Tony Howell Photography

Mamiya Lens Tests by Tony Howell

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Phase One LogoPhase One 645AF

Camera used for these tests

Phase One 645AF (same as Mamiya 645AFD III) with P45 digital back 39 Megapixels resolution

Produces 112mb (8 bit) files suitable for huge prints.

Manually-focused images using Mamiya FD 402 focus magnifier, tripod, no wind, bright but overcast. I used glasses but am not great at focusing (long sighted!). I still prefer it to AF though. Mamiya Electronic release used. I'm not technically-minded, I'm only interested in how lenses perform in real situations. These tests are not comprehensive, but will hopefully help anyone interested in buying these products, or anyone who already owns them but hasn't tested them yet (why haven't you!). I'm just sharing this information because I looked for it on the web, but couldn't find enough about these lenses. Mamiya lenses are excellent if you understand how to get the best from them, and they're at bargain prices on the used market.

Mamiya 300mm f5.6 for any 645 and 645AF

Brief Summary: - Fixed telephoto lens with good resolution, good corners, centre best at f8. Built in hood. Needs fast shutter speeds if using a high-res back or you'll get fuzzy camera-shake nightmares (use ISO200 or 400). Easy to use on bright days at infinity, any other time beware, hard to focus. Still, a bargain on the used market 8/10

Mamiya 300mm

Okay, here's the subject I used to do this brief test. I was 20 feet away from this roof, and at f8 the only zone of sharp focus is inside the grey lines. This very shallow depth-of-field could be useful if you want to isolate your subject from it's surroundings, say a person or flower, but I think I'll mainly be using this lens for infinity subjects: -

Image test

Centre at f8 (a little down from centre). Even in this small section you can see the
incredibly shallow depth-of-field : -


I recommend this lens, it's a used bargain. Just be very careful with focusing.

Here's a recent shot followed by a 100 % crop: -


1/1000th, f8 ISO100, tripod.
100 % crop: -

Boat Zoomed

I would recommend doing your own tests with all your lenses. I learn a lot from doing this, and know what to expect from this lens when out in the field.

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Mamiya 120mm macro review | Mamiya 105-210mm review | Mamiya 55-110mm review
Mamiya 300mm review | Mamiya 50mm Shift lens review