Pentax 645D is here ! ! !

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by yuri_huta, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. "...features a 40MP, 44 x 33 CCD sensor, 921k dot 3.0" LCD and is compatible with the existing 645 system lenses..."
    "...6.0 μm x 6.0 μm pixel size..."
    "The camera will initially be available only in the Japanese market at a suggested retail price of ¥850,000 (~ US $9,400) from May 2010."
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/1003/10031002pentax645d.asp
     
  2. "...dust-proof, weather-resistant construction with 70 special seals, outstanding cold-resistant performance to assure solid operation at a temperature as low as –10°C, and a newly designed shutter unit with a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second that can withstand as many as 50,000 shutter releases..."
     
  3. The body is pictured with a D-FA 55mm f/2.8 AL(IF) SDM AW.
    AW - All Weather? Considering the weather sealing on the body, perhaps this is a weather sealed lens? Maybe better weather sealing than the WR lenses for the APS-C DSLR line?
     
  4. dpreview also have the press release for this lens, (http://www.dpreview.com/news/1003/10031001pentax55mm.asp) and it is described as "Using seven special seals, the lens’ dustproof, weather-resistant construction effectively prevents the intrusion of dust and water to the lens interior" And yes, AW=all weather
     
  5. Thanks Peter. In my excitement, I did not even look at any other announcements. This is really great. I was hoping I could find something that will let me shoot film and digital with the same system. Unfortunately, I chose Pentax 645 as my film base, so now I need to save up for the digital side of my system.
     
  6. Wow. I like that Pentax is rolling the dice. It is a risky move. I say that, because I wonder how Pentax will market this camera. How DO you sell this thing?
    Price wise, it is only a little more expensive than the top of the line, full-frame cameras from Canikon. But the similarities end with price. The 645D isn't designed for speed, unless 1 frame per second is quick to you. So you won't see it at sporting events, or in a photojournalist's hands.
    The 645D is a deliberate camera. Shooting portraits/weddings, product/advertising, and landscapes are the apparent aim for this camera.
    At $9400, that sensor better produce fabulous results. That's just the reality of it. At 40MP, and in the price range of the big guns at Canikon, the 645D really needs to stand above the full-frame sensors in quality. Otherwise, what's the use?
    I'm glad Pentax did this. I hope it works. And I'm dying to see some images from this sensor.
     
  7. Shooting portraits/weddings, product/advertising, and landscapes are the apparent aim for this camera.​
    Not so much weddings, unless you strobe every single interior shot. The CCD, despite its area, is not designed for low light—the max native ISO is only 1000, with 1600 being available as a software push. No, this is a camera for slow, low ISO photography.
     
  8. Steve, Nikon and Canon are not the competition here. Have a look at the prices for everything else with 30Mp or more sensors - Phase One, Mamiya, Hasselblad. There is a substantial market of professional photographers for these beasts, and increasingly with cashed up landscape amateurs - Pentax have really put the cat amongst the pigeons with this.
     
  9. Is that clicking noise the sound of used Pentax 645 A and FA lenses cranking upwards? I think my nine lens portfolio just appreciated handsomely.
     
  10. At this price, they will be selling outside Japan soon enough. For the serious Pro, This is about a little less than half the price of the Hasselblad H3DII-39 with seemingly features to match*. I'm impressed with the shutter speed sync at 1/125th (The 645NII was 1/60th). Where the 645NII was 1/60th.
    With these the sensor size is like APSc, not really 6x4.5 like the old film cameras were. So I wonder what the crop ratio is on full 645 lenses already in existence?
    *Pentax has Higher shutter speed range, Higher ISO range, Hassleblad flash sync up to 1/800th (this must be shutterless electronic)!!
    http://www.hasselbladusa.com/media/1342803/uk_h3dii39_datasheet_v4.pdf
     
  11. Similar sensor to the Leica S2, so quality is very high indeed.
     
  12. 44 x 33 mm sensor in the latest from Pentax, Mamiya and Hasselblad. The Leica S series has a 45 x 30 mm sensor, but with the same pixel spacing as the Pentax - 6 µm.
     
  13. Sounds like a Mamiya killer and Hasselblad killer all rolled into one! Much cheaper.
     
  14. It's out of my league, but I'm glad they made it.
     
  15. This is basically a K-7 in (near) medium format at half the price of the competitors. And weather-sealed with a lens to match! Every landscape photographer is going to want one.
     
  16. Peter Zack wrote:
    With these the sensor size is like APSc, not really 6x4.5 like the old film cameras were. So I wonder what the crop ratio is on full 645 lenses already in existence?​
    The 645 film had a 69.7mm diagonal while the 645D has 55.0mm. So the crop factor is 0.8.

    The 645 came with a normal lens of 75mm, equivalent to 50mm on 35mm film. But rather than give us the similar 60mm on 645D, we are getting a 55mm... the true normal size!
    Thus the smc PENTAX-D FA 645 55mmF2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW (whew!) is the medium format cousin of the FA43 Limited. You heard it here first!
     
  17. I'll never be able to afford this beast. But I have been stocking away a small assortment of P645 lenses for just this day. Hooray! Another month or so, and maybe I can sell a few and pick up a nice P645N that someone's dumping for digital. Hey, some folks play investor on Wall Street, I just do it at KEH and B&H.
     
  18. Anyone hazard a guess about the knob on the front right of the camera (near the lens mount) as shown on the dpreview photos - mirror lock-up perhaps?
     
  19. Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus...eat your heart out ;) This is a beautiful camera. I can't afford it and it's not for everyone, but I will have nice dreams tonight.
    PentaxDslrs Blogspot
    00Vxf8-227681584.jpg
     
  20. Peter, It's the mirror lock-up. I have gathered many images on my site and it shows clearly "Mirror Lock-up".
    00VxfF-227683584.jpg
     
  21. Here's another
    00VxfJ-227685584.jpg
     
  22. Yvon has a great set of photos at http://pentaxdslrs.blogspot.com/ , thanks Yvon.
    "Dynamic Range 11.5 f-stops" - how does this compare with the K-7?
     
  23. Peter Barnes said:
    Steve, Nikon[​IMG] and Canon are not the competition here. Have a look at the prices for everything else with 30Mp or more sensors - Phase One, Mamiya, Hasselblad. There is a substantial market of professional photographers for these beasts, and increasingly with cashed up landscape amateurs - Pentax have really put the cat amongst the pigeons with this.​
    Peter, I disagree. I think they are after BOTH the Canikon AND Mamiya markets. Mamiya already has priced their entry level 22mp dslr at around 7k which is the same as the Canon EOS 1DS mk III which is 22mp also. The difference being sensor size. This was done to get the Canikon folks to BUY-IN to the Mamiya system and then be able to move up by swapping backs. What Pentax has done is basically say screw that! For a little more than $9k you can have 40mp + huge sensor. To get the same in Mamiya is almost twice as much. So anyone looking at Mamiya will think twice about that. The Canikon crowd who is about to drop $7k will also think twice. At that level another couple thousand isn't a big deal (that size of equipment purchased is leased anyway), so it bumps up the payment another 40 bucks. No big deal.
    I think this will Rock the house when it hits the US market and I bet this is only the begining of a grand re-entry into the pro marketplace. If they are successful, then we will see a drop in price of top of the line gear which will cause a trickle down effect over time. So much for all of those 'Pentax going down the tubes' rumors that we hear every christmas:) Note to Canikon: You are about to get your collective Kungs totally Fu'd.
     
