Wide lenses for Mamiya 7

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by sanking, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I just bought a Mamiya 711 camera with 80mm lens and am already thinking about other optics. A 150mm lens seems a sure bet, but I would be interested in opinions (pros and cons) re: the 43mm and 50mm wide angle lenses.

    Sandy
     
  2. colivet

    colivet Member

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    I don't have one but always wanted to. I have read many comments about the 150mm. lens being very difficult to focus with precision. Check that before you buy if you can. This is probably not an issue for those with large and ultra large format backgrounds.
    Them lenses are said to be jewels.
     
  3. John Simmons

    John Simmons Member

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    At one time I had both but found myself using the 43 the most. Second was the 65 then the 150. The optics for this camera rank among the best I have used. Sadly I sold this camera system to get a 4x5...which I ended up selling as well. The 43 is a no brainer over the 50 IMHO. The 50 is a common wide angle and the 43 really allows you to create more interesting wide angle compositions....again, just one mans opinion.
     
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    quite a few people seem to suggest that the 50 is a mite better optically than the 43 and suffers less fall off (physics I know). also comes down to kit configuration. 50,80,150 is a nice combo. 43, 80, 150 kinda neccesitates the 65, which is reportedly outstanding. Many claim this to be their favourite single FL. I dont hink you can go wrong Sandy. A friends has a M7II kit and I print for him. The negs are without question the sharpest I have seen and may have a slight edge over the Bronica RF645 negs I produce, but this is hard to see as the RF645 is also outstandingly sharp. personally I am a huge fan of mild wides and would be able to live without the 43 so would go 50,65,80,150. The 50 is also appreciably cheaper than the 43 too.
     
  5. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I own a couple mamiya 7IIs and the 65,80,150,210. I have not used the 43 or 50mm but one thing that is a factor is framing with the wide angles. The auxiliary finders that Mamiya provides for their lenses are not very good. The lenses themselves are amazingly sharp and my biggest nit is that there is no lens between the 80 and 150. The 65mm is an excellent lens. Whether you choose the 43 or 50 depends on your usual len preference, do you like really wide or super wide?
     
  6. Robert T. McCarthy

    Robert T. McCarthy Member

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    I've had then all, but the 65 and 150 combo is what I seem to use the most.
    Think of the combo as a 28mm-75mm zoom for 6x7.

    Regards.

    Bob McCarthy
     
  7. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    I bought a new 7II a few months ago, and liked it so much I bought a second one. I ended up with the 43mm, 65mm, 80mm and the 150mm. Honestly the 43mm is very very sharp, and every bit the equal of any of the other lenses. I played with the 50mm for a while, and honestly it didnt do anything for me. I ended up selling it and buying the 43mm instead.

    I dont find that the 43mm really suffers from all fall light fall of at all. The only thing about the lens i dont like is that you can only mount one filter at a time on it. Any more than that you will have some problems.

    Honestly the 43mm is a no brainer over the 50mm, at least for me.

    Hope it helps

    Gary
     
  8. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    I think most people who have complained of fall off with the 43 are users of slide film. Should ne no worse than any 21mm or so on 35mm surely?

    I would love a Mamiya 7 but my apetite outstrips the bank balance....GREAT for environmental portraits as the lenses are tack sharp wide open and scintilating (mmm, yummy) at a stop down.
     
  9. Russ Young

    Russ Young Member

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    Hi Sandy-

    I've owned a Mamiya 7 (not II) for some years now. The 80 is, of course, a moderate wide angle for the format and contrary to usage of others, it is far and away to lens I use most. Next would be the 150 for which unforeseen uses keep popping up. Not liking 'ultra-wide-angle' perspective, the 65 is my other lens and especially in Europe, found it to perform great service.

    It goes without saying that the resolution is superb.

    Russ
     
  10. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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  11. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    I've had the 50 since I bought my Mamiya 7ii several years ago and it is by far the most used lens. Much of this depends on personal taste but for me the 43mm would be used less simply because of the extreme angle of view and the even greater need to hold the camera level to avoid strange perspectives. I have no doubt that had I voted for the 43 originally I'd now have a 4 lens outfit (43/65/80/150) whereas now I'm very happy with the 50/80/150.

