RB67 APO: 250 or not 250? That is the question.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by AdClem, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. AdClem

    AdClem Member

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    APO K/L 210mm OR 250mm? Which would you kill for, and why?
     
  2. David Brown

    David Brown Member

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    Neither. The older "C" lenses are fine.
     
  3. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I would not kill for either, because I believe that killing is wrong.
     
  4. OP
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    AdClem

    AdClem Member

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    Which would you die for?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    AdClem

    AdClem Member

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    Come on. Don't be so rational. We're talking Magic Bullets here.
     
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The biggest problem with magic bullets is that they are aimed at my wallet. :wink:
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Even a magic bullet must be properly aimed to have any effect.

    Can we talk about something else now?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    AdClem

    AdClem Member

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    Okay, obviously too superficial an approach.

    Here's the more prosaic question: I have a 180mm K/L and am considering either acquiring the 250mm to complement it, or opting for the 210mm and disposing of the 180mm. I hoped to elicit views on the relative merits of each of the two lenses in question.

    Any advice gratefully received.
     
  9. CBG

    CBG Member

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    The first, most basic question isn't about magic bullets, it's simply what angle(s) of view you desire. 180 and 250, or 210 by itself if I understand your query.

    I can't tell you what's best for you, but combinations like 180 and 250 give me more flexibility to see things than one lens alone.
     
  10. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    What else do you have ?

    E.i. if you have the 127 it would be nicer to have the range of 127 > 180 > 250 rather than 127 > 210.
    In the later the gap between the focal lenght's is rather big.

    It allso depends on your own photographic style.

    I am bussy getting a RB set together for the next month, don't have that much money for it right now, but still...
    I made up a list with wishes that will soot my style and came out to: 50, 90, 127, 180.

    Peter
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The 210 apo is a spectacularly good lens. That is perhaps the best in my collection; I prefer it to the 180. Fortunately I didn't have to kill for it :wink: But since you already have the 180 you may want the longer lens.

    Look, eventually you'll want all the RB lenses, it's just a matter of time :rolleyes:
     
  12. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Could not agree more !!!

    Peter:D
     
  13. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    hey, no cheap shots here. :smile:

    For us married men, it's cheaper (in the long run) than a mistress.
     
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  15. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I have been thinking along the same lines. Trying to decide which lens to get next for my RB67, 210 or 250. I have a 127. Of the RB lenses are some better performers than others, in regards to sharpness, contrast etc.?
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Some probably are.

    But that should not be your foremost concern when chosing lenses. I'm sure they are all comfortably more than good enough.
    The focal length (angle of view) is far more important, since that determines what you can do with a lens, how you like it for what you do.
     
  17. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I understand that deciding the focal length is important but, if for example, if the 250mm is a dog there is no need in considering it and I can try to decide what what would be my second choice.
     
  18. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    My own assessment is that the 210 is The Prime Lens in the rb lineup. I say this just as my own impression, but also I'd point out that the 210 is the shortest of the apos. As such, it could be fairly argued that it is in fact too short to really warrant apo correction, but I think you have to realize that Mamiya's strategy is probably to provide enough correction to deal with reduced-frame Bayer-format digital backs (e.g. the ZD, ~645 back) which have intrinsic issues with chromatic ab. when using non-apo/ED/ULD lenses... while also providing a useful focal length that isn't too long. No I am not advocating digital backs, I am just saying.

    Anyway it is apo and... it could be imagination, as could many things photographic... it seems to me to be the ultimate performer in my set (which consists of the 65/90/110rz/127KL/150SF/180KL/210 Kl apo/ 360).
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    "Here's the more prosaic question: I have a 180mm K/L and am considering either acquiring the 250mm to complement it, or opting for the 210mm and disposing of the 180mm. I hoped to elicit views on the relative merits of each of the two lenses in question."

    Now I understand what the question is.

    I don't know about the 210. But I can't imagine why you would get rid of your gorgeous 180mm K/L for something that is only about 15% longer.

    I can talk a little bit about my brief experience with the 250, though. I have a 250mm f/4.5 plain (non-C) lens that is broken, so it can only be used wide open. I have used it a few times on transparency film just to see what it looks like. It is fine by me with an 8x loupe (which is greater magnification than I would likely need for a print from this camera, as most of my pix are 11x14 or smaller), but then again, I tend to love uncoated or single-coated glass for many things; and certainly the things I will mostly shoot with a 250mm lens. It is not the sharpest medium format lens I have seen. However it is still sharp, and definitely gives me nothing to complain about. I am sure it is even sharper stopped down, and maybe the newer versions are better still.