  24. Looks pretty interesting--you can see lots of sharing of latest D-SLR technology and usability. I would not assume that a direct JPY->USD conversion indicates what USA pricing might be like. Could be the same, could be worse, but I would not be shocked if pricing is slightly better. My recollection (could be wrong) is that JPY prices for their APS-C DSLR equipment look a bit steep if you just convert to USD.
    I notice the new lens is marked with SDM. I hope this doesn't mean that all new glass won't be AF-compatible with 645N.
     
  25. I share everyone’s excitement over the 645D product release. It just seems like a screaming bargain. I only hope the thing is really really good .

    I’m glad that they are limiting the initial scope to Japan as it allows some time to develop the professional support services. If those services fail to materialize, then we will have a better idea who the intended audience for this camera system is.

    That all said, right now I have this sense that order has returned to the universe. The distance between the SLR space and the MF space during the film days was pretty wide, but Pentax was always associated with MF. They had a good chunk of that space with working photographers.

    Fast forward to now, it will be interesting to see if the psychological distance between DSLR and MF-DSLR will be any closer. At least Pentax shooters with some emotional value attached to the brand can now point past the “FF” castle at something bigger. And as we all know, bigger is better:)
    ME
     
  26. $9400 is a bargain.
    The hasseblad goes for $6000 more, and the Canon 1D FF goes for a little less.
    It's actually priced in a sweet spot. Plus it's weather proof, and since this is marketed towards (at least in part) landscape shooters that can be a big deal.
    Remember it's not marketed at the guy who already thought a $2000-4000 camera was just too expensive, it's marketed at people who can turn that $9000 investement into a return quite quickly selling their work.
    Most people don't realize how big Pentax market share in the MF market was, to this day when you flip the pages of PopPhoto or Outdoor Photographer in the credits are quite a few Pentax 67 and 645 images.
    Is it too late? Who knows, but I guess we'll find out...
     
  27. Needless to say, most of this discussion is over my head but I like the sound of it. The point is that this is going to generate some serious Pentax buzz in influential photographic circles.
    Like ME sez,
    I only hope the thing is really really good .​
    I have to admit I flinched a bit at the mention of SDM: I sure hope they've done some thorough de-bugging.
     
  28. What a beautiful camera! I wish one day I can afford such a well crafted tool.
     
  29. Not so much weddings, unless you strobe every single interior shot. The CCD, despite its area, is not designed for low light—the max native ISO is only 1000, with 1600 being available as a software push. No, this is a camera for slow, low ISO photography.​
    Not that low. When film ruled for weddings, most were shot at ISO 160 or ISO 400.
     
  30. ^ I would use it for landscapes and still life myself, I wouldn't consider it for weddings at all (except perhaps formals... but even then I don't think it would benefit)
    I shot my first wedding a couple of weeks ago. I was between 800 and 3200 most of the time. And with 2.8~1.4 lenses. I just don't think it would work that well, not for my informal style anyway... depends what sort of images you want to capture i guess.
     
  31. Yeah Mis what are you talking about!!! Actually you are right about the church stuff. But I can see this being a wedding shooters camera. Mostly for the formals and portraits. Many shooters have 2 or more bodies and would use their ISO killer camera at the church but use the 645D before at the brides house, after for the formals and then switch back at the reception.
    Plus there's an added benefit to the wedding shooter. We're always complaining about the declining prices people will pay for the work. If you have one of these and some stunning enlargements in your portfolio from it, you can command a much better price. Imagine meeting clients who just left the last appointment where the shooter was using an XTi. You put that beast on the table and explain why they need you and only you. Sure it's expensive up front but you only need 2 lenses and I bet with the higher fees, it would pay for itself very quickly.
     
  32. I think this is going to be huge in the Medium Format arena. Many wedding photogs are shooting Leaf or Phase backs on older 500 series Hasseys or have bought the new H series, which is actually a Fuji camera start to finish.
    Someone mentioned the flash sync speed of the Hasselblad. That comes from using leaf shutters, so the shutter syncs at all speeds. That always was a huge Medium Format feature. The tradeoff is you get slow shutter speeds. Most leaf shutters only go to 1/500.
    Where Pentax was really smart is making it backwards compatible to the old Pentax lens line, whereas Hasselblad created an entirely new beast with the H series.
    Perhaps I missed it... Does this camera have a removeable back?
     
  33. wow I don't get on photo net pentax's forum for one day due to an illness and this is what I miss?!
     
  34. Plus there's an added benefit to the wedding shooter. We're always complaining about the declining prices people will pay for the work. If you have one of these [Pentax 645D's] and some stunning enlargements in your portfolio from it, you can command a much better price. Imagine meeting clients who just left the last appointment where the shooter was using an XTi. You put that beast on the table and explain why they need you and only you.​
    Peter, I know your point but I'm not sure most couples would see a huge difference between an enlargement from a $900, 18mp Canon Rebel and a $9,000, 40mp Pentax 645D.
    A lot of very good wedding photographers are able to impress their clients with prints made from "only" 12mp cameras like the D3 and D700. That's because often times the ability to use a fast zoom lens in very low light produces photos that impress B&Gs more than huge enlargements of formal portraits will.
     
  35. You put that beast on the table and explain why they need you and only you. Sure it's expensive up front but you only need 2 lenses and I bet with the higher fees, it would pay for itself very quickly.​
    Hey Peter, I'm on the phone with Pentax Japan, they're asking if you want one or two 645D's.
     
  36. Also interesting: SD rather than "professional" CF cards. Not that I think this is a problem...the latest SD tech seems like it's probably up to the task.
    What, no AA battery grip? Oh well, it would have been sweet. :) (kidding.)
    I also note it uses the same battery as K-7 (think of the cost savings!), and its focal plane shutter X-sync is now 1/125 instead of the film 645's laggardly 1/60. Not surprising that supports P-TTL flash and HSS.
    I think one of the other reasons it might need to be nurtured in Japan first is that they need to first target existing 645 system owners who already have lenses and my guess is that there are more there than anyplace else; they haven't announced a slew of new lenses yet, and it seems likely that a brand new wide angle will be required. My guess would be an ultra-wide zoom in the spirit of the FA645 33-55/4.5 but even wider to match the smaller sensor.
     
  37. I'm not entirely sure why, but this part excited me...
    The PENTAX 645D has a pair of memory card slots for the recording of images on both SD and SDHC memory cards. This dual-slot design gives the photographer extra data-storage options: for instance, recorded images can be assigned to different cards according to recording format (such as RAW or JPEG), or one of the cards can be used as the backup of the other. The settings for each memory card slot can be easily made by dedicated button.​
    The possibility of making a backup of your SD card right then and there or having the slots serve different functions seams incredibly redundant! (redundant in the good way, I'm a tech guy after all.)
    If I win the lotto, I'll get a few for ya'll to try out and "review." :)
     
  38. If I win the lotto, I'll get a few for ya'll to try out and "review." :)
    We now have this in writing and will hold you to it :-D
     
