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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

View Poll Results: MF Rangefinders and Alternatives
Fuji GS645x 39 12.62%
Fuji GA645x 54 17.48%
Rob a bank, get a Mamiya 7 76 24.60%
MF SLR-s are not heavy. It's all in your head! 23 7.44%
some TLR 43 13.92%
that 1950's folder X is so great (I will ignore these, I think) 14 4.53%
It's all madness, just shoot with what you have. 60 19.42%
Voters: 309. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-19-2010   #41
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I love my Fuji GW690III. It's easy to carry, handle, and shoot (don't worry about the lack of a meter, you can shoot sunny 16 easily). Besides, why shoot "half" of a MF negative? Get that BGN 690 from KEH.
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Old 11-21-2010   #42
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Lots of useful responses here - thanks everyone! I've had some time to think this thing over (and will have some more while I finish the project that delivers the necessary $$$ for this whole MF venture. Gotta love office work when it really drags )

I've pretty much made up my mind to get one of those Fuji 690s. I think I can stretch my budget far enough to get a nice user GW II. Not exactly cheap or compact but you hardly hear anything breaking on them and you can't argue with the negative size. I've realized that should I go with 645 now and like it, I'll lust for 6x7/9 in no time. I'll have to carry a bit more, but it's not THAT heavy, after all. Pretty much like a 40D + extra battery and two small lenses, I think, just all in one piece.

Besides, I kind of want a vacation from all the glorious hi-tech. No battery, no meter, no TTL viewing - sounds good to me. I'll probably get a Sekonic L-208 to go with it when funds allow.
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Old 11-22-2010   #43
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Weight issue? I think somebody needs to man up if they think 4.4 lbs is "too heavy".

Pump some iron dude!

Fujica 690 series is the way to go.

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Old 11-22-2010   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texsport View Post
Weight issue? I think somebody needs to man up if they think 4.4 lbs is "too heavy".

Pump some iron dude!

---
Nice attitude, man. I hope you do realize that you kind of start to feel those couple of extra pounds if you hike 2-3 days over rough terrain with 10-15kg of non-photo gear on your back. It's not like I can't lift the damned thing. There's simply a limit of how much extra discomfort I'm willing to endure to bring along a fixed-lens camera that can only take 8 frames on a roll of 120. In this context, the GW690 is pretty heavy.

I've had some military training not so long ago. We used to run around the woods with 20+kg of gear plus assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, whatever. Totally doable. Not Fun. Lugging along a 690 will definitely not be as fun as hiking with the featherweight GRD-III. I just hope that the image quality will make up that difference.

I will now resume my quiet life of not pumping much iron
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Old 11-24-2010   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottluuk View Post
Nice attitude, man. I hope you do realize that you kind of start to feel those couple of extra pounds if you hike 2-3 days over rough terrain with 10-15kg of non-photo gear on your back. It's not like I can't lift the damned thing. There's simply a limit of how much extra discomfort I'm willing to endure to bring along a fixed-lens camera that can only take 8 frames on a roll of 120. In this context, the GW690 is pretty heavy.

I've had some military training not so long ago. We used to run around the woods with 20+kg of gear plus assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, whatever. Totally doable. Not Fun. Lugging along a 690 will definitely not be as fun as hiking with the featherweight GRD-III. I just hope that the image quality will make up that difference.

I will now resume my quiet life of not pumping much iron
Fair enough, but how many people who might use such a camera hike across the world?

Most use is from a car, to the picture taking site, and back.

I enjoy a substantial camera in hand to help prevent camera shake when I'm not using a tripod. And, the larger 6x9 negative maximizes my possibilities for capturing a useful image.

If I were going to mountain climb, I'd likely take something lighter...of course.

Texsport

Last edited by Texsport : 11-24-2010 at 11:38.
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Old 11-24-2010   #46
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I've got Renzu's GW690III and it is great. It is a well used camera and what I paid is in your range.

He removed the slide lens hood which I do not like and it now has a screw in lens hood. If you get one you will see why.

It weighs 1,5kg and tough it is very big I find this no problem and I carry it in a hip belt Lowepro bag which combines well with backpacks if you carry it on your belly above your backpack hip belt.

Some people modeling for you might find the lens a tad to sharp :-)
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Old 11-26-2010   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skibeerr View Post

Some people modeling for you might find the lens a tad to sharp :-)
Nothing that some caffeine-induced camera shake can't cure, I hope
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Old 11-26-2010   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texsport View Post
Fair enough, but how many people who might use such a camera hike across the world?

