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Author Topic: Mamiya 645 system questions  (Read 11813 times)
A.K.
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« on: July 30, 2008, 06:11:30 AM »
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Hello,
I need some help with Mamiya 645/af lineup.
First, what is the real difference between 645AF, AFD, AFD II and III? The camera will be used with 132C.
How good the 55110 zoom is as an all-purpose lens? Is it worth it to get the zoom instead of say 55, 80, 150?
Can the lenses from older 645 models be used on all af cameras (af, afd, II, III)? And how good are they compared to Af ones (not to mention the manual aperture problem)?
Thank you in advance
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Andrey Kulpin
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DolphinDan
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2008, 08:06:08 AM »
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Not familiar with the different cameras, as I only have an AFD-II.  Not familiar with a 132C either... :-(

55-110mm is OK.  I recommend the 75-150mm, as it is amazingly sharp.  If you need something wider, then look at the 45mm f2.8.

I have not tried the primes.  I would say it depends on what you are doing with the lenses.  If you are hiking as I do, then the zoom is preferable because of the weight.  If you are in a studio, then I would say go for the primes, particularly if they are f2.8.  I find the f2.8 lenses are about as sharp as the newer digital lenses, but the f3.5 and above (like the 35mm and 55-110mm) are not quite as sharp.

I have not tried any MF lenses yet, so not sure about this either.

Namaste
Daniel

Quote
Hello,
I need some help with Mamiya 645/af lineup.
First, what is the real difference between 645AF, AFD, AFD II and III? The camera will be used with 132C.
How good the 55110 zoom is as an all-purpose lens? Is it worth it to get the zoom instead of say 55, 80, 150?
Can the lenses from older 645 models be used on all af cameras (af, afd, II, III)? And how good are they compared to Af ones (not to mention the manual aperture problem)?
Thank you in advance
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=211713\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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BobDavid
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2008, 08:24:20 AM »
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You can use the older 645 lenses on any AFD model. Although, you will be focusing them manually and take meter readings with the lenses wide open.

I find that the 35mm (both manual and AF models) to be soft along the edges. Contrast and color is good, although the edges turn to mush when used with a 36 X 48 senssor.

The 45mm lens is a bit better along the edges than the 35, but still not great.

The 55mm is a stellar performer. Very sharp, great lens.

The 80mm and 120 macro are quite sharp.

The 150mm f/3.5 is a very nice portrait lens.

I highly recommend the auto focus versions of the lenses. I find it very hard to focus manually. I am 50 years old and my eyes aren't as strong as they were when I was 30.
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Paul2660
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2008, 08:40:13 AM »
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The 55-110 like many Mamiya lenses, seems to have good and bad samples.  I have used a 55-110 on a couple of shoots and found it be quite good.  Not as sharp as the 75-150, but also not anywhere as expensive.  

The lens I am waiting on is the 45-90 as that covers a lot of my range.

Of the current lenses:

55mm excellent corner to corner
45mm sharp but sometimes hard to get a good focus with
35mm  Good performer, soft around the corners (Still my main lens used in the field)
28mm Currently disappointed with mine, still working with Mamiya to try and get a good one.

Paul C
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Paul Caldwell
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2008, 09:05:56 AM »
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The AF is not compatible with digital backs due to no electronic contacts. Some backs can connect via the PC port, but I'd stay away form it. The AFD has contacts and is a decent camera for its current prices. The AFD2 added many new features and custom functions, and focuses a little faster than the AFD.  The AFD3 has improved focus speed and accuracy pretty significantly over the AFD2 and has improved multi-segment metering which I have found to be very accurate.  

The 55-110 lens is quite good stopped down to f8 or 11, and almost as good as primes there. The 75-150 IS as good as primes once stopped down to f8 or f11.  The 55 and 80 and 210 APO are all superb.  The 150/3.5 is very good, a tad softish at the edges wide open so excellent for portraits, then sharpens right up to excellent at f5.6 and up.  The 300 APO is another excellent lens.  The 35 can be quite good, but needs to be stopped down to f8 or 11 for the corners; the 45 behaves similarly being kind of soft in the very corners.

