Which Mamiya 645 lens to get?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by k_jupiter, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    The auction place has just bequeathed a 645 1000s upon me (with no lens). Cheap. Will probably go to the oldest as a birthday present if I wring it out and it doesn't look like it will turn into a hassle. Question is, which lens are worth acquiring for this beast? I have heard different things about the 150/4.0 and now am unsure which lens are the best. I am thinking a medium wide and a medium tele so she can use it for landscapes and some casual portraiture.

    Any ideas what I should be looking for?

    tim in san jose
     
  2. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    Hi Tim, I have three lenses for my 645 system, the 45/2.8 N, the 80/1.9 and the 150/3.5 N.

    I had a 55mm lens previously, but for me it was kind of an in-between lens and I couldn't really get the feel of it. The 45mm works great for me for landscapes. The 80/1.9 I don't really use that much, but it is stupid-cheap so I bought it anyway. The 150 works great for portraits. I don't have he 150/4.0 so I can't really comment on it, but it isn't really that much less expensive the the 3.5.
     
  3. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    Hi Tim, I have 4 lenses for my 645 J model and my favorite is the 150mm f 4. My photo gallery has quite a few shots using it. I have found the 55 mm wide angle sufficient for my needs and as one other has said rarely use the 80 mm. The 210 can also put out some spectacular portraits. The OOF areas for both the 150 and the 210 mm I find very pleasing.
     
  4. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I have a lot of experience with the 150mm C-lens f/4. It is a stunning lens. Super sharp, incredible contrast handling. Just a wonderful tool to work with. I also used the 80mm f/2.8 quite a bit. Nice glass too, but the 150 was always my favorite.

    - Thomas
     
  5. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

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    I have the 45/2.8, 55/2.8, 80/1.9, and 150/3.5 lenses. all are very sharp. The 80/1.9 is a cool lens, its main dissapointment being a bit more distortion than i'd like from a standard lens. The f2.8 version is said to be better in that regard but the 1.9 is the fastest 80mm for any medium format system. The 150/4 was reputed to not be as sharp as the later f3.5 version, but I haven't used the f4. I know my f3.5 is a great lens. All of the m645 lenses are pretty cheap.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I'm now up to 8 lenses (including the one out on loan to Dennis Sulz):

    45mm f/2.8 C and 45mm f/2.8 N, 55mm f/2.8 N, 70mm L/S, 80mm f/2.8 S, 110mm f/2.8 S, 150mm f/3.5 and 210mm f/4.0.

    I find them all to be of excellent quality, and individually would recommend them all. I don't need them all, and should get rid of at least one of the 45mm lenses, but here are some of the reasons I have as many as I have:

    1) a whole bunch of them were bought for silly low prices on eBay;
    2) when shooting hand-held, I really prefer using lenses that both take the 58mm filters and can be used with the Mamiya focus assist lever - the 55mm, 80mm, 110mm, 150mm and 210mm;
    3) the 70mm L/S lens has a leaf shutter, and is very useful for group shots (e.g. weddings, using fill flash);
    4) I bought the 45mm C lens from a store - I got to see it and hold it and buy it with a guarantee!;
    5) I bought the 45mm N lens because it is smaller, and newer;
    6) 55mm, 110mm, 210mm is a great trio; and
    7) 45mm, 70mm (or 80mm), 150mm is another great trio.

    It has always been my understanding that the 150mm f/3.5 is at least slightly better than the 150mm f/4.0. I've never been much interested in the 150mm f/2.8, because it won't work with the focus assist lever.

    From this, you can probably come to a couple of conclusions:

    1) I have trouble saying no to good lenses, for cheap prices;
    2) ergonomics mean more to me than large apertures; and
    3) I tend to think in terms of sets of lenses, rather than individual lenses, and I find that sets of three work well for me (for 35mm, my usual kit is 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.0, 85mm f/2.0 - all Olympus Zuiko).

    The N series lenses, being newer, are a good idea, but I don't think there ever was a 110mm lens in the N series, and there were very few 210mm N series lenses made before that length was discontinued.

    Hope this gives you some useful food for thought.

    Matt
     
  7. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Thank you all.

    Being a bottom feeder, always look for value in respect to quality.

    I am glad to hear the 150/4 is not a dog as reported in some other posts. I might just win one, one of these days.

    I am leaning towards a 45/80/150 setup for my daughter. It is pretty much what I shoot. Slight WA, normal, slight telephoto. It's why I don't have a 600mm plus for my 8x10.

    I have found no 'dogs' in the rb67 range and was amazed that any Mamiya lens was classified that way.

    Helpful info from all.

    Thanks,

    tim
     
  8. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I'd think that for a newcomer to this system, the 80/1.9 would be a true delight. This would be especially true if she's new to ground glass focusing.
     
  9. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    645

    Yes Thank-you also. I have the same that needs the same. Adorama has a nice selction also.:D :D
     
  10. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Great camera! My most used MF camera in recent shoots.

    I love the 210mm 4.0 lens. This is similar to a 135ish lens on a 35mm camera. I don't have one, but I am borrowing one, and I LOVE it. IMHO, the only thing it could benefit from might be some extension tubes, depending on how you plan to use it. They are inexpensive lenses too.

    The good-ol' 80mm 2.8 is a nice one as well, and also cheap. If she shoots in low light, I would splurge and get her the f/1.9 model and some Delta 3200, since they are not all THAT expensive for what they can do.

    I love my 55mm 2.8. This is like a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera. They are also inexpensive.

    I would like to try the 45mm next. Something close to a 28mm on small format would be nice.

