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  1. #51

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    Hello Matus,

    The FA 33-55mm is an interesting lens. The range is amazing - equivalent to a 20-35mm in 35mm (24x36) format. I am waiting on a part (rear lens assembly) for this lens before I test all three superwides for the Pentax 645. Handling is very nice and it is reasonably sized lens. I will photograph them all together from different perspectives to give a better idea of size. If you look at the lens review on pentaxforums.com, Pål Jensen gives his impressions of this lens - http://www.pentaxforums.com/lensrevi...Zoom-Lens.html. He has created some stunning photographs with this lens - http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=5030363.

    The A 35mm is a very solid lens. I really like its feel and so far the images I have taken with it I am quite pleased with (handheld family photos). I am trying to find some time when the weather is good and get this on a tripod (along with the FA 35mm and eventually the FA 33-55mm) to give a real workout to see what the differences are for my type of shooting.

    The A 120 macro is great and I regret selling mine. But now I am waiting for an FA 120 macro I just purchased this morning. The A 120 macro was really nice in terms of sharpness and build quality.

    My A 55mm is a better built lens than my FA 75mm. It feels very solid and has 'heft' (mass) to it compared to the FA and the A 75mm lenses. It is quite sharp, although I have not noticed that my FA 75mm is soft.

  2. #52

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  3. #53

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    - Youri -

    thank you. I have checked the links you posted. I have to admit I was surprised to hear the both zooms (33-55, 45 - 85) were reported to be sharper than the 45mm. How do you find the quality of this lens?

    For the macro lens - is the new (FA) version an autofocus lens or not? Is there any difference in optics? Let us know how it compares to the A version once it arrives.

    I am happy to hear that the A 55/2.8 is a nice lens as it is probably my most preferred focal length and 35/55/120 would make a nice combo ...

  4. #54

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    As I am still fiddling around the weights, I am trying to pout together list of them for similar setup configuration:
    - body
    - 120 back
    - AE prism
    - standard lens
    - motor winder (or right hand grip) to make it a "true" SLR

    So far I managed to put together following numbers:

    645:
    - Pentax 645N - 1640 g
    - Mamiya AFD II - 1900 g (really?)
    - Contax 645 - 1850 g

    6x7 (for comparison here):
    - Bronica GS-1 - 2800 g (the grip is 450g)
    - Pentax 67II - 2250 g


    I am still looking for the weight of Bronica ETRSi, Mamiya 645 Pro (Pro TL) and mybe Bronica SQAi. The main problem for putting together the weights is to find out the weights of:
    - waist level finder
    - AE prism
    - motor winder / grip
    as the producer usually say the weight of the lightest package: body, 120 mag, WLF and a lens.

  5. #55

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    Matus,

    I have not tried the 45mm prime (A or FA), so can't comment directly. I have only heard from others that the FA 45mm prime is not as sharp as the FA 45-85mm when set at the 45mm focal length. I think the FA 45-85mm is a spectacular lens.

    The FA 120mm macro is indeed autofocus. Quite a nice lens. One nice feature (also found on other macro lenses) is a focus limiter switch. So you can have access to the entire focusing range - infinity to 1:1 magnification, or you can set it to be - infinity to 1/4 lifesize range or you can set it for 1/4 lifesize to 1:1 (lifesize) range. A useful feature if you are using autofocus and don't want the camera to "hunt" for focus across the entire focus range. The lens itself is very nice, although I think the A 120mm has a sturdier feel to it. I received one in BGN condition from KEH and the glass is clear and clean - a really nice surprise.

    Yes, the A 55mm f/2.8 is a lovely lens. I enjoy using my copy. I even use it with my Pentax K10D body - very sharp, nice contrast.

    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    - Youri -

    thank you. I have checked the links you posted. I have to admit I was surprised to hear the both zooms (33-55, 45 - 85) were reported to be sharper than the 45mm. How do you find the quality of this lens?

    For the macro lens - is the new (FA) version an autofocus lens or not? Is there any difference in optics? Let us know how it compares to the A version once it arrives.

    I am happy to hear that the A 55/2.8 is a nice lens as it is probably my most preferred focal length and 35/55/120 would make a nice combo ...

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    As I am still fiddling around the weights, I am trying to pout together list of them for similar setup configuration:
    - body
    - 120 back
    - AE prism
    - standard lens
    - motor winder (or right hand grip) to make it a "true" SLR

    So far I managed to put together following numbers:

    645:
    - Pentax 645N - 1640 g
    - Mamiya AFD II - 1900 g (really?)
    - Contax 645 - 1850 g

    6x7 (for comparison here):
    - Bronica GS-1 - 2800 g (the grip is 450g)
    - Pentax 67II - 2250 g


    I am still looking for the weight of Bronica ETRSi, Mamiya 645 Pro (Pro TL) and mybe Bronica SQAi. The main problem for putting together the weights is to find out the weights of:
    - waist level finder
    - AE prism
    - motor winder / grip
    as the producer usually say the weight of the lightest package: body, 120 mag, WLF and a lens.
    Matus:

    Have you seen this chart from the manual for the Mamiya 645 Pro?:
    Attached Files
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    Now - let me come up with a bit different questions: If there are some among you that have used also a MF rangefinder with interchangeable lenses (like Bronica RF645, Mamiya 6 or 7) - how would you find it to compare to a 645 SLR in terms of handling (focusing, hand hold shooting)
    I just sold off my 3rd attempt at a Mamiya 645 Pro system. This time around I was fortunate enough to stumble across a 24mm fisheye at a very good price, so it was the lens that brought me back to a Mamiya - for the 3rd time ! They are very affordable, I was able to get a 645 Pro body - for $115, a back for $50, and a AE Prism for $150. All at KEH Skip the winders, they are gimmick's IMO.

    The 24mm fisheye is a cool lens. But I tired of the weight of it. I am waiting for a micro four thirds fisheye for my Panasonic GH1, something small and discreet.




    Overall, this is how I feel about it - the weight and size of the Mamiya 645 Pro, is too much for me.

    It's like the size of a motorcycle battery. I prefer the Mamiya 6, it's light and small enough, that I can carry it around in my messenger bag with a nice neoprene Zing case to protect it. 645 SLR's -image wise are a step up from a 35mm SLR, no question about that, but in my mind - a Mamiya 645, fully loaded, is not that far off; in terms of bulk, from that of the Mamiya RZ. The Mamiya RZ or RB are amazing camera systems, but they require a tripod. Just my opinion, I think it's tedious to carry a bulky camera around, and it's not very discreet, as soon as you pull it out, it attracts attention, it's not subtle, people freeze up, and stiffen, and put on their plastic smiles as or just gawk at you, the camera nerd , with your contraption.




    Again I've danced around 3 times with a Mamiya 645 system, optics are great, and its an affordable well built system, no doubt about that but I prefer the Mamiya 6. That camera just rules, ... it's the perfect camera.





    Skip the 645 and get a Mamiya 6 or 7. Greatest rangefinders in the world.

  8. #58

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    - MattKing -
    thank you. Now it really seems that the Mamiya Pro TL is not that heavy as I expected - 1800g in a full setup with 80 mm lens.

    - mrisney -

    well - thank you for your experience. As you brought up the Mamiya 6 let me just share my "problem". I started "larger-than-35mm" film photography because of ... Mamiya 6 ... which I never bought (I was too naive to believe that system that is limited to 3 lenses could get too expensive and went to 4x5 instead ... makes me laugh today). But I always had a soft spot for rangefinders. In fact - I got the Bessa R3A last year (only one lens yet though). But there is a reason - if I want to go light, compact and fast - I will choose probably the 35.

