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Author Topic: Best MF System and lenses for Bokeh  (Read 7797 times)
DeeJay
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« on: April 06, 2011, 04:02:16 AM »
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Hi all,

Wondering what, in your opinion, is the nicest system in terms of Bokeh. Any lenses in particular?

It's a general question I know but thought I'd put it out there and see.

Thanks,

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robert zimmerman
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2011, 05:35:18 AM »
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contax 645.
fastest mf glass, beautiful bokeh.
80mm f2, 140mm f2.8, 210mm f4.
all great lenses.
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erickb
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 06:22:51 AM »
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Hasselblad  + HC 210 mm
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 06:24:15 AM »
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Rollei 6000/Hy6/Afi platform for the fast and sharp glass. That's one of the reasons I went with the platform in the first place, e.g. 50mm f2.8, 80mm f2, 110mm f2, 180mm f2.8
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 08:31:57 AM »
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Hasselblad + HC 2.2/100
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donaldt
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 08:35:13 AM »
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if you are not worrying about cost
absolute best bokeh is if you get a MF camera with focal shutter plane
then use Movie lenses
I used to do that with Mamiya, can no linger do with my Hass and I miss that bokeh

the next best thing should be the Contax, Rollei, and Hass V system

Mamiya is harsh even though there is some fast lens (fast doesnt always mean good bokeh)
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 10:18:19 AM »
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Hopefully Brad will chime in because over the last two years I think he's tried all the different platforms and will undoubtably have some good thoughts.     

I myself prefer the schneider glass available for the Rollei 6000 series and Hy6/AFi.   Their fast optics are the 50/2.8 60/35, 80/2, 180/2.8 and 300/4  but most of the schneider glass draws beautifully with smoothe bokeh.  The zeiss standout for the system is the 110/2 which is truly a wondeful optic.   Lot's of older zeiss designs are available for the rollei platform and I think many of these zeiss lenses were made to fit the hasselblad and contax platforms too.  Lot's of people like the zeiss look however I find them to look too much like an old photograph instead of real life because they always seem to draw a chromatic doublet on hard edges in the OOF or bokeh.  Also there seems to be more specular flare and distortion in the zeiss glass.   Anyhow, long story short I think the best glass is the schneider stuff for the Rollei and I also happen to think the cameras are the most advanced as well.  People will say that its a dead end, but that's what I think about the contax.  I just bought a new AFi body last week from the factory and they just introduced two new lenses. You can't do that with contax.
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Mitchell Baum
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2011, 01:20:22 PM »
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Hi Eric,

What new hy6 lenses?

This is great news.

Best,

Mitchell
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2011, 03:28:11 PM »
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Mitchell,
They've announced the 120 and 150 apogens in both AF and non AF versions and I think all but the 150 AF version are available now for purchase.  My understanding is that more new stuff is in the works.  I'm waiting for the lupe finder base so I can use the magnifying finder.

Eric
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2011, 03:45:34 PM »
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Can I ask how this Leaf/Sinar system compares to the Hasselblad and Phase system?

Besides the lenses. What advantages does the system have?
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ondebanks
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2011, 04:48:42 PM »
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Hang on! Contax has the "fastest MF glass"? No.
Rollei 6000/Hy6/Afi has the fastest, then? Closer, but still No.
Hasselblad V or H? Don't make me laugh!

Let's at least keep the factual stuff straight - we can argue about the bokeh and rendering, but not the f-stops.

Mamiya 645 manual focus lenses are the fastest range of MF glass.

There is only 1 lens of Rollei 6000/Hy6/Afi (110/2), 1 lens of Hasselblad V (110/2 for the F series), and 1 lens of Hasselblad H (100/2.2) which is faster than the M645 nearest equivalent. There are 0 lenses of Contax that are faster. And let's not forget the Pentax 645 - also 0 lenses that are faster.

Mamiya has at least 3 faster lenses than any of these systems (200/2.8, 300/2.8 and 500/4.5 APOs). Or 4 lenses, if you are pedantic about the 80/1.9 being faster than the 80/2 of the Contax and Rollei!

Within system to system comparisons, you also find others: like the 55/2.8 of Mamiya vs. the slower 55/3.5 of Contax.

You can go all the way from 45mm to 300mm with the Mamiya, never getting slower than f2.8.
45/2.8, 55/2.8, 70/2.8, 80/1.9 and 80/2.8, 110/2.8, 150/2.8, 200/2.8, 300/2.8.

Plus with the focal plane shutter and short registration distance, the Mamiya (and the Contax and Pentax, but not the Rolleis or Hasselblads) can also mount nice fast gems like the 120/2.8, 180/2.8 and 300/4 from Zeiss Jena (stunning bokeh on the latter 2 Sonnars, BTW), the 105/2.4 and 165/2.8 from the Pentax 67, etc.

As you can tell, this is a topic of some considerable importance to me - as a MF astrophotographer!  M-U-S-T   H-A-V-E   M-O-R-E   P-H-O-T-O-N-S !!

Ray
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henrikfoto
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 04:56:16 PM »
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Don't forget Hasselblad 300, 2,8!!! Will make the Mamiya 300 look like a toy.
... and he bokeh is the best you will ever see.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 05:05:50 PM by henrikfoto » Logged
ondebanks
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« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2011, 05:24:02 PM »
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Don't forget Hasselblad 300, 2,8!!!

Ah, yes I forgot that one. Doesn't up the Hasselblad score enough to make a difference overall, though.

Will make the Mamiya 300 look like a toy.
... and he bokeh is the best you will ever see.

