MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax

Started Mar 5, 2009 | Discussions
leping
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MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
Mar 5, 2009

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/pma_pentax_revives_medium_format_digital_camera_plan_update_news_278069.html?aff=rss

PMA: Pentax revives medium format digital camera plan (update)
Wednesday 4th March 2009
Chris Cheesman

Pentax has revived plans to launch its long-awaited 645 Digital medium-format camera, four years after a mock-up was first shown.

The camera will go on display at the Photo Imaging Expo show in Tokyo later this month, said John Carlson, product marketing and support manager at Pentax USA.

He told Amateur Photographer that the 645 Digital is expected to go on sale in Japan.

However, it is unclear whether the camera will be sold in Europe.

And Carlson told us that it will not be marketed in the United States because Pentax predicted it would only sell 200 units there.

We understand that Pentax Japan has decided to aim the camera at the high-end market, so it seems unlikely it will be an affordable, enthusiast-level, model.

Last year, Pentax appeared to have scrapped development of the camera.

A press report in Japan had suggested that 'developments of the new camera body introduced on various occasions, as well as the SMC Pentax-D FA645 55mm f/2.8 will be virtually discontinued'.

Only a dummy version of the camera has been shown to journalists - paraded at numerous trade shows since it was first mooted at Tokyo's Photo Imaging Expo show in March 2005.

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LEPING ZHA
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leping
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Re: The Japanese MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

Not unrelated, here is the emerging new details of the true Leica MX from PMA 2009:

http://dfarkas.blogspot.com/

and here tons of pictures of the Pentax 645D:

http://www.digitalcamera.jp/html/HotNews/image/2008-03/07/p645d/index.html

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LEPING ZHA
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rhlpetrus
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Pentax + Leica drowning arm in arm
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

Pentax and Leica look like they'll drown together, I hope Nikon stays out of this silly stuff.

Leica should have gone with the micro43 project, launch a nice small electronic RF camera in that format. Panny is taking over the entry-level market with the new cameras like G1/GH1.

No, they went the exact opposite way. Talk of misreading markets, not new from Leica.
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dwight3
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Re: The Japanese MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

leping wrote:

...and here tons of pictures of the Pentax 645D:

http://www.digitalcamera.jp/html/HotNews/image/2008-03/07/p645d/index.html ...

Interesting. It's hard to tell the size of the sensor since there's nothing to scale against. The sensor looks like it's modular. There are a couple of pix of the module sticking out of the camera. So you can replace it with an upgraded sensor and use the same body? Or is that just to make cleaning easier?

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noirdesir
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Re: Pentax + Leica drowning arm in arm
In reply to rhlpetrus, Mar 5, 2009

rhlpetrus wrote:

Pentax and Leica look like they'll drown together, I hope Nikon stays
out of this silly stuff.

Leica should have gone with the micro43 project, launch a nice small
electronic RF camera in that format.

So the M8 is not an electronic rangefinder? They just made the sensor bigger, between DX and FX not 4/3.

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Bernard Languillier
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Re: MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

leping wrote:

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/news/pma_pentax_revives_medium_format_digital_camera_plan_update_news_278069.html?aff=rss

They are actually ill informed. A Japanese magazine shot with a 645D a few months ago and published the resulting images.

I believe that that article was instrumental in reviving the program.

Cheers,
Bernard

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glacierpete
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Re: MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

I am glad to see, that the old medium format camera manufacturers stay alive. There is so much potential in the future, when sensors are getting bigger and potentially cheaper when they are produced in bigger numbers. The introduction of electronic viewfinders can take care of known mirror vibration problems like in a Pentax67, or give a series of electronic medium format "range finders" new live. I still dream of a kind of digital Mamiya 7 or Fuji GSW690, cameras I loved and used in the past. Or imagine a digital Fuji GA645zi pro zoom.

I don't know where 35mm want's to go in the future, except they develop a complete new non Bayer 35mm sensor. The 35mm manufacturers did spit out a new generation of higher mp cameras every 2 years in the past. They are already running into diffraction limitations from F11 on, on a 24mp 35mm body. Tlilt lenses for the masses on a 35mm body is hardly a solution.

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rhlpetrus
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Re: Pentax + Leica drowning arm in arm
In reply to noirdesir, Mar 5, 2009

noirdesir wrote:

rhlpetrus wrote:

Pentax and Leica look like they'll drown together, I hope Nikon stays
out of this silly stuff.

