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Thread: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

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    Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    I mainly do portraits and use a phase one p40+ with 645df. Having flirted with the idea of the Leica s2, I've decided to stick with the phase one in the vain hope that the options for portrait shooters will improve. So I'm going to expand on my lens collection.

    I'm looking for a 120mm lens for 2 purposes. Firstly for close up portraiture and secondly to use for copy stand work documenting various slides, 6x6 negatives and old photographs.

    My question is this. What 120mm lens would you go for? I really like the idea of the 120mm auto focus for its practicality for the portrait side of things. However has anyone out there had real world use with it? Secondly there seem to be lots of manual focus variations of the 120mm, are there any to avoid and any hidden bargains?

    Thanks for the input.
    Last edited by 6x6; 4th November 2012 at 02:24. Reason: Thread has potential to move to more generic lens discussion

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    I have the new 120AF, and it is a fantastic lens. Super sharp and as you may expect, focus is a little slow given the long throw.

    If you don't need the AF, the MF versions will likely give you the same quality for a lot less money.

    Having said this, for portrait work, why are you not considering the 110LS? It is a wonderful lens, much smaller, a stop faster, has a leaf shutter, quick to focus and so on...Then pick up a used 120 MF for the copy work. You'll see quite a few around.

    This way, you could have the best of both worlds.

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    Secondly there seem to be lots of manual focus variations of the 120mm, are there any to avoid and any hidden bargains?
    Optically, there are none to avoid - all the Mamiya 120/4 macro lenses, right back to the original mid-1990s version for the manual focus M645 bodies, have the same optical design.

    That original version, to me, is the hidden bargain, as it has a regular mechanical aperture ring and so it can be used on other DSLRs (including that Leica S2 you're flirting with )

    I almost never shoot in Shutter-priority or Program modes, so the electronic aperture on the 645AF versions is pretty worthless to me. Now, having AF is a different matter - that feature would possibly make the newest version worth springing for.

    Ray

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    i have the mamiya 120 MF and the mamiya 120 MF D... i can't see any difference !
    If i was you, i will try to find a good 120 MF in second hand... but my dealer told me that there is some 120 MF that suffer from yellow cast due to their ages... mine doesn't !

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    I have the Phase One MF (Mamiya D) version of this lens and I think its fantastic. Very sharp and I love the way it renders the images. I think its that good I'm thinking of selling my Schneider 120N tech camera lens as I like using the Phase lens so much.

    When Purchasing earlier this year, I condidered the AF version of this lens but have seen tests suggesting its exactly the same optical construction as the MF version and offers no. Improvementsn in IQ. Considering the price difference for just the addition of AF and because of the intro of the AF version I got a four month old dealer ex-demo lens for an unbeleivable price, the MF version was a no brainer.

    I've never missed AF but I'm not a prtrait photographer and could understand why AF would be of benefit. Also you should look at the 150mm f2.8 AF. Now that's one amazing lens. Very sharp and very quick to focus.

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    by the way, the old MAMIYA 645 MF 80 Macro is also very good... and so cheap !
    all manual... even the F stop...
    i have both 120 and 80 macro, and i use both !

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    Having said this, for portrait work, why are you not considering the 110LS?
    Using the Alpa DoF Calculator it does look like I need 2 lenses. For a 2cm Depth of Field, the 120mm, f/4.0 at 100cm distance gives me 32cm in the vertical, which is about 5-6cm too short for the close up portraits I would want to do with it. So a MF 120mm exclusively for copy work looks the most cost effective / practical.

    The 110mm LS, f/2.8 on the other hand gives me 39.5cm in the vertical at 110cm, whilst maintaining that 2cm Depth of Field. It also allows for some even tighter DoF if I decide to go with a bigger sensor in the future (whilst keeping a reasonable vertical).

    The 150mm looks like a really interesting lens, but I am worried about the compression with the lens. The 110mm / 120mm focal length is a sweet spot in my mind.

    Thank you jagsiva for making me laterally think!

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    Senior Member ondebanks's Avatar
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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    6x6,

    I replied to your question yesterday, and came back today to see what other respondents thought. But I couldn't find the thread!

    After some searching, I realized that this was because you had renamed the thread. Please don't do that!

    It makes it harder for forum members to track their contributions, and it also undermines our responses (we appear to be deliberately not answering the 110mm LS part of your thread title - whereas in fact the 110mm LS was never mentioned in the original thread title or original question).

    Ray

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    The 150mm looks like a really interesting lens, but I am worried about the compression with the lens. The 110mm / 120mm focal length is a sweet spot in my mind.
    For close-up portraiture / beauty it all comes down to 3 things in my opinion: 1) maximum aperture, 2) closest focusing distance and 3) perspective / compression.

    150mm 2.8 D ticks all these boxes for me having a f/2.8 and only 100 cm closest focusing distance. As for perspective / compression I found it quite flattering for portraits - please see my lens test example below (shot with Mamiya 645 AFD III, AF 150mm f/2.8 IF D on Fuji Pro 400H film).

