About nine months back in invested in a Ricoh Pentax 645z camera body, and purchased nearly every medium format lens available (from super wide 25mm (approx 19mm in 35mm equiv.) to 400mm tele) for this wonderful new camera. I thought it was time to talk about the joy I’m getting from the amazing output quality I’m seeing.
I used to shoot medium format film cameras up to 6 x 9 colour transparencies. Shooting 35mm full frame digital is great, but when Ricoh Pentax brought out this camera I felt it was time to jump up. Sure, Canon has recently unveiled 50MP 35mm camera bodies, but to be honest, they won’t come close to the performance of this. The file sizes might be comparable, but the pixel size with the Canon is so small now, that the quality of output will be miserable in comparison. Check out the photo below for a large copy (which is 1/10th the size of the original by the way) – click on it and make sure you’re viewing at 100%. As you see, there’s no shadow detail. Infact, I’m finding I can shoot the Pentax 645z at 3200 ISO and the files are better than the best Canon 400 ISO files I’ve seen. It’s just luscious to shoot with and I still marvel at the results every day.
It’s been a big investment in equipment, but as we specialise in very large reproductions (especially doing a lot of giant murals for clients) and have always aimed for the best quality output. It’s why we also maintain a top of the line Hasselblad Imacon Scanner for sucking the best out of our back collection of quality transparencies. The feedbck we’ve had from clients is very rewarding.