645z review pt5

Pentax 645z Review Pt5 – 645z Flash options

Lets talk flash options


Part 1 – The Journey
Part 2 – Image Quality
Part 3 – Lens options and CCD vs CMOS
Part 4 – Ergonomics and weight
Part 5 – Flash System
Part 6 – Conclusion
Part 7 – 100+ Uncompressed DNG’s to download

The Pentax 645 flash system.

*UPDATE* – SInce I wrote this review there are a lot more options available, TTL, HSS and so on. This page still has it’s merits but please research flash options that are new to the market.

I use speedlites a lot in the evenings for the dancefloor and during the speeches. Otherwise I’m pretty much a natural light shooter. Because I sometimes have a second shooter with me I have 10 Canon 600’s and the external Canon CP-E4 battery packs so I’ve been able to explore the flash setup pretty well and how to integrate my existing Canon equipment with Pentax.

For starters though, the Pentax proprietry TTL system (P-TTL) is highly accurate and just as good, if not slightly more accurate in metering than the Canon system. I currently use the MkI Pentax 540 FGZ and it’s very good. If you want to use a full wireless system then Pentax had wireless before Canon did. And that’s true wireless, not infrared.

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Riverside Wedding Venue Heathrow

A wedding Riverside Venue Heathrow with added Hadouken
Kiran & Jason

Riverside Wedding Venue Wedding
Want something different to liven up your wedding album? Kiran and Jason certainly did, and this shot really packs a punch! (Well, a Hadouken, actually.) Jason used to work in a video game store and thought it’d be fun to recreate signature moves from 90s classic, Street Fighter.

The newlyweds took aim at their hapless friends, which led to much laughter and some great mid-air faces. There’s nothing wrong with traditional wedding photos, but it’s always nice when couples want to spice things up with a personal twist. Staging images like this allows me to get creative with Photoshop, and I really enjoyed editing it (all part of the service).

Riverside Wedding Venue Wedding
The location was Riverside Venue, Heathrow, which actually backs onto the airport runway (perfect for those quick honeymoon escapes!). The day really took flight with plenty of colour on show, and it was a truly beautiful event to be part of.

Kiran looked amazing, and I enjoyed documenting the behind-the-scenes action as she prepared for the big day. I love that pre-wedding atmosphere – all the nervous energy and raw excitement bubbling away – and it was a privilege to be invited inside to capture the moment. This fly-on-the-wall approach allows me to take some really natural shots, as everyone’s far more focused on getting ready than taking time out to pose for the camera.
Riverside Wedding Venue Wedding

The makeup was perfect, the dresses were great, and the ladies had lots of fun. I also managed to get some dazzling shots of the wonderful jewellery on display.

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645z Review pt6

Pentax 645z Review Pt6 – Conclusion

Part 1 – The Journey
Part 2 – Image Quality
Part 3 – Lens options and CCD vs CMOS
Part 4 – Ergonomics and weight
Part 5 – Flash System
Part 6 – Conclusion
Part 7 – 100+ Uncompressed DNG’s to download

Before I get on to my conclusion I’d like to touch on the Canon 5Ds and 5Dr cameras.

These are a welcome additions to the DSLR fold and keeps Nikon from the door to a certain extent. While I have no practical experience of them yet I have seen some of the files from both cameras. Personally I find the images have a small sensor ‘look’ to them. Regardless how many pixels you have on the sensor, the sensor size will give you a certain feel to an image. Be that an iphone, D810 or an 8×10 camera regardless of the pixel count or sensor manufacturer.

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645z download page

Pentax 645z Raw File download page

Download Raw Files for the Pentax 645z here

I’ve made over 100 uncompressed Pentax 645z DNG files available for download.

The total combined file size comes in a 5.4gb. Because of the amount of bandwidth such file transfers use I kindly ask for a token payment towards the cost of hosting them.

The cost is 5 GBP

Here are the details of the images supplied:

  • Brighton Seafront (12 images)
  • Caroline and Davids Wedding (26 images)
  • Portraits (2 Pentax, 2 Hasselblad H4D50 for CCD vs CMOS)
  • Mixed (4 images that miss classification)
  • Raven and Zak’s Wedding (33 images)
  • Woodland Walk at Sunset (8 images)
  • Three shoots in Sheffield National Park (16 images)

Some of these images will come with adjustments already applied, just hit reset in Lightroom to restore them to their out of camera versions.

