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Mamiya 645 150mm lens, 2.8 or 3.5?

Frank Bunnik , Jul 26, 2008; 05:51 a.m.

I am looking for a 150mm lens for my Mamiya 645 camera. There is a choice of the 3.5 or the 2.8 versions (not considering the 4.0). Except for a brighter image in the viewfinder, what is the benefit of the 2.8 version? I will use it for landscapes and portraits. Thanks for your help, Frank.


Steve Levine , Jul 26, 2008; 07:16 a.m.

You will get a fraction of a stop more speed, and slightly less DoF wide open with the F3.5. Both lenses are well made and are capable of professional results. I've used the "C" version of the F3.5 for years with outstanding results. The "N" versions of these lenses are newer than the "C" glass, and have supposedly better coatings.

Having used both N & C glass both indoors and out. I have never seen much difference. (of course I always use maximum shading with a bellows type lens hood.)

Bogdan Nicolescu , Jul 26, 2008; 04:16 p.m.

150mm f/2.8 A - APO quality

Rodeo Joe , Jul 27, 2008; 05:17 p.m.

I have both the f/3.5 and f/4 versions, and can't see much difference between the two - either through the viewfinder or in the film image. Both lenses are good and sharp at all apertures, and I can't see how the f/2.8 version could improve on either of them by very much.

If you use mainly black and white, then the f/2.8 apo won't offer you anything except a slightly brighter image (by 3/4 of a stop) and a lot more bulk and weight. If you shoot mainly colour and like working wide open, then the f/2.8 just might be worth the premium that you'll pay for it.

William Markey , Jul 28, 2008; 10:38 a.m.

I've used the 3.5 "C" (studio's) and "N" (mine) 150mm for years and love it. It gives creamy, out-of-focus backgrounds that are perfect. Don't see that the 2.8 would be that much better--in fact, I'm not sure, but 2.8 may have too shallow depth of field and cause you to stop down to 3.5 anyway. In any case, the 150mm is the perfect portrait lens--I hate using anything shorter for portraits.

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