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Author Topic: Hassy H4D vs Pentax 645D  (Read 14904 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #40 on: December 12, 2011, 04:16:00 PM »
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Hi,

Lenses are also worth consideration. It's more about the whole package than just components.

A Nikon D800 is rumored to arrive soon with 36 MPixels. There are some truly amazing lenses available for that camera, like the Nikon 14-24/2.8 and the Zeiss lenses Distagon 21/2.8 and Macro Planar 100/2. The Pentax has a larger format, but lenses seem to be of quite different quality. The larger format stresses lenses less.

I'm not really sure in which direction "professional" cameras go. With Nikon the D3X has been very expensive. Canon has lost many of it's 1DsIII shooters to 5DII, in part because of the lighter weight. I assume that the new Canon D1X is mainly a high ISO camera. And I fully expect higher MP solutions from Canon, once competition demands it.

Best regards
Erik


The pentax is pretty affordable ... any 36mp offering from Canon or Nikon most likely will be in the $8k range, so only a little less than the Pentax.  It remains to be seen if it even happens, given Canon's recent announcement and Nikon's rumored D4 specs (16mp) with much less chatter about a D4x.  I'd be curious as to what you are basing your January 2012 prediction on.

Not even sure if the manufacturers of dSLR's have an interest anymore in higher resolution ... they all seemed to be moving in other directions right now.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #41 on: December 12, 2011, 04:34:24 PM »
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The pentax is pretty affordable ... any 36mp offering from Canon or Nikon most likely will be in the $8k range, so only a little less than the Pentax.  It remains to be seen if it even happens, given Canon's recent announcement and Nikon's rumored D4 specs (16mp) with much less chatter about a D4x.  I'd be curious as to what you are basing your January 2012 prediction on.

http://nikonrumors.com/category/nikon-d800/

36 MP with/without AA filter, rumored price around 4,000 US$, availability in Jan 2012.

Cheers,
Bernard
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #42 on: December 12, 2011, 04:38:42 PM »
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Apparently, Canon lenses are not all that great. From a simple comparison of the 645D the Mamiya/Phase equivalent and a Leica M9 and Canon 35mm DSLR thorn in for fun:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/2010_mini_medium_format_shoot_out.shtml

I don't have any experience with the Hasselblad line, but some of the Pentax lenses are really very nice. But there are a few bad ones--the 45mm prime and the manual focus 150mm f/3.5 are not favored. The autofocus FA 150mm f/2.8 is very nice. A few of the manual focus lenses are the same design as the autofocus cousins, a few are not. The 35mm lenses, which have a different designs, the manual focus seem more prized for it corner performance, but shows a little more CA which is easily fixed in post. I have the manual focus 35mm, and it is a fine lens. You really need to pixel peep to see anything. The 120mm Macro lens is universally loved and the telephoto lenses are highly regarded as well. But the Hasselblad H line, for the most part, is newer. Someone else will have to chime in on that.

Comparisons to smaller formats can be hard, but I find more problems with smaller format lenses, not that there are some gems out there. It will be interesting to see what some 35mm users think of some of their optics on a 30+MP sensor. I think pixel peepers are going to be a little surprised.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #43 on: December 12, 2011, 05:04:00 PM »
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Hi,

Comparing a general purpose zoom lens (Canon 24-105/4) with a 50/1.4 Sumilux (costing 3700 $US at B&H right now) is hardly a level playing field. You can put some fine lenses on the Canon, too, like Zeiss lenses and some of the better Canon lenses. On the other hand the Canon seems to be good in tests around 50mm. I guess sample variations and focusing variation may play a role.

The Canon has an OLP filter while the Leica does not, so Canon needs much more sharpening. It seems that Nikon has much less OLP filtering on their sensors.

A Leica M9 with the Sumicron costs like the Pentax 645D you have.

Best regards
Erik


Apparently, Canon lenses are not all that great. From a simple comparison of the 645D the Mamiya/Phase equivalent and a Leica M9 and Canon 35mm DSLR thorn in for fun:

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db8121
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« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2011, 04:41:46 AM »
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Hey guys just an update: Tried out the H4D at Foto Care and a friend's 645D. I ended up with an H4D-40. I was able to get a really good deal on a used one in great condition with two lenses (in terms of value-for-money I almost had to say yes). I skipped the H4D-31 - great camera but the firmware and better high ISO performance on the 40 sold me.

The 645D is a fantastic camera - the image quality and particularly the weather sealing are attractive. But at the end of the day, the H System's images out of the box were just a bit more pleasing to me. The system's maturity and general resale value obviously don't hurt either (the 645D is untested in the latter area obviously).

