Makina vs Mamiya ergonomics, reliability, and repairability

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by msbarnes, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Sorry of this is a common comparison, I would like more insight on these cameras before deciding upon the two.

    Neither of these cameras are my ideal MF rangefinder but they are both close-enough to where I can go with either but I would like to know a bit more on the ergonomics, reliability, and future repairability of these cameras before pursing one.

    Makina 67:
    I hear that there are some issues with the wires for this camera and this is the reason why repairs are expensive difficult. I do not care for the meter, is this what the main fus is about?
    -Can I get this thing worked on by anyone else for other issues? I hear that there is nippon in NYC and Plaubel in Germany but neither are cheap.
    -Are there any other common problems with these cameras besides the metering going dead?
    -How are the ergonomics of this camera, in comparison to say the Mamiya. Is it quick to operate and shoot or is it kind of cludgy.

    Mamiya 6:
    I hear that the common failure point is in the film advance, I think.
    -is this camera notoriously unreliable because of this or is it not so common?
    -is this camera still repairable? Is the 7 any more reliable/repairable? I prefer the 6, overall.
    -I assume this camera is relatively ergonomic, right?

    I figured that image quality for both are high with the edge going for Mamiya (in terms of sharpness). I don't care so much about image quality because if it isn't Holga then it is probably good-enough for my applications.
     
  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I have literally no experience with either, however, I can only imagine it would be easier to find parts / repair the Mamiya.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Will format have a role in your decision? 6X6 vs 6X7?
    As I recall, the lenses for the Mamiya are even today, among the best around.
     
  4. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Have you considered a Koni Omega Rapid?
    6x7 on the cheap.
     
  5. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    I own a makina 67. Awesome camera. The wire issue really isn't an issue in my opinion unless you're dumb with the camera and swing open and shut the lens like a switchblade to be cool. I've read that you should always focus to infinity before closing to ease the stress on the wires, but i'm not sure how much i buy that. The meter is excellent and easy to use, but I sometimes prefer an incident. The camera is very easy to use and the focus wheel is great. The camera's built very solid and is more compact than anything else out there, except maybe the voigtlander 667. The lens, in my opinion, is less clinical (and for my taste better) than the mamiya and much better (for my taste) than the 667. The mamiya has the advantage of interchangeable lenses, but if I'm carrying multiple lenses, then I bring a Hasselblad and enjoy multiple backs.
    As i understand it, the two biggest repair issues on the makina are the meter wires and sometimes the film advance. Repairs can be expensive, but mainly due to availability of parts. I bought a fully functional and clean makina and i absolutely love it. I feel it's the best travel camera I'll ever own. You'll hear just as many, if not more, people say the same about the mamiya system. Whatever you choose, enjoy. Prices on makina's are better right now than I've seen them in along time. If you get a clean and fully functional one, you'll likely be able to resell it with little or no loss if you don't like it.
     
  6. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Format plays no major roll.

    I truthfully prefer 6x6 but I prefer a mechanical shutter too. Both cameras are very different and have their own sets of pros and cons but I feel that either will do. I'm aware that the lenses on the Mamiya are among the sharpest but I'm not looking for the absolute best because I'm purely a hobbyist and I do not do large prints. I shoot Rolleiflex and Leica mostly and my subject is oftentimes my family and friends. I enjoy the image quality from Rolleiflex but the handling and focusing from Leica. I'd love to have a medium format rangefinder that operates as smooth as my Leica. In someways it seems like the Mamiya is the best fit but sometimes I feel that the Makina is.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2013
  7. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I will look into it.
     
  8. LiamG

    LiamG Member

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    The way I see it, every medium format camera is some sort of compromise; considering what you have here- the Makina is pretty much compromising everything else to be the smallest 6x7, the Mamiyas are the best possible lens resolution with build quality & cost sacrificed, the Koni Omega was made to be a tough press camera- it's huge, heavy and not ergonomic. You aren't going to find something as well rounded as the Leica, not in medium format, so if you can give that up, I would suggest you either stick with the Rolleiflex or look at Hasselblad, those would be the best build, serviceability, and slick user experience, which is what I think you are looking for.
     
  9. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I see your point LiamG

    I'll stick with Leica and maybe try the Makina or Mamiya but I think that you're right in that I'll be compromising something.
     
  10. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    I've owned both of these as well and, together with the makina, they are each very very different experiences that i don't think are easily comparable. If you're asking mamiya vs makina, that makes sense to me because you're trying to narrow down the best rangefinder experience for you. But if the field is still wide open to slr's and tlr's, then there are a lot more fundamental questions to answer before getting to the op's question.

    No offense to your comment, that's just how i would analyze it.