Leica should have gone with the micro43 project, launch a nice small
electronic RF camera in that format.

So the M8 is not an electronic rangefinder? They just made the sensor
bigger, between DX and FX not 4/3.

By electronic I mean a real EVF system, with AF, automatic change of VF coverage when changing lenses, not the usual optical one in M8, with no AF, etc. The M8 is a mechanical camera with a digital sensor system.
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leping
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Resolution Chart Test Image 100%: Pentax 67 Zoom Lens on the 5DII 5um Pitch Sensor
In reply to Bernard Languillier, Mar 5, 2009

This shows how good the Pentax MF lens are in comparison with the 35mm ones, even when they are zoom lenses (but very little distortions all over the zooming range). I have been hesitating to publish these since it can drive the price up in used market to hurt myself.

It was published before, but I use a much better file hosting site now (dropbox.com, free) so this is the better quality JPEG. Pentax 67 SMC 90-180mm/f5.6 lens at 90mm f/8. Focused with 5DII Live View. The resolution target was carefully made so that the lpr/mm numbers represent the true resolution measure.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=31211036

Remember on the 36x48mm sensor this is 42.8MP.

I would also like to repeat what I said yesterday in Pentax SLR forum:

The Pentax 645 and 67 lenses are the best made in this world, for medium format film, for medium format digital, and for my DSLR landscape works. The SMC coating is second to none, their 35mm/f4 is way above the Mamiya/Hasselblad offers, and my Pentax 67 prime and rooms lenses (the zooms are every bit as good or better then the primes) are my best lenses for 5DII and will be for the D3x/D700x.

A while ago I posted the test results online that irritated a lot of people since they had the stereotype that the MF lenses are less sharp than the 35mm ones even though there is no such thing in Physics. Eventually I had to post 100% pixel test chart images to show that my P67 zooms can consistently do 80 line pairs per mm to outresove my 5DII 5um sensor pitch. Then all went to silent.

I do test and pick the best samples of the lenses, Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Tamron, and SIgma. But overall the Pentax MF ones are the best — even high resolution across the full frame, great colors, great coating to prevent flares, no distortions, and of course no dark corners. No CAs as well which was really surprising. As the results I know have 6 Pentax to DSLR adapters, 3 for Nikon and 3 for Canon.

It seems I may eventually have to skip D3x and go to Pentax MF, since I print really big, and not satisfied with even Bayer sensors at 300dpi (360 to 450 is the threthold not to see the de-mosiacing artifacts).

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LEPING ZHA
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leping
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The URL again -- strange it was
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=30708870

Clarification: I meant on the 645D's 36x48mm sensor the same 5DII pixel size will produce 42.8MP images and again demand lens resolution at the 80lpr/mm level at the near Nyquest cut-off spatial frequency.

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LEPING ZHA
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Steve Bingham
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Leping
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

I certainly appreciate your photos (years ago I had two Pentax 6x7 cameras) but I am having extreme difficulty understanding the chart you posted. The labeling is very confusing for me. Can you help me out?
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Thom Hogan
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Re: MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
In reply to leping, Mar 5, 2009

leping wrote:

However, it is unclear whether the camera will be sold in Europe.

The current mockups look much like converted film cameras. I wonder if that's going to continue to be the case. If so, it rules out European sales unless they make manufacturing and part changes to the film body. I would guess no European sales.

And Carlson told us that it will not be marketed in the United States
because Pentax predicted it would only sell 200 units there.

This is the part that raised my eyebrows. Just how many do you think will be sold in Japan? Especially at a high price? Moreover, if you don't do the US market, do you even bother to do the menus in English?

This looks like one of those "recover spent costs and keep a few hand assemblers at work" things the Japanese do from time to time. If it does better than expected, maybe they then roll it out further.

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leping
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Re: Leping
In reply to Steve Bingham, Mar 5, 2009

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply. I meant to say that, many people had bias against the MF optics, and it is almost an universal mis-believe that the MF lenses are less sharp than the 35mm ones, resolving typically no more than 40-50lpr/mm on the focus plane, even there is no physics against the larger sizes and larger image circles.

So I bothered to do my own tests and found my P67 lens every bit as sharp as my 35mm lenses and typically sharper nearing the corners. The posted 100% test image shows a Pentax 67 zoom lens reliably resolve more than 80lpr/mm, which is the 5DII Bayer sensor's resolution limit (Nyquest). Actually there might be sharper cut off after that spacial frequency, so with MF lenses we tend to see less Bayer artifacts and the images are really smooth (the sample was purposely over-sharpen in order to see resolution).

