Mamiya 7 or couple of Fujis

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mark Fisher, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I am thinking of getting rid of my fairly recently acquired Leica. The images are pretty much the same as I can get from my canon primes. The smallness and quietness is nice, but not worth it. I got it hoping to use it on business trips and vacations where the 4x5 is not practical. I've found the Leica not as good as I hoped and clearly need a bigger neg.....and I think I do want a 6x7 or 6x9. I've tried 645 and it is simply not big enough for my taste. That leads me to two very different cameras: the wide and normal Fuji and the Mamiya 7 with an 80 and 50mm lenses (plus a 150mm eventually). I might consider a Pentax 67, but I think I'd prefer the 4x5 than haul that beast.

    The both seem available used. I'd probably tend to try to get the Mamiya from London or Hong Kong new, though, since the price is pretty low. The Mamiya is a more compact system. The 2 Fujis have a built in back up, are cheaper, can go 6x9, no meter and are more to haul around.

    Any comments? -- Mark
     
  2. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    6x7 is a less interesting proportion than 6x9. Other wise you've covered the ground fairly well. The mamiya 7 has the 43 which is lens to lust after -- at least it is for me. For me the Maiya fits my handsbetter, has a better feel and is over all a really easy to shoot camera. Having said that, I am so in love with wides and the 6x9 (2x3) format that at some point I may try and find the fuji 6x9 with the wide angle lens
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    You're kidding - right?

    Love the Fuji range finders but, if I had the means, I'd go for the Mamiya 7-II in a heartbeat! I think the Fuji is what you buy when you can't afford the Mamiya...

    Good luck with your decision.
     
  4. sanking

    sanking Member

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    I have a Mamiya 7 outfit, with two bodies and four lenses, and a Fuji 6X9 with 90mm lens. I previously owned a Fuji 6X9 with 65mm lens, and a Pentax 67 system.

    The first advice is forget the Pentax 67. It is a great camera for many applications, but for use in travel and on vacation you really don't want the weight.

    The Mamiya 7 is a more modern camera and it is superior in many ways to the Fuji 6X9s. If you like really wide angle work, get the Mamiya 7 with 43mm or 50mm lens. If you like an array of lenses to cover wide angle to medium tele, get the Mamiya 7. If you need built in metering the Mamiiya 7 is your camera. If you like a really smooth and quiet shutter release, get the Mamiya 7. But if you like simplicity and working with just one body the Fuji 6X9, with either 65mm or 90mm, will probably beat the Mamiya in print quality. If you need both wide angle and normal lenses, I would recommend the Mamiya over carrying two Fuji bodies.

    The Fuji GA645Zi, which is a point and shoot 645 with autofocus, autoexposure and variable focus lens, is a great travel camera as well, if you can live with the negative size. Too bad Fuji did not make this camera in 6X9 format. That would have been a dynamite film camera.

    Sandy King
     
  5. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Sandy are you saying the Fuji 6x9 will beat the Mamiya in optical quality?

    That is not a loaded question or any attempt at picking an argument, I am currently considering getting a range finder rectangular format camera and the Mamiya 7 11 I have to test is a bit expensive for the limited applications I have in mind. The 6x9 format and less expense sounds good to me if the optics of Fuji is as good as the Mamiya 7.

    Dennis
     
  6. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    Another quesiton,

    I just looked at a fuji 6x9 with the 90 on ebay and they show a switch that goes from 4 exposures to 8 exposures to 16 exposures. I get the 16 is for 220 what I don't get is what is the 4 exposures for?
     
  7. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    They used to sell short rolls of 120 in Japan which were 1/2 the length.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2007
  8. sanking

    sanking Member

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    My opinion is that Mamiya 7 lenses have slightly greater resolution, but the Fuji EBC lenses appear to be more contrasty, so in terms of lens quality there is a wash, or perhaps slight advantage to Mamiya. But the 6X9 format requires less magnification on the long dimension than 6X7, so there is a slight advantage to Fuji 6X9.

    The major negative for me with Fuji 6X9 is that you have to carry an acessory exposure meter.

    Sandy King
     
  9. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    I've got the latest version of the Fuji 6x9 with a 90mm lens, its probably produces the best negs of all my cameras. The lenses are truely excellent. It's a nice light travel camera, although the fixed lens can be a pain.

    The Pentax 67 is too heavy for me to travel with, its a beast.
     
  10. herb

    herb Member

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    Mamiya 7 or fuji 6x9

    I had a Mamiya 7II with the 43 and the others, took it on a long trip to India.

    Easy to use, but I wound up hating the 6x7 format. I have the Fuji 6x9 and a horseman 6x9 VHR, which is another way to go.

    Depends on how you like the format. I cannot get comfortable with 6x7.

    IMHO the Mamiya is more user friendly and very well built.
     
  11. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Yes, I also find it hard to love the 6X7 format, but easy to love the Mamiya 7.

    And what do others do with that extra negative that won't fit into standard size print files?

    Sandy King
     
  12. erikg

    erikg Member

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    Too bad the Leica didn't live up to your expectations, but I think they may have been too high, it is just a 35mm camera in the end. (But what a camera.) I have used all of the cameras you have mentioned and I agree with the other posters, format ends up being the big factor. I love 6x9 so the Fujis work great for me. I'm not so crazy for 6x7, so even though the Mamiya 7 is a great camera, I couldn't keep it, just didn't work for me. I actually think the Mamiya 6 may be the better camera, but it depends on how you feel about squares.

    Sandy, what extra neg are you referring to?
     
  13. Craig

    Craig Subscriber

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    With 6x7, you can fit 3 strips of 3 exposures in a print file sheet, and there is one frame left over that needs a another sheet. It depends upon which style of Print File sheet you use.
     
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  15. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I have the Fuji GW 670 II and the GSW 690 III. I absolutely love the lenses on them. But for travel, the Mamiya 7 is a better choice because it is lighter and much more compact.
    For the normal (90 mm) lens I prefer 6x7 and for the wide angle (65mm) I like the 6x9, which gives a wider feel to the image than does the 6x7. As far as aspect ratio... the image is more important and I don't worry about how it fits on a piece of paper.
    My $0.02

    gene
     
  16. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Thanks all....this really helped me to sort this out in my own mind....when I think about it, I really do want a Mamiya. When I am traveling for business or with my family, I'd be better served by the smaller package with an integral meter. I really don't care for 6x7 (6x8 would be perfect), but I've never been afraid to crop when I need to. As a mechanical engineer, I do appreciate the mechanical elegance of the Leica. As a cheap photographer, I can get much better results from the bigger negative. When I want grain and fast lenses, I'll use my Canon. Now I just need to decide how to "cash in" my Leica and how to best buy the Mamiya (-:
     
  17. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Mark,

    Do it. I don't think you will be disappointed if image quality is important. Nothing against Leica, but the large 6X7 negative, in combination with the incredible optics of Mamiya 7, pretty much blows Leica out of the water in a direct comparison when print size is larger than 5X7.

    Sandy King
     
  18. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I toured several MF RFs and I can offer a few stray comments. My tour began with several fixed-lens Fujis, the ga645ZI (the zoom one) and the ga645W. For a while I took those two with me everywhere. Great cameras, actually. Kinda clunky, but outstanding. But I wanted to enlarge less and get bigger chromes and negs, so I gravitated into the 67 and 69 RFs. I adore the fuji gs690 and gsw690, they are superb, and they would make an excellent travel pair. But I settled on a mamiya 6 after I realized that the whole kit with 3 lenses could be had, used but in excellent condition, for ~US$1500. And that kit is incredibly compact- about the size of a typical slr kit. The 7/7ii are not quite as small but still very reasonaby sized for what the deliver.

    I had reservations about shooting squares at first, but it turned out to be a much needed refresher in composition, it kind of flipped a switched and caused me to think more creatively. There was a comment somewhere above that 67 is not as interesting as 69; I think there is no inherent "interestingness" of any particular aspect ratio, it's up to you to fill the frame and use the geometry.

    Looking at the prices now, I think the ~$900-$1000 price tag on the gsw690 is not justified. Sure, it's a great camera and the EBC lens is nice, but that price inflation is too much in my opinion, for a fixed lens RF. However, I do wish I'd bought one when they were going for much less.
     
  19. poutnik

    poutnik Member

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    Alas, Fuji also made a 6x8cm version of those rangefinders (I think both the normal 90mm and 65mm wide lens version), but I think only for Japanese market. I have seen several on eBay in the past years, but not very many. They should fit 9 shots on a roll of 120 film...

    The label is GW680 and GSW680 respectively.
     
  20. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day

    seems to me you are just a tad confused, what do you want, small, medium or large format?

    these are different tools for different for jobs, how can you possibly compare a Leica to a 5x4?

    what sort of images do you make? or is that just a secondary concern?
     
  21. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    I don't think I am confused. When I am traveling (particularly for business) there is a compromise between image quality and what I can reasonably bring. I tried the Leica route (best I can do in 35mm and small). I was not satisfied with that for landscape work. It is great for street photography, but so is my Canon. I tried a Rolleicord....happier, but the quality still did not rival my 4x5 even at small enlargements (BTW - the 4x5 comes anytime it can). This brings me to a 6x7 or 6x9 with modern lenses. I know I can crop my 4x5 to 6x9/7 proportions and get acceptable results up to about 11x14 so I think that a Fuji or Mamiya makes the most sense.

    Again, thanks all for your help with my indecision -- Mark
     
  22. sanking

    sanking Member

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    We often have to compromise on image quality based on what we can reasonably carry on a trip, especially if we go by air. I travel quite a bit by air and am often faced with the same compromise. I would really rather take the 5X7, but Mamiya 7 or Fuji 6X9 is a good compromise.

    With Mamiya 7 or Fuji 6X9 I have the potential of approaching 4X5 quality. Some may not agree with that statement, but with the correct choice of film and used on a tripod, as we would use 4X5, these camera give extraordinary results.

    One issue I should mention, even though it may be slightly taboo here. If your work flow involves scanning it is not possible to obtain maximum quality with prosumer type scanners (Epson V700, V750 etc.). Go to the Hybrid site if you are interested in this topic.

    Sandy King
     
  23. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    My advice, before you sell your Leica, is to see if you can rent a Mamiya 7 and try it for yourself.

    Over the years I owned a pair of Mamiya 6 bodies with the 50 and 75 lenses, the Fuji GS645S with the 60mm lens and the Fuji GW690II with the 90mm lens. I also rented the Mamiya 7 with the 80mm lens to test.

    The 6 is a wonderful camera and I kept mine for a long time, but in the end I couldn't get along with the square format. As for the Fujis and the Mamiya 7/80 combination, I found that I intensely disliked the lenses, especially the rendering of distant OOF content. The tonal character of the Fujinons was also a bit harsh and unsubtle for my taste. BTW, this judgment is based exclusively on B&W use - with the exception of a few rolls of color neg in the Mamiya 6's very early on, I didn't use these cameras for color.

    The Mamiyas are much quieter, more compact and more friendly in the hand. OTOH, the 90mm lens on the Fuji GW690 cameras is an ideal combination of focal length and format IMO. But in the end, neither worked out for me, despite their appeal on paper.

    None of which means that you won't find the Mamiya 7 ideal for your purposes, only that what makes a camera work or not is often some subtlety that's hard to judge from a description or from someone else's testimonial. So see if you can try for yourself before you commit to an expensive purchase.
     
  24. f1.4

    f1.4 Member

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    I had the Fuji GW690 for some time. The reason for bying it was the film format. Expectations were great, but it turned out to be too large and clumsy. Changed to Mamiya 6 with all 3 lenses. Use the wide angle mostly. With the Mamiya 6 you do not have to use an outside viewfinder for wide angle that is required on the model 7.
    Handles like a slightly larger Leica M6. Even more quiet and with less vibration from the shutter. Find the square format a limitation, so I end up using only part of the film. Nice thing is that you can hold the camera horizontally regardless of the final cropping.
     
  25. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day all

    perhaps there is too much emphasis on 'image quality' and not enough consideration of image content
     
  26. sanking

    sanking Member

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    And perhaps some people should stay on-topic and refrain from gratuitous comments. Or start their own thread about topics that interest them.


    Sandy King