RB Telephoto's

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by waynecrider, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    My one and only RB lens is a 127C which is quite sharp with good contrast. I'm thinking that I'd like to go longer, especially for the distance shots that always seem to appeal to me. I'm just wondering what your favorite long lens is in the line, and what type of shots you use it for. Examples would be nice if you have them, or links to them.
     
  2. Troy Hamon

    Troy Hamon Member

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    Hi Wayne,

    I have the 50, 90, and 180. Most of my work is either the 50 or the 180. I usually find my images are made with the 50 when I'm shooting landscape or found scenes (or whatever you call it when the scene is not exactly a landscape, but not necessarily abstract...). I occasionally use the 180 for these types of scenes, but use it almost exclusively for portraiture. Two examples:
    Found scene: http://bristolbayartists.com/troyhamon/id35.htm
    Portraits: http://bristolbayartists.com/troyhamon/id55.htm
    The top two photos in the portrait example are with the 180.

    I haven't tried any of the other telephotos, but I have thought about getting one. The one thing I would say is that you ought to give serious thought to exactly what range of focal lengths you want and how many options within that range. I got my current set of three when I bought a used RB kit 10 years ago. The 65 and 127 occasionally would be helpful, but honestly I can't imagine choosing to carry them in addition to the lenses I have. Lenses that double each other are functionally different enough that there is a clear utility for each of them in the arsenal even when choosing what to pack for a backpack shoot.

    With that in mind, if I were in your situation and interested in a longer telephoto, I might consider the 250. In my case, I've thought about the 360 or the 500 to allow me the option of shooting some of my wildlife images on medium format instead of 35 mm, but can't imagine using it enough to justify the cost. Depends on what you are wanting. I haven't got any experience with the 250, so can't really say anything about it, but I can tell you that the 180 has spectacular bokeh, as good as any I've ever seen, and it makes wonderful portraits.
     
  3. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Althugh I love the 127, I could pass it off and pickup a 90 in which case a 180 might be prudent. I'll wait to hear any thoughts on the 250 which is at reasonable prices nowdays. I've been wanting to do more Everglades stuff, but it's such an expansive place for a standard lens and if you can't get into it by airboat you really don't have much opportunities except for birds in dry season at the sloughs. Since I'm not a bird shooter per se', it makes it hard. Maybe I'll post a thread on a few of us hiring an airboat.
     
  4. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I have an RZ. The lenses have are the 50mm4.5W, 75 3.5L, 140mm Macro, 210 mm Apo. I find all of the lenses satisfactory. These are the only Mamiya that I have used. I cannot comment on any other lenses for the RB in a useful fashion. I believe that all are available for the RB.
     
  5. hortense

    hortense Member

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    MF Lenses

    Hasselblad C 50mm, 80mm, and 150mm plus a 2x converter. Use the 80mm most although the 50 might be used equally? The 150mm mostly for portraiture and when I'm reaching on a lanscape (also the 2x, little used). However, my kit is 45 lbs. (Hassleblad lenses are heavy)
     
  6. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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  7. Troy Hamon

    Troy Hamon Member

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    Ara, Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. I get frustrated thinking about it at the moment because I haven't developed a photo for 12 months...bought a new house, no space to set up the darkroom, building a permanent one (which is good when I finish), and have become unbelievably backlogged. I'm looking forward very much to finishing the construction project so I can put some new work up on the website...
     
  8. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Definetly like the work as well; Especially the attic shot.

    Hopefully some 250mm shooter will pipe in on the glass.
     
  9. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I started with the 90 and added the 140 macro. An amazing lens capable of stunning close-up work and portraiture...but probably too close to the 127 if that's what you've got. I'm temped to pick up the 180, but have not been tempted by the 250. In the part of the world in which I live, the horizon is always close and the landscapes are usually intimate. I have little use for longer lenses in most formats, given the limitations of the landscape in these parts.