    All the best,
    Leo
     
  11. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    I bought my Plaubel Makina 67W from Frank Marshman, who used to run the repair shop "Camera Wiz" and now does repairs from his home. He's an expert with Plaubels, and he told me that I should set the focus to infinity when collapsing the lens, and not to let it bang out or bang back in -- gently put it in and out with your hand. So far I've had no issues with mine.
     
  12. frotog

    frotog Member

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    I have a makina 670 (takes 220 as well as 120). It is an incredible camera not only for its ergonomics and small size but for the incredible images it produces. With portra 160 I can enlarge to 16x20 before you can begin to see the difference between it and a 4x5. I've always had it serviced at Nippon in nyc. Focusing to infinity before closing the lens is essential to maintain the integrity of the struts in the folding mechanism. This bit of info was in the original users guide - adhere to this advice if you wish to keep your plaubel free from expensive repairs. Try to find the grip, especially if you have big hands. The mamiya is a great camera too just nowhere near as sexy and sleek as a makina.
     
  13. theclothshutter

    theclothshutter Member

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    I found the makina 67 to have a better feel than the mamiya 6. The mamiya 6 I sent back to the seller after a few days of receiving it without shooting because there was a technical fault, but I already decided that I was not going to look for another mamiya 6 just based on the handling itself.

    L1025276.jpg
     
  14. theclothshutter

    theclothshutter Member

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    As for repairability, I haven't quite thought about it, except that I will try to shoot as many good pictures with these incredible cameras as possible until they break down. :smile:

    my 670 L1024818.jpg

    One sample shot

    img586.jpg
     
  15. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    I have two Mamiya 6's and love them to death. As many know on here, I couldn't recommend this camera enough. But that is because it fits my style of shooting perfectly, and the square format is awesome. The "winder problem" is a bit overrated. As long as you're careful when advancing and have the camera CLA'd every few years it will be fine. Same for the build quality. Other Mamiya 6/7 owners would agree with me that these are tough cameras, not as tough obviously as a Leica or Hassy, but what exactly are you planning to do with these cameras? Don't we treat all our cameras with care? I've never used a Makina. They do look interesting, but I find one lens too limiting. The 6 has 3 perfectly spaced focal lengths that are super sharp. My only gripe with the 6 is that the meter takes getting used to. I've found on mine that I set it one stop slower than the ISO I want. So If I want to shoot at EI400 I'll set the meter on the camera to 200. I find the Bronica RF645 to be the best all around MF RF there is, but that's not related to this thread.
     
  16. photobum

    photobum Member

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    I have a Makina 67 and it is my main travel camera. From the jungle in Mexico to a wet west coast of Ireland it keeps shooting. But the reality is it gets beat on the back of my motorcycle 10-15,000 miles a year. Frank the Camera Wiz tuned it up two years ago. Still ticking and I love that 80mm Nikon lens.
     
  17. alanbutler57

    alanbutler57 Member

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    This is a really, really tough call. I'm in the middle of the same decision.

    Due to unique circumstances I can keep either the PM67 or the M6 (with all three lenses), at no difference in cost. It's a real struggle for me as I really don't shoot that much, but both are awesome cameras. I must confess, so far I've reached for the Makina most of the time to play with, but the time has come when I have to get rid of one or the other, or both (I've actually got two Makinas in hand so one will need to go anyway). These belong to my older brother, who says to keep what I want and sell what I don't for him.

    It's a good problem to have, but it's still problem. I hope bumping the thread gets more discussion, although, in the end, it is an individual decision.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2013
  18. stevebarry

    stevebarry Member

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    I got the Mamiya 6 (over the 7) because I prefer the square format, and the smaller package. I did not even consider the Makina.

    Like you reliability was a concern. It is alot of money to spend on an oldish camera with electronics. While Mamiya is no longer servicing or making parts for the 6 - I always figured I would have considerably better luck finding either for the Mamiya over the Makina.

    If you do not care about format, or folded size....get the Mamiya 7 - it is newer so better likely hood of being serviceable for longer.

    That being said, the Mamiya 6 is about the perfect camera for me. It has one "but" for me, and the only compromise. That is the close focus ability. I like you, take alot of photos of my family, so this is a problem. I happen to have the close focus adapter which is admittedly pretty ridiculous looking, but it does work, and I do not find that it is any harder to focus with it attached. I also, do not find that it reduces the optical quality of the lens that much. It is a PITA to carry around, and worry about though.

    So its one drawback, is only about a 1/4 drawback.

    Other than that I do not have any compromise.

    It is easy to carry, travel with, fast to use, the lenses are phenomenal. The meter works great. What else can I say.