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MIREX-Tilt-Shift-Adapter for Mamiya 645 lenses

Philip Wilson , Jun 02, 2010; 02:12 p.m.

Does anyone have experience of this device. It looks like a good buy as I have a complete collection of M645 lenses from 35mm up. While it is about $400 plus shipping the fact that I get at least a 35mm, 45mm, 55mm, 80mm, 120mm and 150mm TS lens looks appealing. I have been unable to find any feedback on the device which is expensive for an adaptor but appears to show the usual German Engineering Excellence.

Responses


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Yakim Peled , Jun 02, 2010; 06:37 p.m.

I have it for about a year with Mamiya M645 35/3.5N and 120/4 macro. First let me say that it is the only adapter of its kind so if you want to turn your Mamiya M645 into TS ones you simply must buy it. That said, it's a very good one. It has its pros and cons like every product but in the end, the pros outweigh the cons. Search the alt forum in FM and you'll find plenty of threads and posts.

FWIW, here are some of my tilt pictures.

Happy shooting,
Yakim.

JDM von Weinberg , Jun 02, 2010; 07:13 p.m.

I have a shift (not tilt) adapter for my Pentacon 6 lenses, but tilt would obviously be much handier. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with a Sonnar 180mm f/2.8 shift lens. I've been looking around for some time, and I've never seen any other tilt adapter for your lenses (much less mine, they've only got Hasselblad, Mamiya, and Pentax mounts). I find there may be some possibility of a P6 to whatever + the Mirex (link), however; I need to look into that. No information is actually given about how to do it that I can see.

You've probably seen a review at link. It gives you a T-mount lens*, so could presumably be mounted on virtually anything that T-mount adapters have been made for.

_______
*NOT, please note, an M42x1 Pentacon mount. Trying to screw it directly into an M42x1 camera not only wouldn't give the right lens to 'film' plane distance, it would also likely strip the threads on the camera and the adapter. Many of the pages about this identify the mount as an M42 mount without mentioning that it is the M42x0.75 T-mount, not the M42x1 camera mount.

Charles Griffin , Jun 03, 2010; 08:49 a.m.

There's another company that specializes in such adapters:
http://www.zoerk.com/pages/p_pshift.htm

Yakim Peled , Jun 03, 2010; 09:31 a.m.

From their website:
For use on focal plane shutter cameras, such as the Pentax 67 / 67 II, Mamiya 645, and Contax 645 the shortest focal length that will also provide infinity focus is 120mm or longer. Shorter lenses may be used for table top and close up photography where the full focusing range is not needed.

I couldn't live with this limitation but YMMV.

Happy shooting,
yakim.

Philip Wilson , Jun 03, 2010; 09:44 p.m.

Yakim - since you have experience of this adaptor can you tell me how good the quality is. I will soon buy the 17 or 24 II TS lens from canon and thought that the adaptor might make a useful contribution in addition. To date I have used either an old FD 35 F2.8 TS lens or a Fuji GX680 (which has a lot of front movement) for these type of shots. Looking at some of the links it appears that the mamiya lenses are up to the standard neede for the 5DII. When you say that only 120mm or longer lenses have infinity focus what is the cause of this - I was hoping to use 35, 45, 55, 80, 120 macro and 150 lenses with this adaptor.

Yakim Peled , Jun 06, 2010; 02:37 a.m.

As far as BQ goes, it is excellent. However, the basic design is not without flaws. Here's a quote from a mail I wrote to Markus (Mirex) last month:

Shift: This is the best feature to use. Very simple to operate and with definitive clicks. Unfortunately, for my own specific style I use it the least.

Tilt: This feature is also simple to operate but the lack of definitive clicks results in a lens which simply does not stay in the tilt angle that you set but fall downwards. This problem does not occur with short lenses like my 35/3.5 but becomes a major nuisance when I use my 120/4 macro when extended to its longest setting. I am thus forced to hold it by hand! I'm sure that if it had clicks like the shift feature it would help a lot.

