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Mamiya 180 F4.5 C vs. the 180 F4.5 KL L-A?

Jason Burke , Jul 05, 2010; 09:50 p.m.

Hi All,

I have not been able to find a definitive answer on this one. I am looking to buy a Mamiya 180, and can't decide if I should go with the C or KL. Any thoughts on these two lenses? They are VERY close in price on Keh, and this leads me to think that the older lens is better then the newer, or at least as good.




Marc Batters , Jul 06, 2010; 03:44 a.m.

I am familiar with the RZ's and not the RB's from Mamiya. Having said that, which series of camera body do you have in the RB line:
Pro, Pro-S, or Pro-SD?

My thoughts are, that the KL lenses have the larger throat diameter of the RB Pro-SD, (same as the entire RZ family), so I'm not sure that you can mount a KL lens on a non "SD" RB body.
Also the KL series apparently have better multi-coated elements, much like the RZ lenses. Hopefully someone with more RB experience will chime-in addressing shutters in the RB family of lenses. I seem to recall that at some point, the shutters were upgraded/improved, but I can't recall the time frame in the series, or more specifically, which lenses may have been affected.

Your wonder that the older C series might be the equal, or better than the KL series, (basing this on comparable pricing),
may just mean there are more RB Pro, and Pro-S camera owners looking for lenses, than Pro-SD owners.

The Pro-SD was produced simultaneously with the introductory run of the first RZ Pro models, so there may have been far fewer RB Pro-SD camera bodies produced than RB Pro, and Pro-S models.

Mag Miksch , Jul 06, 2010; 04:58 a.m.

IMO just the KL macro and shift lenses need the larger diameter of the SD mount. Some say, the shutter of the KL have more plastic inside and are not so reliable.

Neil Grant , Jul 06, 2010; 06:09 a.m.

The only KL lenses that won't go on an RB Pro/Pro S are the 500mm f/6 and the 75mm shift. The 180C is an excellent lens. If the 180 KL is better then it must be awesome.

Frank Major , Jul 18, 2010; 03:13 a.m.

Jason, sorry i can't contribute to the discussion other than mentioning to the Community at large that there are others reading this too!

I'm hoping to learn more about these lenses and system too!!!

Jason Burke , Jul 19, 2010; 10:46 a.m.

I went with the C version of The lens. There were a lot of positive comments about it. I ordered one of lower rating and used the extra money for an enlarger.

I only shot 5 frames with it as part of a shutter speed test that showed no issues.

Good luck with your decisions as well! But I do have the impression that the two versions are so close that it does not matter.

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