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  1. #11
    keithwms's Avatar
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    It seems to me the argument would be portability (Bessa) vs. versatility (Mamiya 7).

    The ultimate performance edge very probably goes to the Mamiya, but that's kind of moot IMHO- if I were going for world record sharpness, I wouldn't reach for a folder in the first place. I mean, is this logical: you want a compact, low-weight, unobtrusive kit, so you pack a fixed-lens folder... and a tripod so that you can get the very best performance out of it. :rolleyes:

    Much, much more important is how you will use the camera and whether it will help you feel productive.

    Incidentally, I have a batch of Mamiya 6es, my camera of choice for travel. The 3-lens kit (50/75/150) + two bodies easily fits into a small bag. Another compact kit that I used to use consisted of two fixed-lens Fuji RFs, that also worked well. I cannot bring the Mamiya 7ii into my family because then I will want all the lenses; that is the nature of my illness. So I am resolute in my decision to stick to the 6es!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  2. #12

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    maybe the comparison should be the mamiya 7 ll vs the fuji GW 690 even though one is 6X7 and the fuji a 6X9. these cameras are more similar than the Bessa ll vs the mamiya 7 ll.

    I don't know because I haven't tried any one of them. I have an Isolette ll with the solinar lens. it produces good pictures but wanted a bit more vesatility and sharper pictures.

  3. #13
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Why not seek out some members near you who have these cameras and try 'em out. There are very good arguments for all of them. There are ways to trade/loan gear through apug. Also, KEH understands your plight and would probably ship you all of the above for a small fee, to try out for a week. When I was trying to decide similar thing, I kept stuff going back and forth between myself and KEH for months.

    6x9... well it depends what you're after. For me the ratio isn't what I go for, usually, it reminds me a lot (too much?) of 35mm: too long to match the standard print sizes I like, but too short to make me think of pano compositions. So for me it's an unfortunate compromise in the same way that 35mm format is a compromise. But that's just me, of course, pay no heed- do what you want to do. There is a 6x8 fixed lens fuji, you might look at that. When I had a horseman 6x9 field camera, incidentally, I use the rb 6x8 back with most of the time. Go figure!

    Bottom line, you have to try them out. Don't let some online chat site decide what tool is best for you!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  4. #14

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    I guess the best comparison would be between and mamiya 7 ll and the fugi GW 690. I just thought for sharper pictures with more detail and cost savings that the bessa ll would fit the bill. If I got the Bessa ll a few years later I would be wondering if I should have gotten the mamiya or the Fuji, assuming that they produce sharper pictures with more detail.

  5. #15
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Well I have a concern with folders in general, namely that the fold-out mechanism might not be stable enough over time. If the mechanism were made of invar or such, then fine, but even so, repeated deployment of that mechanism worries me, and I expect that the camera will need routine care and even so, I don't know how well the thing will maintain rigid coplanarity as it wears. I could be overblowing this issue of course, time will tell. But honestly I don't think there is much argument for a folder if what you want is ultimate sharpness. That's just not what RF folders are designed for.

    The mamiya 6 pop-out mechanism is more clever than that of a traditional folder, IMHO: the lens is firmly supported from all directions. Why this design hasn't been used more, I don't know, maybe it's just too expensive to do well. But it's a real gem of a design. My two favourite camera designs: the mamiya 6 and the olympus XA, both are so clever that I get a kick out of using them
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManBea View Post
    I guess the best comparison would be between and mamiya 7 ll and the fugi GW 690. I just thought for sharper pictures with more detail and cost savings that the bessa ll would fit the bill. If I got the Bessa ll a few years later I would be wondering if I should have gotten the mamiya or the Fuji, assuming that they produce sharper pictures with more detail.

    The Fuji GW690III and GSW690III are excellent cameras with very sharp modern Fujinoin EBC lenses. Theses lenses don't test quite as high in resolution as the Mamiya 7 lenses, but the extra width of the negative of the Fuji makes up for it and image quality is about equal with both cameras. The Fujis are large, but the hard plastic construction keeps weight down.

    The Fuji 69 cameras are of older design than Mamiya 7 and lack internal metering. Most irritating, they also lack a B setting on the shutter and the method for making long shutters if very clunky. Still, they are great cameras if you can live without the meter and can work around the lack of B setting.

    I owned both the GW690 and GSW690 before acquiring my Mamiya 7II outfit. I was very pleased with the Fujis, but overall Mamiya 7II has many advantages. On the other hand, in most cases you can buy a Fuji with lens for a lot less than Mamiya 7 with lenses so the Fuji is real good value.

    Sandy King
    Last edited by sanking; 09-26-2009 at 09:53 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by keithwms View Post
    Well I have a concern with folders in general, namely that the fold-out mechanism might not be stable enough over time. If the mechanism were made of invar or such, then fine, but even so, repeated deployment of that mechanism worries me, and I expect that the camera will need routine care and even so, I don't know how well the thing will maintain rigid coplanarity as it wears. I could be overblowing this issue of course, time will tell. But honestly I don't think there is much argument for a folder if what you want is ultimate sharpness. That's just not what RF folders are designed for.
    Just for the record, the fold-out mechanism for the Bessa II is very rigid and most models that I have seen are still in good condition at this point. The major problem in terms of sharpness with the Bessa II is the pressure plate and the rather long lens of 105mm which requires good adjustment of the rangefinder.

    BTW, a friend who has a Bessa III and a Mamiya 7II oufit tells me that the lens of the Bessa III tests better than any of his Mamiya 7 lenses. Tha is pretty impressive if it turns out to be generally true.

    Sandy King

  8. #18

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    If or when Voigtlander make an all mechanical 6x7 rangefinder camera with a similar specification to their R3M 35mm, then I will seriously consider buying one.
    I would want this camera to be able to have a series of wide-angle and short telephoto lenses as well. This would make it a competitor to the Mamiya 7 II system.

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