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Author Topic: Pentax reduces the price of the 645D to 8800 USD  (Read 20178 times)
Lacunapratum
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« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2012, 06:31:21 PM »
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Looks like Pentax wants to reach the same lofty price range as Phase, Leica, and Hasselblad.  Probably justified as their cameras and lenses are as good or better.  I guess it probably works as long as the cameras stay in the 10K - 15K range and as long as sufficient numbers of high quality FA and A lenses are available on the used market.  In terms of specific lenses, the 1.2K for the 55mm would be o.k. as long as the quality control holds up.  I found the 25mm DA a true winner and thought the $5K was hefty but acceptable, considering its unique status.  Something like $4K for an outstanding wideangle zoom would be probably similarly acceptable. 

The $5K for the 90mm will be a tough sale, even for ardent fans like me.  In my macro stable, there are the excellent 120mm 645 and 100mm 67 Pentax lenses.  Most recently, I am also enjoying a 95mm/2.8 Printing Nikkor for macro with stellar resolution.  For portraits I anyway prefer something longer, such as the 150mm.  But I do understand Pentax' effort to develop a line-up of first rate lenses to compete with the best, and that unfortunately costs some money.  It does pose the question though even for me as to how much longer I can afford Pentax' newly found status as a player in the upper echelons of the medium format market.

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tsjanik
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« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2012, 07:05:36 PM »
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Looks like Pentax wants to reach the same lofty price range as Phase, Leica, and Hasselblad.  Probably justified as their cameras and lenses are as good or better.  I guess it probably works as long as the cameras stay in the 10K - 15K range and as long as sufficient numbers of high quality FA and A lenses are available on the used market.  In terms of specific lenses, the 1.2K for the 55mm would be o.k. as long as the quality control holds up.  I found the 25mm DA a true winner and thought the $5K was hefty but acceptable, considering its unique status.  Something like $4K for an outstanding wideangle zoom would be probably similarly acceptable. 

The $5K for the 90mm will be a tough sale, even for ardent fans like me.  In my macro stable, there are the excellent 120mm 645 and 100mm 67 Pentax lenses.  Most recently, I am also enjoying a 95mm/2.8 Printing Nikkor for macro with stellar resolution.  For portraits I anyway prefer something longer, such as the 150mm.  But I do understand Pentax' effort to develop a line-up of first rate lenses to compete with the best, and that unfortunately costs some money.  It does pose the question though even for me as to how much longer I can afford Pentax' newly found status as a player in the upper echelons of the medium format market.



I agree completely, Tom, I too begin to feel priced out of the system.  Radu, It seems Pentax agrees with your preference for cutting-edge and expensive lenses. Very interesting lens, but Iím not sure of the value of SR in a macro lens or even the need for a 90mm.  I certainly donít think itís good marketing to introduce two new $5000 lenses. Perhaps, as Tom suggested, Pentax wants to price with Phase, Hasselblad and Leica, but that would appear to be an already small and  shrinking market.
When the 645D appeared, it accessed a new market for medium format by offering higher quality at a cost near high-end 35mm DSLRs.  The cost of these new lenses is pricing the system out of that market.  These prices will simply drive more buyers to Nikon and Zeiss.

Regards,

Tom
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Lacunapratum
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« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2012, 08:22:50 PM »
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I guess some of it makes sense.  Folks like us in fact do have our old lenses which are excellent and which we will keep around anyway.  Also, Ricoh talks about marketing the P645D to museums and for that application the 90mm would make sense. 

But:  how many museums today have the budget for a P645D system with $5K lenses?  How much performance can there be gained over the 120mm macro when even Pentax admits that the present shutter mechanism limits performance? 

And then:  who does Ricoh/Pentax think their customers will be if not us?  For almost a decade I have kept all of my 645 lenses in a drawer, hoping for a digital 645.  From an announcement to a cancellation to another announcement followed by another cancellation, another announcement, then a delay etc..  The final product, the 645D, turned out to be a big winner IMHO.  I am also still sort-of happy with the 25mm.  But I would have liked to see a shift lens, a fast portrait lens, perhaps a long and fast telephoto, and all at slightly more reasonable prices.   

