All is a little quiet on the photo blog front for the next few weeks. I'm part-way through a UK road-trip shooting my next photography project/photo-book. After saving up the pennies and a bit of a wait I've just got my hands on the new Pentax 645z medium format camera and the Pentax 55MM F/2.8 SMC 645 lens which I'm getting to grips with on this trip.
I've been shooting portraiture with the Pentax alongside my 5d mkIII and I'm having a fantastic time with it. I like to shoot quickly and spontaneously, the Pentax 645z compliments this shooting style perfectly and doesn't slow me down. It suits the impromptu aesthetic I try to achieve. One niggle I've often found with Medium format (even the most recent offerings) is that they're a bit clunky and sluggish which is fine for considered shooting such as landscapes or studio work but gets in the way when trying to capture moments on the go. The speed and responsiveness of the Pentax 645z is seriously impressive, it behaves like a fast 35mm digi and transitioning from a 5d III is effortless. The buttons are very well positioned and I can adjust everything I need without removing my eve from the viewfinder. The viewfinder is worth a whole blog post on its own merit, one of the best I've seen.
I’d love to report that it’s all been plain sailing - There are a few small gripes with the camera but up until a few days ago nothing that had detracted from my shooting experience. Sadly my 645z has now had a pretty serious fault, the joy of early adoption… The rear wheel on the camera has stopped functioning, which is doubly frustrating as I’m part way through a job and can only really use the cam in auto mode. Being one of Pentax’s high end cameras I was expecting a little high end customer service to resolve the problem quickly. No such luck, in fact pretty much the opposite of that. The best Pentax offered was that I could post it to them at my own expense and convenience with no loan/replacement and they’d hopefully fix it at some point. Pentax are clearly aiming this camera at the pros but don’t seem to have the professional level customer service to match. I've been left a little high and dry by Pentax customer services. Scuba diver Paul on the other hand is the polar opposite of high and dry, this set were all ambient light shot on the Pentax 645z (before it broke).