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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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Old 02-03-2020   #41
rhechcapel
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I sold a few things that don't get much use so I had enough guilt free cash to spring for a Mamiya 6 MF with the 75mm lens.

It was an agonising decision because I really struggled with dropping that kind of cash on an electronic film camera that it might be difficult to repair. I spent weeks looking at all the other options but nothing ticked all the boxes.

I came really close to getting a Fuji GS645 Pro or GS645S for 25-50% of the price, but the Pro doesn't have a light meter and the S has a slightly wider lens than I prefer. I know the 37mm equivalent is very close to the 41mm equivalent of the Mamiya lens, but I am happiest in the 40-50mm range and that extra 4mm makes a lot of difference to me.

So, for posterity, the reasons I decided to bite the bullet and get the Mamiya are:
  • 6x6 gives 12 shots a roll - 2 more than my 6x7, and only 3 less than a Fuji 645. With the extra real estate I can afford to crop a bit more if my feet can't zoom close enough for whatever reason.
  • The square frame is different and I think it's going to be fun and challenging learning to compose with it.
  • It's very compact - not as compact as a folder like the GS645 Pro, but more so than other systems cameras or fixed lens options.
  • I love how the 75mm renders. I know some people find it a bit clinical and I love a character lens as much as the next man, but this camera needs to work in any situation so I think it's going to be perfect as a one-and-done.
  • I have the option of getting the 50mm later if I feel the need. Yes, I could have bought several fixed lens cameras in different focal lengths (like the complete range of Fujis) for the price of the Mamiya, but there would inevitably be a favourite and I would feel bad about leaving the others at home. It was very tempting though - Like many here I love collecting cameras and lenses, but I already have too many and I am forcing myself to simplify.
  • It has a light meter. I love shooting meterless with my M4-P, but there are situations when a meter is convenient and helpful. I know I could use an external meter with any camera (I have a Voigtlander VCII and a Weston Master), but having the meter in-camera and coupled is a nice luxury. Also this means...
  • It has aperture priority mode. I don't know how often I will use this, but since I was looking for a portable, quick, fun MF camera to use for travel, I can see many situations in which this could be very useful.
  • The Mamiya 6 MF (Multi Format) model has 35mm panoramic guidelines in the viewfinder. Yes, I know many people prefer the less cluttered view of the original 6, and I've read Ken Rockwell's views on why he thinks it makes more sense to shoot 120 and crop to panoramic, but there are plenty of stocks that are only available in 135 and I don't want to pay for 120 then throw away half of it. I have wanted an XPan for ages, and hopefully this will scratch that itch. I don't have the official frame mask + 135 adapter and I don't want to spend $250 USD on them, but I have ordered a couple of cheap 3D printed 135-120 adapters from eBay to play with. I love the look of 35mm film exposed to the edges including the sprocket holes and I'm very much looking forward to trying some panoramas!
  • The MF is newer, and so hopefully might last longer. Of course this depends on how heavily it was used and how well it was looked after by its previous owners, so I also payed extra for the cleanest looking one I could find.

There are many other cameras that equal or exceed the Mamiya in one or more of those areas, but I couldn't find any that I thought would be as complete a package for my personal needs and tastes. Now the difficult part - waiting for it to arrive from Japan!

Thanks again for all the suggestions folks, and happy shooting!
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Old 02-03-2020   #42
Deardorff38
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rh, I used a Mamiya 6 as my exclusive MF camera for a number of years. I have great images and have made 20"x20" darkroom prints from the negs from the 50 & 75. The 50 is an exceptional lens. I have no complaints at all about the rendering of the 75 3.5. The well respected cowboy photographer Adam Jahiel https://www.adamjahiel.com/ also widely used the system for his "The Last Cowboy" series. I saw a number of his prints t 24" x 24" in Cody Wy & they were breath-taking. Go for it! (Me i'm just about to jump for another Plaubel Makina 670)
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Old 02-03-2020   #43
rhechcapel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
rh, I used a Mamiya 6 as my exclusive MF camera for a number of years. I have great images and have made 20"x20" prints from the negs from the 50 & 75. I have no complaints about the rendering. The well respected cowboy photographer Adam Jahiel https://www.adamjahiel.com/ also widely used the system for his "The Last Cowboy" series. I saw a number of his prints t 24" x 24" in Cody Wy & they were breath-taking. Go for it! (Me i'm just about to jump for another Plaubel Makina 670)
Yes, Adam's work actually helped push me over the edge. He manages to get gobs of character out of that lens!

Enjoy your Makina! That was high on the list too
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Old 02-03-2020   #44
aizan
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The Fuji GS645 Pro does have a built-in meter, but great news on getting the Mamiya 6! Being able to get more lenses for it is a big plus.

I've also learned more about repairing electronic cameras in the last week or so. From the sound of it, by tapping new skillsets from other fields, camera repair techs should be able to repair electronics at the component level for some things (except for custom ICs).
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Old 02-03-2020   #45
rhechcapel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
The Fuji GS645 Pro does have a built-in meter, but great news on getting the Mamiya 6! Being able to get more lenses for it is a big plus.

I've also learned more about repairing electronic cameras in the last week or so. From the sound of it, by tapping new skillsets from other fields, camera repair techs should be able to repair electronics at the component level for some things (except for custom ICs).
Whoops, seems I was misinformed
Ah well, I'm clumsy and heavy handed so would be worried about damaging the bellows and lens mechanism. They are beautiful cameras though.
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Old 02-03-2020   #46
Phil_F_NM
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That 50mm lens is reason enough to own and use a Mamiya 6. When I bought my first one, I got it with all three lenses. I don't like switching lenses, so I bought another body. No, I'm not rich, I just shopped around and waited. I go the second M6 from an RFF member for an awesome price, so trustworthy deals are out there. I carried that kit across the country three or four times and shot a lot of film through it. I made some of my favorite images with that kit.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #47
eli griggs
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Unless you buy a folder, like the Super Ikonta's, the Minolta Autocord is every bit as good as the Rollei cameras, and far less fussy, ie, you need to adjust the Rollei for thinner or thicker films, as i understand from a recent post.

I have and so recoment the 1958 Autocord E (export) which is without a meter..

it give beautiful renderings, check out the galleries, is dead simple and it loads it's film differently than other TLRs, so it does no have an immediate severe bend, but a long straight feed to the exposure feature.

The one 'weakness' common to many Minolta Autocords, is the focusing lever just below the taking lens, which is often found broken on mishandled cameras. Mine is fine and normal use, even in a hard environment should no be an issue.

New camera leather is available at CameraLeather.com (IIRC).

Use lens hoods on both the viewing and taking lens, and look for Bay 1 filters or an adapter for threaded filters, which are no expensive.

Try to find the Minolta polarizer for their TLRs.

Also look for a Minolta 'lifting' attachment, for tri and monopods, that move the taking lens up to the former viewing lens position, once you have focus and framing set.

The leaf shutter is very quite, the winders are too, it has a x flash ability so you can use a modern flash, with setting for hot bulbs, etc, too, and, as I said, it is a simple camera and delivers the goods as well as much more expensive cameras.

The Yashica's which many love here, can no make the same quality images, and their cult-like status makes them overpriced.

IMO.
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