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Medium Format lenses

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    jembo
    jembo  10104 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 Nov 2012 - 12:38 PM

    Has anyone tried using a medium format lens on a DSLR body (via an adapter)?
    I just wondered how quality compares to standard SLR lenses and the pro's and con's of trying such a combination?
    I know there will be an effective difference in the focal length, but I would imagine (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that the image from the edge of the lens would fall outside of the sensor area so only the best bit of the lens glass would be utilised. Or am I missing something?

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    18 Nov 2012 - 12:38 PM

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    thewilliam
    18 Nov 2012 - 12:56 PM

    Take a look at the Zeiss site www.zeiss.de where this FAQ is answered rather well.

    Zeiss gives figures but the ZM fitting lenses perform substantially better than the ZF for Nikon which in turn perform better than the ZV lenses for Hasselblad. Many of us have always reckoned the hasselblad lenses to be pretty good.

    When the designer has to allow space for a reflex mirror, the lens performance is reduced and it's even worse for the larger mirror of the medium-format cameras. The Hasselblad Superwide uses the Zeiss Biogon in a non-reflex body and the performance is legendary.

    Last Modified By thewilliam at 18 Nov 2012 - 12:57 PM
    Sooty_1
    Sooty_1 Critique Team 41207 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
    18 Nov 2012 - 5:59 PM

    ZM is Leica M fit.
    The Hassie SWC uses a 38mm Biogon on 6x6.

    Nick

    davewaine
    davewaine  7115 forum posts England3 Constructive Critique Points
    18 Nov 2012 - 6:08 PM

    I had a Mamiya 645 once and the lenses for that were superb. Mamiya produced a 35mm back for the camera, but that is not really the same thing as using the lens on a DSLR. Not completely sure it would work.

    Railcam
    Railcam  7477 forum posts Scotland
    18 Nov 2012 - 6:32 PM

    I seem to remember that Pentax made an adapter so that lenses for the Pentax 6x7 could be used on their 35mm SLRs.

    jembo
    jembo  10104 forum posts United Kingdom
    18 Nov 2012 - 6:44 PM

    Adapters are available, I was more wondering about the quality.

    thewilliam
    18 Nov 2012 - 8:48 PM

    Jembo, visit the Zeiss site.

    Unless you already have MF lenses available but not 35mm of the same focal length, you probably won't want to bother with the adapter. But a good medium format lens will perform better than a cheapie for 35mm and miles better than no lens at all.

    There are very few zooms for MF.

    Railcam
    Railcam  7477 forum posts Scotland
    18 Nov 2012 - 9:19 PM


    Quote: Adapters are available, I was more wondering about the quality

    I was assumimg that Pentax must have thought that their 6x7 lenses were of sufficient quality for their 35mm SLRs or they would not have made the adapters. Smile

    thewilliam
    19 Nov 2012 - 12:47 AM

    I used the Pentax 6x7 system back in the 1970s and the lenses were superb but so were the Pentax lenses for 35mm. I'm sure the adapter was to enable owners to use a focal length that they wouldn't otherwise have.

    Sooty_1
    Sooty_1 Critique Team 41207 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Nov 2012 - 10:01 AM

    It's much easier to fit a MF lens to 35mm as the larger bodies have longer distance to the film plane, so an adapter can be used with no real penalty. Most MF lenses are manual focus anyway, so you lose no functionality.

    MF lenses do indeed use the centre of the field for 35mm, ie the optically best part. The reason they seem better is that MF is enlarged less for the same size result, but all things being equal, they are only marginally better than 35mm specific lenses. Bear in mind that there are few zooms, so as with 35mm, primes are generally better than zooms of the same vintage.

    Nick

    thewilliam
    19 Nov 2012 - 10:39 AM


    Quote: The reason they seem better is that MF is enlarged less for the same size result, but all things being equal, they are only marginally better than 35mm specific lenses. Nick

    Nick, visit the zeiss.de site and see what they have to say about MF vs 35mm lenses. The folk at Zeiss do know something about optics!

    Sooty_1
    Sooty_1 Critique Team 41207 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Nov 2012 - 12:42 PM

    I looked at the website and got bored trying to navigate the interminable sales blurb. The one thing they seem very very good at is telling you just how good their lenses are

    Do you have a link? It's hard to see on my phone.

    thewilliam
    19 Nov 2012 - 5:12 PM

    Sorry Nick, the rotters have changed the site and it isn't in the new version.

    Basically from memory, lenses for Leica M are about 100lppm better than ZF for Nikon which are some 100lppm better than the lenses for Hasselblad V series.

    I use Zeiss ZF and ZV lenses for much of my work so I already know how good they are. This means that I don't even notice the sales hype.

    Sooty_1
    Sooty_1 Critique Team 41207 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Nov 2012 - 9:19 PM

    So from what you say, Leica versions resolve better than Nikon versions, which are better than than Hassie versions, though it isn't a level playing field as the Hassie lenses are medium format, so won't be enlarged nearly as much as the 35mm equivalent Leica or Nikon versions.

    The Zeiss ZM would be my choice for Leica if I didn't have Leitz glass. Maybe for the wide angle I really want..... (ZM 21 f/2.8 looks good. You know how much a 21 Elmarit Asph is???)

    I'd have one.

    thewilliam
    20 Nov 2012 - 9:03 AM

    Getting back to the OP's question...... An adapter will allow use of an MF lens where Jembo doesn't have the same focal length in a 35mm type. But this is a second-best option.

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