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Thread: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

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    Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I'm hard core in need of a Mamiya 7 50mm lens but wonder if any of you out there would like to share some photos made with yours and experiences with the lens.

    I currently have the 80mm and 65mm and these two lenses cover about 90% of what I currently need to in terms of the things I want to photograph. The remaining 10% I could do with a wider angle of view, but not significantly wider. The 43mm lens is too wide, so the 50mm is really my only other option. I don't want to introduce too much perspective distortion.

    Any places you can recommend getting one at a good price?

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Seeing as no one answered I grabbed one off ebay to try for myself...

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Tim,
    I also have 80 and 65, so I hope that you post some photos from the 50. I will want to pick up a wide at some point.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    The 50mm mamiya is the only lens for the 7 I don't have (other than the odd 210), and given the quality of the other lenses, I think you will love the 50mm. These lenses are as close to perfect as you can reasonably expect to get.
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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I absolutely adore my Mamiya kit. It's the best, lightest and - opposed to some users experience - the most reliable camera I have ever owned. The 80 and 65mm lenses I already have are brilliant.

    It's a great camera for hand holding and spontaneous shooting but I'm more and more using it on a tripod in order to maximize detail and depth of field with smaller apertures. I've been using a really lightweight Benro carbon fibre tripod that I don't even notice carrying all day. Oh the joys of having no mirror slap! I've been reading about the new Pentax 645D over in the digital MF forum and think it looks great but, honestly, who that's used to a Mamiya 7 kit wants to lug one of those heavy, unwieldy things around? The Leica S2 looks great but the price is insane and in reality well exposed and scanned 6x7 100ISO trannie film is amazing. I've never been able to get colour neg film to look as good scanned. Something to do with grain aliasing when the scanner reaches max res and over emphasizes the appearance of grain.

    I'm hoping the 50mm fits the bill in terms of my wide needs, which will mostly be in the area of environmental portraiture. I've heard it's amazing and almost identical in design to the 43mm. Can't be a lemon then!

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I completely agree. I have had my M7II for six years or so, and it has been rock solid...even the supposedly sensitive rangefinder alignment has been spot on since I bought it despite lots of time in airplane cargo holds and several hard knocks. I run a small custom printing and processing lab, so I have access to scan and print my images on very good equipment, as well as to use a traditional darkroom. The Mamiya 7 negatives are consistently top of the heap for me -- I like the Hasselblad better for portraiture or selective focus/tele work, but in the wide to normal range the Mamiya is unbeatable. They are consistently better across the frame than even my 4x5 negatives. They can do 44 inch wide prints without breaking a sweat.

    I also agree with you about color negative -- unless you are making color prints in the darkroom, I don't understand why people use it. Slide film has dramatically better color and grain...I have never been able to get color negative to look convincing.
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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I have the 50 and it's been great. You'll like it. That said I'm thinking about selling my 7II system as it just doesn't get used much anymore. I have a couple of beat up 6 bodies and lenses and those will do me though the 7 has been much more reliable.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I'm thinking the opposite! I'm using the 7 more and more and would appreciate a second body to put different film stock in. As much as I'd love to buy a medium format digital, I just couldn't justify the cost considering the low volume I shoot. I photograph for a living but the work I do with mf is what I'd call personal project work and it doesn't even require fast turn around. If you end up selling your kit let me know if you want to sell a 7ii separately. I might be interested.

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    Member gilpen123's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Just got myself a new Mamiya 7II with 80 4.0 lens. I can't wait to test the much vaunted resolution and sharpness of the 7 lenses. I had the RZ67 before and missed the large negative minus the weight of the RZ. Would love to see some shots taken with 65 and 50.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    The 65mm is supposed to be the weakest of the lot but, honestly, I've never seen any fault with it. Then again I've never shot anything flat like a brick wall to test its corner resolution etc. I'd use it with 100% confidence.

    The more I think about it, the more the M7ii is the most perfect camera I've used. I've always wanted a V Hasselblad because of the WLF and swappable backs but ergonomically it just wouldn't suit my way of working. I'd only be using it for 5% of the time I want to look through the lens to frame. I only hope one day someone invents a 7 like digital with an oversize chip. No more scanning for me then!

    Speaking of MF rangefinders though, who's used the Plaubel-Makina 67W with 55mm Nikkor lens? How does that beast compare? Or for that matter, the new Fuji / Voigtlander folder with 80mm lens? I like how you can fold those two camera's up and almost put in a big jacket pocket.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I have not noticed the 65mm being any worse than any of the other lenses, that said, I don't seem to shoot it as much since the 80mm is rather wide on its own, and if I want wider, I usually want REALLY wide, so I go to the 43mm.

    TJV -- I know it is really expensive, but the M9 is probably as close as you are going to get to a digital mamiya 7 for the foreseeable future. It pains me to admit it, but the resolution is getting very very close to what you can get with the M7II, and it has the similar advantages of great lenses and compact size.

    On the other question -- I have not shot with either the Plaubel or the Fuji/Voigtlander, but I have seen them in person and handled them both. I think their only advantage is that they fold up. They are not as nice to use ergonomically, and are not compact in any real sense. In fact, my first impression on the Fuji/Voigtlander 667 was how big it seemed! My second was how nice the viewfinder was. While they are both interesting cameras and surely very good performers, I think giving up the flexibility of interchangeable lenses is not worth the small gains in the compactness of storage. Keep in mind that when you are actually shooting with them they are as big or bigger than the Mamiya 7! And the small lens head means a cramped and close together aperture and focus (at least on the 667, the Plaubel has an odd focusing system).

