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Thread: Mamiya Lens Choices

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    Mamiya Lens Choices

    All:

    I am still considering buying a medium format Mamiya.

    The kit comes with the standard 80 mm lens, I am curious as to what lens combinations you all have.

    I was thinking about picking up the following lens:

    45mm
    150mm

    I was also looking at the 55-110mm lens, but wasn't sure about it.

    I haven't seen a used 105 - 210 yet, but that seems like an option as well.

    thought?

    thank you.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    You need to tell us a lot more about yourself first. What do you shoot? How do you like to shoot it? What sort of lighting, if any, do you use to compliment ambient light? Are you mostly on a tripod or handheld? Are you shooting out of a car most of the time, backpacking 20 miles or doing a commercial shoot with two assistants carting your gear around? Why are you moving to medium format? How often do you shoot?

    These sorts of background questions are really important. For instance if you are a landscape shooter that takes his jeep on a 2 week trip each year and that's the only time you shoot then you'll probably want to consider renting one or two of the lenses you might otherwise buy. If you're shooting fashion and want to handhold everything wide open then you'll want to avoid the zooms as they are not especially sharp wide open.

    It also matters WHICH digital back you'll be buying as the higher the resolution the more demand on the lens (making an otherwise "pretty good" lens into a "not that great" lens). And larger sensor sizes (1.1 crop or full frame) demand more of the edges of wide angle lenses.

    So first give the forum some more information and then you'll get some GREAT help from many helpful members.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Well, I just spent 10 minutes replying and it went poof . . .

    25% of my time is shooting interiors and architecture, but that 25% represents 60% of my business. I also do product photography and portrait work, which is the bulk of my time. I am moving to Medium format because I have a new client who requires higher resolution (whether it is needed or not) and also perception AND becase I WANT ONE!! LOL I always loved my Hassleblad. I also take travel photos that I sell to travel agencies.

    I almost always shoot on tripod 90%, the other is handheld. I was looking at buying the Mamiya 645DF camera kit with 80mm lens and 28MP back.

    I always have strobes with me inside or outside. I like using OCF a lot of the time, but I do you available light as well.

    I wanted the wide angle for interiors, the normal lens I could use for portraits, but was thinking I may want a longer 150 or 200(ish) lens as well for portraits. The zoom was an intersesting thought, but my 80mm lens falls withing that zoom range and I use my feet to zoom in or out. The longer zoom is really of a bit more interest to me.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    As said, the sensor size is a deciding factor as to which lenses you need.

    For instance, 75-150 was very useful for me on 48x36, but not so much for 44x33.

    On the other hand, 80mm is much more useful in 44x33 than in 48x36.

    I would stay away from the old model zooms you mentioned, as IMO they are not sharp enough for digital. The new "D" 75-150 is good.

    45 have two versions - new "D" and older one much cheaper. For this lens the "D" is important and worth the money.

    150 has a very cheap older AF model that for me is pretty good - I tried the new "D", and the copy I had was not much better.

    Note that older lenses that are not AF will not sync the aperture with the body, which makes using them possible but unpleasant.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    So I need the "D" lens?

    Or will the older auto focus lens still work and produce good images?

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    You have 4 generations of lenses you can use on a Mamiya AF/DF body:

    - Old MF lenses - very cheap - will work but you have to open and close aperture by hand - very inconvenient

    - Old AF lenses - cheap - will work fine - sharpness and colors not as good as "D" lenses - some old AF lenses are very sharp, other less so

    - "D" lenses - pretty expensive - all of them will work with current bodies and all are optically good AFAIK

    - "LS" lenses - will work only on DF body - even more expensive than "D" - I have no first hand experience but they should be better than the "D"



    As far as lenses that you mentioned:

    45 - you need "D"
    55 - old AF is fine
    zoom - IMO you need "D"
    80 - you need "D"
    150 - IMO old AF is pretty good if you keep the hood on

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    if you can find a good copy of the old PC 50 mamiya...
    needs to be stopped down (F8-F11,5)
    no af
    manual even for the F stop

    but with shift capabilities !

    i just bought a DM33 myself (sensor 36x48), i use me Arca Rm3D most of the time... so i didn't want to spend too much cash in mamiya stuff...
    then, i went for :

    50 Shift
    55 AF on sale (try KEH) good value for money, must be stop down a bit
    80 Phase one same as D not cheap but really good
    80 N macro very cheap
    120 MF really good lens the D is even better but cost a lot more
    150 AF Second Hand good value for money, must be stop down a bit