Let's see what the 645dii brings.  But I agree with Tom:  Pentax would be well advised to not neglect their loyal customer base. 
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aaron
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« Reply #43 on: September 09, 2012, 01:14:02 AM »
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There must be a secret society of wealthy Pentax645D owners somewhere who are prepared to spend 5 grand for each new lens released. Certainly the users I am aware of are largely interested in the 645D as a relatively less expensive route to MFD.

But sorry if Pentax want to charge Leica prices they will have to also develop Lecia prestige, thats not going to happen. Spending 5k on a Leica Lens is a lot easier to swallow as you are not concerned about the resale value.
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ndevlin
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« Reply #44 on: September 09, 2012, 11:40:23 AM »
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This kind of pricing is the death-knell for the 645D.  My decision to exit the system in favour of the D800E was tipped by the price of the 25mm and 90mm.  For that kind of money I can buy Leica glass, which will (a) be better and (b) hold its value.  That's assuming I *have* that kind of money! I put together my entire 10 lens kit for about that much money during the 'dark years' of waiting.  The price of the 25mm and 90mm alone buys my whole Nikon kit. That's reality.

Pentax may do amazing things and lure us back, but I doubt it.  I found the 645D suffered shutter-impact-induced image degradation on too many occasions, even with the best tripod and even sometimes with higher shutter speeds.  This mirrored my experience with the Phase-miya cameras.  There's a reason Phase is rapidly bringing LS lenses to market. 

Frankly, as much as I loved the 645D, there is ever-less reason for such systems. Live-view,  LS lenses, image-stabilizing and a 60+MP sensor? Then maybe. But short of that, why?

For $2K a pair of Sigma DP cameras are the equal of my Fuji 690 and 690SW. And no back-ache :-)

At any rate, it will be interesting to see what 'Kina 12 brings.

See you at the Pentax booth...with fingers crossed.

- N.   
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Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
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« Reply #45 on: September 09, 2012, 11:57:40 AM »
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Perhaps having top notch lenses that are more of an investment will keep people in their ecosystem ? Seems to be working for the other MF brands. Bodies change quickly while good lenses generally stay usable much longer. Leica has great and well respected glass which is most likely the number one reason they can charge so much for subpar bodies to put it on. Sure the quality is there but from an usability standpoint things have advanced. The average Nikon camera feels more like a practical tool than does a M leica.

The fanboy/collectors market can be very lucrative and add to perceived brand value. Looking at cameras as a purely photographic tools and not romanticized gadgets, I would say that Pentax's medium format offering is hugely under valued as far as MF goes. The folks who use it as a tool will not mind spending 5k on a good workhorse lens especially if future bodies will be able to extract more resolution out of it. I would much rather pay less for the body and more for the lenses (providing they are good) instead of the other way around.

As far as the whole D800 vs Phase/645D/Blad debate goes, there is no question that the D800 is an amazing deal. But people shooting MF don't purely look at specs vs cost because those are not the only two factors at play.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 12:31:02 PM by larkis » Logged

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bcooter
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« Reply #46 on: September 09, 2012, 03:09:30 PM »
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As far as the whole D800 vs Phase/645D/Blad debate goes, there is no question that the D800 is an amazing deal. But people shooting MF don't purely look at specs vs cost because those are not the only two factors at play.

Regardless, Pentax doesn't have the bling factor of a billion megapixels, or Hasselblad's and Leica's name to get the western market to drop 5k for a lens, especially in the advanced amateur world.

Unless Pentax makes a camera that no one can do without, I strongly suggest keeping their camera under 10 grand, finding a way to make it tether reliably and fast because if they don't they'll just drive the 25 year old somethings to the Nikon 800.

For verticals (which is a dying orientation) a 4:3 native crop is nice,  but then again, you can always put some gaff tape on the lcd on the Nikon.

IMO

BC
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2012, 03:34:26 PM »
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Hi James,

Thatís the beauty of the Nikon D800 with a push of a button it shoots 4:3 format and the view finder shows the crop lines.

Cheers

Simon
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Radu Arama
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« Reply #48 on: September 09, 2012, 04:22:24 PM »
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Lots on interesting input from current users perspective except for the fact that Pentax most likely sold in every Top 5 Japanese cities more 645Ds and expensive lenses (not just 25mm but also the almost equally expensive FA * 300/4 and FA 400/5.6) than in both Americas from Arctic circle to Tierra del Fuego. If there is an amateur market for them it is there not in the West. Let's wait a few weeks and after Photokina we will have a better perspective about every major MF manufacturer offering as a system.

