Mamiya 6 or 7

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by geoff billett, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. geoff billett

    geoff billett Member

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    Im looking to buy a secondhand 3 lens (wide, standard and tele ) system for primarily documentary and some landscape photography. i am happy with either format so that is not a consideration. Any thoughts on handling, build quality or performance issues. I have Fuji 6x9 so am also happy with rangefinders per se.

    Thanks

    Geoff
     
  2. Petzi

    Petzi Member

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    I prefer the 7 II. I think there is not a big difference in handling or quality. The 7 is newer.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Both the Mamiya 6 or 7II are great cameras.

    As Petzi said, the 7II design is newer.

    Do you like a square format for landscapes? If you do, go for the 6.

    If you prefer a 6x7 format, then the 7II is the camera to get.

    It's up to you. I have the 7II system and love it.
     
  4. Peter Williams

    Peter Williams Member

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    I have the 6 and it's a great camera. I don't think that you can go wrong with either one. The biggest advantage of the 6 is that the lens can retract into the body, but the size difference with the 150mm lens is minimal. If both cameras seem equal to you, I'd go with the 7 just for the sake of buying the newer camera. Good luck with whichever you choose.
     
  5. ronfmarshall

    ronfmarshall Member

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    I've had a six, wonderful camera, but square was not for me. I now have a seven II. The build quality is the same, choose square or rectangular. If no preference then the six and lenses will be much cheaper than the seven or 7II, but if something breaks may be difficult to fix.
     
  6. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I have the 7II and it's a great camera with wonderful lenses. I am very much a wide angle user, though, and have no experience of using it with telephotos. Rangefinder focusing is always at its weakest with longer lenses and I have heard that the camera can be a touch temperamental when using them, but others here with more experience will be able to give you the true picture.

    David.
     
  7. hka

    hka Member

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    I also own a 7II and this is my favorit camera for wide angle, especially the 43mm is a great lens. Sure focusing longer lenses is a little difficult. After a while you don't know even better.
     
  8. geoff billett

    geoff billett Member

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    Thanks for all your replies.

    If i'm honest I would really like the 6 cos I abandoned the square format a long time ago and sometimes regret it. Its more compact than the 7 with the ability to retract the lens - ease of travelling. But its an older design now and common sense tells me to play safer and get the 7, which I would no doubt be just as happy with in reality. Some new ones are still available which is also tempting. I want it to last a long time though it would not be used extensively, just heavily occasionally.

    The 43mm lens is also an attraction but I dont know if I really need it but the fact it exists is like a shadow on my sub-conscious ( ie my wallet ). But not unpleasantly :smile:.

    Any more thoughts would be helpful but its probably the 7 and probably next month.
     
  9. Matthew Gorringe

    Matthew Gorringe Member

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    The only reason I'd get a 6 again would be because it doesn't need an external viewfinder for its 50mm. The 43mm lens for the 7 does look good but I'd be interested in the acccuracy of its finder before buying.
     
  10. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    I'd opt for the 6 because I like the square format and I assume the older model would be less expensive on the used market. I borrowed a 6 a few times, loved it. I also have access to a 7 at work. I've used the 7 once and didn't care for it mainly because the tele lens (150 IIRC) doesn't focus close enough. I don't recall having the same problem with the 6 and its 150.
     
  11. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    The Mamiya 6 has a problem with the advance lever system, if it breaks, which it does, the camera is irrepairable. The Mamiya 7II was only discontinued in the last year or so, by law Mamiya has to have replacements parts for 7 years. The Mamiya 6 is already at or near the end of it's 7 year spare parts requirement.
     
  12. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Actually, Mamiya is still making and selling the 7II, they just had a huge 7II promotion here in Japan. They only camera they have discontinued is the 645 Pro TL.

    Hope it helps.

    Gary
     
  13. MAGNAchrom

    MAGNAchrom Member

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    actually, they are quite different cameras. I have the 7II and the 7, but I could imagine having a 6 as well for those times when I wanted to shoot square. All three cameras are excellent travel cameras -- you can't go wrong. However, were I to purchase a 6, then I might want to pick up a spare as backup.
     