Thanks again to everyone for their input!
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aboudd
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« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2011, 07:50:36 AM »
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As another "guywitha645D" I can tell you I am very pleased with the camera, in spite of some of the previously discussed shortcomings. A few years ago I owned a Contax 645 with Phase One 22 mgpx back. A fine camera, a bit heavy and the ergonomics weren't great, but better I thought than the Hasselblad (I think it was the H2D at the time) that I also tried out. The Zeiss lenses on the Contax were simply wonderful for sharpness and color rendering. Six months ago I picked up the 645D, letting go of my Nikon D3x. I have not regretted that decision. The files are great, the ergonomics are superb, and Pentax lenses, always underrated are just fine. As a field camera, this is one of the best choices one could make.

The biggest issue for the 645D, and I am convinced this is affecting resale values, is the paucity of new lenses for the camera. While the older lenses for the 645 are good, CA in the 35MM 3.5 for example, could probably be better handled with a new digitally optimized lens. As D owners know there are only two lenses made specifically for the camera, the 55 and the 25. The 55 is available but the 25 is vaporware from normal US sources like B&H with no arrival time announced. The system will not be fully viable until Ricoh gets off its ass and makes a full commitment to support the 645D system in both stronger customer support and availability of new lenses.  
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fotometria gr
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« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2011, 09:35:52 AM »
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As another "guywitha645D" I can tell you I am very pleased with the camera, in spite of some of the previously discussed shortcomings. A few years ago I owned a Contax 645 with Phase One 22 mgpx back. A fine camera, a bit heavy and the ergonomics weren't great, but better I thought than the Hasselblad (I think it was the H2D at the time) that I also tried out. The Zeiss lenses on the Contax were simply wonderful for sharpness and color rendering. Six months ago I picked up the 645D, letting go of my Nikon D3x. I have not regretted that decision. The files are great, the ergonomics are superb, and Pentax lenses, always underrated are just fine. As a field camera, this is one of the best choices one could make.

The biggest issue for the 645D, and I am convinced this is affecting resale values, is the paucity of new lenses for the camera. While the older lenses for the 645 are good, CA in the 35MM 3.5 for example, could probably be better handled with a new digitally optimized lens. As D owners know there are only two lenses made specifically for the camera, the 55 and the 25. The 55 is available but the 25 is vaporware from normal US sources like B&H with no arrival time announced. The system will not be fully viable until Ricoh gets off its ass and makes a full commitment to support the 645D system in both stronger customer support and availability of new lenses.  
Probably you should have never sold your Contax! Regards, Theodoros. www.fotometria.gr
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aboudd
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« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2011, 11:19:20 AM »
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Not sold the Contax? The camera has been out of production for years, almost invisible support and slow repair turnaround.  It took my friend 6 weeks to get her Contax 645 back from repair. Sure. Keeping it would have been a smart idea.  Shocked
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aboudd
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« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2011, 02:48:21 PM »
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The Pentax 645D does not tether, it is most decidedly a field camera. That said I just used it for a corporate client's new web site images - all people photos - and the skin tones were perfect. I'm not a Pentax booster so much as someone who likes to use medium format and finds that the Pentax 645D, using the same sensor as the Leica S2,  even with its shortfall regarding new lenses is a fantastic buy at $10,000. For those of us who don't have a need or want to spend upwards of $30,000 for a three lens kit ($50K if you are considering the S2), and do not have a need for tethering the Pentax is a great choice.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #49 on: December 25, 2011, 03:44:41 AM »
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Hi BC,

How much of the color rendition depends on the sensor and how much on the software in your view?

Best regards
Erik




Now if I was buying new today I'd go with a Hasselblad 4 whatever just because the camera body is the standard in rentals and the skin tones on the Hasselblad are the best I've seen from medium format (in a very brief test).  Also the 40mp chip goes to 800 clean, once again in my limited testing.


IMO

BC
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HCHeyerdahl
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« Reply #50 on: December 25, 2011, 09:29:18 AM »
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As another "guywitha645D" I can tell you I am very pleased with the camera, in spite of some of the previously discussed shortcomings. A few years ago I owned a Contax 645 with Phase One 22 mgpx back. A fine camera, a bit heavy and the ergonomics weren't great, but better I thought than the Hasselblad (I think it was the H2D at the time) that I also tried out. The Zeiss lenses on the Contax were simply wonderful for sharpness and color rendering. Six months ago I picked up the 645D, letting go of my Nikon D3x. I have not regretted that decision. The files are great, the ergonomics are superb, and Pentax lenses, always underrated are just fine. As a field camera, this is one of the best choices one could make.

