Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

  1. #1
    Member nightfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    66
    Post Thanks / Like

    Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Ok, here's my "problem":

    From time to time, I find myself longing for a really long lens for my 645AF and P45+ for atmospheric compressed landscapes (layers of hills, distant mountains in clouds etc.). Currently, I do such shots with my 150/3.5 and crop away up to half of the frame in post. As a consequence, I've recently started lusting for the huge chunk of glass going by the name of Mamiya 350/4.5 APO.

    Problem is, I'm not sure if acquiring a 300/4.5 specifically for these situations would make much sense. First of all, the aforementioned scenarios amount to maybe 5% of my total shooting. Of course, my insane inner voice tells me that if I had such a speciality lens, I would feel more compelled to seek such images, and so on. But still, I'm not sure that this lens would deliver better performance and value in these specific situations than, say, your basic Nikon or Canon DSLR with a 70-200/2.8 VR (+ optional 1.4x TC). The 70-200 is more expensive (used), but might be a better and more versatile solution in terms of focal range and max. aperture. Also, I feel that it would be easier to buy and trade used Japanese DSLR gear compared to the relatively scarce 300/4.5 which only pops up every few months in the forums.

    So on one hand, I'm dreaming of great telephoto images with my medium format rig, but on the other hand I'm not sure if it would not be better to pursue this goal with a standard DSLR + tele zoom lens setup according to the "horses for courses" principle. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    3,275
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    7

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Two quick thoughts.

    I agree if you have a specialty lens you're compelled to explore with it more often. Gear does influence style, even if it's not (nor should be) the primary motivator.

    You need a GREAT tripod/head combination and great technique to ensure you get full use out of the 300mm. It's absolutely possible, but camera shake, shutter bounce, focus accuracy are all pretty challenging with that lens.

    So that said the horses for courses argument would be utterly true if you wanted this lens to track motion (e.g. wildlife/sports), but on a tripod for carefully considered and non-rushed landscapes I don't think you have to worry too much.

    Your dealer should be able to provide you a means (cheap/counts-towards-sale rental or in-house testing etc) to test a 300mm for a trip before you commit to a purchase. At least we could.

    While you're at it get a 500mm too :-).

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
    __________________

    Head of Technical Services, Capture Integration
    Phase One Partner of the Year
    Leaf, Leica, Cambo, Arca Swiss, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Broncolor, Eizo & More

    National: 877.217.9870 *| *Cell: 740.707.2183
    Newsletter | RSS Feed
    Buy Capture One 6 at 10% off

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Gainesville, Georgia
    Posts
    177
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    There is a "new" never used 500mm on Ebay now; it has been offerred repeatedly with a minimum starting bid of $5000.00 for many months with no bids being made. Charles

  4. #4
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Be the last guy to talk you out of a 300mm. I bought and sold it 3 times now and bottom line I love the lens. I have runway to shoot in a couple weeks with my 300 and IQ 160. I need this lens and I have it. Great lens
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  5. #5
    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Draper, Utah
    Posts
    871
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    134

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Be the last guy to talk you out of a 300mm. I bought and sold it 3 times now and bottom line I love the lens. I have runway to shoot in a couple weeks with my 300 and IQ 160. I need this lens and I have it. Great lens
    lol ... i have one of those 300's.

    The comment about technique is critical ... this is a very difficult lens to capture sharp images with. I have some dissappointing shots from recent trip with it, so currently I'm testing using a bag with some weights over the top to try and get it more stable.

    I hope Phase has a 250-300 tele with leaf shutter in the works ...
    Last edited by Wayne Fox; 30th June 2011 at 20:58.
    wayne
    My gallery

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    32 31' 37.06" N, 111 6' 0.9" W
    Posts
    4,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    I've had both 300's the 2.8 as well as the 4.5 and loved using the 4.5.

    I'm in total agreement with the argument that you'd end up using a (specialty) more once you have one than you originally had thought you would. Remember once you're at this focal length you really need a steady perch to get optima images.

    If the 300 is is great the 500 must be almost twice as good....


    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
    Blog
    Tucson AZ

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    60
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    There's simply nothing wrong with the 300 AF APO. Mamiya means business in this department.