  39. Mis,
    I don't understand your statement about wedding shooting.
    Most weddings I have been to have the place strobed from rehearsal to reception. Even the churches get strobed after the service (very few allow during the service). And actually when I was "playing around" with my 645N and Ilford 3200 (@ IE 3200 no less) I was still marginally able to get decent shutter speeds at f/2.8 (bearing in mind the DOF of a 645 at f/2.8 is like a APS-C at f/1.4). So basically without a strobe even 3200 is borderline, and I highly doubt 6400 from any system in available light is good enough for large color prints of good quality.
    If ISO 800 is clean, I think most wedding photogs will get by just fine. They did it for decades using film.
    However, I am not really sure that wedding photogs need this sort of resolution. I mean how big are people printing their wedding photos these days that a 15MP APS-C or a 22MP 24x36 can't meet the needs. Bearing in mind that a APS-C meets 35mm film resolution, and a 22MP FF meets medium format film res, both of which were used for decades. You would have to be pretty vain to want a mural of yourself on your wall (ok, I admit I have such a mural, but like I said, you have to be pretty vain).
    Disclaimer, I am neither a wedding photographer nor a self proclaimed expert on wedding photography, but as I photographer I obviously scrutinize the setups and ask a few questions here or there at a wedding to base my assumptions on. These assumptions may only be as good as the photographers shooting the weddings I have attended, and thus might be entirely wrong, or worse just plain foolish!
    Andrew,
    The X-sync on the 645 series isn't as horrible as people think. if you get leaf shutter lenses (actually cheaper than the regular counterparts) you get 1/1000th x-sync.
    I agree though, this is going to be huge in the medium format arena. Of course the IQ has to be on par with other MF systems, or at the very least a slight slight slight notch below, and also a full step above the best FF system. If not, give me a reason to not stick with say a Canon/Nikon system where I can use the same lenses for film, digital, APS-C, etc?
     
  40. Stunning. Bravo, PENTAX! I have been waiting for a camera with similar specifications for years. Really glad it is no one other than PENTAX who finally delivered it. This company understands device ergonomics, unlike many of its competitors. Even if this camera had been delivered with fewer pixels, it still would have been nothing less than revolutionary. I particularly want to praise the CORRECT 1.3333 aspect ratio. Sensor size could be a bit bigger, but let’s live with what we now have. I personally have been developing mechanical accessories for the PENTAX 645 platform (I own a 645 II), in order to be able to use old exotic uncoated lenses with focusing as well as with tilt capability on any 645 body, knowing all well that the 645D was eventually coming. As much as PENTAX kept dropping development of the 645D and resurrecting it again, I personally was doing the same with my accessories. Finally, here is my chance to finish all my adaptations that kept collecting dust for the past couple of years. Finally, I hope PENTAX software is written by people who truly understand their field, unlike their competitors. PENTAX is dead – long live new PENTAX! They bring hope to disseminate mediocrity in camera development, that one sees today wherever one chooses to look. I wish other stubborn and wrongfully proud players like CANON, NIKON, MAMIYA, HASSELBLAD (I own some) and others learn from no less stubborn but always promising PENTAX. Dmitri Serdukoff
     
  41. This =is= an exciting new camera, but I have a sense of deja vu...
    Through the 1990s, Pentax had the 67 and 645 series for pros, but the 35 mm line topped out at the SF-1/n and (P)Z-1/p. Sales languished and market share fell, as there was no "trickle down" effect from the MF pro line to the amateur/prosumer 35mm line.
    Presumably Pentax learned from that experience, and figures the 645D will make money on its own .
     
  42. I know this coming and I ventured out months ago and bought this -- my Lol645D, the 645N, which I can afford with an A 75mm f/2.8 and a FA 45mm f/2.8. It is a bummer that I get sidetracked with Pentax K-x and my new 35mm with Ricoh xr-p that I leave my 645 unused. I am ordering 120 films this week and hopefully join the excitement. Here are some product shots of my 645N to celebrate Pentax latest milestone
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  43. Thanks, Justin. I am aware of the LS lenses but there are only a few (3?) lenses, and none of them are the ones I already own for 645N or appear to be particularly common on the used market. This is why I think that a 1/125 X-sync plus the availability of HSS is a *good thing* for system versatility, even if for those who use flash a lot might enjoy the benefits of the leaf shutter setup.
     
  44. I guess shake reduction isn't a selling point in this market?
     
  45. My assumption on SR is twofold. One, it may be expensive or not even possible to move a sensor that big to give much advantage. There's a lot more surface and weight to correct on a sensor this size.
    Second the target market would use a tripod quite a bit with this. The emphasis was put on vibration reduction of the mirror and the well designed (easy to get to) lock up. This is a heavy camera and the lenses will also be heavy. So a tripod for anything critical would be a must have. Very much like a shooter that uses long lenses on a smaller format unit.
    So I don't think this would be much of a selling feature since you'd have it turned off a lot of the time on a tripod.
     
  46. jtk

    jtk

    "Most people don't realize how big Pentax market share in the MF market was, to this day when you flip the pages of PopPhoto or Outdoor Photographer in the credits are quite a few Pentax 67 and 645 images."
    True, but Pentax only had segments of those markets because it was inexpensive (compared to Hassleblad) and compact (compared to LF or Mamiya RB).
     
  47. I posted this last month in another thread on this forum:
    I had a fantasy the other day about a digital camera designed for landscape photographers, - no need for 6,000 frames/sec, or ISO 12million, or shake reduction, or pretend video, or on-board flash. Just think of the sensor size and image quality that could be built for the same cost as a K-7 if the other (unnecessary to me) stuff is left out.​
    Well i got what i wished for, only there are a few too many zeroes on the price tag. Goes to show how much I know about camera manufacturing.
    But I am still excited - as Michael E says, if it's bigger, it's got to be better. Feel the width! And a mirror lock up knob! That alone is almost worth the entry price to me. (I'm assuming that as it is a knob when you put the mirror up it stays up until you put it down - now that's innovation) Plotting ways of raising the cash required....
     
  48. This could be the Subaru WRX of modern digital cameras.
     
  49. jtk

    jtk

    'This could be the Subaru WRX of modern digital cameras."

    ...or, the Edsel.
     
  50. Ah John, you've never been a fan of Pentax medium format, why would that change with digital.
    As far as your dislike for Pentax MF, makes no sense, you comment that it was popular because it was cheap. I disagree, it was popular because it was priced fairly and the IQ (lenses) and ergonomics of the bodies were superior dollar for dollar.
    As far as the size benefit, that too!
     
  51. Thanks, Justin. I am aware of the LS lenses but there are only a few (3?) lenses, and none of them are the ones I already own for 645N or appear to be particularly common on the used market.​
    Actually, they were pretty available on the used market. I was tempted mainly because the price was actually lower. However, I'm not disagreeing with the bump in sync speed, it's definitely a good thing. But compared to leaf shutters most mechanical syncs looks slow, and the leaf lenses being an option is a huge option in my opinion.
    As far as the HSS, I don't share the same love for it everyone else does. It's a gimmick to me. Kinda like ISO based SR, only slightly more useful (ever so slightly).
     
  52. While Ned's quote is kinda hedgy (in Dilbert they'd be called weasel words), I want to believe that the Pentax people have most of these needs figured out by now. Within a product development lifecycle, support and sustainment requirements should be known early on. This information should really feed the go/no-go decision for the product itself.
    Granted there's been a change in Pentax ownership, but that was over a year ago. Plus, the 645D has been in development for years, with the core concept unchanging. Surely a few dozen posters from within PNet alone could enunciate and validate support requirements for the 645D.
    My guess is that budget is the major constraint here. Perhaps Hoya is hoping to capitalize early Japan-based sales towards a fuller support program elsewhere. Just makes me wonder who the intended market in Japan is and how it can be counted on to be isolated in a global consumer economy?
    ME
     
  53. ME,
    I agree, and for those saying that "well I can buy a Japan model and import it." That is true, and will work for a few users here and there, but most people dropping $7999 (i think if it hit the US it wouldn't be a straight up Yen=$ exchange) would want pro support.
    And since the majority of people buying this wouldn't ultimately be hobbyist, this level of support would be required for long term sales. That is even if it's competitively priced against the Canon 1Ds or Nikon D3X if it lacked the pro support system it would be doomed to fail.
     
