I'm looking for a 6x7 rangefinder, need help choosing.

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by Chris Giles, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Chris Giles

    Chris Giles Member

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    Hi all, first post.

    I've had a love hate relationship with film. I used to have a Hassy H1
    with the film back and still have an Eos 3 around but because I shoot professionally the convenience of Digital is something I have to have for speed.

    But, I want to get myself a decent film Rangefinder. I travel a lot, on my own regularly and I like to shoot digital but also work some film too because nothing touched it.

    So I looked at all sorts of cameras, the RZ being a strong contender, the GX680 being another but ultimately I need something more portable than that hence the rangefinders.

    However, it seems every day I'm finding something new. I was looking at the Mamiya 7 as a very strong contender, then I stumbled across the latest fuji GF670 which is also a Voigtlander Bessa, but the older versions seem to have an interchangeable lens...etc.

    In short, I'd like to know what is a good one to buy. I want to shoot digital but also the same scene with film. I'd really prefer interchangeable lenses and it must be 6x7 or bigger because as I already have a Hassy I could just buy another body whilst using my existing lenses. Budget wise, it's not too bad providing the camera is worth it (value being relative to quality).

    Any help would be much appreciated. A good viewfinder for focusing would be lovely too.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    You've named all the good options. Perhaps you should hire and try a couple of them to see which works well for you?
     
  4. Chris Giles

    Chris Giles Member

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    There's quite few rental places for MF digital, Calumet being one but generally there doesn't seem to be any for the film market, at least not for rangefinders.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hi Chris and welcome to APUG. Good luck with your search.
     
  6. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    It doesn't sound like money is going to be much of a barrier for you but a Koni-Omega is the best bang for the buck. Lens quality is supposed to be on par with Hasselblad and film flatness is unparalleled. They are ugly and bulky, cheap and uncommon. If a Mamiya 7 is on your list I wouldn't expect the Koni to be but take a look regardless. Interchangeable lenses and backs.
     
  7. Chris Giles

    Chris Giles Member

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    Thanks for the hellos and help all. :smile:

    Just looked at the Koni....this is why I asked on here. I never even knew it existed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2012
  8. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Subscriber

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    The Mamiya 7 has likely the sharpest lenses of all in a MF package. There are some that believe the quality is on par with a 4x5 if used with say Fuji ACROS film. The Fuji/Bessa RF is only available as either a stand lens offering, or SW variant. You'd need 2. I'd therefore go with the Mamiya for both lens quality, and portability. The older Fuji RF 6x7 cameras that had interchangeable lenses are a lot older, harder to find, and bulkier.
     
  9. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Hello and welcome to Apug! The Mamiya seven seems to be a popular choice, really great lenses from what I hear. I have a Fuji GW680, which has a fixed lens but it's great fixed lens! Also a great carry around camera...think Leica on steroids, in fact it has been called the Texas Leica.
    Tony
     
  10. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Mamiya 7 II is your best bet, get the II as the original 7 has a spot meter, the 7 II has a scenic average meter and is fairly accurate.

    Good luck!

    I have a 7 II, 150mm, 65mm and 43mm love them all but make sure you get the viewfinder with the 43mm... It's a difficult frame without it.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  11. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I will go along with the Mamiya 7 too. Good build quality and damn good lenses. Who would have thought for 1 extra Cm along one edge would make all that difference over the Model6 version.
     
  12. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    I would also recommend the Mamiya 7. I have the original version and the meter is very much a spot meter. Not a problem for me as I use a hand-held meter. Also, it is quite capable of being hand-held at slow speeds when using the 65mm lens. Every image on my website was shot with a Mamiya 7 | 65mm lens | Delta 400 deved in Two-bath developer.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  13. horacekenneth

    horacekenneth Member

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    Oh also look at the Plaubel Makina 67 - it just looks nice

    Quick off-topic question - why would you prefer the Mamiya with the scene-avg meter rather than the spot-meter?
     
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  15. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    I prefer a spot meter myself.

