Mamiya 645 manual focus 45mm lens sharpness?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BennyK, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. BennyK

    BennyK Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm in the process of buying and trying to educate myself and have read that the newest models of the Mamiya 645 manual focus 45mm lenses which would be the N series may suffer from sharpness issues (even though the previous generations were even worse) when compared to their the 55mm counterpart.

    Could anyone inform?

    Many Thanks
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,008
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Which component of sharpness are you most concerned with - resolution, contrast or accutance? Center of the image, corners or all over?

    I am very happy with the results (resolution, contrast and accutance) from my 45mm N lens. I liked my older 45mm S lens also, but replaced it with the more recent version due to the size difference.

    The 45mm is quite wide for a medium format SLR, so it provides an optical engineering challenge, especially when attempting to obtain flat field response with little or no distortion. A similar focal length for a rangefinder will most likely be "sharper" (depending on how you define that) and may have less distortion.

    EDIT: I use a 55mm N lens as well - but it tends to be more of a "standard" lens instead.
     
  3. BennyK

    BennyK Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well, I guess the best way to describe my idea of sharpness is....if I took a photograph with my Nikon L35AF then I take the same exact photo with my full Nikon film SLR....the SLR photo will hands down look better and sharper even at 4 x 6 inches.

    Since I'm getting the Mamiya 645 to shoot outdoors and buildings, monuments etc I would like to have it sharp as it can be all over.

    I'll put up another example shot with a Nikon L35AF Film for reference that I would like to go back and shoot MF.

    Here is one of Millennium Bridge and St Pauls

    I would love to get that shot in stunning detail....for an example.
     
  4. BennyK

    BennyK Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    HERE IT IS

    HERE IT IS
     

    Attached Files:

  5. BennyK

    BennyK Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    ANOTHER

    BIG BEN WITH L35AF
     

    Attached Files:

  6. jjphoto

    jjphoto Member

    Messages:
    225
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, A
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I find that the 45 and 55 mm Mamiya lenses are not really the star performers of the line up although they are both quite sharp and there is no issue with them stopped down. If you intend using them on an M645 body (I use them on a Canon 5D2) then I don't think you'll have any issues with them at all except that virtually all M645 lenses seem to suffer from CA wide open and the 45 and 55 are no different. Neither is really as sharp as the 80/2.8 which is above average anyway.

    JJ
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,008
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Benny:

    A well focussed and well exposed negative or slide taken with either a 45mm or 55mm Mamiya N lens for the 645 series cameras that is in reasonable condition will be exhibit way more "sharpness" (resolution, contrast and accutance) than one will be able to evaluate by comparing web postings in a thread or 4x6 prints.

    The problem with using small prints or web postings to evaluate lenses is that it is impossible to see fine differences, and that the quality of the process (scanning, posting or printing) will have more affect than the lenses themselves.

    FWIW, this attachment was shot using a 55mm lens. The scan was done from an 8x10 optical print.

    EDIT: As I re-read my posts in this thread, it seems to me that I am coming across as, well, kind of grumpy!

    That's not what I intended, so I apologize for that.

    What I would like to indicate instead, is that any discussion about the relative "sharpness" of any modern medium format lens manufactured by any of the major manufacturers (Mamiya, Hasselblad, Rollei, Pentax, etc.) is a discussion about fine differences out at the edges of performance requirements.

    The differences are real, but they are small, and as much differences of character and prioritization as anything else.

    To give a sense of perspective, the differences between lenses are much less apparent than the difference in the results obtained when comparing hand-held and tripod mounted shots.

    As I understand it, BennyK is trying to decide on a camera purchase. A Mamiya 645E with a 45mm N lens is a very capable package. The photographs one can take with it will be different than those created with a 55mm lens on the same body, but the difference in angle of view will be far greater than differences in quality.

    From my point of reference, the differences in the filter size and barrel thickness between the two lenses are of more importance than the very small differences between the excellent image quality that they are capable of.

    And if you are wondering, the reason that barrel thickness matters to me is that the slightly thicker 45mm lens won't work with the focus assist lever that my other 3 lenses work with, and that is inconvenient (to me).

    To add just a bit more perspective, I'm attaching another image - the one with the fallen tree. It was shot with a 35mm scale focussing camera - an Olympus Trip 35 with a capable lens that I paid $2.10 for. I am adding it to show how hard it is to show fine differences between lenses using web examples.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2012
  8. BennyK

    BennyK Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    re

    Thanks Matt


    Appreciate the thoughts