Most use is from a car, to the picture taking site, and back.
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Old 11-26-2010   #49
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Your budget is the hardest criterion to meet. With $400 I'd take the GA645. I have one and have always been very pleased with the results. The autofocus is fine. The only issue with it is that I can't effectively use my polariser and grad ND filters.

How about a Hasselblad 500 C/M with a 50 Distagon lens? That's 30mm equivalent, and you can crop the square to either rectangular format - horizontal or vertical. With the waist-level finder the weight isn't too bad, and there's no batteries to chill. The separate magazine would be a good thing in sub-zero weather - spares make changing film a lot easier. Grad ND and polariser filters work fine because you are viewing through the lens.

The Pentax 645 would be a good choice too, but I think it's heavier and battery-dependent. The lenses aren't as cheap now with the 645D coming on to the market, but that does give you a MF digital upgrade path once you have a set of lenses.
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well…
Old 11-26-2010   #50
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well…

I feel for you because I have been at the same crossroads.

First of all, are you planning to leave the dslr's at home?

Second, you sound as if you may be focusing primarily on B&W??

I'll make some assumptions.

You're going to be gone a long time, and you are not crazy, so you don't want a burdensome camera, but image quality is paramount.

Personally, I would stay away from the 645 fuji's. Bronica is OK.

Later Fuji 6x9 fantastic if not your only camera. Big,heavy, slow.

$400? KONICA HEXAR AF. You can get it from KEH for that price.

Even better:$700? CONTAX G2 W/ 35MM LENS

Best: sell everything else and buy a Leica M6 and a used Voigtlander 35mm lens. One camera, one mind.

Adventure is served best with a Leica.
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Old 11-26-2010   #51
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p.s. I love Fuji 6X9's but it's a love hate thing. They really are terrific, but I found because of the longer focal length, that I wanted to shoot at least at f/16 most of the time, which meant I need faster film, lots of light, or a tripod.

I ended up working on the edge a lot, so I had this great big neg, but I found myself shooting at 1/60th hand-held often… not a recipe for sharp negs. In general I feel better off with really good 35mm glass. But I still loves me the Fuji 690's…
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Old 11-27-2010   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottluuk View Post
........I've pretty much made up my mind to get one of those Fuji 690s........
Ott - You can do a lot worse than the Fuji 6x9, I have owned a lot of fantastic large format and medium format rangefinder lenses and my Fuji 6x9's resolution was as good as my best lenses. The biggest weakness in your imaging chain is now your reticence to use a tripod.

.......... Chris
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Old 11-27-2010   #53
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I didn't mention before because you've said you're set on the Fuji, but I just have to say this in case you're not quite committed: Mamiya C220 (or an old C3) are pretty light and the 65mm lens is really excellent. Might meet your criteria for a really low price; very flexible cameras.

Love the big Fujis, but the shape and bulk are very awkward to carry IMHO, at least compared to the largish but boxlike TLR shape.
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Old 11-27-2010   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonal1 View Post
I feel for you because I have been at the same crossroads.

First of all, are you planning to leave the dslr's at home?

Second, you sound as if you may be focusing primarily on B&W??

I'll make some assumptions.

You're going to be gone a long time, and you are not crazy, so you don't want a burdensome camera, but image quality is paramount.

Personally, I would stay away from the 645 fuji's. Bronica is OK.

Later Fuji 6x9 fantastic if not your only camera. Big,heavy, slow.

$400? KONICA HEXAR AF. You can get it from KEH for that price.

Even better:$700? CONTAX G2 W/ 35MM LENS

Best: sell everything else and buy a Leica M6 and a used Voigtlander 35mm lens. One camera, one mind.

Adventure is served best with a Leica.
Nah, not going to go back to 35mm film. I know what I can get with a sharp, well-corrected lens on 35mm and it's fine and all but not worth the trouble compared to shooting APS-C digital. For me, the lure of film is now only in the larger formats, and that's why 6x9 sounds good.

I'm keeping the SLR set, and obviously, when the situation calls it, will use that with no regrets.
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Old 11-27-2010   #55
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Originally Posted by ottluuk View Post
Nah, not going to go back to 35mm film. I know what I can get with a sharp, well-corrected lens on 35mm and it's fine and all but not worth the trouble compared to shooting APS-C digital. For me, the lure of film is now only in the larger formats, and that's why 6x9 sounds good.