  54. Jonathan Rush wrote:
    I guess shake reduction isn't a selling point in this market?​
    Besides the fact that this is not a camera designed for low-light hand-held shooting, the heft of the body means that SR does not accrue the same benefits. The smaller the body, the more you need SR. I have had no real problem getting sharp shots with my 645N even though I can't say I am great at holding a camera still.
     
  55. For those that were wondering about screwdrive auto-focus, this photo confirms that older FA lenses will auto-focus with the new 645D.
    And talking about lenses, have you seen this pic of the "645D Lens Lineup"? I'm not sure I believe it :)
     
  56. Wow what is going on in the bottom row?! What is that white whale? I don't believe the picture; it's not in English so there :p
     
  57. Someone on PF claimed that the 645D felt as light as a K10D w/ the 50/1.4. I'll bet SR doesn't work well w/ a huge sensor like that...
     
  58. That telephoto lens is huge! It's hard to guess what it is based on such a photo, but does it look as large as those K mounts that DaveH has?
     
  59. jtk

    jtk

    The competition:
    http://www.mamiya.com/dm-series-digital-backs.html
    Mamiya has a far larger installed base, far more lenses, especially when you consider the RBs and 645s going back into pre-history. Many could get excited about a Mamiya 7D (feather weight mf rangefinder with ultimate optics).
    Yes, of course there were arguments FOR Pentax 645 (and not just cheapness), as cited above, but there are arguments FOR everything pros buy, even Sigma DSLRs.. surely Pentax wouldn't bet it's MF marketing Yen on hobbiests...would it?
    More than MF, I do wish my K20D would be followed by something more appealing than K7, whether or not it uses my primes. As I've said before, I think Pentax is better positioned to compete with Leica rangefinders than it is to compete with pro-priced DSLRs, especially given that MF digitals have proven so often wasteful business-wise: Few clients are ever going to be as impressed by a photographer's latest toy as by his photographs, and MF digital can't improve images. Top tier pro clients pay for images, not to be wowed by a photographer's acquisitions.
     
  60. surely Pentax wouldn't bet it's MF marketing Yen on hobbiests ...would it?​
    John, who do you think keeps the camera industry afloat? Hint: It's not the pros.
     
  61. Wow what is going on in the bottom row?! What is that white whale?​
    I think the bottom row (from left to right) are:
    645 FA 150-300mm f/5.6 (notice two matte black bands - one for zoom, one for focus)
    645 FA 300mm f/4 (the gold ring gives this one up)
    645 FA 400mm f/5.6
    645 A 600mm f/5.6
     
  62. The 645n is only slightly bigger based on surface area to the K10d, and by slightly I mean barely bigger, as in insignificantly.the different shape makes it seem MUCH bigger.



    With 6 AA lithiums (no worries about killing the environment, you get hundreds of rolls). It weights about 10oz more. Significant? Yep, but its all mechanical and once you gut the mechanics it should shave a few ounces, making it close to the K10d in both size and weight.




    John,



    Your statements often conflict. Are you telling me images from. 40mp sensor will not exceed images from a 10-20MP sensor?



    All along you have been saying that small format is amateur, now you are saying format is irrelevant. I agree it is irrevelant, but that doesn't mean that for certain uses bigger formats aren't better. If they weren't we would all be using 1/2.3in sensors quite happily!
     
  63. Ken:
    Someone on PF claimed that the 645D felt as light as a K10D w/ the 50/1.4. I'll bet SR doesn't work well w/ a huge sensor like that...​
    Justin:
    ...making it close to the K10d in both size and weight.​
    My K10D with a 50/1.7 mounted weighs 967 gms. Using the specs in the dpreview articles, the combined weight of the 645D and the new lens is 1480g + 145g = 1.626 Kilos. That is a 68% increase in weight over the K10D.
     
  64. jtk

    jtk

    "John, Your statements often conflict. Are you telling me images from. 40mp sensor will not exceed images from a 10-20MP sensor? All along you have been saying that small format is amateur, now you are saying format is irrelevant."
    Justin, I know you're well-intentioned, but I said nothing of the sort.
    Obviously a 40mp sensor will record more detail than a 20mp sensor, but it won't print more image detail in any likely publication or moderate-sized enlargement (eg little advantage if any at 11X17). If it won't print more image detail it won't serve much of a purpose. The bigger sensor will serve zero purpose online. If the game is murals, MF digital will be a compromise vs big film...but of course, with the demise of photolabs film has become irrelevant, for color at least.
    APS is limited, and my K20D can't rival my Nikon scans from 35mm in terms of subtle tonality..but it seems to record more detail. In general fine 35mm whups the APS DSLR at 13X19, but in general I'm doing better photography with the DSLR.
     
  65. Obviously a 40mp sensor will record more detail than a 20mp sensor, but it won't print more image detail in any likely publication or moderate-sized enlargement (eg little advantage if any at 11X17).​
    I'm not in disagreement with you on this. I am in disagreement of whom the cameras intended audience is. This is the replacement for a LF system, not a MF or 35mm system.

    So you are correct, you wouldn't buy this if you were solely looking to print photos in a magazine. Likewise you wouldn't buy this if you were only posting to the web.
    Quite honestly, there might be a few people who do, but I don't think most people on this forum are looking at it for that reason.
    I also agree with you as far as detail vs. tonality. I'll even go further in saying I think color balance is better and more pleasing in film than digital.
    That said, with the issues with flying and carryon, inspections etc. film is dead to me for anything I don't drive to. I expect other people to be doing the same, thus I expect large format to die off fairly quickly as MF digital drops in price (hopefully aided by Pentax).
    I think this is a very reasonable alternative to large format film.
    So I'm not really sure what the negative is in pentax system assuming they can follow through and AT LEAST get it to where it was when they were a market leader in film MF. If they can do that, I think they will be sucessful even in a niche market, if they can't, this will be produced for a few cycles and like the Kodak 14C/N it will disappear.
     
  66. If there was no argument for MF digital (cropped or not) then there would be no market for the different Hasselblad and Mamiya series, the Leica S2, etc. Given that those three companies act as though there is a market, I see no reason why Pentax shouldn't make the same assumption. And then figure that they might have some sort of a competitive advantage by undercutting prices by 50%.
     
  67. Justin: out of curiosity, what do you see the large format (I'm assuming you mean view cameras) market to me? Art studio sized prints?
    I've been wondering about how MF is going to fit in as well...the K20D/K7 easily can print images big enough for magazines and poster sized enlargements, but people are moving away from print media (newspapers/magazines are dying)...even big wall ads are moving to digital signage which is low resolution comparatively. For K20D/K7 users, it'd just be nice to be able to shoot a relatively clean ISO3200 (looks like our ISO800) like the FF have and the MF cameras can only go up to ISO1600 (looks like our ISO800).
     
