View Full Version : Considering the M6
I'm considering getting an M6.
I am currently using a Hasselblad 500c/m and an Olympus 35SP.
Would like a 6x6 camera with good optics, portability and ease of use. Was looking into folders for some time but the M6 seems really nice with the option of changing lenses, average metering, etc.
The only concern I have is that the M6 still fetches a fair amount of money on the second hand market and I have heard that certain parts such as the winder is simply not available anymore.
How are you current M6 users dealing with maintenance and repair of your M6's. Are there good 3rd party repair places out there that will be able to take care of and repair these cameras for the next 5-10 years?
i think there will always be people to repair the cameras, it's the parts that worry me.
i've also read that the winding mechanisms are no longer being made and that's a weak part of the camera. but there will most likely be other dead cameras to get parts from.
i have 2 bodies, one bought new , the other used and they have held up well.
My M6 was overhauled by Mamiya about 2 years ago and works great, so "What? Me Worry?" Wedding photogs who use these things don't seem to have a lot of breakdowns and I don't use mine nearly that hard. What is your information that the winder is a weak point?
In any case, I am thinking of buying a pristine body and keeping it in reserve in case my present M6 takes a header. Naturally, I hope to steal one from some desperate seller rather than pay a fair price, but that's just me ;->
Since the winder mechanism is a concern, perhaps any purchase should be conditional on that component in good standing. Unless the seller could demonstrate a recent makeover on the equipment by Mamiya, I would budget for Mamiya service and bargain on that basis. Also check the lens(es) for possible shutter problems. The electronic shutters can be very costly to repair. If my second hand 50 mm had not been warranted, a shutter fix would have cost me $300.
Back in the mid 1950s when I started commiting photography, my ideal camera of the future much resembled the Mamiya 6. I have always preferred the square for roll film (although I like elongated rectangles in other formats, go figure). So for me, the M6 has been literally a dream come true, except better because I didn't conceive of auto exposure way back. The camera feels as if it were custom made for my hands, the three lens outfit is lightweight and compact enough to fit in a small Lowepro Nova 1, flash, film, filters and all.
This is entirely a subjective call. If possible you should rent or borrow one to try out before you buy and give yourself enough time to really evaluate the machine.
Good luck, have fun.
i don't have any inside info or anything like that.
i have read that if the camera breaks down that it is more often than not, the winder mechanism that goes. on the other hand, the reason is nearly always user abuse, in that people will force it if it gets jammed or sticky.
btw, i have a body for sale but i'm not feeling all that desperate just yet.
I am still considering the M6 even though the winder *is* a concern. It seems as if Mamiya came out in late 2002 and declared that they simple don't have these parts anymore and to make it worse it seems to be the part that is most prone to breaking.
Seems to be a wonderful camera though..and I do love the square on MF.
If only I could shrink my Hasselblad and take out the mirror :-)
running out of parts is a bummer, to borrow from the 60's terminolgy.
i'm guessing that the winder mech is outsourced, i.e. made by someone other than mamiya itself.
but these camera were made for heavy use by pros for things like weddings etc. i doubt if in my prime i shot in a year what a wedding pro would shoot in a month.
i'm prayin' that the 6 lasts for a long, long time.
I've had a Mamiya 6 (2 bodies, one of which is almost unused) and 3 lenses for at least 10 years. I've not used it extensively but lightly.
There's for and against.
For is the real portability, fantastic lenses, quietness and in my experience, reliability. You could worry yourself to death about winders going but forget it. I used 2 OM2s at work for 20 years and they never gave trouble and they've continuously used an Olympus OM 1 in another hospital here in pathology for 24 years without ever even being serviced.
Against is the complicated pain in the ass procedure for changing lenses, the occasional necessity to clean the lens contacts as the camera may refuse to work unless you do, and the meter.
The meter is very accurate if you meter off something like your hand and adjust the exposure accordingly. Full stop. If you use the excellent AEL facility it is also excellent. Otherwise it is not as it's too sky influenced. The rangefinder can be out of adjustment but I know how to adjust it and it's dead easy. I also know how to adjust the meter.
The lens changing can get annoying. 5 things you have to do.
1. Turn slide button.
2. Press in release button and twist off.
3. Put lens away and get new one.
4. Put on.
5. Slide release.
On my Mamiya 67 which is my latest baby, it's MUCH easier.
I mean my Mamiya RB67
<<reliability. You could worry yourself to death about winders going but forget it. >>
And yet, somehow they ran out of parts ;-) Although your point is generally well taken, the unavailability of a seldom needed part predicts an approaching scarcity of those more frequently needed.
<****e meter is very accurate if you meter off something like your hand and adjust the exposure accordingly. Full stop. If you use the excellent AEL facility it is also excellent. Otherwise it is not as it's too sky influenced.>>
I have developed the habit of shielding the upper left corner of the viewfinder with my hand while trapping an ael reading. It works perfectly. Only sloth prevents me from taping a small shade to that corner,
<****e rangefinder can be out of adjustment but I know how to adjust it and it's dead easy. I also know how to adjust the meter.>>
Way ahead of me. I don't know how to do either. Camera innards spook me.
I've tried my hand but with mixed success. I prefer the piece of mind afforded by letting only the wise old craftsman have at my errant gear.
<****e lens changing can get annoying. 5 things you have to do.
1. Turn slide button.
2. Press in release button and twist off.
3. Put lens away and get new one.>>
You forgot this step: shop for another one on Ebay, put in a bid, take delivery, then
<<4. Put on.
5. Slide release.>>
I agree, 3 weeks to change a lens is a long time.
<<On my Mamiya 67 which is my latest baby, it's MUCH easier.>>
On my Rolleiflex 3.5F, it's impossible. I no longer even try.
as to metering, i usually aim low.
grass is good to measure by.
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