I'm keeping the SLR set, and obviously, when the situation calls it, will use that with no regrets.
Oh, OK. That makes it easy then. Since you know what you're getting into, grab yourself a Fuji 690. Great, great, cameras. Price is down lately too. $450 for a user GW690 II with a 90mm should be doable.
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Old 01-06-2011   #56
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Just another data point: I use the Fuji GW670III & have found that not only is the lens plenty sharp @ f/3.5, but it's not difficult to handhold down @ "Leica-like" speeds, like 1/15th sec. Obviously, YMMV.

I agree that they are big, but they're really not that heavy (certainly lighter than your typical medium format SLR).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonal1 View Post
p.s. I love Fuji 6X9's but it's a love hate thing. They really are terrific, but I found because of the longer focal length, that I wanted to shoot at least at f/16 most of the time, which meant I need faster film, lots of light, or a tripod.

I ended up working on the edge a lot, so I had this great big neg, but I found myself shooting at 1/60th hand-held often… not a recipe for sharp negs. In general I feel better off with really good 35mm glass. But I still loves me the Fuji 690's…
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Old 02-04-2011   #57
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I just bought a GA645 for $250 dollars. They're great!
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Old 03-10-2011   #58
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I just bought a GA645 for $250 dollars. They're great!
That's a very good price. I wouldn't deliberately put one through any abuse, but I have dropped mine several times with no problems.
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Old 03-10-2011   #59
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Have most of these, the GSW690 is big, but not that heavy, and solidly built. I like the 6x9 format, but you may have to scan or print yourself, many places can only go to 6x7 for processing. Have seen the Graflexes for as low as $125 with 6x9 back at a show, I shipped it off to a student friend.

Sounds as if the GA645Zi might be a good choice, sharp lens, small size, don't know about the price, but often the price has to do with patience and luck.

Fuji's whole MF series has been impressive to me.
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Old 03-11-2011   #60
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Quote:
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Makes sense to me. 6 x 9 or 6 x 7. Personally, I would not get any 6 x 4.5. It is basically stepping up to larger film and then getting a half-frame camera.

Cheers,
Gary
645 can be had in a very pocket-able camera and produce very good quality prints easily to 11x14-- the kind of quality associated with MF.

You can keep going to 6x17 as well. ;-) Does not fit the pocket though.

John
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Old 04-02-2011   #61
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Quote:
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645 can be had in a very pocket-able camera and produce very good quality prints easily to 11x14-- the kind of quality associated with MF.

You can keep going to 6x17 as well. ;-) Does not fit the pocket though.

John
Could you recomend a couple of pocketable 645 cameras? Im looking for a pearl iii or iv but have had no luck so far. Any otger suggestions (cpld rf).
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Old 04-02-2011   #62
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In the folder world, there are the Zeiss Ikon Ikonta/Super Ikonta, the Voigtlander Perkeo (very lightweight) and also the Kodak/Nagel Duo 620.
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Check OUT this gallery..mostly shot w/Fuji GSW690III
Old 04-02-2011   #63
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Check OUT this gallery..mostly shot w/Fuji GSW690III

http://www.pbase.com/neonhighways/inbox

This gallery was shot on an extended getaway trip, by the Seller of a Fuji GSW690III, which I purchased.

Heavy... BS. I have a Canon T90 35mm which is heavier than this camera.

Bulky... a bit.... it's a big camera folks 6X9 Centimeter frame

Manageable.... yes, not nearly as heavy as most think without handling one.

Focal length.... 65mm, I think equivalent to 28-35mm in 135 format.

Lens sharpness... Incredible. I've never shot anything sharper than my EBC coated Fuji's. That includes Mamiya, Bronica, Pentax (all MF), and Graflex XL Tessar.

My current Fuji's... A late interchangeable (now that's heavy) GL690, 100mm 3.5 Lens, 65mm f8 Lens and an AE100mm auto exposure Lens.

This gallery gives a good representation of images taken by the Big Texas Leica Fuji rangefinders.

6X9 is 4.7 times bigger than the full 35mm frame. 645 is half that.

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Old 04-02-2011   #64
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You can have the Mamiya 7 w/out robbing a bank --> its the square format Mamiya 6 with 80mm lens for under $1100, campact and ready to roll.
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Old 05-09-2011   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottluuk View Post
Nice attitude, man. I hope you do realize that you kind of start to feel those couple of extra pounds if you hike 2-3 days over rough terrain with 10-15kg of non-photo gear on your back. It's not like I can't lift the damned thing. There's simply a limit of how much extra discomfort I'm willing to endure to bring along a fixed-lens camera that can only take 8 frames on a roll of 120. In this context, the GW690 is pretty heavy.

I've had some military training not so long ago. We used to run around the woods with 20+kg of gear plus assault rifles, machine guns, grenade launchers, whatever. Totally doable. Not Fun. Lugging along a 690 will definitely not be as fun as hiking with the featherweight GRD-III. I just hope that the image quality will make up that difference.