Cheers,
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2008, 11:20:51 AM »
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FWIW, here is a Mamiya 35mm shot off my Phase 45+ back, click the thumbs for full versions:

Full frame for reference:


Center crop at actual pixels:


Lower Left Corner which has been referred to as "mush" -- I'll let you draw your own conclusions about that comment:


Clearly not the sharpest lens in my bag, but not all that bad for a "full frame" wideangle on medium format I think...

Cheers,
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 12:15:41 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

TMARK
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« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2008, 12:05:09 PM »
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You will hear many opinions of the Mamiya AFd system.  Some valid, some relatively retarded.  Here are my retarded and valid opinions of the Mamiya AFd system.

Lenses:  you hear people bitch about them.  Don't believe the hype.  The reality is that they are great great lenses.  They are different than German lenses which have too much micro contrast.  They have a really nice OOF rendering.  Their color is real nice.  They are pretty contrasty.  The new zooms are supposed to be good.  I only shoot the fixed focal length lenses and all of them are fantastic.  They are as good as anything out there at F4.

Bodies:  The best thing I can say, as far as the AFd and AFd2 are concerned, is that the bodies are light and handle like an slr to a degree.  This I like.  The AFd's AF is like a Nikon N2020 from 1989, or like a Nikon F4s when the batteries were about to die.  The AFd2 is better.  The AFd3 is even better.  The AFd3 feels better than the AFd or AFd2. Much better switches, better grip.  

The viewfinders are pretty good.  Not as good as the H series, but better than the Contax. Better than the 1ds2.

Flash sync: its 1/125.  So what.  If you shoot outside with strobes, don't use this camera, or work around the problem with ND filters.  The flip side to the low flash sync is the high shutter speed of 1/4000.  When you shoot at 2.8 in bright light at iso 100, 1/2000 is not uncommon, sometimes 1/4000 really is needed.

Good luck with your purchase.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2008, 12:08:30 PM by TMARK » Logged
eronald
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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2008, 01:02:44 PM »
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Very easy to use. Primes are really cheap used. The AFD2 model doesn't have the bells and whistles of the Sinar and Hassy, in particular the body focus micro-calibraton, leaf shutter,  or the interchangeable finder.

Edmund
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2008, 05:11:36 PM »
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I use a P30 so I can't really comment edge to edge on any of the lenses because I am basically using the center 70% of the glass.

I have found the 55-110 zoom pretty sharp even up to f22.  f25-32 loses just a little but perfectly usable.   It is not as sharp as the 120 macro but the other primes I have played with didn't see that much sharper considering the convenience of the zoom.

I would echo most of the other comments except luckily I got a really great 28mm.  Even at f32 I get really great results.  

I have mixed feelings about the 105-210 zoom.  At f8-f16 it is pretty sharp but any more DOF and it gets really fuzzy.
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BobDavid
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« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2008, 08:19:30 PM »
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FWIW, here is a Mamiya 35mm shot off my Phase 45+ back, click the thumbs for full versions:

Full frame for reference:


Center crop at actual pixels:


Lower Left Corner which has been referred to as "mush" -- I'll let you draw your own conclusions about that comment:


Clearly not the sharpest lens in my bag, but not all that bad for a "full frame" wideangle on medium format I think...

Cheers,
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=211795\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Your 35mm is better than mine. Mine really does render the edges pretty mushy.
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A.K.
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2008, 08:57:00 AM »
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Thank you very much for your replies!
What are the actual differences between AFD and AFD II? Is the difference in price in almost $1000 attributed only to some more convenient controls?)

What is the difference between 120 macro MF lens for AFD and an old one for M645, which is 30% of the price? Or stop-down metering makes macro focusing impossible at something like f/11?)

