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04-14-2009, 09:08 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfotog Quote
Thanks. I've bought quite a bit from KEH over the years. A top notch company. I'm waiting for the 45/4 prices to drop a bit, then I'll probably try another one.
I've been waiting for the 45mm prices to drop for a long time. They haven't budged much.

04-14-2009, 02:48 PM   #17
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Hi All,
Well finally got a 55mm lens from Shutterblade........and a 75 f4.5........and a 105, almost had a 165 as well but ended while i was asleep
Probably end up with a 165 and perhaps a 300.
All of them went for under $200US which i think is good value for such good lenses.
When you see that you can buy into the system for less than a $800 US and get a 67ii + 105 in great condition it really makes good sense.
And then on top of that you get lens choice.
I was also looking at an Xpan but the price is astronomical and you get a choice of 3 lenses in total each worth between $900 and $3000 each or mamiya or fuji which have one or two lenses. They dont add up to value.
Pentax still rules here !
Cheers Neil
04-14-2009, 09:27 PM   #18
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QuoteQuote:
knumbnutz: Hi All,
Well finally got a 55mm lens from Shutterblade........and a 75 f4.5........and a 105, almost had a 165 as well but ended while i was asleep
Probably end up with a 165 and perhaps a 300.
All of them went for under $200US which i think is good value for such good lenses.
When you see that you can buy into the system for less than a $800 US and get a 67ii + 105 in great condition it really makes good sense.
And then on top of that you get lens choice.
I was also looking at an Xpan but the price is astronomical and you get a choice of 3 lenses in total each worth between $900 and $3000 each or mamiya or fuji which have one or two lenses. They dont add up to value.
Pentax still rules here !
Cheers Neil
I agree, great value for these awesome lenses. Best of luck to you in MF world.
05-05-2009, 09:14 PM   #19
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Knumbnutz,
How did those lenses from Shutterblade work out? I got a 45/4 from them for $240. It arrived this afternoon in nicer shape than they described. I'm hoping third times the charm with this lens as my earlier copies were soft. Hope to test it out later in the week.

05-10-2009, 08:17 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by surfotog Quote
Knumbnutz,
How did those lenses from Shutterblade work out? I got a 45/4 from them for $240. It arrived this afternoon in nicer shape than they described. I'm hoping third times the charm with this lens as my earlier copies were soft. Hope to test it out later in the week.

Hi Surfotog,
My lenses (55,75,104) arrived a week before i left for China on holidays so i havent fired them in anger yet.
But they are in Very Good condition and like you am happy with condition and mechanics, no rattles etc. So if they perform as good as it looks then i'll be real happy. So far so good.
I'll let you know when i get back.
Cheers Neil
05-17-2009, 08:10 AM   #21
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I have both the latest 45mm and 55mm (f/4 latest version) lenses. As far as I know no 45mm lens is very sharp in the far corners. Different copies of the lens may vary but don't expect a 45mm with tack sharp corners. I have compared the lenses at a few apertures and found that the 55mm is clearly sharper than the 45mm wide open. At f/11-f/16 the 55mm is very slightly sharper than the 45mm. Corners on 55mm seem better throughout. The 45 suffers some chromatic aberration along high contrast edges, which is visible or at least detectable at all apertures (at least up to around f/16 as far as I know), but rarely is it an obvious problem. Chromatic aberration on the 55mm is extremely well controlled. The 45mm shows some distortion (although not very much) which can be both a disadvantage or an advantage for some nice landscape shots. The 55mm has very little distortion.
05-17-2009, 05:34 PM   #22
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Thanks Al-khalil,

Thats good to hear your experience on the lens, sounds fair.
Makes me wonder how hasselblad did a 30mm rectilinear lens for the xpan ? and its real small.
No matter. I have been to a couple of camera shops here in Shanghai and have seen lots of lenses in mint for just about every camera on earth and also most new 67 lenses inc 45mm.
But i'm not getting any more now till i get a 200~ length.

Cheers Neil
05-17-2009, 08:53 PM   #23
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Must be a bunch of variation on the 45mm. I bought mine new around '00 and the 30"X40" prints have surprisingly sharp corners--see any of the wide angle shots on my website under the Series 1 Gallery tab (to my eye, the distortion in the corners is more noticeable than softness). Several high-end galleries have shown them and 30x40 Ilfochromes have been selling at $2500 framed with nothing but happy customers. I've sold several for magazine use including full-page spreads without any whining from editors about soft corners.

I'm hyper-critical about sharpness and my copy of this lens delivers--at least well enough to sell on both fine art and periodical markets. Don't know how much more you'd want from a lens?

So perhaps the moral of the story is to check carefully regarding this lens' performance much as you'd have to do with a purchase of a DA*16-50 f/2.8 for digi bodies. Sure glad I got the copy I have!

05-18-2009, 02:32 AM   #24
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Hi Ron,
Sample variation is the only thing I can think of as well. The 45mm earns high praise from many, but it and an old 400/4 takumar I had were the only 67 lenses that have disappointed me, and the old 400/4 is highly regarded as well. I haven't had a chance to put my new bargain 45 through it's paces yet, as I've been busy doing plant studies with the 100/4 macro. I tried a few using the M* 300/4 as well. I'm hoping the "new" 45 will be a keeper. If not, I may end up shooting WA with my old 5x7" Linhof and a 90/8 Nikkor SW.
I'm hyper-critical about sharpness myself, that's why my first two 45's got the boot.
05-18-2009, 02:40 AM   #25
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Hi Ron,
I think it is typical of any lens but mostly digital compared to Film.
How many times did anyone (or does anyone) buy a film lens, take a set of test images and blow them up to 100% and check them for softness ? or am i the only one that thinks that this is a thing of the digital age and perhaps can be too nit picky.

