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Thread: Phamiya 655 IV?

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Phamiya 655 IV?

    Like a lot of folk I am eyeing the upcoming S2 with some interest. I won't re-hash it all (don't want to risk ) so here's the basic:

    The P45+ back is great. Dodgy screen, pity about the lack of live view, low ISO etc, but mine works really well, reliably, and produces fantastic files. I find some of the lenses good if lacking character and some of them mixed but liveable with. However, I have it in the Phamiya 645 mount and frankly, I hate it. I know some people can make it sing - and I've had some great results from it - but I always feel that's a 'despite' rather than a 'because' situation.

    Sometimes I use the back on a Cambo WRS1000 which is pretty good (but could do better). But in general I need to use it on the Phamiya most of the time and I just hate that body.

    So I was thinking of going for an S2 (subject to the reviews) but my my, will I ever take a hit on the Phase system! And I will have so much damned eBaying to do, what with a back, two bodies, five lenses, etc etc...

    So I just wondered: any idea, anyone, when or if a replacement Phamiya body is planned? If a sensible update was coming down the pipe I'd be inclined to wait but if not, I think my Phase days might be numbered

    Tim

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    64,000 dollar question. LOL

    Just waiting. It has been rumored whatever that means
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    I haven't heard any rumours at all, surprisingly. Given that Phase has announced, yet not delivered, both a grip and leaf shutter lenses, I don't know what the lack of an announcement means about the timing of the new body. It doesn't seem imminent.
    Carsten - Website

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Sadly, as far as I can see, in Phase World a 'product announcement' like the Phase TS lens (due late 2008 and now seemingly totally MIA, and for good reason!) has the status of a rumour... so if something is truly only rumoured... well, I'm guessing that the Phamiya IV is as real as Unicorn sh*t!

    I like the Leica way. Get everyone wetting themselves (either positively or negatively!) about the S2 whilst quietly preparing, if the multiple leaks are to be trusted, for a FF M9 to launch before the S2. That's classy.

    If I win the lotto big time I'll buy Phase. I'd make a really good director of a company like that!

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    While I would love to see an exciting new body from Phase/Mamiya, I have to ask: is the current model and back really holding my photography back (or anyone's)? Will my images be better; better composition, better timing of light, better technique for final output, if I sell all of my equipment (at a tremendous loss) and replace it with the S2 or other option? A Phase/Mamiya body is a trivial expense by comparison.

    In my case, the answer is no. My equipment is not the weakest link. Getting out of bed at 3:00 a.m. is often the point of obstruction, followed by my "good day/bad day" flows of creative juices.

    All meant in fun... but this wonderful forum can tend to relieve one of cash, and there are so many more factors that contribute to the final product.

    Cheers!

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    I shot all day yesterday with my system and honestly looking at the files I really wonder about any new gear. It's getting it done with no hassles but when a new body comes out I will buy it just because i want a new body more than anything. Makes no sense but I have not bought anything for awhile except lighting gear and i am still working on building that up and that will come first. If the new body has less or no shutter lag and maybe a few added benefits than I want one. But in all honesty I am a pretty damn happy camper with my gear right now. Now maybe if I moved up in the back to a P40+ with new body now there is a option
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    That's it, Guy. Don't get me wrong – I love the gear and would love to have more/better, but throwing money at a "problem" does not always render a solution. And in some cases there's not really a "problem" anyway (other than gear addiction! ).

    We all shoot differently; different subjects or priorities, or for different requirements, etc., but for me at least, the absolute best thing for my photography is to get out and shoot – away from the numerous distractions that drain my photography "mojo". For me, concentrating on the craft gets me more than dwelling on the gear.

    ...Now when I feel flush again I'll ask the admins to delete these posts of mine because they'll have no relationship to my attitude then.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Have heard multiple times from the European Phase folks and representations, that a new body of the 645 is coming, which will no longer accept film backs, but only digital backs and be lot faster with digibacks.

    Otherwise there should not be much changes in the body. So finally I think that we cannot expect something revolutionary soon.

    If you are concerned with the body, then maybe the S2 will be a good alternative, but you have to go through all the selling of your stuff.

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Allyn View Post
    While I would love to see an exciting new body from Phase/Mamiya, I have to ask: is the current model and back really holding my photography back (or anyone's)? Will my images be better; better composition, better timing of light, better technique for final output, if I sell all of my equipment (at a tremendous loss) and replace it with the S2 or other option? A Phase/Mamiya body is a trivial expense by comparison.

