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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-15-2014, 11:40 AM  
Pentax 645 FA lenses
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 18
Views: 2,658
Jonathan Mac has a good point. It's silly of me to ask what kind of image quality results with a digital rig, when I know my 645n delivers stellar photographs!

In the old days, I remember photographers were snooty about 645 format, and they'd say it's really not medium format, and has all the disadvantages without the benefits. How uncharitable! My Pentax 645n is a great outdoor camera, and the image quality is superb.

For digital I ordered-up a humble Sony 7II, and will continue to use my 645n body and film. I would wager few people can tell the difference between 24 and 50 MP and for large prints I would probably grab a film camera anyway.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-14-2014, 12:55 AM  
Pentax 645 FA lenses
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 18
Views: 2,658
I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for taking a moment to respond.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 12-13-2014, 08:37 PM  
3 Million Post Giveaway: Confirm your entry!
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 2,854
Views: 112,599
This is quite a lens. I read about it online. :eek:
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-10-2014, 11:15 PM  
Pentax 645 FA lenses
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 18
Views: 2,658
I am wondering if autofocus lenses for my 645N are suitable for the Pentax 645D, or if I should expect problems (CRA/image quality). I know they will mount, but how do they perform?

Several lenses have been put back into production, like the FA 45-85mm f/4.5 and the FA 80-160 f/4.5. Are the new lenses optically/mechanically different, or are the differences cosmetic? (There is certainly a big price difference) I realize the image sensor on the 645D is sub 645 and crops, I am curious to know if the 645D is really compatible with older lenses, or if using them is problematic.
Forum: Pentax Forums Giveaways 12-10-2014, 10:45 PM  
Win an FA 31mm Ltd: PF 3 million post giveaway!
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 2,237
Views: 128,933
That's a nice lens!

---------- Post added 12-10-2014 at 10:46 PM ----------


Nice glass... I never win contests!
Forum: Pentax Lens Articles 12-21-2011, 08:33 PM  
Tilt and shift lens tutorial
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 44
Views: 35,172
In answer to your old thread, Pentax 67/67II cameras accept a 75mm f/4.5 shift lens (no tilts). It's a pretty good lens
in my opinion. At one web site, comparing Pentax lenses with each other, this one gets a "B+". That means Pentax owners
like it a lot. When you consider the advantages of 6x7cm format, this lens blows away the whole crop of 35mm lenses,
including my Canon 24mm TS/E. The sharp rendering of subjects without distortion is a bonus with lenses that are designed to
solve perspective problems. This lens performs very well at all apertures and I can live with the modest falloff of illumination when
the lens is shifted. With this lens, you must meter first, lock in your exposure manually, and then shift the lens. The whole image circle projects a sharp image and because it's a moderate wide angle wide angle distortion is not apparent. This is equal to about 38mm in
35mm format.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-01-2011, 02:06 PM  
Pentax 645N vs. 67
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 41
Views: 31,847
Salgato does excellent work! I'm not surprised he uses a 645 rig--the camera is built like a tank and obviously designed for fast responses. When all is said and done it is always content that wins the day, so I have a 35mm body in my 645N bag.

I chose a Nikon F100 with the remarkable 14-24mm f/2.8G ED zoom lens. Radical! It doesn't take filters, and is optimized for digital bodies, but this lens really rocks. Often, the images I visualize incorporate extreme wide angles, so I like having this camera with me.

It's one of those situations where the net result is about the same, but I shoot an extra
roll of 35mm. My Pentax WA zoom, the FA 45-85mm f/4.5, is approximately equivalent to 27-51mm in 35mm format. The Pentax zoom picks-up where my Nikkor lens runs out of road, so this combination works very well.

In the same spirit, I bring my 67II rig + 75mm shift lens, when shooting architectural subjects. The 645 doesn't have a shift lens.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-27-2011, 04:33 PM  
Pentax 645N vs. 67
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 41
Views: 31,847
I obtained some nice enlarger lenses from EP Levine, a reputable outfit in the Boston area. I think they're in Burlington. http://www.eplevine.com I bought a 90mm Apo Rodagon, and the 150 Rodagon (for 4x5 format). It's best to call and ask what they have on hand.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-27-2011, 12:25 PM  
Pentax 645N vs. 67
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 41
Views: 31,847
Why not get both cameras! Looking in my old B&H catalog, I see the combined cost of my 67II and 645N, along FA45-85, FA 80-160mm lenses for 645N + 35mm, 45mm, 55mm, 75mm shift, 90mm, 105mm, 120mm SF, 135mm Macro, 165mm and 300mm primes for the 67II was once enormous! More than a new car!

In this digital daze you can get excellent gear for a small fraction of the original price, and you'll never find a better value anywhere in the universe of photography!!! The price I paid is less than 20 percent of retail back in the 90's, far less than production costs.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-27-2011, 10:22 AM  
The time has come ... for 645N
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 32
Views: 9,017
The zooms mentioned are about 2 pounds each. The body is under 3 pounds, so weight is less than 5 pounds. At 45 degrees, tripod legs form an equilateral tetrahedron, which can handle handle forces better than any other geometric structure! The problem is mechanical vibration that can be caused by the wind, tripod design, or distribution of weight on the tripod head. You're right that top heavy is not a good thing. What photographers generally do is install a hook under the center column and attach a sand bag or a bean bag with some heft. That will dampen or eliminate vibrations altogether. You want to bring the tripod weigh up to 5 or 6 pounds this way.

