Lightest 6x7?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by coigach, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. coigach

    coigach Member

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    I often backpack in the mountains and sometimes carry my Pentax 67II with wide angle lens (either the 55mm or more usually 75mm) as I love the 6x7 format. Love this camera but it's heavy for mountain trips.

    I'm looking for suggestions for the most lightweight 6x7 as possible with wide-angle lens. I think folders are out, as they look difficult to use with my Lee Grad Filters...

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Gavin
     
  2. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Mamiya 7 with either 43, 50, or 65mm lens absolutely. Great camera, great optics. Everyone is going recommend this camrea for you.
     
  3. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    What Brian said...
     
  4. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    But guys, if folders are out because the difficulty using grad filters, then Mamiya 7 isn't going to cut it either. Read the OP again.

    Bronica GS-1? Maybe too heavy too? A small LF camera - like a Galvin with a 6x7 rollfilm holder and a 65 mm Angulon.
     
  5. domaz

    domaz Member

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    2x3 Crown Graphics are actually lighter than a Mamiya 7IIs and they can do up to 6x9. According to weights I can gather: Mamiya 7 + 90mm = 5.4 lbs, 2x3 Crown with lens and back = 4.4 lbs. The lenses are also much smaller- you could get a 47mm Super Angulon as your wide angle and it's a tiny tiny lens. It's also a much cheaper system to setup than a Mamiya 7II, the disadvantage is you will probably have to do ground glass focusing, and you will need an external meter.
     
  6. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Just curious, why would folders be difficult to use w/ grad filters? Are you using gelatin or threaded filters?
     
  7. deisenlord

    deisenlord Member

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    No contest; Plaubel Makina 67W

    Very pricy however.
     
  8. peri24

    peri24 Member

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    as far as i know and without too much experience with rangefinders it must be a pita to set up a grad filter without looking thru the lens. I'm sure you can make a guess judging how things look thru the finder, but after climbing for hours not nailing the shot must be sad...
    But maybe there are special solutions for grad filters and rangefinders as there are with polarizers...
     
  9. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Wow, great point. I must admit, that aspect didn't even cross my mind... goes to show you I've never really used a rangefinder.
     
  10. Richard Wasserman

    Richard Wasserman Member

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    I have to admit I missed the part about grad filters–don't really have a good idea for that.

    Mamiya 7 with 80mm lens weighs 2.6 pounds and has about the best lenses available.
     
  11. peri24

    peri24 Member

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  12. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    It is not too difficult to use ND grads with rangefinders after running a few tests. If you want lightweight and you want 6x7 the Mamiya 7 is the option.
     
  13. superbass

    superbass Member

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    I have nothing new really to add ... Besides that I have a Pentax 67 and a Bronica GS-1, and while the Bronica is lighter than the Pentax 67, it's still pretty heavy. So if you really need light, I'd say you have to go with the Mamiya 7 or one of the Fuji rangefinders. They're all pretty pricey though. But the Bronica's have really good grips IMO. And if you slap a grip on a Bronica, they're pretty easy to handle and you still get all the flexibility of a slr vs a rangefinder. Not to mention the GS-1's are less than half the price of a Mamiya.

    Also, if you want to buy a Bronica GS-1 to test it out, I have one for sale in the Classifieds. I ever have a 65mm lens that I could package with it :wink:
     
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  15. ChipMcD

    ChipMcD Member

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    Brian is right about the Mamiya 7's being light. I have never tried ND grads with mine. I don't own it, but Mamiya made (maybe still makes) a polarizer that fits on the lens, flips up over the viewfinder for adjustment and then back down for the shot. I think B&H carries them. My memory is that they are pricey (north of $200).
     
  16. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    Agreed. On both the light weight & exhorbitant price. But an incredibly fine machine if you can find one in good condition.
     
  17. coigach

    coigach Member

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    I've never actually used a folder, but the Lee adapter ring is threaded to the lens thread and looks like it might be incompatible with a folder's shape?

    Can anybody confirm this?

