Mamiya RZ 50mm f/4.5W how good/bad?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by tkamiya, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I am in process of selecting pieces for my RZ kit.

    On the other thread I had going, many advised, the original RZ 50mm f/4.5 W (non floating element and non ULD version) is not great. I have been advised to get the ULD version at much greater cost.

    In my understanding and PM by someone, floating element is often employed to correct flatness issue at close focus range.

    So here's a question for folks who owned this lens. In landscape type usage where lens is typically focused from say 10 yard away to infinity, how does this lens perform?

    I would like to hear from folks who owns or owned this lens, please. I read up plenty so I really don't need second hand information at this point.
     
  2. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I own one and it's not bad. But I have never shot a uld version for comparison. The floating element version is out of my price range.
     
  3. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Thanks. Can you elaborate/characterize what you are seeing, please?
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I have it now but haven't shot it that much really.
    I did do some tests when I first got it because everyone always say's "get the floating element version".

    I thought my copy performed quite well.
    I like to think I have high standards for lenses and own too many to count off the top of my head in formats from 135 to 4x5.

    I'm sure the newer version is better but I cant complain yet.
    I haven't really tested the non floater for distortion and I think someone mentioned it exhibits this flaw so if you are into architecture you should probably opt for the floating version.

    For landscapes I know I would be fine with the older non floating "w' version.
     
  5. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It's pretty sharp. But I think my Mamiya RB 65mm is slightly sharper.
    Why don't you buy one from a shop that will allow returns? Shoot with it and if the sharpness suits you, keep it. Also check out Flickr like I did. The best I could describe the sharpness as not startling like German lenses.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Yup... testing it personally would be the best but... (there's always but...)

    I am at a stage where I am planning my first RZ kit - meaning I don't have one yet. Since my use will be both landscape and portrait, wide and short tele will be important part of my kit. I'm trying to find out if W would be sufficient for MY needs or ULD will really be required. That will change the total cost of this kit significantly.

    I tend to be very picky about lens. But I keep thinking, if Mamiya produced it, it had to be good for something.... in a way pro will be satisfied.
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I have never been dissatisfied with Mamiya glass.
    I think the only one people complain about is the old non "C" 50 for the RB.

    My non floating 50 for the RZ was decent even wide open in the center.
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    That's my impression too

    That's my impression too. Bottom line for me that it's not a bad lens. Quite good actually. But don't know if the floating element version is that much better. If it is, I can't afford it anyway so I'm not going to obsess over it. :wink:
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I'll go scan some old negs I shot with the 50 W you like. And I have plenty from the 65 M-LA for comparison.
     
  10. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I do have a 50c for my RB67, have been quite happy with it.

    Jeff
     
  11. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

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    I never used the W version, but i have the ULD version and its one of the sharpest lenses ive ever used...or seen prints from. i would put it toe to toe with the mamiya 7 lenses that are known for being uber sharp or even the hasselblad wide primes.
     
  12. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    OK, PM'd a link to scans from the 65 M-LA and 50 W. If anyone else wants them, let me know.
     
  13. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Received - thank you. PM'd back to you.
     
  14. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I had both at the same time (And also a full Mamiya 7 kit for comparison too). the non-ULD 50 is not bad. Certainly if you can get it for under $300, it's worth it. Overall a good lens. the ULD 50 is better, particularly in the corners, and has a bit more contrast. Stopped-down it's on par with the Mamiya 7 lenses. If you can get the ULD 50 for under $550, that's a good deal. The 65/L-A is a fantastic lens too, perhaps a touch sharper than the 50ULD but really so close it would be a toss-up. Hard to go wrong with any of these really.

    -Ed
     
  15. RHITMrB

    RHITMrB Member

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    It's alright, but the corners on mine are definitely not sharp, even stopped down to f/11. I can't complain much considering I got it for a good price, but if edge-to-edge sharpness is a priority get the ULD version. Focus plane flatness really doesn't matter that much if you're shooting landscapes at f/22.

    [​IMG]
    Oak Cliff Court by RHITMrB, on Flickr

    I suggest clicking through and looking at the 1600px version.
     
  16. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Corner to corner sharpness may be one thing. I have taken shots with the 65 L-A where the floating element ring was accidentally left in a completely wrong position and the corners were not just unsharp, they looked atrocious, stretched out and like the most awful bokeh ever. I see this effect somewhat in the tree image above, especially in the upper corners. This is not perspective distortion and I sure hope the ULD does this better.
     
  17. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    I have this lens 50mm for my Mamiya RZ, it is the most lens used over 180mm.