Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Rob de Loe Regular Member • Posts: 360
Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5
7

I’m not a major measurer, but I do like to know the “shooting envelope” for my gear. When I get a new lens or camera, I’ll take it to places where I can shoot scenes with which I’m very familiar so that I can get a quick sense of strengths and weaknesses. In that spirit, I also find it’s useful to compare two lenses of similar focal lengths so I can understand each one better.

I’ve been shooting a Fuji GFX 50R for about 8 months now, but only using adapted lenses. Recently I added an actual Fuji GF lens to my lineup: the 63mm f/2.8. It’s a lovely lens and I’m enjoying using it as my “walking around” lens. I honestly have no complaints. Even the supposedly-slow autofocus of this model is fine for me.

I’ve gone so long without an actual Fuji GF lens because I mostly shoot off a tripod, using my Toyo VX23D “adapter”. The lenses I use the most lately are SMC Pentax-A 645 medium format lenses. In particular, I use my SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5 a lot because it covers my favourite focal lengths. It’s an old, slow, heavy zoom from the film days.

I’ve been extremely happy with my Pentax-A 645 lenses on my VX23D. However, I was very curious to know how it compares to my new Fuji lens because I frequently read claims that modern Fuji GF lenses are vastly better than old timey film-era lenses. Some even claim that using lenses like my Pentax-A 645s on a Fuji GFX 50R/S camera is a waste of the sensor.

Now that I have a Fuji GF lens, I can test that claim. To satisfy my curiosity, I put my GF 63/2.8 up against my Pentax-A 645 45-85/4.5 at the 63mm mark in a wide range of settings and let my eyes be the judge.

Importantly, these two lenses are not competitors in my setup. I use them for very different purposes. Pentax 645 lenses are for slow and steady work on my Toyo VX23D, while my new GF 63/2.8 is for hand-held photography. So the question is not “Which is lens is better?”; given how I use them, that question doesn’t make sense. Instead, I’m simply asking “Is it true that Fuji GF lenses are incomparably better than old medium format film-era lenses?”

If you don’t have the patience to wade through the rest of this post, let me just say that it’s not true – at least not in this particular comparison. My Pentax-A 645 45-85mm lens (at 63mm) is definitely not wasting the GFX sensor.

Caveat: I’m comparing one copy of the GF 63/2.8 to one copy of the Pentax-A 645 45-85/4.5 (at one focal length). It’s possible that I have both the worst GF 63/2.8 ever made and the best Pentax-A 645 45-85/4.5 to ever come out of Japan. But I doubt it. I haven’t seen any reasons to think there’s anything wrong with either lens (and I’ve checked both carefully for corner performance, performance at all apertures, near and far performance, etc.)

I compared these lenses in many settings (test charts, various standard scenes I use), but here I’m only going to show examples from my infinity scene. This is a view from “Catholic Hill” in the town where I live (Guelph, Ontario, Canada). It’s the highest point of land in the city, and is dominated by a Basicalla directly behind my shooting position. It was cold and overcast, but visibility out to my focus target was excellent. These conditions helped to ensure consistent light between lens changes.

Catholic Hill test scene. Focus is on the cell tower on the horizon, just to right of centre

At the horizon, slightly to the right of the centre of the frame, is a cell phone tower. I manually focused both lenses on that tower, and made two separate sets of pictures from minimum to maximum apertures; for the GF 63/2.8 I also made an f/4.5 picture so I could compare f/4.5 performance on both lenses. I then chose the set that was best focused on the tower. I’ve done this so often with so many different lenses that I’m very confident I nailed focus properly, meaning differences you’ll see in the files are due to the lenses rather than focusing error.

I find there’s very little useful to be learned about a lens from small JPEG images posted on forums. I am going to post some JPEG images here, so you can quickly see specific things I want to point out, but I’ve also provided links to the actual RAW files so you can judge for yourself (which is always best). Links to RAFs are at the end of this post.

All the JPEG images posted here are minimally processed in Lightroom 9.2. Unless otherwise noted, I’ve adjusted exposure using the “Auto” setting and balanced colour temperature by reading off the same neutral gray feature. I left sharpening and noise reduction at the Lightroom defaults, and I didn’t make any other adjustments that affect the appearance of sharpness (e.g., texture, clarity).

