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Author Topic: Mamiya 55-110 soft focus  (Read 11014 times)
afremiotti
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« on: July 26, 2006, 02:00:01 PM »
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I would like to know what other people think about shooting this lens wide open. My lens performed really poorly earlier shooting 55mm at f4.5 @ 1/8, it didn't look like anything was in focus. Stopped down to f8 and the images were usable. I had it on a tripod and compared it to other prime lenses and it was way off. I've used it other times and thought it was really good,but I guess I generally shoot at higher apertures. It is only about a month old so should I send it back for repair or is it to be expected? If so I might need to look at the 45.
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LMO
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2006, 03:03:23 PM »
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I have the same experience as you. The lens is great stopped down, but very soft vide open..
The 55 prime is very good..
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Hank
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2006, 04:27:49 PM »
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I assume your talking about manual focus lens?  If so, we've used it extensively for almost 15 years and don't find it to be objectionably soft.  Maybe we got lucky and got a particularly good one. Mirror slap is a sincere problem in our experience however, at shutter speeds from 1/15 to about 1 second- even on a tripod.  Using mirror lock may resolve many of your issues.
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afremiotti
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2006, 11:07:51 PM »
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I am talking about the auto focus lens, and it is more than objectionably soft. It is totally unusable. I tried focusing both manually and using autofocus with the same result. Through the viewfinder it looks sharp but once I open up the file it is very soft.
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pixjohn
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2006, 02:21:54 AM »
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If you are shooting with a digital back you might need a shim for the back. It seems maybe the  sensor plane is off?
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afremiotti
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2006, 10:14:20 AM »
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I am shooting with an Aptus 75, and I don't think it is the back. I can shoot my 80 at 2.8 and get focus right on. I thought maybe the back wasn't seated so I took it off and on a couple of times, but it was always the same result. I was also shooting on a heavy tripod with mirror lock up on so I was definately cutting out camera shake. I am going to set up a more rigid test in the studio today if I have time.
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Lester
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2006, 11:37:52 AM »
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Wow, I hope something is wrong with your lens. I read this article at this link: "http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/back-testing.shtml" saying how good that lens is. I got a used one and suppose to get here by this Friday. It is a 55-110 AF for my Mamiya 645 AFD with a P45 back. I will test it when I get it and let you know, if that is the norm for that lens.



Quote
I would like to know what other people think about shooting this lens wide open. My lens performed really poorly earlier shooting 55mm at f4.5 @ 1/8, it didn't look like anything was in focus. Stopped down to f8 and the images were usable. I had it on a tripod and compared it to other prime lenses and it was way off. I've used it other times and thought it was really good,but I guess I generally shoot at higher apertures. It is only about a month old so should I send it back for repair or is it to be expected? If so I might need to look at the 45.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=71796\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Hank
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2006, 03:19:54 PM »
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We have a 20-year history using a wide variety of Mamiya glass professionally- all pre-AF.  I simply have no frame of reference for Mamiya turning out a bad model, much less any reluctance to make amends if a bad individual unit makes it through their QC.

I'd send the lens to Mamiya for evaluation, but be prepared for them to tell you there is no problem with it.  While waiting for results from Mamiya I would evaluate your methods and the remainder of your hardware for the source of the problem.  There is no sure thing on any of that, but experience has given me lots of reasons to respect Mamiya and their products.
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2006, 10:27:33 PM »
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I was surprised at this one. Having recently upgraded to the AFD with the 55-110mm auto focus I wondered if it could be that different than the manual focus lenses that have been very good in my experience.

So I stepped outside for a quick hand held at f/4.5 at 1/250 sec. At 67 I'm not so good at hand held but here is the shot and an enlarged crop of a protion. Recorded with no sharpening on a Phase One P45. Maybe I can soon get some on a tripod.

[attachment=852:attachment]

[attachment=853:attachment]
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Jack Varney
free1000
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2006, 10:12:20 AM »
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Those attachments don't work for me... can you satisfy my curiosity and tell me if the tests were in favour of the lens?  I'm currently weighing up getting it, or alternatively the 55mm lens.

P
 
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I was surprised at this one. Having recently upgraded to the AFD with the 55-110mm auto focus I wondered if it could be that different than the manual focus lenses that have been very good in my experience.
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afremiotti
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2006, 02:43:36 PM »
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I did some shots as a test outside my studio. I posted some crops of the shots on my website
www.burnphoto.com/mamiya This lens is definately off wide open at all focal lengths. I was also surprised to see some bad color fringing at 55mm as well as a sort of ghosting I can't really describe but you can clearly see. All of these were done on a tripod with the mirror locked up, even though at f4.5 shutter speeds were around 1/400.
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2006, 04:20:32 PM »
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afremiotti your 55-110 is getting poorer results at f/8 than mine at f/4.5 hand held!
Something is seriously wrong here.
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2006, 04:24:27 PM »
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P,

The 55mm is definately better at 55mm than the 55-110. But the 55-110 is fine. In a day or so I will be able to make some shots on tripod critically focused at different focal lengths on a more revealling subject. Will also try to get a 55mm prime shot for comapison.
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2006, 03:08:23 AM »
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Great, I look forward to seeing them as I'd really like to get the 55-100. For my uses it would be ideal.