    Anyway, here are some from the 65mm...apologies, they are not so interesting, just the ones I remember as being definitely taken with that lens!:





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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I love everything about this image.

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Thanks Cindy! I am glad you like it. That is my favorite of the three as well.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Richardson View Post
    I have not noticed the 65mm being any worse than any of the other lenses, that said, I don't seem to shoot it as much since the 80mm is rather wide on its own, and if I want wider, I usually want REALLY wide, so I go to the 43mm.

    TJV -- I know it is really expensive, but the M9 is probably as close as you are going to get to a digital mamiya 7 for the foreseeable future. It pains me to admit it, but the resolution is getting very very close to what you can get with the M7II, and it has the similar advantages of great lenses and compact size.

    On the other question -- I have not shot with either the Plaubel or the Fuji/Voigtlander, but I have seen them in person and handled them both. I think their only advantage is that they fold up. They are not as nice to use ergonomically, and are not compact in any real sense. In fact, my first impression on the Fuji/Voigtlander 667 was how big it seemed! My second was how nice the viewfinder was. While they are both interesting cameras and surely very good performers, I think giving up the flexibility of interchangeable lenses is not worth the small gains in the compactness of storage. Keep in mind that when you are actually shooting with them they are as big or bigger than the Mamiya 7! And the small lens head means a cramped and close together aperture and focus (at least on the 667, the Plaubel has an odd focusing system).

    Anyway, here are some from the 65mm...apologies, they are not so interesting, just the ones I remember as being definitely taken with that lens!:





    I've been considering the Bessa III. One of the things that appeals to me about it is the ability to shoot both 67 and 66. I really love my Mamiya 6's for traveling because of the collapsing front. I can fit one or two plus a couple of lenses and/or one plus a Leica in a small satchel. Problem with the 6 is they aren't as robust as the 7 and now a PITA to get fixed.

    But yeah I've read the Bessa is a bit of a monster. Unfortunately no place to actually view one in my neck of the woods.

  15. #15
    DougDolde
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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Check KEH.com

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Have come across my first Mamiya 7 fault - lots of crap has worked its way into the viewfinder over the years and now a big, dirty hair is lodged across the middle of the focusing patch. Will need to give it to my local repair man to clean and check calibration.

    Stuart - The M9 is indeed a close option.

    *RANT WARNING*

    But I had an M8 and loathed my time with it. Had it for six months and it worked properly for about half of one week. Got it replaced twice, both units being faulty in different ways, spent a month without it as it flew back to Germany, before giving up when it arrived back still faulty. (Actually, when I got my money back I got the Mamiya, so it wasn't all that bad in the end!) And don't get me started on waiting for Leica lens repairs and coding for nine months and having them returned with parts lost and job only half completed. I'm sure, judging by friends experiences and popular account, the M9 is a better, more mature product, but I'm not ready to go down that road yet. Plus I love the way MF looks in terms of depth of field etc as a result of the bigger sensor surface. I guess you could say I'm a mixture of stubborn pedant and grudge holding customer.

    *END OF RANT*

    I see my 50mm lens has cleared customs and should arrive tomorrow morning... Can't wait to use it!

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Received my mint looking 50mm and finder today...

    Perhaps a silly questions...

    What do the internal, horizontal markings inside the viewfinder indicate? I'm assuming the three middle ones show the center point and top and bottom of a panoramic image? The bottom lines I assume are the close focus parallax markings, as is the top markings?

    How do people find the accuracy of the viewfinder? Are the left and right markings pretty accurate for infinity, or do you get more in the final image than indicated through the viewfinder? Or is the viewfinder optimized for close focus? I'm going to go out and test soon but my camera is in getting cleaned so thought I'd ask here first.

    Thanks,
    Tim

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Can anyone answer the above question re. external finder accuracy?
    If you're framing within two - three meters, would you use the close focus markings, or somewhere between close and infinity markings?

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I have never noticed the problem with the 43mm and framing accuracy, but I am not the person to ask...I am very zen about external finders, and generally by the time I process the film, I have forgotten exactly what my framing was...when in doubt take a step back and crop.
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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    Thanks Stuart.
    I used to always use external finders on my Leica's but these Mamiya ones are a very different experience. They're so much darker and the parallax lines are upside down...

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    I haven't done the scans to back this up yet but man, this 50mm lens is really sweet! Really, really sweet. It's a revelation shooting this wide compared to equivalent 35mm focal lengths. Even when shooting modern Leica ASPH glass I saw more distortion and vignetting. Truly amazing stuff. Will post some (average) photos when I get time on the scanner...

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    Re: Mamiya 7 50mm lens

    The 50 is a totally sweet lens, specs-wise it tests better than all the others by a small margin. (they are all Great though). I find myself using the 65 a lot as a nice walkaround lens, and it's a good one for that too.

    I have some tests from older magazines, where the 7/7II and lenses were reviewed, including a test of all 5 of the lenses at the time (the 210 wasn't out then). They are at www.edsawyer.com/lenstests/

    As for framing with the 50mm finder, I find that the actual film image is usually a little larger than the framelines in the finder, generally. Some people skip the external finder for the 50 and use the fully visible area on the main finder. Personally I tried that, but the external finder shows a bit more than the visible area of the main finder, so a little more accurate for framing.

    -Ed

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