    In my case, the answer is no. My equipment is not the weakest link. Getting out of bed at 3:00 a.m. is often the point of obstruction, followed by my "good day/bad day" flows of creative juices.

    All meant in fun... but this wonderful forum can tend to relieve one of cash, and there are so many more factors that contribute to the final product.

    Cheers!
    I fully agree with Dale.

    After close to 40 years of owning and using many many cameras and lenses, I feel the limitation is 98% me, the user. Yes, lenses got sharper when I bought more expensive German optics, yes MF and LF gave me better negatives over 35mm but if I had to quantify the amount of money spent to get those marginal increments, I feel foolish.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    I accept the point that the main limitation is the photographer. However, there are some touchy-feely factors and some practical reality factors that affect how we use our gear, and on both fronts the current 645 body fails badly.

    I've argued elsewhere that it's typical of artists and writers to have favoured typewriters, pens, inks, paints and brushes and that this is only partly for 'performance' reasons. I think it's hard-wired into our psyche to respond positively to well-made tools and I truly believe that if you put most of ours heads in a Cat scan machine and watched our brains while we played with a cube or an M8, out creative centres would be stimulated. In other words, gear that has beauty, precision, balance and positive tactile qualities will get our creative juices flowing.

    On the practical front, Guy has identified the main issue: shutter lag. Even when one uses MF, the Pahmiya wheezes out a focus attempt before conceding a shutter release a couple of tenths of a second later. The shutter then goes off with the impact of the roller door on an industrial loading bay, leaving the entire camera, head and tripod reeling, literally, under the impact. The fact that spending vast amounts on heavy stabilising gear can largely ameliorate the problem isn't the point: that shutter could and should be much better. It feels cheap, in a Soviet way.

    There are plenty of other niggles of course: that stupid, stupid, stupid body battery carrier that looks and feels like it's out of a seventies toy and which I just know will let me down one day in the middle of a wasteland as I attempt the push the badly seated final battery out of its too-tight compartment. They should just do a version that uses the same size battery as the back. The charger is a double one and hey, I have never seen a six AA charger so I travel with a four and a two, raising my charger count by two hundred percent...

    The AF isn't egregiously inaccurate but is constrained by the need to fit different sensor sizes so there's no wider choice of points nor is there the possibility of an array of points for proper tracking focus. I can live with most of that because I'm a centre point only man most of the time BUT narrow DOF on this system means that that technique fails quite a lot due to 'recompose focus error' - in other words, if any camera really needs more AF points, its a MF style one. S2, take note.

    The focus system's worst point is the vast howling hole that is the centre AF area. C'mon, it's the size of a head in a lot of shots. It is really not good enough - in fact it feels amateur.

    The inscrutable Custom Functions requiring a crib card to be carried at all times. The.... and so on.

    Now there are a lot of good points: dedicated and immediate MUP shows Canon how to do it for example.

    So for me the Phamiya body is the fat kid in the ballet class. However well it tries to pull the moves, it is held back by being built without grace. Could any talented photographer take great shots on it - well, sure. I am sure that a good racing driver could get a Prius around the Nurburgring faster than me in a Ferrari. But you wouldn't expect him to take the keys to the Prius if they were left on the hall table!

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    "Amateurs worry about equipment, pros worry about money, masters worry about light."
    :-)

    Save money and buy a Contax 645 system. Feels good (and valuable) and in fact is good. Other than AF, flash sync speed, battery consumption ...............

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Tim they are probably the things that they attacked at least one time these niggles are they ones they are after when talking to a engineer . Battery , AF, Shutter lag and custom functions. Now if they went through with it I don't know for sure and I am attempting to get a answer but it maybe a couple weeks.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Anything you can find out would be really useful Guy, thanks!

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I accept the point that the main limitation is the photographer. However, there are some touchy-feely factors and some practical reality factors that affect how we use our gear, and on both fronts the current 645 body fails badly.

    I've argued elsewhere that it's typical of artists and writers to have favoured typewriters, pens, inks, paints and brushes and that this is only partly for 'performance' reasons. I think it's hard-wired into our psyche to respond positively to well-made tools and I truly believe that if you put most of ours heads in a Cat scan machine and watched our brains while we played with a cube or an M8, out creative centres would be stimulated. In other words, gear that has beauty, precision, balance and positive tactile qualities will get our creative juices flowing.

