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Thread: Mamiya Lenses

  1. #1
    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    Mamiya Lenses

    I've heard again and again that Mamiya has made its sharpest, one could argue best, lenses for ther 6 and 7 series cameras. I want to ask, why? To me, it appears as if the only market for these cameras lies with amatuers, and yet Mamiya makes so much for the working pro. Why wouldn't they deliver the best that they can to the pros still using the RZ67 or 645? I would think there would be more money in that market, and that the pros would want the best tools for the job.

    I'm just confused. Enlighten me. Is there some inherent problem in the SLR design?

  2. #2
    vic vic's Avatar
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    first of all, many pros use this camera ... second, if there is a camera that becomes more popular in mamiya range now and in the future, that will be the 645 because of digital, this camera is better suited for digital backs.

    the 7 is a very intuitive camera as a rangefinder/viewfinder should be .. in fact it is like having a leica M7 or zeiss ikon but a bit bigger and with much bigger film inside. the other alternatives of such a camera these days are far more expenssive or not as versatile as mamiya 7... examples, mint hasselblad swc, alpa system etc - more limited in some way, especially for general purpose photography, much more expenssive ...
    besides the natural and intuitive viewing system (which some may prefer or may not)... the lesnes are supreme, especially superior in the wide angles... simply because it is not SLR ... so if u want a real lens with little compromise of optical aspects of photography, this is one of the best choices. and no SLR mamiya, rollei or hassleblad do not deliver that quality and plasticity in wide angle lesnes...

    non relevant to apug, but i think i would really enjoy if this 7 system or alike (even in smaller size of 645) will be adapted to digital sensor as well... that way, i would have a rangefinder and a medium format quality...

  3. #3

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    Viv Vic touches on the answer with the RF vs. SLR statement.
    The RF lenses can be simpler designs because they don't have to clear the moving mirror. SLR lenses tend to be retrofocus(reverse telephoto) lenses in the wider focal lengths.
    Check out some of the RF vs.SLR threads in the rangefinder forum.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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    The retrofocus design can add a lot of elements to the design, and beyond a certain point more elements equals lesser quality.

    And if you really wanted to add a digital sensor to the Mamiya 7, you can. But it will be 645 sized and you will have a fairly large box sticking out the back of the camera. So no more really wide angles, and I'm not entirely sure how you would get your eye to the finder.

  5. #5
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    The mamiya 6 and 7 are not amateur status cameras. Many pros use them especially for fast work ie weddings before digital really ate into that market. As other have stated, lens design is the biggest factor that gives them their edge in sharpness, contrast and overall distortion free characteristics. No mirror to work around like you do with an SLR, and symmetrical design. My Mamiya 6 50mm is sharper and more distortion free than the equivalent Hasselblad 50mm Distagon Cfi lens. Less glass is used, but the design is not a compromise. The difference is marginal and for the most part, not that noticeable without lab gear, but it's there and it is possible to see the difference if you have identical images side by side taken by each camera with the same focal lenght lens. If you had one only, you'd be hard pushed to tell what lens took the picture..... So it's all relative really.
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

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    AutumnJazz's Avatar
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    If I were to get one, do you think the 43mm is worth it over the 50mm? And how hard is it to go between the veiwfinder and the rangefinder? Compose --> focus or focus --> compose?

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    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    The 50mm on the Mamiya 7 is wider than the 50mm on the Mamiya 6 for obvious reasons. The 43mm is another step wider beyond that. It all depends on your use for it and vision for the images you want to create. The supplemental viewfinders are okay as far as I have heard. I'm not going from personal experience though. You may need a bubble level too as well to really make sure things are level as things can get off kilter a little with supplemental viewfinders. Also realize that they are just a guide. Focusing should not be a problem with the regular finder either.
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  8. #8
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    I read an article at german photo technic. They take same german palace in big garden photo with mamiya , leica m6 and hasselblad planar 80.
    hasselblad was the sharpest , than the mamiya than the leica.
    There was a very interesting point , there was a red painted iron works inside the garden and planar sees it black , only black , But mamiya was seeing it pure red. The red iron works was hidden inside a very dark garden. Photo taken from least 200 meters .
    This test changed my all ideas for hassy.

  9. #9
    Mustafa Umut Sarac's Avatar
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    if you are a amateur , try to buy a kiev from europe , not new , ussr made.

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    Any of the fl lenses you're looking at will be sharp. equivalent focal lengths are going to be 43mm=22.5mm in 35, 50=33mm in 35.
    Using an accessory finder is not difficult, just another skill to use it in a seamless manner.
    I've used acc. finders for 20 & 28 mm lenses with Leica M cameras. With either fl you can use hyperfocal focus & just use the acc. finder to compose. For shooting on the street this may be close enough for you.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

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