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Thread: Mamiya lens overview

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Mamiya lens overview

    These questions come up from time to time, so here is a copied response from another thread just to have it in the lens review section. Note I may update this from time to time so comments about other lenses are not necessarily in order of focal length:

    I have shot most every lens available on the Mamiya/Phase body's and while I did not do extensive, scientific testing with each one, I will summarize my findings; I hope it helps guide your decisions:

    28 AF D: Can we say sample variation. Some are very good once stopped down. My current one is very good at f11, but is definitely best at f16. Even on my P65+, at f16 the corners show some softness but are totally usable. If you're a perfectionist, consider it a lens you will crop to 30mm effective or so, and then shoot a little loose with it.

    35 AF: They are variable, plain and simple. I had one that was excellent and it still showed some softness in the corners. However, I produced a nice image in Canyon De Chelley with it in front of my P45+, and even the corners looked fine on a 24" x 32" print. This lens has slightly lower contrast than the 28D or 45D. That said, a good copy should be fine on all cams except the P65+ where you'd probably want to crop off the last few mm of IC.

    45 AF: I tested 4 versions of the pre D and they all sucked in the corners on my P45+. Center to 2/3rds out was excellent, but the corners were horrible and would have required a crop to about 50mm effective to be usable. I then tried one of the early D versions and same thing. Then about 6 months later, I got word of a few folks claiming their D version was great, so I tried one more time and got a good one myself. This one still shows a touch of corner softness on my P65+ but remains fully useable corner to corner for print purposes. The 45 is one of my most used focals for landscape.

    55 AF: I've shot two different copies of this lens and both were quite good. Not as high of contrast as the newest D lenses but as sharp. They have the old style cheapie body and focus ring, but a very good performer for the money.

    55 LS: Great lens, on par with the 80 and 110, and nice edge falloff when used wide open, very good corner to corner at f5.6, outstanding at f8 up.

    80 AF: Older standard version had sample variation and the cheap body and AF ring, but very good performers in general -- like the 55 above. The D version is notably better with improved contrast and improved corner performance at the wider apertures.

    80 LS: First impression was, "Oh yeah!" It has a more classic Schneider rendering -- very sharp and contrasty wide open in the center, with the extreme corners gently fading off in sharpness with a creamy bokeh. Stopping down one moves the sharpness out further, and stopping down two leaves it sharp and contrasty corner to corner. Stopping down 3 or 4 (f8 and 11) are the prime apertures for outstanding corner to corner sharpness and contrast.

    110 LS: In a word, maybe even better than the 150 f2.8D I commented on below, yet has the classic Schneider rendering like the 80 LS. Gorgeous falloff wide open and laser crisp corner to corner by f4.5.

    120 Macro. There are at least three and possibly 4 versions. The first one (or two) are all manual, meaning you have to manually stop down the aperture and focus, and with the latest Phase bodies, your metering pattern will default to spot with any all-manual lens mounted. The latter two are considered AF lenses, but both still are manual focus only and only allow camera-controlled aperture setting and automated metering. The most recent one is a "D" version and has some extra pins to allow for firmware modifications and more communication with the body. I have owned or used all 3 and honestly, the "D" version is a skosh better than the predecessors. Not that the predecessors are bad, they are in fact excellent, but the latest D version is a stunning performer.

    150 f3.5 AF: Very good lens for the money, but needs to be stopped down one or two for best performance. Like the other pre-D designs, contrast is lower than the newer f 2.8 D version.

    150 f2.8 AF D: In a word, this is perhaps the best lens I have ever shot or tested for any camera period. It is excellent corner to corner wide open with great contrast. Stopping down simply adds DOF and maybe a touch of contrast for the first few stops -- that's it and not much more to be said.

    50mm Shift Manual: Another excellent lens. Sharp across the frame, even shifted on the P65+. I have tested C and N versions of this lens and frankly never seen a dog. Be sure to meter and focus BEFORE shifting.

    200 f2.8 APO manual: This lens is amazing. In reality very nearly as good as the 150 f2.8 AF D. Only shortfall is minimum focus distance is a longish 2 meters. Upside, is Mamiya made a 2XN converter that works extremely well with it, leaving it very sharp and usable wide open at an effective 400mm f5.6. The converter does add a bit of barrel distortion that isn't visible without it, but still a super combination.

    210 AF ED: Excellent lens, optical performance and contrast as good as any f4 APO out there, but a notch behind the 200 f2.8 APO at any aperture.

