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Rickard Aall

Medium format lenses on PL mount S35, options?

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Curious to know if anyone here has experience with shooting medium format lenses like the M645s on PL mount S35 cameras.

I have a Sekor C 35mm lens that I've played around with a little on my GH5 with adapter and speedbooster. It's the shortest of the M645 set, so tending toward normal as far as FoV go on this set up, but I can work with that and I quite like the look of it. So a little eager to make a kit of them, but I'm trying to figure out if these kind of lenses can make sens on PL mount cameras like the Sony F35 as well. I find a M645 to PL mount adapter which looks solid, but unfortunately no focal reducer. Is there such a thing or maybe someone who custom makes? Or maybe there are some other lense options too concider?

Edited by Rickard Aall

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Well as you’ve found the focal lengths are quite long for smaller formats like S35 or 4/3”, and the apertures quite slow compared to lenses made for those formats, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to go to the trouble of adapting them when there are so many options particularly for S35 PL.

Because they use a larger recording area and need less magnification to the viewing format, the resolution also doesn’t need to be as high, so they can seem quite soft compared to lenses made for S35.

Having said that, both Duclos and GL Optics have done PL conversions of Mamiya medium format lenses, usually for use on large format cameras rather than S35 ones. I’ve seen a set of the GL Optics ones and they did produce quite lovely images.

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I have a set of M645 lenses that have been Cine Modded and have PL mounts. They are lovely lenses, but for S35 work, they are perhaps a little slow. As Dom says, they are not as sharp as lenses made for S35, although that's not necessarily a problem. For full frame work, they are great.

There is a wider lens than the 35mm. It’s a 24mm f4 lens that is actually a fisheye on a 645 camera. As such, it’s not rectilinear so it does bend horizontal and vertical lines, even when cropped to S35.

Shameless plug: For anyone that wants to try them, my set, 24mm - 210mm is available for rent 🙂

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Mamiya 645 Secor C lenses are a little soft. It's a unique look you may or may not like. Buy an adapter and try it. Fotodiox lets you return adapters within 30 days if it doesn't work out. 

Mamiya 645 on nikon D3100.jpg

Edited by Bob Speziale

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Got the adapter for my GH5 set-up and I enjoy the image, don’t mind the softness and the crop/speed with the speedbooster is fine. 

But some valid points you guys mention. Restrictions can be very creative, but the focal reducer would make at least some degree of versatility.

On 11/30/2019 at 9:37 AM, Stuart Brereton said:

There is a wider lens than the 35mm. It’s a 24mm f4 lens that is actually a fisheye on a 645 camera. As such, it’s not rectilinear so it does bend horizontal and vertical lines, even when cropped to S35.

Ah yes. I just discard anything fisheye-y, but guess it could be nice for special shots.

On 11/30/2019 at 9:37 AM, Stuart Brereton said:

Shameless plug: For anyone that wants to try them, my set, 24mm - 210mm is available for rent 🙂

How is the interest for them? 

I’m curious to see how the interest for MF still lenses will develop in conjuction with camera releases, and hopefully someone will make that PL adapter+focal reducer for these in particular. 

Hasselblad MF lenses are rehoused with the option of an additional focal reducer in Finland, but unfortunately only compatible with their rehoused lenses (somehow).

Thanks for your input. Will continue to look at other options.

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22 minutes ago, Rickard Aall said:

Ah yes. I just discard anything fisheye-y, but guess it could be nice for special shots.

 

It's only fisheye on a 645 camera. On S35, all you'll see is a very mild bend. Whether that bothers you is a different question.

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11 minutes ago, Stuart Brereton said:

It's only fisheye on a 645 camera. On S35, all you'll see is a very mild bend. Whether that bothers you is a different question.

Ah ok! In that case it could be more interesting for me. Thanks again!

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pentacon six lenses can be used with an intermediate locking adapter on PL, no need to modify the lenses themselves at all. By my experience they tend to not be very high quality on small formats compared to other options. Don't bother with the cheapest ones if you go with Pentacon6 mount lenses. the MIR and Kaleinar are not very good by my tests and don't have any interesting look to them. Zeiss Jena ones are OK but the ones I have tried did not perform very well on full aperture and should be stopped down approx. 3 stops to be viable option on smaller than FF formats. Additionally the Zeiss Jena ones have a bit counterintuitive iris mechanics and the iris adjustment can stop working correctly if you store them for long or if they are in bad shape in general or if they just don't like your face or the movie project in general (there is couple of springs inside which transfer the iris adjustment forward and the spring balance can easily go wrong which makes them stick to fully open or fully closed aperture or somewhere in between)

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I would try to find adapted FF lenses for shorter focal lengths and the longest ones could be done with large format lenses if you like. 

I would probably do everything under 80mm with adapted FF lenses and try to match the 80, 120, 180 with large format if going this route. For example black versions of the P6 Zeiss Jena lenses ( 80/2.8, 120/2.8, 180/2.8) on longer and then do short ones with something like rollei hft lenses adapted to PL if you can get them to match (haven't tried that but I believe they could be ok for this) . there is a 20/4 Zeiss Jena which can be found PL adapted (maybe there was also the 2.8 version of it, I don't remember) which would do on low budget though I have understood it is not particularly high quality contrast and mft wise

Edited by aapo lettinen

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Rickard: Nice one trying out the medium format lenses. I would have to agree that for super35 they are just too long and not fast enough. 

I have a set of Zeiss T* 645 lenses that I found an adaptor to E-Mount to play around on my A7sii, also in the hope of potentially adapting them to cinema lenses one day (since sensors seem to be getting larger every odd year now it seems like a good potential investment) 

However, I tested these on a micro shoot and also found the same softness that the Mamiyas apparently exhibit. The images look as if there is a softening filter in front of lens. It could be seen as beautiful, but there is no controlling the level of softness as you could do with a set of filters. It was also really hard to find focus on the wider lenses with subjects closer to infinity. There just wasn't enough resolution there! 

I will still need to do more testing, as I do feel that on larger sensor cameras they could be amazing. 

 

 

 

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On 11/30/2019 at 10:37 AM, Stuart Brereton said:

I have a set of M645 lenses that have been Cine Modded and have PL mounts. They are lovely lenses, but for S35 work, they are perhaps a little slow. As Dom says, they are not as sharp as lenses made for S35, although that's not necessarily a problem. For full frame work, they are great.

There is a wider lens than the 35mm. It’s a 24mm f4 lens that is actually a fisheye on a 645 camera. As such, it’s not rectilinear so it does bend horizontal and vertical lines, even when cropped to S35.

Shameless plug: For anyone that wants to try them, my set, 24mm - 210mm is available for rent 🙂

Do you have any examples of work shot on these lenses? Would be amazing to see them in action. 

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40 minutes ago, Marco S King said:

Do you have any examples of work shot on these lenses? Would be amazing to see them in action. 

I don't I'm afraid. We did use them a little on a movie I shot recently, but I don't have any screengrabs or clips to show.

42 minutes ago, Marco S King said:

found the same softness that the Mamiyas apparently exhibit.

To be clear, when I say that the Mamiyas are not as sharp as modern s35 glass, I'm not saying that they are soft. If you're shooting focus charts and studying line pairs, you'll see that they are slightly softer, but in general use they have a pleasing look that lacks the harshness that super sharp lenses sometimes have on digital video. Many older lenses, like Speed Panchros, Super Baltars, or Zeiss Standards have similar performance.

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