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  1. #31
    craigclu's Avatar
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    I didn't realize this would be a controversial comment but simply one referring to the tactile nature of the camera. I plan on eventually owning one as it is ideal for my purposes so I actually find its capabilities first rate in my own estimation. I don't currently have the loose funds for yet another addition to a bloated stable! My only misgiving about the outlay was the fact that the handling of the camera is a bit of a let down in the area of perceived quality. The hollow, plastic sense of the camera just doesn't seem in keeping with its price point while the little Bronica is surprisingly solid and leaves one wondering how they made it at the price that they did. I currently own a Bronica RF and find that to be a gratifying trait whenever I use the camera. As a tool, the Mamiya should deliver better results, it's still in production and doesn't feel much bigger than the Bronica in actual use. The Mamiya definitely doesn't feel cheap and I'm sorry if I implied that but it is a slight disappointment in that area for its $1500 price. I'm certain that the construction is actually very robust and clearly better than painted/anodized metal in scratch/dent resistance.
    Craig Schroeder

  2. #32

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    Jan 2005
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    Bronica problems

    I owned an RF645 for less than 1 year. While I loved the way the camera handled and the results that I obtained with it, I had several mechanical problems with it. The first time that I went for a hike with the camera, the battery door opened and the batteries fell out, leaving the camera dead in the water. As this was just a short, getting to know you hike, I didn't have spare batteries with me, and so I was essentially camera-less. Later, during a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, the winder mechanism broke on the second day of the trip, leaving me with only my Holga to use. As I had run only about 75 rolls of film through the camera, I felt that this was a rather premature failure. Both repairs were made promptly and without charge by Bronica, but I lost all confidence in the camera and sold it shortly afterwards.

  3. #33

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    Nov 2005
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    Mamiya 7 comments

    My favorite camera of all time is my Mamiya 7II.
    Second would be my old Leica M4 (talk about expensive!).
    Third is my current Linhof Technikardan.

    Truth be told, the Mamiya does have its shortcomings (what camera doesn't?). However, I have learned to "see" with this camera and find its limitations to be minor.

    Pros:
    - lightweight
    - razor sharp lenses (noticably sharper than my old Pentax 6x7)
    - 50mm + 80mm + 150mm covers practically every situation
    - quiet (like any good rangefinder)
    - did I mention lightweight?
    - great "handling" camera -- like a 35mm
    - bright rangefinder

    Cons:
    - limited lens selection (nothing longer than 210mm)
    - 210mm is hard to focus
    - expensive here in the USA
    - battery operated shutter eliminates ability to do n-hour exposures
    - forget about doing macro work
    - wide angle and tele lenses require viewfinder to arrange, switching back to rangefinder to focus (reminiscent of my old Linhof Technika)

    Overall a very fine camera. I'm sure the 6x4.5 fans can elaborate on why their cameras are better. Probably the best reason to consider 6x4.5 would be a future that would include digital backs.

    Anyway I'm extremely happy with my Mamiya and expect to get many more years out of it.

    Michael

  4. #34
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    Conceder this, Bronica is out of business as of Oct. 14, 2005 and no longer supports their cameras. The only support you have is the parts already out their and non-factory repair. They made an offer to buy all unsold stock from dealers, this gave them some sort of legal loop hole so they don't need to make any parts and can stop selling parts in 2008. Mamiya is doing well and has a history of supporting their gear.
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by raucousimages
    Conceder this, Bronica is out of business as of Oct. 14, 2005 and no longer supports their cameras. The only support you have is the parts already out their and non-factory repair. They made an offer to buy all unsold stock from dealers, this gave them some sort of legal loop hole so they don't need to make any parts and can stop selling parts in 2008. Mamiya is doing well and has a history of supporting their gear.
    Bronica has stated that they will support their cameras for 7 years. And I called Bogen Imaging, the US distributor, to verify that they will support the cameras. Also, they just serviced my RF645 - they converted from 135mm to 100mm framelines and adjusted the rnagefinder verticle alignment.

    But, hey, this fear mongering is great. That's why I landed a brand new warranted RF645 with 65mm lens for only $550.

    Glad you like your Mamiya. But I wouldn't bet much money on the finacial future of any company whose primary business is MF film cameras.

    Robert

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