I bought my Plaubel Makina 67W from Frank Marshman, who used to run the repair shop "Camera Wiz" and now does repairs from his home. He's an expert with Plaubels, and he told me that I should set the focus to infinity when collapsing the lens, and not to let it bang out or bang back in -- gently put it in and out with your hand. So far I've had no issues with mine.
I have a makina 670 (takes 220 as well as 120). It is an incredible camera not only for its ergonomics and small size but for the incredible images it produces. With portra 160 I can enlarge to 16x20 before you can begin to see the difference between it and a 4x5. I've always had it serviced at Nippon in nyc. Focusing to infinity before closing the lens is essential to maintain the integrity of the struts in the folding mechanism. This bit of info was in the original users guide - adhere to this advice if you wish to keep your plaubel free from expensive repairs. Try to find the grip, especially if you have big hands. The mamiya is a great camera too just nowhere near as sexy and sleek as a makina.
I found the makina 67 to have a better feel than the mamiya 6. The mamiya 6 I sent back to the seller after a few days of receiving it without shooting because there was a technical fault, but I already decided that I was not going to look for another mamiya 6 just based on the handling itself.
As for repairability, I haven't quite thought about it, except that I will try to shoot as many good pictures with these incredible cameras as possible until they break down. :)
my 670Attachment 64325
One sample shot
I have two Mamiya 6's and love them to death. As many know on here, I couldn't recommend this camera enough. But that is because it fits my style of shooting perfectly, and the square format is awesome. The "winder problem" is a bit overrated. As long as you're careful when advancing and have the camera CLA'd every few years it will be fine. Same for the build quality. Other Mamiya 6/7 owners would agree with me that these are tough cameras, not as tough obviously as a Leica or Hassy, but what exactly are you planning to do with these cameras? Don't we treat all our cameras with care? I've never used a Makina. They do look interesting, but I find one lens too limiting. The 6 has 3 perfectly spaced focal lengths that are super sharp. My only gripe with the 6 is that the meter takes getting used to. I've found on mine that I set it one stop slower than the ISO I want. So If I want to shoot at EI400 I'll set the meter on the camera to 200. I find the Bronica RF645 to be the best all around MF RF there is, but that's not related to this thread.
I have a Makina 67 and it is my main travel camera. From the jungle in Mexico to a wet west coast of Ireland it keeps shooting. But the reality is it gets beat on the back of my motorcycle 10-15,000 miles a year. Frank the Camera Wiz tuned it up two years ago. Still ticking and I love that 80mm Nikon lens.
This is a really, really tough call. I'm in the middle of the same decision.
Due to unique circumstances I can keep either the PM67 or the M6 (with all three lenses), at no difference in cost. It's a real struggle for me as I really don't shoot that much, but both are awesome cameras. I must confess, so far I've reached for the Makina most of the time to play with, but the time has come when I have to get rid of one or the other, or both (I've actually got two Makinas in hand so one will need to go anyway). These belong to my older brother, who says to keep what I want and sell what I don't for him.
It's a good problem to have, but it's still problem. I hope bumping the thread gets more discussion, although, in the end, it is an individual decision.
I got the Mamiya 6 (over the 7) because I prefer the square format, and the smaller package. I did not even consider the Makina.
Like you reliability was a concern. It is alot of money to spend on an oldish camera with electronics. While Mamiya is no longer servicing or making parts for the 6 - I always figured I would have considerably better luck finding either for the Mamiya over the Makina.
If you do not care about format, or folded size....get the Mamiya 7 - it is newer so better likely hood of being serviceable for longer.
That being said, the Mamiya 6 is about the perfect camera for me. It has one "but" for me, and the only compromise. That is the close focus ability. I like you, take alot of photos of my family, so this is a problem. I happen to have the close focus adapter which is admittedly pretty ridiculous looking, but it does work, and I do not find that it is any harder to focus with it attached. I also, do not find that it reduces the optical quality of the lens that much. It is a PITA to carry around, and worry about though.
So its one drawback, is only about a 1/4 drawback.
Other than that I do not have any compromise.
It is easy to carry, travel with, fast to use, the lenses are phenomenal. The meter works great. What else can I say.