Mamiya 7(ii) vs Pentax 67ii as a travel camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by echoism, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. echoism

    echoism Member

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    I love shooting medium format, but I'm getting tired of the 6x6 format and looking to get a 6x7 format camera. I'm looking for something that comes as a system, is fairly lightweight for travel/walking around, and is very handhold-able (I rarely, if ever, use a tripod). Right now, I shoot with a Hasselblad 500cm with 80mm lens, and it's about the perfect weight for me, and I carry it around everywhere. I did try a Pentax 6x7, but it was so huge and unwieldy that I ended up selling it.

    So right now I have it down to a choice between a Mamiya 7 and the Pentax 67II. I do prefer the closer focusing and dirt cheap lenses of the Pentax, but the Mamiya has the advantage of less weight and size, superb glass, and leaf shutter lenses. Unfortunately, I have no way to test out the cameras before I buy.

    For those who have tried both, which would you recommend as a travel camera, especially for landscape or street photography? Is the size and weight of the Pentax 67II much greater than that of the Mamiya? Any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    I've owned a P67II system before, it was nice. Kinda regret selling actually. One of the things that SO MANY people on the net rave about is "sharpness". Yes, the Mamiya 7 lenses are SHARP, VERY sharp in fact! So are the Pentax lenses.

    Personally, I believe that the reason why Pentax lenses aren't reputed to be "as sharp" as the Mamiya le ses is primarily due to the shaking of the body itself during exposure. Mamiya is a leaf-shutter based system, so less mass moving around vs the Pentax and its big focal-plane shutter.

    However, the seemingly lower-contrast "softer" look(at least to MY eyes) of the Pentax lenses vs the "crunchy sharp" looking Mamiya lenses, to me yields a more pleasing negative/chrome in the end.

    This guy(well at least as recently as my email to him last year asking if he still shot film after seeing his stuff in Conde Nast Traveler magazine) still shoots film on some jobs, using Pentax 67II, and maybe some Hasselblad:

    www.juliencapmeil.com

    -Dan
     
  3. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Just curious. Is the Pentax 67ll that much lighter than the Pentax 6x7?

    Even if it is, I would expect the Mamiya 7 to be much lighter and of course the Mamiya 7 has the sharpest interchangeable lenses in medium format. With the Mamiya 7's ultra sharp lenses and better film flatness it rivals 4x5 in sharpness. Of course 4x5 has the advantage of tilt along with other camera movements.
     
  4. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    I have used both Mamiya 7 and Pentax 67 (both original models). The Mamiya 7 is significantly lighter, much more adept for street photography and the lenses are both sharper (the result of not needing to be configured with a complex design to accommodate the presence of a mirror) and have more contrast than the Pentax. If these things are of importance to you, then the Mamiya is by far your best solution.

    However, if you are looking for a truly comprehensive and affordable system that can tackle virtually everything, or you regularly photograph things close up, then the Pentax is is your solution.

    For me personally, I chose the Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens. This suits my kind of work perfectly and has been my sole kit for more than 12 years. When I make my photographs, I generally am out walking in the city for at least 6 hours and carrying the Mamiya never becomes a chore, doesn't result in backache and gives me the results that I want. Naturally, (although this is only once in a blue moon) I do see the odd image that requires focussing closer than is possible with the Mamiya but I accept this 'loss' as the result of having a system that suites the other 99% of the work that I want to make.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  5. thegman

    thegman Member

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    Not used a Pentax 67, but have used Mamiya 7 and Hasselblad. For travel, i.e. not tripod, and carrying it around with you, Mamiya 7 is a clear winner for me. Maybe the Pentax does not feel as big as it looks in shops, but it seems far too big to be carrying around on a regular basis.

    Also, depending on whether you're interested in fixed lens cameras, there is always GF670 or Rolleiflex, each smaller than even the Mamiya 7. Or if you don't mind something a little older, a Zeiss Super Ikonta (6x6) makes most 35mm cameras look massive.
     
