Mamiya 6 & 7. Metering?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jblake, May 25, 2008.

  1. jblake

    jblake Member

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    Hi all,

    I have been researching a medium format system for some months now and have decided on a Mamiya 6 or 7. I am fairly resolved on the 7 though the 6 was my original choice. I like the bigger negative and the fact that they are newer so will potentially have less wear. I wanted to ask forum members on how they deal with the spot metering of the 7 compared with the 6? Do you often find a need to use an external light meter or is is intuitive to use for a point and shoot type situation? Any other pluses or minuses for each model would be of great assistance too.

    Many thanks for your input,

    Jason
     
  2. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    I have found the metering of the Mamiya 7 very accurate. I've always been amazed by its accuracy with transparency film. I do carry a Minolta incident meter with my 7 system as a secondary check. Usually the 7 is dead on.

    I own three bodies (one set up with a Polaroid back), the 43, 50, 65, 80 & 150 mm lenses.

    Great system. Not to put down the 6. I know a shooter with that camera, and have only seen excellent results.
     
  3. jblake

    jblake Member

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    Thank you Walter,

    It is a spot meter to my knowledge. Glad to hear of its accuracy for you.

    Jason
     
  4. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Jason, it isn't actually a spotmeter per se. As I understand it, it meters from the same fixed area of the viewfinder--in mine, the meter hot spot seems to be about the same size as the rangefinder patch, and sits just below it, with perhaps some overlap. When you're shooting the wider lenses, this spot is a small amount of the total area of the final image; with the longer lenses, it is a smaller portion of the image and is more like center weighted average.

    I've had my Mam7 only about 2 months and I'm still figuring out its quirks. I love it, though. Strangely I've had an easier time using it with color negative film than with B&W, possibly because with B&W I'm in Zone mode and tend to overthink things. The lenses are the only ones I've yet used to rival, or exceed, those on my Contax 645. I have the 80, 150, and a 50 on the way. I think you'll enjoy it immensely.

    Mike Sebastian
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    If I have any gripe about the 6, it isn't the metering- you can just use your finger to cover that part of the viewfinder which may unfairly bias your result (e.g. bright sky or snow) and watch the meter and decide whether to bracket and so forth. My main gripe about the 6 is the inability to do multi-exposures. Because of that, if I wanted to preflash, I'd have to preflash the whole roll.
     
  6. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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  7. jblake

    jblake Member

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    Thanks Michael, this information helps greatly in understanding its workings. I would like to shoot both b&w and color. I will probably start with a standard 80mm lens and then invest in the 50mm. That should cover my requirements with this little baby. I have been shooting d_____l for a while and have a strong yearning to return to film. I recently bought an old Canon F1 as I have some FD lenses and enjoy the film experience, once again, immensely. Now I have a need to shoot on a format that can easily rival the d______l world. Many thanks.

    Thanks also Keith, I really love the square format.I have read that the metering is very simple with the 6. I presume the 7 can do multi-exposures.
     
  8. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    To my knowledge only the Mamiya 7ll can do multiple exposures.
     
  9. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    Mamiya 7 metering

    It isn't a spotmeter, and neither does it meter from the same area of the viewfinder all the time, because it doesn't meter through the finder at all. The meter reads from the same area irrespective of which lens you have fitted, using a centre-weighted pattern. So with the wide angle lenses fitted, it does rather resemble a fat "spot". With the 150mm lens however it actually takes a small proportion of its metering information from outside the frame altogether! Mamiya of America used to publish a series of diagrams which approximated the metering pattern with each lens to the finder image- don't know whether these are still available, and mine are hidden in the depths of an iMac I don't use any more.

    Using the meter? well I imagine its a lot easier if you use only one lens, but having used a M7ii for 7 years with three lenses I have never got to trust the meter and invariably expose with a handheld spot meter. Its not an accuracy issue- its a characteristics issue. All this isn't helped by the fact I also use a MF slr for which I spot meter, and I see merit in using a single, transferable method of metering rather than use whatever camera x throws at me. I think it would be hard to get enough experience and quick feedback across a number of lenses to expose accurately enough for slide film- which for me means to the nearest half stop. Then of course you have to allow manually for filters. I might have persevered longer if I used colour neg film.