Bronica RF645 or Mamiya 7II

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by HEADS, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. HEADS

    HEADS Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I am going to purchase a medium format RF for travel and street photography and plan to make 16x20 B&W prints from 100iso film. I am considering the Bronica RF 645 or Mamiya 7II, i prefer the Bronica RF 645 but was concerned if the 6x45 format would give good quality 16x20 prints, any recommendation?
     
  2. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I shoot 645 (Mamiya 645 Super) and get what I think are very nice prints up to 16X20. If you prefer the Bronica, get it.
     
  3. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  4. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

    Messages:
    2,027
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    645 is as smaller neg, but this can be a good thing in that you can bring on the grain if you want to. I printed a 20x16 from tri x and yes there is grain but it suits the image. I love my RF645 and passed on the Mamiya for its greater size, far greater cost and too few shots per roll for street stuff. Both are great cameras, but I found the ergonomics and build of the Bronny that much better and more intuitive. I think this is the most important thing. If you intend to do lots of landscapes the bigger 6x7 neg will make a difference however and would be my choice. I have LF for that so the smaller neg suited perfectly.
     
  5. david b

    david b Member

    Messages:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    None of your
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've owned a M7II several times and loved the camera but I don't miss it. To me, it is a 9 shot camera which is a pain in the ass. There is no way to get the 10 shots on a 8x10 contaxt sheet.
     
  6. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

    Messages:
    869
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use the Bronica and have had absolutely great results with it. Great optics and quick/confident focusing. I also use 6X7 in a Pentax and I'm certain I get a much higher percentage of solid shots when using the little Bronica. My normal printing is 8X10 with 11X14 at times and the Bronica is more than up to that task.

    I've almost popped for the Mamiya a couple of times and each time, I set it down after handling it and decide against it. It's likely not the best reasoning and I'm certain it would give great results but the plasticky, hollow feeling of it is not very gratifying and making out a large check for it and its pricey lenses just seemed too difficult. You've got a nice decision to make as I'm certain you would be very pleased with either one as a solid tool.
     
  7. micek

    micek Member

    Messages:
    220
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    The Canary I
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have never used the Mamiya, but the Bronica is a delight: it is ergonomically perfect, and it is light but sturdy. I have never found a 6x4.5 negative a limitation, but I never print any larger than 30x40cm (apprx. 12x15").
     
  8. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    There is sufficient difference due to negative size to give the Mamiya the edge in terms of sharpness and gradation.
     
  9. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

    Messages:
    342
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Location:
    Datchet, Ber
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    They both have great lenses, but there is no getting around the fact that one produces a neg 50% bigger. I'm sure that dependent on your technique, you will get some excellent 20 x 16 prints from the Bronica. But I'm equally sure that with the larger neg you'd be operating less "on the edge" and that with some images there would be a difference that you could see. It may be that occasionally that difference would mean the difference between having a great print at the size you want or having to compromise.
     
  10. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

    Messages:
    2,016
    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format Pan
    I have a Mamiya and use it for travel photography with a 50 mm lens. I also have a 150 mm lens and this kit suits me fine for the general landscape photography I use it for both at home and when traveling.
     
  11. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Mamiya 7II, just for the size of the negative and the quality of the lenses.

    Cheers

    André
     
  12. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Based on what comparison? Not that the lenses might not be good, but the lenses on the Bronica are terrific. On what do you base this comparative assertion?
     
  13. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd take the Mamiya for the 43,65, 150 lens combination and in spite of the uninspiring 6x7 frame ratio.

    I would imagine that the Bronica's lenses are excellent. I have shot the Mamiya's and know them to be. I don't shoot targets.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

    Messages:
    1,520
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    And where I`m doing a direct comparison?
    I just said I will choose the Mamiya by the reasons stated previously and not in comparison with Bronica or whatever brand of camera.
    I base my choice on results obtained by friends owning a few of them.
    But I can tell you more, I wouldn`t trade my Swedish cube and German glass for any of those.

    Cheers

    André
     
  16. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

    Messages:
    1,203
    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    my two cents worth of confusion and 'I own it so its the best' :

    thought about buying an RZ or RB ? - or anything with a removable/rotating back system ? I own an RZ with two 6x7 backs and a 645 back also, so I have both fomats in the one cam ... heavier yes, but just take one lens and let the format dictate the relative diagonal angle of view, so in another way of thinking you have two lenses. (not taking the grain or aspect ratios into account)
     
  17. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,419
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto-Onta
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    I am in the middle of printing a 40 print 16x20 fibre show right now , camera- Mamiya7, negatives are beautiful , metering system has made my life in the darkroom a pleasant transition negative to negative. the larger size neg is worth it as others have pointed out.
    I have always liked this camera and think it is one of the best out there. highly recommend the mamiya range finder, but then again I like all rangefinders .
     
