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Archive 2009 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8
  
 
Paul Yi
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Does anyone have any experience with this lens?
If so, how does it compare to Canon EF300/2.8L IS, or to 300/4L IS?

Thank you in advance for your input.



May 11, 2009 at 05:48 PM
Conner999
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


I know Jim C here loves his 300 Mamy ;> I know I lust after it (made mistake of handling it briefly).

The 300 2.8 IS makes the 300/4 look like it's out of focus. I've owned the 300/2.8 and 300/4 -- both non-IS. The 300/2.8 was yards ahead of the F4 and the IS version of the 2.8 is supposedly even better than my older 2.8.

The 300/4 is nice, but does not have the fine detail rendition of the 2.8 - not by a long shot. Shooting soccer players with a 1Ds would find gross details sharp, but finer detail in their faces, etc were just not there. I sold the 300/4, which is considered mildly sharper than the IS version BTW after my first season using it.

In short, being used to Leica APO optics - I'd narrow by comparison of the 300s to the Mamiya APO and 300/2.8 IS. I've handled Jim C's Mamiya and handling wise I'd call it on pair with the 300/2.8 IS - maybe even a bit better balanced. Given the 300 Mamiya is considered sharper than the 200 and the 200 is a Leica-APO quality barn-burner...



May 11, 2009 at 07:39 PM
gasrocks
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Maybe not in the same price range, but how does this compare with the Leica R 280/4 APO?


May 11, 2009 at 07:43 PM
Conner999
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


I've not used the 280/4 APO but given as how it is considered the sharpest resolving lens Leica makes.... Now that said, one has to decide if the detail you'd see at 100% on screen from a 280/4 shots vs say the Mamiya 300 (or any other lens of a similar performance category) would show itself in the size of prints you normally make and thus would the price difference be justified.

The 300 APO is, w/o question, on my list, but my Mamy 200 APO does an amazing job on my 1DS2 with the EoS 1.4x, starting wide open, on prints up to 17x22 (Epson 3800) on Harman FB AL. One has to bear in mind that both the Mamiya 200 and 300 2.8 APO were two of Mamiya's highest highest performing (and priced) M645 lenses at the time. The 200 APO was, to my surprise, some of the best $ I've ever spent.



May 11, 2009 at 08:02 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


I'm also wondering how it would compare to my Leica Apo 180/2.8 with 2x Apo Converter.




May 11, 2009 at 10:11 PM
Conner999
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Hard to say. I used the 180/2 APO with a Leica 2x APO and it did require a stop-down to 5.6 to get some of that magic back -- you were magnifying the image 2x, Leica or no Leica. The same lens with the Leica 1.4x APO was magnificent starting WO.

For my taste, a primo prime will always beat an equally good but shorter lens with a TC - all other factors being equal. All comes down to how often you use the FL in question, $$, size, etc.




May 11, 2009 at 10:48 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Hi Paul,

The Mamiya A 300/2.8 APO exceeds my expectations in every respect. It has extremely high resolution, moderate to high contrast, moderate colour saturation, no vignetting, and no CA in even very challenging conditions. As Conner999 said, it's well balanced. Also, it's extremely well made, but not weather sealed. I've used it with a simple rain cover made from a sliced-open kayaking dry bag in very bad weather, so it's not really a problem.

Using the USAF 1951 test target from 13m distance with LiveView on a 40D, it reaches 71 line-pairs per mm (lpmm) in the centre at f/2.8, and 80 lpmm at f/8, with 71 lpmm at the top of the frame, at f/2.8 and f/8. My 300/4L IS achieves 66 lpmm across the frame at f/4 and f/8 on a 20D using AF from about 7m. I consider my 300/4L IS to be plenty sharp, and so the 300 APO is a wonder. My 200/2.8 APO achieves 66 lpmm in the centre at f/2.8 and 74 lpmm at f/4, in the same test conditions as the 300 APO. I made the mistake of handling conner999's 200 APO - I can hardly wait until he blames me for getting a 300 APO .

The 300 APO works equally well with the Canon EF 1.4x Extender and Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG 1.4x TC (both are slightly better than the Tamron AF SP 1.4x). The Canon EF 2x II Extender seems to be slightly better than the Mamiya 2xN TC, but I use the 2xN most often, as I don't want to modify the EF 2x to get it working with the 300 APO on a 1DII (you have to grind down one of the mount flanges so it doesn't hit the AF microswitch). The 2xN is also wider and seems to be stronger that the EF 2xII.

Jim



May 12, 2009 at 12:13 AM
Conner999
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


My bank account can hardly wait..