    On the practical front, Guy has identified the main issue: shutter lag. Even when one uses MF, the Pahmiya wheezes out a focus attempt before conceding a shutter release a couple of tenths of a second later. The shutter then goes off with the impact of the roller door on an industrial loading bay, leaving the entire camera, head and tripod reeling, literally, under the impact. The fact that spending vast amounts on heavy stabilising gear can largely ameliorate the problem isn't the point: that shutter could and should be much better. It feels cheap, in a Soviet way.

    There are plenty of other niggles of course: that stupid, stupid, stupid body battery carrier that looks and feels like it's out of a seventies toy and which I just know will let me down one day in the middle of a wasteland as I attempt the push the badly seated final battery out of its too-tight compartment. They should just do a version that uses the same size battery as the back. The charger is a double one and hey, I have never seen a six AA charger so I travel with a four and a two, raising my charger count by two hundred percent...

    The AF isn't egregiously inaccurate but is constrained by the need to fit different sensor sizes so there's no wider choice of points nor is there the possibility of an array of points for proper tracking focus. I can live with most of that because I'm a centre point only man most of the time BUT narrow DOF on this system means that that technique fails quite a lot due to 'recompose focus error' - in other words, if any camera really needs more AF points, its a MF style one. S2, take note.

    The focus system's worst point is the vast howling hole that is the centre AF area. C'mon, it's the size of a head in a lot of shots. It is really not good enough - in fact it feels amateur.

    The inscrutable Custom Functions requiring a crib card to be carried at all times. The.... and so on.

    Now there are a lot of good points: dedicated and immediate MUP shows Canon how to do it for example.

    So for me the Phamiya body is the fat kid in the ballet class. However well it tries to pull the moves, it is held back by being built without grace. Could any talented photographer take great shots on it - well, sure. I am sure that a good racing driver could get a Prius around the Nurburgring faster than me in a Ferrari. But you wouldn't expect him to take the keys to the Prius if they were left on the hall table!
    Boy that's one heck of a review... Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Tim,

    I definitely think it's time you abandon Phase and buy a Leica (or possibly even Hassy). I am sure it (either) would grant you far more joy by removing all of those Phase-specific limitations and shortcomings. Of course it may introduce a new set of obstacles for you to overcome, but probably worth that risk since the main Phase gripes would be dealt with...
    Jack
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I accept the point that the main limitation is the photographer. However, there are some touchy-feely factors and some practical reality factors that affect how we use our gear, and on both fronts the current 645 body fails badly.

    I've argued elsewhere that it's typical of artists and writers to have favoured typewriters, pens, inks, paints and brushes and that this is only partly for 'performance' reasons. I think it's hard-wired into our psyche to respond positively to well-made tools and I truly believe that if you put most of ours heads in a Cat scan machine and watched our brains while we played with a cube or an M8, out creative centres would be stimulated. In other words, gear that has beauty, precision, balance and positive tactile qualities will get our creative juices flowing.

    On the practical front, Guy has identified the main issue: shutter lag. Even when one uses MF, the Pahmiya wheezes out a focus attempt before conceding a shutter release a couple of tenths of a second later. The shutter then goes off with the impact of the roller door on an industrial loading bay, leaving the entire camera, head and tripod reeling, literally, under the impact. The fact that spending vast amounts on heavy stabilising gear can largely ameliorate the problem isn't the point: that shutter could and should be much better. It feels cheap, in a Soviet way.

    There are plenty of other niggles of course: that stupid, stupid, stupid body battery carrier that looks and feels like it's out of a seventies toy and which I just know will let me down one day in the middle of a wasteland as I attempt the push the badly seated final battery out of its too-tight compartment. They should just do a version that uses the same size battery as the back. The charger is a double one and hey, I have never seen a six AA charger so I travel with a four and a two, raising my charger count by two hundred percent...

    The AF isn't egregiously inaccurate but is constrained by the need to fit different sensor sizes so there's no wider choice of points nor is there the possibility of an array of points for proper tracking focus. I can live with most of that because I'm a centre point only man most of the time BUT narrow DOF on this system means that that technique fails quite a lot due to 'recompose focus error' - in other words, if any camera really needs more AF points, its a MF style one. S2, take note.

