To me, the most important difference between these cameras is that the 7 is by now a pretty old camera, whereas the 7ii is either new ( if you buy new that is) or possibly quite recent. Buying used, there's a very good chance that the 7ii has less miles on the clock, and will in some respects be easier to get repaired. Thats why the 7ii is more expensive. The difference in features is quite minor.
Mamiya 7 vs Mamiya 7II
There are plenty of Mamiya 7's and 7II's that were purchased new and ended up sitting on a shelf (and sometimes even come up for sale). The reason for this is mysterious to me as it has to be my all-time favorite camera. Yes it has quirks and is a very limited system, offering as it is only four "real" lenses. But it has (in my humble opinion) an ideal combination of portablity, lightness, and superb sharpness, which makes it pretty much an ideal "all around" traveling camera.
As for the Mamiya 7 vs Mamiya 7II -- I use both and don't find the differences to be all that significant with ONE EXCEPTION: the shutter wind mechanism on the bottom is prone to breakage on the Mamiya 7 -- and if it breaks, you might be SOL. So either A.) don't let it break or B.) get the Mamiya 7II.
J Michael Sullivan
...SOMETIMES I SEE THINGS...
Here's a good summary lifted from the great Medium Format Megasite, which lifted it from somewhere else. I have included the original poster's name:
<start of quote>
From: Duncan Ross
Subject: Re: Medium format rangefinders (M7 -vs- M7II)
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002
Here is a comparison based on my 7 and 7II.
The 7II has the following improvements over the 7:
1) A relocated cable release socket (The 7's is by the button release, the 7II is on the lower side of the left hand grip.).
2) An improved darkslide curtain winder. The 7II has a flip down winder, the 7 has a recessed knob. I have to remove the 7 from the tripod to engage the curtain and change a lens. I use the RRS tripod plate and it comes pretty close to this knob. (You may not find this a pain if you use the Mamiya tripod adapter or something else).
3) A different type of button arrangement on the exposure comp. The 7 is a 2 button control (one to release the lock) where the 7II is a single button for lock release and adjustment (push then turn)
4) A brighter viewfinder (though I don't really see much of a difference)
5) The 7II has multiple exposure capability.
6) The 7II has a chrome plated battery cover, the 7's is black.
7) The 7II has the word MAMIYA embossed in raised letters on the left hand grip. The rubberized material for the grip is the same, though.
8) The 7II has an extra strap mount so the camera can be hung
horizontally. The strap lugs are chrome on the 7II, rather than black.
All in all, they are very equivalent depending on what drives you nuts and your use. I don't like removing the 7 from the tripod to change lenses). The 7's viewfinder can be upgraded or under $100, but it's really not all that different. Since many people do multiple exposure in photoshop these days, I can't understand paying much for this feature. <end of quote>
Is it definitely a lens issue not a body issue (short baselength aside)? a friend has a 150 and he has terrible problems with focus that seem far in excess of baselength causing imprecise focus. Some shots are like a dropped holga! If the lens manufacturing could be to blame getting the thing matched at a service center wont help him will it?
Originally Posted by Pinholemaster
I have a 150mm lens that behaves perfectly, albeit that a lens with this focal length on which you can't see dof ttl and where the lens barrel markings are an exercise in optimism does require a little experience.
First thing I did when I got the 150 a few years ago was to test its ability to focus right at known distances, with the intention of returning it for replacement if anything was adrift. I had no problems then and none now. But its not an easy lens to use for the reasons above.
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I tend to be a wide angle user, so the 150mm wouldn't be an issue for me. In many ways it is the 43mm that really interests me. Does anyone have experience with that?
43mm is fabulous & fun. You must learn to focus thru the camera rangefinder and then view thru the 43mm viewfinder, but you get good at this. It is the camera/lens combo used for this:
Given one camera only, this would be it.
No problem. I still get quite a lot of use out of a Leica IIIa where you have to do this for every lens. As long as the lens is optically good I'm happy.
Originally Posted by Loose Gravel
Incidentally, I have a Mamiya 7 with 65mm lens for sale. Great condition, works flawlessly.
You can see it here. http://www.apug.org/classifieds/show...cat=all&page=1
I can email more pics, etc...
Be careful his bow tie is really a camera