Eric L. Woods

The real reason I will likely never go medium format digital: Pentax K-1 – 50mm f/1.4

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There are two image capturing solutions I either directly credited with or have implied that they have diminished my desire to obtain a digital medium format camera.

Directly.

This set up uses bona fide actual film medium format camera lenses with 1.7x magnification to quite reasonably replicate a digital medium format experience.

Hasselblad 80mm f/2.8 - Kipon Baveyes - A7c

Implied.

While not using actual medium format lenses or sensor the SIGMA successfully replicates the richness and detail that medium format provides.

SIGMA sd Quattro - 30mm f/1.4 Art

But all that being said neither of these cameras are the primary reason I could put digital medium format behind me.

Hasselblad 501c

Nope. It was a sentimental favorite that really did the trick.

Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4

Why? Have written long winded posts about this camera before, but a recent acquisition really put this camera over the top.

Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4

The 50mm f/1.7 held it down for a good while and came close to hitting the mark with light gathering and depth of field.

Punch Buggy
Friday Night Lights
Random
K-1/50mm f/1.7 AF

But the 50mm f/1.4 has really allowed the K-1 to close the gap entirely for me. Sharpness, colors, depth of field, and image quality. It is all there.

Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
Pentax 50mm F/1.4
Pentax 50mm F/1.4
Pentax 50mm F/1.4
Pentax 50mm F/1.4
Pentax 50mm F/1.4
Pentax 50mm f/1.4
K-1/50mm f/1.4
K-1 - 50mm f/1.4
K-1 - 50mm f/1.4
K-1 - 50mm f/1.4
K-1 - 50mm f/1.4

Add to image quality the sturdy look, feel, and build of the camera…

Pentax Normal SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4

…and that only leaves me with exactly one reason for purchasing a digital medium format camera:

I would really like saying the words, “I own a digital medium format camera.”

But in isolation that does not cut it. Especially when you consider the fact that I can buy all three camera and lens combinations listed above and still not spend the money required to purchase the minimum spend GF system camera and lens I would need to compare to any of them for me. And I am unwilling to trade everything for one camera and one lens. Would rather the versatility.

Scoff as one might, understandably, for my practical considerations the K-1 and GFX 50S II are closer than one would think.

CameraFujifilm GFX 50S IIPentax K-1
Resolution50MP36MP (Close enough for my purposes)
IBISSensor-Shift, 5-AxisSensor-Shift, 5-Axis
AFMore focus points (117), but contrast detect only.Phase Detection: 33 (25 Cross-Type)
Mechanical Shutter1/4000s (1/16000s Electronic) 1/8000s
Continuous AFUp to 3 fpsUp to 4.4 fps
VideoNear uselessSame
GPSNoYes (With Astrotracer Functionality)
Multi Shot High Res ModeYes (200MP)Yes (Shifts color)

Do not get me wrong. If I had the disposable income…

…or photography workflow compensation justification required I would be all over this camera. But neither are the case so I am good.

Sigma dp2 Quattro - Product shot test

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