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Thread: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

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    Shelby Lewis
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    Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    So... I'm stuck.

    I'm on the verge of possibly buying a 22mp MF system. Been looking at phase, hassy, leaf, you name it. I have an investor who's catalog work I shoot that is willing to invest in some gear for me in exchange for some work in return... all contracted and above the board.
    There is a local gentleman who's offering me a mamy/leaf system, with a mint afdII body and a ton of glass at a great price... if I buy it as a package.

    I'm waffling between buying the system or just dropping the money on an extended line of Zeiss glass (plus a few SAL lenses) for my a900 and a new computer (plus some other things).

    One of the things that keeps the leaf system, as well as a few other queries I have out there, in contention is the possible use of the glass on my a900. The 120/4 macro would make a great headshot lens on the a900... but the 135/1.8 za does as well.... tough call.

    So, I'm wondering if any of you have tried any of the mamiya 645 glass on the a900 yet. For that glass to pull double duty (and do it well) would be a good asset IMO.

    Thanks!
    Shelby
    Last edited by Shelby Lewis; 24th May 2009 at 21:51.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Shelby,

    I have a Mamiya kit including the 120mm macro "D" and it's very sharp (on my AFDII / P25+, no experience on the Sony). Optically, it's very, very sharp and gives good colors, but as a portrait lens I struggle to find an "upgrade" over what I expect you're getting from the Z135mm/1.8. I own Canon gear and the 135mm f/2.0, and while Canon certainly makes files different from the a900, it is plenty sharp enough for portraits IMO. The bokeh from that particular Canon lens is very pleasing, and from what I see (on-line) the Zeiss 135mm is a stellar lens and wouldn't see much of boost with the Mamiya 120. In fact, I might expect fewer "keepers" (no AF, f/4, Bokeh past 10 meters not as nice, etc.).

    I like the idea of integrating kits where practical, especially in studio, but I think that if you're using the MF glass for headshots, you might as well be using that glass in front of an MF digital back and soften the image in post (referring to skin details). You may even prefer the Mamiya 150mm for such work.

    If you lived near me I'd gladly offer to let you shoot all of my Mamiya lenses and AFDII/P25+ if you'd like. You're getting great results from your sony kit, but I'll bet you'd love the MF kit too, when it fits the job or your mood. The files are stunning IMO. The most difficult thing to grasp (IMO) is that the MF backs really thrive in big light. It doesn't have to be bright or sunny, etc., just "big". Guy has moved to the P30+ to gain a stop for his work, partly because of the big appetite these backs have for light.

    So, not really a direct reply to your post, but a bit of a conversation intended.
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 24th May 2009 at 23:59.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Shelby, I know that Hassie lenses work well on the A900, but I haven't tried Mamiya on the A900. I'm sure that they would be great, outside of some of the caveats like no AF. The A900 only uses the central sweetspot of these MF lenses, so the performance is very good.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shelby Lewis View Post
    So... I'm stuck.

    I'm on the verge of possibly buying a 22mp MF system. Been looking at phase, hassy, leaf, you name it. I have an investor who's catalog work I shoot that is willing to invest in some gear for me in exchange for some work in return... all contracted and above the board.
    There is a local gentleman who's offering me a mamy/leaf system, with a mint afdII body and a ton of glass at a great price... if I buy it as a package.

    I'm waffling between buying the system or just dropping the money on an extended line of Zeiss glass (plus a few SAL lenses) for my a900 and a new computer (plus some other things).

    One of the things that keeps the leaf system, as well as a few other queries I have out there, in contention is the possible use of the glass on my a900. The 120/4 macro would make a great headshot lens on the a900... but the 135/1.8 za does as well.... tough call.

    So, I'm wondering if any of you have tried any of the mamiya 645 glass on the a900 yet. For that glass to pull double duty (and do it well) would be a good asset IMO.

    Thanks!
    Shelby
    Might be wrong here, but aren't the newer D AF lenses like the macro etc. sans an aperture control ring on the lens?

