Mamiya 7 + 43mm the best thing ever?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kurt765, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    Reading Ken Rockwell's review of the Mamiya 7 has suggested to me that this combination would be the best thing ever. So, I've been toying with the idea of getting this combo.

    The Mamiya 7 II just has a multi-exposure switch and a brighter viewfinder compared to the 7 from what I understand. I doubt this will be too much of an issue for me (not one worth 2x the cost of the body anyway). The 43mm lens he says is the best lens ever. Ridicusharp, flare-less, distortion-less, and wonderful at any and all apertures, focuses, subjects, etc.

    Has anyone ever scanned a picture shot with this lens at full resolution and put examples online? I'm curious. Currently, I have twin Mamiya 645's. I am considering making the move up since my primary use for the Mamiyas these days are star trail pics where I want a wide lens and big film resolution.

    Can anyone take a moment to sell me on how awesome this would be?

    -K
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I don't own Mamiya 7 but I wouldn't base anything on Ken Rockwell's reviews. His reviews are very questionable at best. Many of his claims are really off the wall. Some of his product reviews were written before the products were released. (recent 50mm f/1.8G for example) Quite honestly, I don't know what to believe when he says something - even if he really had it in his hands and tested them or just going over spec sheets. I won't go into details here as he mostly reviews digital stuff.
     
  3. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    Should be good. I've heard a lot of good stuff about this lens and camera. I had an SWC for a bit and that lens was pretty darn good; the Mamiya 43 is thought of just as highly.

    The biggest issue I'd think about using this lens with the camera is that you have to focus with the internal finder and frame using an external finder. I do this with my Zeiss 21 and my CV 15 on my rangefinder. It's not the end of the world but it can be annoying every once in a while.
     
  4. jhw

    jhw Subscriber

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    Here are four...they come from full rez scans of 100-300 megs. So, keep in mind flickr's top limit of 15 megs or so. It's a lovely combination, indeed. The need for a viewfinder is a hassle though, don't underestimate it...you'll never get the exact framing as you would on a Pentax 67. But when it works right, you can enlarge to large format sizes without batting an eyelash.
    http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=39265644@N00&q=43mm
    john
     
  5. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    Thank you. Samy's has one for rent locally and I'm going to try it out as soon as I get a free weekend. Lovely images there. Cheers.
     
  6. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I have tended to assume Ken Rockwell's reviewing efforts are some sort of elaborate practical joke.

    Tom
     
  7. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Agreed.

    I have the 43mm and the M7II and can say that the combo is damn near perfect. It reminds me of shooting a 4x5 wherein one can get the foreground and background sharp and in the same frame. As far as my eyes can tell, all of the negs produced are nice and contrasty, sharper than anything I've ever used.

    The M7II also has a better meter, since you can use it as a spot meter, using the center marker on the rangefinder as your spot.

    Check out my gallery, "Special Ruin" and "Three House Ruin" were both shot with the lens.
     
  8. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

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    I really feel so bad and very sad and frustrated when i read posts about Mamiya 7 on forums, i have one [version II] but it doesn't work, and i must send it for repair but i can't, so i just keep reading about people using it, i bought 65mm lens as the first one and it will be one of my most lens to use, but the most favorite or let's say the second fav best lens i gonna buy later will be 43mm definitely.
     
  9. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    the 43mm is God's own lens, no doubt. it's The reason to own the Mamiya 7 system, really. Fantastically sharp into the deepest corners of the negs, it's as good as wide angle gets on medium format, bar none.

    BTW the viewfinder on the 7 and 7II are essentially identical the 7II has a polarizing film on it, but other than that, no difference. I have both, and in practical terms they are interchangable.

    The meter is the same between both 7 and 7II, contrary to what was implied above.

    Yes, the external viewfinder is a bit of a hassle but for what you are using it for it won't be a big issue at all. Even in normal use it's pretty quick to deal with it that way.

    Definitely worth getting the 7 and 43mm combo!

    -Ed
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Is it? I have a friend with a M7 and compared it to my M7II and it was showing different readings when pointed around the scene. I assumed they had changed something. Thanks for the correction, Ed.
     
  11. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    While I know nothing of the Mamiya 7 and 43mm lens combination in particular, I know that Mamiya's rangefinder lenses are really very good.

    But please please please refrain from using the word 'best'. It is such a subjective term and gets misunderstood easily.