I will now resume my quiet life of not pumping much iron
If you are planning such long hikes, I would suggest not to dismiss an excellent 35mm camera with a film like delta 100.
It cannot replace the 6x9 neg, but maybe your overall excperience (hike+photo) will be more fun?
I find myself more and more tempted in that direction, since my otherwise fine, fine Koni Omega is really a pain to haul with a couple of lenses...
I can't help thinking about it: two of the most beautiful landscapes I know were shot by HCB on 35mm, with what would now be considered a crappy lens, on what would now be considered a crappy film.

[edit] sorry, I missed your previous answer re:35mm...
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Old 05-31-2011   #66
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For $400, I'd suggest:

1) Fuji GW690ii, the nice metal one.
2) Yashica Mat 124
3) Mamiya RB67, you might find a simple kit in your price range
4) Pentax 67, ditto
5) Pentax 645

However, 3 and 4 are not small, they are big hefty cameras made for professional use, mostly on a tripod.

The Fuji 690 is a fine camera, but if it's too big for you, then go with the Yashica.

Pentax 645 is a wonderful camera, although quite hefty. Personally, if I'm going MF then I'd rather have at least 6x6 and 6x7 is preferable, although you do get more shots per roll in 645.

With all this in mind, I would suggest that MF isn't the same as 35mm with bigger film. It is much more deliberative, best for landscapes and dedicated portraiture, not so much candid snapshots and action. The size isn't an issue because you aren't "carrying it around with you" while you're doing something else. If you want a carry-it-with-you camera, the folders and TLRs are probably your best bet.
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Old 06-07-2011   #67
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5) the large 6x9 Fuji RF are said to have excellent lenses, but are rather large and heavy (about twice as heavy as GA645). Should definitely be usable hand held, but for full performance a tripod would probably be advisable. I have never owned one though.
I mostly use my GW690 hand-held. It weighs about 3 lbs.

I think the GW690 is a good solution - simple to use, virtually idiot proof (though I sometimes screw stuff up... perhaps it is *I* that is not idiot proof). I got mine off eBay for under $400 (well under, I might add) by waiting til one didn't sell & contacting the seller with an offer. I kept doing that until one guy accepted my offer - took some time, but it was the RF I really wanted.

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Old 06-07-2011   #68
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I've seen many great galleries with images taken from Fuji MF GA/GW series RF's. But this site shows the Mamiya 7 series lens to be sharper:

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/MF_testing.html
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Old 06-08-2011   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
http://www.pbase.com/neonhighways/inbox

This gallery was shot on an extended getaway trip, by the Seller of a Fuji GSW690III, which I purchased.
That is a seriously gorgeous set of photos.

Ott, I hear you about the constraint on weigh and bulk, but don't discount the Mamiya Press line, interchangeable backs that gives you up to 6x9 frames. And the lenses are terrific (the 65mm weighs nothing and very compact) and they are currently on the cheap side (< $400 if you are just a bit patient).
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Old 06-10-2011   #70
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Koni-Omega Rapid 100 or 200 version. Supports wide angle lenses with view finder, accurate range finder. Virtually indestructible. Can change lenses,
If it is older, you may need to use black gaffers tape on the back to prevent light leaks, or get it serviced.
Shutter in lenses.
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Old 06-10-2011   #71
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See this one if you want a wide angle lens:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Koni-Omega-Rapid...item19c575cb9f
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Fond memorie of one of those spots....
Old 06-10-2011   #72
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Fond memorie of one of those spots....

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox View Post
That is a seriously gorgeous set of photos.
This One:
http://www.pbase.com/neonhighways/image/105751633

When I was 5 yrs old until about 12, whenever we went to see my Grandparents, we used to stop at the Kent Diner both going and coming home, for gas and one of the best hamburgers ever!!!That was about 1950 to 1957

I drove past it a couple of years ago and it looks just like in the pics. I stopped, turned around and went back. Windows were covered up, except for a few spot. Could see the old tables and chairs and the counter.

And Yes, as advertized on the sign, I always had an Orange Crush soda. It WAS refreshing and delicious.

Last edited by kuzano : 06-10-2011 at 10:48.
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Old 06-16-2011   #73
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Has this comparison been posted yet?

http://www.dantestella.com/technical/mamiya6.html

The Fuji holds its own. It's a really nice camera. I had the Mamiya 7 for a while, which was nice too, but I'm not totally sure what I prefer... With that question in mind, price makes the decision for me. Hello Fuji!
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Old 08-17-2011   #74
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I've seen many great galleries with images taken from Fuji MF GA/GW series RF's. But this site shows the Mamiya 7 series lens to be sharper:

http://www.hevanet.com/cperez/MF_testing.html

However, you've got to figure in negative size into this equation.