    If I'm right, on the A900 you wouldn't be able to stop down without a manual aperture ring on the lens.

    That would mean using the manual focus Mamiya lenses with aperture rings ... which I would question using on the MFD camera since the newer Mamiya Ds seem to be much better for that medium format digital application.

    I sometimes get double duty from my Hasselblad Zeiss V lenses (any of them from the 500 or 200 series) on the A900 because they are all mechanical stop down with aperture rings on the lens. I cannot use the H/C lenses from the H camera either because they do not have an aperture ring on the lenses and no way to disable the leaf shutter that I know of.

    The V lenses are probably the most adapted Medium Format lenses out there. I've used them on a sucession of different camera beside what thet were made for: Contax 645, a Contax N, Contax AX/RX, a Mamiya 645, A Canon 1DsMKIII, a Nikon D3, and now the Sony A900. They just keep on truckin'

    The legendary 110/2F/FE is to die for, and is a killer portrait lens on the A900 where it fills the prime focal length space between the 85/1.4 and 135/1.8. and then there is the yummy 250/2FE ... (yes, I am an evil pusher of exotic glass )

    Some Sony Porn:
    Last edited by fotografz; 25th May 2009 at 03:30.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Oops The 250FE is f/4 not f/2 (I wish ... )

    And now I'm in big trouble for prematurely showing the A950 I'm beta testing ...

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Is that for real? Wow! An A950. What a teaser! Does it have video/live view? hehehe....

    Incidentally..on the alphamount website. The A950 specs included a 36MP sensor, 1080HD video, live view, 9FPS!
    Last edited by docrjay; 25th May 2009 at 04:11.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Not an A900, but loved the Hassy 110/2 on my 1Ds2 and now use the M645 80/1.9C (just love it), 150/3.5 N (great for portraits, pastel color) and 200/2.8 APO (gorgeous and VERY sharp). Yeah it's stop-down, etc., but who cares? Also have a 120/4 macro and M645 tilt-shift bellows enroute as we speak. Have a borrowed 55/2.8 N that is very sweet - so much so am now shopping accordingly.

    James Colwell, a new member here and long-tim FM Alternative member and a founding father of the local 'M645 lens loan program' is an avid M645 user on EoS bodies, including the amazing 300/2.8 APO and would be a great source to talk to as well.

    The 200 APO is so close to the Leica 180/2.8 APO in performance it's not even funny. Because of the registration distance of M645 vs a DSLR, you can bolt-on any TC that strikes your fancy. My 200 APO does a great job, even WO, using a EoS 1.4x Mod 1.

    HIGHLY recommend trying M645 glass on a FF DSLR - especially if also looking to have a Mamiya-based MFDB kit, For the cost of an adapter, you get great double duty (for those units w/aperture control) and the glass offers amazing IQ for miniscule $$ (relatively speaking). Accessories like TCs, tubes, TS bellows, etc., are also dirt cheap. Most units offer very nice VF 'pop' and smoooth operation (especially the C or S versions) - making manual focus a pleasure.
    Last edited by robmac; 25th May 2009 at 04:17.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Ooooh, a black Alpha symbol! Very neat. How did you do that? More camera porn please. I am considering buying an A900 if my plan to buy an MFDB fails, and the first lens I would put on it would be my 110/2. What adapter did you use?
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    Ooooh, a black Alpha symbol! Very neat. How did you do that? More camera porn please. I am considering buying an A900 if my plan to buy an MFDB fails, and the first lens I would put on it would be my 110/2. What adapter did you use?
    Fodex. Same as for the Canon, Nikon, etc.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Actually,
    What I noticed is the strap....Since you are a handstrap guy can you describe what you are using? can you quickly switch straps?
    Last edited by Terry; 25th May 2009 at 04:56.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Actually,
    What I noticed is the strap....Sine you are a handstrap guy can you describe what you are using? can you quickly switch straps?
    Actually, it's one of those "bouncy" straps ... the stretchy type that absorbs the load, and is more comfortable than leather or cloth. I usually sling one A900 over my shoulder, and the other one has the hand strap, so I can have 2 cameras on me when shooting weddings.

