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Thread: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

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    Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    I recently traded my Leica DMR back for a Phase One 645DF P40+ with the 80mm LS lens. I will be using this for general photography assignments in areas of product, portraiture, corporate, event and B+W art. The last Mamiya system I owned was the original 645AF with a Leaf Valeo11 back, so am a little out of touch with these products. My current plan is to purchase the 120mm D macro lens and a moderate wide angle like the 45 2.8 D. My question is.....has anyone used the older non digital (D)manual and AF Mamyia lenses with the 645DF? When you look at the DF manuals they list many of these older lenses as compatible with a note that the newer "D" lenses perform best and I understand the reasons for the newer digital lens designs. Are any of the wide angles like the AF 35 3.5, AF 45 2.8, or AF 55 2.8 usable on the DF body with acceptable results. I will have several AF D lenses in my kit but given the economy and price of equipment there are some good values available in these older lenses, when they may be used for occasional work. Thank you for any information you can provide......Tom.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Tom you made a great choice. Some of the older lenses work great and some just will not cut the cheese too. Lets give the best out there first bar none the 150mm D lens, 80D since you have the LS ignore this, 120 macro is very very good, 45D is excellent with the P40+ and so is the 28mm D lens. Also very good 70-150D , 300mm AF 4.5 and believe it or not in stop down mode the 200mm 2.8 Apo. 50mm shift lens works nice but both these two lenses 200mm, 50 shift work in stop down mode. After this and forgive me it is a compromise on stopping down to get good results. Although the 210 Af is pretty good at F8. Frankly and your just going to have to trust me I would not get too far from the D glass. Your here you went this far your hanging with the big dogs so why venture off the porch. Now if it is a money issue than sure you can try some of the older glass but stay AF 35AF should be okay on the P40+ because of the crop and the 55mmAF is also very good but does not have a manual focus clutch which drove me insane. Frankly Jack has a 150mm D for sale that you really should jump on blind folded , trust me you will not be sorry. Lens is so sharp even wide open

    BTW congrats on the P40+ i really am enjoying mine a great deal. Need help just let me know.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Hi Tom,

    If you look at our lens review section, you'll find a few Mamiya lenses reviewed that may pique your interest.

    Quick answer to your question is 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 can summarize a few. I'll add this to the lens review section for posterity as well:

    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+ back, at f16 the corners while showing some softness are totally usable. If you're a perfectionist, consider it a lens you will crop to 30mm effective or so and shoot a little loose with it.

    35 AF: They are variable, plain and simple. I had one that was excellent and it still shows 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 look fine on a 24" x 32" print. That said it 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 test 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 sucked 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 from a few folks claiming their D version was great, so I tried one more time and got a good one myself. This one shows a touch of corner softness on my P65+ but honestly remains fully useable corner to corner, and is one of my most used focals.

    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, and has the old style cheapie body and focus ring, but a very good performer for the money.

    80 AF: Regular version had sample variation and the older, 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: Just got this, so still getting to know it, but first impressions are, "Oh yeah!" It has a more classic Schneider rendering -- very sharp and contrasty wide open in the center, with the extremm 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.

    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 basically stunning.

    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.

    200 f 2.8 APO manual: This lens is amazing. In reality very nearly as good as the 150 f2.8 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. As with most wide to tele zooms, this lens exhibited pincushion distortion at the short end and some mild barrel at the long end.

    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.

    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.
    Jack
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    There are a few nice "older" AF lenses, but the D series lenses are your obvious best choices with the newer MFDBs. I wish Phase would release an updated 35mm D series...

    I tried to avoid the 150mm D thinking the 75-150mm D covered the focal range. And I'm glad I added it to my collection. The 150mm D is simply fantastic---fastest focusing lense on the 645DF.

    *hint* If Jack hasn't sold his 150mm D lens yet, I'd look into it.....

    ken

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I tried to avoid the 150mm D thinking the 75-150mm D covered the focal range. And I'm glad I added it to my collection. The 150mm D is simply fantastic---fastest focusing lense on the 645DF.

    *hint* If Jack hasn't sold his 150mm D lens yet, I'd look into it.....
    It hasn't sold, but the reality of how good it is makes me wonder if it isn't the gods of photo karma encouraging me to keep it LOLOL!
    Jack
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Jack, Guy, and Ken....thank you for the thorough lens review. This information will be very helpful to me as I build my lens kit. This is more information than I could find anywhere else on the web....thats what makes this one of the best forums!.......thanks Tom.

