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Mamiya 150mm Soft Focus Lens

  1. Trail Images
    I'd not seen any recent posts here in the Mamiya RB / RZ forum for awhile and thought I'd add one with regard to my latest purchase. I'm a very long time RB ProSD user so I usually figure out things fairly quick with regard to any new lens I buy. Hopefully that will be the case with this lens as well.
    Not looking for any real hardcore information per se, I've got the three filters as part of the purchase and that all seems very straight forward with regard to mounting them and using them.

    I guess my only real question might be more towards how others actually use the lens and what do you find the units the best at for your needs? So, pretty open ended and more just looking for some fun ideas you might find the lens and accompanying filters and how they work best overall for you. If you can share example photos or results of using one that would be great too.

    Thank you for your comments.
  2. paul ron
    paul ron
    Hey paul. The 150 sf is a beautiful fun lens. Its best use was back in the 70s playboy style centerfolds. It gives a special glow to highlights while maintaining a sharp center image.

    Flowers n still lifes, mood shots, perhaps fog n long exposure water scenes might be worth experimenting on.

    I'd post some examples but I'd need a time machine to dig out my garage. I did shoot some experimental shots but never kept yhe negs.

    You do know the preview lever locks on place till you release it?

    My only gripe is focusing. The image is so dark at f8 (recommended softNess over ride) and wide open feels sort of... Emmm soft n fuzzy. It takes some getting use to.
  3. Trail Images
    Trail Images
    Hey Paul, really good to hear from you here on this subject. I hope to shoot some shots with the lens this week possibly. I've been working on a project with my 4x5 most recently and it is been on hold with more then normal winds at the site of the project, so, maybe this week I can finish it and take some quick shots with the RB too. Hopefully more to follow later...........thank you for your response as always....take care!
  4. StephenT
    Hey there Trail Images. I also have a 150SF that I have yet to experiment with - also been playing with a 4x5 and paper negatives. I'd like to hear more about your experience with the SF and the RB. I hope to get around to using mine in the next few days.
  5. Trail Images
    Trail Images
    Paul & Stephen, I finally got caught up enough to post two images. I only got to shoot a few images, but I like what I'm seeing so far. Although, admittedly I need to write things down until I've shot more then just a few shots and seeing the results. Once I get the full feel then I won't need to do the note taking. At this point the notes would be based upon what f-stop and which of the elements I used. I think the two shots here are taken with the 1 element and then the 3 element. Basically stated, the one appears fairly much in focus, element 1 I believe, the second is very soft edged, so I think element 3 there. Anyway, thanks for following the adventure here.

    Took a minute or two, but I mounted the images on another site and linked them here. The photos are of a Pencil Cholla Cactus photographed at Joshua Tree NP, CA.


  6. StephenT
    Were both images taken at the same f stop? I seem to recall that once you close down to f8 or smaller, or maybe 5.6, that the soft focus effect of the insertable disks disappear. There is a HUGE difference in the two shots, at least on my monitor. Try the different disks at f4, if you don't have too much light. I don't have an ND filter large enough myself.
  7. Trail Images
    Trail Images
    Hi Stephen, I know there is a large difference between the two. Sadly, I cannot make a swear to it all comment on exact settings. I was actually out taking other normal landscape shots, so, I only got maybe a total of 1 roll shot of 10 images using the 150mm and it was a mixed bag. Next time I will be making note for my own long term ideas of usage and the effects overall.
    Here is what I think was the settings at the time. First image was f5.6 with the first number 1 element or the least restricted if you will. The second was again at f5.6 but with the most chocked or restricted element or number 3 as I call it. I wish I could be sure, but it's a real SWAG at this point until I get another chance. I'm sure both were shot with a circular polarizer attached and twisted to the maximum effect on it.
    Anyway, research to continue. Thanks for checking in......have a good day.
  8. Trail Images
    Trail Images
    I just today found the user guide after using the trial and error approach on my first outing. Anyway, this maybe of help if you're using the 150mm lens and the soft focus disks.
  9. Trail Images
    Trail Images
    Here is a link to an additional example using the 150mm SF lens with the # 1 element. This was an old lightning struck burned tree limb in the same area as the previous images of the Pencil Cholla.

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