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    • Br

      I've shot Pentax 645 medium format film and digital for years and am opening this thread to answer any questions that may come up!

    • Chris

      I used to shoot medium format back in the day so we could make really big prints (72 inches). Now my question is why? I love the idea if it gets me something, but the full-frame dSLRs shoot such high res now and so shallow depth of field at f/1.4, the question is what do you get with medium format? Do you use it as a studio camera?

    • Br

      I shoot the Pentax just as I did my full frame DSLR's. It is weather sealed and quite rugged. As to the advantage over full frame high-resolution sensors, the medium format gives you considerably deeper dynamic range and better low light performance. You can pull a ridiculous amount of detail out of shadows.

    • ivar

      I like medium format (i shoot MF film normally, though) and I have played with one or two digital ones. I have to say that I was somewhat dissapointed in the amount of DR you could get out of them. It was definitely not bad, don't get me wrong and I know there is more to it than just DR, but compared to my 5d4 there wasn't that much noticeable difference. It seems to be about one stop max.

    • vegasphotog

      I read Ming's review of this camera a few years back. My summation of his review it was like driving a Porsche 911 with a speed limiter. For the money, a great value, but, it seems most people struggled with it's broad range of application. I have never shot MF, and the itch is strong, but, it does not seem that the images are that much more compelling than the Sony A7RII-III. But, thanks for opening this thread as I definitely in interested in this topic.

    • Br

      Hi Ivar,

      First and foremost the 5d4 is a fantastic camera!, and the sensor technology in it is it full four years newer then the 645z. A better comparison would be to look at the upcoming 645g when it becomes available. Also worthy of note is that dynamic range is measured in stops, 14.5 stops is twice the light of 13.5 stops. If you do a lot of shooting at ISO 1600, I would see little advantage dynamic range wise.

      There are a lot of factors but make the digital Pentax medium format attractive and they need to be balanced against a number of negatives. In my case I shoot Micro 4/3, full frame and a medium format. The big surprise is how often I use the big camera simply because I enjoy the experience.

    • Br

      Hi VegasPhotog,

      The systen has a lot smaller echosystem than a Canon/Nikon experance. A good example is the lack of HSS in budget strobes(there are workarounds).

      Like most MF cameras you have some limits. What comes to mind is.. The HSS issue, Slow auto focus, no tilt/shift lenses and it's heavy. On the up-side.. Very nice to shoot, Tons of sharp lenses that are inexpensive on the used market and it does give a distinct visual look.

      One plus, that will not apply to most people, is that the lenses are backward compatable with the 645n/n2 film cameras and I still like to shoot a bit of film now and then :)

      So, what do I shoot with it? Portraiture, Glamour, Landscape, Macro and sometimes my cat.

    • ivar

      Lovely images 😃

      It is always difficult to compare two sensors since one of them is always newer; but this is what I had to compare at this time (and what I could purchase today if I wanted a new camera) so to me it makes sense to compare them, I guess.

      As mentioned, I totally agree the 645 has a sensor like in the 5d4 beat in certain ways, but the amount by which it has it beat was to me dissapointing. I think most people (there are definitely exceptions) will not be limited by the max one stop less DR of the 5d4 for instance, but are more limited by their own capabilities of how to get the most out of that sensor. I know I am.

      That doesn't mean I think people should not buy something like the 645; I can see people having a need for it and even if there is no need, who cares. I shoot both 135 and 120 film, and there is no real need for me to do that either 😄

    • tomstar3000

      Yes a full frame digital these days is stunning. But when I shoot portraits with a 150mm lens on my Hasselblad 500C/M i get a warm fuzzy feeling. A 150 has roughly the same distance-to-subject framing as a 70mm lens on a full frame camera.

    • Br

      The fuzzy fealing for 645z sits about halfway between Full Frame and Medium format film. In the case of the Pentax, it is the same lens mount as the superb 645n and 645nII film cameras.

      There is a bit of magic in the 120-150mm on 120 film, wish I could put my finger in it.

      B

      (@Chris MacAskill, not sure what the rules are on glamour, figured I'd keep it to PG-13)

    • tomstar3000

      You can't describe, but you can see it. The 150mm Hasselblad T* lens has such incredible look to portraits, its sharpness and compression are damn near perfect.

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