Looking at a Mamiya 7 or 7II

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by shicks5319, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. shicks5319

    shicks5319 Member

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    I have owned a Hasselblad system for years and have migrated to a range finder camera (leica) over the past couple of years. This has led me to think about a medium format system in a range finder configuration. I just love the hand held spontaneity of this style of camera.

    I am interested in hearing comments from others who have perhaps migrated from the standard hassy to the Mamiya range finder camera system.

    Pros.... Cons ??

    thanks for your comments
     
  2. david b

    david b Member

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    hey steve,
    there is a rather long and recent thread about this very thought. i am sure it is easily found.
     
  3. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Consider the 6 and 6MF as well; the latter may suit you especially well if you plan to continue shooting 35mm and don't have an xpan.

    The 7ii is a very fine piece, I have considered getting one, but now I have some 6es and I love their compactness... and I like shooting to squarer ratios anyway.
     
  5. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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  6. sanking

    sanking Member

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    My first cameras were Leica and Canon rangefinder cameras. Many years ago I switched to MF SLR cameras, and later to LF but I have always remembered the way a rangefinder type of camera *abstracts* the image in the viewfinder, unlike the SLR or LF on the ground glass.

    After not using rangefinder cameras for about 15 years I bought a Fuji GSW690III in 2001, and a bit later a GW6909III. I found the large Fuji rangefiners wonderful to work with, except for the lack of a built-in meter. Later I acquired a Mamiya 711 with the full complement of lenses and have found it to be about as close to perfect a camera as I could hope to have for the type of work I do, which is primarily landscape work that does not involve close focusing. The lenses for the Mamiya 7II are the best out there for MF cameras, and if you use the system carefully the results will closely rival what you can get with 4X5.

    Needless to say, I highly recommend the Mamiya 7II camera and lenses.

    Sandy Kiing



     
  7. shicks5319

    shicks5319 Member

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    Thanks folks. This is very helpful
     
  8. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    I've been a Hasselblad user for a good few years now. I love the system and the format.

    I've been wishing for something more portable for says when its not so convenient to bring my body and lenses. Having sold some other gear, I bought a Leica M7 but I didnt warm to it. I've now sold this and have a Mamiya 6 in the mail, cant wait to try it.

    If you liked the square format, consider the Mamiya 6 too.
     
  9. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Not a migration from Hassy; nor really a migration from anywhere. I've added a Mamiya 7 to my camera armamentarium, which consists of DSLR's, a Contax 645 for film and d*****l, and a Mamiya TLR, not to mention a beautiful 6x6 folder given by one of my fellow APUG'ers! Love the Mamiya's portability and the awesome quality of the lenses; still adjusting to focusing with a rangefinder (my first).

    I have played with a few 35mm rangefinders but they leave me cold. I see no point shooting 35mm film rather than d*****l, and certainly not over MF film for my usual purposes. I love that huge 6x7cm negative.

    I think it's good advice, if you are wedded to the square format, to consider also the Mamiya 6. However, recognize that it's a discontinued camera with all the potential problems that status brings. (As a Contax 645 owner, I'm painfully aware.)
     
  10. shicks5319

    shicks5319 Member

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    Hasssy to Mamiya

    I have loved my Hasselblad system and refuse to give up the last of the bodies I owned and my trusty CF 150mm portrait lens. But as soon as I started using my leicas, my portraiture work started taking on a spontaneity that I could never achieve with the Hassy.

    I wonder if anyone out there is using the Mamiya system for hand held portraiture work in a major way. The leicas are great, but I miss that bigger film ....
     
  11. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Portraiture is what I seem to do the most of, so my Mamiya 7 is getting a lot of work in this department. I'm still getting used to focusing a rangefinder, since it's my first RF camera.

    My medium-format mainstay before the Mamiya 7 was a Contax 645, which I still have and use, and which is an awesome portrait camera. My favorite type of portraiture has been tight head- or head-and-shoulders shots with the Contax and its fabulous 140mm lens which focuses quite close enough for this sort of portraiture.

    The Mamiya 7 is limited somewhat in that its 80mm "normal" lens (which is actually a bit wide) focuses only down to about 1m; and the 150mm, which is the longest practical lens for the system (forget about the 250? for portraiture--it's not coupled to the RF!), focuses only down to about 2m. On the plus side, both are spectacularly sharp and contrasty lenses, and with that huge negative cropping in a bit tighter is not a deal-breaker. And it's so lightweight and portable that you are going to get shots you wouldn't have with the Hassy or Contax 'cause your arm was too tired to carry them with you.

    So, yes, it can be done--you can do just about anything with this camera--if you understand its limitations.
     
  12. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    I started with a 35mm SLR long ago, and then I ended up, at different times, trying a 35mm rangefinder (Contax IIa), a Mamiya 645, Bronica RF645, and a Crown Graphic. I still use a 35mm SLR for shooting sports, and I'll probably always keep the Crown Graphic. I did, however, sell the Mamiya and the Bronica. The Mamiya went because the flash sync was soooo slow, and the system was a bit bulky for carrying about. The Bronica went because I lost confidence in the film transport (fixed under warranty). So now I have a Mamiya 7 for my MF camera. I love it. It's easy to carry about, and the lenses are stunningly sharp. Yes, it does have limitations, but none that I can't live with.