    I understand the concept of a hand strap and shoulder strap, but I haven't tried it yet. Sounds "entangling" to me.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Fodex. Same as for the Canon, Nikon, etc.
    I cannot find a Fodex adapter. All relevant hits on the web point back to your posts... Is it the Fotodiox adapter maybe?

    http://www.fotodiox.com/shop/product...oducts_id=4143
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Fodex maybe an Ebay vendor. Other options Fotodiox Pro v(but not sure they do MA yet) or Cirrius (sic?) off ebay.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Mamiya lenses you are going to need the aperture ring. All of the manual focus lenses have aperture rings. The 200 Apo around 600 is to kill for , the Macro 120 is another killer lens as well. 50mm shift lens plus a bunch more but I think there are some adapters from Mamiya to Minolta that work.
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Fodex maybe an Ebay vendor. Other options Fotodiox Pro v(but not sure they do MA yet) or Cirrius (sic?) off ebay.
    LOL, yeah that's the one. Fotodiox not Fodex .... to lazy to look at the adapter for the name .... me and my lousy memory.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by docrjay View Post
    Is that for real? Wow! An A950. What a teaser! Does it have video/live view? hehehe....

    Incidentally..on the alphamount website. The A950 specs included a 36MP sensor, 1080HD video, live view, 9FPS!
    ... and a Partridge in a pear tree.

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    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by docrjay View Post
    Is that for real? Wow! An A950. What a teaser! Does it have video/live view? hehehe....

    Incidentally..on the alphamount website. The A950 specs included a 36MP sensor, 1080HD video, live view, 9FPS!
    surely not...

    we'd surely need a new thread... "The a950... an iso 25 to iso 50 camera"

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Marc, your stealth A900 looks COOL. I may have to copy you!

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    A couple quick available light shots yesterday to demo the 110/2FE on the A900. The "Lazy Dog" shot shows that this lens focuses down pretty close, and when you do it @ f/2, DOF is narrow. What is in focus is sharp as hell. "Slum Bird House" was stopped down a tad.

    Same Zeiss color & contrast to match the 85/1.4 and 135/1.8. Pretty easy to focus the 110/2 on this camera ... and of course, all the V lenses become image stabilized on the Sony.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I cannot find a Fodex adapter. All relevant hits on the web point back to your posts... Is it the Fotodiox adapter maybe?

    http://www.fotodiox.com/shop/product...oducts_id=4143
    Yes, yes, ... I corrected myself eariler ... well actually I was kindly corrected

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    I thought alt glass (like the new leitax R-Sony kits - see website) needed to be chipped to engage focus confirm and SSS?

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    I thought alt glass (like the new leitax R-Sony kits - see website) needed to be chipped to engage focus confirm and SSS?
    No joy on the focus confirmation, but the SSS seems to be working ... the little bar graph appears in the viewfinder and is active. Of the two, SSS is what I'd rather have anyway ... the finder is pretty bright and easy to focus.

    You have to manual meter also ... no Aperture prefered as far as I can figure.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    It seems that SSS works without a chip, but it works better with a chip that gives the camera the correct focal length..granted I haven't a seen anything too scientific that tests this.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    ... the finder is pretty bright and easy to focus.
    I thought it was easy as well but just curious if you are using the stock focusing screen or if you swapped for one of the others?

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Ok so, no chip:

    - SSS works, camera has no idea of FL, so probably defaults to 50mm (just a guess).
    - No FC
    - No AE (that sucks)

    Of course you can hit up leitax's recommended chip vendor and fit the eprom to your Hassy/M645, etc adapter and be good to go. Alt zooms would be an issue with SSS, but I guess just have encoded to longest FL and fastest Ap as is done with chipped adapters on EoS..