  68. Isn't part of the issue with film tonality and color due to the film itself? I mean, PLEASE correct me, but different films that I've used as an amatuer have been different from each other in these respects. This is why we have Velvia and Gold and Provia (and all the other *via variations). I admit that I find the color of 35mm (in general) more pleasing than digital (out of the box). Can't these variations in 35mm film be applied to MF film as well? Aren't there cheap brands of 120 and 220?
    The biggest selling point for me on digital is price (per 24 frames, digital is nearly free) but the second biggest concern is consistency. I can go to whatever city I want with digital and not have to worry about the film I'll find at Walgreen's or Ralph's or how the TSA guy nuked my ISO800 film cause he wanted to see my bag run through the scanner again. I've had shots compromised from this exact thing. (TSA signs at LAX said film was good until 1600... what they meant was good at 1600 one time... My 800 went through 3 times and I had some funky "burn" spots on every frame). In digital you can corrupt your card, but at least the x-ray machine won't effect it. Although I'll admit that the chances of having 120 at Walgreen's is beyond poor, that means that every roll I could bring with me will get nuked.
    I guess what I'm really saying that is that although there are choices that are made and compromises had between film and digital you could use either medium for anything you want. I'm not a huge landscape guy. I'm more likely to take shots of a cloud than a mountain, but I think they looked better on film. Shots of people I like better on digital. I'd be more likely to use the 645D on people as simply a matter of convenience, but although it'd be nice to have one of my shots on a billboard, I don't see it happening in the next 5 years, so I'd be wasting 40MP on a shot that I can currently handle with 6MP. For the people that want to shoot landscape in Arizona and send it in, the 645D sounds perfect for that, and there are a lot of people that would jump into that with a sub $10k 645D. But no amount of money can turn someone into a better photographer. My shots are still mine whether its the ME or the *istDS or the 645D or even CaNikon or MiyamaBlad. Unless Pentax has included a Richard Avedon button on the 645D my shots will always have my style in them.
    Okay, so that was a misguided rant, but I still feel that way.
     
  69. My one friend who shoots with the Hasselblad H4D-50 uses it to produce fine art prints that have dimensions that can be 3-6 feet on one side. He is highly successful having won many international showcase awards, and represented. The primary driver for his going digital was to accommodate the consequences of his having Parkinson's disease which is a damn shame. Still he manages to get out to obscure wilderness locations and create breathtaking captures.
    My other friends who use MF still use Pentax 6x7 and 645 and then have them drum scanned in-house for Photoshop work. They are also highly successful. Their markets include calendars, tourist guidebooks, magazine pubs, fine art, and commercial interiors/exteriors. They also use DSLRs. I haven't yet asked them if they would consider the Pentax 645D, but will tonight.
    ME
     
  70. ME, that's probably the most accurate response we can hope for: Someone who already uses that format for paid work on a religious basis giving us their thoughts.
    I'd love to get a 645N just to mess around with, but I doubt I'd use it for paid work... but that's not saying much since nearly 99% of my work is unpaid. :)
     
  71. Jeremiah,
    There is nothing special about the 645N unless you are happily shooting film and want more than the 35mm gear you have can produce.
    Keeping in mind it requires a decent scan to get the most out of it.
    If you have the cash it can be a fun toy to play with, but I personally wouldn't buy into it unless you see yourself using it to it's maximum. This includes high quality scans.
    I've actually sold 2 images from the 645, but both were within the realm of what a APS-C DSLR could print, so I can't say I've actually recouped any of my investment or sold more images.
    I do prefer using it for shooting black and white though, I get the results I tried to dupicate (the real look of b&w film) with a DSLR, and also a slight increase in image quality over the DSLR. I prefer the colors of film, but really if I'm shooting color I just use the DSLR. To date I've only shot about 8-10 rolls of color on the 645, while I've shot about 30 rolls of B&W.
     
  72. "I think they are after BOTH the Canikon AND Mamiya markets."

    As others have mentioned, this camera is not one for low light photography.

    Here I was hoping that somebody would finally release a medium format digital that I could use like a film medium format rig -
    loaded with super, ultra high speed film for low light photography.

    This is a camera for deliberate photography, preferably in front of a large bank of lights, or on top of a tripod.
     
  73. I woke up this morning, had some coffee, and the fanboy in me realized I could say it:
    Pentax has made the first "full frame" DSLR!
    ;-) You might have to follow my love for this old 1986 645 to get it. I will accept that the totally unqualified marketing label "full frame" applies to the Pentax 645D. I concede the point in light of this new technology. I don't know what I would call that Phase One prototype imitator thing. ;-)
    Good morning, fellas. If anybody actually gets one of these, we're going to need to see some pics.
     
  74. In the Photo of 645D lenses
    Each row, left to right:
    Top: 33-55 45-85, 55-110, 80-160 all FA's
    Middle: 35, 45, 75, 120, 150, 200, 300/5.6 all FA's
    Bottom: FA150-300, FA300/4, FA400, A600.
    All these lenses were from the 645n/II and along with the 645nII are still available new for purchase in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan.
    This display probably meant the 75 and 135 LS lenses are no longer in production. No reason why they would not work in the 645D with the aperture stop down shutter triggering mechanism.
    The is no question with Pentax's superb optical engineering in the wide and ultra wides that we would expect to see a lens in the 20's or maybe even a wider zoom range than the 33-55 very soon for the smaller sensor.
     
  75. I can go to whatever city I want with digital and not have to worry about the film I'll find at Walgreen's or Ralph's or how the TSA guy nuked my ISO800 film cause he wanted to see my bag run through the scanner again​
    Jeremiah, actually X rays are quite harmful to CCD and CMOS sensors. I recently read a paper about exactly the harm high energy radiation does to these sensors. If I find it again, I will certainly forward it to you. If passing 800 film through the scanner thrice ticked you off, you'll be very angry when an overzealous security officer scans your digital camera three times. Any damage to your sensor stays with you until you change the back/camera. With film, you can just get a fresh roll and feel minty again.
    I'm not trying to start a panic here, each scan will probably do only very minor damage. The best thing you could do while travelling with your camera is to keep it in your carry on luggage. Don't check it, as checked baggages go through much more energetic Xrays.
    How many people purchase new medium format digital cameras every year? And of them, how many are already invested in a medium format system? Pentax's main market will be those people who've never owned a Medium Format system, and those who are stepping up from the 645/645N/645Nii.
    As an APS-C sensor user, I kind of wish Pentax would release a camera with better AF, and faster fps, full frame or APS-C. Since I've never printed larger than 8x10, that too only 16 times, higher resolution does not appeal to me that much.
     
  76. Hal I really want to see that report. Many if not all of us travel on planes and if these scanners really do harm a CCD or CMOS chip. we'd probably carry the report with us to ask that the camera be visually inspected and not x-ray'd.
     
  77. Peter, the particular journal article I was refering to was testing CCDs in astrophysics applications. The X rays involved were quite energetic (some might even call them weak gamma rays). I don't have it on my home computer. However, on googling 'X rays damage ccds' I found this study: http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/0031-9155/44/4/022 which is perhaps more more applicable to photographers.
    Again, I have not compared the energies used in this study to scanner X ray energies, so my statement above is more scientific conjecture/extrapolation rather than strict empiricism.
    I guess camera companies could put in a low pass filter, but the general public is not aware of the damage caused by X rays. Without scientific evidence, I can only guess that it is due to the damage being unnoticable, or that people end up changing their cameras before X ray damage becomes an issue. I've travelled with my Canon 1000D quite a bit (about 25 scans) since I bought it, and the difference in image quality between now and two years ago can be attributed to the dust gathered inside the lens, and the scratches on the skylight filter.
    One interesting note from the study above is that damage to the CCD was greater if the camera was turned off.
     
