Lenses

With the larger negative size the field of view of medium format lenses is much wider than the field of view with the same focal length on 35mm. To make a comparison with 35mm film SLR fields of view multiply the focal length by 0.48. For instance, 90mm is ~44mm in 35 film SLR terms.

I do not see a consensus on which lens series is the best. The non-C single anti-reflective coating lenses seem to be the “worst”, but the optical difference between the K/L and C lenses is not so clear. Some commentators have indicated that the C series had poor quality control, whereas the K/L lenses–being optically the same–are better by virtue of better quality control.

Original

Single anti-reflective coated lenses released in 1970 with the original Pro

NB

These lenses are optically identical to the original lenses, but have a newer barrel design (NB) that matches the later C lenses. They only were produced briefly and are comparatively rare on the market.

C

C, apparently, stands for “Design Improvement”. These lenses are multi-coated. Released with the Pro-S in 1974. Has a “C” on the front name ring.

K/L

Most recent. These lenses are, apparently, a slightly newer design with better coatings than the C lenses. The K/L is a code to indicate which bodies the lenses are compatible with. K indicates the Pro/Pro-S bodies and L indicates the Pro-SD bodies. KL lenses all shipped with an adapter attached to the lens so that they can be mounted to Pro-SD bodies. This adapter should be removed to mount to Pro/Pro-S bodies. This adapter is a fairly simple rubber O-ring for light sealing rather than for any mechanical reason. I, personally, have not had any issues using C lenses on my Pro-SD body without the small adapter ring.

Has a “K/L” on front of the barrel.

L lenses

Compatible with Pro-SD *only*; these are the 75mm Shift lens and 500mm APO only.

APO/L

Apochromatically corrected lenses. Sometimes known as A lens. More expensive, heavier, but chromatic aberrations are better corrected.

Length (mm)Maximum ApertureGenerationAngle of View (in degrees)Weight (g)DetailsNotes
37f4.5C1801240Details fisheye distortion
50f4.5C82960More details
50f4.5Original82960Details
65f4.5C0
65f4.5Original68840Details
65f4K/L681070Details This is a new, different optical design than the earlier original and C 65mm lenses
75f3.5K/L61980Details
75f4.5S/L611700Details
90f3.8C520
90f3.5K/L52960More details
90f3.8NB520
90f3.8Original52705Details
100f5.2C471660Details100mm-200mm Zoom
127f3.8C390
127f3.8Original38 655Details
127f3.5K/L39780More details
140f4.5C36800DetailsMacro lenses with floating element to adjust plane of focus curvature.
150f3.5K/L33840Details
150f4C33790DetailsSoft focus lens
180f4.5K/L28900More details
180f4.5C280Details
180f4.5Original28875Details
210f4.5APO/L241020 More detailsApochromatic correction
250f4.5Original201310Details
250f4.5APO/L211370More detailsApochromatic correction
250f4.5K/L201130More details
250f4.5C211020Details
350f5.6APO/L151440Details
360f6.3Original141360Details
360f6.3C141040Details
360F6K/L?0Details
500f8C101980Details
500f6APO/L102360Details

Lens Accesories

Auto Extension Tubes

Two extension tubes–for use in close up photography–were produced, the No. 1 (45mm) and No. 2 (82mm).

Extension tubes were produced for the Pro and Pro-S and a different model for the Pro-SD. The Pro-SD extension tubes fit the larger lens throat of the Pro-SD body. Because of this the Pro-SD extension tubes do not fit on Pro or Pro-S bodies.

Bibliography

Mamiya Corporate Website

DiSante, T. (1981). How to Select & Use Medium-Format Cameras. HP photobooks. Tucson, AZ: H.P. Books.

15 Comments

  • Bulent Celasun
    April 12, 2012 - 4:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the informative and nicely designed site.
    I wonder if you could also add a note on the lenses marked as “A” (in addition to others); like K/L A.

  • Ivan Farkas
    May 28, 2012 - 4:59 pm | Permalink

    The answer is “yes” to “Extension tubes were produced for the Pro and Pro-S and a different model for the Pro-SD.” The SD extension tube will not fit on the Pro.

    Thanks for the info. Recently I have acquired a Pro with 2 90mm lenses, on NB and the other not. Yours was the only explanation I’ve found for this abbreviation.

  • Nanzetta merriman
    June 12, 2012 - 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Just received a c 50mm lens the rest of my lenses are Kl so I am not use to C lenses and I have a question.

    On the base of the lens there is a dial labled M and N – is the the miror lockup – how does it work?

    • jodys
      June 13, 2012 - 9:58 am | Permalink

      That is correct. I added a description of how to use mirror up mode to the Using page. I hope that answers your question!

  • Michael
    July 7, 2012 - 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Hey…thanks for the info on the rubber ring on KL lenses. Had just bought an RB No. 2 extension tube and it wouldn’t fit until I simply slid off the ring. Works perfect now!

  • dan
    July 20, 2012 - 7:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the information. I just bought a mint 65mm 4.5 I was basically just looking to see if there was anything wider than the 50mm.

  • Jacek
    August 19, 2012 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    I have search many websites, i found ONLY at this site, that Sekor C 50mm has filter 80mm.
    Other sources suggest, that 50mm C has 77m.

    I make some plans to B/W photography, it is important for me.

    What is correct information?

    • jodys
      August 19, 2012 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

      My apologies, I had it wrong. The 50mm C definitely has a 77mm filter. Thanks for catching the error!

    • Jacek
      August 24, 2012 - 7:50 am | Permalink

      I reply myself.
      I;m almost sure, focusing screens are compatible Pro/S/SD, but in years of “SD” have different marketing names.

  • July 20, 2013 - 1:17 am | Permalink

    i have a Mamiya RB67 Pro SD.
    i would like to ask if i can use this lens —- Mamiya Shift C 50mm F4 to my RB67 Pro SD.

    Thanks

    • jodys
      July 22, 2013 - 5:28 am | Permalink

      No. The Mamiya Shift C 50mm is a lens for the Mamiya 645 series. There is no compatibility between the 645 and the RB67. The only shift lens offered for the RB67 is the 75mm f4.5 S/L

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  • March 5, 2014 - 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I just received a sekor c 100-200mm lense for my mamiya pro s. It came with an adpater ring. How does one safely remove the ring?

    Thanks

    Fred

    • jodys
      April 20, 2014 - 7:33 pm | Permalink

      There is nothing special, just gently pull.

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