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Author Topic: I want to change my Pentax 645D system!  (Read 8280 times)
jani80
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« on: August 31, 2013, 03:11:19 AM »
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I have owned a Pentax 645D + several lenses for 2 ˝ years now. Absolutely love the system but my warranty ended. I have had a lot of problems with my body, under warranty everything worked out fine (service center always fixed me a body for repair time) but now I can’t take a risk to be without my camera for a couple of months if something happens.

I absolutely love to shoot with MF. It has changed my style a lot and I just enjoy shooting with a slow pace.

I have been looking at a Phase One DF+ with P40+ back and a couple of lenses.  I have never used that back and have heard that iso over 400 is just crap. To make a change for Phase One I still need to invest 10.000€. My idea is to invest in a system that I can upgrade in the future.

Next week I will have a chat with my local Hasselblad dealer. I have no experience with Hasselblad cameras and do not know anything about them. So if you have good thought please let me know. I am very limited with my budget so cant invest too much Angry

I also had in mind to ask for an exchange package to a Nikon D800E + a few lenses. To this setup I probably would not have to invest so much money but it still feels like a downgrade.

If business was like before I would just invest in the first system I like, but the future is a question mark.

I would love to hear what you use and love.

I do a lot of long exposures and hate my 645D black frames, how do Hasselblad and Phase One do? How is the Nikon for long exposures?

Thank you so much for every good thought and experience you share with me
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 09:50:42 AM by jani80 » Logged
evgeny
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 05:08:14 AM »
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Hasselblad H4D-40 and H5D-40 allow up to 256 seconds exposure. The rest of H4D and H5D models provide max 32 seconds exposure.

Here is a sample photo with Hasselblad H4D-40
Exposure Time: 16.0 seconds;
FNumber: f/8.0;
ISO 100;

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bcooter
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013, 08:16:34 AM »
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I'm curious.  If your happy with the Pentax 645D and have an investment in lens sets, why not just buy another 645d as a primary or backup camera.  They're selling new for 7 grand which is a steal in the medium format world and since it's an all in one piece of kit, it will have less issues than most mf cameras.

For 7 grand, if that camera would tether I'd buy today.

IMO

BC
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Ken R
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2013, 09:09:05 AM »
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I had the 645D and now have the IQ160 with a Arca Swiss RM3Di, two Rodenstock HR lenses (the 40mm and the 70mm) and a Hasselblad H1 body with 80mm lens.

First of, as an SLR the 645D is a much more integrated system and has cleaner high iso (full resolution) and long exposures. Also with the 645D I could put a second SD card with WiFi and transmit the JPGs to my iPad while keeping the RAWs on the other SD. No other Medium Format Digital System does this. The 645D basically feels a lot like a 35mm DSLR. No MF body / MFDB system will feel like that.

However, with the Tech camera and the wide angles the image quality with the IQ160 back is in another world. Awesome for landscapes. Color, highlight recovery, shadow recovery, detail/sharpness edge to edge. For portraits I really like the Color of the IQ back better also although both can be manipulated to extremes but the IQ holds more detail in the highlights. The live view (usable in all conditions with ND filters) in the IQ backs makes working with a technical camera a much more pleasant experience. I do not think it is a requirement for working with an slr but the screen of the IQ is worlds better of the one in the P+ backs.

One big reason I sold the Pentax was because of the service. The service and support of the Phase One backs is second to none from what I hear. Buying from a dealer also helps since you have someone that represents you in case you need service and support from Phase One or any of the other products they sell. They can also help you configure the best setup for your needs. The other reason I got the IQ160 is because of that. I wanted the versatility and the ability to use it on a system that suited my needs. The Phase Backs can be used in a wide variety of cameras and with a wide range of lenses. You can keep the back and upgrade the body or use it on a different body like I do. It is a much more open system.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2013, 09:13:22 AM »
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"I just do not enjoy the DSLR fast work style with hundreds if not thousands of images from one small "

i never understand these kind of statements??? work as fast or as slow as you want, unless you suffer from the DT's and have the shutter set to continuous the speed of working is down to you.
i use a tripod, manual focus, live view and a cable release the camera doesn't dictate how fast i work or how many images i take.
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LKaven
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 10:12:28 AM »
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I also had in mind to ask for an exchange package to a Nikon D800E + a few lenses. To this setup I probably would not have to invest so much money but it still feels like a downgrade.  [...] How is the Nikon for long exposures?

Black frames are mandatory for the D800, since the active sensor produces thermal noise, but the results are very clean.  My only criticism of the D800 is that I wish it had the finder of the D4.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2013, 11:03:27 AM »
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On the longer exposures, Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony etc. all use a Black frame.  However Canon allows you to buffer the black frame to the background on certain cameras, 5D MKII, 6D, 5D MKIII I know this works for sure.  Nikon works the black frame just like Phase One in that you are totally locked out of the camera until the black frame is done.  Not so big a deal on a 1 min shot but a huge deal on say a 10min or longer shot.  I was surprised by this when I started using Nikon in my night work. 