Rotate: Quite frankly, this is the worse designed feature of all. While - as I stated above - it works as designed, I can only describe the access to the toothed "wheel" as very uncomfortable.

Apart from this, a prime disadvantage of this adapter lies not on it but on the Mamiya M645 system. The widest rectilinear lens is the 35/3.5 N. Even on FF it may not be wide enough at times and my only camera is the 7D. :-( For that reason I recently decided to sell my whole Mirex/Mamiya system and get either the 17/4 TS or (less likely) the 24/3.5 II. I could live with non-perfect design if the price is significantly lower (and it indeed is) but the lack of true WA is a much bigger problem IMHO as it is not solvable.

However, as you plan to get the 17/4 TS or the 24/3.5 II this will not be a problem for you. Therefore you basically have two choices. Either buy the Mirex and use it for the longer FL (which is what I recommends you to do) or get the longer TS Canons. Going with the first route is much cheaper and also enables you the use of the vast M645 system (both yours and others). Going with the second route limits you to just two lenses but those two will be much easier to use.

I just returned from a two-day trip shooting a lot of landscape, something I don't do often. I had many lenses at my disposal (including orphaned 300/2.8 IS and 400/2.8 IS...) but the ones I spent most time with were the 10-22, the 15 FE and the 17 TS. Ergonomically speaking the 17 TS is much easier to use because of the knobs. However, the Mirex can't copy that design as there's simply no room for them. The gap between the Mamiya FFD and the Canon one is fixed, and rather short. One must be thankful that these features are all enabled i.e. that this adapter actually exists, that these lenses are super cheap and with superb IQ and BQ and not whine about ergonomics which are impossible to design and/or implement. :-)

A third option is, of course, get the Nikon PC lenses (beware not to use the PC-E versions). However, as you already have a fine collection of Mamiya lenses I see no reason to consider this route.

Happy shooting,

Yakim.


kevin buehler , Aug 06, 2010; 09:34 a.m.

I am using a Canon 7D with the Mirex M645 to Canon EF tilt/shift adapter. I'd say the Mirex adpater is definitely worth it given the lens quality of the Mamiya manual focus lenses versus their average price. Here's a comparison I did of two of the Mamiya lenses vs the Canon lenses I had on hand.
I looked at the Mamiya 45mm F2.8 N and Mamiya 80mm F1.9 N in comparison with the Canon 45mm TSE and 70-200mm f4L IS.

I did a bit of testing using some printed out resolution charts. I had some significant challenges getting even lighting, guaranteeing the camera was orthogonal to the test target surface (getting all 4 corners in focus simultaneously), and I of course kept bumping the camera or my footsteps subtly shook the floor during exposures (2.5second at f8). Regardless, I think I eventually got sufficient results.

******************************************************************
The first test:
Mamiya 45mm f2.8 N vs Canon 45mm f2.8 TSE

Cost: $250 vs $1000 for used lenses. Mamiya wins.

Shift: 15mm vs 11mm. Mamiya wins

Shift operation: Both systems are straight forward and simple to adjust. Tie.

Tilt: 10deg vs 8 deg. Tie. I don't care about extra 2 degrees.
Neither has significant performance loss when tilted.

Tilt operation: Mirex's tilt is a bit "sticky", so takes a few tries
to get the tilt at the correct angle. Also, difficult to make smaller
tilt adjustments. Canon wins.

Rotate operation: The Mirex adapter is a bit of a pain to rotate.
However, rotations aren't done as frequently as the other movements, so no a big deal. Slight edge to Canon.

Resolution: Canon clearly the champ, especially while shifted.
Stopping Mamiya down to f5.6 evens things up a bit.

Chromatic Aberrations: Almost identical, which is to say they are
there. If printing to 8x10 or smaller, not really noticeable. Tie.

Vignetting: Almost identical. It's there on both lenses, worse at
wide apertures and higher shift. Tie.