Hope I have made this clear and thanks again,
Leping

Steve Bingham wrote:

I certainly appreciate your photos (years ago I had two Pentax 6x7
cameras) but I am having extreme difficulty understanding the chart
you posted. The labeling is very confusing for me. Can you help me
out?

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LEPING ZHA
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leping
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Re: Leping
In reply to Steve Bingham, Mar 5, 2009

About the labeling. I was kind of lazy and not expected to publish any of these. I lable the focus length and F-stop numbers on the piece of white paper (top mid-right) and just cross out the old numbers when I wrote down a new one. So the shot was with the zoom lens at 90mm and f/8, one stop down from the maximum aperture that is f/5.6.

On the resolution charts that are scattered all over the test target, the numbers are in the unit of line pair per mm (lpr/mm) and it is calibrated to the FX sensor size properly.

Steve Bingham wrote:

The labeling is very confusing for me. Can you help me
out?

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LEPING ZHA
4x5 film / 6x7 film / Canon 5DII & 5D-IR / Nikon D700
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calson
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Re: MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
In reply to leping, Mar 6, 2009

Pentax already had a MF camera and a collection of fantastic MF lenses. In the days of film you could look at a 8x10 print from the 645 and one from the Nikon F5 and a Nikon 50mm lens and immediately tell which print was from the Pentax. By way of comparison the Nikon image looked like it was shot through a sheet of clear plastic.

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fredericFahraeus
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Re: Pentax + Leica drowning arm in arm
In reply to rhlpetrus, Mar 6, 2009

Yes Im sure Nikon will stay out of this stupid stuff. No need for it what so ever. MX??

what are they hoping for? to muscle in on the Hassie and Phaseone market? they have no chance in hell to compete with them or with Nikon and Canon.

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david martyn
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Re: MX is finally here -- and it is from Pentax
In reply to calson, Mar 6, 2009

I was disappointed when Pentax stopped the 645 digital project. I used a 645 for years and it was a genuine hand holdable (with its damped shutter) SLR type portable MF camera. I always thought it was perfect for adding a sensor.

It also had incredible lenses and was a completely different type of system to the Hassleblads etc. being totally self contained and an SLR.

Whether it is viable these days, who knows, and Pentax seem to be a very cautious company with regards to digital these days.

I've always felt that this was a missed opportunity.

If it does appear maybe I could learn Japanese!!

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Rickard Hansson
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Re: Pentax + Leica drowning arm in arm
In reply to rhlpetrus, Mar 6, 2009

I for myself hate EVF:s.

They are slow, low resolution and not in any way near using an optical VF.

The ONLY good thing I could see with an EVF is if it had an function like canons small P& S cameras have with their back LCD:s, that when you focus, the focus areas is enlarged to better see the actual focus.

That together with manual focusing or similar would be great, specially for macro work.

rhlpetrus wrote:

noirdesir wrote:

rhlpetrus wrote:

Pentax and Leica look like they'll drown together, I hope Nikon stays
out of this silly stuff.

Leica should have gone with the micro43 project, launch a nice small
electronic RF camera in that format.

So the M8 is not an electronic rangefinder? They just made the sensor
bigger, between DX and FX not 4/3.

By electronic I mean a real EVF system, with AF, automatic change of
VF coverage when changing lenses, not the usual optical one in M8,
with no AF, etc. The M8 is a mechanical camera with a digital sensor
system.
--
Renato.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhlpedrosa/
OnExposure member
http://www.onexposure.net/

Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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yakitori
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What a joke
In reply to leping, Mar 6, 2009

What a joke

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rhlpetrus
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Re: Pentax + Leica drowning arm in arm
In reply to Rickard Hansson, Mar 6, 2009

Rickard Hansson wrote:

I for myself hate EVF:s.

They are slow, low resolution and not in any way near using an
optical VF.

That was then, now, with new technology coming from pro video cameras (like in the Panny G1), it'll get better quickly. But no problem if Leica did an OVF RF with AF in the micro43 format, similar to the CL.

The ONLY good thing I could see with an EVF is if it had an function
like canons small P& S cameras have with their back LCD:s, that when
you focus, the focus areas is enlarged to better see the actual focus.

That together with manual focusing or similar would be great,
specially for macro work.

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Renato.
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OnExposure member
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Good shooting and good luck
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