Totally agreed. I have both and don't think in sell none. Keep the Hasselblad for God's sake.
Originally Posted by Nicole
As another photographer who has both, I'd suggest keeping the 500c/m if you can afford and try out the M7II. The 6x7 size has grown on me although I would much prefer if it were 6x9.
Also, don't discount the Hasselblad for street shooting either. Being able to shoot with your eyes away from the camera is a major plus for me. It's less intimidating and people are more amused at my head bent over peering into the waist level viewfinder than anything I'd think. I would usually have two film backs with me and often times just a 50.
I absolutely adore my mamiya 6es. Superb lenses, a light and fairly compact body that has a rather low profile, handles very much like a 35mm camera but provides far more detail. The body collapses down to almost nothing- I can easily fit two bodies and all the lenses into one little shoulder bag... or just tuck one camera and lens into a jacket pocket.
My usual caution to those interested in a the 6/7/7ii is that the lenses aren't fast, so you can't think of this camera as an available light weapon like you might think of some 35mm rangefinders. The VF, though, is big and bright and wonderful. And scale focusing is very simple and straightforward. Stability wise, I routinely handhold the 6es down to 1/15 and beyond, no problem. The MF RFs are not as versatile as a MF SLR, nor should they be; but they are weapons for scenic and landscape photography and such, and they are fabulous for travel. One mamiya 6 plus three lenses easily goes into a little bag. I am looking at the bag I just used now, it is 6" deep, 6" wide, and 4" deep. So... pretty small.
Mind you, it's just not right to even compare a 6/7/7ii to a hassie or any slr for that matter, it's a totally different tool. You have to find out for yourself if it's right for you. Try it. Give it a real chance. Changing gear, in a fairly radical way, can be a great way to re-energize your photography and find new ways of looking at subjects. RFs in particular force you to imagine the DOF and imagine the 2D rendering whilst looking at the subject in 3D. Some people never become comfortable with that, for me it was way more natural than looking through an slr VF. Go figure! Everybody's different. I find the 6 extremely easy to focus, on all the lenses.
Winder... I don't know about the fragility of the winder, I am pretty rough with my gear and so far no issues. I bought a "bgn" grade mamiya 6 from KEH as a backup and I use it routinely now.
If you are in doubt, then consider picking up a fixed lens 645 Fuji RF. For $500 or less you can get something super portable and nice. I used to have two Fuji 645 RFs and loved them. I did trade them in when I bought into the Mamiya 6 line, and I don't regret that at all, but I am definitely not going to knock the Fujis.
P.S. I find that changing film on the Mamiya RFs is simple and fast, as is changing lenses. I mean I am pretty sure I could comfortably do both in the dark in about 5-10 seconds. In fact, I know I can because I used to shoot lots of IR with the 6es and changed the film in a changing bag. Whatever you shoot, you need to become so familiar with it that it fits like a glove. Life's too short to fight your gear- if it's not comfortable for you then ditch it and move on.
P.P.S. I suppose it's worthwhile to mention that of all my cameras, the 6es are the only ones with a resale value that has gone up rather than down. If you absolutely must, I'd not be afraid to trade in your other camera to try out a 6 or 7 or 7ii for a while... the prices aren't going anywhere. If you lose any money on the deal it won't be much. But as everyone is saying, hold on to what is already working for you... if it is already working for you.
Last edited by keithwms; 01-19-2009 at 09:40 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I have a bid currently on a Mamiya 6MF which I would prefer over the 7II. If I don't get it then no big loss but if I do I will compare the 2 and then make my decision. Given the choice I prefer the 6x6 format. Right now I am concerned with portability so the hassy can at times be a little cumbersome. I do really like the Mamiya 6 though but until I test it for myself I guess I won't really know
Where do you live? KEH has a nice return policy....
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I live in Md. and I guess if this bid doesn't work out I will look into Keh.
<<<I feel the Mamiya would give me the ease of faster shooting for street shots.>>>
I agree and, like you, I've also got the Hasselblad and the Rollei twin lens. My Mamiya is the 6x6 w/50mm, and I can't imagine a better medium format street camera. A truly wonderful lens on a solid, fast handling camera with an excellent AE system. It's been a great camera for me.
On the street and at fairs and such, I often hang the M6 around my neck and shoot without looking.
East Snook, TX
I rented a Mamyia 6 years ago and fell in love with it, and recently bought a 7. They're rather dissimilar in important ways: the 6 is a lot smaller to tote and easier to work with (no h/v decision). They both suck on a tripod, because some of the film loading controls are on the bottom.
The speed of the lenses is no big deal compared to a Hassy, unless you use the 80 wide open a lot.
The framing and closeup issues on the Mamiya 7 are pretty serious, and you have to review your work to see if you can live with the limitations.
Like Keith, I have a pair of Mamiya 6's as well and have all three lenses. The 50mm lens is stellar; I keep an occasional eye on ebay for a spare, but they don't go cheap. I picked up a second body (a 6MF) after reading about potential winder failure with no replacement parts available, but both bodies are going strong. I take them on motorcycle trips; they are a great travel camera. The profile of the camera with the 75mm lens collapsed into the body is probably narrower than most 35mm AF bodies with a normal lens attached. The RRS QL plate makes for fast on/off to a tripod or monopod.
I would also say keep the Hassie and add to it if possible. My only concern for you would be, if you have never handled a rangefinder before you might not like it at first, or be turned off by it. And that's only because it is different. Renting is a great idea, but it may take you a month or more of using to get used to it (changing lenses, changing film, focusing) and fully appreciate it. That's the tough part about buying vs. renting.
I love rangefinders. I have the Mamiya 6 and Bronica RF645 and am looking into a Mamiya 7II. For me it's the portability, ease of use, and most of all, the optics and results that I like.
I certainly recommend you try one, whether you buy or rent just make sure you give yourself enough time to see if it works for you. The worst thing that could happen to you though would be to sell your Hassie, buy a M6, use it for a while and find it's not for you.
So if you can, add the M6. If budget doesn't allow, rent for as long as you need to make your decision.