i have a mamiya 6 iv ( 1947 not a newer one ) and i love it!
i originally bought it to shoot through all my 120 film because of
my dislike for roll film backs on my lf camera. now it is my take everywhere camera, and i don't think i will sell it when i get through all my film (my original plan).
If the budget is available, shoot on the Mamiya 7II!
I don't know your budget of course, but my travel kit is a Bronica RF645 with 3 lenses and a Leica M6 with a 35m f/1.4. Not much I can't shoot.
The Mamiya 7II with three lenses, I have the 50-80-150 combo, weighs 2 1/2 pounds LESS than the equivalent Hasselblad set. I know, I have both and I have weighed them. The Hassy set weighs 7.7 pounds, the Mamiya set weighs 5.1 pounds.
I cannot comment about street shooting since I tend to use both cameras on a tripod but if you will be carrying one either a long distance, a long time, or both, the Mamiya wins, plus it seems to fit into a smaller bag (especially without the tripod).
The Mamiya is a bit funky to use, I still occasionally make images with the lens cap on, even after a couple of years. Lens changing is "different," and focusing is definitely different with a rangefinder. The images are impressively sharp though with every lens I have tried. Even the 150, supposedly difficult to focus produces wonderful negatives.
I'm a Hassy shooter as well and its actually about the same weight as most of the Medium Format Rangefinders(except for the folders) If you use it with the fold up hood. A 60MM lens would be great for travel. I have taken mine around the world. The real trick with whatever camera you take is to have a smaller, lighter bag just for the camera and a few rolls of film when out for the day. If you are set on a Rangefinder and want to stay square, one of the best lenses I have ever used was the Mamiya 50mm G on the Mamiya 6. Hard to find but well worth the look. I currently also use a 6x9 Fuji GSW 690111 with a 65mm lens(equiv. to a 28mm in 35mm speak) and that is also one great camera and lens combo. Which camera depends on your format of choice. You can not really go wrong with any of the more recent Mamiya or Fuji's. Another option to consider is a light twin lens Rolleicord(much lighter than a Rolleiflex). Its a great camera for travel in that its light, stealthy and cheap enough so that if something happens to it, your not out to much. It is also capable of very good image quality with its Xenar or Tessar lens. I will add that it has taken me a little time to adjust to using a Rangefinder after being spoiled with SLR's and TLR's. You may not like using the direct view framing of a Rangefinder versus composing on ground glass as you are used to.
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I have a Bronica RF645 and 3 lenses. It's very light and compact and produces stunningly nice images - it's way better than 35mm. And the price was low.
Thanks for the input everyone. I really like the mamiya 7II, but the price is a bit of a concern for me. Ive been looking into the mamiya 6 and have found a few used ones that can fit my budget. Much cheaper than the 7II and it makes my favorite image size, 6 x 6! Ill be in NYC next week and will be stopping by B&H to play with the 7II just for the hell of it (if I hit big at the racino near me, maybe i'll buy it!)
The Fuji GW690III (90mm) and GSW690III (65mm) are outstanding cameras and in terms of image performance will outperform any of the other rangefinder cameras mentioned in this thread. The lenses on these cameras are outstanding, and the 6X9 format offers a significant advantage over 6X4.5, 6X6 and 6X7. I think of them as big singe lens Leicas. And some people call them Texas Leicas. These cameras are entirely mechanical, with no exposure meter.
For a real treat consider the Fuji GA645Zi. This is a 6X4.5 point and shoot camera, with a modest zoom lens. Very light, fits well in your hands, and the performance is really outstanding. On a recent tript to Mexico I shot about fifty rolls of 220 color film with this cameras and *every single frame* was focused and exposed correctly. Just wish I had the point and shoot feature in the 6X9 Fujis!!
Originally Posted by michaelsalomon
I'd like to know how you qualify this statement. The Fuji RF's are very good cameras I'm sure, but I have read numerous reports that the Mamiyas, particularly the Mamiya 6 with 50mm, are at or near the top of all MFs.
Originally Posted by sanking
I think it is safe to say that you wouldn't go wrong with any modern, MF RF.
Before buying any RF you'll want to hold it and play with it a bit. An RF that doesn't sit comfortably in your hands is, in my opinion, useless for street and travel photography
I recommend Holga 120N, only $20 for brand new!
photos copyright 2006 by S. Kusachi