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Ok so, no chip:

    - SSS works, camera has no idea of FL, so probably defaults to 50mm (just a guess).
    - No FC
    - No AE (that sucks)

    Of course you can hit up leitax's recommended chip vendor and fit the eprom to your Hassy/M645, etc adapter and be good to go. Alt zooms would be an issue with SSS, but I guess just have encoded to longest FL and fastest Ap as is done with chipped adapters on EoS..
    Wonder how SSS works being lens FL dependant? Less or more correction?

    What's "FC" stand for?

    I don't mind the missing AE with MF lenses. It'd be nice in some circumstances, but it's stop down metering anyway, so it's a slower process going in.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by douglasf13 View Post
    It seems that SSS works without a chip, but it works better with a chip that gives the camera the correct focal length..granted I haven't a seen anything too scientific that tests this.
    Yeah, I'd like to see info on that myself.

    If it was the case, couldn't a firmware choice be added to the menu like with the Nikons?

    -Marc

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    I thought it was easy as well but just curious if you are using the stock focusing screen or if you swapped for one of the others?
    Stock one.

    If Bright Screen offered a diagonal split prism replacement, I would consider it for one of my A900s ... but I don't use alt manual MF lenses much any more because they are a big PITA.

    The one use I have for a DSLR with MF lenses is as a suppliment to a MFD body ... but that is usually one of the Nikons for use of higher ISOs in low light.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    What's "FC" stand for?
    Focus Compensation?
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    FC = Focus Confirmation.

    I add FC chips on all my alt glass for my 1ds3 because it helps the AE be more correct with that particular alt lens by using the focal length and aperture info and thus I don't have to add as much AE compensation as I would without the chip. It helps with adding the lens info to the exif for each shot which I really need to keep track of which alt lens I used. And now the latest chips have added the micro lens adjust feature for canon mount. Sounds like you need a chip for the A900 to be able to have Aperture Priority mode to work which is very important, no?

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    I believe that you can have this with the Leitax adapters, for example. At least, their website seems to make this statement. SSS works too, if I read it right.

    Focus Correction is probably what I should have written before. I don't know if this works with the A900 and non-Sony lenses at all?
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    If I may go back here for a second. I think and I like the Mamiya glass very much but I only see real value here given the Zeiss lenses are being used for the Sony and from all that I have seen very nicely to boot. That using Mamiya or alternative lenses on the A900 maybe a waste except for a few lenses that may just bring a certain look to the table that the Zeiss does not have or something relatively inexpensive that maybe worth the effort.

    I will name a few that might be fun to try that are different . Mamiya has a old manual fisheye a 24mm I believe that is very nice. The 50mm shift lens for obvious reasons, the 200 2.8 apo is killer sharp and 600 dollars and the 80 1.9 is a fun cheap lens. there maybe a few more but they are the obvious ones. A Hassy 110 f2 is also a sweetie but after that not sure any wide would be better than the 16-35 of Sigma 12-24 and anything mid range why bother but the long end like the 200 apo and the Hassy might be great on it. I guess i say this because i came from a long history of bolting lenses on canon before it was such a popular thing to do and it's a PITA most of the time but the main reason was I was not happy with the Canon glass and i just don't see that in these Zeiss lenses so i would be careful you going off the deep end on this idea unless it brings you something different to your toolbox. Okay you can ignore the advice but i thought I would just toss it in the bowl and let it stir around.
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    There are some interesting possibilities though. With the new Leitax mount for Leica-on-Sony you could grab a copy of the Leica 100mm f/2.8 Apo-Macro instead of the inferior Sony 100 macro. There might also be a nice Leica 15mm or 19mm prime for the Sony. Many Sony lenses are good, but for the missing lenses, a Leica might provide a good answer. And yes, the Hasselblad 110/2 is a slam-dunk.
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    I agree Carsten, certainly that would be a great option as well the Leica 100 macro. Now when some tells me they can bolt my old 180 F2 leica Cron on there than watch out. Damn I did not know about this Leitax for the sony. This is dangerous
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    If I may go back here for a second. I think and I like the Mamiya glass very much but I only see real value here given the Zeiss lenses are being used for the Sony and from all that I have seen very nicely to boot. That using Mamiya or alternative lenses on the A900 maybe a waste except for a few lenses that may just bring a certain look to the table that the Zeiss does not have or something relatively inexpensive that maybe worth the effort.

