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Thread: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    I recall reading here a while back around issues related to QC and variability with the Mamiya/Phase 28mm, 45mm and also 75-150. I'm in the market to purchase these lenses for my DF and I was wondering whether the QC issues relating to the lenses was still true - i.e. 28mm corner softness, 45mm variability etc.

    Also, is there really any difference between the Phase and Mamiya branded D lenses?

    Finally, I'm looking for ultimate image quality from these lenses on a 28MP back. Logically that would dictate that I should go with just the primes such as the 28, 45, 80, 150 D lenses. However, I hear great things about the 70-150 and I was interested to know how this lens compares to the 80 & 150 primes. It's a very tempting zoom range for general shooting but I'm concerned that it'll make me lazy, plus I have my Nikon D3s/D3x outfit that also can cover this range for more general shooting.

    The MF digital bug bit me hard, especially after my first week of basic testing ....

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    Senior Member yaya's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Also, is there really any difference between the Phase and Mamiya branded D lenses?

    Finally, I'm looking for ultimate image quality from these lenses on a 28MP back.
    Graham hi,

    There is absolutely no difference between Mamiya D lenses and Phase One D lenses, other then perhaps regional pricing and warranty details.

    With regards to edge sharpness, the Leaf 28MP backs, since they use a 44X33mm sensor, are not going to push any lens too much

    yair
    Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Phase One | Mamiya Leaf
    e: [email protected] | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | yaya's blog

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    What Yair said; the latest D lenses seem to be consistently good, except my experience is the Phase versions seem to be more consistently good than the comparable Mamiya versions. I'd simply add that historically those three have been very good on the crop cams too, and only showed any real weaknesses on full-frame in the corners. Hence, for future proofing in favor of a full-frame sensor, you might want to exercise caution if buying used and maybe borrow a full-frame back to test them on.
    Jack
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    On the P40+ obviously a crop sensor but all of the D lenses preform outstandingly to the corners. Maybe the only one will be the 28mm with a P65+
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Re the 28 on the P65+ -- bottom line is if corners are critically important to the final image, then think of the 28 as about a 31 on the P65+. Works just fine for normal images full frame though. Oh, and know you need to stop that lens down to f11 or 16, or even 22, to get the best corners.
    Jack
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    ....However, I hear great things about the 70-150 and I was interested to know how this lens compares to the 80 & 150 primes. It's a very tempting zoom range for general shooting but I'm concerned that it'll make me lazy....
    I have the 80mm D, which though not my favorite focal length, just is a rock solid performer.

    The 75-150mm D is a fantastic lens, and I fought really hard to avoid buying the 150mm D---I wanted to be lazy! It was about 95% Guy's fault that I went ahead and bought the 150mm D. And absolutely no regrets---the 150mm D is in a class of its own. I still use the 75-150 frequently, but whenever given the choice, the 150mm D is attached to the camera. It is a worthwhile purchase, and I don't think the zoom will make you lazy...

    ken

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    Optechs Digital
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Hi Graham,

    I have all of these available to try out in Seattle. I would be happy to spend time with you and show you each lens so you you can judge for yourself which will work best for you.

    Or, I will heading to Portland in about a week so i could arrange to meet you at your place as well.

    Just let me know if interested.

    Best,
    Paul

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Yep. The 150/2.8D is a freaking laser, even corner to corner wide open. The 75-150 D is usable wide open and gets very good by f8. The zoom is the more versatile lens, but I admit to missing my 150/2.8D as Ken warned I would -- it was special.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    I owned the 150D and also regret selling it, although the 75-150 is wonderful in-studio. I seem to use it at f11 almost all of the time and I have no complaints anywhere in a P65+ frame.
    I just could not really justify having both in my kit.
    -bob

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Thanks everyone for the very helpful information.

    The zoom looks interesting as it could shrink my outfit significantly for landscape work. I'll need to get hands on to see how it handles as I've only ever used the 55-110 & 105-210 zoom versions. However, if the 150 is as good as you folks suggest then it'll be a tough choice.

    Paul: I think I need to arrange for a day trip up to Seattle. I've driven past up to Vancouver twice in the last month. I'm on the road for the next few weeks so unfortunately Portland won't work. However, you can tempt me with the Alpa alternatives when I come and see you. (I have been tempted by the 12 TC or Max travel option too which might even justify giving up my Leica gear)

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    The 75-150 D is excellent for landscape work, giving you a lot of flexibility. It is substantially better than either the 55-110 and the 105-210 lenses (not even close IMHO).

    ken

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Thanks Ken - my experience so far with the 105-210 has been shooting manual stopped down at f/8 - f/11 which produced results very similar to my D3x & 200/2 but with slightly better tonality from the Aptus. I hope to have some time when I'm back home at the weekend to give the lens I have a better work out although I've already decided that I want to give the back the best glass I can reasonably afford. I used the 55-110 & 105-210 extensively in the past when I shot with the Kodak 645M and even then I knew I was glass limited (55-110 especially).