Really? You have proof of both these claims?
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2011, 06:11:14 PM »
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Yeah Ray that's true there are some nice fast Mamiya lenses.
But the topic was best MF system and lenses for bokeh not fastest!   Cheesy    

All joking aside there are some nice mamiya lenses, however I don't find them as pleasing as the schneider in terms of bokeh or general character.  Plus I think mamiya lenses trade off sharpness for distortion and are more prone to flare.  And let's not get started on the mamiya 645 camera....
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 10:43:27 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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donaldt
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2011, 10:07:18 PM »
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Exactly people confuse bokeh with fast lens
in medium format f2.8 and f4 is often fast enough to give a shallow DOF, the problem is how pleasing is the bokeh

I have had Mamiya and the problem is that they are sharp, but thats about it
dont like their camera either, feels much cheaper than my Nikon (not to mention my Hass)

I think Rollei does have the best lens lineup and you are very safe with their Schneider and Zeiss optics
but the thing is their future does remain unclear (not as dead as the Contax though)
not many AF lenses (at the moment)
and I heard many problems with the fast optics with shutter, like the 110mm f2 shutter and aperture dont work properly from time to time

Contax has the next best lens lineup with AF
but dead system, you might need to get a few backup copies

Hasselblad V has Zeiss optics but not fast (sure you can go with the focal plane shutter and their lenses are wonderful, but relatively not a reliable system)

Hasselblad H has probably the most established system, best built overall, lens are somewhat average though, I heard good things about their 100mm f2.2 but I have yet to own/try one, their 150mm isnt so good (that I already sold)

I think the problem is that the digital MF sector isnt very well established a the moment
every system has their pros and cons, unlike the 135 where Canon and Nikon are so well established none of them have very strong cons
perhaps in a few more years things will get better
but at the moment
in terms of lens lineup, and bokeh
Rollei is the best
or get the Mamiya and just dont use their lenses (you can fit Hasselblad on it, I even used to use Movie lenses like Cooke and Kinoptik on it and they were great)
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EinstStein
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2011, 10:30:55 PM »
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These are the best lenses I've used:

1. 35mm:   Contax 645
2. 40mm:   Hasselblad V IF
3. 50mm:   Hasselblad V FLE.
4. 60mm:   Hasselblad V
5: 80mm:   Contax 645
6. 100mm:  Hasselblad V
7. 120mm:  Contax 645
8: 180mm:  Hasselblad V
9: 350mm:  Hasselblad V superchromatic

All above lenses can be adapted to Contax 645, but not as convenient.

Some Fuji GX680 lenses are good too, if properly handled with the perspective control.

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bradleygibson
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2011, 11:17:00 PM »
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Hi, DeeJay,

First, I must say that I do not have enough experience with technical cameras in medium format to be able to compare bokeh produced by large format lenses to the mix of medium format digital SLR's I have owned.  If you are interested in technical medium format cameras, I would recommend adding these to the mix of lenses you will want to test.

For bokeh, I think you will find that the Rollei's Schneider program will provide the highest consistent quality.  Note that I am not talking about sharpness, but quality of bokeh, with smooth and relatively feature-free circles of confusion.

Contax' Zeiss lens program generally delivered excellent bokeh as well, placing second to the above.

The hardest lenses for me to qualify was the Phamiya lenses.  Some were spectacularly sharp (eg. 80), but did not impress me with the quality of the rendering--they did render a somewhat clinical rendering.  Very subjective stuff, so be sure to try these lenses yourself.  Overall I would place these next in the ranked list.

Finally, neither the H or the V systems provide competitive bokeh unless the lenses in question are used wide open.  Once stopped down, the V and H are not particularly smooth, with 5- and 6-bladed apertures providing distinctively shaped polygons of confusion.  Wide open, I would recommend V bokeh over H, stopped down, the reverse.  But because of their stopped-down performance, I would place these last on the list of systems I've owned for this particular attribute.

I have not owned a Pentax, Bronica or Fuji GX680, so I cannot comment on these.

These are my ranked opinions of bokeh based on the systems that I have owned.  Note that if you had asked for sharpness, reliability, availability, value or some other quality, the order would almost certainly change, so please do not misinterpret these comments and rankings to be anything other than one person's subjective rankings based on (careful) observations of bokeh quality.

Hope that is helpful,
-Brad
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 11:21:12 PM by bradleygibson » Logged

donaldt
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2011, 03:35:05 AM »
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there was a very major point just mentioned above
bokeh is a very subjective thing
although in general pleasing bokeh means smooth bokeh
some people do like bokeh that is less blur and shows the outline
and on some very old lenses there are even  swirl or radiating bokeh

but in general, in modern production, Schneider and Zeiss are safe
although the 5 blade aperture on the Hass V means you get an odd shape bokeh
some people liked the Rollei's 3 Blades aperture, again its a matter of preference
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John R Smith
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2011, 03:44:19 AM »
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Yes, this is the problem. The quality of the OOF transition and the nature of specular OOF highlights depends not only on the lens make and design, but also what aperture that you are using it at. And, these days, it also depends on the resolution of the sensor array, too.

My old Zeiss 'C' 250mm Sonnar is nothing special most of the time, but used wide-open (at f5.6) the OOF areas are quite magical.

John
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DeeJay
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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2011, 08:13:48 AM »
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Thanks for all your input. I'm considering an IQ180 so wanting to review systems. Find the Phamiya particularly uninspiring and I'm not a major fan of their lenses. ove the Contax but the 125th second flash sync is a killer. Don't like the H Series. Have been using a V System very happily with a P65 but as others have said it has an aperture that isn't round so thought I'd investigate other options. I have heard wonders about Rollei.

New lenses for Afi? does that mean they are still making/supporting the bodies? Does anyone use the Rollei 6008AF?


« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 08:22:51 AM by DeeJay » Logged
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