The list price for Europe is almost equal to the Euro to what Hasselblad recommends for their 120/4 and while are not the same focal I say that if Pentax delivers on its promises you get a free 100/2.2 Wink
 
What remains a fact is that Pentax will soon have three lenses that are unique in the MF ecosystem (25mm, 90mm PORTRAIT/Macro, the ultrawide zoom) plus a new camera. If they will gain traction in the professional photography or not is anybody's guess.

The talk about how old (20+ years old), few hundred bucks a piece lenses are perfectly fine reminds me  about my two fifty-something mm lenses. One is a Helios (Zeiss Biogon design stolen from Germany as a war spoils) 58mm/f2 and the other is a DA* 55mm/1.4. The first one cost me (used, but almost mint) about 2% of the cost on the DA* and for sure is not inferior by a factor of 50 but not up to most professional quality levels needed either.

Best regards,
Radu
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Lacunapratum
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« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2012, 09:32:33 PM »
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I guess you have a point, Radu.  Let's see how it performs.  The 90mm f/4 Schneider Apo Macro Symmar is also $4.5K.  And for mere mortals, there is always the 120mm f/4 in both A and FA versions.   
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bcooter
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« Reply #50 on: September 10, 2012, 03:12:32 AM »
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Lots on interesting input from current users perspective except for the fact that Pentax most likely sold in every Top 5 Japanese cities more 645Ds and expensive lenses (not just 25mm but also the almost equally expensive FA * 300/4 and FA 400/5.6) than in both Americas from Arctic circle to Tierra del Fuego. If there is an amateur market for them it is there not in the West. Let's wait a few weeks and after Photokina we will have a better perspective about every major MF manufacturer offering as a system.


snip



I dig Pentax and think about buying the 645 d all the time.

The deal killer for me is they don't have tethering software, (though I hate to tether), they don't have a huge selection of lenses, they don't have a removable prism and most of all they're are few of their systems in rental studios.

Now with that in mind I respect the hell out of what they did.  The first medium format camera with a useable lcd, medium weather sealing and most of all a 10 grand price tag.  They also have that wonderful 40mpx kodak sensor that really will go to higher iso, like the h4d 40.

The problem is for almost the price I can buy a refurbished h4d40 that does have a software suite, that is in rental and though getting a little old in the tooth, performs professionally well.

The other problem is I used medium format less than any other camera and my contax bodies, phase backs keep chugging along and nobody complains, they're also profitable as I've billed them out way past purchase price and I love the Contax, except the view through the prism finder.

With the waist level finder it's perfect and the shutter is very smooth.

I really do think in the professional world the $30,000, $40,000, and $50,000 camera systems are a thing of the past for the professional.  Nikon and Canon have pretty much killed off that thought in todays world economy.

Anyway, I've worked in Japan about 6 times and I'm miles away from being an expert on Japanese culture and business practices, I do know they are fiercely loyal to their own companies and everywhere I go I see amateurs with older Mamiyas and Pentax of all formats shooting flowers and scenics and taking hours upon hours for one shot, so I can understand why the 645 Pentax sells well in Japan.

IMO

BC
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larkis
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« Reply #51 on: September 10, 2012, 07:53:53 AM »
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Hi James,

Thatís the beauty of the Nikon D800 with a push of a button it shoots 4:3 format and the view finder shows the crop lines.

Cheers

Simon

Does the 4:3 format maintain 36MP ?
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Pics2
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« Reply #52 on: September 10, 2012, 08:45:17 AM »
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No, it's a crop.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #53 on: September 10, 2012, 09:10:11 AM »
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Radu:

Perhaps Pentax should hire you for PR.  You have reminded me that the 645D was intended only for the Japanese market.  Design and price of the new 645 lenses may be determined solely by the prestige and sales they will generate in Japan.  Still, if the huge cost difference between 35mm and MF continues, even a Pentax loyalist in Japan may be tempted by the D800.

Regards,

Tom
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Radu Arama
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« Reply #54 on: September 10, 2012, 11:10:50 AM »
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Hi BC,

Great input but you underestimate the power that Pentax has to mismarket (is this a word?) itself. The tethering software exists but only to be completely unknown outside Japan:

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-medium-format-645-6x7-645d/195346-first-look-pentax-official-tethering-software-645d.html

Best regards,
Radu

I dig Pentax and think about buying the 645 d all the time.

