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Author Topic: Pentax 645 lenses  (Read 2690 times)
JohnCox123
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« on: March 06, 2013, 08:10:36 PM »
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How do the pre-AF lenses compare to the FA versions? Specifically the 55 2.8 and the 35 3.5. I would especially like to know how they fare for film use.
I'd also love to hear opinions of the 45-85 (FA) zoom.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 08:14:53 PM by JohnCox123 » Logged
tsjanik
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 09:28:55 PM »
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I have all three of the lenses you mentioned - they are terrific on the 645D or the 645 for that matter.  I had the 35mm FA, but sold it, keeping the 35mm A.  Despite the reputation of the FA version and its widespread use with Zoerk adapters on 35mm, I preferred the A version, at least with my copies. I have no experience with the new DFA 55mm, so can't compare.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 03:23:16 PM by tsjanik » Logged
derAngler
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2013, 01:48:17 AM »
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Hands down, the 35mm A is a terrific lens. It beats any wide angle lens I have used before on full frame cameras (including much more expensive Zeiss lenses). You will not need the FA version, as an autofocus is really not important at this focal length.
The D-FA 55mm is different in this regard. I would only buy the FA version, as the shallow depth of field at f 2.8 makes manual focusing challenging. Additionally you get a fully weathersealed lens which is very light and well made due to the material used. I would skip the manual 55mm version in this case.
I had both versions of the 45-85mm but only used it at the wider angle. It is a good lens both with FA or manual focus. Image quality is about the same. I would recommend the A versions in general if you only do landscape photography. Then you can save a lot of money there. On the other hand, doing portraiture with manual focus can be quite difficult. So in this case go for the FA versions.
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JohnCox123
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 06:45:32 AM »
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Thanks, I do more portraiture type stuff. If I end up with a 645 it will be a 45-85 FA for me.
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JV
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2013, 01:42:39 PM »
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A question for Pentax shooters in the US.  Where do you buy non-DA lenses?

My understanding is that contrary to Japan and Europe FA and older lenses are not readily available in the stores.

Do you buy on eBay?  Any other options?

Thanks, Joris.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2013, 01:47:19 PM »
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The A35 is a fine lens. I read that it was better in the corners than the FA35mm. I have no experience with the FA version.

I love the DFA 55mm. I love this lens. I understand it is better than the earlier versions--there again from reading.

This is only with use on a 645D--I don't shoot film so I have no idea how that changes things.

JV, I bough my A and FA lenses secondhand from ebay, stores, or KEH.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 01:50:00 PM by theguywitha645d » Logged
tsjanik
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2013, 03:31:12 PM »
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Thanks, I do more portraiture type stuff. If I end up with a 645 it will be a 45-85 FA for me.

John:

You might look at Flicker for examples of the Pentax 67 105mm f2.4; it is something of a cult lens for that sort of application.  You'll need a 67/645 adapter (which retains the auto diaphragm).  You should be to get a good copy of the lens and the adapter for under $500 US.  You could of course get the new 90mm DA from Pentax with lens stabilization; good reviews, but $5000.  The 67 90mm is also quite good and I prefer it to the 105.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 03:36:16 PM »
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A question for Pentax shooters in the US.  Where do you buy non-DA lenses?

My understanding is that contrary to Japan and Europe FA and older lenses are not readily available in the stores.

Do you buy on eBay?  Any other options?

Thanks, Joris.

Pentax USA declines to import new FA lenses.  Some are available in Canada (The Camera Store in Calgary) or Britain (Ffordes) and have them shipped.  I've purchased several from ebay with no problems.  You can check the buy/sell at Pentaxforums as well.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 03:50:01 PM by tsjanik » Logged
theguywitha645d
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 03:41:15 PM »
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John:

You might look at Flicker for examples of the Pentax 67 105mm f2.4; it is something of a cult lens for that sort of application.  You'll need a 67/645 adapter (which retains the auto diaphragm).  You should be to get a good copy of the lens and the adapter for under $500 US.  You could of course get the new 90mm DA from Pentax with lens stabilization; good reviews, but $5000.  The 67 90mm is also quite good and I prefer it to the 105.

+1.

I had the 105mm and it is very nice and compact. In the end, I sold it and stayed with the 120mm Macro. It was sharper and I had no minimum focus limitations for portraits. I also got to really like changing the aperture with the body dial--I am lazy. Still, the 105mm is a fine lens.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 04:01:14 PM »
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+1.