    I would not get too stuck on the idea of judging a lens based on specs and whether people on the Internet think things are "dogs" or not. First of all, no lens that can be used is a "dog", and any RB/RZ 250 can definitely be, and have been, used for large numbers of great pix. Second of all, on the Internet, you have to wade through vast pools of sewage to find select gold nuggets, so you can often do yourself more harm than good by asking for something. What on Earth did people do before the C, APO, K/L, whatever the hell they're called now, came out? They shot with what was there, made a living at it, and made some classic pix that we all know. I would start with a cheap model to see if you even like the focal length. If you want a more modern one after a while, start keeping your eyes peeled. When you find one, pick it up and sell the old one. No need to rush out and drop all the dough on the fancy-ass models if you don't really need them...and I would say that nobody really "needs" them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2009
  20. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    From the opposite side of the coin Opinons of the weakes performer in the RB lens line up?
     
  21. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    As I mentioned a few times before elsewhere, there is one and only one rb lens that didn't especially tickle my fancy. That was the rb 50. Yes, I know that it is a floating element lens, and I did deploy that scale properly :wink: (Mind you, the lens was not box-new when I bought it, so factor that into how you weigh my opinion. Note, however, that the Mamiya lenses are very robust and it's extremely difficult to do any real damage to them. I suppose there is the very slim possibility that the floating element was misregistered on that specific example but I doubt that. I will admit that i did not cross-compare several examples.)

    Anyway... I have the 50 for my mamiya 6 and that 50 utterly shredded the rb 50 in almost every respect. Corner sharpness, distortion. So out the door went the rb 50. Then I got to play with an rz 50 uld and that lens, I'll just say, is way better than the rb 50. Now, the rz 50 is probably still not as good as the mamiya 6 50, but then again, probably just about nothing is going to stack up to that lens with exception of the 7-series 50.

    So, in summary, the only rb lens that disappointed me at all was the rb 50. I consider the 65 to be noticeably superior. And... as usual I would caution people not to take anybody's word for it... prices are good enough to try things out yourself and find what works best for you. You may well find total satisfaction with the pre-C rb lenses. I don't mean to say that in a condescending way, I am just saying that, especially if you don't shoot colour slide, the non-apo, non-KL rb lenses may be perfect for you. Slightly lower contrast may even be seen as a benefit, for some portrait shooters.
     
  22. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    I'm very happy with a C lens than you.

    If I found a 210 or got it for free... I'd return it. K/Ls have plastic parts in their shutters where the C can be repaired or take a transplanted shutter for any of the older lenses. Besides, you can't make a perfect wheel more round without giving up something.
     
  23. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    I'm with paul, though besides the maintenance issues, in my opinion there are imaging issues as well.

    In some ways sharper doesn't always mean better. When I shoot MF or larger, it's more than just sharpness. In terms of tonality, OOF area redition and overall "look", I prefer the non C 250. I I have bother versions, and if higher contrast and more "snap" is your thing, the K/L or C lens will be the ticket. For subtlety in gradation and smoothness in the OOF areas, the non C works for me, and for my images.
     
  24. xtolsniffer

    xtolsniffer Member

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    Go for the focal length you want, if the 210 is ok, then stick with it, if the 250 is better, go for that. I got a 250 for the angle of view, and it works for me, though I might go even longer to the 360. If you want to look for chromatic abberation you'll find it, if you want to look for softness you'll find it. Ask yourself is it going to be an issue. If you really really have to search for it, then the answer is no, it doesn't matter. All the RB lenses are great, C or K/L (non-C you have to be more careful of flare, but use a good hood and they're great). A Paul said, the newer K/L are more plasticy, but I don't drive mine like a pro might so I would hope they will last a good 20 years or so.
     
  25. CBG

    CBG Member

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    On the 50 for the RB, mine is a pretty good lens. I've used it for decades, and it has always come through for me. Sharp and versatile.
     
  26. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    I have a pile of lenses for my rb, and the one that gets the least use is the 250. I do however like putting it on with a 2x converter and watching the neighbors tv from a block away....LOL --- I would tend to buy another 180 or 150 in search of better quality. maybe even look hard for a 140

    50/65/90/127/150/180/250