    I will name a few that might be fun to try that are different . Mamiya has a old manual fisheye a 24mm I believe that is very nice. The 50mm shift lens for obvious reasons, the 200 2.8 apo is killer sharp and 600 dollars and the 80 1.9 is a fun cheap lens. there maybe a few more but they are the obvious ones. A Hassy 110 f2 is also a sweetie but after that not sure any wide would be better than the 16-35 of Sigma 12-24 and anything mid range why bother but the long end like the 200 apo and the Hassy might be great on it. I guess i say this because i came from a long history of bolting lenses on canon before it was such a popular thing to do and it's a PITA most of the time but the main reason was I was not happy with the Canon glass and i just don't see that in these Zeiss lenses so i would be careful you going off the deep end on this idea unless it brings you something different to your toolbox. Okay you can ignore the advice but i thought I would just toss it in the bowl and let it stir around.
    I think you are dead on the money Guy. I've done a ton of adapting on various cameras over the years in search of some Holy Grail, and in most cases it was due to the poor performance of some of the manufacture's glass ... or the need for some special application. However, it was usually a PITA to use.

    But so far, this isn't the case with the A900 and the spread of AF Zeiss lenses. I suggested the Hassey 110/2 F or FE not only for its unique signature (especially at f/2-4, but also because it fills a focal length gap in the Zeiss prime offerings that jump from 85 to 135 ... where sometimes that magic 100 to 110mm focal length is preferable depending on the subject, and distance to subject. A used "F" version of this lens isn't a bank robber in disguise either.

    I'd say it'd be nice if the yummy Leica R 35/1.4 could be adapted also ... but that's an expensive pup, and I hold out hope that Sony will deliver an AF Zeiss 35/1.4 ASPH in future.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Agreed what I see the Sony has over the Nikon for example is that SWEET 135 that Nikon can only dream about and there old 85 which is good but needs a serious Nano coating update. Okay i will be honest here i pushed Terry pretty much on to the Sony and here is why besides the 24mpx it was the glass that got my interest there sweet 135 a better 70-200 and even there 70-300 is better. So on the top end from 85 up the Sony wins except for the Nikon 200 f2 which if I went Nikon buy it in a nano second. But out to big for her needs and costs as well. Okay the 24-70 if not the same no clear advantage with Nikon but the Nikon 14-24 maybe a shade better than the 16-35 . I am assuming here from what i read from you guys but the zooms are pretty equal for all intents. I see the Sony advantage on the top end and I did not even get into the camera part. That is what i see even for myself. That is just a brief thought pattern.

    The issue right NOW is Nikon needs some updates but there are holes in the Sony lineup but they can be filled. The macro is the obvious one and T/S stuff
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Despite the few great CZ zooms, Sony lens line up still has quite a few holes as we know.
    Here would be my alt (or MF) lens buy list for A900:
    Leica 100 APO 2.8 for macro work
    Leica 180 APO 2.8 or Mamiya 200 APO 2.8
    Leica R 28 latest edition
    ZS 35 2.0
    Minolta Rokkor 58 1.2
    I also think that if you have the incredible ZA 135 1.8, you probably don't need the Hassy 110 f2 as much.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    So macro
    Long fast 180 or 200
    Fast 28 or 35

    Heck you think with enough push they could crank out those three lenses

    Question is does Sony follow a certain release pattern like PMA or Photokinia or just release whenever. We all know many follow these shows does Sony
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Yup

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_s View Post
    FC = Focus Confirmation.

