My review of the Mamiya 7II

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by david b, May 28, 2004.

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    I'm not sure why I am doing this but I just wanted to voice my opinion on the mamiya 7II with 65mm lens.

    I've had this camera a little over a week and it's been a very pleasant experience. I purchased the camera on ebay from a female DC attorney who was unloading most of her gear including this camera and an xpan. She wasn't going digital, she was just staying with a Canon kit she had.

    I owned a M7 last summer for a week and sold it under pressure from my mentor who doesn't like rangefinders. So, I never really used one but I always lusted after one.

    So, the auction came up and I won it. Honestly, I was thinking I would be outbid but I wasn't. The camera arrived in perfect condition. Plus, I won a M7 with a 65mm lens two days earlier. So now I have two Mamiyas but I think the M7 is sold.

    Anyway, I promptly read the owners manual and loaded a roll of film. I took a quick stroll downtown to expose my first roll of film. I was using the internal meter just to make sure it worked.

    Well it did. And it worked damn good too.

    This camera is a joy to use. It's easy to hold and to focus. And it's small enough to stash away in most small bags. A good friend of mine has the same camera and keeps it in a gap messenger bag. Whatever.

    Anyway, I exposed so more film today. I used the internal meter and a pentax digital spot meter to double check my exposures. The camera always matched the meter. Even the deepest shadows.

    Now I have been warned by other owners to beware because it is kind of a center weighted spot meter of sorts but the camera exposed everything just fine.

    This camera has really put me in a dilema. I have a full Hasselblad kit as well as a Pentax 67. I never really enjoyed either one as much as I enjoy this camera. I don't do much studio or still life work (not yet) so I always had to lug around my tripod. This really doesn't bother me but sometimes it attracts unwanted attention (especially when I have my 503 with 3 lenses with me). So now I am thinking, "do I really need all this other gear?".

    My only issue with the camera is film loading. I can do it somewhat quickly but I have a hard time lining the arrows which leads to frame 10 being cut off. No big deal but then that leaves me with 9 pictures.

    Wow this is long. Sorry.

    Well, I am not sure I am saying what I really want to say, and that is this:

    This is a terrific camera. The lens is every bit as sharp and contrasty as my Zeiss glass. Now I am sure some of you will whip out some MTF charts or some other chart to try to convince me otherwise but "TO MY EYE" these negs look awesome.

    I will be making some prints from these negs next week. In the meantime, I am going to shoot some APX 25 with the camera to see what it can do. And yes it will go on a tripod.

    I've posted a photo from today. Let me know what you think.

    Sorry for the rambling mess.... It's late.
     
  2. Leon

    Leon Member

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    Eh? did you really sell a camera after only a week because someone else didnt like it? That sounds like an utterly bizarre thing to do to me. Did you like the M7?
     
  3. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Hi David:

    I would almost never sell camera equipment unless I really needed the money. Keep the Hassleblad and work your way into it for maybe studio work or when you need a lot of exposures in a hurry. But in the meantime enjoy the convenience of the M7II and sell me the Pentax.

    There that was easy wasn't it.

    Michael McBlane
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    I will never sell my Hasselblad. I have often joked that I would be broke and homeless, living in a box, before I ever sold my Hasselblad. Even then, I might be in a box "with" my hasselblad.

    And when I am ready to sell the P67, Mike will have first shot at it.
     
  5. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think anyone can challenge the sharpness of the lenses -- at least not based on the photogeek testing i've seen. There is, certainly, a unique beauty to the zeiss lenses.

    I also think you'll find that the mf slr's and rangefinders have different strengths -- so it would be a good thing to wait until you are living in a van down by the river and or carrying your life's belongings in a shopping cart before you sell.