    If she uses fill flash at all, or combines flash with available light for any other purpose, I would consider the 70mm or 150mm leaf shutter lenses. The 70s are very inexpensive, but might be a sort of odd focal length for mixing flash and ambient light.

    As for what I like to shoot with the camera, I would probably pick the 55mm if I had to just use one lens. If all I shot with it was low light stuff, I would pick the 80mm f/1.9. I usually take the camera out when I want a sharper 11x14 picture than 35mm can give me, for more static subjects like landscapes, cityscapes, etc. I do, however, use it hand held, and they are great for this. I also use the camera a lot for live music with the f/1.9 lens and Delta 3200 or a color 800 film. I love the teles for landscapes and portraits, and the normal and wides for hand holding.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2009
  11. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    So far, what she has shot is mostly houses and buildings while on vacation (New Orleans, Williamsburg, etc.) and scenic stuff on our walks through the woods and fields up here in Silicon Valley. She has not used my rb nor an of my LF equipment, A bit of a klutz (*L*). She has mastered the Zorki so understands somewhat about exposure control. I want to get her interested in this while the interest is still there.

    Thanks for all the advice so far. It's nice to know that no one has mentioned any dogs yet.

    tim in san jose
     
  12. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    I don't really like the 80, but it is purely from the angle of view aspects, for me the 110 is a little better, I really like the 210f4. Kind of wish I had a 45 and maybe the 24. I do have one of the old Russian 30mm lenses and it is OK, but I would probably skip it next time in favor of the Mamiya 35 or 24.

    I would like to get the 200 APO and maybe the 150 APO but I can't really afford them right now. I have the 150f4 but have not used it for anything so no real comments. Same applies to the 55. I do also have the 500f5.6 which is pretty nice for a giant of a lens.
     
  13. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I really like the 55/f2.8 N and the 150/f3.5N lenses for landscape. The 120 macro and 300 Apo are great too, but kind of expensive.

    Jon
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    In that case, I think an 80mm and/or a 55mm is a good way to start. Both lenses are good, and cheap. If you get a good enough deal, one of the slower model 150s (4.0 or 3.5) might be due in short order, if she likes using the camera. Medium teles are often helpful for shooting what you mentioned, as I am sure you know.
     
  16. markland

    markland Member

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    Not to confuse you more, but I love the 150 f2.8 for portraits and some landscapes. I have but don't use the 35mm much and wouldn't recommend it. The 50mm shift is cool too but messes up the metering some so you need to learn the lens.
    -Mark
     
  17. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    I think.. you think like I think.

    Thanks all. If, of course, any of you want to get rid of your extra lens for reasonable prices, let me know.


    tim in san jose
     
  18. Rolleijoe

    Rolleijoe Member

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    I currently have a 55mm/C 80mm/N and 150mm/C.

    Coming from a Zeiss background where everything is tack sharp, I'm disappointed especially the 55mm. The "N" series has slightly better contrast than their "C" series, so I would definitely recommend those. For lenses, just get the best you can afford.

    Since it's eaten up 5 inserts, (and waiting for another), it's a useless blob in the case on the floor. While the Rolleiflex TLRs just keep going & going.
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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  20. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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  21. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    I have the 645 1000s with 45mm, 80mm w/extension tubes for macro, and 150mm. I use all three lenses frequently. Note that the 45 is equivalent to a 28 on a 35mm camera - my most used lens - I found that a 35 on a 35mm camera was often not wide enough, therefore, I have no interest in the 55 for the 645 (just my opinion). Great little camera. I say little because my RB is my camera of choice for more serious work.
     
  22. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Great camera. I see that one person mentioned the 120mm f/4 macro. It's wonderful! Sharp as a tack at f/4 and allows you to cover a range of shots but for portraits it's simply amazing. It's a bit more expensive then others, I got mine on ebay, a 9+) for $210 while KEH has the same for over $600.
    What I'm so happy about the 645 from mamiya is that the Lenses are so inexpensive relative to their 35mm counterparts but the quality is just along there with them. Amazing values to be had.
    Do yourself a favor and check out the 120mm Macro and if it fits, grab one.
    Tom
     
  23. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    My camera of choice for 'serious work' is the 8x10 Deardorff. But I do have my rb for when I want to go hiking. I seriously love my rb67 but this isn't for me. My daughter isn't going to be hauling an rb all over creation (yet). I am waiting on a 150 4.5 from a very nice APUGger. I have bids in on other wider lens but as I have time and I am a bottom dweller, this might take a while.

    If she ever does take up the rb, I certainly have a stable of lens for her to use.

    I have seen the 120 lens. Didn't know it's quality so I didn't bid on it. It seems a bit close to the 150mm also.

    I think we are going to still try for a 45(or 55)/80/150 setup to start.
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I sometimes deploy the mamiya m645 macro 80 on my Nikon F bodies, it is super. Very nice floating element design with two scales. It's a real engineering marvel, a very pretty piece.
     
  25. nc5p

    nc5p Member

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    My favorite is the 35mm. Then again I'm partial to wide shots. It's made some beautiful enlargements. I also have the 55-110 and 105-210 zooms. I had the 150mm but my son lost it!:mad:
     
  26. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    All, I wish to thank you for your help. I wound up with a 45mm, an 80/f2.8, and a 150/f4.0. Very nice setup, I am now thinking she's not ready for this camera. Maybe in a year or two (wink, wink).
    Set down next to my rb67 this camera seems almost diminutive. Easy to handle and the photos so far, outstanding. I found you can hand hold a 150 lens at about 1/125. Pretty amazing.

    Thanks for all the advice, please ship all unwanted M645 stuff to me for proper disposal.

    tim in sna jose