The biggest issue for the 645D, and I am convinced this is affecting resale values, is the paucity of new lenses for the camera. While the older lenses for the 645 are good, CA in the 35MM 3.5 for example, could probably be better handled with a new digitally optimized lens. As D owners know there are only two lenses made specifically for the camera, the 55 and the 25. The 55 is available but the 25 is vaporware from normal US sources like B&H with no arrival time announced. The system will not be fully viable until Ricoh gets off its ass and makes a full commitment to support the 645D system in both stronger customer support and availability of new lenses.  

Hi, I am using Nikons and considering the jump to 645 or S2. Can you share your thoughts on the transition? How much of a difference do you feel there is in the files for prints up say A1?
Also, how do you experience the more limited depth of field effects your shooting?
Chris
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aboudd
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« Reply #51 on: December 25, 2011, 09:56:29 AM »
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As a 645D user I would say if you can afford the S2, you should go for it. I just couldn't justify the expense. Although the body is about 2.5X the cost of the Pentax, the processor, designed for the sensor, is quicker, the ergonomics equal and there is a battery grip that offers a vertical release button, something I sorely miss on the 645D. I believe They have the same sensor, but as I have not seen a side by side comparison of the same files i cannot address the performance as regards the software on board. The Leica can also be used as a studio camera, tethered and has central leaf shutter lenses available for it. Finally, although every time I look it seems that all lenses but the 75mm are out of stock, at least you know that all of Leica's glass was designed specifically for this camera. If I could afford it, and lenses were more readily available I would buy the S2.
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Radu Arama
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« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2011, 06:14:39 AM »
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CP+ (the major Japanese photo trade fair) is due in less than one and a half month and if I was to consider Pentax for an investment I would certainly wait for it. In my personal opinion at very least we will see at that point (first decade of February):

- the new Pentax portrait lens in final form (I hope for a 100-110mm with an maximum aperture of 2.4 or less and full 645 circle coverage);
- the prototype of the new ultrawide to normal zoom (30 - 70mm) that will replace two current zooms (33-55/f4.5 and 45-85/f4.5) - well to be fair the two new 30-70mm and 65-160mm will replace three current zooms the two previosly mentioned plus the 80-160mm/f4.5;
- the tethering software in very close or in the final form.

maybe a lot more hints about the future regarding the 645D successor and new/improved/reintroduced in production lenses).

Happy Holidays!
Radu
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craigrudlin
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« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2011, 08:35:01 AM »
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I( switched from the Nikon to the Leica S2, specifically from a D300/D700 and occasionally the D3X, to the Leica.  There is a
world of difference, which I will try to briefly summarize:

(1) The Leica is medium format and as such, the depth of field "feels" (and perhaps mathematically is)  considerably less than on 35 mm
(2) You lose the 51 focus points, so you either learn to use the one focus point and "recompose", or in reality, merely manually focus
after setting the composition.  The large difference is the fact that manual focusing is EASY.  The viewfinder on the Leica is SO bright,
and clear, and the focus ring so precise, that it is almost effortless to manually focus (quickly, I might add).  That said, medium format
is not a fast action camera.
(3) I find that the dynamic range appears to be significantly greater on the Leica.  I haven't done a HDR image since getting the Leica!
(I do mostly fine art landscape, abstracts, NOT studio work). This is a large change in workflow.
(4) The Leica lenses are remarkable, and if your like extreme detail, clarity, micro-contrast, and the "draw" or character of the leica
lenses, they leave the Nikon's "in the dust."  (I have the Nikon 14-24, 70-200, 24-70, so the better Nikon lenses).
(5) There are no long telephotos currently available for the Leica, except by way of adapters.
(6) The post processing workflow is simplified because you do not have to "work" as much to achieve the same "micro-contrast",
3-dimensionality.  I don't know quite how to express this, but there is certainly a distinct difference in the way the images appear.
You may like the look, or not, but it is definitely not the same as with the Nikon.
(7) The native size of the image from the Leica is 20x30 inches.  I moved to medium format because I want to PRINT VERY LARGE
images.  Up-sizing from the Nikon is not the same as starting with 20x30 inch images.  Furthermore, the medium format images
have such detail, contrast, etc. that they can easily be printed 40x60.
(Cool Ergonomics:  The Leica feels great in my hand (which is a smaller one), and there was essentially no transition between the
Nikon and the Leica.  Indeed, the simplicity of the Leica interface makes the transition essentially seemless.  That said, there is
a difference with regard to the LCD.  Leica does not have a "thumb wheel" and moving around the image is a "two step" process.
Yes, you get use to it, but it will never be as easy as the thumb wheel approach.
(9) The LCD is sharp enough on the Leica to judge focus.
(10) The Leica "blinkies" show BOTH highlights and shadows (red and blue) and this is VERY NICE.  On the other hand,
once the preview is taken down, you can't get the histogram back (hopefully Leica will add this in a firmware update).
(11) The Leica does not allow multiple exposures or what Nikon calls image overlay.   I miss this.  Again, that could be
addressed in firmware.
(12) The menu or user interface is simplistic -- in the POSITIVE connotation or meaning of the word -- with the Leica.  Yes,
there are not as many options, but the essentially ones are immediately available with four simple straightforward buttons
that are programmable as well.
(13) No live view.  I rarely used this with the Nikon, so am not really missing this feature.
(14) The Leica battery last even longer than the Nikon D3X and D700 which is remarkable.  Even looking and studying every
photo, it lasted two complete days of shooting !  (On the other hand, the Leica battery is around $225 -- it should last !)
(15) The Leica feels the same weight, and feels slightly smaller and more nimble, than the D3X or D700.  Of course, I do not
have the optional grip on mine, so the comparison to the D3X may not be fair.
(16) Despite what I had read, and much to my surprise, the Leica handles low light superbly.  I recently shot in an abandoned
mill, no light except what came through windows.  Exposures were 8 sec at ISO 320.  No noise.  Excellent image quality.
But, I manually focused.  There is no focus assist light on the Leica.
(17) I am still debating whether the Leica exposure metering is as accurate as the Nikon.  I think it is easily "fooled", but the
histogram and the bi-color "blinkies" make correction easy.