    300 AF APO: Some sample variation, but most have excellent center sharpness even wide open. Some leave corners a bit soft at the wider apertures, but I had one that was awesome all the way across by f5.6. Great lens for the money.

    55-110 AF Zoom: Again some significant variation in copies. I tried two of these and they were okay, but not so great they ever got mounted to the camera. Then I got one that was amazing and wish I hadn't sold it. Really good at the 55 end and just a tad less so at the 110 end. As with all older lenses, these get significantly better when stopped down to f8, 11 and 16, but the best will be fully usable wide open, even on a full frame back. As with most wide to tele zooms, this lens exhibits pincushion distortion at the short end and some mild barrel at the long end. The sharpest ones showed very slight CA along high-contrast edges, but this is easy to fix in C1.

    105-210 AF Zoom: Ditto what I said for the 55-100. The two I shot tended to be better at the longer end and weaker at the short end, but again, from f8 and up, very good all around. In fact, this zoom at 210 is essentially as good as the 210 AF Prime. Major difference is distortion -- this lens exhibits mild to moderate barrel distortion across the range.

    75-150 AF D Zoom: Again, earlier samples weren't as good as the later versions, and by all accounts most folks find this a very, very good lens. It is by far my most used lens and is on my camera probably 70% of the time. Very good at f5.6, excellent centrally at f8 with VG corners, and excellent corner to corner at 11 and even 16.
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  2. #2
    DolphinDan
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Hi Jack,

    Have you shot with the MAMIYA 300mm f2.8 MF or the 500mm f4.5 or f5.6 MF lenses using a digital back? If so, what was your experience?

    I am curious how the 300mm f2.8 MF compares against the 300mm f4.5 AF lens. Regarding the 500mm lenses, I have the f5.6 and find it difficult to use. And I am also curious how it compares against the f4.5 MF lens.

    Namaste
    Daniel

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Hi Daniel:

    I have not used any of those lenses personally, sorry.
    Jack
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Jack! Thanks for the reviews!

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    Adam_Freedman
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Hi Jack,

    I appreciate the reviews. I need to add a lens to my kit. I have the 645DF attached to a Leaf Aptus II 8 currently, it may become an Aptus II 12 soon. I am looking at 2 lenses the 150 AFD F2.8 and the 75-150 AFD F4.5. I am concerned that the 150 will not get as much use as the 75-150, but I own the 80mm LS, and the 150 would make a great compliment.

    Anyone got any opinions?

  6. #6
    Bright Eye
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Thanks Very much Jack for the helpful Review.

    I really Appreciate your hard work!!!!

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Freedman View Post
    .... I am looking at 2 lenses the 150 AFD F2.8 and the 75-150 AFD F4.5. I am concerned that the 150 will not get as much use as the 75-150, but I own the 80mm LS, and the 150 would make a great compliment.

    Anyone got any opinions?
    I purchased the 75-150mm before I bought the 150mm D. I almost didn't buy the 150mm D simply because the 75-150 was such a good lens already, and I erroneously thought that the flexibility of the 75-150 and the overlapping focal range would mean not using the 150mm D much. I was wrong---very wrong. The 75-150 D is a very good lens. The 150mm D is a stellar lens. The 150mm (and now Schneider 110 LS) stay on the 645DF most of the time; the 75-150 is not used nearly as often.

    The 75-150 is a good investment alone just for the flexibility that the lens offers. The 150mm D lens is just simply a "must-have" lens. It's that good.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by DolphinDan View Post
    Hi Jack,

    Have you shot with the MAMIYA 300mm f2.8 MF or the 500mm f4.5 or f5.6 MF lenses using a digital back? If so, what was your experience?

    I am curious how the 300mm f2.8 MF compares against the 300mm f4.5 AF lens. Regarding the 500mm lenses, I have the f5.6 and find it difficult to use. And I am also curious how it compares against the f4.5 MF lens.

    Namaste
    Daniel
    I use a 300mm f/2.8 on a Leaf Aptus II 12. The lens is incredibly sharp at every aperture. I can't compare it to the f/4.5 variant, but I do find manually focusing it to be surprisingly easy. The main drawback is the size of the lens -- it is large, and it is heavy. Thus, either a tripod or a monopod are necessary for extended shooting; by the same, for critical sharpness on a digital back, it's absolutely necessary to be on a tripod, anyway.