  14. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    Are you sure they're still making it and not just selling old stock?
     
  15. coriana6jp

    coriana6jp Member

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    Mamiya said, the only camera they are not going to continue making for now is 645 Pro TL. All the major camera stores here still are selling them though, but at least one big store in Tokyo is sold out of the 7II and Mamiya is doing another production run. The 7II is the rather profitable for them, they claim. Currently they are making the 645AFD II, the RZ67IID, the 7II and the ZD.

    At least thats what they said. Where did you hear there were discontinuing them? Mamiya is still running ads in the magazines here for the 7II.

    Gary
     
  16. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    Strange as it may sound, I too believed that Mamiya had stopped production of film cameras on the basis of the ROHS legislation which bans the use of lead and other materials in solder and has led to the demise of the Hasselblad X=pan. Having read this thread I had a look at the Mamiya UK website and it appears they are indeed still selling film cameras!:smile:

    http://www.mamiya.co.uk/products.php
     
  17. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    I would definitely recommend having a second body. I have two, but one has broken down. It's repairable but too expensive to do until I get desperate. It's not the winder gear which is not repairable due to lack of parts.
     
  18. geoff billett

    geoff billett Member

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    I bought a 6 in the end and no regrets. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy the square format, body and 3 lenses cost less than a 7 and 2 lenses and the lenses ( especially the 50mm ) are superlative.

    Am undertaking a project with it next week in Spain ( http://www.donquijote.org/culture/spain/fiestas/elrocio.asp ) - waling with up to a million other people deep in Andalucia.

    Should be fun :smile:

    Thanks for all the advice
     
  19. thevoice

    thevoice Member

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    I'm currently having the winder in my 6MF repaired here in Dublin, with new parts straight from Mamiya. Is it only the 6 and not the 6MF that has parts availability issues? I would have thought they would use the same winder.
     
  20. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    The whole winder mechanism is not available as a whole part any longer, but some of the parts within the winder mechanism are serviceable as MAC in the US told me. So if you get it CLA'd they can refresh as many parts as they can, adjust it, and stop a total breakdown of the winder.
     
  21. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    The biggest differences between the 6 and 7ii as I see them:

    (1) As mentioned, the lens family for the 7 series is larger, as mentioned;

    (2) The 6 is a bit more compact and I really like the collapsibilty for travel, it packs very well and securely;

    (3) There are significant metering differences; metering on the 6 is kind of ambiguous- it is either full frame or kinda centre-weighted depending on which lens you use. There are workarounds and tricks though;

    (4) Double exposure- can't do it on the 6. Usually not a big deal but recently, in the desert, I really wanted to preflash an exposure. Then I remembered that the 6 cannot do multi-exposures, so I would have had to preflash the roll externally before loading it;

    (5) I see basically no difference between 6x6 and 6x7- for RF shooting, I like to shoot square(ly) and I always aim to preserve the ratio and the whole neg/chrome in the print. If you routinely want to shoot for a final 6:4.5 or 6:7 or 6:8 aspect ratio in the print, then the 7ii will deliver ultimately better crops. But as for me I like squares and find them easier to compose.

    Anyway... just some stray advice: whatever you get, plan on getting to two bodies before long. Things can and do happen and, anyway, it's a big luxury to be able to load one kind of film in one body and something else in another. If I have any complaint at all about the mamiya RFs, it's that the backs aren't interchangeable on the fly... I know I know, I want too much.

    All that said, I have two sixes and treasure them, and am now looking to pick up a 6MF as well.
     
  22. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    Other things equal I'd buy the 7 because there's more stuff around if you need to replace something and a much greater ease of getting spares. There are things that are known to go go wrong with the 6 that are difficult to get fixed because all the spares have gone. Of course if it never breaks all this is irrelevant. But the 6 is an old camera now, is that a fair assumption?

    I wouldn't personally worry too much about the slight format difference. Framing isn't exact and its likely you'll be making some crops anyway. If it were a slr with an accurate finder image, thats a different story.