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Curtis a lot of this will come down to the back being used. Simply put the new backs with 6 micron and 5.4 micron AKA P40, P65 and all the IQ series are lets say a little more demanding on the quality of glass in front of them so the newer D and LS lenses will be your best bet. The 9 micron aka all of the 22mpx backs and than the 7.8 P30,P45 are a little more lens friendly and can handle some of the older lenses better. Pretty much a general rule of thumb here and a start on your quest to fill your bag. Honestly I always advice folks get the best you can for your money even if that means the quantity is less. Trust me and take it from the gear slut here you WILL at some point upgrade your back to bigger and/or better back down the road. Now these general rules apply to the Leaf back sensors as well in there micron sizes , many of Leaf and Phase backs use the same basic sensors. Now having said all that you can cheat these rules on some of the older lenses by stopping down fair amount to like F11 but hoping to get excellent quality in the more wide open area than your better lenses will do that much better. Hope this helps as a guide in general. Also as the lenses get towards the wide end try to go for the best in the D glass as obviously wide lenses are much harder to build and get the quality out of them. Just like any other system wides are tough to produce excellent quality because of the demands of less flaws with CA, Distortion , lens aberrations and things of this nature.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Biggest rule of them all here in any camera digital system is lens first , sensor second and body is meaningless on the IQ side of the image. The body is just something to connect the lens and sensor but has very little to do with the image quality and it's always,alway's about the image.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    anyway, if you buy second hand lenses at a good price to start... you will be able to resale it when you will be able to afford LS lenses...

    i've paid around 1500 euros for this bunch of lenses, all in mint condition...
    Mamiya lenses are so cheap in second hand compare to zeiss !
    But if you can buy LS or D lenses from the start, it's always better... is you needs it !


    50 Shift
    55 AF on sale (try KEH) good value for money, must be stop down a bit
    80 N macro very cheap
    120 MF really good lens the D is even better but cost a lot more
    150 AF Second Hand good value for money, must be stop down a bit

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Thx all for the information.

    Yes I agree. With DSLR I have always invested in the best lens, basically Nikon gear all the way. There IS a difference between the Nikon Gear and 3rd Party glass. I keep my lens, but change out camera bodies.

    I did however, buy last night, Used, A Like new Mamiya DM28 with standard 80mm lens. A fellow, nature photographer, decided it was too heavy to pack around trying to take photo's of polar bears. He let me have it for $6500.00 He only took it out of the box twice. This is a second career for him, nuro surgeon, his lose is my gain! Woot!!

    I have decided I am going to get a wide angle lens and a low telephoto for portraits. But I wasn't sure how wide I should go. Should I be looking at 35mm? or will the 45mm suffice. Problem is I am in Podunc Egypt and can't put the glass on the front to get a good look through it. I typically like WIDE angle, so maybe the 35 will suite my needs. If nothing else, I'll keep it in my bag until I need it!

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    I have found this ..... on my ZD, all the lenses worked pretty well for me, including the zoom 55-110 zoom

    On the P30+ there is the advantage of throwing out any corners that may be soft. In this respect, the crop really helps. However, my copy of the zoom just was good enough.

    80mm came with the camera, non-D ... shoot f9-f11, no real issues ....

    150mm non D, walked into a local store and it was on the shelf for peanuts ..... bought on the spot. Excellent ....

    45mm worked great with the ZD, less so with the P30+, the issue for me was more the crop factor than the lens quality itself.

    35mm found an excellent copy off this forum for a really good price, works really well.

    For my work in the studio, I really shoot everything at around F8-F11, and this is well within the sweet spot of most lenses, even the bad ones!

    I'm going out on a workshop soon, so I will have access to some of these D lenses, a clever marketing ploy on a dealers part to work with Guy on these trips!

    Dave

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    LOL. Yes leave CC at home or have wife hold something for ransom. ROTFLMAO

    I get the look before i leave on the workshops after putting on 15 of these my wife just gives me the stare down, you know what it means the baseball bat is waiting for you if you even think of walking in here with more gear. But on the other hand we have had folks go home to completely remodeled kitchens, patios , new appliances and all sorts of stuff. Trick is bribe your kids for purchase info and text you.

    Hope you know I am joking here but there is some half truth to this. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis Hustace View Post
    Thx all for the information.

    Yes I agree. With DSLR I have always invested in the best lens, basically Nikon gear all the way. There IS a difference between the Nikon Gear and 3rd Party glass. I keep my lens, but change out camera bodies.

    I did however, buy last night, Used, A Like new Mamiya DM28 with standard 80mm lens. A fellow, nature photographer, decided it was too heavy to pack around trying to take photo's of polar bears. He let me have it for $6500.00 He only took it out of the box twice. This is a second career for him, nuro surgeon, his lose is my gain! Woot!!

    I have decided I am going to get a wide angle lens and a low telephoto for portraits. But I wasn't sure how wide I should go. Should I be looking at 35mm? or will the 45mm suffice. Problem is I am in Podunc Egypt and can't put the glass on the front to get a good look through it. I typically like WIDE angle, so maybe the 35 will suite my needs. If nothing else, I'll keep it in my bag until I need it!
    45 is not very wide on dm28
    35 is also not very wide on dm28, 35 is also not the best quality lens in the line.
    If you want real wide on that back you need 28 "D", which is expensive.

    On the plus side for this back, the 80 "D" that you should have gotten with the kit, is pretty good for portraits.
    You can complement it with 150AF non "D", and keep the expenses light.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    The 28 I'm sure is nice, but out of range price wise. Is there a manual focus lens that is wide that will work well even though they are a pain to work with?

