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Thread: P25+ with zoom or primes?

  1. #1
    pjtna
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    P25+ with zoom or primes?

    I've just bought a Mamiya 645AFD I with a Phase One P25+ back. Given that this is a lower pixel density back I'm wondering if there is much to gain from using prime lenses?

    I shoot landscapes and will be using an aperture of around ƒ/8 to ƒ/16 most of the time on a tripod.

    The two options I'm looking at are:

    - 55mm, 80mm and 150mm prime lenses
    - 55-110mm zoom lens

    The primes would be the most expensive option, will probably give more image quality and be the heaviest to carry.

    The zoom is cheaper, easier to pack and carry and might prevent some dust entering the camera.

    Does anyone have experience with these older lenses and how they might compare on my digital back?

  2. #2
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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    There is always gain from prime lenses, it has nothing to do with smaller pixel backs or not.

    Just the fact that prime lenses are designed at 1 focal length, means that sharpness will always be optimal.

    don't forget the ability to have large apertures and weight.

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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    Not knowing how good the 55-110mm is, it might not be a bad place to start if the reviews are good. You can always sell it and go the prime route or just pick up a prime in an area the zoom does not work for you. I shoot with older lenses view camera lenses with my p25+ and the images are great. Number of photographers use the film Pentax zooms on a 645D with a lot of success and the pixel pitch is smaller on that camera.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MaxKißler's Avatar
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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    I used to own the 55-110mm very briefly. I had it for about two weeks and sold it as soon as I could. First of all, it's not usable wide open and even on my Leaf Aptus 22 it was increadibly soft. It performed okay (not good but okay) at f8 and was best (which was still not good) at f11 depending on focal length set. The short end was usually better. But the greatest downside for my work was it's shortest focussing distance of 1,5m. Even if I only wanted to shoot landscapes with it, there are better lenses out there. I really mean it, this is a bad lens. Don't get one.

    I recommend the old Mamiya AF 45mm which performs great at all apertures (best aperture is f16 if I remember correctly). The Sekor C 80mm f/1,9 N is a stellar lens aswell. You might want to take a look at the 50mm Shift too. It's not great but alright considering it's a PC lens with a low pricetag.

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    Senior Member ondebanks's Avatar
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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    I shoot with the same camera (645AFD), a Kodak DCS645M back with the same Kodak 9um sensor tech as the P25+ (albeit a 25% smaller sensor area), a bunch of manual focus primes, and the 55-110 AF zoom. I've had this kit for 3 years and in that time I've shot almost nothing else, mainly a Canon 5DII for lower light situations...but I'm a hobbyist so my usage is pretty light.

    The zoom beat my expectations. It is very good at all apertures at the 55mm end, and very good from a stop down at the 110mm end. At f/8 to f/16, I don't think you'll have any issues...other than colour moire from the sensor. That's an indicator of a good lens!

    Ray

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    Member dogstarnyc's Avatar
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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    Hi,

    I still use and love my P25, just printed some 2ftx2ft prints from it and the 50mm shift, they still blow me away.

    The 45mm AF is great, the 50mm shift is stellar but you need to increase contrast in LR or C1.

    Stick to primes and concentrate on getting things sharp and vibration free, decent tripod and head, cable release, spirit level and use the mirror up option.

    I've never been a zoom man and the thought of MFD plus a clunky slow zoom puts me off...

    Lenses I currently use with a DF/P25;

    45mm AF
    50mm shift
    80mm LS
    110mm LS
    120mm AF macro (MF)
    150mm 3.5 AF
    210mm manual

    All of them shine on a P25 or P45, the weakest perhaps is the 150mm wide open.

    The great thing about these lenses (besides the LS's) is that they are small, light and inexpensive compared to the Hasselbad lenses with built in leaf shutters.

    Good luck, this is a great forum for Phase/Mamiya info.


    Steve
    Steve Brickles

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    First of all, congratulations on the P25+ - it's an excellent back that I really enjoy using (I'm on #2 after stupidly selling my first one).

    Second, take a look at:
    http://www.getdpi.com/forum/lens-acc...-overview.html

    Regarding the 55-110mm, it's a very useful lens but you need to find a good one. My first 55-110mm was very soft at the edges even though I originally used it with my first MFDB - a DCS645M. However, the second copy, and the 105-210mm that I had also were much much better. I'd never been aware of the sample differences but they certainly were significantly different in character. One thing to watch out for is to make sure that the zoom is smooth as it's easy to pick one up with slight damage that'll exhibit itself as a slight bump in the zoom. My 2nd copy that was sharp had been serviced I believe due a bump but the image quality difference was enough for me to overlook this as it didn't cause any other issues.

    I'd agree with the sentiments here about the 45mm AF, 50 shift and also I'd recommend the 120 macro. I've had good experiences also with the 210mm AF.

    Will you see a benefit with the primes - yes most probably. The good news is that if you avoid the latest D and LS glass you'll find primes available for almost peanuts.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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

  8. #8
    Senior Member ondebanks's Avatar
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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    Interesting to see how the 55-110 zoom has divided opinion. I like mine, Max hated his, Graham's first was poor but his second was good. Its sample variation must be rather large - which is not something I've ever experienced with Mamiya lenses before.

    Regarding primes, all of mine are manual focus - as I had most of them before I got the the autofocus/digital AFD platform. The two best optics I have are the the 200/2.8 APO and the 24/4 ULD fisheye. Just behind them are the 150/2.8 A, 110/2.8 N, 80/1.9 C, and 45/2.8 S...I played with a broken 70/2.8 LS and that seemed to also be in this league of very solid performers. In the third tier are the lenses with some issues - the 55/2.8 N (poor wide open, excellent below f5.6) and the 35/3.5 N (field curvature and wavy distortion).

    If you don't opt for the zoom, and manual focus is ok, I suggest you look at the 110/2.8 N or 150/2.8 A for your short telephoto needs. I had a 150/3.5 C which was nice stopped down a little; the 150/3.5 N and AF versions are optically unchanged from this. But the 150/2.8 A is sharper and faster, so I rate it as the best value for high performance in this focal length. From what I have seen, the AF D and LS versions are only marginally better but they cost a large multiple of the price.

    Ray

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: P25+ with zoom or primes?

    Regarding the Mamiya 55-110 zoom, I do recall that this lens can be user-calibrated. There is a small set screw that can be turned to make adjustments.

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