    As I do not hurry getting another camera - I really try to think where and how I would use it. Over the last two years I was shooting with Rolleiflex T, 4x5 and DLSR (aged Minolta 7D I do not like - so used mostly as light meter for 4x5) - and indeed quite some of shots I wanted to make were not possible (especially if I had only the Rolleiflex along). So while I am quite attracted to cameras like Bronica RF645, Mamiya 6 & 7 I hesitate to get another camera that will keep most of the old limitations.

    Is one does the math, than the weight of 3 lens setup (with focal lengths that would compare to about 28/50/90) would be around 2 - 2.3 kg for RF645, Mamiya 6 or 7 and about 3 - 3.3 kg for Contax or Pentax 645 (and probably similar to Bronica ETRSi or Mamiya 645 Pro). So - that is about 1 kg difference which would allow me to get faster lenses (in particular the Contax 80/2.0) get closer (portraits) or longer (here has the Contax a bit problem - the 350/4 is too pricey). Also - the only RF camera in the town that offers truly wide lenses is the Mamiya 7.

    To be honest - the fear of size&weight is indeed there - it never just the camera and lenses - you usually carry more just because you can (more film backs, extension tubes) so the weight grows.

    But not get me wrong - I have hauled 15 pounds of 4x5 equipments to 6000 feet in my home country (only to get 3 mediocre shots) and actually enjoyed that, but indeed I have something a bid different in my mind with the 645. It should be a camera/system to take along where more that just snapshots are to be taken but the situation just does not allow for 4x5 (so often the case). Is should allow me to shoot handhold, close, take a candid portrait here and then and maybe do some studio shots (portraits, fun stuff ...).

    I have even hauled my 4x5 (AND Rolleiflex and Olympus XA) around New Zealand for 3 weeks in a camper van and if I should do it again I would prefer 1 MF camera (Mamiya 7 or Contax 645 ... hard to say) - but I have taken one of my most favorite shots with 400 mm lens (would translate to 200 mm in 645 or 270 mm in 6x7) - no RF in that territory. So would I made different shots with RF or SLR ? - sure - which would have been better ? ... I have no idea ...

    I know I have to get my hands on BOTH Mamiya 7 and some of the 645 SLRs (preferably Pentax or Contax) - and it will be pricey here in Germany, so before that I am trying to figure as much out as possible in "dry runs" - and you guys are a great help here.

  9. #59

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    I guess I will not let this thread go so easily - another question .

    All of the systems discussed above offer teleconverters. I of course know what does that using 1.4x (2.0x) means loosing 1 (2) stops, but I would really like to know what is the impact on the image quality.

    So - I would love to hear your experience with teleconverters with any of the 645 SLR systems (important particularly with Contax as the 350/4 is way too expensive - I have seen one going for 3600€ ! ).

  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by slnce-z-gsi View Post
    thanks. But I guess that before this thread will be closed and the first poster banned we should move back to analog world

    Now - let me come up with a bit different questions: If there are some among you that have used also a MF rangefinder with interchangeable lenses (like Bronica RF645, Mamiya 6 or 7) - how would you find it to compare to a 645 SLR in terms of handling (focusing, hand hold shooting). Sure the RF are lighter and smaller - but what are the practical impacts on the shooting itself? Did you ever take the SLR over the RF to a trip even though the SLR was heavier and more bulky? How do you feel about theses two different worlds?
    I've owned a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, a Bronica RF 645, and a Mamiya 7. Only the Mamiya 7 remains. The M645 was a nice camera, but I hated the slow flash sync, and it was a bit heavy and bulky to carry about all day. So I sold it off and bought a Bronica RF645. I loved the lenses, and it was small and light. But I lost faith in the film transport; it was replaced under warranty, but that made me uncomfortable because I'd read that many folks had similar problems. So I sold it and bought a Mamiya 7II. Love it. It's just right for times when I don't want to shoot large format.

    If I were to buy a 645 SLR, I'd opt for a Bronica ETRSi. The lenses are excellent, the leaf shutters sync at all speeds, and they are a tremendous value.



 

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