Please Help me Learn about my new Mamiya 7

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BardParker, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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    I have been looking for a medium format rangefinder to supplement my Pentax 645N, as this is a bit bulky to lug around for travel. Anyway, I was on the way to church this morning, and bid at the last few seconds on a Mamiya7 kit with both 80mm and 65mm lenses. I wasn't expecting it, but I won the auction at what I believe to be a great price! I now need to learn all I can about this camera. I have read some reviews, and understand about changing lenses. Can any fellow APUG'ers give me some tips on using and maintaining this wonderful camera system?

    My wife and I are celebrating our 25th anniversary with a trip to London, Paris, and Rome for 2 weeks in September, so I am looking forward using the Mamiya 7! :D

    Thanks,

    Kent
     
  2. phelger

    phelger Subscriber

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    congrats with your 25 years - and with your Mam7, you won't regret it. I have a Mam7 II and am delighted.
    You won't need a lot of instructions - here is the manual

    http://www.mamiya.nl/client/mamiya/uploads/downloads/mamiya_7_instructions.pdf

    I've found the most difficult being the light meter. It's not centre-weighted since the centre of measuring is SW of the viewfinder centre. You must do some experimenting. In any case I don't use it very much, prefer to use a handheld.

    and enjoy London- bring sturdy shoes you'll do a lot of walking!
    Peter
     
  3. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    Add the 43 mm & the 150 mm lenses. AVOID THE 210 mm LENS !

    The 43 mm lens being a Biogon design will be phenomenal, with NO
    DISTORTION !

    The 150 mm lens, being the longest coupled rangefinder available will
    be very useful.

    From what I've read the II version has a better metering system.
    Go to the Ken Rockwell web-site on the about the Mamiya 7's.

    If you need a flash, look at a Quantum X model, because you're
    going to need power for a Medium Format camera.

    This will also work with your Pentax 645.
     
  4. kerne

    kerne Member

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  5. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    I have exclusively used a Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens for all of my personal work for the past 11 years and highly recommend it. The 65mm is wide enough for my needs, provides a large viewfinder image with the ability to see outside of the frame lines and its angle of view is very easy to get used to making previsualising very simple. Every image on my website was taken with this combo.

    It is very simple to operate and I can honestly state that I have never needed to consult the manual.

    I do not use the metering system as I have always used a hand meter and, during testing, found the Mamiya's built-in metering system requires a great deal of interpretation as it is a quasi spot. You cannot use this camera as a 'point and shoot' because you have to very accurately choose where to meter and then use the AE lock. Using my old Weston I meter the shadows as I am walking about looking for images and, if I need to shoot fast, I have the exposure to achieve good shadow detail already set on the camera - so no need to start messing about with the built in meter.

    Given the lack of mirror movement, the 65mm lens can be used with confidence at 1/60 hand-held. If you are careful, you can easily use 1/30. However, using Delta 400 rated at EI 200, I have often found that I needed to use even slower shutter speeds to cope with the depth of field I require and to get detail in very dark shadows where I wish to retain detail. Therefore, many years ago I bought a cheap bakelite collapsible shoulder brace for use with the Mamiya. With this shoulder brace, I regularly shoot at 1/15 with confidence and, occasionally, shoot at 1/8 (when doing so I always shoot several frames in case of shake but, overwhelmingly, all frames are sharp).

    Enjoy your new camera and your Europe trip.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Or even better, go somewhere other than London. i.e. somewhere nice to walk with nice scenery.


    Steve.
     
  7. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    There are few better places to walk around than London, especially since the Thames pathway has been opened up.
    There is an incredible variety of scenery, both old and new......it makes Paris look rather tired.
     
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I was suggesting ignoring cities totally.

    It is common to read posts from people asking advice about travelling to other countries and their plans are more often than not to take in the capital cities of the countries they visit.

    I think that's strange as I would prefer to visit quiet, scenic parts of a country.

    As far as walking in London is concerned though, that is really the only way to do it. You don't want to drive and try to resist the temptation to use the underground. A good street map is essential.


    Steve.
     
  9. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    It looks like the original post will be on a bit of a whistle stop tour of Europe covering three capital cities within two weeks. Granted we have some unrivalled countryside and villages in England, but you need time, and in many cases your own transport to reach them. I would certainly advise walking rather the using the Underground, which is very expensive, and at the time he is visiting, is likely to be very crowded since (I believe) the effect of the para-Olympics will be current.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Many years ago when I used to visit London, I always used the underground. It was only when I was there with a friend that I realised that walking is easier. He suggested that we go to Covent Garden and I was expecting to go down the nearest underground station and come back up at Covent Garden. Instead we walked round a couple of corners and there it was. From then on, I always made sure I had a good map and walked everywhere - even some long distances which surprised my London dwelling friends who thought I should have used the underground or bus in those particular cases.


    Steve.
     
  11. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    Yes, London's an excellent "walking" city. I'd advise BardParker to start with walking the South Bank of the Thames walkway, from Westminster to Tower Bridge, where there are some excellent restaurants along the Shad Thames area for a meal break....along the way take time to explore the historic Borough Market area, also visit nearby Southwark Cathedral. If time permits, go for a river trip on one of the Thames Clippers....they run a regular service from Westminster to Greenwich.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    And no London trip would be complete (for me anyway) without a visit to Aperture, a camera store in Museum Street. Go at lunch time as it's a café as well!

    http://www.apertureuk.com/

    And I assuming I haven't talked the OP out of visiting London, There are some good views to be had from the observation area at the top of the OXO building.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OXO_Tower


    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2012
  13. rolleiman

    rolleiman Member

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    Completely agree! (although take care not to blow the holiday money on the eye watering selection of camera gear they have).....And while there, take time out to wander the surrounding streets and squares of Bloomsbury!