Pentax 645Z – Real World Dynamic Range


As a landscape and nature photographer, one of the most important aspects of a camera (or sensor) is the dynamic range.  To be able to recover considerable shadow and highlight detail without resorting to blending exposures is what I consider the Holy Grail.  Is the Pentax 645Z my elusive chalice?  No, but it comes closer than any other camera I’ve owned or used to date.

In this brief user “rolling review”, I want to present you with a shot I took recently.  I witnessed the most amazing God Rays and wanted to capture as much detail in the highlights as possible.  I deliberately underexposed the shot by 2 stops, sacrificing the dark shadows.  Below is a JPEG version of the original image.

BeforeIn Lightroom 5.6, I adjusted a few settings and the opening image is the final result.  I’m also including the parameters for the shot pre- and post-processing.


In addition to adjusting the exposure, I also fixed the distortion caused by using an ultra wide angle lens (Pentax 645DA 25mm f/4) not centered at the horizon (Lens Correction -> Manual >Vertical -26 with “constrain crop” selected).  Don’t take my word for the amazing dynamic range.  Here a link to the original DNG file:  Original DNG file

I believe in the honor system.  All I ask is that you DO NOT reproduce the file or print the image for commercial purposes.

If you have an questions, please feel free to email me:


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