OVERALL:

  • Both lenses are excellent for their purposes. The Fuji is better for some purposes than the Pentax, and vice-versa. For example, the Fuji is useless as a shift lens while the Pentax can’t shoot at f/2.8 and doesn’t autofocus.
  • Neither lens has any magical properties that I can detect (special glows, mystical micro-contrast, indefinable 3D pop).
  • The Fuji doesn’t have a “digital” look, and the Pentax doesn’t have a “film” look. Apart from the specific differences noted before, they render in very similar ways.

Bottom-line: these are both high quality, no-nonsense professional-grade optics. They both produce consistent, high quality results in a wide range of shooting conditions. There’s no support here for the notion that Pentax 645 lenses are not as good as Fuji GF lenses.

IN DETAIL:

I mostly shoot for black and white, and that’s a good thing because the colours of these lenses are poles apart. The Fuji has a distinct bluish cast while the Pentax has a more neutral-yellow cast. Uncorrected, I find the Pentax is a bit more realistic (but this is more a reflection of my taste rather than a claim that the Pentax colours are more accurate). It’s possible to match the colours when shooting RAW, but mixing and matching colour pictures made with Fuji GF and Pentax-A 645 lenses outside of a studio will be a constant pain (especially if one shoots JPEG).

Exposure has been adjusted, but colour temperature is as shot

Resolving power and sharpness are the areas where many enthusiasts claim Fuji GF lenses walk all over alternatives. If it’s true, this should be obvious in files at 100%. I’m not seeing that in this comparison. At 100%, at f/5.6 through f/16, I call it a wash across the frame. At f/5.6, at higher magnifications, the Fuji is perhaps a bit sharper. At f/8, I don’t see any meaningful differences between them. And at f/16, diffraction seems to have softened the Fuji more than the Pentax (which works for me because I frequently shoot my SMC Pentax-A lenses at f/16).

100%

200%

400%

I have tested both lenses against a test chart with lots of fine detail, and at the close distance of my chart, the extreme corners of the Fuji need f/8 to be excellent; they’re not bad at f/2.8, and typically I wouldn’t be worrying about corners when shooting f/2.8. The Pentax is also very good wide open, and excellent at f/8.

Wide-open performance is of concern to many photographers. In terms of resolution, the Fuji is really good wide open (f/2.8). But the Pentax is also really good wide open (f/4.5); it’s not a lens that I would ever want to shoot at f/4.5, but if I had to I would.

Comparing f/4.5 for both lenses, the Fuji is definitely better at that aperture – but at f/4.5 it’s stopped down while the Pentax is wide open, so kudos to Pentax for really strong wide-open performance.

At 100% it’s hard to see any differences, so this is 200% (f/4.5 for both lenses)

Both lenses are well corrected for typical aberrations. My infinity test scene isn’t suited to evaluating distortion, but my test chart setup is, and on that basis I can say neither lens shows photographically-relevant amounts of distortion. Extremely slight barrel distortion is visible in the Pentax shots; the Fuji may show a tiny bit more.

Comparing the Fuji GF to the Pentax using my Catholic Hill infinity test scene, the Fuji lens does a very good job of controlling chromatic aberrations. There are virtually none (look at the tree branches against the sky). But the Pentax controls CA incredibly well too, and the tiny bit that you can find cleans up well. Interestingly, the aliasing in the Fuji pictures (which is visible at very high magnification and points to more resolving power for the Fuji lens) is more disagreeable to me than the tiny amount of CA in the Pentax pictures, and the aliasing does not always clean up well with Lightroom’s new Enhance Details function.

Chromatic aberration comparison. This is the extreme corner at 400%. The Fuji GF has been corrected automatically for light falloff, whereas the Pentax has not

Aliasing comparison. There's lots more aliasing in the Fuji file, which points to greater resolving power. The downside is it's ugly and doesn't clean up well.

As a side note, Fuji GF RAFs imported in Lightroom benefit from automatic lens corrections that cannot be turned off on import, whereas Pentax pictures are coming in straight. To see how much work was done on the Fuji file behind the scenes, I used Iridient X Transformer to create an uncorrected version. In the case of the GF 63mm f/2.8 lens, it looks like most of the quality is coming from the optics rather than software. A slight increase in chromatic aberration and light falloff are visible in this 400% comparison of the corners of the corrected and uncorrected versions of the same GF RAF. It’s also apparent that some pixels are “lost” in the corrected version (Left) due to distortion correction that is not applied in the Iridient X Transformer version (Right). The amount of correction seems to be very small.

