Mamiya 6 vs. Mamiya 7????

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by stradibarrius, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Monroe, GA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    What are the major differences between the Mamiya 6 & 7? I have lusted after one of these for a while and there is a big difference in price.
    I know the 6 is a 6x6 and the 7 is a 6x7 but what are the other differences?
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The 6 cannot do multiexposure and has a smaller lens family (50,75,150) that does not include the much praised superwide nor the longer tele. The 6 collapses; the 7/7ii do not. The 7 does not have quite the reputation of the 7ii, for various reasons, one being that the RF alignment supposedly isn't as reliable on the 7 (I have no info whether this is true or not, it's all hearsay). As for why the 6 is more costly in general, well it is a very compact kit, they are all black (which a lot of people prefer), and also those of us who do like the 6es tend to love them so much that we have more than one... for convenience and for extra parts. The only major issues you read about with the 6 bodies is that the winders are said to be a bit weak. I've not had any problems but... if there aren't any parts left for them, then it might be smart to have two bodies. I have two 6es and would pick up another if I saw a good price (rare). For travel, I like to have two on hand, and they are compact enough to do that.
     
  3. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Monroe, GA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    At KEH the 6 is much cheaper than the 7 or 7ii. According the Ken Rockwell, I know, I know, the 6 RF does not seem to have the adjustment issue that the 7 does. Rockwell REALLY likes the cameras!
    If you could have either which of the 3 would you choose? Why?
     
  4. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,075
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would let your lens needs decide. For me, the mamiya 6 trinity is divine and it all packs up so compactly... I have no complaints. But if you need the ultrawide ($$$!) then the 7/7ii is the better option. If it were me and I had the budget, I'd go for a 7ii and the 43/80/150 combo. In terms of 35mm equivalents, that'd be a ~21mm, 39mm, 71mm set. But if the accessory VFs don't appeal, well then maybe the 6 kit is better for you.
     
  5. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I would definitely choose a 7II over a 7 or 6. The only advantage of a 6 would be the collapsible feature of the 6 which makes it slightly more compact than the 7 or 7II. However, you need to weigh that against the fact that the 7II is a model currently in production and serviced by Mamiya. The 6 has been out of production for years and parts are hard to come by, or impossible to come by, the winding lever for example.

    I have three 7s, two 711s and one 7. None of them have any adjustment problems, and the 7 in particular looks like it suffered a life of abuse before it reached my hands. The only advantage of the 711 over the 7 is that you have multi exposure possibility, which I never use, and a brighter viewfinder which makes focusing and composing easier in low light conditions.

    Sandy King
     
  6. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,547
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Shooter:
    Med. Format RF
    Most go for the 7, 7II now. I have owned both, and chose the 6 over the 7. First, and mainly, because I love the square format. I'm not crazy about 6x7 format. And secondly, I didn't like the aux viewfinders for the 43 and 50 lenses (the 6 has the frame lines for the 50 in the viewfinder).

    Both cameras handle the same. Only small differences have already been mentioned. One thing I did notice was the metering in the 7II seemed to me anyway to be more accurate then the 6. My 6 wants to underexpose (which is easy to overcome with a few tricks), or just use a handheld meter.

    You can't go wrong either way. It really comes down to the format you prefer, if you care about parts still being made or not, and lens options. The 7 has 5 lenses (6 if you count the 210) and the M6 only has 3. But I personally find the 50,75,150 combo of the 6 perfect for everything I do.
     
  7. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

    Messages:
    568
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As Sandy pointed out, the 7II has a nicer viewfinder than the 7. Mamiya America Corp can upgrade 7s to the newer 7-II finder as the parts are interchangeable; I think the going price is $70 these days. I've had both of my 7s converted. The improvement was quite noticeable and well worth the cost, IMO.
     
  8. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

    Messages:
    1,382
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    Monroe, GA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well I guess I will try to sell a couple of cameras and lenses and see if I can take the plunge...
     
  9. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

    Messages:
    1,062
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Location:
    Prospect (Lo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I've heard complaints that the shutter-curtain lever on the 7ii is easily broken plastic, vs. the more-robust metal of the 7.

    Never used or owned the 6. I love my 7. I have 50-80-150 lens set, find myself wishing for the 65 instead of the 50. 90% of my shooting is with the 80, almost none with the 150, and a bit with the 50. All are stunningly sharp. The 50 vignettes a bit wide open.

    Have owned the 7 ca 1-1/2 yrs; have had the rangefinder adjusted twice, once as part of a CLA it was due anyway. Also had them add a strap lug to the right upper deck, as the 7ii has, so that the camera would ride horizontally on the strap like the 7ii does., rather than hanging sideways by the lugs that attach at top and sole plates along its left side. And they did the 7-->7ii finder upgrade; well worth the $70 for the improved brightness. It essentially adds a polarizer layer to the viewfinder window, quite an improvement.

    Meter accuracy is good, once I stopped trying to second-guess it and just let it do its thing, with sparing and intelligent manual overrides. (90+% of my shooting is C-41 color.) I can get decent hand-held sharpness down to 1/30; beneath that, I just can't make it happen free-hand without support against something.

    The Mamiya 7 is the one camera I'd rescue from my burning house, if I could only save one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2009
  10. sanking

    sanking Restricted Access

    Messages:
    4,813
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2003
    Location:
    Greenville,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I think that would definitely be worth the cost if you have a 7 in good condition. The difference in brightness of the 711 is significant, and $70 is not much for the upgrade. In fact, I am very surprised that it is no more than this.

    Sandy King
     
  11. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

    Messages:
    568
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Indeed, it is surprisingly reasonable. And MAC has an enlightened business model, as opposed to the auto-repair-shop model - I sent in my "newer" 7 for CLA and conversion as it had some other minor issues when I purchased it. The $70 fee is for when finder conversion is the only job, when it's done as part of a CLA the adder is only $50 since there's a duplication of some of the work between the two jobs.