or my * zoom. It has VR built into the body. But the combination of lenses and sensor does not match the 645 at all, if you're pixel peeping.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 02-26-2015, 11:44 AM  
67 lenses on 645z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 22
Views: 6,810
I have one of the SMC 67 75 f2.8 AL, and I agree it's an excellent lens; of course, much larger and heavier than the 645 75mm, but I do prefer the AL. Hold on to it... it's good for portraits as well as a general purpose "walking around" lens. But perhaps I do have too much fondness for the 67 series lenses... they're just so old school but robust and for the select models, very nice rendering.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 02-23-2015, 08:01 AM  
67 lenses on 645z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 22
Views: 6,810
I would NOT recommend selling the 90mm DFA Macro to get any zoom. That lens is probably the best performing lens you can currently buy for the 645 system.

Keep in mind that SMC 67 90-180mm is a somewhat slow lens (F5.6 wide open); I can't speak to the image quality, though it has been rated an A-/B+ lens for the 67 types. Generally, the A- and A lenses are quite good- I have most of them, including the late model 55mm f4, the 75mm f2.8 AL, the 55-100mm zoom, and the 200mm f4. I have long lusted after the 67 M* 400mm f4, but the recent lucky acquisition of an absolutely mint 645 A 600mm f4 has squashed that bug for now...

I have a 645 80-180; it suffers in definition and contrast compared to the 120 macro, and I don't use it. That isn't to say it might not be useful in circumstances in which you need an AF lens in that throw range, but I would much sooner use the 120mm macro and the 200mm FA to cover that, with the 67 75mm f2.8 on the wide end, unless environmental conditions dictate that lens changing is impractical.

I have and use the 645 45-85mm FA for similar reasons, if I need auto focus and fast handling, and have to shoot handheld. Otherwise, I use the 67 55-100mm on a tripod with live view and magnification for focus assist. That's not practical for all subjects, but even in camera review reveals the superiority of the 67 55-100mm over the 645 45-85mm, if image definition is your concern. OTOH, if you're shooting in low light at 3200 ISO, the difference, while visible with pixel peeping, probably isn't worth quibbling about.

It's hardly surprising, after all- with the 67 type lenses you're using the more central part of the lens coverage, and all other things being roughly equal, that's usually going to have better definition and fewer aberrations.

Of course, your usage needs and preferences may vary, but if image quality/definition for large size prints is a priority, I'd suggest giving these points some thought.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 02-19-2015, 07:37 AM  
645 55 2.8 SMC A any good?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 6
Views: 965
If you're considering an A series lens, you might want to go with a late model 67 55mm; not as bright, in theory, but tack sharp across the 4x5 sensor range. Of course, if you stop down the 645mm at all, the the light advantage goes away. Of course, it's bigger and heavier (like me- 6'2", 200lb plus), so the size and weight may be a drawback for some users. But the price and optical quality won't be. I use the 67 75mm AL and the 55mm F4 on my 645's, and really like the way they render. YMMV, and all...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 02-19-2015, 07:33 AM  
Backup system for 645D/Z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 26
Views: 3,015
I also have a K3 with about 4 FF style lenses, but carrying the extra glass and different style body doesn't make sense to me. At best, I'd need at least two lenses. (medium zoom and the 200mm macro). OTOH, at least they use the same battery - my girlfriend has three Nikons and three different batteries and chargers!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-30-2015, 06:36 PM  
The 55-110mm 5.6 Lens, any user views?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 14
Views: 1,713
I'd echo 672's comments- I'm going on a long over due vacation trip to Antarctica the end of this month, and the 67 55-100mm will be one of the four lenses I'm taking, and probably the one that gets the most use. It's only drawback is size and weight- the performance and price are both fine, and it's one of only two zooms I use on my 645 (having bought many from eBay to try) - the other is the 645 FA 45-85. YMMV, but it's definitely a favorite of mine, pretty much as good as the last model 67 55mm prime, which is saying a lot, IMO. In that range, the only thing I can think of I might rate a skosh higher is the 67 75mm F2.8 AL.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-24-2015, 11:40 AM  
67 lenses on 645z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 22
Views: 6,810
Understood, but I do have that 645 45-85mm also, and if lighter weight is important, I can see the usefulness of your recommendation. I just find the working range of the 55-100mm 67 lens and it's rendering to be something I prefer. I only tried that lens after trying out the 67 late 55mm lens, and liking it rather much in comparison to the DFA55mm lens, which I have, but only use if I really must have auto focus. Some of that opinion is based on the 645D, because stopping down the DFA55mm to where it's as sharp across the image as the 67 is nearly wide open is a problem for hand held shooting with the D, assuming you want to keep to low ISO ranges. Now, the 645z is the camera we all wish the D could have been, and I'm enjoying the flexibility of ISO range and exposure time vs aperture. I did some things for friends earlier last year that I sure wish I'd had the 645z then...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-18-2015, 07:53 PM  
67 lenses on 645z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 22
Views: 6,810
The 67 55-100 is my favorite general purpose lens on the 645D and z. Very sharp, remarkably so wide open. It is heavy, and large- and manual focus. But easy to use and get very good results- I use it more than primes in that range, especially in harsh weather environments. I actually have 2... setup with different filters.

Recommended, especially at the prices you can get these days, and using Live View.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-07-2015, 01:45 PM  
Backup system for 645D/Z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 26
Views: 3,015
My personal experience is that with any reasonable (or unreasonable!) collection of 67 and 645 glass, the best backup for my 645z is my original 645D, which is why I'm holding on to it, and have been apportioning which work best at different tasks and how to split up the lens pairing for each for flexibility and performance (e.g., 645D on tripod with telephoto, 645z with lenses for hand held use).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-23-2014, 08:02 PM  
67-645 adapter and 645Z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 11
Views: 2,449
Easy solution, based on my experience- Pentax 67 to 645 adapter. Easy to get on eBay, many vendors from Far East keep a regular stream of them coming, it seems. I have over half a dozen (like to keep them on the 67 lens) and haven't had an alignment or focus problem yet. And if you're referring to the late model 55mm f4 1986 and later, yes, that's a keeper- I prefer it to the DFA 55 mm, which I have, too, but don't use unless I absolutely MUST have autofocus. Which isn't normally the case.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-09-2014, 03:11 PM  
31mm Limited lens on 6x7 or 67ii?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 4
Views: 682
If you want a nice lens with similar field of view as the 31mm Limited (on 35mm) for the 67, try going with the late model 55mm F4 for the 67- sure, it's no where near as "bright" but IMO has better rendering and very nice characteristics for that field of view. I own both and use both.

You can find the 55mm ridiculously cheap on eBay in very good shape- think $150 - $250.

Biggest drawback is that like all 67 lenses, it's big and heavy. Some of us like that, which is why I use several on my 645. :lol:

But not at the same time....
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 10-01-2014, 03:50 PM  
55 or 75?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 17
Views: 2,063
The last 67 55mm is a great lens- you won't regret it. There might be times the 645 D FA 55mm is useful, (I have one), especially auto focus and when you can stop it down, but for the money, it's no contest.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 09-09-2014, 04:56 PM  
DPR Pentax 645 challenge
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 5
Views: 1,001
I entered one for fun from a trip to the Czech Republic in 2012- I had some very interesting ones, this is perhaps too bland, but I still liked it- enjoyed the effect, given the architecture there...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-16-2014, 08:53 AM  
What do you consider to be the sharpest Pentax 645/67 lens in your kit?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 52
Views: 9,714
I like the late model Pentax 67 55mm quite a bit- it's quite sharp across the field, handles nicely, only real "downside" is the size of the thing... but OTOH, it's impressive looking to the non gear literate. It had decent bokeh, too, in spite of not being a very bright lens, and works OK for close up portraits- a casual picture I took that way of my daughter and her fiancÚ is one of their favorites- it certainly does't have an iPhone look to it! It's a good walking about general purpose prime, being somewhat similar in FOM to a 31mm on ASP-C 35mm.

For situations requiring fast FOM flexibility, I do use the 645 45-85 mm - and as ThomasBrown surmises able, it is more than competitive with the 45mm prime. In a short prime, the 645 35mm is the lens of choice. I have bought far too many lenses on eBay, but at least the pricing there has enabled me to make a lot of direct comparisons in real shooting situations for myself.

Now, using the 55mm with a Mirex tilt-shift adapter on a Canon is an interesting/curious application- I have the Pentax 67 75mm shift lens, and a Hart-Blei shift/tilt also; the Pentax is better performing optically (resolution and CA). You must have an interesting application requirement to be going this way...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-15-2014, 08:09 AM  
645D vs 645Z
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 6
Views: 6,772
As a long time user of a 645D in all kinds of applications, I can assure I plan to have a Z in my grasp before the year end, and before my trip early next year to Antarctica.

All of the issues which Donesteban downplays in his discussion I have found to be of significant importance in may shooting experiences, apart from the increased resolution, which is a nice plus but not a really big deal. OTOH, the dynamic range improvements, the far greater usable ISO range, and the addition of Live View with magnification and the tilt LCD (much like live view on the K3, which is mandatory to get the best out of the 200mm macro A series lens I have for that camera) are very useful, especially with the manual 67 lenses I like to use for specific applications.

This is not to say a 645D isn't a good deal at $3500 or so (much less than even the current new price), but the extended envelope of the 645z in comparison is a pretty big deal (IMO) and well worth the money. BTW, I am not a professional photographer, just another dedicated amateur hobbyist- for a professional, it should be a no-brainer.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-13-2014, 04:08 PM  
645Z Arrived - Post your questions here!
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 17
Views: 2,583
I just did an outdoor wedding for relatives with my 645D; not the ideal tool by any means, but got through it OK. The 645z would be hugely better...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-13-2014, 04:06 PM  
Pentax 645Z - Real World Dynamic Range
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 18
Views: 3,907
Thanks for the write up and the opportunity to play with the DNG file. The more I learn about the 645z, the more certain I am I must have one- much as I have loved and enjoy my 645D.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 08-13-2014, 03:57 PM  
What do you consider to be the sharpest Pentax 645/67 lens in your kit?
Posted By jonmarsh
Replies: 52
Views: 9,714
+1 on this selection, but toss in the 645 120mm FA, and you might well want to add the 645 150mm F2.8 FA.
I don't like the zoom lenses because of their performance limitations, but I find myself in many situation where the 645 45-85 FA is indispensable.
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