  78. All I can add to the x-ray part is what the US-TSA says about the subject on their website:
    None of the security equipment - neither the machines used for checked baggage nor those used for carry-on baggage - will affect digital camera images or film that has already been processed - slides, videos, photo compact discs or picture memory cards.​
    But as we well know: The TSA is not known for their technical know-how. They process people and their luggage, and it's not always the same procedure from place to place. Who knows?
    Justin, I wouldn't be getting into 645 for anything but curiosity. I don't own a scanner capable of imaging 35mm very well, let alone 120/220. I really doubt that I'd send anything out to get drum scanned either. So until I can afford a scanner, I couldn't even consider the purchase seriously. That was one of my pitfalls for 35mm in the first place, I was shooting more than I had money to develop and scan. My *istDS makes photos for nearly free, so I can learn and make all the mistakes I need to as I figure out who I am as a photographer. The 645D is interesting on that same basis. I think you would enjoy it quite a bit with the number of landscape shots that you have in your portfolio as of late, but who knows when it will get here and at what price?
     
  79. Peter Zack [​IMG] , Mar 13, 2010; 08:45 p.m. (report spam ) (edit | delete )
    Hal I really want to see that report. Many if not all of us travel on planes and if these scanners really do harm a CCD or CMOS chip. we'd probably carry the report with us to ask that the camera be visually inspected and not x-ray'd.​
    Peter, there is no way a report is going to force a visual inspection. TSA guidelines state that if a traveler wants film (any speed despite the "high speed" nonsense the TSA inspectors always state) hand checked they have to check it, but the catch is you have to fight for it. I always fight for my Provia 100 when I take film and digital. Sorry, I'm not buying running my unprocessed film through an Xray at least 2 times (maybe more if they rescan) isn't going to degrade it in some way.

    But I'd love to be there when you argue the validity of the report, I am thinking it would be the type of thing where you end up in the room where they glove up and probe you before calling the FBI in to turn you life inside out.
    Nevertheless, I would love to see this report as well. Since 9/11 I have flown so little (maybe 15-20 times), that it's really not relevant to me, but since this is the first I have heard of this I would be interested in seeing the report.
    Oh and people...DO NOT PUT YOUR VALUABLES IN A CHECKED BAG. My friend donated a laptop and a camera to the baggage handlers on a 1 hour flight because he was too lazy to carry on his bag. I've had several things stolen over the years, don't be surprised if your camera is missing if it is checked, remember you essentially cannot even lock your bags anymore so even that little bit of safety is gone.
    There is one little trick you can do to assure your bags and contents arrive, but i'm keeping that one to myself.
     
  80. With all this talk, I scanned this thread and I didn't see anyone question why only a 50,000 click shutter expectation.
    DPReview- "and a newly designed shutter unit with a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second that can withstand as many as 50,000 shutter releases."
    Canon, Nikon, and I believe even the K-7 will surpass that shutter life. Not that this camera's buyer will wear it out snap-shooting...
     
  81. Presumably the Pentax has a shutter with much higher mass than the 35mm or APS-c shutters.
     
  82. What I find particularly interesting the the choice of SDM for the autofocus. Is there anything that would prevent someone from making a 645->K-mount adapter with SDM passthrough? I'm wondering if we might eventually see something like the crop- and full-frame lens system other brands have, but with a larger divide between the two. Thoughts?
     
  83. Don't see why not. The Tamron 1.4 TC can do this on APSc.
    Some first thoughts and impressions on the camera have been published by Luminous Landscape
     
  84. Peter, that's a pretty interesting interview with Mr. Maekawa. It looks like Hoya/Pentax adapted a Lean design/build approach to keep costs down, which is smart. There also seems to be a firm reference to additional MF bodies in the pipeline. Now that's pretty exciting. Imagine something closer in appearance to a Leica S2 or even a Mamiya 7!
    I hope Pentax sells tens of thousands of the 645D models in Japan.
    ME
     
  85. Quote from the LL article Peter pointed to:
    Will the 645D become available outside Japan?
    We intend to sell the 645D outside Japan at a certain point in time but I cannot give you a firm date today. We believe that such a high end body has to be sold on top of a suitable support infrastructure. Japan as our historical base was the market with the best readiness for such a launch, which is why we decided to control the availability in this first step.
     
  86. Mis and ME, I read an except from Pentax France (sorry I can't find it right now - I spend too much time reading web sites) that didn't have much in it different than the above but they did say that they were looking at the infrastructure to set up Pro support. It sounded as if they were considering bringing it to Europe and quite interested in doing so.
    I think they have much bigger plans tucked away to push this along. The only thing I wonder is how FF fits in this? The interview imply's that they can compete with FF bodies from Canikony with this model. That they based the price target on this segment. I hope not. Certainly some FF possible buyers will look at this very seriously but others that are looking at high ISO's, frame rates, speed and size will still want a Pentax FF. My hope is a sub 20 MP, sub $2000 24x36 sensor camera before the end of the year. I just don't know if that's possible. The K-7 should be due for replacement sometime this fall as well if, the now normal replacement cycle is any indication.
    They can leave the K-X alone for awhile. Nothing can touch it.
    But if they can pull off a K-7 replacement that is competitive, a 24x36 that is as well, this is one serious line of bodies starting at the K-X and ending at the 645D
     
  87. There found it: Pentax France interview
    The main point was this: (pardon the Google translation) Digital Focus : Will you ask a marketing France?

    Yazid Belmadi : Pentax France wishes naturally 645D marketing on its market, but we must measure the costs of such an operation. This type of product must necessarily be accompanied by the establishment of a service "PRO" and a dedicated distribution network.
    We will, hopefully, an opportunity to present the show 645D medium format in June. A great opportunity to gather the views of key users of medium format and take the temperature of the market in Europe.​
     
  88. Peter, I don't think there is much of a relationship between Pentax releasing the 645D and the likelihood of their releasing a "FF" body. Nope, I think that a "FF" would place Pentax in too direct of a competition with existing products from bigger companies that have existing users (and support and promotional programs).
    The 645D is perceived to bypass (or let's say transcend ) that market space to one where Pentax has some long standing respect and quick gain in Japan. I've been impressed with the positive words on forums from non-Pentax forum frequenters, so maybe this will be a major success.
    I hope I'm wrong about the "FF" thing. Especially right now I'd surely pay for one, as someone pretty much gave me a FA* 24mm f2 that I've been enjoying using on my SuperProgram. Part of that pleasure is the immensely satisfying viewfinder, and it would sure be nice to replicate that on a digital body. I was using a friend's 5DMK2, nice camera, but its viewfinder was pretty unspectacular.
    ME
     
  89. Michael, That's what I was thinking as well. Could this be a way of staying out of that FF battle for a while longer. Who knows.
    Funny you mention the 5DMKII not having an impressively bright VF. I was testing a D700 a few weeks ago and couldn't see any noticeable difference between it and my K20D. Not brighter at all. The Old film bodies are still superior. I'm not really sure why that is.
     
  90. The official release says nothing about SR. I find it very difficult to believe that they would have left that out of the press release. Since pentax is letting the internet and trade shows do all the marketing, they would want to make sure that a completely unique feature to the MF category was highlighted at the top of the list of features.
    I think that's supposition at best.
     
  91. I just noticed he also askes if there will be a wooden grip. That was a part for the 6x7 series bodies and was quite different with only a flash shoe on the top. The 645 grip contained the batteries and a number of controls, it wasn't a detachable part.
     
  92. For that price, I'll just keep my 645 film camera and my Nikon 9000 film scanner and produce similar results. I'd buy a full frame DSLR, before, I'd shell out 9 grand. That's ridiculous. Should get out a car loan to pay for that camera.
     
  93. Jonathan, the 645D doesn't have shake reduction, but it does shake the sensor to help get rid of dust, like the Pentax DSLR bodies do.
     