The deal killer for me is they don't have tethering software, (though I hate to tether), they don't have a huge selection of lenses, they don't have a removable prism and most of all they're are few of their systems in rental studios.

Now with that in mind I respect the hell out of what they did.  The first medium format camera with a useable lcd, medium weather sealing and most of all a 10 grand price tag.  They also have that wonderful 40mpx kodak sensor that really will go to higher iso, like the h4d 40.

The problem is for almost the price I can buy a refurbished h4d40 that does have a software suite, that is in rental and though getting a little old in the tooth, performs professionally well.

The other problem is I used medium format less than any other camera and my contax bodies, phase backs keep chugging along and nobody complains, they're also profitable as I've billed them out way past purchase price and I love the Contax, except the view through the prism finder.

With the waist level finder it's perfect and the shutter is very smooth.

I really do think in the professional world the $30,000, $40,000, and $50,000 camera systems are a thing of the past for the professional.  Nikon and Canon have pretty much killed off that thought in todays world economy.

Anyway, I've worked in Japan about 6 times and I'm miles away from being an expert on Japanese culture and business practices, I do know they are fiercely loyal to their own companies and everywhere I go I see amateurs with older Mamiyas and Pentax of all formats shooting flowers and scenics and taking hours upon hours for one shot, so I can understand why the 645 Pentax sells well in Japan.

IMO

BC
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Radu Arama
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« Reply #55 on: September 10, 2012, 11:19:15 AM »
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Hi Tom,

All my life I was more of a technical savvy person so a PR role doesn't suit me very well. Wink The press release will be at 6 PM EST so in a few hours we will see why Pentax asks that price tag. Anyway when you compare prices with the FA 645 120/4 Macro I think it is fair to do so with NEW lenses not used one. And one such lens NEW costs almost 2000 Euro.

http://www.fotokonijnenberg.nl/product/1537308/pentax-645-smc-fa-120mm-f40-macro.html

Best regards,
Radu

Radu:

Perhaps Pentax should hire you for PR.  You have reminded me that the 645D was intended only for the Japanese market.  Design and price of the new 645 lenses may be determined solely by the prestige and sales they will generate in Japan.  Still, if the huge cost difference between 35mm and MF continues, even a Pentax loyalist in Japan may be tempted by the D800.

Regards,

Tom

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FredBGG
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« Reply #56 on: September 10, 2012, 01:10:08 PM »
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I really do think in the professional world the $30,000, $40,000, and $50,000 camera systems are a thing of the past for the professional.  Nikon and Canon have pretty much killed off that thought in todays world economy.
IMO

BC

It's not really just about the price. 35mm DSLR cameras are just way more reliable, better ergonomics and come so damn close to the hellishly expensive MFDBs that there are much better things to spend the money on....

Lights, trips for work, film developing and larger Format...... An old VW bug....
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #57 on: September 10, 2012, 02:51:44 PM »
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Hi Iarkis,

It crops down to 30MP in the 4:3 format.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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FredBGG
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« Reply #58 on: September 10, 2012, 03:26:06 PM »
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Hi Iarkis,

It crops down to 30MP in the 4:3 format.

Cheers

Simon

30 MP is still a nice size.

I contacted Nikon about the 4:3 format suggesting being able to shift the crop area so as to be able to use the focusing
points better for fashion and portraits....





They were quite receptive and said it should be possible with a firmware upgrade.

Moving the face closer to the sweet spot of the lens should more than compensate for slightly lower pixel count.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 03:28:25 PM by FredBGG » Logged
tsjanik
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« Reply #59 on: September 10, 2012, 04:13:36 PM »
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It's not really just about the price. 35mm DSLR cameras are just way more reliable, better ergonomics and come so damn close to the hellishly expensive MFDBs .............. An old VW bug....

Fred:

Have you handled a 645D?  I can't speak to the other MFDBs, but the handling and interface of the 645D is much like a 35mm - not surprisingly much like a K-5.  As for reliablity, I've had mine for almost two years without any problems.  It has not been hellishly expensive - so far, hence the concern with the new lens prices.

An old VW camper would be my choice  Cheesy

Tom
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