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  1. #1

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    Mamiya RZ 250mm APO vs 250mm non-APO?

    I am looking for a telephoto for my recently acquired Mamiya RZ Pro ll
    The 250mm looks like the best bet
    My MF mentor insists that I hold out for the APO version
    That lens has proven a little hard to locate and in the interim I have seen several great deals on the non-APO 250mm version
    My question: is my mentor correct? Is the APO version of this lens THAT much better?
    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    The short answer, no, there isn't that much difference.
    There are many other things to consider that may drive your decision for, or against the APO lenses.
    If you routinely enlarge past 11X14 or 16X20, maybe then the APO would be a better choice.

    There are about 13 different focal length lenses available for the RZ, plus a zoom and a fisheye.
    A 1.4 tele-converter, too.
    What percentage of your shooting will involve using the 250mm focal length?
    How many other lenses/focal lengths do you have?

    There are only two lenses, out of the 15, with focal lengths longer then the 250mm.
    They are the 350/360mm and the 500mm.
    At this point, given that you state the RZ is new to you, I might suggest that your money would be better spent adding some of the other lenses to your kit first. Big bang for the buck, is the 180mm.

    Which lens are you currently using as your standard lens? The 90mm, 110mm, or the 127mm?
    If I don't need the added speed of the 110mm, I have always preferred the look of my 90mm as a standard lens.
    Do you have any of the wides? Those are the 50mm, 65mm, or 75mm, (and the 37mm fisheye).

    Don't completely dismiss using a tele-converter. For me, it was my third lens, which gave me a total of four focal lengths, when combined with my other two lenses I had at the time, the 110mm, and the 180mm.
    The 1.4 converter only slows you down by about one f:stop of light.

    I don't know your budget, but APO's can run well over double their non-APO counterparts.
    Most lenses for medium format are great lenses; the format demands this.
    You have to ask yourself, for just a [little] improvement, is it worth double your money per focal length,
    or would you rather have twice the number of lenses/focal lengths?
    Last edited by Marc B.; 02-06-2011 at 08:19 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Bob, yes it is. ;-)

    BH has one for $799 which IMO is kind of high. There's a couple on Ebay starting in the same range ($700+) There's some deals on 210 APOs on Ebay and elsewhere. I just made prints last night (optical, on RA-4) and was stunned by the resolution of the shots from the 210 APO. (I am sure the 250 is basically just as good, at least). Can't go wrong with any of the RZ APOs... in my experience they are as sharp or sharper than the other best lenses in the RZ system (65 L/A for example).

    Even wide open, the 210 has great sharpness, and a very good "3-D" quality to the shots, particularly the bokeh. I used to think the 180 W-N bokeh was great (it is!), but the 210 bokeh is at least as good. the 250/350 bokeh should be as good or better too, given they are longer focal lengths which helps smooth things out.

    -Ed

  4. #4
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Consider me a fan of the apo lenses as well. That level of correction is especially important if you shoot color, or infrared, or if you plan to use a digital back in the future, or crop a lot or do big enlargements...

    If you want to save some bucks, why not get the rb version... it will work just as well. I use an rb apo 210 on my rz sometimes. Absolutely superb lens. You just control the speeds on the lens, that's all.

    If funding permits, and if you plan on keeping the lens for a long time, then get the best that you can afford.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

    [APUG Portfolio] [APUG Blog] [Website]

  5. #5
    Jeff L's Avatar
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    I know the question is about the 250 but because Marc mentioned the 360 I will add that this one is not so crisp, or at least mine isn't. In the 350-360 range I'd go for the APO. I've only heard good things about both 250's. If the non APO is any thing like the 180 you'll be impressed. Any place close enough that you can rent a normal 250 to try it?

  6. #6

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    Ed, you caught me sneaking behind your back

  7. #7

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    Bob, it's all good.

    I had the 360 non-apo, mine was a nice copy, quite sharp! Surprisingly so. I ended up selling it as I found a good deal on the 350 APO so got that instead (yes, it's better, though longer and heavier).

    IMHO, RB apo lenses are harder to find (and sometimes more expensive) than the RZ APOs.

    Now if I can just find a decent 500 APO somewhere that doesn't break the bank...

    -Ed



 

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