    A couple of further points. First I find the auxillary finder a tremendous help- although it is just about possible to use the 50 without it and many choose to do so. The finder is great to carry in your pocket to assess opportunities without unpacking a camera and has more natural colours than the quasi-polarised in camera finder. Second it's interesting to see your immediate assessment that a 150 is an obvious next lens. I have no idea what your photographic interests are, but my 150 is probably used for well under 10% of my shots. I find composing to be quite difficult as the image is only a small part of what you see in the finder, and establishing dof with any precision is not easy unless you're at infinity focus. In other respects the lens is as good as the others, but I can't help but feel that the real strength of these cameras lies in std to wide -angle photography.
     
  12. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I bought a Mamiya 7II recently for a special upcoming project. I decided to go with 43, 80, 150. My thinking was that if I need a wide lens, I want really wide ( I will be photographing in tight quarters). I have been using the camera so that I will become familiar with it and have to say the 43mm is a stellar lens and I am very happy with my choice. It is everything people say it is, plus I often use it set at it's hyperfocal distance and it has a bit more depth of field than the 50mm, which I find very useful. I think of it as a 6x7 Hasselblad Superwide with rangefinder focussing. I have never used the 50mm, but I'm sure it's also very nice. I guess it really comes down to personal preference, you can't go wrong with any of the Mamiya 7 lenses they are all excellent. Now if I could get that nagging feeling out of my head that I should buy a 65mm....

    Richard Wasserman
     
  13. sanking

    sanking Member

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    The issue of framing is of particular interest to me. Are auxiliary finders necessary for both the 43mm and 50mm lenses? I perhaps assumed that there would be an internal mechanism for adjusting the viewfinder for focal length as in Leica and other high end 35mm rangefinder cameras.

    And of the two finders, which seems to give the best view, the one for the 43mm or the 50mm?

    As I say, this issue is of interest to me because I previously owned a Fuji GSW690III (with 65mm lens) and I was never satisfied with the view through the viewfinder. On the other hand, the view with the GW690III with the 90mm lens is close to perfect.

    Sandy King
     
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  15. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

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  16. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    Sandy the built in viewfinder can approximate the 65mm pretty well but the 50 and 43 need auxiliary finders and if they're anything like the finders for the 150 or 210, they suck. And finders for teles are usually easier to make. I haven't used the finders for the 43 and 50 so i can't tell you which is better.
     
  17. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    The finder for the 50 doesn't suck, IMO anyway though those that dislike auxillary finders in any form might disagree. It won't help you much with tight/precise framing issues but then you've probably realised that from using the 80 precise framing is not a strength regardless. There are marks on the aux.finder to assist with parallax correction for close up use but the view does not shift automatically with focus distance as the main finder does, and neither do the marks help with vertical compositions

    Do you need it? Well the view through the entire camera finder with the 50 fitted approximates in very general terms to the view you'll get within the framelines of the 50 finder. But given a tendency to get a little more than the framelines indicate there is no doubt that without the auxillary finder you'll be including in your photographs things you can't see. Neither will you get the benefit of seeing outside your picture area for things about to walk/fly/drive into it. You'll also have a portion of your picture area obscured by the lens which you don't with the auxillary finder.

    Using an auxillary finder is much easier when you don't use the camera's metering. With a hand-held meter you don't need to use the cameras viewfinder apart from focussing, and I don't necessarily need to change focus every shot with a wide lens used stopped down.

    I'd much rather use the 50 with the auxillary finder than without it.
     
  18. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    internal frame lines are for 65,80 and 150 Sandy.
     
  19. doc4x5

    doc4x5 Member

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    mamiya 7

    I've had my M7II for a number of years and love it. While obvious, using a rangefinder is quite different than viewing a groundglass on a reflex or view camera. I have made all the classic errors of leaving the lens cap on, forgetting to focus since everything looks sharp in the finder.