    The focus system's worst point is the vast howling hole that is the centre AF area. C'mon, it's the size of a head in a lot of shots. It is really not good enough - in fact it feels amateur.

    The inscrutable Custom Functions requiring a crib card to be carried at all times. The.... and so on.

    Now there are a lot of good points: dedicated and immediate MUP shows Canon how to do it for example.

    So for me the Phamiya body is the fat kid in the ballet class. However well it tries to pull the moves, it is held back by being built without grace. Could any talented photographer take great shots on it - well, sure. I am sure that a good racing driver could get a Prius around the Nurburgring faster than me in a Ferrari. But you wouldn't expect him to take the keys to the Prius if they were left on the hall table!
    Very well-put Tim! You've put to words my experience precisely.

    Thanks for this post!
    -Brad

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    As far as I understood it, the multipoint AF-sensors are simple not available for larger formats than 24x36-cameras (image area, distance, size of mirrorbox?).

    I don't think we will see Mamiya or Hassi invest nearly as much money in R&D as Leica did with the S-System, due to the current situation of the market and the size of these companies.

    But we also have to give Phase to chance to assimilate Mamiya and Leaf, companies that never worked together before and are located thousands km away. Not being able to release central-shutter-lenses after many years may still be a relict of the old Mamiya-days.

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    I accept the point that the main limitation is the photographer. However, there are some touchy-feely factors and some practical reality factors that affect how we use our gear, and on both fronts the current 645 body fails badly.

    I've argued elsewhere that it's typical of artists and writers to have favoured typewriters, pens, inks, paints and brushes and that this is only partly for 'performance' reasons. I think it's hard-wired into our psyche to respond positively to well-made tools and I truly believe that if you put most of ours heads in a Cat scan machine and watched our brains while we played with a cube or an M8, out creative centres would be stimulated. In other words, gear that has beauty, precision, balance and positive tactile qualities will get our creative juices flowing.

    On the practical front, Guy has identified the main issue: shutter lag. Even when one uses MF, the Pahmiya wheezes out a focus attempt before conceding a shutter release a couple of tenths of a second later. The shutter then goes off with the impact of the roller door on an industrial loading bay, leaving the entire camera, head and tripod reeling, literally, under the impact. The fact that spending vast amounts on heavy stabilising gear can largely ameliorate the problem isn't the point: that shutter could and should be much better. It feels cheap, in a Soviet way.

    There are plenty of other niggles of course: that stupid, stupid, stupid body battery carrier that looks and feels like it's out of a seventies toy and which I just know will let me down one day in the middle of a wasteland as I attempt the push the badly seated final battery out of its too-tight compartment. They should just do a version that uses the same size battery as the back. The charger is a double one and hey, I have never seen a six AA charger so I travel with a four and a two, raising my charger count by two hundred percent...

    The AF isn't egregiously inaccurate but is constrained by the need to fit different sensor sizes so there's no wider choice of points nor is there the possibility of an array of points for proper tracking focus. I can live with most of that because I'm a centre point only man most of the time BUT narrow DOF on this system means that that technique fails quite a lot due to 'recompose focus error' - in other words, if any camera really needs more AF points, its a MF style one. S2, take note.

    The focus system's worst point is the vast howling hole that is the centre AF area. C'mon, it's the size of a head in a lot of shots. It is really not good enough - in fact it feels amateur.

    The inscrutable Custom Functions requiring a crib card to be carried at all times. The.... and so on.

    Now there are a lot of good points: dedicated and immediate MUP shows Canon how to do it for example.

    So for me the Phamiya body is the fat kid in the ballet class. However well it tries to pull the moves, it is held back by being built without grace. Could any talented photographer take great shots on it - well, sure. I am sure that a good racing driver could get a Prius around the Nurburgring faster than me in a Ferrari. But you wouldn't expect him to take the keys to the Prius if they were left on the hall table!
    You could simply cc Phase your posting here---which I think pretty soundly hits all of the current body's weaknesses. How about better adhesive on the rubber hand-grip? Good insulation against electric shock... If Phase addressed these issues, the next body iteration would be really nice.

    The current Phase 645AF isn't bad.... and I'm not so sure jumping to another system is the answer. That's often a case of the grass is always greener....