Left is imported into LR with lens corrections applied. Right is converted in Iridient X Transformer (so no lens corrections)

My Catholic Hill infinity test scene doesn’t reveal anything about the quality of background and foreground blur. That’s not something I pay a lot of attention to anyway in my photography, so I don’t have any pictures to show you. However, based on some casual tests and some real world photography where I used f/2.8, I can say that the wide-open Fuji GF 63/2.8 renders out of focus areas in a way I find pleasing.

It wasn’t possible to compare resistance to flare and ghosting in this scene, but those problems were not prominent in other tests I made; coatings and internal baffles seem to be excellent in both lenses.

The bottom-line for me is that these are both excellent lenses. This post is already long enough so I haven’t addressed the other focal lengths of the SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5, or the other SMC Pentax-A 645 lenses I use (35/3.5, 150/3.5). I also don’t have comparable Fuji GF lenses for other focal lengths. However, from my own comparisons the 45-85mm is just as good at other focal lengths as it is at 63mm, the 35mm is even sharper than the 45-85mm, and the 150mm is excellent almost from wide-open. Kudos to the old Pentax 645 lens designers. Even without the computing power and manufacturing techniques available today to Fuji, they made extremely high performing optics for the Pentax 645 that perform beautifully on the Fuji GFX 50R/S sensor.

FOLDER CONTAINING RAFS:

This is a Google Drive folder that contains original RAFs.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1v26ZIVFLSTaW2zUwT3WbrcIHCm9qtpJr

rbf Regular Member • Posts: 213
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rob de Loe wrote:

I’m not a major measurer, but I do like to know the “shooting envelope” for my gear. When I get a new lens or camera, I’ll take it to places where I can shoot scenes with which I’m very familiar so that I can get a quick sense of strengths and weaknesses. In that spirit, I also find it’s useful to compare two lenses of similar focal lengths so I can understand each one better.

I’ve been shooting a Fuji GFX 50R for about 8 months now, but only using adapted lenses. Recently I added an actual Fuji GF lens to my lineup: the 63mm f/2.8. It’s a lovely lens and I’m enjoying using it as my “walking around” lens. I honestly have no complaints. Even the supposedly-slow autofocus of this model is fine for me.

I’ve gone so long without an actual Fuji GF lens because I mostly shoot off a tripod, using my Toyo VX23D “adapter”. The lenses I use the most lately are SMC Pentax-A 645 medium format lenses. In particular, I use my SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5 a lot because it covers my favourite focal lengths. It’s an old, slow, heavy zoom from the film days.

I’ve been extremely happy with my Pentax-A 645 lenses on my VX23D. However, I was very curious to know how it compares to my new Fuji lens because I frequently read claims that modern Fuji GF lenses are vastly better than old timey film-era lenses. Some even claim that using lenses like my Pentax-A 645s on a Fuji GFX 50R/S camera is a waste of the sensor.

Now that I have a Fuji GF lens, I can test that claim. To satisfy my curiosity, I put my GF 63/2.8 up against my Pentax-A 645 45-85/4.5 at the 63mm mark in a wide range of settings and let my eyes be the judge.

Importantly, these two lenses are not competitors in my setup. I use them for very different purposes. Pentax 645 lenses are for slow and steady work on my Toyo VX23D, while my new GF 63/2.8 is for hand-held photography. So the question is not “Which is lens is better?”; given how I use them, that question doesn’t make sense. Instead, I’m simply asking “Is it true that Fuji GF lenses are incomparably better than old medium format film-era lenses?”

If you don’t have the patience to wade through the rest of this post, let me just say that it’s not true – at least not in this particular comparison. My Pentax-A 645 45-85mm lens (at 63mm) is definitely not wasting the GFX sensor.

Caveat: I’m comparing one copy of the GF 63/2.8 to one copy of the Pentax-A 645 45-85/4.5 (at one focal length). It’s possible that I have both the worst GF 63/2.8 ever made and the best Pentax-A 645 45-85/4.5 to ever come out of Japan. But I doubt it. I haven’t seen any reasons to think there’s anything wrong with either lens (and I’ve checked both carefully for corner performance, performance at all apertures, near and far performance, etc.)

I compared these lenses in many settings (test charts, various standard scenes I use), but here I’m only going to show examples from my infinity scene. This is a view from “Catholic Hill” in the town where I live (Guelph, Ontario, Canada). It’s the highest point of land in the city, and is dominated by a Basicalla directly behind my shooting position. It was cold and overcast, but visibility out to my focus target was excellent. These conditions helped to ensure consistent light between lens changes.

