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Super Tele lenses for digital medium format recommendation


Active member
In support of the M645 film format Mamiya made a 500mm f/4.5 APO telelens that is quite useful wide open but it is a brute. It is a white lens along with its 300mm f/2.8 APO and 200mm f/2.8 APO cousins. Good manual focus lenses that sometimes are reasonably priced.
I have never seen a 500mm f4.5 APO come up for sale, no idea of a ball park figure of cost! The 300mm f2.8 APO has gone up a lot in price since I bought mine.



New member
Does anyone here have experience using the Pentax 645 600mm f/5.6 lens with a 1.4x extender? I use a GFX 50R and I'm looking for any pointers in regards to what image quality to expect from such a setup, whether it's worth it or if i should just bite the bullet and go for a different system.
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Well-known member
The short answer is (as noted by a number of us that own and use the Pentax 645 600mm f5.6 lens) is that its hard enough to both stabilize and get an adequately sharp shot (due to explanations in the various posts above) with the lens alone, never mind the 1.4x attached to it. In an ideal world where the entire lens and camera system (this lens and the 645D/Z body) was free of the various of factors that make getting an acceptably sharp shot possible, I believe the optics of the lens itself is good enough to get a fairly decent adequately sharp shot with the 1.4x attached, but achieving that will be even more elusive than the already difficulty of using the lens alone without the 1.4x. Personally I would go another route if you need such reach and that would imply another system. Just my own personal thoughts.

Dave (D&A)
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Active member
Using the Rollei lenses, gave up all thought of 1.4tx on any tele due to stability issues. Also gave up the 300 f4 Schneider (superb, but too big and heavy) for an older 250 f5.6 Zeiss which was smaller, lighter, cheaper, and just as sharp at f8. Was up at the races, shooting cars w a monopod and the 250mm one morning, turned around, and there was Andretti standing right next to me.. talk about wrong setup at the moment. Backed off about 8’ and still got something. Can one advocate for flexibility?


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Well-known member
Does anyone here have experience using the Pentax 645 600mm f/5.6 lens with a 1.4x extender? I use a GFX 50R and I'm looking for any pointers in regards to what image quality to expect from such a setup, whether it's worth it or if i should just bite the bullet and go for a different system.
I've used it with 645D, 645Z, and now a 50R. The shot I posted earlier shows the lens with the 1.4X attached. It is a very good combo; preferable to cropping a shot without the extender. I don't use the lens often because of its size and weight and the aforementioned vibration issues; I am more likely to use the Pentax 645 400mm FA lens with its AF and light weight, unless I really need the extra reach. I agree with Jack and Bill: there are better system choices for long telephoto, but if you like MF, it does the job and, as Will noted, it looks cool. Attached is an old shot using the 1.4x on a 645D.
Tom_IGP1299-1 copy.jpg
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New member
Thanks for sharing, tsjanik.

I'm quite sure I won't be going for the Pentax 600mm lens. Other then the vibration issue that needs to be dealt with, it probably won't be easy to get rid of (at least domestically) once my project is over.

My current plan is to get a ~800mm solution from Canon with an adapter. The 400mm f/2.8L IS looks surprisingly good with the 2x III extender from what I've seen online. Regardless of what I end up with I'll have a look and see what the quality is like for the full sensor. If doesn't satisfy me, I'll use the 35mm crop mode and stitch a couple shots.

Thanks again for all your inputs, much appreciated.


Active member
I use long tele lenses for ski action and compressed landscapes and one of the issues with the latter is depth of field if there is are foreground elements. As much as I would love to get a 350 SA for my Hasselblad system, I am not sure if that kind of ROI works out on the balance sheet for me as I mostly use the V system for black and white film and the regular and very affordable CF 350mm 5.6 works great for that, even with the 1.4XE converter.

So when I tried the combo of the 350mm 5.6 CF + 1.4XE on my Flexbody with the CFVII 50C, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the files looked after a simple movement of the purple fringing adjustment in post. Not only was it plenty sharp but the control over DOF in a long compressed landscape was simply amazing. I can't do that with my Nikon Z7II on super long glass, I would have to focus stack and I am not into that much post, I am a get it right in camera kind of guy.