Quote
P,

The 55mm is definately better at 55mm than the 55-110. But the 55-110 is fine. In a day or so I will be able to make some shots on tripod critically focused at different focal lengths on a more revealling subject. Will also try to get a 55mm prime shot for comapison.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72031\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Lester
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2006, 08:49:55 PM »
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I finally got the Mamiya 55-110AF f4.5, did some test shot with it at f4.5 with my 645 AFDII and P45 with a tripod  and it seems sharp enough at that f/stop, it is sharper at f11. So, what lens are you using the Auto or Manual 55-110 and which Mamiya 645 are you using. I hope you know that, you cannot use the manual lens on a AF body without changing the focusing screem. There is a focusing screem for the manual lens, without it, it will back focus and look out of focus.
If everything is correct and you get fuzzy pictures at wide open, you got a bad lens.


Quote
I would like to know what other people think about shooting this lens wide open. My lens performed really poorly earlier shooting 55mm at f4.5 @ 1/8, it didn't look like anything was in focus. Stopped down to f8 and the images were usable. I had it on a tripod and compared it to other prime lenses and it was way off. I've used it other times and thought it was really good,but I guess I generally shoot at higher apertures. It is only about a month old so should I send it back for repair or is it to be expected? If so I might need to look at the 45.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=71796\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2006, 09:09:41 PM »
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Well, I finally shot some comparisons of the 55-110mm Mamiya AF Zoom at f/4.5 and f/8. I also shot the 55mm Prime at f/2.8 and f/5.6. I made crops of a portion of each image and have included both the full image and the crops. I reduced the size and saved for the Web as jpegs. The P45 Tiffs are around 265MB, a bit large for upload!

While the jpegs are not quite as detailed as the tiffs they fairly represent the differences which, to my eyes are not great between f/4.5 and f/8. Contrast appears better at f/8. I am guessing that this is due to greater flare at f/4.5. There were some small changes in our Florida sun during the shoot that altered the exposure a bit. No sharpening has been applied.

I am uncertain about the web version and resizing for upload to LL. If there is a better way I am open to learning it.

Zoom Image @ f/4.5                             Zoom Image @ f/8
[attachment=861:attachment]                              [attachment=862:attachment]

Zoom Crop @ f/4.5                                Zoom Crop @ f/8
[attachment=863:attachment]                              [attachment=864:attachment]

Prime Crop @ f/2.8                                Prime Crop @ f/5.6
[attachment=865:attachment]                              [attachment=866:attachment]
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Jack Varney
Cedric
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« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2006, 05:18:19 AM »
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I have been using the 55-110 for years on 645AF then 645AFD and never had any problem with soft focus @4.5 (neither with film nor with PhaseOne).

You should have your lense checked by Mamiya.

Cedric

Quote
I would like to know what other people think about shooting this lens wide open. My lens performed really poorly earlier shooting 55mm at f4.5 @ 1/8, it didn't look like anything was in focus. Stopped down to f8 and the images were usable. I had it on a tripod and compared it to other prime lenses and it was way off. I've used it other times and thought it was really good,but I guess I generally shoot at higher apertures. It is only about a month old so should I send it back for repair or is it to be expected? If so I might need to look at the 45.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=71796\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Graham Welland
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« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2006, 02:43:29 AM »
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I have been using the 55-110 for years on 645AF then 645AFD and never had any problem with soft focus @4.5 (neither with film nor with PhaseOne).

You should have your lense checked by Mamiya.

Cedric
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72460\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would agree with Cedric - its quite possible that you have a soft lens and you would do well to have it checked by Mamiya. My experience is that the 55-110 AF is a very sharp lens, particularly stopped down.

Its generally accepted that even with the best quality control there will be some variation between lens examples and perhaps you've unfortunately got a sub-par 55-110AF or one that needs adjustment.

My experience with Mamiya service has always been excellent with both bodies and lens adjustments in and out of warranty (AFD replacement shutter, 55-110 adjustment & fix after drop). Hopefully they can help you.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2006, 02:44:38 AM by gwelland » Logged

Graham
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2006, 10:07:10 AM »
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Jack

Good to see you posted some samples, its weird though, my web browser can't view them. Is there any chance you could email them to  

rubbish ATSYMBOL architek DOT co DOT uk

I'd love a look
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rljones
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« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2006, 02:22:07 PM »
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My web browser can't view any of the posted images in any thread on this forum. I'm using Safari on a Mac (actually on more than one machine, too). Anyone else with Safari having problems?
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