Mamiya RZ lens designation help, please

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by tkamiya, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I am seriously considering getting into RZ.

    As I look through KEH, I see there are lenses with designation "W" "ULD" and none at all.

    It is my understanding that one with no designation is the oldest, W is the next version, and ULD is the best one for this platform.

    Can someone give me some prospective of what these differences really mean in real use? I see plenty of "W" types are available with good price point, and ULD are fairly expensive and not as plentiful.

    Opinions from folks who actually own these lenses and use them on regular basis would be really great.
     
  2. TimmyMac

    TimmyMac Subscriber

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    W lenses are identical to non-W. The difference is that the aperture scale is spread out more so it's easier to set half stops and quarter stops.

    Only the 50mm was made with ULD spec. It's supposed to be substantially better than the non-ULD 50 - I don't know as I've only used the ULD.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The ULD is substantially better than the non ULD, in my opinion. The "ordinary" 50 is the only lens in the RB/RZ line that disappointed me- wacky distortion, chromatic aberration, soso contrast, nice bokeh but not a great lens. Could have been a bad copy, I admit. And maybe for b&w one wouldn't care about sharpness and CA etc. But I say the 50 uld is something special. YMMV.
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    That's good to know.

    So.... if I'm getting 90mm lens, It seems 90mm F3.5W is the only choice.

    What's this LA. M and L designation?

    I'm just trying to build a kit and it's getting quite confusing.
    My first purchase was going to be RZII and 90mm (W). Next would be 50mm and 180mm'ish.

    90 and 50 would be for landscape use and 180 would be portrait. I'm thinking non-softfocus version of 180mm.
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Tkamiya, quite a few of the rb lenses work like a charm on the rz bodies. The 90 KL, for example is really superb. I use both rz and rb bodies but the only rz lens I possess is the 110! I recommend that one and the 150 SF lens very highly for portrait.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    You mean 180 SF? I haven't seen 150 SF.....

    Is KL lens on RB line same as W line on RZ??
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yes the KLs are certainly en par with the Ws.

    There is an rb67 150 SF, I have one. Very nice. Comes with several bokeh discs. Kind of like an imagon lens.
     
  8. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    (M)-LA means it has a floating element, which adjusts the corner sharpness when you focus closer. This option is available on the 50, 65 and 140 I believe and it makes a big difference.

    ULD is a version of the 50 involving Ultra Low Dispersion glass and also happens to have a floating element. I've not tried a 50 ULD but have seen some excellent photos from one; in contrast the non-ULD 50 is truly bad: I owned one for a couple of weeks and quickly sold it because it produced notably softer photos than I could get from my 35mm system. If you want to focus closer than 5-10m, I definitely recommend getting the M-LA (and ULD) version of any relevant lens, otherwise why are you bothering to use such big pieces of film?

    W I believe means there are half-stop markings on the aperture scale. -N means it has been re-designed; for example there's a 180/4.5, 180/4.5 W and 180/4.5 W-N. The first two are the same except aperture markings, the third is a completely different design (older is Heliar, W-N is Tessar or so I'm told). Since the 180 is basically free these days ($100) it makes sense to have one but I find it a bit short for portraits so will probably get a 250APO soon.

    There are APO versions of the longer lenses (210, 250, 350, 500) available that cost $500+ instead of $150.

    I would recommend the 110/2.8 over the 90/3.5, just because the 110 is so damn amazing, particularly in the bokeh department. It is a little long for a normal but I use it probably 60% of the time.

    There are also SB (short barrel) versions of I think the 75 and 180 which allow use on the shift adapter yet still achieve infinity focus.
     
  9. sergiob

    sergiob Member

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    I am deeply in love with my RZ again. What a joy of viewfinder. The revolving back. Mmh.
     
  10. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    Some good info here. I'd also recommend the 110 over any other of the normal lenses (e.g. the 90s, etc.) I have had both 50s at the same time, and while the ULD *is* better, the regular one is really not bad, at least mine wasn't. It was quite good actually. the ULD is worth having if you can find it under $500 though, that's such a reasonable price vs. new, that it makes no sense *not* to get it.

    the 180 W-N is the latest model of the normal 180. nice lens, great bokeh.

    65 L-A is the latest version of the 65, and is uber-sharp. a great lens.

    All the APOs are fantastic, among the best lenses of their type made by anyone, anywhere.

    Really can't go wrong with any of the RZ lineup, in my opinion.
    -Ed
     
  11. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    My best MF film i use is Mamiya RZ for now, then followed by Fuji GSW690III, i like my Hasselblad 501CM but the focusing and the roll is not appealing as with Mamiya and Fuji, and later i will fix Mamiya 7 to be my choice over RZ and 501CM and even Fuji. I have only two lenses for RZ which are 50mm and 180mm, i posted a thread on another forum and i think here too asking about getting another one more lens for RZ and as usual, no one answer, so later i will decide if i need more lens and which one, ofcourse i love that 50 and 180, but always one or 2 are not enough for our wants and minds.
     
  12. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I would recommend the 110/2.8 as your next lens, Tareq. It's the among the cheapest, and is also the fastest, smallest, lightest lens for the RZ. And among the sharpest. A great all around lens. After that I'd say get the 360.

    The FujiGSW690III is a great camera/lens, and about equal in sharpness to the good wides from the RZ lineup, when stopped down. The mamiya 7 bests them both though, as would be expected. Still, the RZ and GSW hold their own, and you would notice differences only in direct comparisons, I think.

    -Ed
     
  13. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    Aha, good, i will make that 110 my next lens then, but i hope i can fix my Mamiya 7 sooner or later so i can carry it for walk around and travel, RZ will not have this ability for me, and Fuji GSW is great for outdoor and travel but it is fixed lens and also it will eat the roll quickly over 6x6/6x7.
     
  14. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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