Jim and I have a mutual support habit going. I borrow a lens of his, I return same lens and buy a copy. I borrow another lens, return, buy copy, repeat cycle.... He handles my 200 APO, buys copy w/o taking a test shot ;> I handle is 300, I start lusting after one..

Leica APO and Mamiya APO lenses (ULD units are supposedly just as sweet) share a common trait - once you own one, you know what the next copy will give you - consistently gorgeous results. All you're changing is the FL, Min aperture -- and price tag.



May 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Is there two different version of Mamiya 300/2.8?
Like...MF and AF?
Btw, what is a reasonable price for a near mint copy of this lens with Case?



May 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


There is only one version of the A 300/2.8 APO, it's manual focus. There is a newer autofocus 300/4.5 APO mm lens for M645AF, http://www.jafaphotography.com/mamiya_300.htm It's not f/2.8, but I'm confident that it's pretty good.

Two recent eBay sales of the 300/2.8 APO in near mint condition were $1775 US last month and $1550 last August. Igorcamera had one in E+ condition last month for $1735 (I highly recommend Igor), this lens is no longer listed. KEH had one in near mint condition last summer for $2700, and they have one listed in EX condition right now that includes case and filter set (I wouldn't hesitate to get that one).



May 12, 2009 at 11:04 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Paul Yi
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Thanks...
I'm still debating myself.



May 13, 2009 at 12:37 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Paul Yi wrote:
I'm still debating myself.


Who's winning ?



May 14, 2009 at 09:00 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


It's a tight game....

Is it optically on par with EF300/2.8?

I've heard it's over 5 lbs...is that about same as ef300/2.8?





May 14, 2009 at 09:55 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Paul Yi wrote:
I've heard it's over 5 lbs...is that about same as ef300/2.8?


The M645 A 300/2.8 APO is heavier than the current EF 300/2.8L IS and lighter than the older EF 300/2.8L (non-IS). Here's the vital stats, and current (pre-release) Lens$db data.

You have to add 19mm to the 237mm length of the APO to account for the M645 to EOS adapter. So, at 256mm, it's about the same length as the EF 300's, it's a bit wider (much of this for the built-in sliding hood), and it's the same weight - give or take. I'd love to have the EF 300/2.8 L IS autofocus and IS capabilities, but the 300 APO gives absolutely fantastic results in most circumstances that you need 300mm and f/2.8. Monopods and tripods are also very effective image stabilizers, unfortunately they're not built into the lens.

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May 14, 2009 at 11:20 PM
Paul Yi
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Thank you for your thorough info....


May 15, 2009 at 02:00 AM
dpap1978
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


KEH has a BGN copy for 1,219.00


Jun 07, 2009 at 04:35 PM
thrice
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Jim, Igor is ok, but my Ex++ 90 APO-Summicron-R I got from him has numerous scratches on the rear element he couldn't be bothered mentioning. I kept the lens because they were so costly elsewhere at the time and the scratches don't show up in shots.

Daniel



Jun 07, 2009 at 05:04 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


Daniel, as I hear more and more about buy & sell experiences, I think there are very few places that always get it right. I've bought many items from Igor, with no problems at all, but I don't doubt for one second that your experience was very different. Another of my favourite sellers of medium format stuff recently sent a dog of a lens to the friend of a local colleague - when advised of this, the seller wasn't very responsive at all - after a while, he finally agreed to take it back. I've had similar experience with two other sellers - one sent a lens with significant separation around the rim of the front element, another sent me a beautiful Tamron SP 180/2.5 with stinking fungus in it. In both cases, it took a quite a while to convince them that the only solution was for them to issue a full refund, and to cover shipping. In both cases, they ultimately did, but it wasn't at all pleasant. They probably would have turned me down flat if it had been my first time buying from them.

So, I guess you've always got to be vigilant, and be firm when you have a problem. Oh well - caveat emptor!



Jun 07, 2009 at 06:15 PM
Cableaddict
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


jcolwell wrote:

The M645 A 300/2.8 APO is heavier than the current EF 300/2.8L IS and lighter than the older EF 300/2.8L (non-IS). Here's the vital stats, and current (pre-release) Lens$db data.

You have to add 19mm to the 237mm length of the APO to account for the M645 to EOS adapter. So, at 256mm, it's about the same length as the EF 300's, it's a bit wider (much of this for the built-in sliding hood), and it's the same weight - give or take. .


Ah, so you guys are talking about a medium format lens.

Does this affect the FL or DOF? How does a 645 300/2.8 compare, in these respects, to an SLR 300/2.8 on a FF camera?



Jun 07, 2009 at 09:18 PM
pentaxshooter
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Mamiya Apo 300/2.8


If they are both used on a FF camera, they will behave the same.


Jun 07, 2009 at 09:31 PM
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