    Pretty much pure landscape is what i want this outfit for so versatility is useful and I'm not so much in need of lens speed.

    I'm certainly glad that I've been through the Leica M experience for many years so that my wallet isn't quite so shell shocked when i look at the glass costs.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    FWIW, there are stellar copies of the 55-110. You may have to sort through a half-dozen to finally find one, but when you do it can be worth it. (Yes, I do have one and IMO it is as good as the 75-150!)
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    I had both the 28 and 75-150 while shooting with a Mamiya/Phase bodies and P30+. While I enjoyed shooting with these lenses my most favorite was the 28. While I had other lenses these were the one I used the most.

    Don
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    FWIW, there are stellar copies of the 55-110. You may have to sort through a half-dozen to finally find one, but when you do it can be worth it. (Yes, I do have one and IMO it is as good as the 75-150!)
    I did pick up the 55-110 along with the back/camera and haven't had a chance to test it out yet. My old copy was a little "mushy" at 55mm but I only had a sample of one to compare it with. (plus it was a disturbingly long time ago now when I think about it). that said, several of my favorite images were taken with that lens and those prints are on a number of my family's walls. It did live a hard life on both film and digital before i went back to Nikon.

    I need to test my copy out with a more open mind I think ...

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Most of the 55-110 and 105-210 zooms are very good at one end and mushy at the other. However, at least with the 55-110, on occasion one will be very good all the way through the zoom range. Now for another anomaly: most of these earlier zooms need to be stopped down past f8 to be good enough to use. But with the 55-110, on occasion you find one that is very good wide open. When the stars align, you find one that does it all. The downside is when you have a really sharp copy, then the CA shows more prominently. Fortunately, software corrects it pretty easily.

    FWIW the 75-150 does exhibit a bit of CA as you get toward the edges too -- at least mine does.
    Jack
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    ....
    Pretty much pure landscape is what i want this outfit for so versatility is useful and I'm not so much in need of lens speed.

    .....
    I do like my 55-110, but it's just not the same as the 75-150 to me in terms of both quality and desired focal length (preference).

    For pure landscape, the 75-150 for versatility is the big plus. You really don't need the 150mm D.... (I know, I know---did I just say that?)


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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    As Ken said, for landscape I agree the 75-150 is the more versatile lens --- I can do 90% of everything I need with it and the 45.

    But, the whole reason I keep the 55-110 is for landscapes -- there is just often enough I want a wee bit wider than the 75 and not as wide as the 45. OTOH, I don't need the 150 end as often. All I'm saying is if you have one, you might want to test it on the new back before selling it. Regardless, you'll probably want the 75-150 anyway, and I would buy it before the 150/2.8 prime.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    Graham hi,

    There is absolutely no difference between Mamiya D lenses and Phase One D lenses, other then perhaps regional pricing and warranty details.

    With regards to edge sharpness, the Leaf 28MP backs, since they use a 44X33mm sensor, are not going to push any lens too much

    yair
    This might be true, but certainly wasn't a while back. Had the 150D 2,8 and 45D from Mamiya, both had quite some problems with edge sharpeness. My dealer exchanged them to Phase One copies, which worked great.

    However, perhaps i was just unlucky.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lenses

    Can anyone comment on the fact that Phase One lenses come with 3 year warranty but the same apparent lenses from Mamiya only seem to have a 1 year warranty?

    Given that all the pricing I've seen is identical ( discounting any anecdotal info about QC differences) it would make buying Phase One branded new lenses a no-brainer.

    Am I missing something obvious here?

  21. #21
    Optechs Digital
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Can anyone comment on the fact that Phase One lenses come with 3 year warranty but the same apparent lenses from Mamiya only seem to have a 1 year warranty?

    Given that all the pricing I've seen is identical ( discounting any anecdotal info about QC differences) it would make buying Phase One branded new lenses a no-brainer.

    Am I missing something obvious here?
    Hi Graham,

    Mamiya has just recently updated their warranty policy to three years as well on these lenses. At least this is true for USA product imported through the MAC group.

    Best Regards,
    Paul

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mamiya / Phase One Lens Quality

    Thanks Paul. I certainly couldn't see any logic in this being different between the two brands, especially subsequent to our chat yesterday too.

    It certainly seems that this hasn't rippled down to the large Mamiya retailers and their sites yet though.

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