The same regarding 45mm prime?

What lens would you recommend for portrait photography? How good is the M645's 210/4?
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Andrey Kulpin
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woof75
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2008, 11:09:20 AM »
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I have the AFD which I really like, AF is a little slow but never hunts and is great in low light. The 35mm is fine but the 80mm is absolutely exceptional. (Don't forget that the mamiya af lenses tested better than the contax zeiss lenses in a pop photo review)
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Jack Varney
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« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2008, 06:00:20 PM »
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I shoot landscape on a tripod 95% of the time and focus manually, so,  the AFD suits me as well as would the AFD II. One feature I prefer on the AFD is that it has a manual mirror-up lever instead of the function button activation on the AFD II.

Which you like will depend on how you use it and the price.
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Jack Varney
A.K.
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2008, 09:01:57 AM »
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Thanks again! How would you compare the optical performance of M645 and AF lenses, especially, 120macro, 55 and 45, and what do you use for portraits?
And, does anybody know how to mount the Image Bank under the body, like the Leaf's battery pack?
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Andrey Kulpin
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2008, 04:38:26 PM »
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I shoot landscape on a tripod 95% of the time and focus manually, so,  the AFD suits me as well as would the AFD II. One feature I prefer on the AFD is that it has a manual mirror-up lever instead of the function button activation on the AFD II.

Which you like will depend on how you use it and the price.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=212438\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Just to clarify, the AFD2 does not use a custom function to lock the mirror up, it has a dedicated button.  That button however is electronic, not manual as in the AFD.  The CF option with the mirror on the AFD2 is how long you would like it to stay up before it resets itself.

Cheers,
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A.K.
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2008, 05:18:45 AM »
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Ok, it is now clear with AFDs. Now to the lenses:
I would highly appreciate if somebody could post test images:
120mm vs. 55-110 @ 110
55mm vs. 55-110 @ 55

What combination would you recommend, 80AF + 55MF +120MF OR 80AF + 55-110AF ?
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Andrey Kulpin
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michele
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« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2008, 06:18:50 AM »
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what do you say about the 28mm?
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BobDavid
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« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2008, 08:47:36 AM »
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what do you say about the 28mm?
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soft at the edges
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2008, 11:16:59 AM »
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Ok, it is now clear with AFDs. Now to the lenses:
I would highly appreciate if somebody could post test images:
120mm vs. 55-110 @ 110
55mm vs. 55-110 @ 55

What combination would you recommend, 80AF + 55MF +120MF OR 80AF + 55-110AF ?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=213362\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No images at hand, but the 55-110 is pretty good once stopped down to f8 or f11, before that it is soft-ish compared to the primes.  The 55 is very good wide open at f2.8 and only gets better as you stop it down.  The 120 macro is interesting; it may be one of the sharpest lenses you can buy, but at working distances say 5 meters and under.  Once you get further out, it starts to deteriorate a bit from its peak, so stopped down at infinity it probably is on par with the 55-110 at 110.

My current preferred "best" lenses are the 55, 80 and 210 ULD (all excellent), followed very closely by the 300 APO and then a 1/4 step down to the 150/3.5 (the new 150 2.8D is a stunner even wide open and I'm waiting for my personal copy -- as good as the 210 ULD), then down a notch to my 35 as shown above...

As for the zooms relative to the above primes, I've used them all (and FTR don't own any of them now) and would place the 55-110 a half notch above the 35 and the 105-210 maybe just behind the 150/3.5, with the 75-150D about on par with the 150/3.5.

Hope that helps,
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008, 11:18:18 AM by Jack Flesher » Logged

BobDavid
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« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2008, 05:20:26 PM »
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The 55mm prime is amazingly sharp pretty much across the aperture range. The 120 macro is exceedingly sharp and does a great job with tubes. The above poster is correct though, the 120 macro doesn't resolve quite as sharply once it's focussed beyond 5 meters.
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