Stepping Into Medium Format II: A Few Flower Pics with the Pentax 645

A while back, I shared my take on shooting flower portraits in low light. During that shoot, I had to deal with breezes that made the 1/8 sec shutter speed a headache. At the time, I was irritated by how the breeze kept moving the agapanthus around, wasting my time, so I wrote that post as a means of venting frustration. Today, looking at the rest of the images, I find that most turned out as I wanted.   

Since that experience, I have decided that 6 x 4.5 medium format is a good fit for flower portraits. I still like my Yashica Mat 124 but find that getting suitable framing and field of view with close-up filters is more limiting than expected. The 6 x 6 format will stay for some studio images and landscapes. But for now, I desire more flexibility. 

I bought the Pentax 645 model from KEH 11 months ago. At the time, I considered it a tad on the expensive side. However, I didn’t mind because the Pentax will be part of my permanent collection. After looking at lens choices, I decided to start with a 200mm f4 macro, having discovered that macro lenses are the most flexible and sharpest of all my 35mm lenses. The lens came at a great price, so I was set. Looking back, I wish I had also bought the 75mm lens in January because prices for all Pentax 645 gear have skyrocketed. My KEH purchase is now proving to be a bargain.  

Agapanthus in low light, Portra 160, 6×4.5
Coneflowers with bird bath in low light, Portra 160, 6×4.5
Pentas in low light,Portra 160, 6×4.5
Black-eyed Susans in low light, Portra 160, 6×4.5

I like shooting in low light. In particular, very late in the evening, right before sunset. The late evening light baths the flowers in a warm glow, setting a lush, peaceful mood. I took these shots as the sun was about to disappear for the day behind a stand of trees.

All images are Portra 160,  Pentax 645, 200mm f4 macro, using a tripod.


    1. Author

      I debated getting the 645 for a while, and glad I decided to buy it. That 200mm macro lens is sharp with great colors. Glad you like the images. I’m trying to learn and improve as quickly as I can.

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