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  1. #11
    keithwms's Avatar
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    The Mamiya 6 system is fabulous. That's the only system I like so much that I bought up several bodies. The 6/7 lenses are incomparably sharp, providing truly LF-like levels of detail. The 6 system is very compact and thus ideal for travel and hiking, and the character of the lenses is perfect for documentary and scenic shooting. However, because it is an RF with no integral close-focusing capability and the lenses are not very fast, I would not recommend the 6/6MF/7/7ii system for portraiture and closeups and shallow DOF stuff in general; for that I use the rb and 645 afd systems. But in terms of detail, I think you can bet your bottom dollar that the mamiya RF lenses are tops, and you pretty much have to shoot slide or very fine b&w film to see what they can do.

    I don't understand the comment above about RFs not being suited to contemplative photography. In my experience, RFs are especially well suited to this style of photography. But of course, different strokes for different folks.
    Last edited by keithwms; 06-05-2008 at 10:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  2. #12
    lns
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    I agree with the advice to try (or at least handle) a few different types of cameras before you buy. Each system has strengths and weaknesses, and the form factor is also very different. Some are really heavy, too. Finally, I'd urge you to consider which type of the uses you cited -- street, landscape and people -- is most important to you for this camera. In the alternative, which can be handled by another camera or by another format you already have.

    For me, 35mm is perfect for travel and snapshots of people, and would be fine for street if I shot street. So I am really happy with a Hasselblad on a tripod. I use it for more formal portraits and landscapes. But you may really want a medium format camera mostly to take street shots or candids of people or travel pictures. In which case my recommendation would be a bit off.

    -Laura

  3. #13
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    I don't understand the comment above about RFs not being suited to contemplative photography. In my experience, RFs are especially well suited to this style of photography. But of course, different strokes for different folks.
    Because the range view doesn't have the same look. It is like looking through a window. And often that window is partially obscurred with a lens shade. And you don't compose to all the view you see, you must compose in a little superimposed box. And also it is easier to be contemplative when you can look at a focusing screen through a WLF.

    The Mamiya lenses are as good as hasselblad and Rollei no doubt but in my opinion the image quality lacks character. In my opinion of course.

  4. #14
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    I will add my .02 here. I use both a Hasselblad and a Mamiya 6 system. Each has their good aspects like Mamiya is so much more portable and lighter than a Blad set up, but I would not use a Mamiya 6 for close-up/portrait work as it's completely unsuitable for that for the most part. The Blad is best in this case. Lens quality wise, the Mamiya 6 lenses beat the zeiss equivalents by a decent margin in some tests. However you would be very hard pressed to see this difference unless you had lab/bench equipment to measure it. The Mamiya 6 50mm has just about zero distortion across it's field of view, and has phenomenal resolving power. The newer Zeiss 50's (CFi) are close with their FLE capabilty, but the older non FLE versions get trounced by the Mamiya 6 50mm lens. :-)

    I've considered selling my Mamiya 6 RF several times due to the prices they fetch up on E'Bay, but I just cannot bring myself to do it!

    The square format has become intuitive to me to use as well. I really hate cropping, but I have that flexibility if the rare occasion presents itself where I have to crop.
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  5. #15

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    I've got a Bronica SQ-A (a medium format SLR) that I use for studio portraits, but I HATE lugging it around for landscapes and street work. I also hate the slap of that huge mirror every time I take a picture. I lock it up most of the time, but then that defeats the purpose of an SLR, doesn't it?

    I just bought a Mamiya 6 and I absolutely love it. Quiet, easy to carry, sharp images. I have no problem with rangefinders, I find I prefer them to SLRs. I've started using it in the studio too, both handheld and on a tripod.

    I do wish I had more format options. I would like to have a wider negative for landscapes. Yesterday I saw a Mamiya Press. It's a big monster but what options! 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 4x5, roll film, sheet film, polaroid, whatever. And built like a tank. I can feel my Stimulus Package pointing in that direction.

  6. #16
    david b's Avatar
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    I have owned a Hasselblad kit for more than 7 or 8 years and never had an issue with mine, other than the usual film back maintenance. There is a long list of positives as to why you should own one:
    -lenses
    -interchangeable backs
    -accessories
    -quality
    -lenses

    blah blah blah.

    The Mamiya 6 is a wonderful camera but it has a serious flaw: the film winding mechanism. And since these camera are no longer made or service by Mamiya, you are taking a serious gamble with the camera. It could stop working at anytime. This is probably why Keith owns several bodies. I would too if I wanted to use this camera.

    The Hasselblad is a time tested and well proven system. The design is really simple and smart. You can even put a digital back on it, if you moved that direction. But you can shoot some b&w, take the back off, and put on another one loaded with color film. The lenses are top notch and those MTF charts are only good if you are photographing newspaper print or printing bigger than 16x20, which you probably aren't.

    So get the camera that is a true system, the Hasselblad. It is still being service by Hasselblad. Just be sure to buy CF or newer (CFi or CFe) lenses, as they have run out of parts for the very old C lenses (made in the 1960's and 1970's).

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdonovan View Post
    I've got a Bronica SQ-A (a medium format SLR) that I use for studio portraits, but I HATE lugging it around for landscapes and street work. I also hate the slap of that huge mirror every time I take a picture. I lock it up most of the time, but then that defeats the purpose of an SLR, doesn't it?

    I just bought a Mamiya 6 and I absolutely love it. Quiet, easy to carry, sharp images. I have no problem with rangefinders, I find I prefer them to SLRs. I've started using it in the studio too, both handheld and on a tripod.

    I do wish I had more format options. I would like to have a wider negative for landscapes. Yesterday I saw a Mamiya Press. It's a big monster but what options! 6x6, 6x7, 6x9, 4x5, roll film, sheet film, polaroid, whatever. And built like a tank. I can feel my Stimulus Package pointing in that direction.
    Well not 4X5, but I have used my Universal as my primary landscape camera for 22 years, bought it used in 1986. The lens are for the most part excellent, I have an early 150 which is only average, the latter models said to be better. I dont have the $250mm, for that matter I have only seen a couple 250mm over the years and they tend to be pricy. I find that I use the 80mm and 65mm most often, the 65mm uses a 45mm filter which can be hard to find. You need a really steady tripod. I have the grip and I have shot weddings and other events hand held. You can also find ground glass backs. But the newest cameras are at least 25years old, I think Mamyia stopped making the press line in the late 70s or early 80s, so they are getting long in the tooth.

  8. #18
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david b View Post
    The Mamiya 6 is a wonderful camera but it has a serious flaw: the film winding mechanism. And since these camera are no longer made or service by Mamiya, you are taking a serious gamble with the camera. It could stop working at anytime. This is probably why Keith owns several bodies.
    yup!
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  9. #19
    david b's Avatar
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    Have a look at this auction.

  10. #20
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    I have both the Mamiya 6 system and the Bronica RF645 system. Both are excellent! If you want to shoot square certainly go for the Mamiya 6. The lenses are the sharpest medium format lenses available. You'll be amazed. As for the winding mechanism, I've never had any problems. Just don't crank really hard on it and you'll be fine. Rangefinders do have drawbacks and certainly are not for everyone. If you don't need to focus very close, need telephoto lenses, or need absolute precise framing, then this is the system will work for you. It feels just like a 35mm SLR in your hands. Keep an eye on ebay for good deals. Again, I highly recommend it.

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