    I add FC chips on all my alt glass for my 1ds3 because it helps the AE be more correct with that particular alt lens by using the focal length and aperture info and thus I don't have to add as much AE compensation as I would without the chip. It helps with adding the lens info to the exif for each shot which I really need to keep track of which alt lens I used. And now the latest chips have added the micro lens adjust feature for canon mount. Sounds like you need a chip for the A900 to be able to have Aperture Priority mode to work which is very important, no?

    Bear in mind the OP was/is contemplating a Phamiya MFDB kit. Picking the right glass (w/direct aperture control of course) would give him ability to run some glass on both - in short avoid too much overlap and make the MFDB a more cost-effective solution. Select system-dedicated glass for each plus some 'joint glass' for both as it were. It would also expand his over-all lens collection due to different FoV using same lens on the two bodies. Using select Mamiya glass would also allow him APO correction on BOTH systems for one investment as don't think any Sony/Zeiss units are, as yet, APO corrected - barring some older Minolta units like 200 APO.

    My fave M645s so far - 200 APO and 80/1.9. I'm sure the as-yet-arrive 120/2 Apo Macro will sit in that group as well. Allah help me when I get a chance to try a friend's 300/2.8 APO. I run almost exclusively with alt glass on my Canon (and soon to be Nikon film body - plus some CV AiS), but I am a masochist, like the rendering vs native, am willing to put up with the minimal hassle - and I have a slower-paced shooting requirement (e.g. I don't shoot weddings).

    To answer Marc's question. My guess (having since read elsewhere that SSS works 'better' with chipped glass) would be that SSS adjusts the degree of anti-shake/rattle/roll based on aperture (e.g. DoF), meter reading (shutter speed required) and FL (edit: definite yes).

    No idea if Sony eproms (on Sony glass only obviously) convey distance, but if so that may come into the DoF equation. Longer lenses requiring more compensation than a shorter lens (aperture being equal, blah, blah).

    If distance IS conveyed with native D glass, you MAY get three degree of SSS accuracy/effectiveness (in order of increasing effectiveness):

    1. No chip (assumed 50mm attached)
    2. Chip, but not Sony D glass (uses FL, eprom aperture and meter)
    3. Sony native D glass (#2 plus distance? & actual aperture selected?)

    Would be curious to find out exact facts just how intelligent the system is .

    Edit - barring a chip, SSS does apparently default to 50mm assumed FL.
    Last edited by robmac; 26th May 2009 at 16:15.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Doubt they will do a 2nd version yet of their 100 macro or 35 1.4G lens which are not world beaters.
    Rumors have a fast 24/28 lens coming soon though.
    I forgot the Minolta 200 2.8 lens which some people have here that looks pretty sharp.
    Maybe they could take that design and use some uptodate ED glass/coatings to satisfy the fast 180/200
    range?

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Robert,
    Sorry for going off on a more general alt glass tangent.
    Using "joint" glass makes sense but the downside would be the extra weight and front-heavy ergonomics of say the Mamiya 200 APO vs. using the Leica 200 APO 2.8 which could be an issue for a wedding shooter hand holding all day. How much heavier is the Mamiya 200 APO vs. the Leica?
    For weddings, the convenience of AF and zoom probably most of the time outweighs the extra IQ benefit of the alt glass.
    Probably only one or two fast primes to have for low light conditions and for small DOF portrait shots at a wedding is all you need.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    I haven't looked at the specs and it's been awhile since I sold my Leica 180/2.8 APO, but the M645 would likely be heavier, if for no other reason than the larger diameter tube and elements (both are all metal construction).

    Going off memory on the Nikon, I find it about the same heft-wise as say the Nikon 180 AiS. The weight is a bit front biased, but don't find it an issue. Another shooter who bought a Mam 200 after playing with mine remarked he found it less bulky and easier to carry around than his Canon 70-200/2.8 and not notably front biased (for him).