The biggest difference is what we call here in the US "sticker shock".  Lenses cost 2-3X the price of the Nikon.  The body
is roughly 3X the price of the D3x.  Accessories cost more. 

Is it worth it?  Every time I begin to question the cost (which is daily), I look at the images and stop complaining!

Hope this helps.
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amudgarden
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« Reply #54 on: September 29, 2012, 04:46:25 PM »
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I own both the Hassy H4D40 and the Nikon D800 (and D4), and the difference in overall image quality is incomparable. I am not an expert on image quality, but the Hassy renders an image that rivals traditional film in its subtle contrast and tone.  This camera produces absolutely amazing image quality for a digital camera.  I have never used a Pentax, so I can't comment on it.  I have no idea why it's several thousand dollars less than the Hassy...maybe it's only because of Hassy's name recognition.  

The sensor, and megapixels, are obviously not the only determining factor on what makes an image clear, sharp and with excellent tonality. The cameras processors and software are just as important.

In my experience, comparing a medium format camera to a typical full-size sensor in the expensive DSLRs is like comparing a Hummer to a Ferrari.  They are built for different purposes, and they both have strengths and weaknesses which make them ill suited to compete with each other.  I use my Hassy mainly for landscape and architectural shots, and I use my Nikon usually for faster shots (i.e. sports, indoor activity, and wildlife) and for portrait work (since depth of field is much easier to control with Nikon lenses than Hassy).  The Nikon is excellent at a wide range of different shots...it can do everything well.  But, the Hassy can produce an image quality in certain situations that blows away anything I've attempted to duplicate with a Nikon, even in post production.  
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #55 on: September 29, 2012, 05:13:36 PM »
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I own both the Hassy H4D40 and the Nikon D800 (and D4), and the difference in overall image quality is incomparable.

Cool, it should then be extremely easy to see this huge difference in any sample file you would be willing to share?

That would kill once for all these discussions.

Cheers,
Bernard
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PeteZ28
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« Reply #56 on: September 29, 2012, 11:29:53 PM »
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Cool, it should then be extremely easy to see this huge difference in any sample file you would be willing to share?

That would kill once for all these discussions.

Cheers,
Bernard

There is this, for whatever it's worth...  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UBTE4xpvpk
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #57 on: September 30, 2012, 01:41:28 AM »
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Hi Bernard,

Alex Koloskov was friendly enough to make the comparison and also made the raw files available.

http://www.photigy.com/nikon-d800e-test-review-vs-hasselblad-h4d40-35mm-against-medium-format/
http://www.photigy.com/nikon-d800e-v-s-hasselblad-h4d40-the-end-of-medium-format-superiority-round-two/

Here is a good discussion on those tests in Lula forum: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=69391.40

Best regards
Erik

Cool, it should then be extremely easy to see this huge difference in any sample file you would be willing to share?

That would kill once for all these discussions.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #58 on: October 01, 2012, 04:46:27 AM »
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Hi Bernard,

Alex Koloskov was friendly enough to make the comparison and also made the raw files available.

Yep, I know. I don't interpret their conclusion as the back being incomparably better.  Smiley

At best slightly superior?

Cheers,
Bernard
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #59 on: October 01, 2012, 05:03:51 AM »
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Hi,

My take is that Alex found the back marginally better. The issue is still that he made a good test with trough analysis of raw images, so any one considering those two options has some material to study.

Best regards
Erik


Yep, I know. I don't interpret their conclusion as the back being incomparably better.  Smiley

At best slightly superior?

Cheers,
Bernard

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