Mamiya 7, High Maintenance Camera?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by RattyMouse, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I am wrestling around with the idea to get a Mamiya 7 but from some I gather that the camera might need more trips to the shop for routine service puts me off a bit. Does the rangefinder need that must adjusting? How often do you have to get your camera serviced? I find it hard to pull the trigger on this camera despite seeing really beautiful images that it can create. Looking for feedback from people who primarily shoot this camera.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    I have been using a Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens exclusively for my personal work for the past 13 years. I have had no issues with the camera - even the battery (which was an initial worry having previously only ever used mechanical cameras) lasts for ages. Of course with the long lenses shooting wide open there is the potential for rangefinder issues but I know of no one amongst my friends who do use the long lenses who have had an issue.

    However, just to be safe, I came across instructions on how to adjust the rangefinder and stored them on my hard disk. TRhe links are:

    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1631

    http://tomwestbrook.com/Photography/rangefinder_adj.html

    If these sites no longer work, let me know as I saved the text from these website.

    Finally, as I stated at the beginning, I know of no one personally who has ever had an issue with the Mamiya 7. I have read things on the web, but with some many people posting, it is very hard to know how isolated/common these problems are.

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  3. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    I have used a Mamiya 7 with 65, 80, 150 lens for 10 years and never had to touch it. No servicing, no adjustments. In my experience it is a low maintenance camera. I have dragged it around the world many times and while I don't treat my equipment roughly it has been inside back packs on some long rugged treks and always performed. I change the battery every two years or so just in case but have never had a battery die on me.

    A friend of mine had a problem with the blackout curtain breaking on his 7II (mine is 7). It makes a rather violent sound when released. Camera was still useable but one lens per roll was the limitation there.

    My only minor issue has been with the self timer. Sometimes it doesn't fire and the shutters are so quiet its not easy to tell!
     
  4. Steve Goldstein

    Steve Goldstein Subscriber

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    My experience is similar to Tony's, down to issues with the self-timer! I purchased mine use about 12 years ago - it has never let me down, and has never required service. The self-timer is just not annoying enough to warrant repair.

    I wish Mamiya had included a little sensor inside each lens, mating to a viewfinder indicator to remind the user to remove the lenscap. Coming from SLR-land, I certainly had my share of blank frames until I developed the habit to pocket the lens cap as soon as the camera comes out of the pack.
     
  5. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    I've never had an issue with mine either. Let me know if you do decide to purchase - I might reconsider selling mine.
     
  6. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone! Very helpful. Now I just have to decide if I want to go this route or stay 35mm with a Contax G2. I dont think you can help me with that call.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    That's a tough call - the G2 is so wonderful, and the automation available on it makes it extremely fast to use if you need it to, and it's a cinch to carry the camera and a full complement of lenses for it in a very small bag. The optics are perhaps the best ever for 35mm. On the flip side, with the bulk of the Mamiya 7, you also get that big negative, and as the hot-rodders from Detroit always said, "there's no substitute for (square) inches". And the glass for the 7 is perhaps the best glass made in Medium Format. But it's bulky, heavy, and the long lens has a substantial minimum-focus deficit and is slow (f8), making it a bad portrait lens, unlike the 90 for the G2. Quel Dilemma!
     
  8. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    I never had an issue, per se, but did get it CLA'd for good measure before selling. The rangefinder was partly off, but I am awfully rough on camera equipment, so don't look at me like a good example.
     
  9. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Yes, you understand my dilemma perfectly!