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Mamiya M6 or M7?
Old 04-21-2009   #1
didjiman
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Mamiya M6 or M7?

OK, I know I should do better than to listen to Ken Rockwell, but he claims that because the Mamiya M6 has a better meter (center weight'ish rather than spot) and that the lens retract, therefore it's a better camera than the Mamiya 7/II. The downside is that the widest is only 50mm.

I think live with either the 6x6 or 6x7 format, what are people's thoughts on this subject? The Mamiya 6 is getting old, what kind of CLA or adjustments do they need? Any gotchas?

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my thoughts
Old 04-24-2009   #2
scottkathe
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my thoughts

Ok, since this has gone unanswered I'll take a stab at it but I'm no authority on the subject. The Mamiya 6 is an older design and people who use it seem to love it. There have been reported issues with the film transport mechanism in the 6 and from what I have learned there is a discrepancy as to whether this can be repaired, some report no parts available and I've seen another post that said parts are still available.

I recently picked up a Mamiya 7 with the 80mm lens from a forum member here-thanks again Ryan I picked a 7 since it can do 6x7, I have a Minolta Autocord if I want to do 6x6. I was considering a 500CM or a Rollei TLR but I have the Autocord and if I want a 'standard' rectangular print size my 6x6 becomes a 6x4.5 while the 6x7 requires little if any cropping.

Some people have a hard time composing with the 6x6 format. I really like the 6x6 format but nearly all my compositions taken with the Autocord only work in the square format, if I try to crop to fit an 8x10 for instance the composition falls apart. With all the formats I use I tend to compose depending on what I see in the viewfinder or on the ground-glass. I haven't been able to train my eye to compose one aspect ratio within a different format. My 35mm stuff, tlr and my 4x5 and 6x7 usually work best in the aspect ratio of the camera they were composed in which can be frustrating if I want to use precut mats.

Scott
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Old 04-24-2009   #3
sevo
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The 6 is quite a bit more compact than the 7 - but on the other hand, it is much more bulky than the Fuji GA645zi, which covers quite the same useful lens range than the 6 with its rather modest lens palette, while the 7 is a pretty complete system (with a bit too much dependence on auxiliary finders, though). It is really a matter of personal preferences. Don't bother too much about serviceability - all 120 rangefinders save for the new Bessa III (and few years on the Mamiya 7, plus maybe the Bronica in a few markets) are beyond their official service life, and in terms of serviceability, the Fuji GW family was the last that can be maintained almost infinitely beyond factory support, all newer designs rely on electronics and plastics molded gear trains which can hardly be reengineered on a sub-industrial scale.

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Old 04-24-2009   #4
Pablito
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There is a huge difference between 6x6 and 6x7. For me that would be (and was) the deciding factor.
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Old 04-24-2009   #5
sevo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
There is a huge difference between 6x6 and 6x7. For me that would be (and was) the deciding factor.
Yep. It you aren't shooting square, 6x6 is just a convenience version of 6x4.5 or 6x5.

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Old 04-24-2009   #6
Michael P.
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What Scott said. Some people take to the square format like ducks in water, others find it unnatural and hard to compose in it. Ideally, try before you buy.
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Old 04-28-2009   #7
waileong
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M6 for sure. It's much more compact.

Don't worry about rewind lever problem. Most people who write about it haven't experienced it themselves, they're just passing on hearsay. Won't happen if you treat it well.
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Old 04-28-2009   #8
john_s
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waileong View Post
M6 for sure. It's much more compact.

Don't worry about rewind lever problem. Most people who write about it haven't experienced it themselves, they're just passing on hearsay. Won't happen if you treat it well.
Well, if you're lucky that might be true. I have two M6 bodies, one rather pristine, and I bought a more heavily used one as a spare just in case. The latter has developed a fault in the interlock mechanism which is fixable at a large cost. I will keep it unrepaired in case i need to cannibalize it.

I love viewing through the square finder. But when I come to print, I very often make the print rectangular anyway, even if just a bit.

All things considered, I would go for the 7. Negative just about a paper size bigger if you print rectangular, (at a given enlargement scale). More of them around if you need to replace a body. More wide lenses, but the 7 has 65mm as its widest without an auxiliary finder (a disadvantage). The 6 is great with the 50mm lens.
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Old 04-28-2009   #9
Bob Michaels
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I love the square format and was looking for a Mamiya 6 when a great deal on a Mamiya 7 came along a few years back. I jumped on it and have not regretted the decision. I can easily make a 6x6 from a 6x7 neg if I want. Size wise, I have carried the 7 for years and handled the 6 quite a bit. There is no real effective difference in size. Neither will fit in a pocket. Both will fit your hand or a bag.

Unfortunately you did not choose to include where you live. But if you are in central FL, I can point you to a good local used dealer with a Mamiya 6 & several lenses on the shelf. And the price is right. He does not sell by mail, only walk in. And there is a good camera repair shop around the corner from him.
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Old 06-23-2009   #10
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The 6 is my choice. Only because I think square is my favorite crop ratio

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