    Ad me to the mamiya 7 list - I have the original and the 43, 65 and 150. Stellar lenses!
     
  16. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Well spot metering a scene I find tedious, it's personal preference but the idea for me about having a Mamiya 7 is that I can shoot fast and not have to meter every little detail, so the averaging meter works well and I've learned it's limitations and quirks, but it's just personal preference. I grew up using my Canon AE-1 with average metering and so I'm used to that. I do own a Sekonic with spot metering and incident metering etc which I use in studio or if I'm out shooting landscapes, but for a walk around "journalisticall" style camera like the Mamiya 7 I just find the average meter to be more useful.

    Well anyway good luck, let us know what you decide :smile:


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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  17. Chris Giles

    Chris Giles Member

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    Thanks guys, I'm leaning on the Mamy 7ii right now. The press cameras are nice, so is the price but there seems to be more support, general knowledge etc for the 7. Although part of me if saying just buy another H1 body.
    From those with experience of 645 and 6x7 negs is there a big shift in scans?
     
  18. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    60% more film area, means about 30% more enlargement at a given quality.

    It's half a stop. You decide if that's worth it to you in film cost/quality tradeoff. Persoanlly I shoot 6x7 but if I was more into chromes I'd probably get a 6x6 body for that due to affordability/availability of projectors.
     
  19. Chris Giles

    Chris Giles Member

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    You're right, I'll buy one and try it.
     
  20. Ghostman

    Ghostman Subscriber

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    Another Mamiya 7ii fan here. I have the 43/65 and 80mm lenses. I have to confess to being totally hooked on the 43mm lens. The Mamiya 7 is light and easy to work with. Changing lenses and film is easilz and quickly done. It's a little plasticky, but you can't have it all. I find the metering works well and the rangefinder mechanism is spot on. It is my only MF rangefinder so I can't make any comparison. I have several other MF cameras though, the Mamiya 7 is my default camera.
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    Now if I could only find a cheap viewfinder for my 43mm... I bought my lens without one, I would even accept a 20mm (in 35mm terms) for some other system if it were cheap enough, trying to imagine the wide angle can be tricky.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. ROL

    ROL Member

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    The M7II meter is very good for general (quick) color metering. Also, when the 43mm is on board, the meter may be used as a wide angle spot in evaluating a scene for exposure. That said, I almost always meter with my 1 degree Pentax spot for monochrome. If you pay attention to the camera's metering when using a spot, you may soon develop a fairly reliable feel for the exposure adjustments needed to shoot with the camera alone when either desired or necessary, depending on lighting and scene (e.g., open up 2 stops for proper shadow exposure, etc.).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2012
  23. arpinum

    arpinum Member

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    Considering you mentioned travel and going alone, you may want to reconsider the Fuji folder, if you are working with normal/wide focal lengths. The mamiya 7 is the size of a larger dslr, and the lenses aren't small either. Still a better choice than the rz.
    What focal lengths are you using on your non-film bodies? Why must it be a rangefinder?
     
  24. ROL

    ROL Member

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    The cheapest solution is none at all. The 43mm view in the M7II's viewfinder is about the existing perimeter indicators plus their line width, give or take, at infinity. Neither precise nor elegant, but useful all the same, particularly if you don't mind slight crops when printing.
     
  25. Chris Giles

    Chris Giles Member

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    I looked at Fuji folder, very nice piece of kit that, but the lack of an interchangeable lens kills it for me.

    I'm thinking of using the film camera alongside the H3DII back. I'm still considering the Mamiya 7ii but looking at the prices on ebay it seems a lot with the only visible draw being the larger neg and resolution. (As mentioned earlier I can easily go 645 with a H1/H2 body).

    Something else kills the Fuji too, I never use 35mm, if I go wide it's 24mm for landscapes and such, 50mm occasionally with my most common being the 70-120 range (35mm equiv).
     
  26. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Inactive

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    FYI the M7 II is just a bit thinner than the canon 5D and the lenses a but longer than a 5D's equivalent so basically its like carting a 5D to give you some idea of size.

    Best of luck!


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk