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Author Topic: Nick's 645D Review  (Read 2904 times)
tsjanik
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« on: November 12, 2010, 10:08:58 PM »
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Nick, thanks again for your review.  As someone who gave Pentax USA my credit card information on the 2nd day the 645D was available for preorder, you put some of my uneasiness to rest.  I must say you didn’t pull any punches in your review.  You’re likely to get some strong responses (including some from the iPhone devotees). I’d be interested hear how the 645 35mm performs vis a vis the 33-55mm zoom - if you can find one – and that is a problem with this camera, at least for now.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 10:10:56 PM by tsjanik » Logged
ndevlin
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 08:35:49 AM »
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Thanks. If anything, I was a bit tough on the 33-55. I printed off a shot done at 39mm today, which is really superb, and one at 33mm which I thought suffered a bit on-screen, and it looked really nice in print.  I can pronounce the lens entirely pro-use worthy, if not perfect.  It was a telling bit of discipline on our pixel-peeping addiction to see how good these images looked on paper.

That said, I have sourced a 35mm FA prime, and will test that soon. If it's as good as everyone says, we're laughing.

- N.
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 11:03:22 AM »
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Nick, thank you for the wonderfully written and witty review. Felt like I'd been holding the camera.

Dave
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darr
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2010, 11:24:44 AM »
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Thank you Nick for your in-depth review. 

Your delight with the 645D's feel, only adds to my excitement! I do believe Pentax may be changing the playing field and all I can say is: "It's about time!"  My name is on B&H's waiting list and my credit card has been paid-off, so please Pentax, make it happen soon! I love my Pentax 67II and the quality of the lenses I have for it. My Pentax 67II is the only MF film camera I have retained since making the digital transition.

I am no stranger to MF digital and have been trying to find my fit. My background in photography started in the early '80s as a commercial shooter with 4x5" + chromes. It certainly was a different world back then in regards to the ease of producing finely-focused details and DOF. Today, many of us have experienced disappointment with our MF digital gear when it comes to these areas. Thank you for referring readers to Mark Dubovoy's recent review, as most of us have seen these type of conclusions too many times for it not to be addressed publicly.

If I am in the studio shooting tethered, it is not so hard to tweak the focus. But, on a recent landscape shoot in Iceland, I found my D700 out-performed my Alpa Max + Schneider 47xl in regards to sharpness. For me, the industry failed to disclose the dirty details when using the current batch of Helicon mounted DIGITAL lenses, so let me publicly disclose a truth that may save frustrations and disappointments: Throw the technical precision referenced on these lenses out the window!!*

Stupid me used the 47xl Helicon lens like I have with other Helicon mounted lenses in the past--which did produce wonderfully, sharp results.  I did test the Max + 47xl + P45 prior to Iceland in the studio and got excellent results, but I did not test for Helicon-focusing--instead, opted for the ridiculous notion that it was going to be easy to 'face the elements' in Iceland since I sprung my hard-earned cash on this expensive Helicon lens.

In the end, I wasted time, energy, money, and opportunities when I made a bunch of out-of-focused images.
This is the BIGGEST & Most Expensive Disappointment I have experienced with gear EVER!!.  Embarrassed  

Thank you Schneider, Alpa and vendor for keeping me in the dark. Just a single piece of paper with updated technical details about the misconfiguration of the current Helicon mount + digital sensor would have been sufficient-- a single piece of paper to follow the US $3,500+ lens purchase is too much to ask for?
NOTE to industry: When a photographer purchases this specialized lens, they WILL shoot with the Helicon technique or they would not have spent the thousands of dollars on it!!  Have I lost confidence in this industry or with these vendors?  Take a guess!! Angry

I hope Pentax puts the MF industry on its head!!

Thank you again and I hope you see my rantings as "education for the masses."

Kind regards,
Darr


*The industry is now responding with some type of add-on plastic ring to reset the focusing reference with this same Helicon mount lens, but I feel I was ripped off when I was not told upfront prior to my purchase.
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douglasf13
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2010, 11:37:34 AM »
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Nick, great review on an apparent game changer.

In regards to your control dial issue, I've had this happen on numerous DSLRs, and I think it is from a little debris that gets in the control wheel. Usually, a few strong blows from a rocket blower into the dial cavity, followed by a few turns, does the job. I've also use contact cleaner spray to good effect, but proceed at your own risk with that one.
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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2010, 01:24:02 PM »
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Brilliant review. Well done Nick!