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Hey, no problem and happy to help -- after all, that's why you guys pay us the big bucks!

    ,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    They do?
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Has anyone here tried the old manual focus 150mm f/2.8 lens? It says it was made to use with the 2X TC as well. I wonder if it's as sharp as the new 150mm D?

    Ron

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    Senior Member mAlKhamis's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    just wondering if any one tried the 150mm 2.8 with extension tubes for macro and closeups ??? will it perform well ? I'm just annoyed about the 120mm F/4 macro, because i can't shoot fast with it
    Mohammad Al-Khamis

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    And there is also the older manual 110mm 2.8. It is lighter than the 120 & 150. Anyone?

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by mAlKhamis View Post
    just wondering if any one tried the 150mm 2.8 with extension tubes for macro and closeups ??? will it perform well ? I'm just annoyed about the 120mm F/4 macro, because i can't shoot fast with it
    It works, but with the tubes you lose AF so are back to manually focusing anyway. Also, you have to add and subtract combinations of the three tubes to get all the different close focus ranges you get continuously from the macro, so it's far more inconvenient to use as a macro. Then after all that, the sub 2 meter subject performance is not as good as the dedicated macro. Of course on the other side of the coin, the 150 D is optically superior beyond 2 meters... Bottom line, if you regularly shoot macro, you want the 120; if you regularly shoot people or landscape distances you want the 150; if you shoot both, you'll probably want both lenses...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    ....Bottom line, if you regularly shoot macro, you want the 120; if you regularly shoot people or landscape distances you want the 150; if you shoot both, you'll probably want both lenses...
    And if you're a member of this forum, you'll get both lenses....


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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    And if you're a member of this forum, you'll get both lenses....

    That's true, perhaps a bit unfortunate, but true...
    Jack
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    That's true, perhaps a bit unfortunate, but true...
    Yes, and then once you have BOTH lenses you start thinking about backup copies for each . . . just in case!!!

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    Yes, and then once you have BOTH lenses you start thinking about backup copies for each . . . just in case!!!
    True, but that's where the "old" manual focus options come into play!
    Jack
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by cmb_ View Post
    Yes, and then once you have BOTH lenses you start thinking about backup copies for each . . . just in case!!!
    Nahh. I've never had the need to buy a back-up version of the same lense---never had a lens "go bad" on me.

    However, this is the correct reasoning to use to buy the lenses with the next focal lengths both above and below the primary lense....


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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    It works, but with the tubes you lose AF so are back to manually focusing anyway. Also, you have to add and subtract combinations of the three tubes to get all the different close focus ranges you get continuously from the macro, so it's far more inconvenient to use as a macro. Then after all that, the sub 2 meter subject performance is not as good as the dedicated macro. Of course on the other side of the coin, the 150 D is optically superior beyond 2 meters... Bottom line, if you regularly shoot macro, you want the 120; if you regularly shoot people or landscape distances you want the 150; if you shoot both, you'll probably want both lenses...
    Thanks Jack !! you are the best that was really helpful
    Mohammad Al-Khamis

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Jack and All,

    When come to creamy smooth bokeh, is there any lens you experienced in the 80-150 range that come near the bokeh of Mamiya 200/2.8. The 200 is too long and heavy! I am seeking to replace long end of my 55-110.

    Any hopes for the Schneider 110/2.8, albeit that one is too $$?

    (b.t.w. reason seeking replace AF 55-110: heavy and seek even sharper, smaller f-number)

    Thanks

    Regards
    Anders
    Last edited by Anders_HK; 9th April 2010 at 08:11.

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Anders, have you tested the 150mm f/2.8 D? I have not, but have seen several images from it which have exhibited nice bokeh, while it's also tack-sharp. It has a bit of a clinical or modern look, but at least it does not seem to present a harsh or jittery bokeh. I'm considering it for its contrast, sharpness as well as it bokeh, though I don't see it as a "buttery" type of look.