Catholic Hill test scene. Focus is on the cell tower on the horizon, just to right of centre

At the horizon, slightly to the right of the centre of the frame, is a cell phone tower. I manually focused both lenses on that tower, and made two separate sets of pictures from minimum to maximum apertures; for the GF 63/2.8 I also made an f/4.5 picture so I could compare f/4.5 performance on both lenses. I then chose the set that was best focused on the tower. I’ve done this so often with so many different lenses that I’m very confident I nailed focus properly, meaning differences you’ll see in the files are due to the lenses rather than focusing error.

I find there’s very little useful to be learned about a lens from small JPEG images posted on forums. I am going to post some JPEG images here, so you can quickly see specific things I want to point out, but I’ve also provided links to the actual RAW files so you can judge for yourself (which is always best). Links to RAFs are at the end of this post.

All the JPEG images posted here are minimally processed in Lightroom 9.2. Unless otherwise noted, I’ve adjusted exposure using the “Auto” setting and balanced colour temperature by reading off the same neutral gray feature. I left sharpening and noise reduction at the Lightroom defaults, and I didn’t make any other adjustments that affect the appearance of sharpness (e.g., texture, clarity).

OVERALL:

  • Both lenses are excellent for their purposes. The Fuji is better for some purposes than the Pentax, and vice-versa. For example, the Fuji is useless as a shift lens while the Pentax can’t shoot at f/2.8 and doesn’t autofocus.
  • Neither lens has any magical properties that I can detect (special glows, mystical micro-contrast, indefinable 3D pop).
  • The Fuji doesn’t have a “digital” look, and the Pentax doesn’t have a “film” look. Apart from the specific differences noted before, they render in very similar ways.

Bottom-line: these are both high quality, no-nonsense professional-grade optics. They both produce consistent, high quality results in a wide range of shooting conditions. There’s no support here for the notion that Pentax 645 lenses are not as good as Fuji GF lenses.

IN DETAIL:

I mostly shoot for black and white, and that’s a good thing because the colours of these lenses are poles apart. The Fuji has a distinct bluish cast while the Pentax has a more neutral-yellow cast. Uncorrected, I find the Pentax is a bit more realistic (but this is more a reflection of my taste rather than a claim that the Pentax colours are more accurate). It’s possible to match the colours when shooting RAW, but mixing and matching colour pictures made with Fuji GF and Pentax-A 645 lenses outside of a studio will be a constant pain (especially if one shoots JPEG).

Exposure has been adjusted, but colour temperature is as shot

Resolving power and sharpness are the areas where many enthusiasts claim Fuji GF lenses walk all over alternatives. If it’s true, this should be obvious in files at 100%. I’m not seeing that in this comparison. At 100%, at f/5.6 through f/16, I call it a wash across the frame. At f/5.6, at higher magnifications, the Fuji is perhaps a bit sharper. At f/8, I don’t see any meaningful differences between them. And at f/16, diffraction seems to have softened the Fuji more than the Pentax (which works for me because I frequently shoot my SMC Pentax-A lenses at f/16).

100%

200%

400%

I have tested both lenses against a test chart with lots of fine detail, and at the close distance of my chart, the extreme corners of the Fuji need f/8 to be excellent; they’re not bad at f/2.8, and typically I wouldn’t be worrying about corners when shooting f/2.8. The Pentax is also very good wide open, and excellent at f/8.

Wide-open performance is of concern to many photographers. In terms of resolution, the Fuji is really good wide open (f/2.8). But the Pentax is also really good wide open (f/4.5); it’s not a lens that I would ever want to shoot at f/4.5, but if I had to I would.

Comparing f/4.5 for both lenses, the Fuji is definitely better at that aperture – but at f/4.5 it’s stopped down while the Pentax is wide open, so kudos to Pentax for really strong wide-open performance.

At 100% it’s hard to see any differences, so this is 200% (f/4.5 for both lenses)

Both lenses are well corrected for typical aberrations. My infinity test scene isn’t suited to evaluating distortion, but my test chart setup is, and on that basis I can say neither lens shows photographically-relevant amounts of distortion. Extremely slight barrel distortion is visible in the Pentax shots; the Fuji may show a tiny bit more.

