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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Makina vs Mamiya ergonomics, reliability, and repairability

    Sorry of this is a common comparison, I would like more insight on these cameras before deciding upon the two.

    Neither of these cameras are my ideal MF rangefinder but they are both close-enough to where I can go with either but I would like to know a bit more on the ergonomics, reliability, and future repairability of these cameras before pursing one.

    Makina 67:
    I hear that there are some issues with the wires for this camera and this is the reason why repairs are expensive difficult. I do not care for the meter, is this what the main fus is about?
    -Can I get this thing worked on by anyone else for other issues? I hear that there is nippon in NYC and Plaubel in Germany but neither are cheap.
    -Are there any other common problems with these cameras besides the metering going dead?
    -How are the ergonomics of this camera, in comparison to say the Mamiya. Is it quick to operate and shoot or is it kind of cludgy.

    Mamiya 6:
    I hear that the common failure point is in the film advance, I think.
    -is this camera notoriously unreliable because of this or is it not so common?
    -is this camera still repairable? Is the 7 any more reliable/repairable? I prefer the 6, overall.
    -I assume this camera is relatively ergonomic, right?

    I figured that image quality for both are high with the edge going for Mamiya (in terms of sharpness). I don't care so much about image quality because if it isn't Holga then it is probably good-enough for my applications.

  2. #2
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    I have literally no experience with either, however, I can only imagine it would be easier to find parts / repair the Mamiya.
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  3. #3

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    Will format have a role in your decision? 6X6 vs 6X7?
    As I recall, the lenses for the Mamiya are even today, among the best around.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  4. #4
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    Have you considered a Koni Omega Rapid?
    6x7 on the cheap.

  5. #5
    36cm2's Avatar
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    I own a makina 67. Awesome camera. The wire issue really isn't an issue in my opinion unless you're dumb with the camera and swing open and shut the lens like a switchblade to be cool. I've read that you should always focus to infinity before closing to ease the stress on the wires, but i'm not sure how much i buy that. The meter is excellent and easy to use, but I sometimes prefer an incident. The camera is very easy to use and the focus wheel is great. The camera's built very solid and is more compact than anything else out there, except maybe the voigtlander 667. The lens, in my opinion, is less clinical (and for my taste better) than the mamiya and much better (for my taste) than the 667. The mamiya has the advantage of interchangeable lenses, but if I'm carrying multiple lenses, then I bring a Hasselblad and enjoy multiple backs.
    As i understand it, the two biggest repair issues on the makina are the meter wires and sometimes the film advance. Repairs can be expensive, but mainly due to availability of parts. I bought a fully functional and clean makina and i absolutely love it. I feel it's the best travel camera I'll ever own. You'll hear just as many, if not more, people say the same about the mamiya system. Whatever you choose, enjoy. Prices on makina's are better right now than I've seen them in along time. If you get a clean and fully functional one, you'll likely be able to resell it with little or no loss if you don't like it.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  6. #6
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Koehrer View Post
    Will format have a role in your decision? 6X6 vs 6X7?
    As I recall, the lenses for the Mamiya are even today, among the best around.
    Format plays no major roll.

    I truthfully prefer 6x6 but I prefer a mechanical shutter too. Both cameras are very different and have their own sets of pros and cons but I feel that either will do. I'm aware that the lenses on the Mamiya are among the sharpest but I'm not looking for the absolute best because I'm purely a hobbyist and I do not do large prints. I shoot Rolleiflex and Leica mostly and my subject is oftentimes my family and friends. I enjoy the image quality from Rolleiflex but the handling and focusing from Leica. I'd love to have a medium format rangefinder that operates as smooth as my Leica. In someways it seems like the Mamiya is the best fit but sometimes I feel that the Makina is.
    Last edited by msbarnes; 01-26-2013 at 08:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucemuir View Post
    Have you considered a Koni Omega Rapid?
    6x7 on the cheap.
    Thanks for the suggestion, I will look into it.

  8. #8

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    The way I see it, every medium format camera is some sort of compromise; considering what you have here- the Makina is pretty much compromising everything else to be the smallest 6x7, the Mamiyas are the best possible lens resolution with build quality & cost sacrificed, the Koni Omega was made to be a tough press camera- it's huge, heavy and not ergonomic. You aren't going to find something as well rounded as the Leica, not in medium format, so if you can give that up, I would suggest you either stick with the Rolleiflex or look at Hasselblad, those would be the best build, serviceability, and slick user experience, which is what I think you are looking for.

  9. #9
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    I see your point LiamG

    I'll stick with Leica and maybe try the Makina or Mamiya but I think that you're right in that I'll be compromising something.

  10. #10
    36cm2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiamG View Post
    I would suggest you either stick with the Rolleiflex or look at Hasselblad, those would be the best build, serviceability, and slick user experience, which is what I think you are looking for.
    I've owned both of these as well and, together with the makina, they are each very very different experiences that i don't think are easily comparable. If you're asking mamiya vs makina, that makes sense to me because you're trying to narrow down the best rangefinder experience for you. But if the field is still wide open to slr's and tlr's, then there are a lot more fundamental questions to answer before getting to the op's question.

    No offense to your comment, that's just how i would analyze it.

    All the best,
    Leo
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

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