  6. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    I carried my Mamiya 7 with 80mm & 65 mm lenses in a Think Tank Retrospective 7 bag all over to England, France, and Italy for several weeks last year. Some days we were out walking from morning until after dark. No problems. I don't have a Pentax 67 but I do have a Pentax 645N system, which is heavier than the Mamiya 7. I don't think I could have carried the Pentax all day without needing a spinal adjustment! :D
    . Both are great systems.

    Regards,

    Kent
     
  7. ChuckP

    ChuckP Subscriber

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    The P67II with 3 lenses would be pretty heavy to carry around all day in a shoulder strap bag. I would think you would need that kind of bag for fast easy access for quicker hand held shots. I carry mine in a backpack like configuration which makes it easy. But requires you to remove it for use. I always use a tripod. I would think that you could carry a Mamiya 7 and 3 lenses on your shoulder much easier.
     
  8. lbenac

    lbenac Member

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    I am with Daniel,

    I have both systems. If weight and size were not an issue, I would stick with the Pentax 67 system. The look of the 200, 90 and 55 on Acros is beautiful and I sincerely prefer it to the Mamiya. There are also a lot more choice of lenses. I have a 75mm Tilt and there are a couple of Macro lenses. I found the P67 with normal prism easier to focus than the RF. On the other side the Mamiya weight less, it is easier to shoot hand-held. In my books the two systems kind of complete each other. They both have one weakness - 6x7 instead of 6x9. I really like the negs from my 1945 Kodak Medalist or from a Fuji GW690. If you are thinking using one "normal " lens only, I would suggest you look at the later.

    Cheers,

    Luc





     
  9. TimVance

    TimVance Member

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    Fuji GF670.
     
  10. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Having used both for travel, mainly backpacking as I'm sure my gallery uploads might suggest, the M7II is significantly easier to handle in the field and store. I needed a heavier tripod for the Pentax, and with the wood grip, which I consider essential, the thing is a monster in most bags. I travel up to 50-75 miles with my tent, food, clothing, and all my gear PLUS a carbon tripod, the M7II, the 150mm, 80mm, and 43mm lenses and it comes in around a 55lb pack. The camera is tiny.

    The difference in optics is pretty significant. The images from the Mamiya are almost cold because they are so critically sharp and contrasty, while the Pentax is surely smoother and more pleasing for people photography.

    Oh, and the Mamiya's shutter is so quiet that sometimes you wonder if you actually took a picture. There is no mistaking the audible clack of the Pentax.
     
  11. echoism

    echoism Member

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    Thanks for your input everyone. It looks like it will probably be the M7 for me, at least for now! I go everywhere by foot/bike/public transportation both at home and when I travel, so weight and portability is the biggest factor, and it looks like it wins hands down. I do like the range of lenses and close up focusing of the Pentax, but it's not critical to my shooting, and I have other systems that can do that anyway.

    Only slightly lighter, but I've heard people say the ergonomics are much improved.
     
  12. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    When you say you want something that comes as a system, I'm wondering what constitutes a system for you. Both are systems, but the Pentax has more options in the way of lenses, viewfinders, grip, focus lever etc.
    As others say, the Pentax is not really designed for handheld work even though the ver.II is quite a bit lighter.

    The Mamiya, on the other hand, is perfect for hand held work.

    If you just want 6x7 and don't need interchangeable lenses I would concur with TimVance about the Fuji GF670. It is fabulous and incredibly compact and portable.
     
  13. skyscrapers

    skyscrapers Member

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    I myself, also started out with the mamiya 7 kit. And although I absolutely loved the camera and it's razor-sharp glass, there were just too many drawbacks for the kind of shooting i do regularly. For instance the 80mm opening to only a 4, and the minimum focus being more than 3 feet. For the portraits and street work I enjoy doing, it just didnt work for me. I sold that camera system after testing out a pentax 6x7 and falling completely in love with it. Although I do miss my mamiya camera quite a bit (for mainly nostalgic reasons, and because my back now hates me after lugging the pentax everywhere) I still know that the pentax is my perfect camera system.