So I'm in a bit of a quarrel of formats..

I bought a Mamiya 645 AFD about 6 months ago, intending to use if for the sole purpose of portraiture. Once I got a good feel for it with my own dinking around, I started using it for professional work.

WOW! The negatives and scans were amazing...when they were in focus.

BUT...Repeatedly I would miss shots because either the AF couldn't lock on fast enough (if at all), and if it wasn't the AF, the shutter lag was just horrendous..I kept missing shot after shot after shot, and at about $1.50/exposure my profits were being eaten up like candy. I began to loathe shooting with it because it was clunky and expensive.

SO, I started using my F100 more and more when I wanted the shot to count, until I got to the point where I just don't even use the Mamiya anymore.

The Nikon's AF is much faster, smoother, more reliable, almost no shutter lag, much smaller, less intimidating, shoots more pictures, and is MUCH cheaper to shoot.

BUT..The pictures generally aren't crisp like the Mamiya (when it's in focus, mind you), and grain is much more intrusive.

The films I generally shoot are either Portra 400 or 400H (depending on my mood).



I really want to keep shooting film, it's working so great for me. I can have a consistent look/style and i'm starting to get a reputation for being a film shooter. It's gotten me work!

But I hate shooting with the Mamiya and I'm thinking of selling it, along with one of my F100's for a Nikon F6.

I've got some film that's enroute to RPL to get souped and scanned in. I shot some tests with my patient girlfriend with the Mamiya AND F100 just to have a more exact, straight comparison.

I'm thinking,

Pros:
Mamiya 645AFD--------------Nikon F6
Big negs-----------------------fast burst rate
DOF control with 80mm---------smooth, reliable AF
Can shoot digital---------------cheaper to shoot
.........................-------------no shutter lag
.........................-------------stronger body
.........................-------------better viewfinder
.........................-------------weight savings
.........................-------------quiet (for the most part)


Cons:
Mamiya 645 AFD--------------- Nikon F6
Lousy AF------------------------small format
Lousy MF (with AF80mm)---------not as sharp
Expensive to shoot---------------grainier
long shutter lag------------------.................
fewer exposures per roll----------.................
poor metering indication----------.................
loud-----------------------------.................
awkward to hold-----------------.................



My question for all the APUG'rs:
Do you think it's crazy to give up the 645AFD in favor of an F6? I really want to like the Mamiya, but I just can't. I like the end result, I just don't like shooting with it. I really want to get an F6, but I'm not sure if the quality is up to the challenge quite yet.

So far, it seems like most clients have been OK with the quality, but I did have a couple clients complain about the pictures being blurry and grainy. They were perfectly in focus, it's just that I was shooting at f/1.4 and film doesn't have that digital sharpness, not to mention 400 speed 35mm film is grainy compared to MF or digital.

I'm torn on whether to just suck it up and try to make the Mamiya work, or try to see what I can squeeze out of 35mm.

I do not want to shoot digital.

I can't think of any wedding/portrait photographers that shoot primarily 35mm, they're all Medium format(on a Contax 99% of the time) or digital.

Thanks in advance