    And, I second the opinion above about Ken Rockwell. I find most of his reviews pretty uneducated and even offensive at times, and the only sensible reason must be that he's playing a practical joke on us.
    Please form your own opinion before you go spend money on something that Rockwell writes up.
     
  12. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Yes, for me it's the "best" because it does all the things that I desire for my photography: Lightweight, sharp/contrasty lenses, and multiple focal lengths in my favorite format--6x7. The lenses are quite spectacular and the body, although cheap feeling in some ways, is quite easy to use and feels very proper in one's hands. So for me, it's the best I've come across, and clearly for others, it's not. Especially for those who like SLRs as well as those who need closer focusing that 3-5ft.

    I actually do believe his reviews are written in an honest assessment, but with a serious slant of satire towards people who are uber analytical about their equipment.
     
  13. rphenning

    rphenning Member

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    Literally the only two marks against the Mamiya 7 family are it's expensive lenses and it's inferior-to-Leica build quality. The only issue I hold against them from those is their expensive lenses, as the camera has survived a lot of wear from me.

    Mamiya 7. Boom. Done.
     
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  15. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    I own a 7 which was given to me. Frankly, I would class it as one of the worst of the several MF cameras I have owned in the past and own today.
     
  16. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  17. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    One of my favorite photographic essays. Thanks for posting that, it's been a while.
     
  18. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I used to have a Mamiya 7, results cannot be faulted, but I did not rate the build of it. It's just pure plastic, and whilst that can be good, I just didn't like it. I traded for a Hasselblad, and I miss the Mamiya's portability, but the SLR of the 'blad is my preference for tripod shots vs. walking around shots. It's a really good camera if you don't mind that it does not look or feel anything like a Leica, Rollei or Hasselblad. My brother had a GF670, and that is a different beast entirely, if you don't mind the fixed lens, it is even more portable than the Mamiya and looks about as good as any camera I've ever seen. The bellows combined with modern features make it look like no other camera, and I just love it.
     
  19. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    The lenses are only expensive if you buy them new from Mamiya America Corp. Used, they are cheaper than comprable Canon EF lenses for example. And hellishly cheaper than anything comprable by Leica. Ugh! The price of leica glass is insane.

    Plastic - only on the surface. The underside is a single casting, machined to pretty exact tolerances. And as far as inferior to leica build quality... I suppose if build quality means it needs to go to the shop regularly for maintenance, then sure, Leica earns that title.

    The 43 is such a spectacular lens. I wish they had released the 43mm aspherical they (Mamiya) designed for the RZ67. Not that it would be better than the M7 lens (not likely possible) but still would have been nice to have that wide a lens on an SLR.
    -Ed
     
  20. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I'm glad you agree that 'best' is personal.

    My 'best' camera is the one I know inside out, loaded with the film I know inside out, and carrying the light meter I know inside out. Helps me to not think about the camera when I take pictures.

    And for the record, I still think Ken Rockwell isn't qualified to write reviews. Sorry.
     
  21. kurt765

    kurt765 Member

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    The word best was lifted directly from Rockwell's reviews of both the 43mm and the Mamiya 7 system in general. I ask here for other's first hand experience before I go and get my own, which I will do as soon as I have the opportunity.
     
  22. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I'm sure you can find out elsewhere that the 7+43mm is fantastic (it's a combination I would dearly love to own yet sadly I must pay for my own food...). However, and I quote, "Ken Rockwell is a goober".

    The man himself says that his reviews are effectively for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken seriously. Considering that his business model is ad revenue, everything he writes is with the aim of stirring controversy and getting people to link to him.
     
  23. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Say what you like about Ken Rockwell, he's one of the more popular photo bloggers, and he bangs the film drum, that cannot be a bad thing.
     
  24. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    oh, he is highly entertaining, popular and does bang the big-film drum, which is great.

    Just don't base any important (ie purchase) decisions on what he writes for the purpose of drumming up ad revenue.
     
  25. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Back to Kurt: depending on what your plans are (shooting wise), I'd go ahead and get it. You can easily re-sell it for how much you got it for the begin with most the time. That said, just remember that focusing close is not a M7 strong point, and the f/4.5 doesn't make it really a fast lens either. But once again, depending on what you're doing with it, this might or might not matter. For landscapes, certain city scenes and other extreme wide shots, it's delightful to use and definitely worth getting at some point.
     
  26. rkmiec

    rkmiec Member

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    Please send it to me for proper disposal.