Comparing the Fuji GF to the Pentax using my Catholic Hill infinity test scene, the Fuji lens does a very good job of controlling chromatic aberrations. There are virtually none (look at the tree branches against the sky). But the Pentax controls CA incredibly well too, and the tiny bit that you can find cleans up well. Interestingly, the aliasing in the Fuji pictures (which is visible at very high magnification and points to more resolving power for the Fuji lens) is more disagreeable to me than the tiny amount of CA in the Pentax pictures, and the aliasing does not always clean up well with Lightroom’s new Enhance Details function.

Chromatic aberration comparison. This is the extreme corner at 400%. The Fuji GF has been corrected automatically for light falloff, whereas the Pentax has not

Aliasing comparison. There's lots more aliasing in the Fuji file, which points to greater resolving power. The downside is it's ugly and doesn't clean up well.

As a side note, Fuji GF RAFs imported in Lightroom benefit from automatic lens corrections that cannot be turned off on import, whereas Pentax pictures are coming in straight. To see how much work was done on the Fuji file behind the scenes, I used Iridient X Transformer to create an uncorrected version. In the case of the GF 63mm f/2.8 lens, it looks like most of the quality is coming from the optics rather than software. A slight increase in chromatic aberration and light falloff are visible in this 400% comparison of the corners of the corrected and uncorrected versions of the same GF RAF. It’s also apparent that some pixels are “lost” in the corrected version (Left) due to distortion correction that is not applied in the Iridient X Transformer version (Right). The amount of correction seems to be very small.

Left is imported into LR with lens corrections applied. Right is converted in Iridient X Transformer (so no lens corrections)

My Catholic Hill infinity test scene doesn’t reveal anything about the quality of background and foreground blur. That’s not something I pay a lot of attention to anyway in my photography, so I don’t have any pictures to show you. However, based on some casual tests and some real world photography where I used f/2.8, I can say that the wide-open Fuji GF 63/2.8 renders out of focus areas in a way I find pleasing.

It wasn’t possible to compare resistance to flare and ghosting in this scene, but those problems were not prominent in other tests I made; coatings and internal baffles seem to be excellent in both lenses.

The bottom-line for me is that these are both excellent lenses. This post is already long enough so I haven’t addressed the other focal lengths of the SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5, or the other SMC Pentax-A 645 lenses I use (35/3.5, 150/3.5). I also don’t have comparable Fuji GF lenses for other focal lengths. However, from my own comparisons the 45-85mm is just as good at other focal lengths as it is at 63mm, the 35mm is even sharper than the 45-85mm, and the 150mm is excellent almost from wide-open. Kudos to the old Pentax 645 lens designers. Even without the computing power and manufacturing techniques available today to Fuji, they made extremely high performing optics for the Pentax 645 that perform beautifully on the Fuji GFX 50R/S sensor.

FOLDER CONTAINING RAFS:

This is a Google Drive folder that contains original RAFs.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1v26ZIVFLSTaW2zUwT3WbrcIHCm9qtpJr

Although I haven't gone through such extensive tests I am also pleased with the performance Pentax 645 lenses. They've helped me round out my kit while I add the much more expensive GF lenses.

fcracer Senior Member • Posts: 1,219
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5
1

Thanks for sharing this test. I love posts like this as it saves people time in having to do the testing themselves. Well done and much appreciated.

 fcracer's gear list:fcracer's gear list
Fujifilm X100V Fujifilm X-Pro2 Leica M10 Fujifilm GFX 50R Fujifilm X-T4 +13 more
Erik Kaffehr
Erik Kaffehr Veteran Member • Posts: 4,186
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5
1

Thanks for the comparison!

I have looked at a few of the raws and agree with your findings.

Best regards

Erik

-- hide signature --

Erik Kaffehr
Website: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net
Magic uses to disappear in controlled experiments…
Gallery: http://echophoto.smugmug.com
Articles: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles

matteroner
matteroner Contributing Member • Posts: 667
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5
1

Interesting, I have been using adapted zeiss hasselblad lenses and have been very happy with the results.  I think a major factor is that these older lenses  were made for a bigger sensor/film so we are getting the real sweet spot of the image circle.  So they actually perform better than they are supposed to in the corners.

 matteroner's gear list:matteroner's gear list
Canon EOS 400D Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 80D Fujifilm GFX 50R Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM +13 more
OP Rob de Loe Regular Member • Posts: 360
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

matteroner wrote:

Interesting, I have been using adapted zeiss hasselblad lenses and have been very happy with the results. I think a major factor is that these older lenses were made for a bigger sensor/film so we are getting the real sweet spot of the image circle. So they actually perform better than they are supposed to in the corners.