Looking forward to your in-studio test
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John.Murray
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2010, 01:51:37 PM »
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Great review.  I'm very struck by your comment about "making the camera dissappear" at the moment of capturing an image.  This camera could be a real game changer and not only on price.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2010, 05:51:53 PM »
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This camera arrived in Australian stores last week only to be immediately withdrawn from sale. I don't know why, and the distributor is not talking - anyone heard anything about this?
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Nick Rains
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michael
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2010, 07:00:34 AM »
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Nick,

Apparently they were actually in dealers hands at some retailers in Canada and Australia, and were taken back. No reason given, but obviously a problem was found with the batch.

Nick D wil have more on this in his Phase vs. Pentax article (with Mark Segal) later today or tomorrow.

M
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2010, 09:34:07 AM »
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Hi,

Sorry to hear about your bad luck!

Best regards
Erik

Thank you Nick for your in-depth review. 

Your delight with the 645D's feel, only adds to my excitement! I do believe Pentax may be changing the playing field and all I can say is: "It's about time!"  My name is on B&H's waiting list and my credit card has been paid-off, so please Pentax, make it happen soon! I love my Pentax 67II and the quality of the lenses I have for it. My Pentax 67II is the only MF film camera I have retained since making the digital transition.

I am no stranger to MF digital and have been trying to find my fit. My background in photography started in the early '80s as a commercial shooter with 4x5" + chromes. It certainly was a different world back then in regards to the ease of producing finely-focused details and DOF. Today, many of us have experienced disappointment with our MF digital gear when it comes to these areas. Thank you for referring readers to Mark Dubovoy's recent review, as most of us have seen these type of conclusions too many times for it not to be addressed publicly.

If I am in the studio shooting tethered, it is not so hard to tweak the focus. But, on a recent landscape shoot in Iceland, I found my D700 out-performed my Alpa Max + Schneider 47xl in regards to sharpness. For me, the industry failed to disclose the dirty details when using the current batch of Helicon mounted DIGITAL lenses, so let me publicly disclose a truth that may save frustrations and disappointments: Throw the technical precision referenced on these lenses out the window!!*

Stupid me used the 47xl Helicon lens like I have with other Helicon mounted lenses in the past--which did produce wonderfully, sharp results.  I did test the Max + 47xl + P45 prior to Iceland in the studio and got excellent results, but I did not test for Helicon-focusing--instead, opted for the ridiculous notion that it was going to be easy to 'face the elements' in Iceland since I sprung my hard-earned cash on this expensive Helicon lens.

In the end, I wasted time, energy, money, and opportunities when I made a bunch of out-of-focused images.
This is the BIGGEST & Most Expensive Disappointment I have experienced with gear EVER!!.  Embarrassed  

Thank you Schneider, Alpa and vendor for keeping me in the dark. Just a single piece of paper with updated technical details about the misconfiguration of the current Helicon mount + digital sensor would have been sufficient-- a single piece of paper to follow the US $3,500+ lens purchase is too much to ask for?
NOTE to industry: When a photographer purchases this specialized lens, they WILL shoot with the Helicon technique or they would not have spent the thousands of dollars on it!!  Have I lost confidence in this industry or with these vendors?  Take a guess!! Angry

I hope Pentax puts the MF industry on its head!!

Thank you again and I hope you see my rantings as "education for the masses."

Kind regards,
Darr


*The industry is now responding with some type of add-on plastic ring to reset the focusing reference with this same Helicon mount lens, but I feel I was ripped off when I was not told upfront prior to my purchase.

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nokinq
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2010, 06:57:47 AM »
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Congratulations Nick, this the best,most easily readable review I've ever come across,it's almost convinced me to bump up my credit limit on my plastic card lol!!!
looking forward to further updates.
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dseelig
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 01:36:06 AM »
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I was just wondering about the feel of the camera. I hate the feel of the  mamiya phase cameras. How does if fell in terms of shutter release, I have a contax system-waiting till I can get a digital back for it- and wonder does it feel as nice? I had a rollie 6008 as well loved it jsut not the weight. I shoot Leica and canon- for professional sports.
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ndevlin
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 04:55:43 PM »
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I like the feel of the release, but that's a terrible subjective thing. It's not "Leica smooth" (I'll have the S2 in-hand later this week, so I will try to make a more direct comparison then), but it's just fine.  I shot Contax back in the day, and that was my favourite. The 645D is not quite up to that grade. But then again, I don't think the M9 is nearly as smooth as the M6, so there :-)
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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