For most tele work, I will choose the right tool for the job in the Z7II + 500mm+ glass. But for compressed landscapes, it's the Hasseblad 350 / Flexbody / CFVII 50C hands down.

Here is a CA torture test with the Hassy CF 350 + 1.4XE, quite a bit of rear tilt:

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Any thoughts on a comparison of the Mamiya 300mm Apo lens compared to the 250mm Superachromat?
Or alternatively the Phase One 240mm lens? These are the three lenses I am considering currently, using a Phase One back.
I think the 300mm focal length is actually a better telephoto length for my purposes.
The 350mm Superachromat is another option, but may be a bit too long (and expensive too).


Subscriber and Workshop Member
I've been using a Hasselblad HC 300/4.5 on a Leica S for a few weeks. It functions fully electronically with the S adapter (including AF) giving you the option of focal plane shutter or the lens's leaf shutter. Its only fault is that it dislikes the focal plane shutter at a few shutter speeds, but with its leaf shutter, it is faultless. I have no idea if this lens can be adapted to anyone else's use - the older fully manual designs are often much easier. But I've been pretty happy with it. I have not tried the teleconverter, as I'd lose the leaf shutter - and possibly the lens function itself. These adapters are idiosyncratic. OTOH, a manual lens would adapt fine, albeit restricted to the focal plane shutter.



Well-known member
Any thoughts on a comparison of the Mamiya 300mm Apo lens compared to the 250mm Superachromat?
Actually no comparison, but I use the 250 Superachromat regularly. It‘s a little difficult to focus as it does not have any infinity stop. Besides that, the image quality is really, really good. For my purposes - long landscape shots - I found it very usable also with the 2x Converter. Of course the use of the converter is a compromise (the IQ of the 250 SA+ 2x TK is lower than with my 350mm SA+ 1.4x TK) and this combination requires a serious approach to stabilisation.

Disclaimer: I‘m at the moment selling my 2nd 250mm Superachromat.
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Well-known member
This is a subject that's dear to my heart... :love:

I don't have any experience with the Mamiya 300 Apo but in a one-off, back-to-back comparison on a workshop in the Utah desert several years ago, tested on an IQ3 100 my 250 SA easily bested the SK BR 240 in terms of sharpness. The 350 Tele-Superachromat is indeed a beast but when you need reach, you need reach, which can be extended even further with the dedicated APO 1.4XE teleconverter with essentially no degradation in image quality. Both the 250 SA and 350 Tele-Superachromat hold up just fine on the IQ4 150. One nice feature of the 250 is an image circle that allows up to ~15mm horizontal shift (the 350 is much more limited in this regard).



Well-known member
I work with long lenses (greater than 120mm) so infrequently I haven't any nitpicks to offer whatever.

I've gotten some remarkably good results using my old Leitz Elmar-R 180/4 and Extender-R 2x fitted to the Hasselblad 907x and cropped to square. It's light, small, relatively cheap ... and I already own it. :)

And similarly, considering the cost of it, I've gotten some very nice results with my Nikon F mount Sigma 600 f/8 mirror lens on the same camera, again cropped to square. It again is relatively small, lightweight, and focuses close ... and I think the Nikon to X system mount adapter cost 2x more than the lens did—I got that for $85 at a flea market. :D

Both of these rely upon using the 907x/CFVII 50c eshutter exclusively, so of course they're only good for static subjects...



Well-known member
I don’t like to challenge Jack’s impressive background and photographic knowledge, but in my most humble experience using the Sony A1 with the Sony 600mm f4 lens and choosing the enhance feature in Camera Raw gets you an image that is the equal or superior to any medium format capture and is superior to my former 600mm f4 Nikon lens with respect to acuity and contrast.
In addition the Sony kit blows away any Nikon or medium format with the ability to quickly focus and to follow focus