Pentax May Be Coming Out With a New 645D, Still No Full Frame in Sight

Chris Gampat Pentax 645D Hands on Review (8 of 8)

Update: new details will be coming next week

It’s been a little while since Pentax first unveiled their 645D medium format camera. But according to Sony Alpha Rumors via Amateur Photographer, the company may be delivering a refresh soon. Early reports are stating that it will house a 50MP Sony sensor–which is massive to say the least. It is also being stated that it’s the same sensor in the new Phase One and Hasselblad cameras.

But this is a different beast than the big two of the medium format world. Pentax takes the approach of incorporating the sensor into the camera itself instead of having a back, camera, and lenses (the way that traditional medium format works.) So while you’ll be able to use your old Pentax lenses, you’ll need a new body.

According to early photos, it may also have a tilting LCD screen and should be coming this spring.

Now that the medium format world is using CMOS sensors, it’s going to get quite interesting as previous marketing efforts from Nikon with the D800/D800E were to attract the medium format crowd. On top of that, Zeiss created the 55mm f1.4 Otus–which we reviewed very favorably. This lens was designed for high megapixels full frame DSLRs and Zeiss has stated on record that they’re coming out with more.

It will be interesting to watch the full frame vs medium format war for a while–and in the months leading up to Photokina it should really look interesting.

Pentax Reportedly Working on Revamped FA Lenses, 645D Successor; Still No Full-Frame DSLR in Sight

Back in August, Pentax, now owned by Ricoh, announced a re-issue of its DA Limited lenses, which are now labelled HD and come with new coatings for better image quality and rounded aperture blades for nicer bokeh. Now RiceHigh’s Pentax Blog reports that Ricoh is planning to also revamp the Pentax FA Limited lenses, which consist of the 31mm f1.8, 43mm f1.9 and 77mm f1.8. According to a discussion thread on the Chinese Xitek forum, a Ricoh official stated that the FA Limited lenses will soon receive the same HD coatings plus a number of optical tweaks to their barrels.

In another recent article, RiceHigh reports about an interview with the Chief Sales and Marketing Manager of Ricoh Imaging, published in issue 1/2014 of the Japanese Impress photo magazine. In that interview, it’s allegedly being hinted that a replacement for the 645D digital medium format camera might be on its way, and that it may come with a full-frame 6×4.5 sensor. The current Pentax 645D uses a cropped sensor.

The same Ricoh official is also reported to have claimed in an interview with a Hong Kong magazine that there will likely be no full-frame Pentax DSLR coming, at least not before the 645D successor. As a reason for that, he mentions that APS-C models make up about 80-90% of the total DSLR market share, and that there are already enough choices for the remaining 10-20% of the market. That’s really a pity, because we know for a fact that many Pentax fans would love to be able to use their legacy K-mount glass on a 35mm full-frame system. But there’s still the Sony A7 and A7R for that.

As always, these are early reports and to be taken with a grain of salt. It’s very likely that we’ll see the revamped FA Limited lenses for CP+ in 2014, but we wouldn’t speculate on when a possible 645D successor might see the light of day, and whether or not there’ll ever be a 35mm full-frame Pentax DSLR. Though we surely wouldn’t mind one.

Pentax Releases 645D IR, But Only Does So in Japan

Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 9.17.49 AM


RiceHigh picked up on some interesting news right out of Japan. Pentax has released a new 645D IR; that’s right, infrared! In all seriousness, it seems to be the same camera but with the lack of an IR filter, and Pentax even says in the translation themselves that they’ll be making them in limited quantities. Release date is supposed to be tomorrow, Dec 12 2012; and there is no word yet on pricing. No word on when it will be coming to the good old U.S. of A.

Meanwhile, still no news on the full frame front; which many Pentaxians (especially lots of Pentax users I know that have used the system since the 70s) are waiting for with bated breath.

Phase One Ups The Medium Format Ante With Reworked 645DF+ And Schneider Kreuznach 28mm LS f/4.5 Aspherical Lens

Phase One has announced not only the addition of a 28mm f/4.5 Schneider Kreuznach lens to their line up, but their 645DF has undergone a transformation as well. The new 645DF+ is compatible with a host of backs and lenses from the likes of Mamiya or Hasselblad making it not only a Swiss Army camera but undercutting the competition with a $6000 price tag (camera body only). You’ll need a back to go with that and if you want the new 28mm f/4.5 Schneider Kreuznach lens, that will run you another $6000 (give or take as the prices are actually in Euros and things fluctuate).

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First Impressions: Pentax 645D Medium Format DSLR Camera

The Pentax 645D is a medium format camera priced much lower than other competitors in the space. It had me interested in a test run not only because of the price point and sexy lure of more pixels (40 million), but also because I used to shoot with a medium format Mamiya in the days of film and I wanted to see the progress digital versions were making. I have had the 645D for less than a week and will have a full review in about a month. Until then, these are my first impressions of the camera.