    Though, as others will attest in their own experience, it's not a lens you just whip out an start shooting with, it may act like 160 to 180mm prime from a 35mm viewpoint, but any shake really does wreak havok with the quality at the imaging plane.

  8. #8
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vancouver, WA
    Posts
    5,802
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    564

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    I also shoot with the 300/4.5 and concur with the need for good technique to get sharp images from it. Part of the problem I've noticed is to do with shutter vibration (I see this with the 210mm too), as I can shoot an image set with MLUP on a very stable perch and see sharpness variation between images. The damping of the lens is a good idea and I've been having good success using the RRS CB-YS long lens support with the 300. It makes for a bulky outfit but seems to work well for me.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

  9. #9
    Member nightfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    66
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Thanks for your input! One more thing while I'm trying to make up my mind: how does the 200/2.8 APO w/ dedicated 2XN extender compare to the 300/4.5? I'm trying to figure out whether this lens would give me more options in the field (2 focal lengths 200/400mm in one package) than the 300/4.5. I'd only consider the 200/2.8 if the image quality stopped-down at 400mm is in the same league as the 300/4.5 though. I'm not familiar with the quality of the dedicated 2XN extender for the 200/2.8; my only (not so good) experience with extenders dates back to my Nikon DSLR days.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    550
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    FWIW, I tried a couple of combinations with the Schneider lenses on the Hy6, and fell in love with the 300 f4 APO. Would never have thought so, not really liking tele-lenses, and tried it for wildlife, etc. No good for that, but wonderful for new look at landscapes, etc.

    As to tele-extenders, usually the 1.4 TX is fine, the 2X is less good. But testing is the proof - that, and a good tripod, to be sure. Shake is the biggest issue with these long lenses.

  11. #11
    Member nightfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    66
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Thanks Geoff. I'm still meandering around a bit - at this point, it's mostly about convenience. On one hand, the 300/4 would be a "logical" extension of my current 45/80/150 setup. On the other hand, I would still have to take the 150mm lens with me since the gap between 80 and 300 is rather big - or leave the 300mm at home (which is not what I would buy it for) if I want to go light. With the 200/2.8 APO, my rational is that it could replace the 150, while providing the additional 400mm length almost for free with the extender. Thus I could backpack 3 lenses like before instead of 4. Still making up my mind - and also looking at the prices.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts and Vermont
    Posts
    947
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    From the images I have seen posted here about the Mamiya 300mm, it appears that it not possible to achieve critical sharpness with this lens on a Mamiya or Phase body with a high res back at shutter speeds of 1/60 or less, even using the best technique and equipment. Even with MLU, the vibration from the shutter at those shutter speeds seems to be too much a problem. This is one of the reasons that I am still shooting with a Hasselblad H system. The 210mm and 300mm HC lenses are leaf shutters lenses and can produce exceptionally sharp images even with a high res digital back.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Munich
    Posts
    876
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    I don't have the lens, but would say from 1/60 to 1-2s after that it shouldnt be a problem again.

  14. #14
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Quote Originally Posted by hcubell View Post
    From the images I have seen posted here about the Mamiya 300mm, it appears that it not possible to achieve critical sharpness with this lens on a Mamiya or Phase body with a high res back at shutter speeds of 1/60 or less, even using the best technique and equipment. Even with MLU, the vibration from the shutter at those shutter speeds seems to be too much a problem. This is one of the reasons that I am still shooting with a Hasselblad H system. The 210mm and 300mm HC lenses are leaf shutters lenses and can produce exceptionally sharp images even with a high res digital back.
    Been tested 1/40,1/30 and 1/15 slightly. Only noticeable on the 300mm . I could not detect it on the 150 2.8

    I shoot the Phase so I can go 1/4000 on all lenses and up to 1/1600 sync on 3 lenses at the moment 5 total I think. 240 LS is around the corner
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Carmel/Tucson
    Posts
    2,355
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    You're in the wrong forum if you want someone to talk you out of buying a Mamiya 300mm (or anything else for that matter).

