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Need Medium Format Camera advice on this before I lose my mind!
Old 05-05-2017   #1
streetshoot
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Need Medium Format Camera advice on this before I lose my mind!

Howdy! I don't typically ask questions like this because I know its personal at the end of the day BUT I can not decide for the life of me between the Mamiya 6 Or Hasselblad 500c/m. I know they are somewhat different systems and I do mostly on the go work (nothing studio or tripod : always handheld)

I'm looking for something to compliment my Leica M4-P, I had a Mamiya 6 in the past and regretted selling it everyday so you think it would be simple to go with that, but I just owned a Bronica SQ-Ai recently and handheld it around Manhattan before it went dead on me. The Bronica SQ-Ai was "okay" for me.. fun but just not what I wanted in quality/image and I know the 500cm is very similar.

I love the Mamiya for its compact, versatile, light, sharp optics but im wondering if I should go with another rangefinder in my arsenal or switch it up with the 500cm for an SLR? I know everyone has different preferences but I would love some advice, like I said everything I do is handheld and ranges from portraits to anything I see really, I shoot anything and everything. Just want a camera that compliments my style of work best, and if anyone has any similar experiences I would love to hear.
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Old 05-05-2017   #2
Sarcophilus Harrisii
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You're right, it does involve a lot of personal preference as well as your needs. The great strength of a single lens reflex is its ability to usually do, if not the best job of anything most easily, then, at least, a fairly decent job of it—its sheer versatility. You've said you do a bit of everything. This tells me an SLR could be a good choice. Close up; long lenses, a Hassy will acquit itself well. And if you found a Bronica do-able there's no reason why you'd have any more trouble with a Hasselblad.

On the other hand, rangefinders have their own virtues, too. A Hassy with a waist level finder and say 80mm Planar is actually a pretty wieldy camera. But it will never be as quiet as a RF, or as rapid to focus. And unless you accept the weight and bulk of a prism you'll have to deal with the image reversal. For street imaging a RF definitely has some real advantages.

Short of having one of each (not a bad solution IF you have the cabbage) it's a case of prioritising your needs. To mention the obvious—if mid roll film changes are an advantage, naturally, you would have to go with Hassy. It's one point the Mamiyas simply can't match.

If that's not an issue, as much as I love my own 500C/M, providing long lenses or close up work aren't major factors in your choice, I do wonder if the 6 wouldn't be the way to go for you? You mentioned always being "on the go". The Mamiya is probably going to be faster for you to compose with and to focus with, as well. If you can accept it's close range limitations as a RF, and inability to mount very long lenses, perhaps it might suit you well?

Just to complicate matters further, there's also the TLR configuration that shares some strengths and weaknesses of both SLR and RF. But (more often than not) you're going to be locked into a single focal length and quite possibly a reversed focus screen image too (there are some exceptions of course, depending on which make and model is involved). And TLRs can be a love/hate thing. I have a Hassy and some Rollei TLRs and use a 35mm Contax RF so, personally, I don't mind using most camera types—but I'm not you.

Love to know what you end up going with.
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Old 05-05-2017   #3
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I think you've answered your own question. For handheld, the Mamiya or other rangefinder. I have both and I use the lighter Mamiya for handheld, and the Hasselblad on a tripod. Yes you can use the Hasselblad handheld, but I find the Rolleiflex lighter and easier for waist level handheld.
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Old 05-05-2017   #4
streetshoot
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I guess for me when I imagine the Hasselblad I'll enjoy the experience of framing the shot and looking through the actual lens.. and my only qualms with the Mamiya are the attention it will grab in Manhattan with looking like a DSLR...

With the Bronica I enjoyed peoples interest in the camera and the comfortable vibe it created when people did know I was taking their photo. But otherwise I'm all for the Mamiya and the traits it has. I truly don't mind changing lenses and having a fixed lens. I was looking into TLR, but worry about their fragility and knowing most are older, I'd hate to deal with repairs.
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Old 05-05-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetshoot View Post
I guess for me when I imagine the Hasselblad I'll enjoy the experience of framing the shot and looking through the actual lens.. and my only qualms with the Mamiya are the attention it will grab in Manhattan with looking like a DSLR...