These images are also ‘warts and all’ and I’ve done my best to give you under exposed, over exposed and tricky focus situations along with situations suffering from flare.


Here are some thumbnails of the images included:


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Round Chapel Hackney

Hackney Picturehouse Wedding and The Hackney Round Chapel
Jojo & Joe

Hackney Round Chapel Wedding

Jojo and Joe had their ceremony at the Hackney Picturehouse in London with their reception at The Round Chapel nearby.

By all accounts it was a very cool affair and this wedding was filled with many personal touches. All the guys had different lego button holes for their suits, all the table favours were unique and everyone received a small note in a glass bottle with a personal message just for them.

Hackney Round Chapel Wedding

On arrival at the cinema there was popcorn for everyone and just before the ceremony began there was a short movie clip played before Jojo and her entourage danced down the cinema steps to meet with Joe.

Afterwards we took some pictures in the Cinema (the eclectic decor was very good for photos) and with a few formal ones on the steps of Hackney Town Hall.

From here we went to the Round Chapel where the party began. There was plenty to entertain the guests with a football table, giant Jenga, Connect 4, Air Hockey and a photo booth.

The Round Chapel is a very big space with a great, imposing upper level and there was plenty of space to move around in. After dinner the evening kicked off, lots of dancing, a bouquet toss, several cakes were cut and burritos were served.
Hackney Round Chapel Wedding

I like to be taken out of my comfort zone from time to time when shooting a wedding and there are many ways to do this. Photographing a wedding in a Cinema is one of them.

I know how to shoot in low light but working in a Cinema is something else. It’s essentially a big dark box and I had to think on my feet, manually adjusting everything as I went. The saving grace though was the massive cinema screen behind me (being white) allowed me to use it as a super duper bounce card.

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Amberley Castle couples shoot

An Engagement Shoot at Amberley Castle
Kate & James

Amberley Castle WeddingHere’s Kate and James, these two live in Phoenix, Arizona and are getting married in the UK this year.

When they were last over we had a catch up and Engagement shoot in and around Amberley Castle near Arundel in West Sussex.

Amberley Castle WeddingIt was a bit windy but the sun was out and it was nice to have some dedicated time with them both.

I enjoy engagement shoots because it allows you to do practice runs and to see how things work in preparation for the main event. Not essential, but fun nonetheless.
Amberley Castle Wedding

When at a wedding everything runs at 100 miles an hour, but when there is just the three of us and no real restrictions on time things can be slowed down and considered more. You can walk, talk and get to know each other better.

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Brighton Bandstand Wedding

Great Gatsby Inspired Wedding
Hazel & James’s Roaring 20’s Wedding in Brighton

1920s-brighton-wedding-24Here is Hazel and James who were married in Brighton.

They had a Great Gatsby inspired wedding with multiple locations (in fact a record number of locations for me this year).

Bridal prep was in the Penthouse suite of Hotel Du Vin, complete with pinball table (on freeplay woot)!. All of the fascinators worn by the bridesmaids and Hazel were made by Hazel herself. The flowers were put together by the bridesmaids too.

Hazel and James tied the knot at destination number two which was St Mary Magdalene’s church in Upper North Street Brighton. A lovely, well lit church which was great for photos.

1920s-brighton-wedding-17From there we all walked to the Brighton Bandstand stopping briefly at a beautiful Art Deco doorway for a quick snap of them together (further down).

At the bandstand there was a drinks reception and photos before myself and the couple went in the wedding car to Brighton Royal Pavilion for photos in and around the grounds before some final shots in a nearby pub.

Havana Restaurant and Bar was our final port of call for the day where the party really kicked off.

Once at Havana there was dinner, speeches and in the upper mezzanine level a mobile casino was arranged for them before all the girls danced a 20’s routine and Hazel and James had their first dance.

Their day was a unique and creative one with lots of thought and detail put into it. Even James’s suit was an exact replica of the worn in the film Great Gatsby.

