All posts tagged: Pentax 645D

Pentax 645Z – High ISO Performance / Dynamic Range

The 645D is an amazing camera. I use the present tense, because the arrival of the 645Z does not diminish it all. The CCD sensor, however, does have a restricted ISO range from 200 to 1000.  When I bought the 645D this was not an issue for me. I was used to using my Pentax 67II camera  with Provia 100F or on rare occasions Provia 4ooX. This inability to shoot at higher ISOs meant that there were times that the 645D was the wrong tool for the job. Several indoor events, including the yuta ceremony in the cave were shot with the more flexible K5 / K3 cameras. If I didn’t have a tripod with me, there were times that I’d simply miss the shot. The new 645Z has an ISO range of 100 to 204800. Although the upper end of this range is not suitable for commercial work, the results at 3200 are very good. The above shot is an example of where 645Z enabled me to get a shot I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get. While …

Pentax 645Z – Just the facts, ma’am

The Pentax 645Z digital medium format camera will be available for purchase at the end of June 2014. It’s predecessor, the Pentax 645D, went on sale in June 2010  for 848,000 yen. You can pre-order the  645Z at B&H for $8,496.95  or from Amazon Japan for ¥777,110. The 645Z uses a 51.4MP Sony CMOS sensor unlike the 40MP Kodak CCD sensor in the 645D. The sensor remains the same size at 43.8mm x 32.8mm, this means it is a crop 645 sensor. The sensor is the same one used in the 50 megapixel Hasselblad H5D-50C camera ($29,000) and Phase One IQ250 digital back ($37,000). At around $8,500 dollars, the 645Z is a third the price of it’s MF digital competitors. The use of a CMOS sensor allows the 645Z to offer live view, a video mode, and a higher ISO range. The PRIME III image processor is significantly faster than in the 645D. The camera can now shoot at 3 fs rather than 1 fs in the 645D and instant reviews will be quicker. The autofocus system and metering systems have also been improved. The …

Pentax SMC DA 645 25mm F4 AL (IF) SDM AW

I recently purchased a 25mm lens for my Pentax 645 system. This is one of the new lenses designed for the digital 645D / 645Z cameras alongside the DFA 645 55mm and the DFA 645 Macro 90mm. A few important facts about the lens: At 25mm when used on the 645D it is equivalent to 19.5mm on a FF 35mm camera. This is one of the widest medium format lenses available.  I also use the excellent 645 35mm. It’s a heavy beast  at 1040g and expensive US$ 4,996.95 at B&H (although still several thousand less than the Hasselblad 24mm). Occasionally they appear used on Ebay, which is where I purchased mine. As with the 645D body, the 90mm, and 55mm, it’s weather sealed so can stand up to the elements. This really separates the Pentax system from other medium format digital systems which are more suited to a controlled studio environment. The front element is curved, which means filters are designed to be inserted internally. The filters are 40.5mm and polarizers can be rotated with a nifty dial on the holder. Interestingly, this …

Back from Cambodia

Back from two weeks shooting in Siem Reap, Cambodia. A great experience, met a lot of interesting people, and really enjoyed my time there. Came back with four 64GB cards filled with images so I have a lot to sort out over the next few weeks. I decided to take the new Profoto B1 strobe and a beauty dish on the road with me. This would allow me to combine location shooting with powerful studio light. It’s something I’d been experimenting with on the latest karate master portraits, and is an exciting new challenge.

Pentax 645D II

Images (not verifiable)  have now begun to appear on the internet of a new Pentax 645D II to be revealed at the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show in Tokyo next week. No news of the exact sensor, but a tilt screen would suggest live view, which would mean CMOS not CCD. The Pentax K3 is arguably the best APS sensor DSLR on the market, and it looks like the new 645D will rewrite the rules for medium format digital. For Pentaxians we live in exciting times.

Shooting Little People

A new version of the lego group shot. There are several more modern minifigures in this version, so you have the arrival of several superheroes, Star Wars characters, and a hobbit. I used a ringflash as the main light, this made sure I didn’t get shadows beneath any of the hats. To maximize depth of field I shot with my older 67 macro lens that can stop down to F32 rather than the newer 645 lens which has a minimum aperture of F22.

On location – Shannon

On a free day in Cairns I met up with local model Shannon for a quick shoot by the ocean. With strong midday sun, it was key to find some nice open shade that would allow me to prevent harsh shadows on the face. Luckily, sun hats, shade and sunblock are keywords for a new generation of beachgoing Australians.  A big thanks to Shannon for meeting up, and hope you love the pics.