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    If you want really luminance look try the 80 1.9 . Jack is sending me his see if i can shoot some stuff with it . It's old ,manual and cheap but kind of a interesting look
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    If you want really luminance look try the 80 1.9 . Jack is sending me his see if i can shoot some stuff with it . It's old ,manual and cheap but kind of a interesting look
    Guy,

    The Mamiya 80/1.9 is tuly lovely... very very shallow DOF also @ 80cm! You should be cautious to try it, you might like it... something magic about its shallow and focus @ near...

    I aint letting go of mine


    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    Anders, have you tested the 150mm f/2.8 D? I have not, but have seen several images from it which have exhibited nice bokeh, while it's also tack-sharp. It has a bit of a clinical or modern look, but at least it does not seem to present a harsh or jittery bokeh. I'm considering it for its contrast, sharpness as well as it bokeh, though I don't see it as a "buttery" type of look.
    Dale,

    Considering replacing my 55-110; from normal length and out I also already have 80/1.9 & AF 300/4.5apo.

    The AF 150/2.8 D is clear contender but per images posted not same clear bokeh as 200/2.8. Of course I want to kick myself ... I could also sell the 300 to get a 200 and be done, just add a 80/2.8 D for AF and with extra change in pocket and less weight in my bag , and the dang weight to which makes difficult hand hold the 200... as does 300 of course. Albeit the 150/2.8 can be hand held, the new Schneider 110/2.8 would be less weight to do so than my 55-110 , but... way many $$$, thus... right now thinking bokeh...

    Any thoughts on 150 vs 200 of those who have used it, or of 80 D? Seeking AF lens.

    thanks!

    Regards
    Anders

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    IMO, the best lenses on the Mamiya for bokeh are:

    80 f1.9 manual, Hasselblad FE 110 f2, Mamiya 145 Soft Focus (this is a floating front element "De-Focus" design so can be adjusted from slight to heavy soft effects that also vary bokeh), Mamiya 150 f2.8 AF-D, And of course the 200 f2.8 APO you just mentioned.

    Re the Phase/Schneider 110 LS lens: Tough to say what the bokeh on this will be. The 80 LS seems a tiny bit clumpier than the 80 AF-D, so if the trend holds, then probably not... But, if by chance the 110 LS borrows design from the Hassy 110 F lens -- which seems somewhat likely -- then there is hope
    Jack
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    IMO, the best lenses on the Mamiya for bokeh are:

    80 f1.9 manual, Hasselblad FE 110 f2, Mamiya 145 Soft Focus (this is a floating front element "De-Focus" design so can be adjusted from slight to heavy soft effects that also vary bokeh), Mamiya 150 f2.8 AF-D, And of course the 200 f2.8 APO you just mentioned.

    Re the Phase/Schneider 110 LS lens: Tough to say what the bokeh on this will be. The 80 LS seems a tiny bit clumpier than the 80 AF-D, so if the trend holds, then probably not... But, if by chance the 110 LS borrows design from the Hassy 110 F lens -- which seems somewhat likely -- then there is hope
    Jack,

    Much thanks. What is your impression of the bokeh from AF 150/2.8 D vs. 200 / 2.8 apo? And... bokeh from AF 80/2.8 D vs. 200 / 2.8 apo?

    Or if you will, even more simple 150/2.8 D vs. 80/2.8 D?

    Much thanks

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    IMO, the 200 APO and 150 AF-D are very close. The 80 D is definitely not as smooth as either of those -- not bad mind you, just not as smooth. The 80/1.9 is smoother than the 80 D too, but adds some swirlys wide open... The 80 LS seems to have a bit of the swirlys too.
    Jack
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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    IMO, the 200 APO and 150 AF-D are very close. The 80 D is definitely not as smooth as either of those -- not bad mind you, just not as smooth. The 80/1.9 is smoother than the 80 D too, but adds some swirlys wide open... The 80 LS seems to have a bit of the swirlys too.
    Thanks!!!

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    What, if any, is the difference(s?) between the current Mamiya "D" lenses and the PhaseOne branded versions?

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Quote Originally Posted by pesto View Post
    What, if any, is the difference(s?) between the current Mamiya "D" lenses and the PhaseOne branded versions?
    Warranty/Distribution/Bundling-Options.

    Same exact lens.

    Remember Phase One purchased a controlling interest in Mamiya last year.


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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    Are the current PhaseOne and Mamiya bodies the same as well?

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    Re: Phase One 645DF lens choices,

    80mm 1.9 wide open
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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