Hasselblad 500 series lenses ought to make excellent shift lenses too because the image circle is inherently larger. Plus they're lovely lenses.

Regarding your sweet spot idea, it makes sense and I've certainly seen that with smaller formats such as the Olympus OM lenses I used to use for shifting on an APS-C Fuji X-T2. However, I'm finding that the Pentax-A 645 lenses seem to have been designed for a much more consistent image quality across the whole frame.

To illustrate, I use my P645 lenses for shifting, which means moving out of the "sweet spot" of the centre into the edges and corners of the image circle. In my experience, the "sweet spot" is sometimes the entire 645-sized image circle!

Here's what the bottom-left corner looks like against my test chart setup for 15mm of shift (left image) and 0mm of shift (right image). Here I'm using the SMC Pentax-A 645 150mm f/3.5 at f/11. This amount of shift (15mm in landscape) takes this corner outside of what would be a 645 film area. In other words, it's beyond the part of the image circle needed to cover 645 film. One shouldn't expect decent image quality in this zone because it never would have been used on a 645 camera. And yet it's excellent.

Some of my P645 lenses can shift even more with excellent results. At the mid-point of the zoom range, my 45-85mm has an image circle large enough to permit shifts of 20mm, even 25mm if I can be forgiving of the far-shifted edge.

One lens that might actually benefit from being on a GFX sensor (with limited movements) is the SMC Pentax-A 645 45mm f/2.8. It has a reputation for being a weak performer, especially in the edges and corners. Yet it's fairly small and has a faster aperture than my other P645 lenses. I've always been curious to see how it does in the central part covered by the GFX sensor. I really like the angle of view of 45mm on GFX, and it would be nice to have a walking around 45mm lens because my 45-85mm is more of a dragging around 45mm lens. If I see a good deal on a 45mm, I may not be able to resist.

SMC Pentax-A 645 150mm f/3.5 @ f/11 -- 15mm of shift (Left) compared to 0mm of shift (Right)

matteroner
matteroner Contributing Member • Posts: 667
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Yeah right now I'm using the 500 series. 50mm, 80mm and 150mm.  The 24mm samyang tilt shift.  And sometimes my 300mm canon f4 for longer lengths.  Haven't run into any problems yet.

 matteroner's gear list:matteroner's gear list
Canon EOS 400D Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS 80D Fujifilm GFX 50R Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM +13 more
Tom47 Junior Member • Posts: 49
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rob:  Very thorough test and well written post.  I have many Pentax 645/67 lenses ranging from 25-600mm and have recently adapted some to a 50R.  My results in superficial testing are similar.  The Fuji lenses tend to be a tad sharper, but I too prefer the Pentax colors OOC.   Very interesting to see the results without Fuji's baked-in lens corrections.  Attached is a comparison of the Fuji 32-64 @55mm to the Pentax 67 55mm (3rd generation), using a Fotodiox tilt/shift adapter.  Very similar results, but I give a slight preference to the Pentax.

Thanks for your post,

Tom

Overall scene

Pentax 67 55mm f/8

Fuji 32-64 @55mm f/8

 Tom47's gear list:Tom47's gear list
Epson Stylus Pro 4900
OP Rob de Loe Regular Member • Posts: 360
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Tom47 wrote:

Rob: Very thorough test and well written post. I have many Pentax 645/67 lenses ranging from 25-600mm and have recently adapted some to a 50R. My results in superficial testing are similar. The Fuji lenses tend to be a tad sharper, but I too prefer the Pentax colors OOC. Very interesting to see the results without Fuji's baked-in lens corrections. Attached is a comparison of the Fuji 32-64 @55mm to the Pentax 67 55mm (3rd generation), using a Fotodiox tilt/shift adapter. Very similar results, but I give a slight preference to the Pentax.

Thanks for your post,

Tom

Thanks for the feedback Tom.  One of the things I love about mirrorless in all formats is how it allows us to rediscover great lenses that we thought had had their day.

I've also used some Pentax 67 lenses on my 50R. If you like your 3rd generation P67 55mm, the 4th generation (which was redesigned) is even better. I used a P67 55/4 4th generation for a short time when I was evaluating options. It was outstanding, but rather large.