    Keeping film photography and printing alive!
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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    Quote Originally Posted by Tibor View Post
    For close-up portraiture / beauty it all comes down to 3 things in my opinion: 1) maximum aperture, 2) closest focusing distance and 3) perspective / compression.

    150mm 2.8 D ticks all these boxes for me having a f/2.8 and only 100 cm closest focusing distance. As for perspective / compression I found it quite flattering for portraits - please see my lens test example below (shot with Mamiya 645 AFD III, AF 150mm f/2.8 IF D on Fuji Pro 400H film).

    Tibor. Thank you for posting an example of the 150mm. Great example. It looks like you were about 2m away from subject, so you have more distance to work with to get even closer, however I maybe wrong? The out of focus areas look very nice to the eye.

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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    I loved the 150d for portraits and I also used the 210 . I like longer lenses for this type of work. If I bought today I would be tempted by the 150 LS for the higher flash sync outside mainly. The 110 LS I loved but thought a little short for the classic portrait type work but I used it often as well. Pretty much can't go wrong with 110 and 150. The 120 can be used but if your subjects moves a lot than tougher to focus. Fashion type work I would lean AF lenses.

    The 150 count on F11 from nose to front of ear and sometimes that could be a push depending on distance. I should have some images posted in my gallery on this and remember doing a thread at some point on it.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    Found a 150d image on my P40 back

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

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    Quote Originally Posted by 6x6 View Post
    It looks like you were about 2m away from subject, so you have more distance to work with to get even closer, however I maybe wrong? The out of focus areas look very nice to the eye.
    You are correct. I think I was about 2 to 2,5 m away and if you go to the closest focusing distance (1 m) you get a very tight close-up. It was shot at f/2.8 and the out of focus blur (bokeh) is beautifully rounded for my taste.

    It seems the 150 has 8 (or so) aperture blades that make this beautiful rounded bokeh. I could not find this information about number of aperture blades anywhere and wonder why Phase One / Mamiya does not publish this info on their websites. As I don't have the 110 LS and the 120 Macro I can not comment on those.

    However, reading this thread the 120mm f/4 Macro - the AF D version - got me really intrigued as I thought there was only the MF version (silly of me, I know).
    Keeping film photography and printing alive!

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    Re: Phase one 120mm options

    Quote Originally Posted by Tibor View Post
    However, reading this thread the 120mm f/4 Macro - the AF D version - got me really intrigued as I thought there was only the MF version (silly of me, I know).
    I really loved the idea of the macro 120mm lens, however the more I research, the more I am moving towards the 110mm LS and 150mm f/2.8 D IF. I maybe wrong, but I think that the AF on the 120mm AF is slow. This will be problematic for my work. I can imagine it being amazing for portraits where you need extreme close up and the subject is able to be still. Those scenarios are too little for me to justify the expense. However if a big project comes up that allows for the budget, I'm right on it.

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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    Couple from the 110





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

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    I mostly use the 110 as the full length and 3/4 shots and the 150 or 210 for more the tight shots. Although the 110 can be great for headshots. The 120 in my mind great for landscapes and macro work. Which for me I would buy the cheapest 120 since it would be more intended for manual focus anyway and same optical formula as the rest of the 120 lenses.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    For my product work, I find with the 120 Macro holds its image together very well giving the impression of a greater depth of focus and can be stopped down to f16 (even f22 is ok) without any massive detriment to image sharpness. The 150D however is so damn sharp and the DOF so small at any distance I feel it would be much more suited to the type of look you're after. The 150D can only be described as giving creamy results.

    I personally like a slightly longer lens for portraits then a 120mm but hey, we're all different.

    The 150LS should be the perfect lens but Phase One in their infinite wisdom for some reason chose to take the latest 150 lens design (150 f2.8) and remove all its most attractive features and come up with the 150LS. The new 28LS for example is an exact replica of the 28D with the addition of the LS so why did they not just do that for the 150LS?

    In an effort to make it more compact for some reason they made the 150LS a f3.5 and more importantly increased the minimum focusing distance to 1.5m........ I'm sticking with the 150D thanks.

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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    One more thought. I was looking for a short telephoto for my 645D and it was between the 120mm macro and 150mm telephoto. I went with the 120mm as it basically has no focus distance limitation--you can get as close to the model as you want. I have found that limitations to minimum focus distance can be a bit of a pain with 150mm lenses--sometimes you want to get that little bit closer.

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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    For my product work, I find with the 120 Macro holds its image together very well giving the impression of a greater depth of focus and can be stopped down to f16 (even f22 is ok) without any massive detriment to image sharpness.
    :
    My findings are differents... with my Aptus II 7 33mp... f16 is the frontier... passing it the sharpness drops rapidly !
    Last edited by archivue; 5th November 2012 at 14:59.

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    Re: Phase One 120mm Macro and 110mm LS For Portraiture

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Couple from the 110





    The shots are truly amazing Guy - WOW!!!!!
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