Zeiss lenses on Mamiya?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by walter_hawn, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. Looking at buying the new Mamiya 645AFD II body/ZD back bundle. But -- I
    really, really like Zeiss lenses. Can they be made to fit the Mamiya? I don't
    use auto-focus, so that's not a concern. I would like to be able to use the
    metering, though.

    An alternative would be a Contax 645 and a digital back. H-ever, cost is a
    concern, as is parts availability in the long term.

    And, with the announcement of the new Canon 1ds mkIII (why, oh why, can't we get
    pronounceable names for these things?), maybe a 645 is not the way to go, anymore.

    In any event, I need to move up from 35mm film. I have a Canon V1 with several
    lenses that I seldom use, and a well-used Contax 139q, nearing the end of its
    life, which is how I got hooked on Zeiss.

    Advice? Discussion?

    Walter Hawn
  2. Have you tried Mamiya lenses? Some of them are fantastic. I shoot Hasselblad, Rollei (6000)
    and a Mamiya 7II and the Mamiya 7II has some of the best glass. Admittedly, I have not shot
    with the 645 lenses, but you might as well rent one and see how it works for you. Especially if
    you are thinking of plunking down multiple thousands of dollars on an MF digital kit.
  3. I think you are in the same predicament as many of us who still have 'blads around, hoping for an affordable digital back. With Mamiya coming out with a decent priced digital back perhaps other companies will lower their prices. I can't justify paying $25,000 for a digital back for weddings, which is my main income. If you are doing other types of photography and you can justify spending this kind of money the differences between a medium digital back and the slr digital backs are said to be well worth it.
  4. As Stuart stated, I'd consider renting a Mamiya. Their backs are about 1/2 the cost and the lenses are very sharp. Some people on photo.net have said these lenses are sharper than zeiss. I've never done a side by side experiment myself, but if it is that good and about 1/2 the price it's worth a look.
  5. Thanks for the discussion. I haven't used Mamiya lenses since my 500DTL died a quarter of a century ago. It was shortly after that I discovered Ziess. The Mamiya lenses were very good, I recall (my wife shot my profile photo with the 55mm Mamiya), but there is a certain, indefinable *something* that Ziess adds to a shot. Besides the tack-sharpness, the quality (I don't know how else to say it) of the contrast in color work is so much livelier. In BW work, the difference is there, but more subtly so.

    Thanks for the suggestion, and I will look into renting a kit, but I have some problems along that line, since I'm in Wyoming -- and the only places that rent anything are in Jackson or Denver.

    FWIW, I do fine-art landscapes and have hit the limit on print size from scanned 35mm film. I've discovered that certain people like *really big* prints, and are willing to pay for them. (BTW I have -- and have put to good use -- an Epson 9800, for anyone who might need something 44 inches wide...)

    I have not invested in medium format anything, yet, but I'm still hoping for adapter rings for the Mamiya, to take lenses with either Hasselblad or Contax mounts. It seems though, that no one has made any thus far.

    Walter Hawn
  6. You can get an adaptor which will allow you to use V-Series lenses that support focal plane shutters on M645's. Restrictions are the same as for manual M645 lenses on the 645AF's (Stop-down metering, no auto-aperture). Fotodiox makes the necessary adaptors (Others are available if you look, notably a Pentacon 6 adaptor allowing use of some of the excellent Pentacon glass on a body that is actually reliable)

    I'd say MF has one major advantage over the high-MP 35mm FF DSLR's. With good lenses MF digital (and film) is not lens limited. A 22MP FF 35mm DSLR is often lens limited for resolution even with good glass, while a 39MP 645 is only approaching lens resolution limits, a 22MP 645 setup isn't even close to lens resolution limits.
  7. There are adaptors from Pentacon 6 to 645 mount. You would probably loose metering... but you would at least have all of the other advantages of interchangable Mamiya body parts.
  8. I use a Hasselblad V to Mamiya 645 adapter on a AFD-II, as well as select Mamiya AF

    All CF, CFi, CFE and F, FE lenses work. The F lenses are a particuarly good buy and offer
    very fast aperture choices ... F50/2.8, F110/2, F150/2.8.

    You lose auto aperture metering, but gain in-viewfinder AF confirmation when using the
    Zeiss manual focusing lenses.

    Zeiss and Mamiya have different signatures, and are a matter of preference. I prefer Zeiss,
    but like AF, so I use both.
  9. Marc,

    In a previous posting you mention using your Mamiya 645 lenses on your COntax 645. Which adapter are you using and where can I buy one?
    I would assume that same feature here with this adapter focusing to Infinity without any problems.
  10. That Mamiya to Contax adapter was custom made, one of six. Since then I think someone
    makes them now. Do a search.
  11. I know this thread is old, but Mamiya makes these now for us - that seems an important addition here.


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