I had the 105mm and it is very nice and compact. In the end, I sold it and stayed with the 120mm Macro. It was sharper and I had no minimum focus limitations for portraits. I also got to really like changing the aperture with the body dial--I am lazy. Still, the 105mm is a fine lens.

Part of my preference for the 67 90mm over the 105 is its close-focusing ability.
Interesting that you prefer the dial; I still set the aperature ring and can't bring myself to use the dial!

Anyway, here's an example of the 90mm @2.8 on the 645D
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 05:00:56 PM »
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Tom, it could be because I have a jacket for my camera and getting to an aperture ring is tricky and I can't read it with the jacket on. I am also forcing myself to use the viewfinder displays to set the exposure and exposure compensation as it is much more efficient, although I do prefer the top LCD.
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JohnCox123
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 02:30:13 PM »
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Thanks guys, I ended up going with a Pentax 645n and three lenses (45, 75, 150).

Edit;
Quick new question.
Is it worth my time to get an adapter for these lenses to my Nikon DSLR?
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 03:31:12 PM by JohnCox123 » Logged
tsjanik
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« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 06:14:22 PM »
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A question for Pentax shooters in the US.  Where do you buy non-DA lenses?

My understanding is that contrary to Japan and Europe FA and older lenses are not readily available in the stores.

Do you buy on eBay?  Any other options?

Thanks, Joris.

Joris, there are some Japanese stores selling new 645 FA lenses on ebay; however, used prices are considerably more attractive.

Thanks guys, I ended up going with a Pentax 645n and three lenses (45, 75, 150).

Edit;
Quick new question.
Is it worth my time to get an adapter for these lenses to my Nikon DSLR?

You will like that camera.  As to the lenses, depends what Nikon lenses you have; the 75 and 150 are excellent and an adapter is not very expensive, but no auto diaphragm and metering is stop down. 
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leeonmaui
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 06:56:33 PM »
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Aloha,

Keep checking the marketplace section of the pentax forum, lots of stuff comes up there, ebay, do a national craigslist search,
new copies can be purchased here; http://www.tincheungcamera.com.hk/ I have used them before and the are pretty good, maybe a little high in there prices but it's new stock...

Lee
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Lacunapratum
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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 05:45:50 PM »
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... belated response, John.  You did good.  45, 75, and 150mm are all great for film use and the 150 is a wonderful portrait lens.  Very portable, too.  KEH is another place to look if you need p645 lenses. 
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JV
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« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 07:00:18 PM »
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Lacunapratum, you have both the Hy6 and the Pentax 645D if my memory does not let me down...
How do the Pentax 645 lenses compare to the Schneider and Zeiss lenses?
Thanks, Joris.
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JohnCox123
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« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2013, 09:38:57 PM »
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... belated response, John.  You did good.  45, 75, and 150mm are all great for film use and the 150 is a wonderful portrait lens.  Very portable, too.  KEH is another place to look if you need p645 lenses.  

I actually got them at KEH, the 45 and 150 are manual focus. My thinking was 45 was wide enough that I could hyperfocal focus, -for portraits (head/head+shoulder) I would probably want the manual focus (especially with extension tubes/teleconverters). I may be getting a 45 FA though.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 09:40:31 PM by JohnCox123 » Logged
gwhitf
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2013, 09:20:22 PM »
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If I could sidetrack on this thread: I have trouble losing the Rubber Eyecup on the 645D. They simply pop off very easily when wearing a coat, and arm rubs against it. I have replaced several times, and even Superglue the last one on. Lost it too. Adorama and BH both out of stock, i assume due to everyone else losing theirs too. Any tips on how to lock them down permanently?

As for topic, I have 75 and 45 in both MF and AF, and the 35MF and 55MF -- all of them are stellar, to me. And most of them averaged around $200 for great condition, at KEH, for the MF models. Amazingly affordable. I love the camera, except for the vastly underpowered writing engine. I hit the buffer very often.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 09:23:53 PM by gwhitf » Logged
tsjanik
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2013, 09:45:36 PM »
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If I could sidetrack on this thread: I have trouble losing the Rubber Eyecup on the 645D. They simply pop off very easily when wearing a coat, and arm rubs against it. I have replaced several times, and even Superglue the last one on. Lost it too. Adorama and BH both out of stock, i assume due to everyone else losing theirs too. Any tips on how to lock them down permanently?