  18. bjorke

    bjorke Member

    Messages:
    2,032
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    SF & Surroun
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    That was the question. Perhaps you didn't look at the name of the thread?

    Increase of area

    35mm->645 : 864 mm^2 -> 2700 mm^2 or 212.5%
    645->6x7 : 2700 mm^2 -> 4200 mm ^2 or 55.6%

    is 55% worth twice the money? anyone's guess, if it's not their money
     
  19. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    8,003
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Milan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Neg size v price is one aspect. I would rather have the lens choices over the lower price. The Bronica doesn't have an equivalent to the 43mm does it?
     
  20. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

    Messages:
    3,242
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, W
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It could be worth twice the money for some photographers. The mamiya also has a near accessory for doing panoramics on 35mm.
     
  21. Soeren

    Soeren Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Naestved, DK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    These are the things I would consider. In random order.
    Number of lenses available ? Bronica 2 or 3. Mamiya ?
    Is your favorite among them ?
    Neg area
    Price
    Handling
    The fact that the orientation in the Bronica gives Portrait format when held normally might be a pro or a con depending on your demands.

    If I had the money I would choose the Mamiya because of the wideangles available
    (I would prefer a 6 and the 50mm)
    I would like the bigger neg (if I had the money)
    I think I prefer the orientation of the neg.

    But if you don't have the money you don't really have a choice, do you ?
    Søren
     
  22. Fotohuis

    Fotohuis Member

    Messages:
    1,336
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    About the 645 format: I am working with the M645 pro (Mamiya). Yes, good quality prints for 16X20" (40X50 cm). But I have also acceptable quality prints (40X50 cm) with my M7 (Leica), iso 50 film or Copex or Imagelink on 35mm.
    But no crop then and optimum circumstances.

    I am sure the quality with the M7II (6X7 cm) will be slightly better due to the larger negativ. The M7 II lenses are more than excelent but the system is also much more expensive.
    In your case I would be more concerned about the after sales service for Bronica because the company is discontinueing medium format cameras.

    Happy shooting and succes with your choice.

    Best regards,

    Robert
     
  23. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Never shot the Bronica but I love the quality of the Mamiya 7 lenses (65mm and 150mm). Plus it is a rangefinder with a leaf shutter. This makes hand holding slow exposures easy for me. I only wish I could use a graduated ND filter. I am trying to save for the 43mm lens, which hopefully I will have by next summer. This will be an almost perfect travel kit.
     
  24. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    New Bronica RF645

    I just ordered a new Bronica RF645 yesterday. I based my choice on images I've seen produced with the camera and the incredible price after rebate. And the compact size of the camera is a real plus. A truely amazing deal. I have the 45mm and 65mm coming with the camera and I found a 100mm used. That pretty well covers what I need from a rangefinder.

    I'll psot an update onec I run a few rolls through.

    Robert
     
  25. Muihlinn

    Muihlinn Member

    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Location:
    Olías del Re
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IMHO I don't see the point discussing about negative sizes and costs for shot or gear for such a relatively tiny enlargement size.

    Any of those machines will give more than fine results, and ALL have serious cons depending the user. Personally I don't like the 645 format, and even less the vertical frame of the bronica, but it's fine if it's intended for portraiture. Now I own a 7II and I'm more than happy with it, but only because it suits my preferences better.

    I don't think that high price should be an issue when someone already is considering a specific camera, but if it is, a finely cla'ed Koni-Omega will give the 6x7 size with fine lenses and a RF. Not as convenient but sharp as any of the stated, but RF, and yes, probably you can tell any difference in the final print, but not enough difference to justify the bronica :smile:

    Rent both if possible, then decide. Technically for a 16x20 you can't go wrong one way or another.
     
  26. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

    Messages:
    467
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Arlington, M
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    My Bronica RF645 arrived today - it's amazingly compact for a medium format camera. And the build quality, at first blush, seems outstanding. But time will tell.

    As for price not being a very relevent issue - maybe that's true for professionals or for those of you with trust funds! But cost matters - it's why I don't own a Hasselblad - the base kit is reasonable, but the additional lenses are expensive!

    Robert