I hear often as well about (for example) that the fa43 has soft corners or something, but in reality when it is mostly a portraits then does corner softness really matter at all ?

On the other hand I see lenses like the 67 45mm as being a landscape lens....

Anyway, i am on both sides or in the middle, we should like our lenses, find and understand their niche in our photographic lineup and use them to their potential. We should also and obviously not put up with substandard quality, but i think lenses by their very nature are 80%good its just that digital is able to immediately showup what film didnt, that 100%crop thing again.

Cheers Neil
05-18-2009, 09:54 AM   #26
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8x loupe on a light table is more than a 100% crop so critical focus isn't any less noticeable with film. Also, what sells to the magazines is the scans which are digital. I pretty much only shoot landscapes with the 45mm and print Ilfochromes without digitizing or sharpening. Don't sharpen my scans either--kind of old school on this. I'm convinced it's sample variations from lens to lens.

I'm looking at the foreground corners of two 30x40's on my wall right now, they are sharper than one would expect from a wide angle though I can see the distortion. Seriously, in my Series 1 Gallery look at the foreground corners in Sea of Green and The 'Fridge images. Even at wimpy internet resolution, you can see that wide angle distortion is more noticeable than image softness. Both those images have lots of corner detail to analyze so they aren't like the "lost corners" in a portrait.

Not trying to be defensive, and definitely not trying to slur the 55mm which is also a tremendous performer. Just don't want someone to skip the more useful landscape angle of the 45mm over worries that just aren't accurate for every 45mm lens. When I say more useful for landscapes, I'm referring mainly to the modern "bent" for exaggerated foreground elements and the need for extreme close-up performance while still getting infinity sharp as well--shooting at hyperfocal distance is how many of my wide angle shots are done. On the Sea of Green image on my website, the foreground plants are just over 18" from the lens and that perspective is critical to the success of that shot--it's my second best seller as a framed print. The 55mm just doesn't do that perspective the same way the 45mm does. I'm no Mark Muench or Jack Dykinga or anything, but that super wide perspective is pretty important in much of the landscape work being done right now.

By the way, those shots are at f/22--diffraction be damned!

Stop down with the 43ltd to landscape apertures and corners are completely different than at 1.9...perhaps some of the slam on the 45mm is at wide open? I've never tried it wide open. (anyone else notice that virtually all the "tests" done on this particular forum are conducted at wide apertures?). Also note that some of the internet test buzz on the 45mm is extremely positive regarding sharpness and others are negative? Again, that suggests variation in samples...
05-18-2009, 11:07 AM   #27
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Hi Guys,
If I could weigh in again, perhaps I should have been more clear. I'm not saying the 45/4 is a bad lens, only that my copies were VERY soft in the corners, almost "smeared". This was not at wide apertures, but even at F/11-F/22, which should be the sweet spot for this lens. I too, consider the 45/4 to be a landscape lens, and mine never held sufficient detail in the corners. I chalked this up to bad luck. I like to be able to print big, so I examine my shots with 8x and 15x loupes. If you want to print big, you have to be super- critical about the sharpness of the image.

Sample variation is just something photographers have to deal with. It is very real and quite common. I've talked to a lot of Canon shooters, and they grumble about out of whack lenses, right out of the box, and not the cheapo kit lenses, but some expensive "L" models.

The only manufacturer I haven't heard these complaints about is Leica. Perhaps part of the astronomical prices of their lenses are tighter tolerances, and stricter quality control.

Scott
05-18-2009, 12:32 PM   #28
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My defensive posture is not directed at you surf dude...more so to al and nummy who make it sound like there's no such thing as a sharp 45mm and that I am just not very good at analyzing critical focus. As a former senior editor of a full color glossy magazine and as a guy who has sold nearly 1000 images for publication plus selling high-end chrome prints in the art world, trust me (famous last words) there is such a thing as a sharp 45mm. And I'm the lucky owner of one! It's good enough to be worth trying to find one--as you are surfotog. Hopefully, your "new" attempt will prove fruitful!
05-18-2009, 01:01 PM   #29
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Hi Ron, I didn't think your defense of the 45 was directed at me. I KNOW there are sharp 45's out there, that's the frustrating part. I don't usually do a lot of WA shooting, but I have a project in mind for the summer for which the 45 is perfectly suited. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that third times the charm. If not, I'll dust of the old Linhof. That thing is a beast, but if you like to look at a 6x7 chrome on the light table, imagine a 5x7"! That's a lot of real estate.
05-18-2009, 04:48 PM   #30
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Pentax has had variations in quality with a number of lenses in the past. Not just the optics but also the fit of the lens to the body. Never saw that with Leica. I bought my 45mm new, circa 1990 and have a good copy, but if one is expecting this lens to be at the 100-110 LP/mm range, this is unrealistic. Its small scale brother used on the Leicaflex SL2, the 21mm Super Angulon-R, is much sharper. This is no surprise since geometric optics tells us that when scaling up to a larger size, the aberrations increase with the scale up. They are very similar in cross section. The trick of the medium format lens designer is to retain the minimal aberrations of the 35mm format design; not easy! Medium format lens must be better corrected just to be on par with the smaller format lenses.

It is my belief that since new 45s are no longer available, the used market ones have a higher chance of being soft because previous owners may have sold due to softness. People hold onto the good copies.
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