    Having owned the Leica 180/2.8 APO (and the oh-so-awesome 180/2) - I have no regrets moving to the Mamiya in that FL. Had the Cv 180/4 APO AiS as well (an awesome and TINY lens) and sold it - found I always kept picking up the Mamiya.

    I'm pretty fast at the whole alt glass thing and while obviously more cumbersome than AF or auto-aperture, I typically focus at the aperture I'm going to shoot at -- up to (depending on the lens) about F5.6 - F8. The latter especially if using focus confirm (which I've seen triggered at decent light up to as high as F11 which surprised even me). That said, using manual stop-down glass on any system is w/o question best suited to slower pace work.

    If it were me owning an A900 and thinking of a Phamiya to go with, I'd pick the AF Mamiya glass I NEEDED, look at my A900 lineup and the fill the gaps (or GAS needs) if any, with choice M645 lenses. The same scenario would apply if it were a Hassy system and a FF DSLR - acquire some (depending on if H, 500 or 200 series) V/F glass, a H-V Hassy adapter if needed and some Hassy-____ adapters.

    Other considerations/fun aside, allows DSLR (or vice versa?) to act as a nice backup w/o lugging around any more extra glass than necessary.

    No MF back to consider ? Then belly up to buffet and pick your poison - Leica, Mamiya, OM, CZ, Hassy - as long as it has an aperture ring and someone's put a milling machine to an adapter for it.
    Last edited by robmac; 26th May 2009 at 18:44.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Got curious. Size/heft difference are minimal, add 1M to close focus distance (barring a skinny tube):

    Mamiya 200/2.8 APO
    -----------------
    Dimensions (Length x Diameter) 143.5 x 91mm
    Weight 1100 g.
    Close focus: 2.5M

    Leica 180/2.8 APO
    ------------
    Dimensions (Length x Diameter) 132 x 76mm
    Weight 970 g.
    Close focus: 1.5M

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Thanks for the comparison info.
    Only 130 grams more than the Leica, not bad. I would have thought it would have been more. 11.5mm more length would be more noticeable as far as balance. Definitely, alot cheaper than the Leica.The Mamiya 300 2.8 would be a great deal considering the price of ones from Canon/Nikon.Sounds like you will be getting one of these soon, thanks to trying out Jim's. I love my Leica 180 APO 2.8, so sharp wide open its amazing and with the 2x Leica extender I can get a surprisingly good 360mm 5.6.
    Is the Mamiya 200 2.8 as sharp as the Leica 180 2.8 at f2.8? Just curious?

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    I wonder if it would be possible to use Contax 645 glass and somehow get the automatic diaphragm to work. The 35/3.5 would make little sense, but the 80/2 and 120/4 Macro would be interesting.
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Quote Originally Posted by carstenw View Post
    I wonder if it would be possible to use Contax 645 glass and somehow get the automatic diaphragm to work. The 35/3.5 would make little sense, but the 80/2 and 120/4 Macro would be interesting.
    Conrus would be the one to contact on that. He cracked the Contax N lens to Canon EOS to provide all functions including AF ... I used to use a Contax N 24-85/3.5 on my 1DsMKIII (a lens that Mark K now owns).

    Conrus was working on hacking the Contax 645 lenses for use on EOS cameras which will be available in 2010.

    http://en.conurus.com/

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Funny you should mention the 300. I remember when I handled Jim's thinking "this sucker is far lighter than I would have thought..". I won't look up the numbers, but having owned the EoS 300/2.8 (non-IS), I'd call it an easier lug-around than the Canon. Surprised me as I envisioned this Hubble-like behemoth.

    The 300 APO is on the list, but so are a lot of other things. Right now my 200APO and 1.4x do an amazing job. Jim hefted my 200 on his 1D2 (or 5D can't recall), twisted the focus ring a couple of times - then bought one. I don't think he ever hit the shutter. Offered to lend it to him as we could only meet for a couple of minutes, but I guess knowing the IQ of the 300, he knew what he'd be getting.