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Hands On: Pentax 645D

The other night, I got to play with the Pentax 645D—the one medium format camera that I had personally been waiting to try out for a while. Pentax was fairly popular back in the film days for medium format. Their lenses are well known as well as their bodies. Now that Pentax has entered the digital medium format stage, they have created what I would call quite the competitor and perhaps what may be the best medium format experience I have ever had of all the systems I’ve tried.

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Pentax 645D is Official

After reporting about the Pentax 645D for a little while now, it is apparently official. Not only this but there is also a 55mm F2.8 lens that has been announced too. Tech specs and main features after the jump. DPReview has more and you can see more in the respective links. Keep reading as Pentax has made some very interesting choices in the creation of these products.

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What Do You Want To See in the Pentax 645D?

With rumors of the new sensor written about the other day and with the imminent release getting closer and closer, what would you want to see in the Pentax 645D. If it’s economical, would you want to get it as a second body or perhaps your first? If it doesn’t include tethering the way that their other bodies haven’t would you mind? Do you want better autofocusing than what other medium format companies offer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and let’s get a great discussion going.

7 Years Later, the Pentax 645Z Is Now Supported in Capture One

Today, Capture One 21 is getting several enhancements ahead of the release of Capture One 22. To kick this off, some users will see a 500% collection load-speed improvement. I’ve known about this in beta for a while, but didn’t test it. I’m pretty sure that the folks who will see the most significant changes are using Apple M1 laptops. Then there are improvements with both Sigma and Fujifilm tethering. Capture One let us know exclusively about another big one: the Pentax 645Z will finally be supported.

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This Rare Dallmeyer Super Six 125mm f1.9 Lens Converted to Hasselblad V Mount Is Up for Grabs on eBay

If you’re looking for a rare, bokeh-licious, vintage lens to pair with your Hasselblad V-Mount camera, you might be interested in this Dallmeyer Super Six lens we spotted on eBay.

It’s time once again for us to share our latest vintage find from the depths of eBay! This one is a treat for owners of select Hasselblad V-Mount cameras especially: a rare Dallmeyer Super Six Anastigmat 125mm f1.9 lens, which has been converted for Hasselblad’s 200 and 2000 series cameras. It’s all yours if you have a $17,640 to spare.

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PONF Camera: Creating a Digital and Film Hybrid Camera

The world is about to get the first digital and film camera hybrid.

“We signed an agreement with SONY for their full frame and APS-C sensors,” is what Raffaello Palandri tells me about the progress of his project. You see, Raf is in the process of releasing some very groundbreaking technology. Years ago, we were able to create cameras that could take film backs and digital backs–but only in medium format. Indeed, one could shoot with their Contax 645, Mamiya 645D, or Mamiya RZ67, using film camera backs, and then switch out to medium format digital whenever they wished. But now that technology is trickling down the line into full frame and APS-C cameras. Raf is the Director behind a project from R&T Global Services Ltd. that is trying to put together what they’re calling a Multiback camera.

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Medium Format Film Cameras With Autofocus For Beginners

So previously we have talked about some great budget medium format film camera options for those on a budget, but all of those cameras were manual focus only. Today we wanted to bring a few options into focus that feature something that many of you can’t live without – Autofocus.

There are a few things about AF with these cameras that needs to be said. It’s not lightning fast, but it is pretty accurate. Just don’t expect to get the sort of AF performance that you get these days, these camera are decades old after all, AF technology has advanced quite a bit. That said, if you manage your expectations, you should have no problem getting great AF results using these cameras. Continue reading…

9 Cameras That Changed the Photo Industry In the Past 10 Years

Camera technology continues to move forward every day, and when you look at how far we’ve come in a span of 10 years, you’ll see just how fast things have progressed. It’s indeed pretty remarkable. Photographers who have spent their careers shooting mostly film didn’t see such rapid advancement even though technology was surely moving ahead then too in the name of capitalism and competition. When digital photography came about though, things changed. As companies started to develop newer processors, engines, and sensors, they all started to create products with shorter life spans.

But in the past 10 years, 9 cameras have truly made their mark on the industry.

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(UPDATED WITH SAMPLE PHOTOS) Phase One Has Two New Zoom Lenses From Schneider Kreuznach

All images by Antony Spencer. Used with permission.

If there is any company that’s been pumping out medium format lenses as of late, it’s Phase One. Today, they’re announcing two Schneider Kreuznach Blue Ring Zoom lenses for their XF camera system. With that said, they offer full frame 645 format coverage.

Both lenses sport a signature blue ring–kind of like how Canon has that big Red ring to signify that their product is an “L” lens.

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