  94. J Marrs wrote:
    For that price, I'll just keep my 645 film camera and my Nikon 9000 film scanner and produce similar results. I'd buy a full frame DSLR, before, I'd shell out 9 grand. That's ridiculous. Should get out a car loan to pay for that camera.​
    To make a fair comparison you have to compare the retail prices of each kit, not what you have to spend currently once you have amortised the value of one side of the comparison. The Nikon 9000 ED retailed for $2200 and the Pentax 645NII with insert $3000. Let's say the darkroom kit is $200 and that the room to set it up in comes free. Oh, and let's not factor in inflation.
    On one side we have $5600 plus ongoing film and chemical costs plus the value of the time this takes.
    On the other we have something significantly less than $9400 (US prices always are cheaper than a straight conversion) plus, um, the price of a couple SD cards.
    Not so different, then.
    Of course if you were to buy a 645NII now it would be much cheaper but is also end of life. You could not get the support professionals require. The ongoing value of this is more important than the price of the kit, in many instances.
    (In case you think me biased, I just bought a scanner for my 645 negs. But I will also be saving up so I can buy the 645D six to twelve months after it is replaced by the next model.)
     
  95. Robin, I like your analysis, but the one component--the most important component to me that is lacking--is a reference to the value of time. Scanning film takes a lot of time (not to mention the time of dealing with developing film, either in house or by a lab).
    This is highly subjective, but at a certain point in life some of us realize that time is more important than money. I can produce more work at acceptable quality levels with digital faster than by using film. Life's too short for some things.
    ME
     
  96. at a certain point in life some of us realize that time is more important than money.​
    Yup.
    There's also something else that factors into film vs digital: Taking photographs. It might sound silly, but it isn't; bear with me.
    I have a Pentax LX, one of the finest manual focus film SLRs ever made, yet it sits on my office desk, unused. It needs a well-deserved CLA, but I can't bring myself to pay the $150 that will cost. I also have an ME Super (another great film camera) with a half-shot roll inside; been like that for over a year. I just don't have the impulse or desire to shoot film, then deal with the costs and annoyances of film development and scanning.
    If I only had film cameras I would shoot with them, but much, much less than I shoot digital now. Some people love film and shoot it a lot (as Javier does on this very forum), but I know there are others like me. I have never bought a 645, and never will, because I know I wouldn't shoot it. Spending $2,000 on a 645 kit and film/development costs for a year would be a waste of $2,000. On the other hand, spending $10,000 on a 645D would be an investment for me—maybe not of money, but certainly an investment in my photography. I would shoot a 645D often, and I'm sure my photography would benefit from it.
     
  97. Michael Elenko wrote:
    Robin, I like your analysis, but the one component--the most important component to me that is lacking--is a reference to the value of time.​
    Hey, I agree, which is why I included "plus the value of the time this takes" in my statement.
     
  98. Robin, oops, I missed that. Sorry.
    ME
     
  99. If I only had film cameras I would shoot with them, but much, much less than I shoot digital now. Some people love film and shoot it a lot (as Javier does on this very forum), but I know there are others like me. I have never bought a 645, and never will, because I know I wouldn't shoot it. Spending $2,000 on a 645 kit and film/development costs for a year would be a waste of $2,000. On the other hand, spending $10,000 on a 645D would be an investment for me—maybe not of money, but certainly an investment in my photography. I would shoot a 645D often, and I'm sure my photography would benefit from it.​
    gotta disagree, not with the premise but the #s. The premise I agree with, you will shoot more digital. However, what you aren't saying is you will also shoot more duds. I like to think people shoot faster with a DSLR, but not smarter.
    For real #s, I paid $600 total for my 2 lens, 3 back, freshly factory recertified 645N. Was it a good deal? Sure, was it unbeatable, no. I got lucky on the body, I ebayed the lenses.Worst case, $750 for the kit I have. If I wanted a 645NII $1000 for the kit. However, unless you believe that Chinese back that is floating around Asia is real, there is absolutely 110% no real world advantage to the 645N over the NII (with the exception of being able to set the custom functions).
    That is less than $2000 by a year or two worth of film.
    As far as film. about 30-40 rolls now (probably closer to 30 shot, 10 sitting on or in my fridge). Total cost about $100 for film.
    Processing: 1 bottle Kodak HC-110, using high dilution long duration stand development (better detail, more consistent results, lower grain, lower use of chemicals, plus superior technique when pushing) about $15, I still have 60% of the bottle left. Actually to be fair, I usually process a roll a time. I could get several per batch of developer so really my #s are skewed. In any case, 100s of rolls/$15 using the higher dilutions.
    True, you also need fixer. That is a bit more expensive, however, it can be stored for a little bit once mixed. So if I do 5 rolls a week, I can use the same fixer throughout the week. Cost is like $4 a bottle. Hard to tell how much I really use per roll.
    Stop bath not needed. Rinse it to stop developing.
    You also need a final rinse agent. You use a few ml per roll tops, so that cost is insignificant.
    Cost of setup, well I had a tank, but including tank about $50.
    So for a reasonable first year...$750 for the 645N + 2 lenses + 2-3 backs, $200 film, lets say $100 in developing chemicals + the development kit at say $50.
    We are talking $1100. Far less than the $4000 you are quoting.
    If you want to shoot more, double the film and chemical cost (although as noted, chemicals can actually drop in batch processing vs. single roll processing).
    So even if you shoot 1 roll per week, you average about $1700 for the first year (including the camera and lenses).
    Years 2-infinity you average approx $3 average per roll (unless you shoot Delta 3200 every roll then add at least $1). Since processing doesn't add much, lets say $3.50 per roll average. If you shoot 2 rolls a week, (52x2)x3.50=$364 film cost.
    As an example I get my Acros 100 for about $2 a roll. If I buy a lot of rolls I get a discount. There are cheaper films, some actually just rebranded Acros or Ilford. But most of what I shoot is Acros 100, Neopan 400, and Delta 3200. That covers ISO80-3200 (remember Delta 3200 is actually 1250 I believe).
    it's really not that expensive to shoot 120 film or build a 645 system, the body cost probably drops if the 645D does live, but of course lenses will go up a bit. Although probably not that much since they don't match the sensor res.
    The only spot I can see your cost going crazy, is a scanner or scanning images professionally. In all honesty for 90% of the stuff everyone produces, a decent flatbed is fine for initial scans, and maybe even small prints (up to 11x14). If the image is superior spend the $60 on a high end wet drum scan, or if you really are producing 10 Pulitzer images per roll, just shell out the $1000 for a Nikon 8000 scanner. But like Ansel said (loosely paraphrased), "12 images is a good year."
    Now where I agree with you totally is the fact that IQ to cost ratio in 2010, 35mm is a waste of time and money (other than the portability factor). I've thought about picking up an MX from time to time myself, but I just can't do it. I have several 35mm cameras that I mostly use for messing around with cross processing (just bring E-6 to target 1 hour, they process anything). The bottom line to me is the quality is fine but the cost isn't significantly less (sometimes more) than 645 (120mm) where my money isn't better spent on 120 film.
     