With the Bronica I enjoyed peoples interest in the camera and the comfortable vibe it created when people did know I was taking their photo. But otherwise I'm all for the Mamiya and the traits it has. I truly don't mind changing lenses and having a fixed lens. I was looking into TLR, but worry about their fragility and knowing most are older, I'd hate to deal with repairs.
Nobody in Manhatten cares if you have a DSLR or not. They are too busy avoiding you and going on their way. The hasselblad will be slower. The mamiya will be faster to use. Either buy the Mamiya to compliment the Leica when you want the greater image size/quality or get the hassy if you want to change things up.
Personally, I would get the mamiya. The hassy is too fiddley in anything other than controlled sessions.
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Old 05-05-2017   #6
streetshoot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
The hassy is too fiddley in anything other than controlled sessions.
I'm leaning towards the Mamiya since I know whats its like to use ergonomically and very simple/quick. But how do you mean fiddley? I feel like I was firing shots off pretty quickly with my Bronica and people payed very little attention so I'm just curious.
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Old 05-05-2017   #7
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Originally Posted by streetshoot View Post
I'm leaning towards the Mamiya since I know whats its like to use ergonomically and very simple/quick. But how do you mean fiddley? I feel like I was firing shots off pretty quickly with my Bronica and people payed very little attention so I'm just curious.
Too many things to do. Idk personal opinion I guess. If you think the waist down approach is better, which I assume why your commenting about the bronica then get a Rolleiflex. I have one and love it. Just make sure it's been CLA'd by a competent repair tech. Buy it here as opposed to ebay
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Old 05-05-2017   #8
Phil_F_NM
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The Mamiya 6 is the platform to get based upon the 50mm lens alone. It is a very modern Biogon derivative with no perceived distortion, excellent multicoating and extraordinary sharpness. I bought a Mamiya 6MF and all three lenses then wanted a body solely for the 50mm lens so I got another Mamiya 6 from a member here on RFF. The system is extraordinary as long as you don't expect results that it simply cannot give. Lens lineup is limited to three optics, all good. There is a closeup adapter for the 75mm lens that is awesome. I got mine pretty cheap used but in immaculate condition. I'm just now developing results from it and they are great. As a walk-around camera for city shooting the M6 with 50mm lens is killer. For landscapes, all three lenses have their strengths.
One of the best parts of the system is that the bodies take two little S76 cells, just like my Nikon FA, F2AS, F3, and Nikonos V as well as my Gossen Luna Pro.

There is an RFF member who has a Mamiya 6 set with all three lenses for sale who PM'ed me a while back about selling it. I can get you in contact if you like.

Phil Forrest
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Old 05-05-2017   #9
Chriscrawfordphoto
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I had a Hasselblad system for many years and sold it all to buy a Mamiya 6 with its three lenses. The Hassy with the 50, 80, and 150mm lenses was so heavy I couldn't carry it very long. I have a lot of health issues, but even for a healthy man, the Mamiya would be so much nicer to carry
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Old 05-05-2017   #10
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Big mirror flopping around, not for me. Our company photogs used to use H on tripods always mirror up.

Even 35 mm systems suffer from mirror stopping except a few such as certain Leica reflex
models which have dampeners. Exceptions are R4, all variants & R5.

Now come quality of Mamiya lenses. Saw some done by rep printed 11x14 & I would take the camera if free. Same with Japanese TLR, tried them all.

All expensive lessons.

Shutter parts for original chrome lenses are very scarce a decade ago. The springs break and you are SOL ! Check with David Odess Repair.
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Old 05-05-2017   #11
Ko.Fe.
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If you are using M4-P because it is Leica, then Hasselblad. Because label glory has to match.

If you are using M4-P because it is RF then, Mamiya. Because RF is RF. We never look down to catch something which rapidly happens in front, left and right on us.
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Old 05-05-2017   #12
streetshoot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil_F_NM View Post
The Mamiya 6 is the platform to get based upon the 50mm lens alone. It is a very modern Biogon derivative with no perceived distortion, excellent multicoating and extraordinary sharpness. I bought a Mamiya 6MF and all three lenses then wanted a body solely for the 50mm lens so I got another Mamiya 6 from a member here on RFF. The system is extraordinary as long as you don't expect results that it simply cannot give. Lens lineup is limited to three optics, all good. There is a closeup adapter for the 75mm lens that is awesome. I got mine pretty cheap used but in immaculate condition. I'm just now developing results from it and they are great. As a walk-around camera for city shooting the M6 with 50mm lens is killer. For landscapes, all three lenses have their strengths.
One of the best parts of the system is that the bodies take two little S76 cells, just like my Nikon FA, F2AS, F3, and Nikonos V as well as my Gossen Luna Pro.


There is an RFF member who has a Mamiya 6 set with all three lenses for sale who PM'ed me a while back about selling it. I can get you in contact if you like.

Phil Forrest
Defintiley sealed the deal for me on the Mamiya, and that would be awesome if I could get in touch with him. Don't know if my budget will be able to pay for all the lenses but would defintiley like to talk to him and maybe you can PM me his details. I was also wondering if it's possible to post a WTB Listing for the Mamiya on here somewhere? I post occasionally on here with questions but would like to be more active this summer when I have a break from school and waiting tables to post my work and etc.
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