Focus operation: Canon focus confirmation is nice ... but not all that
helpful in most scenarios. Both have very smooth, long travel focus
rings. Slight edge to Canon.

Aperture operation: Canon is a little nicer since camera can
automatically leave iris wide open for focusing, then stop down for
the exposure. The aperture ring on the Mamiya works fine. Slight
edge to Canon.

Conclusion: Canon is clearly better, but is it $750 better? 45mm
TSE's future in my lens arsenal is uncertain.


******************************************************************
The next test:
Mamiya 80mm f1.9 N vs Canon 70-200mm f4 L IS (set to 80mm)
Mamiya 80mm f1.9 N in tilt/shift operation vs Mamiya 45mm f2.8 N and Canon 45mm f2.8 TSE

While not direct competition, was useful to compare the resolving
power of the Mamiya 80mm to the Canon 70-200mm f4L IS in 80mm range.

Similarly, compared the tilt/shift operation against the other lenses.

Cost: $365. A bit more expensive than the other Mamiya lenses, but
very reasonable when compared against any nearby competitor (Canon
85mm f1.8 is more expensive).

Shift: 80mm looks great when shifted up to 11mm, even at f1.9. At
11mm shift and f4, the lens is out resolving the sensor. At 15mm, it
definitely degrades, but not as much as the 45mm f2.8 N. Stopping it
down to even f2.8 improves things significantly and by f5.6 @ 15mm
shift, the lens is again out resolving the sensor!

Tilt and tilt operation: At 80mm, the ability to fine tune tilt is
even more important than at wider angles. Doing this tuning takes a
bit more effort than Canon's 45mm TSE (and I'm assuming the Canon 90mm
TSE would be the same). Never the less, it is still workable. It
just takes a second or two longer. Tilted, the 80mm performs great.

Resolution: Amazing. Super sharp lens. At f1.9 with no shift or
tilt, the lens matches the sensor resolution, even towards the
corners. However, there is some degradation in micro contrast. At
f2.8, the contrast improves significantly with little to no
improvement stopping down below this. The 70-200mm is a really sharp
lens, there is almost no perceivable change in contrast or sharpness
from f4 to f8 (it is clearly out performing the 7d sensor).

Chromatic Aberrations: Almost none. At full 15mm shift and looking at the far edge and looking at pixel level detail there is a little bit
of C.A. Certainly less C.A. than the 70-200mm F4L IS, which doesn't
have very much.

Vignetting: Not much. With no shift (0 mm), it is not noticeable,
even at f1.9. With 11mm shift there is a little vignetting up to
about f2.8 or f4. At 15mm shift, it is mostly gone by f4 and not
noticeable at f5.6.

Focus operation: F1.9 helps to achieve super sharp focus (when next
stopping down a bit for the actual shot). Big focus ring movement is
nice. Certainly no match for the 70-200mm f4L IS auto-focus, but if
just comparing manual focus, they are even with maybe a slight edge to the Mamiya 80mm f1.9 N.

Aperture operation: The aperture ring on the Mamiya works fine.

Flare: None of these lenses show significant flare issues under my test conditions.

Conclusion: So far, the 80mm F1.9 N lens by itself looks like
it makes the Mirex system worth it. I don't see myself getting a
Canon 90mm TSE when this lens is an option.

Yakim Peled , Aug 15, 2010; 03:11 a.m.

I fully agree that the cost effectiveness of the Mirex/Mamiya is far greater than the Canons. Nevertheless, I just sold my kit in order to get the 24/3.5 II. The WA and ergonomics limitations were - in the end - just too much for me.

Happy shooting,

Yakim.

Florian Gradwohl , Oct 03, 2010; 04:20 a.m.

Hi,
I have a new Kit for sale:

Mirex - Canon/Mamiya
Mamyia – Sekor C 35mm 1:3,5 N
Mamyia – Sekor C 80mm 1:2,8 N
Mamyia – Sekor C 150mm 1:3,5 N

anybody interested ?


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