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010
  18. coigach

    coigach Member

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    It's not actually the difficulty of using grads on a rangefinder (I use them easily enough on my Fuji GA645zi and Fotoman 617), more the shape of a folder - it looks like the Lee lens-mounted thread might be incompatible? :confused:

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
  19. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    I use both the P67 system and the Mamiya 7 system. The Mamiya is indeed more compact and a lighter burden but the actual difference is very little compared to the support system differences required for each. The Mamiya is easily controlled with a good, light-weight tripod where the Pentax requires quite serious and bulky tripods to work properly, even with wider lenses. The Mamiya wide angles are wonderfully distortion-free and will bring back superior images in more situations. The Pentax glass is very good but the Mamiya rf optics (especially the wides) are in a different league, in my experience.

    Something I also found is that because of the ease of carry, I actually have the Mamiya with me. The P67's and heavy pod got easier to leave behind as the years passed and I missed some good opportunities just for that simple reason. I wouldn't fret the filter issue as a little practice will get you tuned into that.
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Definitely not a Koni-Omega!
     
  21. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I suggest the best of both worlds: a folding medium format view camera with a rangefinder. Graflexes will be among the lightest, simplest, and least expensive, and Linhofs and Horsemans among the most full featured. You can use it hand held, or you can use the ground glass. You can precisely position your grad filters because you have TTL viewing (albeit upside down and backwards :D). You also get a large reduction in weight and cost over the Pentax, and the ability to use any lens you can fit on a board. Finally, you get some camera movements. You may find the rear shutter of a Speed graphic to help you out if you wish to use barrel lenses.

    Personally, I would go for a Horseman VH or VHR (with rangefinder, which works only with Horseman lenses) if I wanted the best compromise of features – including extensive movements – and price. (The VH does not have a rangefinder, so has no hand held shooting ability.) I'd go for a Crown or Century Graphic if movements were not important, and a Speed Graphic if you want a rear shutter for barrel lenses at the expense of a little bit of bulk and weight.

    Check out this link: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/roundup2x3.html, and this one: http://www.bnphoto.org/bnphoto/LFN/LFGalleryPress.htm.
     
  22. coigach

    coigach Member

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    Very helpful post, thank you. :D
     
  23. domaz

    domaz Member

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    There is another trade-off though with the mini Speed Graphics- you lose the ability to use wide angle lens like the 47mm Super Angulon or the mythical ~35mm Biogons which is probably important for landscape photographers. Totally agree that the 2x3 Crowns are an overlooked option though.
     
  24. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Good point for those interested in using super wides. The Crown is a better choice for this (as it is with 4x5 format for those wishing to use lenses shorter than 65mm). Personally, I find that super wides have almost no utility for what I shoot in landscape situations, and even regular wides are rarely used. I use moderate wides (generally no wider than 65 mm on 6x9) to long lenses (360mm on 6x9), so the Speed would work for me.
     
  25. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    You know, you could use a folder if you set one up on a tripod unloaded, set the filter in to the camera and then set it in several positions that you think you might find useful by using a ground glass on the back of the camera then mark the viewfinder so you know where the gradation line is by using the lines you put on the viewfinder. True you will be shooting sort of blind, but you would just have to check your shot by holding the filter and looking through it before you mount it on the camera.

    Just a thought, I hike and I know that every gram counts, but really, you are caring a Pentax 67II into the woods, that's a lot of camera to carry into the woods, that has got to hurt.
     
  26. coigach

    coigach Member

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    I sometimes hike with the P67II+75mm lens, stowed in a Lowepro Toploader in my climbing sac. I sometimes take my Fotoman 617II pano instead, but it's heavy too. The camera is only half the issue - I take the majority of my mountain / landscape photos in lower light, which combined with the often strong wind and d.o.f means that a tripod is essential. Fairly mounts up, weight-wise! :blink:

    I've also got a lightweight Fuji GA615zi rangefinder which I sometimes use for long mountain trips coupled with a very lightweight tripod, but even though this is a great camera with fab lens, I still love the bigger film size of the 6x7 format...

    Cheers,
    Gavin