This may seem like a dumb idea if you've got to carry another 3 pounds, but if you're going to get camera shake, why bring a camera at all! Also, a bean bag or sand bag makes an excellent camera rest, with excellent vertical and horizontal stability, enough for slower than normal speeds (but not very slow speeds called for with small apertures).

Some photographers make it their mission in life to eliminate vibrations that rob images of their sharpness and will carry a 15 pound tripod (like my big boy Gitzo with Majestic geared head). Rock steady, rock on!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-27-2010, 08:59 AM  
Will the 67 to 645 adapter make a comeback?
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 27
Views: 5,820
I think Pentax medium format will increase in value for a few reasons.
  • good old supply and demand. people are certainly buying the gear, but it is no longer being manufactured. the supply from those who go digital and also choose to sell film cameras is small compared to what a manufacturer contributes.

  • Best compatibility in medium format. 645D can use all the Pentax optics, including outer bayonet mount lenses which attach on the outside of adapter 645.

  • People who buy Pentax lenses/adapters with the 645D in mind are likely to buy film bodies and backs as well.

That's my take on Pentax gear. I use a 67II and also have a 645n. They are really outstanding cameras! The 645N will accept Pentax 67 lenses with the adapter we are talking about--be advised it will accept Hasselblad CF lenses with an adapter available on eBay. With CF series you can lock the depth of preview and use stop-down metering--there are probably other Hasselblad lenses that work.

Because of the digital daze, and a temporary price crash, I was able to get some really outstanding gear and low prices. But when people buy up the cameras, they will also buy up every accessory that goes with them, including lenses, bellows units, cases, adapters, focus screens, and so forth.

In once sentence, a big supply will change to scarcity. The 645D looks like a nice rig--too expensive for me though...
Forum: Photographic Technique 05-24-2010, 06:57 PM  
do you always carry camera manuals
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 38
Views: 6,186
I carry manuals for digital (Canon), but my 645N and 67II are pretty straight forward. It is a good idea to carry the manual for an AF 540 FGZ flash unit, a unit designed for the digital world. I also consult manuals for the 67-->645 adapter, and some 67 series lenses. If there are tables of data in the manual, that is not the kind of thing we memorize--but controls for the 67II and 645 are very intuitive and easy to learn. I tend to read the camera several times, until there is nothing unfamiliar when I turn the pages.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-24-2010, 10:45 AM  
The time has come ... for 645N
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 32
Views: 9,017
You're going to love this rig!

I think the 45-85mm is a great lens. Got mine attached to a 645N body for the amazing price of $ 625 + 20 dollars shipping. That's right! A $645 645, a phrase that now echoes in my psyche every time I pick up the camera. I also bought the sister lens at B&H, FA 80-160mm f/4.5. It's really all I need, but I went overboard and bought the 67--645 adapter, and another adapter that lets me mount Hasselblad lenses (a Chinese machine shop doing business on eBay).

Most professionals wouldn't care about the f/4.5 aperture, which is not bad for a medium format zoom. The equivalent 35mm range would be about 27--to 95mm for the two 645
zooms, not bad at all. Since I have a 45mm f/4 lens to fit my 67 Pentax II, I can get a
medium format super wide angle shot. For long telephoto shots, more than my 300 f/4 67 format lens, I downsize to 35mm format which is still better than most digital rigs.

I can only speak for the the two 645 zooms mentioned above. They are excellent sharp
lenses, with all aberration and distortions tightly controlled. Both lenses take my 77mm filters, and hoods. One word of advice: If you want a Pentax lens hood, buy a lens that includes a lens hood.

DO NOT TRUST B&H TO PROVIDE A LENS HOOD, EVEN IF THEY SPECIFICALLY SAY IT IS INCLUDED!!! (They lied to me, and then blew off my complaint! Pecker heads! )
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 05-24-2010, 10:22 AM  
Will the 67 to 645 adapter make a comeback?
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 27
Views: 5,820
Shirley, you jest!

I got lucky and found one for $140. It's not a simple item to manufacture because the adapter also accepts 67 lenses that mount on the outer bayonet, and likewise, the 67 Auto Bellows. If you've got a small herd of 67 lenses, this item is a good buy at any price!

Good luck!
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 04-30-2010, 09:00 AM  
645D dynamic range
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 9
Views: 4,943
Allow me to add my add my 2 cents! We must still compress DR for most
output. If we're just trying to get the shot, I have a few suggestions.
1. Stationary outdoor subjects--landscapes. Bracket your exposure and then use the
Photoshop high dynamic range utility in the file menu. (CS2 or better?). Works pretty well!
2. I also have good luck a B+W ND 0.6 graduated filter--the kind where you have 2 stops of ND tapering off to nothing over half the filter length. Since the maximum ND reduces the brightness of what is typically the brightest part of the scene (upper sky), dynamic range contracts.

Keep in mind you can use these methods even you've got 12 stops of DR (though I remain skeptical of any assertion made by manufacturers concerning digital performance).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-16-2010, 09:15 AM  
Adapter that lets you put Pentax lenses on a Canon EF or FD mount?
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 7
Views: 23,629
You can probably use some lenses and not other others. I use K lenses on my EOS bodies and they work very well (so do 67 Pentax lenses, but they are heavy).

Lenses that are autofocus, or have auto aperture only are problematic, because you wouldn't be able to control the aperture. Obviously, Pentax autofocus won't work on Canon and no adapter would make it work because it's not that simple.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 04-16-2010, 09:09 AM  
Adapter that lets you put Pentax lenses on a Canon EF or FD mount?
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 7
Views: 23,629
I have 11 Pentax 67 lenses, and use some of them on Canon bodies. Why? The EOS bodies have superb electronics, and very precise stop-down metering, so I prefer Canon 35mm bodies over older Pentax 35mm bodies.

1. Obviously, saving money is a good reason to use the lenses you already own, rather than buying the same lenses twice. If an artist is satisfied with a lens, by all means use it! Filters are not cheap either and can easily double or triple the cost of a lens, and then you've got to buy a lens hood because Canon would like some more of your money!

2. Every manufacturer has a quality mix. You can buy cheap Pentax lenses, or very high quality Pentax lenses, retailing for thousands of dollars. My 67 series lenses are an example of high quality Pentax lenses, superb design, construction and image quality. Pentax also makes some great 35mm lenses, including a shift lens, macro lenses, super telephoto lenses, large aperture lenses, and so on--certainly of professional quality.

3. Canon plans to rule the world! I have 6 Canon prime lenses and am very impressed by four of them! But think about it: 10's of millions of photographers are all buying the same cameras and lenses. We have the same production and design, the same glass and coatings, the same fluorite elements and plastic barrels. The same electronics. The same background blur and correction of distortion or aberration. You can really see the sameness of Canon optics in the world of mass media, so I enjoy using lenses that have a distinctly different optical personality.

Lenses that are equivalent in engineering terms should produce images that are very similar, but I find this is not the case. I suspect our eyes and brain are capable of finer distinctions than most people are aware, such that minor differences in technology substantially change our response. But isn't that what visual art is all about? (!!!)

4. Pentax and other lenses may be a better value than Canon lenses, which sell for premium prices. This is different than the other situation of getting the most from equipment you already own. If you are happy with your results using other Pentax lenses, the chances are good you will be again with that telephoto lens you've been saving hard-earned money to buy. Should you buy Canon for twice the price? Isn't it easier to just paint a red ring around the front of your lens. :-)

5. Saving the best for last, it is always content that wins the day, or ruins an image. There is no escape from having to use your mind in the creation of visual art, and no matter what your credit card limit may be--fine optics cannot help failing visualization. As Ansel Adams so eloquently put it: "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept".

Three cheers for Ansel!

I actually have 47 reasons for using Pentax lenses whenever I choose, in a variety of adaptations (like a Pentax 645N body, which accepts all 67 lenses as if they were made for the 645 format). Five reasons should be good enough!

Adapters for Pentax K-->Canon EOS are readily available on eBay. My first adapter was not a very good design--I could never keep track of a tiny locking pin and eventually lost it. No problem, for short money I bought another adapter that works very well.

I can also use Hasselblad lenses on my Canon, including 80mm f/2.8 Planar, 120mm f/4 Makro Planar, and 250mm f/5.6 Sonnar. These lenses are every bit as good as fancy Zeiss lenses you can buy to fit Canon that cost a fortune.

I have another adapter to mount the Pentax 67II camera on the back of my Sinar F camera! What a rig! It's a pretty radical arrangement, but there are advantages. You get the Pentax 67II metering, viewing system, 120/220 roll film, and the choice of either leaf shutter or focal plane shutter. So far, it's not a very practical rig for short focal lengths, but it may be possible to change that with recessed lens boards. I have some Fuji view camera lenses, but could also use enlarger lenses (I have some excellent enlarging lenses, which have a flat-field design, ideal for some subjects. They also have large image circles.)


By age 55, I have collected more gear than I need and periodically unload various items. But there is a point to all this. Adaptations are very important in photography, and putting a Pentax lens on a Canon body is the kind of thing people start out doing. Don't let Canon or other manufacturers call all the shots! Imagine, design, invent, create your own rigs to do whatever you like. What for? Because it's your idea, like every single photo you take!
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-29-2010, 10:43 PM  
pentax 645n flash
Posted By rick_reddy
Replies: 5
Views: 9,146
The AF540FGZ flash is compatible with 645N, and will do TTL flash at 1/60th as advertised. Like Pentax lenses, the strobes are designed with maximum compatibility in mind. I use the same strobe on my Pentax 67II and a K10D, where it can be triggered by the on the on-camera flash (if the camera's firmware is updated). The manual is available at the Pentax web site and lists all the functions and modes available for Pentax cameras.
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