I've also had good results from the P67 45mm. It's a very nice lens, and a can see why people love it on 6x7 film. However, it is one of the old film lenses that doesn't have quite enough resolving power for the GFX 50R/S sensor. If you need a 45mm lens with a large image circle for shifting, it's a good choice. But if you prioritize resolving power, then there are better choices.

David Kieltyka
David Kieltyka Veteran Member • Posts: 5,621
Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rob de Loe wrote:

One lens that might actually benefit from being on a GFX sensor (with limited movements) is the SMC Pentax-A 645 45mm f/2.8. It has a reputation for being a weak performer, especially in the edges and corners. Yet it's fairly small and has a faster aperture than my other P645 lenses. I've always been curious to see how it does in the central part covered by the GFX sensor. I really like the angle of view of 45mm on GFX, and it would be nice to have a walking around 45mm lens because my 45-85mm is more of a dragging around 45mm lens. If I see a good deal on a 45mm, I may not be able to resist.

The Pentax 45mm isn't among their best lenses, but at same apertures it hangs just fine with the 45–85mm and is of course smaller & lighter. At f/2.8 and infinity focus the corners are softer on 645 film than when cropped by a 44x33mm sensor…but the difference isn't drastic.

The 45–85mm is among my fav lenses on a 645z despite its bulk & heft. I don't often need to go wider or longer.

-Dave-

 David Kieltyka's gear list:David Kieltyka's gear list
Leica M9-P Leica M8.2 Pentax 645D Pentax 645Z Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 +9 more
Rick Knepper
Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 17,870
White Balance Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rob de Loe wrote:

IN DETAIL:

I mostly shoot for black and white, and that’s a good thing because the colours of these lenses are poles apart. The Fuji has a distinct bluish cast while the Pentax has a more neutral-yellow cast. Uncorrected, I find the Pentax is a bit more realistic (but this is more a reflection of my taste rather than a claim that the Pentax colours are more accurate). It’s possible to match the colours when shooting RAW, but mixing and matching colour pictures made with Fuji GF and Pentax-A 645 lenses outside of a studio will be a constant pain (especially if one shoots JPEG).

I've been thinking about this. Over time, I've allowed myself to become immune to the bluish cast and out of laziness maybe, I have just left it as is. The comparison below jerked me back to reality.

I downloaded your RAWs and discovered the WB of the Pentax image to be nearly that of the Daylight preset. When I changed the WB of both images to Daylight, the color was, for all intents and purposes, identical. To me, this seems to have more to do with how ACR assigns WB than to any inherent quality of the lens itself. If I am on the right track then, is ACR creating a cooler WB for Fuji cameras for some reason, and not to start a conspiracy theory, but I wonder if this is in collusion with Fuji? Adobe colludes with Fuji on lens corrections so...

After contemplating this, I changed the WB of the remaining RAWs from a recent photo trip to Death Valley from As Shot to the Daylight preset. I did not find that setting objectionable nor did I find the previous As Shot images objectionable either when standing on their own merit [without comparison]. But I agree with you here, the WB assigned to the Pentax seems more realistic side by side. Look at that blue snow.

Exposure has been adjusted, but colour temperature is as shot

-- hide signature --

Once you've done fifty, anything less is iffy.

 Rick Knepper's gear list:Rick Knepper's gear list
Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS R Fujifilm GFX 50S Sony a7R IV Pentax smc D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL (IF) SDM AW +11 more
OP Rob de Loe Regular Member • Posts: 360
Re: White Balance Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

I don't know what to make of this Rick. For what it's worth, here's a comparison of the RAF as imported directly into Lightroom (left) versus a DNG imported into Lightroom (right); the DNG was created by Iridient X Transformer, and I turned off all the Fuji settings.

If something hinky was going on behind the scenes based on the Fuji settings, these two ought to be different.

RAF (left) versus DNG (right) - As Shot - DNG ignored Fuji settings

And here are the same two images, with the "Daylight" setting. This is less bluish, but the blue cast is still present. I also tried the Auto setting and it's nasty (very yellowish).

RAF (left) versus DNG (right) - Daylight - DNG ignored Fuji settings

Rick Knepper
Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 17,870
Re: White Balance Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rob de Loe wrote:

I don't know what to make of this Rick. For what it's worth, here's a comparison of the RAF as imported directly into Lightroom (left) versus a DNG imported into Lightroom (right); the DNG was created by Iridient X Transformer, and I turned off all the Fuji settings.

If something hinky was going on behind the scenes based on the Fuji settings, these two ought to be different.

