Quote from: Dick Roadnight on 26-04-2012, 22:02:54
¿Have Mamiya lenses improved since I used them in the 1970s?
Yes, very considerably.
I have noticed a strong correlation between lens design generation and performance, especially among the Japanese MF manufacturers. Mamiya, Bronica, Pentax and Fuji really upped their lens game from about the mid-1980s onwards. I find that those who are dismissive of say, M645 or RB67 or Pentax 67 glass, are typically talking about their experiences with some of the 1970s designs - like Dick here.
But all of the new Mamiya designs from the past 25 years or so have been excellent: all of the Mamiya 6 & Mamiya 7 lenses, the K-L RB67 lenses, the ULD wideangles and APO teles for the RB/RZ, the "A" line for the M645 (120 macro, 150/2.8, 200/2.8, 300/2.8 and 500/4.5), the ULD/APO 645AF teles (210/4, 300/4.5), the "D" 645AF lenses (45/2.8, 80/2.8, 150/2.8, 75-150/4.5). [The 28/4.5 D AF might be an exception though]. And it's important to note that the less appreciated AF lenses (like some of the wideangles) are actually old optics in a new AF casing - they're not really new designs at all, so they don't counter my argument.
That is not to say that some of the older "C" designs are not also stellar: the Mamiya 24mm ULD fisheye has never been surpassed in MF, to take one example, and used samples still command a 4-digit dollar price to this day, because it's just so damn good even on the high MP digital backs.
Thanks, Ray, for your constructive answer...
Hasselblad/Zeiss also made considerable improvements about that time, and my first Hasselblad system had the "new" T* multicoated lenses (they went from aluminium to black lenses at that time) which were very different to the old Mamiya C330/RB67 lenses.
Mid seventies a pro came to take some brochure shots of a "merry-tiller" on an overcast day in our vegetable garden, using RB67, pro ektachrome and a blue correction filter - his shots were washed out and blue... I used C330, Agfa CT18, 1.5deca-mired red correction filter and my picture were an order of magnitude better... but it was possible to get a (brochure) adequate picture with Mamiya glass.