    I have found it necessary to make LCC profiles for the lens on my Aptus. This is a little difficult, again, due to the size of the lens. I do not own an LCC plate large enough to actually cover the front lens element. The images, while sharp, have very evident color shifts without LCC correction. My make-shift fix for this has been to use folded sheets of vellum paper. After some experimentation, I decided that four sheets (or one, folded four ways) seems to be right about the same opacity as the LCC plate. Your mileage may vary.

    Aside from the necessity for LCC profiles, and the actual size of the lens, I have no other complaints. It's a great lens.

    If anyone has any suggestions as far as a larger "real" LCC plate, I'd love to hear them. While I'm fairly content with using vellum, having "real" gear is always nice.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    If you consider the focusing speed, the 75-150mm D is much slower than 150mm D. Although the zoom is a very good lens, but its focusing is too slow for me so I had decided to sell it.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by topgreat View Post
    If you consider the focusing speed, the 75-150mm D is much slower than 150mm D. Although the zoom is a very good lens, but its focusing is too slow for me so I had decided to sell it.
    This was particularly tragic because I was compelled to buy it

    Has anyone tried the older MF 645 lenses with digital? I have the 50/4 shift, 300/5.6 and 80/1.9 but I was interested in getting some feedback on lenses such the older 35/3.5 and perhaps the 210 compared to the AF versions. I realize that these only operate in stop down mode but I much prefer the manual focus feel vs limp handshake of some of the AF lenses used in manual mode.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 6th May 2011 at 20:36.
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Graham,
    I've owned two of the MF 35mm 3.5 lenses. The first was the C version, and presently I have the N version. Both are OK in the center, soft at the edges, although the N version is better, and it has markedly improved CA characteristics. My back is a P30, so it's cropped, and I feel that edge sharpness would be really unacceptable on a larger crop back.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Great stuff - you just saved me a ton of money from now having to pick up a 35. The AFDII I just got with an Aptus 65S came with a 55, a slightly malfunctioning 80 (which came free), and a 150. I have a replacement 80 on order from capturecamera on eBay.

    If anything, the review above seems to point me in the right direction - 55, 80 and 150, though I'd love to upgrade my 150 to the D model since I enjoy shooting portraits most.

    Thanks again for a great review!

    EDIT: Crikey, the 150/2.8 IF D is $3.5k! http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...0mm_f_2_8.html

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    I am currently looking for some extra reach for a wave photography project. I currently have the 150mm D version and see that there is no teleconverter in AF.

    In the UK, the MF lenses are more widely available and far cheaper. I am wondering what compatibility issues there are with a 645DF and P45+. The water will not be frozen (though rocks will be), so sharpness probably isn't paramount.

    A couple of used 210mm AF lenses are available at quite a saving over new. Nothing whatsoever on the 300mm or 200mm APO.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Baxter,

    The MF lenses only work in stop down mode but otherwise are fine. I use an 80/1.9 and 50 shift.

    With the DF body you need to make sure that you have the most recent firmware loaded because there was a release towards the end of 2010 that broke non-AF use on the DF (they wouldn't work at all as I found out 100's of miles from home, luckily only with a single MF lens). DF firmware release 1.21 fixed this.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Thanks very much Graham. That gives me a load more options.

    Currently on holiday in Hawaii, hence delay in responding. Will be on the case when I get home.....or possibly sooner!

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    If anything, the review above seems to point me in the right direction - 55, 80 and 150, though I'd love to upgrade my 150 to the D model since I enjoy shooting portraits most.

    Thanks again for a great review!

    EDIT: Crikey, the 150/2.8 IF D is $3.5k! http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...0mm_f_2_8.html
    Find yourself an APO 200/2.8 - it's a lovely lens. Add the shortest extension tube for portrait and studio use. I use this lens both on 645 and on my Sony a850 with an adapter. I absolutely love it!

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Jan, the NA401, NA402 and NA403 extension rings warn of vignetting on lenses 150mm and longer. I'm assuming this would happen on the 200 APO?
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    I haven't noticed any, but I also haven't looked for it since I wasn't aware it's supposed to vignette. I'll have to check!

