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Thread: How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

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    How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

    Hi all -

    I was wondering if anyone could give some insight into how the longer tech-cam lenses might compare quality wise (pure optics) with the older Mamiya MF glass? Not concerned about which camera(s) these can mount to - that's not a variable here, and use-case means larger aperture of the Mamiyas is not a benefit, so I'm discounting that too. Assume shooting at f/8 or f/11.

    Mamiya 150/2.8 against

    Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/150 N

    Mamiya 200/2.8 against

    Rodenstock HR Digaron-S 5.6/180; or
    Schneider Apo-Digitar 5.6/180 mm T; or
    Schneider Apo-Digitar 6.8/210 mm T

    Mamiya 300mm/2.8 against
    Schneider Apo-Tele-Xenar 5.6/250

    I'd like to avoid considering the LS240, because I've no desire to have to shell out for a DF.

    Would very much appreciate people's experience/thoughts on this.

    Cheers!

    Gerald.

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    Bill Caulfeild-Browne's Avatar
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    Re: How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

    Sorry I can't be very helpful in terms of comparisons as I have no tech lenses - yet!
    But the Mamiya 150/2.8 is widely believed to be their sharpest MF lens, and mine certainly is the sharpest MF lens I own.
    Cheers,
    Bill

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    Re: How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

    I own the Schneider Apo-Digitar 150 and can't say enough good about it. Very, Very sharp edge to edge and able to shift to the extremes on my Alpa STC. Its big but relatively light for its size..... This is one of the few Schneiders that I can actually shoot at f8. Another advantage of the longer Digitars is the leaf shutter which is almost vibration free.

    Victor

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    Senior Member ondebanks's Avatar
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    Re: How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

    The *manual focus* Mamiya 150/2.8 is not designated APO or even ULD...but some literature from the ProTL period when it was introduced hints at some form of low dispersion glass. I am not sure whether Bill is referring to this lens or the AF version - certainly it is the AF "D" lens that has the stellar reputation. It is unclear whether they are optically identical.

    The 200/2.8 and 300/2.8, OTOH, are full-on APOs. My 200/2.8 is diffraction limited (aerial image, which is more demanding than an image on a sensor) at f4. Fabulous. It is even better than diffraction limited at f5.6 ...getting into 1/6 - 1/8 wave territory. Now, you are comparing this to tech-cam lenses which only start at f5.6 - f6.8! They would have to be at their absolute peak wide open to match the Mamiya APOs. No photographic lens I've ever seen tested is that good wide open...only some fixed-aperture astrographs. As Victor just said of the Schneider Apo-Digitar 150, "This is one of the few Schneiders that I can actually shoot at f8" - which implies that it's not so super at f5.6.

    Now you say you intend to use these lenses at smaller stops like f/8 - f/11. In that case, it will be a sharpness tie. Other factors like number of aperture blades and roundness of aperture shape will play more of a role in determining the residual elements of image quality.

    Ray

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

    I also own the SK 150 APO-Digitar and it is certainly sharper than any of my Mamiya glass across the board including the 200/2.8 APO. In fact, I've just returned another 200/2.8 APO as it disappointed me in terms of acuity overall and was problematic to get truly sharp images on my DF at any equivalent aperture to my SK technical lens. Now that may be as much to do with the lack of vibration from the STC vs the DF DSLR with this lens I suppose but so far I'm zero for two in finding a truly good one. I found that I have an embarrassingly good Mamiya 210 ULD that trumps the 200/2.8 APO which shouldn't have been the case.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

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    Re: How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

    Quote Originally Posted by ondebanks View Post
    As Victor just said of the Schneider Apo-Digitar 150, "This is one of the few Schneiders that I can actually shoot at f8" - which implies that it's not so super at f5.6.

    Ray
    I should clarify this a little.... The Schneider Digitar 150mm, my copy, is the only lens in my arsenal that I can actually shoot wide open (f5.6). Even at that aperture it is sharp edge to edge. I don't, however, use that aperture and always shoot at f11 +/- 1/3 stop which gives absolute corner to corner sharpness even with shifts. As I said in my original post a truly remarkable lens with a huge image circle.

    Victor

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    Re: How do the longer focal length tech-cam lenses compare to Mamiya?

    I was referring to the Mamiya 150 mm F2.8 AF lens for the DF, in my post above.
    Bill

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