    You said the 35 isn't the best quality lens, ironically they are more $$'s. lol. The 35 equates to what a 22mm lens in 35mm but because of the sensor size it really isn't that wide. This is a new world. Lol

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    I would like to be around 24mm in the 35mm world on my DM28.
    For portrait lens around 80mm in the 35mm world or 100 or 135mm in the 35 mm world.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis Hustace View Post
    I would like to be around 24mm in the 35mm world on my DM28.
    For portrait lens around 80mm in the 35mm world or 100 or 135mm in the 35 mm world.
    I would suggest the Mam/Phase 35mm AF (preference to D series) for the wide angle. You've already excluded the 28mm. On a Mam/Phase 645 AF/DF body, wide angle is a weakpoint, hence why some prefer technical cameras. (Hcam is a neat alternative here btw, albeit expensive). Slight crop sensor MFDBs are not as demanding on lenses on the edges.

    Look at the Mam/Phase 150mm AF for your portrait lens. Big jump in quality and AF speed moving to the 150mm AF D series (well-worth the upgrade though).

    After that, you're on a slippery slope. It's only money....


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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Curtis Hustace View Post
    I would like to be around 24mm in the 35mm world on my DM28.
    For portrait lens around 80mm in the 35mm world or 100 or 135mm in the 35 mm world.
    35mm DSLR focal length equivalents on DM28 =

    24mm(35mm) = 29mm(DM28)
    80mm(35mm) = 102mm(DM28)
    100 (35mm) = 128mm (DM28)


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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    I had the same problem - on a budget wanting a good wide.

    My solution finally is keep a 35mm body just for wides.

    The only good solution in Mamiya is 28mm, which is too expensive for my rare uses.

    35mm is not wide enough on dm28 for interiors for instance.

    You can also mount view camera lens such as Schneider 28mm, or a Hasselblad 30mm, but it is still not cheap and not worth the money, unless wide is a big part of your business.

    Also worth considering is Fuji X100 - again if like me wide is not a critical application.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    To me one of the real advantages of MF is wide angle shooting - the image is so much bigger than an equivalent angle of view in 35 mm format.

    I really would go with 35 mm, D or not.

    Bill

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by lance_schad View Post
    35mm DSLR focal length equivalents on DM28 =

    24mm(35mm) = 29mm(DM28)
    80mm(35mm) = 102mm(DM28)
    100 (35mm) = 128mm (DM28)


    Lance
    Thx Lance!

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    To me one of the real advantages of MF is wide angle shooting - the image is so much bigger than an equivalent angle of view in 35 mm format.

    I really would go with 35 mm, D or not.

    Bill
    Thx bill, I checked out your website, you have some really nice work!

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Caulfeild-Browne View Post
    To me one of the real advantages of MF is wide angle shooting - the image is so much bigger than an equivalent angle of view in 35 mm format.

    I really would go with 35 mm, D or not.

    Bill
    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I would suggest the Mam/Phase 35mm AF (preference to D series) for the wide angle. You've already excluded the 28mm. On a Mam/Phase 645 AF/DF body, wide angle is a weakpoint, hence why some prefer technical cameras. (Hcam is a neat alternative here btw, albeit expensive). Slight crop sensor MFDBs are not as demanding on lenses on the edges.

    Look at the Mam/Phase 150mm AF for your portrait lens. Big jump in quality and AF speed moving to the 150mm AF D series (well-worth the upgrade though).

    After that, you're on a slippery slope. It's only money....

    Quote Originally Posted by shlomi View Post
    I had the same problem - on a budget wanting a good wide.

    My solution finally is keep a 35mm body just for wides.

    The only good solution in Mamiya is 28mm, which is too expensive for my rare uses.

    35mm is not wide enough on dm28 for interiors for instance.

    You can also mount view camera lens such as Schneider 28mm, or a Hasselblad 30mm, but it is still not cheap and not worth the money, unless wide is a big part of your business.

    Also worth considering is Fuji X100 - again if like me wide is not a critical application.

    Thx guys for your input. I am going to start looking around for a 35 and a 150, then build from there. If I need the 28 I will get it eventually. I sort of collect stuff anyway. If I buy it I will use it . . . nothing goes to waste!

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    I have posts that seem to dissapear . . . LOL

    Just wanted to thank everyone for their input.

    I truly appreciate it.

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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    Thanks for your kind words, Curtis!
    Bill

  26. #26
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    Re: Mamiya Lens Choices

    A little wide angle feedback...
    I started with a Phase DF-P30+ back & Mamiya 35mm but only got the equivalent of 27mm in 35mm format, not very wide...So lately I've been using a hartblie 45mm T/S and stitching two shifted images together to get a wider field of view (had the Mamiya 50mm shift, but fond it very stiff & awkward to shift with out moving anything)... I'm also using a Arsat 30mm Fish eye. The 'Fish was designed for a 6x7 format, that coupled with the P30+ 1.3 crop factor, eliminates a lot of the edge distortion you get with a fish eye,and after some post processing I'm getting (this is a guesstimate) about 100' field of view.
    Last edited by Flatstar; 11th November 2011 at 17:32. Reason: typo

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