Which Mamiya 645 lens to get?
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
Where ever you are, there you be.
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.
Searching my way to perplexion
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.
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.
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera".
- Yousuf Karsh
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit".
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.
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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.
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.
Where ever you are, there you be.
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.
Yes Thank-you also. I have the same that needs the same. Adorama has a nice selction also.
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 2F/2F; 01-31-2009 at 11:59 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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