Considering replacing my 500cm and 645 af with Mamiya 6

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kcham16, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. kcham16

    kcham16 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi- like the title says I'm looking into the possibility of trading away/ selling my hasselblad 500cm and my Mamiya 645af. I love both, but love rangefinders, and would like to just focus on 1 medium format system.
    That system used to be my hasselblad, but as I get older, my eyesight makes a slow camera even slower.
    I also like the results from my 645af, but it's kinda clunky and doesn't get out of the house much...

    Anyone with experience/ advice, it'd be greatly appreciated. Please save any snide comments you might have. Thanks!
     
  2. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

    Messages:
    357
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have had my Mamiya 6 for less than a year but think it is just great. You can read more of my thoughts here and toward the bottom there are links to some of the most informative reviews I've found. My only gripe is that the VF is not as bright as the GF670. But the 6 is built like a tank, extremely intuitive in hand and the optics are fantastic!
     
  3. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,188
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Wayne,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I can help, as a longtime Hasselblad user who just bought a Mamiya 6 last weekend. I've had it a week now and shot 5 rolls of film in it.

    I LOVE the Mamiya 6, and have put my Nikon equipment (Which I never use, I switched to Leica for 35mm work several yrs ago) up for sale to raise money to buy the other two Mamiya 6 lenses. I have the 75mm now.

    What I like about the Mamiya 6: The lenses are INCREDIBLE. The 75mm Mamiya 6 lens is sharper than the Hasselblad Zeiss 80mm CF-Planar I have, and it is a VERY sharp lens. The camera is light and easy to handhold, and it fits in a little Artisan & Artist bag I use for my Leica. Hasselblad is too heavy for me to carry all the time, but the Mamiya has been with me everywhere since I bought it. I also like Rangefinders, and this is like a big Leica that takes sharper photos, and in 6x6 too! I like the square format a lot.

    What I do not like: Close focus of 1 meter sucks. The Hassy focuses a little closer, and even the Leicas focus to .7 meter. The 150mm lens only focuses to 6 feet. I don't have the lens yet but I don't think I'll like that limitation. The camera's build quality is not up to Hasselblad standards. That's it, nothing else to hate!

    I am not going to sell my Hasselblad; there are times I need its close focus, and I have extension tubes for it to get really close when needed. I also need longer lenses than 150 on occasion. It is not getting much use anymore though. My advice is that if you can live with the close focus limits and the fact that there are just 3 lenses, then sell the Hasselblad and get the Mamiya. If you can afford to buy the Mamiya without selling the Hasselblad, I'd keep the Hassy too. If you need other lenses or close focus and cannot afford the Mamiya without selling the Hassy, then keep the Hassy and forget the Mamiya. I think you'll like the Mamiya 6 though. I would not part with mine.

    I shot these with it last week:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Both photos shot on Tri-X developed in PMK
     
  4. chuck94022

    chuck94022 Subscriber

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Location:
    Los Altos, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a 6MF and love it dearly. I have owned it for years and never had a problem with it.

    It is not a portrait camera, but for street and landscape, it is great.

    The lenses have a well deserved reputation for sharpness and quality.
     
  5. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

    Messages:
    4,885
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Keeping the
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree with Chris... The mamiya 6 was a great system, and the glass was unparalleled. That said, finding one in good used condition could be a challenge. The Mamiya 6 system can be fragile. The winding mechanism's can and do break, and once that happens, you have a paper weight. There are no spares for the winding mechanism, and other spares are hard if not impossible to find. I sold mine as a result of that, and went back to the hasselblad, after moving away from it initially to buy the Mamiya system. I did love the quality of the negs that the mamiya created, but to be honest for what I use cameras for, the hassleblad was and continues to be the most versatile set up I own. Does your current hasselblad have the accu-matte screen? I upgraded my 500 c/m with one after I first bought it and was the best upgrade to the system. If you have trouble focusing, get one with the grids and split circle. You will not regret it. Also, dioptre correction is possible with the waistlevel, and a good upgrade to the waistelvel finder is the chimney finder. It's focusable to adjust to your eyesight, and does not distort like the standard waistlevel sometimes does.
     
  6. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,678
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I was just going to suggest the exact acute matte screen Andy mentioned. It makes a huge difference. Also, if you are using the waist level finder, try an NC2 finder. I have an old crappy one with separation that I bought for $35 and it is still great. A prism of any sort excluded the light making focussing easier for me. I considered the Mamiya 7 when I got the hasselblad, but I like longer lenses and reasonably close focussing. I do have an autofocus Fuji GA645ZI that I do like for traveling light. It definitely won't last nearly as long as the Hasselblad, but for what I paid for my Hassy kit plus the Fuji, I definitely paid less than I would have for a Mamiya 6 or 7 kit. The very-limited-zoom (wide to normal) lens on the Fuji is equal to the Hassy lenses, but a stop slower. The only downside is that the zoom and focus are definitely noisy
     
  7. kcham16

    kcham16 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    thanks everyone for the advice. i like the idea of the acu-mat screen, we'll see. i do love the 2 cameras i have, but would love to get a m/f rangefinder...
     
  8. Chris Lange

    Chris Lange Member

    Messages:
    780
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I considered an MF rangefinder to complement my Hasselblad, but ended up getting into Leica instead. I use my Hasselblad as a street and studio camera, both on and off tripod, and adore the photographs I make with it. That said, I too would like a MF rangefinder someday, but for now there isn't much my Hassy can't do that my Leica can either...
     
  9. kcham16

    kcham16 Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Shooter:
    Medium Format