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  1. #1
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Mamiya TLR Black Lens vs Chrome Lens

    I've been looking at the KEH website for a 135mm lens for a Mamiya TLR, and the chrome lenses are less expensive than the black lenses.

    I suspect this indicates that the black lenses were a redesigned newer series.

    Is there really any appreciable difference between the two series?
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.

  2. #2
    gtyler5's Avatar
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    You are correct, the black series are the newer of the two. I found both series to be great performers, the chrome would be harder to repair if there were problems with the shutter as they quit making parts earlier.

  3. #3
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    Although it's not clear which of the black series lenses were multi-coated some of them were, the silver ones definitely weren't, another thing to consider is the silver and black series largely take different size hoods and filters.
    Ben

  4. #4

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    Chrome lenses use an older Seikosha shutter. As gtyler5 mentioned, parts are no longer available new (though so many of the these shutters were used, "donor" shutters can sometimes be found. The black lenses use the later Seiko shutter.

    Some of the later black lenses have a blue dot on the shutter cocking knob. I've heard differing stories about these "blue dot" lenses. One says basically it's the latest version of the lenses, the other says it's a better version of the lenses.

    I wouldn't shy away from an appropriately priced chrome shutter lens, but the black shutter lens would be preferred.
    "Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer

  5. #5
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgb74 View Post
    I wouldn't shy away from an appropriately priced chrome shutter lens, but the black shutter lens would be preferred.
    I, too, wouldn't shy away from a good example of a chrome lens if the price was right. Chances are, if the shutter failed, it might be cheaper to replace the whole lens than get the broken one repaired.

  6. #6

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    There are four shutters used in the TLR lenses (actually five, but the Copals are really uncommon and only apply to one lens). The Seikosha-S is the common silver/chrome bezel, with some really early lenses (c. Mamiyaflex) using a design that runs to 1/400th second. There are two variants of the Seiko black shutter. The only external indication is the blue infilling of the shutter cocking arm grip.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  7. #7
    michaelbsc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
    I, too, wouldn't shy away from a good example of a chrome lens if the price was right. Chances are, if the shutter failed, it might be cheaper to replace the whole lens than get the broken one repaired.
    This is the advice I was looking for. Both you and mgb74 confirm what I thought.

    I was looking at the KEH lens and there is a chrome that is less than half the price of the black one. Since it's for indoor use I'm not worried about flare. I can control that.

    And they said it works. What's not to love?
    Michael Batchelor
    Industrial Informatics, Inc.
    www.industrialinformatics.com

    The camera catches light. The photographer catches life.



 

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