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Skibo Castle

Skibo Castle Weddings

Skibo Castle Wedding

Skibo Castle

There are many venues I’d love to shoot at, one of which is Skibo Castle. This fantastic and exclusive wedding venue can be found to the west of Dornoch in the Highland county of Sutherland, Scotland overlooking the Dornoch Firth. It is operated as The Carnegie Club, a members-only residential club, offering members and their guests accommodation in both the castle and estate lodges, and hosts a number of weddings per year.

Skibo Castle is on my bucket list of wedding venues to cover. If you’d like me to be there for your wedding please get in touch.


Kingscote Barn Wedding

Kingscote Barn
Sarah & Adam

Kingscote Barn WeddingAnd so I’ve arrived at Kingscote Barn.

Kingscote has been on my wedding venue wannabe hit list for some time now. A change of scenery for me and somewhere new to get creative. I’ve known Adam since we met at a catwalk show some years ago and we caught up again on a mini engagement shoot a few weeks before the wedding day.

Adam is an accomplished photographer himself so it was quite flattering, albeit slightly daunting to shoot for someone else in the same profession….I don’t know why, I guess it just is!

Kingscote Barn WeddingThe decorations, table layouts, flowers and food on the day were quite honestly some of the best I’ve ever experienced. I’ve really not seen much better, not in combination like this.

THIS was the place to be on Sunday the 22nd of September this year and if you weren’t here, I feel for you, really, I do.

A successful wedding isn’t just made up out of a great venue and supporting staff. It’s primarily about the people attending. (Although special mention goes to LA Wedding and Event Styling , Strawberry Field catering and Sorori Design Florist for being just cracking to work with… if you’re reading this, you guys were so nice to me, thank you. It’s really nice when people consider me).

Kingscote Barn WeddingThis was a wedding full of actors, performers, singers and sheep. So everything was in place for a kicking wedding, which it was. Make no mistake about it THIS was the place to be on Sunday the 22nd of September this year and if you weren’t here, I feel for you, really, I do.

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Old Finsbury Town Hall Wedding

Old Finsbury Town Hall London
Rachel & Zach

Old Finsbury Town Hall
Years ago when I first started shooting weddings I found that each time I rolled up to a venue I had a twinge in the belly and a case of the butterflies.This was because I knew that if there’s one thing I couldn’t do…I can’t mess around with someones wedding or screw up…like, ever.

This is one of the most important days in someones life, the beginning of their journey and they’ve entrusted you to shoot it. That knowledge can run through you like a blade and boy does it keep you on your toes.

As the years rolled by it went away….until Rachel and Zachs wedding in December. You see, it was our first Jewish Wedding so I had to treat it like my first time all over again.

Sure I have more experience and confidence now and I can easily reassure myself in the knowledge that in general, everyone is going to be looking where you should be shooting. But still, a lot of things were new to me that had to be observed and recorded. Not just snapped but also in a way that conveys the journey two souls have made together up until this point and to reflect the feelings and emotions of the family too.

Old Finsbury Town HallOur day started at the Rookery hotel in Cowcross Street, London. I covered Rachel’s prep and Laura was at the Old Finsbury Town Hall (The Urdang Academy) awaiting Zach’s arrival and checking out points of interest for photos later in the day.

The order of things were different in that the formal photos were pre ceremony and in advance of the other guests arriving. Honestly, I’d do it this way at every wedding if I could do, it worked so well!

Then there was the Bedeken. This is a small ceremony in which the Groom checks the bride (to make sure it’s her) but only after signing and talking about the Ketubah. The Ketubah is a special type of prenuptial agreement and is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride.

After the Bedeken the main ceremony started upstairs. I did a lot of research about this and was expecting Zach to be walked down the aisle by both fathers and Rachel by both mothers but this wasn’t the case.

I’ve realised that as with all weddings, each one can have slight variations to the proceedings.

Old Finsbury Town HallThe ceremony was beautiful, the prayers and the singing were enchanting leading up to the end with the braking of the glass and cries of ‘Mazeltov!’

From this point it all went crazy and everyone ran in to meet and congratulate them. It was an immense thing to be a part of.

After this the couple were danced downstairs to a private room for something to eat together alone, I took some more post ceremony photos and after a short reception everyone hit the dance floor for Simcha (Jewish dancing) before dinner.

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