Back to the P40+, the plus backs (except for the P45+) offer you sensor plus, so in a higher iso setting, you could shoot in sensor plus mode, however you would only have around a 10mp file.  It's a very very good 10mp file however.  I have used sensor plus on the IW160 up to iso 800 and the results were excellent. 

Don't get the P40+ confused with the P45+ as they are both listed as + backs and have basically the same MP's.  The P45+ has the up to 1 hour exposures (in ambient temp 69 degrees F or lower) and the P40+ has the sensor plus. 

Steve Hendrix from Capture Integration wrote a very nice piece on the P40+ and sensor plus.  It should still be on the Capture Integration website.

Phase One had a very attractive offer on the P40+ recently, but I am not sure it that is still in play.  The P40+ also has a 1:3 crop factor.  This can work for and against you. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
jani80
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2013, 12:32:41 PM »
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I'm curious.  If your happy with the Pentax 645D and have an investment in lens sets, why not just buy another 645d as a primary or backup camera.  They're selling new for 7 grand which is a steal in the medium format world and since it's an all in one piece of kit, it will have less issues than most mf cameras.

Hello Bcooter!

Frankly I haven’t even thought about that, maybe that is a sign… Actually I would love to invest in a system that is more versatile. Would also love to have a back that could be upgraded in the future if needed. I shoot a lot in the studio as well so a fast flash sync wouldn’t be wrong! I have noticed that I often use my old 75mm LS lens from Pentax with a 1/500sec.

Pentax has a software for tethered shooting. One colleague  of mine uses that and told me that it works ok.
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jani80
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2013, 12:44:44 PM »
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I had the 645D and now have the IQ160 with a Arca Swiss RM3Di, two Rodenstock HR lenses (the 40mm and the 70mm) and a Hasselblad H1 body with 80mm lens.


Thank You KenR
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jani80
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 12:54:31 PM »
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i never understand these kind of statements??? work as fast or as slow as you want, unless you suffer from the DT's and have the shutter set to continuous the speed of working is down to you.
i use a tripod, manual focus, live view and a cable release the camera doesn't dictate how fast i work or how many images i take.

I am so sorry MrSmith that I do not shoot the same way you do! Maybe I don't have enough years as a professional, only 15 behind me. But for me a MF works alot better. Not for everything... but mostly Smiley

And I am so happy that you shared your thoughts with us. Even if you didn't help me with my case.
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MrSmith
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2013, 01:45:02 PM »
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My reply does offer the suggestion that using a 35mm camera does not mean you are restricted to a machine gun approach. something that i rashly thought was relevant to the topic, i was obviously mistaken.
Sorry if that offended your sensibilities and good nature.  Huh
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jani80
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2013, 02:35:28 PM »
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My reply does offer the suggestion that using a 35mm camera does not mean you are restricted to a machine gun approach. something that i rashly thought was relevant to the topic, i was obviously mistaken.
Sorry if that offended your sensibilities and good nature.  Huh

I am sorry as well! English is a foreign language to me and I got very frustrated when my point was to ask about different setups and you criticized my text. Sorry.

You have a lovely website!
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Telecaster
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2013, 02:38:24 PM »
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As an amateur (in the proper sense) with a handful of Pentax 645 FA lenses from a prior foray into the MF SLR world, the fairly recent 645D price drop was too great to pass up. So far I've been enjoying the heck out of it. For professional use, though, I can see the conundrum.

Shorter-term approach, economic conditions & such being what they are: do as bcooter suggests and get a second 645D.

Longer-term approach, more ambitious but also likely more economically risky: invest in a P1 system for the support...and the flexibility of having interchangeable backs & bodies.

Just my enthusiast's 2 cents.

-Dave-
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MrSmith
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2013, 02:51:08 PM »
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I am sorry as well! English is a foreign language to me and I got very frustrated when my point was to ask about different setups and you criticized my text. Sorry.

You have a lovely website!

Thanks  Smiley
Having re-read your opening post I would maybe suggest waiting and see what's in the MF pipeline in the coming months from Pentax as you have the lenses already. By all means road-test a hassleblad and phase if only to maybe eliminate an option if there's something you don't like about them after giving them a try.
Or what about buying a d800 and a lens of your most used focal length (find the best one be it Zeiss or Nikon) you are unlikely to lose much as the lenses hold their value if you decide it's not for you after shooting with it for a bit.
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jani80
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2013, 02:54:55 PM »
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As an amateur (in the proper sense) with a handful of Pentax 645 FA lenses from a prior foray into the MF SLR world, the fairly recent 645D price drop was too great to pass up. So far I've been enjoying the heck out of it. For professional use, though, I can see the conundrum.

Shorter-term approach, economic conditions & such being what they are: do as bcooter suggests and get a second 645D.

Longer-term approach, more ambitious but also likely more economically risky: invest in a P1 system for the support...and the flexibility of having interchangeable backs & bodies.

Just my enthusiast's 2 cents.