It's the same reason MF is better than 35mm.

6x9 rules----unless you go even larger.

Additionally, if you are fortunate enough to own a Fuji Auto Up accessory for close ups, the Fujica also offers the possibility of head shots.

The Fujica 100/3.5 AE is also unique, offering aperture based automatic metered picture making.

These features are not available on Mamiya.

Texsport
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This discussion is a perfect illustration of what I constantly tell my wife - you can never have enough cameras, lenses, guns, or golf clubs - oh, and diamonds, according to her! - Texsport

"That girl can make a dog break his chain!" - Justified - 2015.

Last edited by Texsport : 08-17-2011 at 03:25.
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Old 08-27-2011   #75
ljsegil
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If you might be interested in putting together a moderately priced and versatile Mamiya Press system please let me know. I believe I have the bodies, lenses, and holders that you would need lying fallow and unused (recently) and could probably work out something within shouting distance of your budget.
Larry
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Old 08-27-2011   #76
Brian Puccio
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I've had my eye on the Fuji GSW690III for a while. Sure 6x9 is amazing, but I got an M6 and 28mm lens partially because of the size. Plus I'd need to trade in my Coolscan 4000 for a Coolscan 9000.

Basically, 35mm is good enough given the costs of 120 film, a new scanner and there's the minor bulk issue. Maybe one day when film is near dead and people are giving them away, I'll use one for a few months. Kind of like how you can get an entire darkroom for free as long as you're willing to go get it now in many places.
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You are so wrong!!!
Old 08-27-2011   #77
kuzano
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You are so wrong!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Puccio View Post
I've had my eye on the Fuji GSW690III for a while. Sure 6x9 is amazing, but I got an M6 and 28mm lens partially because of the size. Plus I'd need to trade in my Coolscan 4000 for a Coolscan 9000.

Basically, 35mm is good enough given the costs of 120 film, a new scanner and there's the minor bulk issue. Maybe one day when film is near dead and people are giving them away, I'll use one for a few months. Kind of like how you can get an entire darkroom for free as long as you're willing to go get it now in many places.
The day you speak of is never coming,,,,

And all the rationalization in the world with never overcome the huge increase in image quality from MF (6X9) to 35mm film. Why wait until that projected fantasy time in your mind when the film is no longer available, and then become fanatic about all the time you could have enjoyed superior image quality?

It's not my place to understand your weird logic, but that doesn't mean I can't (somewhat gently I might add) chide you for your wrongness.

And, I don't make the connection between buying a Leica and buying MF. No leica in the world, with whatever leica glass will shoot a 35mm image that will equal, or come close to the quality of a 6X9 frame from glass the likes of Fuji's EBC.

But that's OK... We've all made huge mistakes in our life that we have later regretted. I got married once.

Last edited by kuzano : 08-27-2011 at 17:09.
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Old 09-06-2011   #78
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Did you end up getting a Fuji 690 ? I have a GW690 and can certainly recommend it !
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Fuji MF glass
Old 09-06-2011   #79
ampguy
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Fuji MF glass

I've seen many great images from these 6xX Fuji MF fixed lens cameras, but I attribute much of the resolution to the format size, not the lens.

The reviews of the lens are not the equal of most Leica lens, nor Mamiya 7 MF lens, or even some Bronica and other MF lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuzano View Post
The day you speak of is never coming,,,,

And all the rationalization in the world with never overcome the huge increase in image quality from MF (6X9) to 35mm film. Why wait until that projected fantasy time in your mind when the film is no longer available, and then become fanatic about all the time you could have enjoyed superior image quality?

It's not my place to understand your weird logic, but that doesn't mean I can't (somewhat gently I might add) chide you for your wrongness.

And, I don't make the connection between buying a Leica and buying MF. No leica in the world, with whatever leica glass will shoot a 35mm image that will equal, or come close to the quality of a 6X9 frame from glass the likes of Fuji's EBC.

But that's OK... We've all made huge mistakes in our life that we have later regretted. I got married once.
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Old 09-06-2011   #80
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dun forget the bronica etrs....this is a 645 camera and you can get a kit at 235usd on K. spend about 150 more and you can get a wide and a tele to complement the 75/f2.8.

i decided not to overspend on medium format since the mamiyas and bronicas are going for a song...
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