Mamiya 645 - choose between either the 55-110 f4.5 or 55mm f2.8 & 110 f2.8

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by hoakin1981, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. hoakin1981

    hoakin1981 Member

    Messages:
    75
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2014
    Location:
    Athens, Gree
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not really sure about this one. I don't like zooms very much but i have no experience when it comes to MF cameras/lenses so i thought i should ask. Provided you could find used all 3 lenses along with the body etc. what would you go for? The price is lower by getting the 55-110 instead of both the other 2 and you would also have the very useful 80mm focal lenght but what happens in the IQ department?

    I plan on shooting mostly landscapes and travel shots (so no portraits) but sharpness is critical for me. Also having fast lenses is always good in the long run.

    Any thoughts?

    P.S. Just to clarify i am talking about the MF versions of these lenses (Sekor C types)
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,820
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Groups:
    I would choose the 55mm f2.8 and the 110 f2.8 because they are faster, sharper and easier to handle than the zoom one, and will produce a brighter focusing screen image. In my experience the colour rendition tends to be better on prime lenses than zooms too.
     
  3. jwd722

    jwd722 Subscriber

    Messages:
    115
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Location:
    lower thumb michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Go with the 55 and 110. I don't have the 110 but I do have the 55, it is incredibly sharp. "Old school" zooms were never all that terribly sharp to begin with. The extra speed of the 55 and 110 are also a big advantage, plus the weight of the two combined is a bit less than the zoom alone (more important than you would think).

    When I go out on my "treks" I usually take two 645's (one color, one b/w), a 55 f2.8, an 80 f4 macro, and a 150 f3.5, a light meter, some filters, a hand grip, a Vivitar 285HV (or a Sunpak 555), tripod with three way tilt head...let's just say I get a good workout because I carry it all. Sometimes I'll also carry my 80 f2.8 and a 210 f4, so trust me when I say saving on weight is a big deal.

    As I am getting older I am building a rolling bag based on a golf bag carrier.
     
  4. rubyfalls

    rubyfalls Member

    Messages:
    169
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Agree with all of the above. I have the 45 f/2.8, 80mm f/1.9, and 150 f/3.5. The 55 is nice; don't know about the 110.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    23,181
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm sure there must be a number of people out there using the 645 zoom lenses, but I've never met one.

    They are quite large.

    45mm, 55mm, 110mm and 210 mm here (plus an 80mm macro).
     
  6. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Member

    Messages:
    3,567
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    Netherlands, EU
    Shooter:
    Pinhole
  7. inglis

    inglis Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  8. dorff

    dorff Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    South Africa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would consider the 45, and possibly even 35 if I were you. I own the 45 N, and apart from vignetting noticeably at f/2.8, it is a good lens when stopped down a bit. I also own the 50 Shift, which is an absolute gem of a lens, but it is somewhat different to operate and of course only offers stopped down metering. The 35 would equate to 22 mm in 135, which is arguably a somewhat better focal length for landscape and travel than the 28 mm in 135 equivalent of the 45 mm and the 34 mm equivalent of the 55 mm. The latter is not nearly wide enough for much more than half of the landscape and travelling shots I personally do, and the 45 barely cuts it. Of course, you will have a much better idea what your style entails. On the longer end, the 80/1.9 is a superb lens, and not a single shot I've made with it has disappointed me from a quality perspective. If you can find one, it is one lens that you totally will not regret, and which will make you never ever miss a zoom. For the rest, I have forgone the 110, and got a 120/4 Macro instead. It is a super sharp lens, and incredibly useful as both a portrait and general close-focus lens. I never go anywhere without it. The quality is again top notch. I have a 150 which I seldom use, as it isn't that much different from the 120, and then beyond that I have 300/5.6 ULD and 500/5.6, both of which get used often and are actually excellent lenses, although hardly travel material considering the bulk and weight.

    Hope this helps a bit.
     
  9. dorff

    dorff Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    South Africa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    John, these are AF lenses. My understanding is the OP enquired about manual focus lenses. There are differences between the AF and MF lenses, but I have no overlapping ones to be able to compare directly. I can only comment on the 80/2.8 AF and the 210/4 ULD, both of which I do own. Of the two, the 210 is the one that stands out, and produces remarkable results. The 80/1.9 MF is in my view much better and more interesting than the AF 80/2.8, and focuses closer too. The AF 150/3.5 is also a great lens, and much better contrast wise, a little bit sharper too, than the 150/4 manual focus lens I have. But if you have only a manual focus camera, there is no point in discussing AF lenses, and neither should you worry as the manual focus lenses are all very respectable performers that make good images.
     
  10. spijker

    spijker Subscriber

    Messages:
    427
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    The graph shows both the AF lenses and the 80mm & 55mm MF lenses. So a direct comparison between the 80mm AF and 80mm MF can be made. The 55mm MF performs better than the 55-110mm AF at 55mm. Thereby I think that it's safe to assume that the 55mm MF lens also performs better than the 55-110 MF zoom lens at 55mm.
     
  11. TimFox

    TimFox Member

    Messages:
    99
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I find the 55-110 mm zoom hard to focus using the split-prism, but always had good luck with the primes.
     
  12. dorff

    dorff Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    South Africa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Me bad, I was looking at the table, not the graph. Yes, your assumption is safe, I think. One should note that the 80/2.8 and 80/1.9 are very different lenses. Something missing from that site is evenness of performance across the frame. The stated resolution is centre only, and no reference is made to vignetting etc. Before you buy a lens, be sure to check that all or most of the characters match with your expectations.
     
  13. frperdurabo

    frperdurabo Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for posting. I've owned the 45 and 55 and liked both, but recently the 55 literally came apart in my hands. The sample photos in the link suggest the 55-110 will be good enough for my purposes, at least till I can afford 55, 80 and 110 primes. Will also be getting a Beattie Intenscreen with this month's "fun money."
     
  14. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,429
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would mount the zoom for wedding/reception coverage. Nearly instantly ready for many different things to happen requiring differ FL for optimal framing of the action.
    NOT for reception coverage, when I do not need the instantaneous FL change, I would choose the fixed FL when
    • I want a more compact camera+lens to wield, to be less conspicuous or to work in tighter situations
    • I want a faster max aperture for shooting in low light
    • I want a faster max aperture for DOF control
    I have done precisely what I describe in shooting professionally with medium format film in the 1990s
     
  15. Neil Grant

    Neil Grant Member

    Messages:
    221
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2007
    Location:
    area 76
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The 55mm and 110mm Sekor C lenses are both very good, though the 110mm is quite rare these days. The camera will handle much better with either of these than the bulky zoom you are considering. None of the 645 lenses, bar the Macro, focus especially close - so you might want to get a set of tubes.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. If you have a Photrio account, please log in (and select 'stay logged in') to prevent recurrence of this notice.