  19. #19
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    I agree Ken I can deal with it until the next version comes out and I expect that to be very soon . If not in a reasonable time period than obviously it would be something I would look at but Phase in March invested heavily in Mamiya to really insure there future in the Mamiya line. This takes some time and it has been about 5 months now so I figure it is real close to a expected time frame between that investment and real product. Certainly have to give that a chance to gear up in many ways. I'm sure Phase did not just throw money at it for nothing in return. So i am sure some pressure is on to get things shipping.
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    It has not been that long since the 1st gen Phase 645AF (Mam AFDIII) has been released, but I do look forward to the next generation Phase 645AF.

    And I think it would be a perfect match with your new P40+ Guy!

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Exactly at least what I am thinking
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  22. #22
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Lets face it, Mamiya has to design a new body from ground up to address all the issues mentioned here, no amount of patch/band-aid fixes will take care of everything. I wonder if Mamiya being one of the only two remaining mf manufacturers, with a large market share and user base has any real motivation to invest in a new system only to address personal peeves anytime soon.

    I'm not saying that you don't have valid gripes, in fact I agree with all your points, and specially this comment; "there are some touchy-feely factors and some practical reality factors that affect how we use our gear, and on both fronts the current 645 body fails badly" and that's why I went with Contax, just don't see enough wrong with the 645 as a system for Mamiya to be worried.

    IMO the S2 wont be cutting much into Phamiya's market, its a different kind of camera, and if successful, it will create a new class of dslr, then we might see a new Phamiya.

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    I am very fond of my Contax, but I am not sure if it is really such an improvement on the Mamiya, is it? Some aspects are a bit better, but the camera is a bit older too... I have not tried the newest Mamiya, so I cannot judge that. One thing is for sure though: the lenses are superior for tactility. Zeiss with rubber focusrings and all that.
    Carsten - Website

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Actually Carsten, if you compare to the newer Mamiya lenses, the ones with AF clutches, then the tactile differences become muddled; the new Mamiya glass is really nice to manually focus. At least in *my* humble opinion -- and I used to own and shoot C645's...
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    I love the D lenses to work with actually. I find focusing and the construction very nice and solidly built. The 28mm and 150 2.8 are solid trucks and I love the 300mm. The 80 is the lightest lens but the 45mm D also is nice and solid . i have no qualms on the glass or there functionality . I love the AF clutches to turn on and off on all 5 of my lenses. I did not like the older 55mm lens because it had no clutch. I have to have the AF clutch on these type of lenses and all mine have it now

    I know sounds pathetic I am not looking for the end of the rainbow in gear. Trust me there is none out there
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    ...and speaking of the D series lenses, Guy--- the 75-150 is perfect for your new P40+


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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    You just had to get that in there. I know misery loves company, so tell me how many lenses now do you have cover 80 and 150. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I am very fond of my Contax, but I am not sure if it is really such an improvement on the Mamiya, is it?
    probably it is not. But the whole thing feels much more like a "camera". Handling, grip, body design, sound, haptic feeling (body and lenses), weight, the changeable viewfinder... it is actually a camera. Though a conventional, dated camera (but there's nothing wrong with conventional cameras IMO). In comparision the Phase camera feels like a hollow oversized DSLR-style body but with much less capabilities than any current DSLR.
    Matter of taste. I would not like to "touch" the Phamiya... (though I don't think that would change anything regarding my photographic results).

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    ...and speaking of the D series lenses, guys--- I just added one to my bag today in prep for Oregon

    Jack
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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    I posted about the new Mamiya body/lenses last April. Here is the link.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Interesting Carlos, thank you. From that it seems that the main changes are digital only, the optional vertical grip and the ability to use leaf shutter lenses which, err, seem to have gone quiet... as does this new body!

    From the picture though it looks as if there's no real change to the feel and fit. Maybe not worth waiting for though I will at least wait to see what Guy's researches come up with!

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Well it is quite because Phase one changed everything. You won't hear anything abut a new body or leaf shutter lenses until they SHIP. Like the P40+. New stuff will come, but won't be announced and than delayed three years ;-).

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    Re: Phamiya 655 IV?

    Precisely. I spoke to Doug Peterson about this and he said that Mamiya let that cat out of the bag just prior to PhaseOne's assimilation of Mamiya. Danish business practices are now in place there.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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