    Best of luck...I hope someone with the 250 responds as I'd love to hear what someone thinks of the lens.
     
  10. Phil Woodney

    Phil Woodney Member

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    I've got a later model 250 C that I bought a couple of months ago, but haven't used much yet. There are a couple of rolls of Tri-x waiting for me to process them today on which I shot a few frames with the lens, so I'll soup them and let you know how the negs look later today. Bear in mind that I can't offer any scientific testing nor comparisons with any other lenses, but I'll be glad to offer my impresswions based upon the negatives. I'm a lousy printer, so I'll just examine the negs and find sonmeone who knows what they are doing to print them if there's anything worthwhile. I also have a 65mm and 127mm and have been very happy with them.

    Best regards,

    Phil
     
  11. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Here it comes! :smile: I've had one of the later 250 "C" with cylindrical barrel. A fabulous lens for architecture details. However, I tend not to recommend it for portraiture: close focusing for a head picture will require full bellows extension (and sometimes bellows are not even enough). For this reason, I ended up splitting it into a 180mm + a 360mm. If you rule out convenience in portraiture, it is undoubtably an outstanding lens.
     
  12. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Marco thank you. Could you give us your thoughts on the 180mm please.
     
  13. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Hallo Wayne, thanks for your PM, will try to expand my previous post.

    I must start saying that I didn't have time so far to photograph with these lenses as much as I did with the 250mm in the past. However, in regard to the 180mm for portraiture, it's undoubtedly much more handy. With the 250mm, bellows extension really is an issue, and at times I had almost made my mind up in purchasing a small extension ring to help close focusing. Camera shake is troublesome as well: attempting a handheld photograph is quite out of question. As expected, the 180mm minimizes both issues, and especially in regard to close focusing it seems much more intended for portraiture than the 250mm. (as a side note there is a "soft" lens - 150mm I seem to recall - which is specific for portraiture, but that's very hard to find and IMHO too close to the normal focal length for being of any other use). It is as well somewhat shorter and lighter, and both things together with lesser bellows extension help balancing the weight of the camera-plus-lens block a lot.

    I didn't seem to get your question about DOF very well. DOF depends only on aperture when subjects have the same linear dimension on the negative, not on focal length (excepting macrophotography, I mean). What were you exactly asking for?

    About the 360mm, I believe that long focal lengths are extremely hard to judge because most (if not all) of the times weather conditions (fog or haze, or air turbulence due to heat) and various issues connected to camera shake consist in a severe limit to their performance. That may be why, so far, if I'd qualify the 180mm as an "outstanding" lens, I'd qualify the 360mm only as a "good" one. It would be very interesting to go out and photograph in a crystal-clear day and see how good it really is (but that happens very rarely in northern Italy) or to concentrate on close architecture details. It must be said, however, that such a long lens is a rarity in mid format's scenery, and perhaps worth having only because it has been made. It is "an opportunity", to use a word very familiar to people from the States.

    About lenses' structure, the 180mm is a modified-Tessar type with asymmetric design, while the 360mm is a true "telephoto" lens (the 180mm being actually a "long focus", and the 250mm a weird way-in-between, perhaps a long focus with a field smoothener group toward the film). Because of its design, the 180mm has all the diaphragm/shutter blades unprotected outside the lenses (toward the film plane) which can be disturbing at first sight (they are indeed far recessed, and almost impossible to damage even with careless handling). It has as well a rounded square frame which acts as a sort of fixed secondary diaphragm and tends to get loosened with age, but is very easy to glue back in place.

    Since I personally (repeat: PERSONALLY) like asymmetric lens' design a lot as it minimizes the number of air to glass surfaces and the number of lenses altogether, the 180mm scored another point in respect to the 250mm for me (same happend for the 127mm, which replaced my previous 90mm). However, this is mostly a distinction biased by the fact that I happen to be a boring physicist. Please disregard it, and choose your focal lengths in respect to the photographs you intend to make! :wink: