Pentax 645z Review Pt4 – In use and ergonomics
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
Hello again. I’m going to give you some technical info on this page but there a little caveat. This isn’t a full on technical page, more weights and measures.
I just want to give you and idea on how the 645z is in use. In the main, how heavy and ergonomic is it relative to other cameras?
Let’s start with the weight. *Weights are based on all card slots taken and body cap and batteries fitted.
- Hasselblad H4D50 1767 grams
- Pentax 645z 1574 grams
- Canon 1DX 1559 grams
- Canon 5D3 978 grams
Bodies are only a part of the overall weight though. The Hasselblad HC150 with it’s all metal construction is almost 500 grams heavier. This means if you had a H4D50 and a 645z with the 150mm lens on the H series would be….658 grams heavier.
I didn’t weigh every lens but the Pentax 645’s mid range zoom, the 80-160 4.5 is 1132g in weight. The Canon 24-70 mkII weighs in a 838g.
Add those figures to their respective bodies and it’s 2,706g vs 2,514g – Only 192g difference.
This is also the heaviest lens I currently have. So overall, if you’re a 1DX user or even, a pro body user there shouldn’t be a real noticeable weight difference.
One thing I’ve found when using this camera anywhere, but in particular weddings is that you get stared at by anyone with a passing interest in cameras.
For so long Canon and Nikon have been the cameras of choice for weddings that people around you were only looking to see if it was Canon or Nikon you were shooting with.
Roll up with a Pentax and nobody knows what the hell you’re using. This is good because you do sometimes need to have the biggest camera in the room and nobody will look at you as an equal based on you having the same camera as them. Some weddings I shoot have so many 5D’s at it’s like walking into B+H photo, but with cake.
Ergonomically I like all my cameras. The 1DX is super in handling and button placement. I also like the simplicity of the H series and often, I like the brute weight of the Hasselblad, just not for prolonged use.
The Pentax is excellent and there are only a few places I’d make changes. I’d like to remove the silver knobs on both the left and right of the camera and plug them with a flat PC port cover or similar as there are other options to carry cameras now. (Black rapid straps, Spider Holster being two). I’m not forcing anything in the hope it unscrews though!
As already said in the last page, a thumb stick for AF points would please me a lot.
You will be surprised by some of the lenses. Many are totally light and if you use the older manual lenses (like the 35 A) you’ll find that not only are they optically superb but they are all metal and smooth as butter to use.
Plus they have all the aperture and depth scales on them. Also you can buy the 645n II film bodies for about £300.
There is also a spiritual side to this. Weight, ergonomics and price all count toward an overall ‘feel’ in use. I look at a camera in use as being an extension of me. I need to see the image, raise the camera and intuitively know what settings I’m in and take the shot.
I need to be confident that my camera can take the knocks of regular use. That I can use it in a spirited way without worry of breaking it and having an expensive bill as a result. You shouldn’t be precious over working kit. Careful always, precious never. This was one of my issues with Hasselblad. Expensive to fix, poor weather sealing and if you’ve seen some blads on ebay many have paint rubbing off of them. This isn’t hating on Hasselblad either. They make a great camera, but because I ‘feel’ I have to be so careful with them I don’t use it as much as I would and as a consequence, I take less pictures. It doesn’t pay it’s way as much as the Pentax does.
I’ve dropped my 1Dx a few times, it still works. I don’t want to drop my Pentax to test it, however the feel and confidence I get from it tells me it’ll probably be fine if I do. Lens broken? Just buy another. They turn up in a week from Japan and despite the awesome Ming Thein saying there would be a shortage there’s loads on ebay. Just don’t buy the cheapest.
My Pentax serial number is 6007988 – If they use consecutive serial numbers then I think there’s plenty of used lenses about. More so considering the Pentax 645 system has been around for 35 years.
Next: Part 5 – Flash System
If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please use the comments and I’ll do my best to help!Canon 1DX, ergonomics, hasselblad, Pentax 645z, repair costs, review, servicing, Sigma 50mm Art, vs