-Dave-

Thank you Dave.

Phase One made me a relatively good deal to take my Pentax gear. So the amount I must anyways pay to get the second Pentax 645d is closet to the Phase1 deal with 2 lenses. The deal is with the P40+ back and I am not sure if I will like it. If the deal was for an IQ back i wouldn't hesitate.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2013, 04:42:54 PM »
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The image quality of the Rodenstock and Schneider lenses are much better than what is available for the DF camera so I chose a technical camera for my IQ and a Nikon D800E to compliment it. Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2013, 05:48:25 PM »
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Evgeny, the H4/5D50 have 128 seconds exposure...
rem
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leeonmaui
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2013, 05:51:26 PM »
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Aloha,

In an "uncertain future" getting another 645D body or an Nikon D800E might be the way to go, (Are we allowed to write that name in this section.)

Nikon has some nice lenses as well.

I shoot  with the 645D and I'm pretty bullish on it.

I am not sure you would gain noticeably enhanced image quality with a P40 or P40+ but i never shot with that system, I'm just going from the tests and reviews I have read. Maybe there are some lenses available that might benefit the way you shoot.

I have had my 645D for awhile and have not had any problems with it(hope saying that is not going to curse me!) I take care of it but don't really baby it, and I shoot in some fairly challenging environments. I would be curious if anyone else reading this has had issues with the body?

This link might interest you; http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Camera-Sensor-Ratings
It does not tell the whole story but it might put some things in perspective.

Even though I make my living with my camera, the investment for me in a Phase One system seems extravagant to say the least, especially in regards to what might/will be available in the future.
If you were to gain a dramatic increase in image quality equal to the investment that might be something else. Ditto for Hasselblad.

I will most likely get a D800E to convert to IR and a few lenses, "looking down" that's seems to be the best choice.

"looking up" the biggest and best from Phase might be spectacular, but add some lenses and odds and ends and I guess you would be well north of $50,000 but I have never priced that out.


    
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bcooter
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« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2013, 09:16:18 PM »
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Hello Bcooter!

Frankly I haven’t even thought about that, maybe that is a sign… Actually I would love to invest in a system that is more versatile. Would also love to have a back that could be upgraded in the future if needed. I shoot a lot in the studio as well so a fast flash sync wouldn’t be wrong! I have noticed that I often use my old 75mm LS lens from Pentax with a 1/500sec.

Pentax has a software for tethered shooting. One colleague  of mine uses that and told me that it works ok.


Cameras are personal and I'm not trying to sway anybody any which way.  Just thought that since you like your camera, are worried about reliability a second one would do the trick.

Personally, I'm still using my phase backs when I can and if I could do only still projects without a motion image component, I would, but that's not the direction of my business.

Also, I've been using the 4:3 systems (sorry to mention anything with a small sensor) from olympus and panasonic and though I know they're not in the ultra pixel detail of ccd digital backs, I love working with the 4:3's, but bigger is a lot of times better and when I can I shoot with a p30+ and a P21+ (my favorite back ever even though it has a low pixel count) and for motion when I can I use our RED's which are 4k, so what I say today, probably will change tomorrow.

To me the GH3 is almost a perfect camera and the best all around camera I've ever used and everytime I use it I'm amazed by what it does, but I've never been one to count pixels, but the GH3 with the ultra sharp Olympus mft lenses makes a nice image and up to 800 to 1000 iso somewhat film like.

In regards to the pentax tethering software I've never used it, have a friend that did and he sold his software, so for him it didn't work as he wanted, but once again, everyone is different.

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 09:09:23 AM by bcooter » Logged

Lacunapratum
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2013, 05:20:03 PM »
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I'd also consider getting a second body for $7K.  Overall, I have found the system to be fairly robust, but I have also had the occasional repair.  I own another medium format system that I can rely on in that case, but they are totally different systems.  Or I'd wait for the 645Dii, which is supposed to have a longer shutter life, perhaps translating into improved durability.  Overall, my 645D has been my #1 system in terms of reliability, especially exposure settings, autofocus, macro flash etc..  Connections, interfaces, helicoids all seem to be built to last forever.  Haven't seen such ruggedness in other systems that I have used.  But I agree, the 645D body electronics and shutter are the weak point.  However, you will discover other weak points in other systems when you use them long enough.  For example, the weak point of the Hy6 system are those exposure adjustment wheels and the autofocus mechanism in the new lenses.  They need to repaired every 5 - 10 years or so.  They fail more gently as you can still use them for a little bit with reduced function, but it comes down to the same.  On the other hand, the Hy6 factory service has recently been very reliable.  Pentax still has to work on their service issues, but that's nothing a second body cannot deal with, especially if you consider the costs of the lenses and accessories that are available in almost new condition.  If it was me and if I was to consider any of the full frame bodies, I'd wait until next year and at least check out Canon's response to the D800e.  Also Phase will have a new body next year.  But as I said, I'd give your 645D system another chance.  
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 10:09:48 PM by Lacunapratum » Logged
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