Pentax 645D (& Z) - some questions

Started Aug 2, 2019 | Discussions thread
Pedro Oliveira Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: Pentax 645D (& Z) - some questions


I’ve been using the 645D since 2014.

I bought it used with around 4000 shutter cycles and 5 years later I added 2000 more... so the 50000 expected shutter life expectancy is a no problem for me.

I can tell you that I am still in love with this camera. I’m also a CCD fan and the results never stops to amaze me as I am a ISO 100 shooter (for high ISO I use the Pentax k-1II that is an amazing camera).

Sjak wrote:

Lurker for some time here, now my 1st post on the MF forum

A little backround:

I've been interested in the digital 645 Pentaxes for some time. I'm looking for a colour-camera for portraits and some scenery-shots, let's say deliberately slow shots in mostly daylight. For fast-paced stuff, candids and low light, I have a Leica Monochrom as my main camera.

I've been shooting MF film again for a while, and well... now longing for a digital MF. Considering I already use some Pentax-cameras, the controls look very familiar. So the learning curve for the UI would be minimal. This is important, as it would be a cam for occasional use only (and for this reason, I do not consider e.g. the X1D)

Added bonus: the little 55mm f/2.8 seems a very nice standard lens.

The DFA 55mm f/2.8 is an excellent lens.

I know there's also the Z, but I'm a sucker for CCD, so I have to look at the 645D too Unfortunately, there's not a lot of information around on this model, and most of it is many years old by now, so it does not reflect things such as durability.

So now my questions:

1. My use would also mean adapting older MF-lenses (e.g. Pentacon-6, Kiev/Salyut, film-era 645&67 lenses...) and I wonder how easy/difficult this is on the 645? Would I be restricted to manual exposure? How about manual focusing, how is the OVF? Are there optional screens, and are these easy to change?

I use also 67 lenses (75/4.5 shift and 105/2.4) with the original Pentax adapters and shoot in Manual and Aperture Priority.

The OVF is amazing, big and bright. Manual focus is quite easy with the electronic focus indicator.

But if you have many manual focus lenses, the AB-82 screen with split-image is a must (my 645D has this screen). I made the screen change myself so it is easy. With this screen the AF works very well so you can use both MF and AF lenses. This screen is from the 645N but is compatible with the D and Z. But it is very rare...

2. And how about the durability of the camera? Is it possible to get it serviced in NW Europe, in case of small defects? It's meanwhile 10 years old, and considering the price of around 2000 euros, I would like to be able to enjoy it for some years to come. Or would you recommend getting the Z for this reason alone?

Well, the 645D is from 2010 and the 645Z from 2014. The used market prices are very good for these 2 cameras and the lenses are great, both in quality and price. I expect to enjoy my 645D for more 10 years at least. It will be nice to use a 2010 digital camera in 2030...

3. I've seen some good highlight recovery on 645Z-files. How about highlight recovery on the 645D?

The 645Z is better in this area for sure but the 645D is also a very capable camera in recovering highlights. As I still use the slide film technique (shooting for the highlights) I don’t really need to worry about this matter. The shadow recovery is excellent.

4. Any other points I should be aware of according to the experts?

It is a base ISO camera (100 or 200) to get the most of the files (I use DNG). But sometimes I use ISO 1600 with a very film like grain that I like. Writing speeds to the SD cards are slow.

You can visit my blog (text in Portuguese) and 500px page where I have some 645D pictures.

I hope this is helpful.

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Pedro Oliveira - Portugal
Pentax user since 1984

 Pedro Oliveira's gear list:Pedro Oliveira's gear list
Pentax K-5 Pentax 645D Pentax Q Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc D FA 645 25mm F4 AL (IF) SDM AW +1 more
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