    I REALLY liked my Leica 180s, but I would call both Mamiya 200 and the Cv 180/4 as the crown princes to the Leica's King. The CV and Mamiya I'd call at par in terms of resolving power with one another, bokeh of all three on par. However, I do prefer the color native from the Mamiya over the CV or Leica's. One advantage of the Mamiya over the CV is the ability to use a TC - and any TC at that (will adapt to it).

    The Leica would have an edge in terms of resolution, but either of the alternatives above are so close it' not even funny. You may notice a difference at 100% on screen. In prints, I'd doubt it.

    Actually, I just finished printing a medium-sized (13x19) color image on Epson VFA taken last year with my 5D and 180/2.8 APO for a charity auction and either of the CV or Mamiya could have matched what I'm seeing in terms of print resolution, color, contrast, etc. I've done the same print at 17x 22 and would say the same.

    Using the Mamiya on a FF dslr gives sweet results, but it must be something on a MFDB unit with those nice fat CCD sensels and skinny DoF - as per John Black's website.

    The Leica kicks butt w/o question, but as Guy put it the 200 APO (or IMHO CV 180/4) at $600ish is just "..killer". Hey, if I can save $1200+ and be close enough to tap on a Leica APOs shoulder (saw same with my 90AA R and Cv 90/3.5 APO) , I'm a happy camper

    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_s View Post
    Thanks for the comparison info.
    Only 130 grams more than the Leica, not bad. I would have thought it would have been more. 11.5mm more length would be more noticeable as far as balance. Definitely, alot cheaper than the Leica.The Mamiya 300 2.8 would be a great deal considering the price of ones from Canon/Nikon.Sounds like you will be getting one of these soon, thanks to trying out Jim's. I love my Leica 180 APO 2.8, so sharp wide open its amazing and with the 2x Leica extender I can get a surprisingly good 360mm 5.6.
    Is the Mamiya 200 2.8 as sharp as the Leica 180 2.8 at f2.8? Just curious?

  48. #48
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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Hey all... sorry to start this thread and then disappear, lol. Been pretty sick AND traveling some on and off for the last few days.

    Some great thoughts on here... and I really appreciate the insights into the alt glass on the a900. One thing that Guy said really does hit home as I begin to get more experience with the 135/1.8 ... I'm not sure I could want more than I already get from the ZA glass (from MF glass).

    There surely are lenses that outperform the ZA glass out there, but the combination of great IQ and ease of use make it really difficult (as a people/commercial shooter) to use alt glass.

    One place I can see it maybe being useful is in beauty photography where, in the studio, you want detail and depth of field while shooting in pretty static conditions. Something like the 120 macro could be useful indeed. Still... the 135 would be a great beauty lens... so it's kind of a wash.

    Tough decisions!

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    How about the Mirex adapter-via-M42 mount? You get focus confirmation (if you get a chipped M42 adapter) AND tilt-shift capability to boot?

    This is my plan. I've kept MF versions of the Mamiya lenses even if I've covered them with AF versions.

    30 fish/35/45/55/80 1.9/110...and the 300 2.8

    Wonder how that 300 would work tilted. Could be interesting, eh? But I only have the A700 so far, so I'll be seriously cropping the lens.

    Alas, the $500 bill for the adapter will have to wait until I sell off some stuff.

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    Re: Mamiya 645 glass with the a900 (a query)

    Mamiya autofocus lenses have electronically controlled aperture diaphragms, whereas the Sony Alpha mount uses a mechanical lever to control the aperture diaphragm. I think there are fundamental differences in the mount which makes using Mamiya AF lenses impossible on a Sony. Of course, for manual focus Mamiya lenses, all you need is some way to mechanically be able to mount the lens on the camera, and stop down the aperture manually.

    Bo-Ming
    conurus
    Last edited by conurus; 1st June 2009 at 11:19.

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