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    I'm deciding between a 200 APO and the 300 APO. The MFD on these lenses are pretty bad, 2m and further, and the use of extension tubes seems seems to mess up the focusing range pretty bad.
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Regarding the 300 AF APO....
    I'm looking right now at Adorama's website. They show a Mamiya 300mm f/4.5 IF Telephoto APO Autofocus lens for 645AF listed for $3,990 new. Is this the same lens referred to in the review, and is it appropriate for the 645DF body? Would folks recommend a new purchase, or should I be able to find a good quality used one for significantly less money?
    Thanks
    Will

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by ghoonk View Post
    I'm deciding between a 200 APO and the 300 APO. The MFD on these lenses are pretty bad, 2m and further, and the use of extension tubes seems seems to mess up the focusing range pretty bad.
    I used the thin on the 200 APO and never noticed any significant vignetting, but I no longer have the lens to test that. The 300/2.8 APO is pretty large compared to the 200 FWIW...
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by WWLEE View Post
    Regarding the 300 AF APO....
    I'm looking right now at Adorama's website. They show a Mamiya 300mm f/4.5 IF Telephoto APO Autofocus lens for 645AF listed for $3,990 new. Is this the same lens referred to in the review, and is it appropriate for the 645DF body? Would folks recommend a new purchase, or should I be able to find a good quality used one for significantly less money?
    Thanks
    Hi Will,

    That sounds like it. You can usually find very good condition used ones for around $1500.
    Jack
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    I think that the killer deal on the 300/4.5 AF APO is to pick up a NEW one from CaptureIntegration @$1799 with 3yr warranty. I have no bias for CI btw, I just happen to know that they advertise them at this price
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Thanks for the replies. You saved me a bundle - I ordered the 300 through CI on Friday for the $1,799! Definitely a good deal.
    Will

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    This shop owner refused to sell me the old generation 120mm Macro for my AFD2, saying that it's not compatible. That's not true right?

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by bingomaxxbuzz View Post
    I am inquiring how the 300mm f2.8 MF evaluates beside the 300mm f4.5 AF lens. Concerning the 500mm lenses, I contain the f5.6 and get it not easy to use. as well as I am as well interested how it compares in opposition to the f4.5 MF lens.
    Bingo,

    I have the 300mm 4.5 now, and sold Gabe the 300mm 2.8 he mentioned above. As he noted, the 2.8 is huge...the 4.5 is much more handholdable. Of course, at that focal length, and the low shutter speeds you're dealing with below ISO 100, handholding is almost out of the question. Probably the same thing you noticed, but worse...dealing with 500mm and 5.6

    Alas, I haven't shot enough with either lens to compare them, but plan on using the 4.5 much more than I did the 2.8.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by bythewei View Post
    This shop owner refused to sell me the old generation 120mm Macro for my AFD2, saying that it's not compatible. That's not true right?
    No, it's compatible...you just need to stop down manually.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by gsking View Post
    No, it's compatible...you just need to stop down manually.
    Thanks dude. Ordered my copy and it should arrive soon.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    I have a Mamiya ProTL + 80 1.9 + 150 f2.8 A (MF lens).

    I consider a 200mm f2.8 for portrait , how about 150mm vs 200mm in sharpness at f2.8?

    I plain to buy a 50 f4 shift lens, how about the sharpness of this lens in corner? Does it much more better than the 45mm f2.8 in corner? (the 45mm is lighter and wider, so i will take the 45mm if ...)

    Thanks!

  30. #30
    krb
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by pencil_tube View Post
    I consider a 200mm f2.8 for portrait , how about 150mm vs 200mm in sharpness at f2.8?
    Comparing my copies of these lenses, the sharpness is virtually identical. I find that I prefer the slightly wider 150 as a portrait lens but I find that only use the 150 for portraits while I use the 200 for other subjects.

    I plain to buy a 50 f4 shift lens, how about the sharpness of this lens in corner? Does it much more better than the 45mm f2.8 in corner? (the 45mm is lighter and wider, so i will take the 45mm if ...)
    With 0 shift the 50 is much sharper in the corners. With a lot of shift you will see some loss of IQ at the edges but it is still good.

    Comparing to the 45, they are simply two different tools for two different uses. The 50 is bigger, slower and the aperture blades close as you move the aperture ring unlike all the other lenses where the aperture stays open until you take the shot. I carry both lenses in my bag, using the 45 as a "street lens" and using the 50 as a "wide angle, capture the whole scene" type of lens, if that makes any sense. Either lens can do either job, but that's how I use them.


    Just my opinions, of course.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    @krb: Thanks you very much!

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Yikes... a thread about lens quality without even one image....

    Here is one to get things rolling:

    I got my hands on a 210mm Mammy f4... what a great lens. Not my kettle of fish for some things, but it is remarkably sharp and descriptive with quite nice bokeh.





    Shot at f4. No sharpening.

