Mamiya 645 Sekor C 150mm f3.5 on Hasselblad X2D

Mamiya 645 Sekor C 150mm f3.5 mounted on the Hasselblad X2D. Kipon Mamiya 645-X1D adapter.

Tokyo-based Mamiya was a household brand among professional photographers from the 70’s and at least through the 90’s. It has since been purchased by Phase One (2015) but I’m not sure how much they manufacture anymore. Through the 70’s their 6×7 cameras was many portrait-, fashion- and studio photographer’s workhorse. The 645 format was introduced in 1975 and was since updated several times. They made a ton of lenses for this format, from 24 to 500mm, including 4 zooms, all know to be good performers. The 645 lenses are just as good as the 6×7 lenses, but are generally a bit smaller and lighter. The image circle is of course also smaller than the 67 counterparts, but should still be more than sufficient for the smaller 33x44mm sensor. The question is: How does these vintage medium format lenses hold up on a modern, high-resolution sensor?

The Sekor C’s are all manual focus, multicoated lenses. Later, a 645 autofocus system was introduced and lenses were updated for that. Here, I will of course discuss the manual focus versions. They are all quite small for their focal length, and generally lightweight. Made for manual aperture and focus, they should handle quite well adapted.

Most of the 645-lenses are abundant in the used market. I purchased mine from one of the well reputed stores in Japan for 139 USD. I was surprised when it arrived. Mint condition, looked totally new and unused. So you can definitely find some bargains out there.

Full frame equivalent focal lengthca 119 mm
Length (lens only)80 mm
Length (with adapter and caps)136 mm
Weight (lens only)415 g
Weight (with adapter and caps)627 g
Filter Ø58 mm
Close focus1.5 m
Build in hood?Yes
Adapter usedKipon Mamiya 645-X1D

Size and build

This one is very small for a medium format lens. The lens itself is actually slightly shorter than the Nikon Series E 135mm, but in use it is larger due to the longer adapter needed. The medium format SLR-bodies had huge mirrors and thus large bodies, meaning longer flange-film distances than their full-frame counterparts. Thus, the adapter need to be longer to allow infinity-focus. It is still quite short and very lightweight, about half the weight of the adapted Hasselblad HC 150, so it feels very balanced and easy to handle on the Hasselblad X bodies. No need for a tripod collar here.

The build quality is, as expected, very good. All metal body with nice quality built-in retractable metal hood. The focus ring is fantastic. A bit stiffer than the Nikon 135 and not as stiff as the Leica. Maybe my favorite among all the lenses tested. The aperture ring only has full stops, but a very nice feel to it. I have used this lens on the Hasselblad X system a lot the last few years, as it so small and lightweight. It takes up very little space on hikes and travels, and handles very nicely. I was really looking forward to test it optically.

Test Shot

Original file with Mamiya 645 Sekor C 150mm f 3.5. Un-edited except raw-sharpening (deconvolution) which is part of my Lightroom import.

For why I chose this subject and how it was done, se details in my previous posts, e.g. the test of Nikon Series E 135mm f2.8. In short, I wanted to do a real-life test of this lens in a setting close to how I usually use my telephoto-lenses.

Capturing details: Hasselblad X2D-100c, tripod, 2 sec timer, iso 64, auto white balance, aperture priority, some depth to the scene, focus close to infinity, manual focus on the tower in 100% live view with fully open lens, f11 for exposure, e-shutter.

Raw-file imported to Lightroom where it has undergone initial sharpening (deconvolution): Amount 30, radius 0.5, details 100. No other adjustments for initial evaluation.

When I compared this image to the test-shot of the Hasselblad HC 150mm f3.2, I noticed that the Mamiya is slightly wider. Maybe just 5 mm, and in my book, that doesn’t matter. Just an observation.

Distortion and Vignetting

I find no distortion to speak of. No surprise there.

What is a bit surprising is the total lack of vignetting. Of course it was made for a much larger format, 645, but so was the Hasselblad HC 150, and that one at least had a slight vignette. I did try to mess around a bit with the vignette correction in Lightroom, but even the slightest touch of the slider rendered the corners brighter than the rest of the image. Alas, no need to correct a vignette here.


Sharpness and chromatic aberrations were evaluated on 300% enlargements in centre, left edge and extreme lower left corner, corresponding approximately to the red squares shown above. The crops are shown below. To the left you will see the unedited file (only deconvolution sharpening) and on the right you can see an edited version after removal of chromatic aberrations in Lightroom and sharpening in Topaz Sharpen AI. Drag the slider to alternate between the two versions.

300% view of image center. Left: Raw-sharpening only. Right: Removal of chromatic aberrations in Lightroom and sharpening in Topaz Sharpen AI.
300% view of image edge. Left: RAW sharpening only. Right: Removal of chromatic aberrations in Lightroom and sharpening in Topaz Sharpen AI.
300% view of extreme lower left corner. Left: RAW sharpening only. Right: Removal of chromatic aberrations in Lightroom and sharpening in Topaz Sharpen AI.

Sharpness with this lens is a mixed bag. While corner sharpness actually is very good, among the best in the test, the center is a bit soft. At least when you compare it to the Hasselblad HC 150mm f3.2. Ok, that may not be entirely fair, as that lens is twice the size and weight, and 10 times the price, but still. This is a medium format lens, so I had high hopes. I believe it was meant to primarily be a portrait-lens on Mamiya 645, so it might be optimized for shorter distance. But it’s not terrible by any measure, maybe even a tad better than the Leica 180mm in centre, and as with the other lenses tested, it turns out quite crisp after some Topaz-magic.

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration. Unedited file to the left, removal of chromatic aberration to the right. Both images have undergone raw-sharpening only.

There is a moderate level of fringing here, and as you may appreciate from the image above, it cleans up nicely in Lightroom. How much CA contribute to the overall slight softness of this lens remains unanswered. Unfortunately, Mamiya didn’t make an ULD-version of this one.


Paired with the XCD 35-75 or the XCD 90mm, I find the 150 mm focal length to be a good match. Due to the small size and weight of this lens, I have used it quite a bit the last few years, especially on longer hikes and travels. It is a joy to use. Very well built. The focus- and aperture rings may be among the very best of the lenses I have, and it balances and handles very well on the X1D and X2D. There is no distortion or vignetting, and chromatic aberrations are modest and easily fixed in Lightroom.

The main issue with this lens is sharpness, and in particular centre sharpness. I must admit that I was a bit disappointed by this test. The extreme corners are very good, but as you move towards the center, there is not a ton of improvement. However, here it is judged on 300%, and I cannot say that this has struck me as a major problem the way I have used this lens before. Also, it cleans nicely up in Topaz Sharpen AI, and comes out in the other end with a great result. So, I guess the conclusion depends on what you consider important. You can always argue that a lens like this makes little sense on a 100mpx camera. I know that for myself, this lens will still see much use on those long and strenuous hikes where size and weight is important.



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