  100. On another note, the cost of the 645N system is so cheap, that you can afford to buy 2-3, 5, 10 bodies and create your own support system. Seriously, even if you are on a month long photo trek, you can leave a spare 645N body in the car, if it gets stolen you are out a few hundred dollars, which will probably be covered by some form of insurance (homeowners, car, renters, credit card, etc), or just eat the $400.
    Sure Pentax might overnight a 645D to you but what is easier, opening up the trunk and pulling out the spare or waiting till the next day or longer?
    Worse for me, although i really haven't ventured too far into the wilderness with my 645, if it breaks it breaks, there is no Pentax support or Nikon or Canon if you don't have a way to contact them or way for them to send you a camera. So reliability is really first and foremost.
    Which camera do you think is more reliable 1) the proven design mechanical box that captures light 2) the power hungry, new fangled electronic box with lots of delicate internals that also captures light? I'm betting on the very basic box.
    Anyway, I'm not busting on the 645D, I think it's a great value, even better for those who fly rather than drive, but I heard this argument that digital was vastly cheaper and more effecient when digital SLRs came out for the masses a few years ago. The fact is when you really start adding up all the incidental cost digital had a very high initial cost. Then add in the fact that a camera might be state of the art today, and just ok in 2 years.
    When talking about processing and scanning, not sure there is a huge savings in digital provided you don't have a deadline. Here is why, I get home, I copy to my hard drive, I make a backup. Depending on the size of the download I am looking at some time. Then I allow light room to build 1:1 profiles (slower initially, faster cumulatively) sort through hundreds of high res files, then a filter the obvious junk, followed by tagging the potential keepers, followed by editing the RAW, importing to photoshop for a final tweak, followed by exporting to JPEG web and/or high res JPEG/TIFF for print. Then I have to backup again. Sure scanning is a pain, but once you have the film profiles setup, it's not all that painful or more cumbersome than digital RAW.
    The real advantage of digital is expediency, you can upload a file in between periods/quarters/innings (or during shooting if someone else is editing on site), you get real time feedback if you are shooting portraits or weddings or events, etc. You can also sell prints on site, at events. Yeah, it's great when dealing with clients as you can show them initial results and get feedback. But I'm not sure for slow photography that the advantages are really all that great. As it is, if I'm off the grid for 10 days I can't do anything with my images anyway till I get home, and then I still have many hours of editing ahead of me.
     
  101. Justin,
    I think that there are multiple right answers when looking at this question. I would encourage a more holistic perspective on the real costs of choosing to develop film at home. It's pretty much out of the question for me. I have a home septic system. Not only would I have to capture the silver (that's the easy part), but the other not-so-friendly chemicals would wipe out my septic system. Not that I would expect to have to shell out the $25K it would take to redo the thing (I live in a county with among the most restrictive requirements in the US), but we need it to work right. After all, it drains into my water table, and that ends up in my kids' drinking glasses, not to mention my neighbor's. So, what's the real cost of developing film? It isn't even a choice to me.
    I think I'll stop there.
    ME
     
  102. Justin, all valid points. My $2,000 for the first year was taking into account that I would NOT be home developing the film so it would be sent out to a lab for developing and hi-rez scanning. And I would most likely be shooting colour, not B&W.
    Like I said, for some people, film works out (you've found a way you can afford and are happy with), but for others like me it doesn't. And there's nothing wrong with that :)
     
  103. Justin Serpico wrote:
    On another note, the cost of the 645N system is so cheap, that you can afford to buy 2-3, 5, 10 bodies and create your own support system. Seriously, even if you are on a month long photo trek, you can leave a spare 645N body in the car...​
    Er, what car? Are we adding the price of a car to the system cost then? ;-)
    Which camera do you think is more reliable 1) the proven design mechanical box that captures light 2) the power hungry, new fangled electronic box with lots of delicate internals that also captures light? I'm betting on the very basic box.​
    I'll bet on whichever system has the fewest moving parts. Generally it's friction that creates wear and breakdowns. Film cameras tend to be built to higher tolerances, but Pentax bucks the trend for crappy digital cameras.
    Then add in the fact that a camera might be state of the art today, and just ok in 2 years.​
    No, it's still the same camera with the same features. One may desire a more advanced system, but that is not photographic reality, that's just consumerism. (Hey, sucks me in too!) If anything this is an advantage to digital if you rephrase it in terms of the creeping pace of film improvement compared to the lightning advance of digital. But that is symptomatic of pretty well anything technological today.
    Here is why, I get home, I copy to my hard drive, I make a backup. Depending on the size of the download I am looking at some time. Then I allow light room to build 1:1 profiles (slower initially, faster cumulatively) sort through hundreds of high res files, then a filter the obvious junk, followed by tagging the potential keepers, followed by editing the RAW, importing to photoshop for a final tweak, followed by exporting to JPEG web and/or high res JPEG/TIFF for print. Then I have to backup again. Sure scanning is a pain, but once you have the film profiles setup, it's not all that painful or more cumbersome than digital RAW.​
    Are you saying you don't have to backup your digital images from film? And why don't you start working while the backup is progressing? I know I do, since I am not ever touching the actual RAW files while pre-processing (or editing). Perhaps Lightroom is a pig, but I can scan and select my images in a couple of moments with the free software I use.
    Now that I have developed a processing workflow I can go from memory card to finished shots optimised for the web in very little time. More important, this work is fun and creative, with all the boring bits automated. I wish I could automate taking a strip of negs, placing them on the scanner, adjusting everything and putting them back in the protective sheet in the album, but I think that would require slavery... or much better robots!
    Film and digital have their advantages but digital is so much more convenient I can't begin to say.
     
  104. The cost comparisons between digital and film are pointless because MF fills a niche for many between their 35mm format DSLRs and LF. What MF presently does best is that it's too cheap to ignore for the very few things it does better than any other format. For me, this is the near-far scenes that are not planar and DOF has to carry the day instead of movements. The Pentax 645N and the 35mm f/3.5 SMC-A are nearly perfect for this niche and a helluva bargain even now.
    I shoot professionally and 95% of what I need digital for (wildlife, event's, photojournalism) is as well or better served in a smaller format than medium format. Large format film still does some things best at a cost/benefit ratio; I will still be shooting film in larger formats. Ektar 100 just became available in sheet film sizes, and I'll be shooting it in 4x5 for the first time later this afternoon)
    Medium format is the middle ground, something of a no man's land. Some of the venerable mighty names have already fallen and there's just no guarantee anyone will still be left standing in a couple of years. Much of this is due to overlap with smaller formats, which have drastically lower pricing due to high volume production. While it would be nice to have instant results on landscapes at moderately high resolutions, it's mostly unnecessary. Are there enough people who'll buy this 645D that Pentax will not only continue with it, but also rebuild the pro infrastructure that they've long ignored?
     
  105. Ivan, i am intrigued by what you have said here, but can you please help me out by describing some examples of "near-far scenes that are not planar and DOF has to carry the day instead of movements" ?
     
  106. That would be any subject where the movements of a larger format view camera cannot hold depth of field by tilting or swinging and stopping down, at a reasonable f/stop or shutter speed combination.
    An example of a difficult three dimensional subject matter I commonly encounter that's a challenge on LF is a beach scene with a nearby sea stack or rock. If you want to get the top, bottom and middle of the rock in focus it takes a lot of depth of field even when the lens is tilted for the plane of the beach and the ocean. Then you might motion-blur the cresting waves for the correspondingly long shutter speed that's needed with f/32. Likewise, when I want to stop flowers swaying in even a slight 2MPH breeze I'd want a shutter speed of 1/125s or faster-- a feat much more easily accomplished in late afternoon or evening light on smaller formats than 4x5.
    The natural advantage of the smaller formats is that the lenses are shorter in focal length for a given field of view. Shorter focal lengths carry more DOF for a given f/stop.
     
  107. Thanks Ivan - good, clear explanation, and useful information for me, as i try to decide whether or not to take my landscape photography on from my K10D.
     

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