I do not know this for a fact because you are changing the work flow that I used by running the image through another program before importing it into LR. In fact, what you are doing seems to bolster my observation.

Let's start with this. 1.) I was not criticizing your image or methods (in case this is what is on your mind). 2.) To me, your color comparison was right on and corresponded exactly with what I saw earlier in bringing both images into ACR. 3.) How did you come by the two images that were clearly different in your original post?

RAF (left) versus DNG (right) - As Shot - DNG ignored Fuji settings

And here are the same two images, with the "Daylight" setting. This is less bluish, but the blue cast is still present. I also tried the Auto setting and it's nasty (very yellowish).

RAF (left) versus DNG (right) - Daylight - DNG ignored Fuji settings

-- hide signature --

Once you've done fifty, anything less is iffy.

 Rick Knepper's gear list:Rick Knepper's gear list
Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS R Fujifilm GFX 50S Sony a7R IV Pentax smc D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL (IF) SDM AW +11 more
OP Rob de Loe Regular Member • Posts: 360
Re: White Balance Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rick, I didn't view your post as criticism at all. You were adding some interesting new information relating to a small mystery in my results. I was trying  to get to the bottom of that mystery by showing how the file looks when you circumvent Lightroom. Iridient is handy for this purpose because it allows you to developed the file without following any instructions provided by Fuji. That's how I was able in the original post to show the amount of in camera Distortion correction that was being applied.

In the original post, both the Pentax and Fuji files were developed identically. In other words, I shot them, and brought them into Lightroom as RAF files. Both used the as shot setting for colour temperature. Therefore, any differences in colour are either due to the lenses themselves, or to behind the scenes settings that Fuji has passed on to Lightroom. My follow-up response to your post, where I used iridient, suggest that there are no special settings being passed to Lightroom by Fuji. But somebody more capable with digging into raw files then I am can answer that conclusively.

Rick Knepper
Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 17,870
Re: White Balance Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rob de Loe wrote:

Rick, I didn't view your post as criticism at all. You were adding some interesting new information relating to a small mystery in my results. I was trying to get to the bottom of that mystery by showing how the file looks when you circumvent Lightroom. Iridient is handy for this purpose because it allows you to developed the file without following any instructions provided by Fuji. That's how I was able in the original post to show the amount of in camera Distortion correction that was being applied.

In the original post, both the Pentax and Fuji files were developed identically. In other words, I shot them, and brought them into Lightroom as RAF files. Both used the as shot setting for colour temperature. Therefore, any differences in colour are either due to the lenses themselves, or to behind the scenes settings that Fuji has passed on to Lightroom. My follow-up response to your post, where I used iridient, suggest that there are no special settings being passed to Lightroom by Fuji. But somebody more capable with digging into raw files then I am can answer that conclusively.

I see, you were debunking my conspiracy theory which is fine. I just threw that out there.

It could be the coatings Fuji or Pentax uses on their lenses that causes ACR to run cool/warmer.

-- hide signature --

Once you've done fifty, anything less is iffy.

 Rick Knepper's gear list:Rick Knepper's gear list
Pentax 645Z Canon EOS 5DS R Fujifilm GFX 50S Sony a7R IV Pentax smc D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL (IF) SDM AW +11 more
OP Rob de Loe Regular Member • Posts: 360
Re: White Balance Re: Two 63s: Fuji GF 63mm f/2.8 and SMC Pentax-A 645 45-85mm f/4.5

Rick Knepper wrote:

I see, you were debunking my conspiracy theory which is fine. I just threw that out there.

It could be the coatings Fuji or Pentax uses on their lenses that causes ACR to run cool/warmer.

I wouldn't say "debunking" Rick. Just providing more information. Someone really expert in RAW files (and that's not me!) would have to get in there to see what's going on.

If I had to guess, I would go with your second suggestion: something to do with coatings. I saw a very similar situation when I was shooting Fuji XF lenses and Olympus OM lenses on my APS-C tilt-shift outfit. The colour of the Fuji XF pictures was radically different than most of the OM lenses. However, even within the OM lens lineup there were differences. the more traditional OMs (e.g., 24/2.8, 35.2.8, 50/1.4) had one look, whereas the more modern OM 50/2 and OM 90/2 were quite different. Nonetheless, the Fuji XF were still even more different; against my white test chart setup, the Fuji XF lenses were positively orange in comparison to the Olympus OM lenses.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads