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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.

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Which one: GF670 or Makina 67/W67 or Mamiya 6?
Old 1 Week Ago   #1
shorelineae
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Smile Which one: GF670 or Makina 67/W67 or Mamiya 6?

Hello, I'm weighing between the following cameras:
  • Mamiya 6 with 75mm only
  • Fuji GF670
  • Mamiya 67 or W67
Price aside, what would you recommend considering the following factors:
  • Portability - It should be easy to travel with. With the Mamiya 6, I'll only be using a single lens.
  • Street Shooting - I understand it won't be as quick as 35mm, but I usually shoot on the go: street scenes, and occasional landscapes.
  • Reliability - it's a pain getting anything repaired where I live
My thoughts so far:
  • Infinity focusing - I find having to set the lens to infinity before closing the camera an irritant. Minus point for the GF 670. But I hear it should also be done for the Makinas to avoid long term problems?
  • Shutter Speeds - Mamiya 6 & GF670 have shutter speeds down to 4 seconds, while the Makina has 1 second as lowest shutter speed.
  • Lens rendering - I liked the performance of the Nikkor on my Bronica S2, and I think the Makina's Nikkor is of the same era/family.
  • Formats - I have used the 6x6 format, but never tried 6x7. I'm open to shooting with either of them.
  • Shutter Sounds - I read that the Mamiya 6 and GF 670 are silent in comparison to the Makina.
  • Antique Look - Shooting with an antique-looking camera helps on the street (I miss my TLR already), so plus point to the GF670 for that. Does the Makina 67 look antique? The Mamiya 6 will look like a pro camera and draw the ire of security guards where I live.
What do you think?

Update: I snagged a great deal for the GF670 that I saw online. Many thanks to all those who shared their advice.

Last edited by shorelineae : 1 Week Ago at 09:28. Reason: Update
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Old 1 Week Ago   #2
FujiLove
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I own the Mamiya 6, and can recommend it. It's a solid piece of equipment, very portable and the lenses are extremely good. They can have winder issues, but seem fine as long as you're gentle with them (i.e. don't try to shoot a shot every second). To my eye, the lenses seem to give quite a modern/clinical rendering. Hard to describe, but certainly different to my Rollei TLR and Pentax 67 lenses.

Although you may intend to only use one lens today, the Mamiya 6 would give you more options if you decided you would like a wide or tele in the future. The Mamiya 50mm is a superb lens BTW.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #3
Jamie123
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I've owned a GF670 (bought the Bessa III when it came out) and I have mixed feelings about it. The pros are that it's incredibly silent and very compact.
However, the bellows focusing made it feel a bit fragile so I never felt comfortable walking around with the lens extended for a longer period of time. I'm not saying it *is* that fragile, I'm just saying that's what it felt like to me.
Also, the lens was very sharp but I didn't really like how it rendered out of focus areas. And I remember running into a problem sometimes where the battery was empty so the shutter didn't fire but it still let me advance to the next frame. Because the shutter is so silent in general I didn't notice that it didn't fire.

I've never owned or used a Makina. It seems like a nice camera although I recently talked to a guy who had one and said he hated it. But that's just his opinion.

From the three you suggested, I would go for the Mamiya 6. Seems like a nice camera, although I've never used one. But I have used a Mamiya 7 and I suppose it's more or less the same thing.

I'll throw in a wild card here. Have you considered a Hasselblad? When I travel I often take my Hasselblad 503cw because it's considerably less bulky than my RZ67 and the lenses are fantastic.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #4
shorelineae
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie123 View Post
I'll throw in a wild card here. Have you considered a Hasselblad? When I travel I often take my Hasselblad 503cw because it's considerably less bulky than my RZ67 and the lenses are fantastic.
Thanks for the reply! I have two Bronica S2 bodies that need servicing (the cost of servicing exceeds the cost of a used body), so I'm not in the mood for another camera like that, although the Hasselblad has been recommended to me as the last MF camera anyone will need...
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Old 1 Week Ago   #5
Trask
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I have the Plaubel Makina Wide camera, with the 55mm Nikkor. It is a terrific travel camera. The built-in light meter works well, the focus is easy to set, and I don’t find the shutter noise too loud. Yes, you should return the focus to infinity before closing the camera, but it soon becomes a habit, easily done as the focus control is coincident with the shutter release/film advance. I bought my camera years ago from Frank Marshman, who AFAIK is still taking in repairs and knows how to fix these cameras. Note that I have not used the other models of camera you’re considering, so can’t compare/contrast.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #6
Dunn
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I own the GF670, but have never used the Mamiya or the Makina.
Here are my thoughts on the GF670:
Great overall camera, it is very compact since it's a folder. I traveled around with it a bit and hiked with it without being bothered by it's size or weight.
It is really cool to me that you can switch between 6x6 and 6x7, I primarily used 6x7 though.
The shutter is legit almost silent and it does require a battery to operate.
Meter is accurate, viewfinder is great. The framelines move with the focus knob which I thought was cool.
However, this is a slower camera in use. I mainly did portraits, still life and landscapes.
For example, the shutter speed dial is on the left of the camera so in order to adjust the shutter speed you need to take your hand off of the lens and the film advance is a winding knob as opposed to a lever. So these things just make it slower than I would imagine the Mamiya 6 to be. But, it wasn't an issue for my subject matter.
And like someone else mentioned, it does seem a little fragile since it has bellows. I always folded it up unless I was holding it with both hands. And yes, you have to set the focus to infinity to close it but, honestly, it becomes second nature once you get used to it. I forgot a couple of times but then it became instinctual.
Again, overall great camera that takes amazing photos!
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Which one: GF670 or Makina 67/W67 or Mamiya 6?
Old 1 Week Ago   #7
Pedro_fiz
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Which one: GF670 or Makina 67/W67 or Mamiya 6?

I bought a GF670 some weeks ago. I would need more time to post a better opinion but after two rolls I am very happy.
My only concern is that focusing at f3.5 is not easy. After the first roll I thought the rangefinder was not well calibrated and I made a more accurate test. According to the results I think is well calibrated but I have to say that focusing is difficult at f3.5 specially with low light. I will avoid f3.5 as much as possible. This is not a problem because at f4 the bokeh is wonderful.

Focusing test at f3.5


f4



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Old 1 Week Ago   #8
Jamie123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shorelineae View Post
Thanks for the reply! I have two Bronica S2 bodies that need servicing (the cost of servicing exceeds the cost of a used body), so I'm not in the mood for another camera like that, although the Hasselblad has been recommended to me as the last MF camera anyone will need...
I don't quite understand, though, why you think a Hasselblad would be more prone to requiring servicing than any of the other options you mentioned?

I would say in general you're better off with a Hasselblad since it's easier to find someone who will service them as compared to the other options you mentioned. I can't say you will never have to have a Hasselblad serviced because that depends on so many factors. I've owned quite a few Hasselblads and lenses in the past and in my experience the older the items were, the more likely I would have to have them repaired. Now I have a 503CW with an 80mm CB lens and so far it's been working flawlessly (knock on wood). I've had it for about 7-8 years.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
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I too own a Plaubel Makina W67. I think it’s a great camera, maybe the best of the rangefinder medium format cameras. It’s easy to use and the lens is great. I’ve owned a 67 as well (with the nikkor 80mm), and that’s also a fine camera, but a little big for me. It’s not discrete in any way, except when folded. The biggest issue with the Makinas is getting them serviced. I don’t use mine nearly enough.
The Mamiya 6 is great, but I never gelled with the one I owned. I believe Precision Camera is still servicing them.
I’ve never shot with the Fuji, but I haven’t liked any of the other Fuji medium format cameras I’ve tried. They seem very “plastic-y”.
The Hasselblad is iconic, serviceable and totally unlike any of the rangefinder cameras you mention.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
ornate_wrasse
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I own the Mamiya 6 and absolutely love that camera as well as the images it produces. I have all three of the lenses that were made for this camera but my absolute favorite is the 50mm. It produces amazing images, one of which I've included in this post. I encourage you to buy the 50mm lens, if you do buy the Mamiya 6 camera, if your budget allows for it. I actually had to save for a while to get it.

I have never owned any of the other cameras you are considering so I can only speak for the Mamiya 6. It is very portable and I love that it collapses which makes it much easier to carry around.

ETA: I just noticed that you bought the GF670 so I hope that camera works out for you and meets your needs.

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