As for topic, I have 75 and 45 in both MF and AF, and the 35MF and 55MF -- all of them are stellar, to me. And most of them averaged around $200 for great condition, at KEH, for the MF models. Amazingly affordable. I love the camera, except for the vastly underpowered writing engine. I hit the buffer very often.

Mine fell off in Yellowstone.  It did not pop off, but rather had become unscrewed.  In my case,  I noticed the next time I used the camera and returned to my last location and found the eyecup.   I then simply tightened it as much as I could; it hasn't moved since.  The old eyecups for the 645/N/NII also fit. 
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Lacunapratum
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2013, 07:24:21 PM »
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Hi Joris,

I have been a little under the weather - thus my late response.  Here are some subjective impressions.  Both have strengths and weaknesses. 

Wide-angle.   In this category Pentax shines with the new 25mm and the 35mm A and FA.  These are very well corrected lenses.  In contrast, the 40mm/3.5 and 50mm/2.8 Superangulon lenses are also very sharp and well corrected, but suffer from pincushion distortion, which may be easily corrected, but is less appealing at first sight.  The mustache distortion of the 40mm Zeiss is even less appealing.  Pentax' 45mm is not well suited for digital.  If I know I will need a good wide-angle set-up, I take my 24mm XL mounted on a Horseman and a Sinarback in addition to my Hy6 set-up (heavy). 

Standard focal length.  In this range, both Pentax and Rollei have excellent options.  The Pentax 75mm and Schneider Xenotar are both superb, with the Xenotar perhaps a tad sharper.  Pentax' new 55mm is excellent as well (perhaps the first batch was of a lesser quality).  In a similar range, Rollei has the 60mm/3.5 Curtagon and the 55mm Shift Superangulon, all outstanding. 

Macro.  Both Pentax and Rollei have great options, and I don't have the new Pentax 90mm, which is apparently receiving lots of praise.  Pentax' 120mm A and FA are fantastic lenses.  Nevertheless, I'd say that Rollei wins in this category hands down.  The 90mm/4 Apo-Symmar is incredibly sharp on digital backs.  The 120mm Zeiss, while just acceptable at infinity, is a very practical and very sharp macro lens.  There is also the 150mm/4.6 Apo-Symmar which allows for longer shooting distances.  Finally, the 60mm/3.5 Curtagon can be mounted in reverse mount with automatic diaphragm etc.., extending the Hy6 into the micro range.  Thus Rollei has a wide range of four just superb macro lenses, while Pentax has two. 

Portrait.   I'd give this one to Rollei as well, at least when comparing systems lenses.  Both the 110mm/2 Planar and the 180mm/2.8 Tele-Xenar are portrait lenses without parallel.  The Schneider 150mm Tele-Xenar also generates a beautiful image.  The 150mm/2.8 Pentax is also a great lens, but less exciting than the Zeiss/Schneider offerings of the Rollei. 

Telephoto.   Rollei's 500mm options, either the Tele-Tessar or the Apo-Tele Tessar are offered at f8, too slow for practical purposes with medium format back.  Here the 300mm/4 Apo-Tele-Xenar with the 1.4x Longar provides a superb combination with stellar sharpness.  Alas - Pentax wins hands down with a broad line-up of four telephoto lenses, all of them well corrected for digital backs, the 300mm/4 FA, the 400mm/5.6 FA, the 600mm/5.6 A, and the 800mm/6.7 for the 67.  There is also the 150-300mm/5.6 zoom and the slower 300mm/5.6 (which I don't have).  Finally, I use the P645D with the 1000mm/5.6 Carl Zeiss Jena on a regular basis. 

Specialty lenses.   Many lenses can be easily adapted to the Pentax mount, including vintage softfocus lenses, macro lenses, etc..   This adaptability substantially expands the range of the Pentax system. 

Overall image quality.  From a subjective perspective, images from my Hy6 with 75 LV Sinarbacks appear sharper and more brilliant than images from my P645D with Pentax lenses.  Don't really know the reason, but the leaf shutter might play a role in this.  However, I'll usually have more keepers with the Pentax as the camera is so much more user friendly than the Hy6.  Once you nail the shot with the Hy6 and some of those brilliant Zeiss and Schneider lenses, there are few parallels. 
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