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120 RF Folders 120/220 Format Folding Rangefinders, including the various classic Zeiss Ikontas, Voigtlander Bessas, and their Ruskie copies.

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size comparison: request
Old 01-12-2013   #1
msbarnes
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size comparison: request

I'm interested in the following cameras:

Fuji GW690 (not sure on which model)
Mamiya 6 + 80mm.

I'm mostly interested in the last two. One issue is size, I know that the GW690 is a big boy but the 3:2 aspect ratio is very attractive too...I'm not into 6x7.

Well my main interest is to get a 120 rangefinder. I don't care for interchangeable lenses or meters so both of these seem suitable, to me. I like the aspect ratio of the Fuji but the portability/size of the Mamiya.

Any comparisons between these two cameras?
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Old 01-12-2013   #2
GaryLH
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They are both good cameras. I haved used the 690 in the past and was considering the mamiya at one time. Over size wise, the mamiya is going may end up more compact due to the retracting mechanism of the lens mount setup, if memory serves me correctly. I do not remember which is heavier...

I currently use a Fuji gf670 also known as a Bessa 3. It is the most compact of the three if u are after modern glass, rf w/ aperture priority. Can handle 6x6 or 6x7 formats by changing internal masking setup...

In 6x9, I use a Bessa 2. Rf but no meter.

These are both folders, but in the respective format may be the most compact rf folders for medium format out there.. Pure 6x6 rf folders, it would something like a Zeiss super ikonta 3 or 4..

If u are ok with 645, Bronica rf is a nice camera... Too bad not made anymore and no service support for it officially any longer.

Anyway just some other things to consider. But for compact as I said before of the two cameras u mentioned, most likely the mamiya.

Gary
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Old 01-12-2013   #3
msbarnes
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thank you for sharing your experience GaryLH

I wasn't clear, but I wanted a visual comparison.

About the folders. Are the Fuji folder ergonomics the same as the classic 120 folders? i had some 6x6 120 folders in the past: S. Ikonta III (or IV...I forget) and S. Isolette. I didn't like the ergonomics and I was paranoid with the design in the many issues in what can go wrong (light leaks, lens alignment, film advance for the S. Isolette.).

A 645 is another option. I had thought about the Fuji GS645S and Bronica RF. They are in the back of my mind too actually....but I then think how much happier I'd be with 6x6...i don't know.

Well, visual size comparisons for all 4 cameras (in any combination) would be great, but the Mamiya 6 and Fuji GW670/GW690 would be most useful.
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Old 01-12-2013   #4
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All folders can have issues w/ alignment and light leaks over time. Nature of the beast. With proper care and handling it should not be an issue.. The Fuji 645 folder had a well known issue with its bellows material.. If someone as replaced the bellows w/ a more standard material, it should be ok.

The Bessa 2 has a well known ergonomic problem that seems to be prevalent in a lot of 6x9 of that period --> left hand shutter release. It took me awhile to figure the best technique for this.

The gf670 is a very modern design.. Check out the writeup at camera quest on the Bessa 3 and Steve Huff's as well..

Surprisingly the Bessa 2 is more compact than the Bessa 3.

Gary
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Old 01-12-2013   #5
GaryLH
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Here us comparison between Bessa 2 (6x9) on left, Bessa 3 middle and 690.. Excuse the iPhone quality shot.

Gary
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File Type: jpg image-4167485430.jpg (29.8 KB, 40 views)
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Old 01-13-2013   #6
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Quote:
I didn't like the ergonomics and I was paranoid with the design in the many issues in what can go wrong (light leaks, lens alignment, film advance for the S. Isolette.).
If you are paranoid about those issues, then maybe you need to look at any of the non-folding Fuji's. No use taking a camera with you that you cannot feel confident with.

As for ergonomics, that's so personal you should maybe find one close by to handle before you decide.
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Old 01-17-2013   #7
msbarnes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryLH View Post
Here us comparison between Bessa 2 (6x9) on left, Bessa 3 middle and 690.. Excuse the iPhone quality shot.

Gary
Thank you so much, that is very helpful!
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Old 01-17-2013   #8
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If you are looking at the older Bessa's you might also want to consider the 6x9 Agfa Record III with a Solinar lens. Genuine coat pocket size, superb lens, and the shutter release is on the correct side!
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Old 01-18-2013   #9
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It's too bad you are not fond of the 6x7 format, because for ultimate portability, the Plaubel Makina 67 or 670 is unbeatable.

I have recently traveled with the Mamiya 7II and two lenses, and a few other times with my Plaubel Makina 670. I definitely preferred the experience with the Plaubel Makina. Here are a few "real life" reasons why:

- When the Plaubel Makina's lens is folded in, it's very compact, and especially the fact that it is very flat makes it much easier to move around, hike, or even climb rocks. The Mamiya lens sticks out quite a bit and wobbles around when walking fast or climbing.

- I had problems with the Mamiya 7II's battery, I am not sure if it was empty or if there was a loose contact. However, a second battery would most likely have solved this problem.

- Dealing with two lenses on the Mamiya was a bit cumbersome... it can slow you down quite a bit, which was e.g. a problem when I was on a guided tour and not allowed to stay behind to take pictures.

- The Plaubel Makina is flat enough to fit into hotel safes. To me, this is a plus. In the last hotel I stayed in, I could not fit the Mamiya, while I am sure the Plaubel would have fit.

- The Plaubel does have a built-in light meter, which needs to be activated by pressing a button. However, it works happily without it, while the Mamiya doesn't. And as I have just learned, it will happen that you forget to bring a spare battery and cannot find a store selling one.

- The Plaubel has a 80mm f/2.8 lens, which will give you an advantage in low light, while the Mamiya's 80mm lens is a f/4.

- Metering with the Plaubel is straight forward and simple. I guestimate the shutter speed and aperture, check by pressing the light-meter button, and then adjust to get a green light. Over- or underexposing is then just a matter of slightly adjusting aperture or shutter speed. No further buttons to mess with... I like it that way.

Comparing Mamiya 7II to Plaubel Makina 670 slides, I do notice that the Mamiya's lenses are a bit sharper, and "clearer" in image quality compared to the Plaubel. The difference is barely noticeable though, especially the sharpness difference can only be noticed when doing "pixel peeping".

Well, that's just my two cents... after my recent experiences traveling with these two, I have seriously considered trading the Mamiya 7II for a Plaubel Makina W67 (the wide-angle version), and travelling armed with two Plaubels... one on each shoulder...
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