    I have the 50-80-150. I chose the 50 after concluding that the 43 is just too extreme... for my taste. The finder is ok, I also use it to scout images. Realize you'll get a bit extra and you'll be fine. I can't justify both the 50 and 43 but have been happy with the 50. The 150 is not so terrible to focus in my experience but I almost always use it on a tripod and at apertures of f/8 or smaller. I have the 150 finder and it is helpful, also to scout coverage.

    I have adopted the M7 as my hiking camera, since I no longer choose to lug my 4x5 uphill for miles. With my Gitzo 1127 and Acratech head, I am not slowed down by heavy gear. If one does not need view camera corrections, tilt-shift or rise-fall, it delivers extraordinary quality.

    Good luck.

    Eric
     
  20. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Thanks for all the interesting information. A friend has offered loan of the 43mm and 150mm and I will probably take him up on it before making any further expenditures.

    I am still fairly certain that the 150 will be the second lens I buy. I have always liked to focus in on parts of the landscape rather than the whole, and the 150 has been one of my favorite lenses with the Pentax 645. Also, I had a Fuji GSW690III for many years and found it much too wide for most of my needs, so I am really thinking that the 50mm will probably work better for my work than the 43.

    Course, what I would really like for the Mamiya 7 would be an AF variable focus lens, say from with focal lengths of 45-65-80-150. And of course, with resolution of over 100 lppm at all focal lengths. Now would that not be nice? Like the Fuji GA645Zi, but with wider range.

    Sandy
     
  21. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I have the 43, 65 and 80 and have never felt the lack of the 50. I am not really a telephoto user, so don't need anything longer and am quite happy that the 80 is a bit short for a standard lens on 6x7.

    David.
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Member

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    OK, I obtained a 43mm and really love it, and have been trying out for the past week or so a 150mm loaned to me by a friend.

    I figure for sure I will also get a 150mm.

    Now, can anyone make a good case for also having the 65mm to go along with the 43mm and 80mm? I think not, but would love to hear the case for.

    I have to say, and with all due respect to other quality systems, Letiz, for example, that Mamiya 7 is about the most perfect rangefinder system ever and in terms of image quality just blows everything else out of the water. The leaf shutter design is as quiet (or quieter) than a Leica M rangefinder camera, and the large 6X7cm negative is vastly superior to the best 35mm, and for that matter, to anything digital that sells for less than $20K. So why fool around with digital anything when there is Mamiya 7?

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2007
  23. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I agree the whole system is a gem. As for the 65mm it's a very useful and very sharp general wide angle which shows a lot less of the artificial perspective of the 43mm, which is equivalent of a 21mm in 35mm terms. It is also a lot more forgiving of slight errors in holding the camera exactly level, which can produce some rather odd looking pictures with wider lenses. I use my 43mm a lot, but I use the 65mm even more. I use both more than the 80mm and don't use teles at all. On the very odd occasion when I do need a tele for medium format, I borrow my wife's Mamy C330 which I find focuses more reliably with a long lens, something which can be a weak spot with rangefinders.

    David.
     
  24. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Well, I decided to get the 65mm anyway, so now I will have the 43mm, 65mm, 80mm and 150mm. I also bought a second body, primarily to protect against camera failure. I am going to China for a month in September (my first visit there) and the Mamiya 7 system is going to be my main camera as I have decided to not travel with LF.

    My thinking is that because of the superior optics of the Mamiya 7 lenses I can get 4X5 quality, or very close to it, by using the camera at more optimum apertures than would be possible with LF. I will use only color negative film in 220 size on the trip. My plan is to scan the film and print in color or B&W as the scene suggests.

    BTW, the spirit level that is visible through the detachable 43mm viewfinder is a very neat feature. Too bad it is not visible in the main viewfinder when using the 65mm and 80mm lenses.

    Sandy King
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2007
  25. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Do you Mamiya 7 users find yourselves hindered by the minimum focus distance on the 150? Are you able to get a fairly close head shot when you want one or is that impossible?
     
  26. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    It focuses down to 6 feet, which is close enough for me. If that did not prove to be close enough then I would crop the resulting print.