    And here is is after playing with the levels and curves, still no sharpening:



    and unscaled here:

    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7198/6...ce49992a_o.jpg

    The image is about a 50% crop from a p25+ file.

    Look at the detail of the fibers on the shirt on Anthony's back....

    PS. That's my handsome son Anthony
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Just saw this thread.

    My main MF system used to be Mamiya 645 in film days, mainly due to handling. Aerial photography was great with this system; I had 15 to 20 preloaded cassettes and could change film faster than in 35mm. With the motor I got a lot done in a short time. I had had a Hasselblad system earlier, but it was just too clumsy for what I was doing.

    My work was architectural photography with the 645 used mostly handheld on site during initial site photos, drawing reproduction, and construction photography on site and aerial. If the budget wasn't there for 4x5 or 8x10 final photos, it would also be used for those. Now my Olympus OM-D is technically on the same level, approximately :-(.

    For aerial stuff, I mostly used the 55/2.8, 80/4 macro and 110/2.8. All were excellent and were useable wide open, although by preference I stopped them down to 5.6 when possible. I also had the 35/3.5 (4 copies; all nearly useless because of mushy corners), 50/4 shift which was very good, 80/2.8 and 1.9 neither of which were in competition with the 80/4, 150/3.5 and 2.8, 210/4 and 300/5.6. The 150/2.8 was close, but not as good as the 110. The 150/3.5 was an excellent value and quite good closed down. The 210 wasn't as good, and neither was the 300/5.6 but I still used the 300/5.6 often as it gave me capabilities I otherwise didn't have, and it was tiny. Problem was it needed stopping down a bit, and I was using it mostly handheld (tripods aren't much good on the boom of a working tower crane). I also tried a couple of copies of the 45, but both were noticeably worse than the 55 or 50 shift, so I gave up.

    As the 35's were so poor I mostly used the Mamiyas with a Hasselblad SWC for wideangle work, which I had not sold with the other Hasselblad stuff.

    I don't know how the 55/2.8, which was very good on film, would do on digital, but I'm sure the 80/4 and 110/2.8 would be excellent.

    I got most of this stuff in the early days of M645, and remember ordering the 50 shift when it was announced.

    Henning

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Does anyone know how the new 28mm LS compares to the older AF D? Did it improve any in terms of variance or outright quality? I'm not especially interested in wides, just curious.

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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Anyone tried Old Hasselblad V lenses on Mamiya / Phaseone DF body using an adaptor? Is there any difficulty in using those lenses? I could not see anyone using that combination.

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    Member Oamkumar's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Does anyone know how the new 28mm LS compares to the older AF D? Did it improve any in terms of variance or outright quality? I'm not especially interested in wides, just curious.
    I found this link from another forum, posted by Doug Peterson.

    https://www.digitaltransitions.com/b...28mm-32mm-test

    Hope this will help!

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    Member pasman's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Quote Originally Posted by Oamkumar View Post
    Anyone tried Old Hasselblad V lenses on Mamiya / Phaseone DF body using an adaptor? Is there any difficulty in using those lenses? I could not see anyone using that combination.
    Tried that combo (FE80 and 110/2) just yesterday. Terrific! No difficulty at all. I will share photos in "Fun with MF images" thread.
    Boris Pasman
    http://www.pasman.pro
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya lens overview

    Thanks for this lens review thread Jack and all others who have contributed to it!

    I decided last night to buy a M645 AFDII (new, old stock) and just a few AF (non-D) lenses to use with the P25+ which I recently purchased from Pson, so this thread has been very helpful, since I knew very little about the M645 lenses. While I bought the back primarily to use with my RZ67 ProIID, I'm sure there will be times when a lighter kit will be appreciated versus lugging the RZ67 beast around.

    So far, I have purchased just the 80/2.8 and 150/3.5 lenses, but have my eye on a 210/4 ULD well. Plan to limit this kit to 4 lenses, so just need something a bit wider than the 80...maybe the 55 AF. Or I will get a Pentax 67 to M645 lens adapter and use my P67 45mm lens, which I really like. I don't shoot wide angles very often.

    In any event, I am really looking forward to trying the P25+ soon. I have a couple of beautiful B&W prints from Jack and Guy and if my memory is right, at least one them was shot with a P25+. So despite all the love given to newer mirrorless cams like the Sony A7rII etc, I'm confident it is still possible to make good images with this older technology, if I can only muster up the skill to make the most of it.

    Gary

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