    Well, unless you want to consider instead the upcoming Schneider 240mm LS...


  16. #16
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    I agree the 300mm is a killer lens be shooting it on about 5 thousand images in about 10 days, shooting runway no less.

    Here the 300mm in action.

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13379
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  17. #17
    Member nightfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    66
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Thanks for your opinions, and an update: in the end, I picked up a 200/2.8 APO + extender. The transaction is still in progress, therefore no results yet. Anyway, my rationales for choosing 200mm over 300mm were:
    • presumably better distribution of focal lengths >80mm in my kit... 80 + 120macro + 200 + "emergency" 400 with extender, instead of 80 + 150 + 300
    • Manual aperture 200/2.8 can be used with adapter on wife's DSLR, 300 AF cannot
    • not very happy with the IQ of my current 150/3.5 AF, so I would likely be ogling a 150/2.8 next, if settling on a 80 + 150 + 300 setup. But there has to be an end to this!

    Now I hope that all of this works out in practice as well

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts and Vermont
    Posts
    947
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Been tested 1/40,1/30 and 1/15 slightly. Only noticeable on the 300mm . I could not detect it on the 150 2.8

    I shoot the Phase so I can go 1/4000 on all lenses and up to 1/1600 sync on 3 lenses at the moment 5 total I think. 240 LS is around the corner
    If you are shooting landscape at iso 32 or 50 with shutter speeds of say 1/4 or 1/8, I think the stresses on the system are very different than shooting the lens at 1600 iso and higher shutter speeds.
    Wasn't there a thread about this on this very forum within the past year?

  19. #19
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Just showing the quality of the lens. Iso though is meaningless in regards to the vibration. Has no bearing.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  20. #20
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Let me make this very clear . 3 shutter speeds 1/40,1/30 and 1/20. That's it 1/15 is great as well as 1/60th. Makes no difference what your shooting or what iso your working at.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts and Vermont
    Posts
    947
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just showing the quality of the lens. Iso though is meaningless in regards to the vibration. Has no bearing.
    Sure, not directly, but low iso in low light with small apertures leads to very slow shutter speeds, which is what the 300mm lens cannot seem to handle with the Mamiya/Phase body.

  22. #22
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    23,623
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2555

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Howard its a work around like anything else. Its also not very noticeable unless you are really cranking it up but yes it is there. How do you work around the 1/800 limitation when you want F4 in bright sunlight or want faster shutter speeds than 1/800. Bottom line you find ways to get things done.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  23. #23
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Carmel/Tucson
    Posts
    2,355
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Quote Originally Posted by nightfire View Post
    ....not very happy with the IQ of my current 150/3.5 AF, so I would likely be ogling a 150/2.8 next, if settling on a 80 + 150 + 300 setup. But there has to be an end to this! [/COLOR][/LIST]
    Now I hope that all of this works out in practice as well
    Are you kidding? The Phase 150mm f/2.8 D should be a top-priority! That is a must-have lens. It's that good. (there is no end to this...)

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Massachusetts and Vermont
    Posts
    947
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Howard its a work around like anything else. Its also not very noticeable unless you are really cranking it up but yes it is there. How do you work around the 1/800 limitation when you want F4 in bright sunlight or want faster shutter speeds than 1/800. Bottom line you find ways to get things done.
    The 1/800 limit on shutter speed with the HC lenses has never been an issue for me. For the type of work I do, I always shoot at iso 50 and smallish apertures in relatively low light, and my shutter speeds often fall in the "death zone" of 1/4 to 1/30 where any system vibration is likely to show up.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Eads, Tennessee
    Posts
    1,033
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Please talk me out of a Mamiya 300/4.5 APO!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Been tested 1/40,1/30 and 1/15 slightly. Only noticeable on the 300mm . I could not detect it on the 150 2.8
    Well on the two body's that I had and my hand picked 150 I could not shoot under 1/200th without noticeable shutter blurring. I have numerous images to substantiate this...... This is the real Achilles heal for the DF and doesn't get enough press. All of this will be moot with LS versions of the longer lenses and maybe the new body will have a focal plane shutter that acts more like an S2.

    Victor

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •