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Leica M5 or Mamiya 7 for a flash photographer?
Old 04-05-2017   #1
Kieran_Keeton
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Leica M5 or Mamiya 7 for a flash photographer?

Hello everyone this is my first time posting in a forum so apologies if this isn't posted in the right area, but I'm trying to weigh my options between owning a Leica M5 or a mamiya 7. I have used the M5 in the past and loved its toughness, bright rangefinder and larger size, but recently i have been looking into the benefits of the Mamiya's leaf shutter, firing a flash at 500th of a second would be invaluable to the kinds of images i want to create, but I've been told the camera is fragile and the rangefinder lacking in comparison to the M5, which is a shame as i am often focusing in low light. Is the negative size quality, optics and leaf shutter worth the trade for a less robust and user friendly camera? Aperture priority is a nice bonus but that doesn't sway me much, nether does film loading speed.
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Old 04-05-2017   #2
leicapixie
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Two different formats.
A normal lens on a Medium Format, almost Tele on 35mm!
Depth of field shrinks faster than cheap cloth., in medium Format.
No viewfinder and rangefinder even close to a Leica M.
Flash of course at all speeds, 1/50th or slower for Leica M.
I personally hate flash esp. in candid street photography.
Leicas are made for candid/ street and documentary use.
Quietly and smoothly with no flash., is my opinion.
Have i used flash. yes! Pro shoots where it was demanded.
The rngfdr of Mamiya not as robust as Leica.
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Old 04-05-2017   #3
sevres_babylone
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I've never owned a film Leica, so keep that in mind.
I don't think the Mamiya 7 is fragile. I think if flash is important to you, the leaf shutter and ability to sync at higher shutter speeds is a big advantage of the Mamiya. I do have an M9, and don't think there is anything lacking in the Mamiya rangefinder.

In terms of non-flash photography in low light, the Leica would be a better choice because you can get faster lenses. I didn't use my Mamiya in low light very often, so I can't comment on how difficult or not focusing is. I once grabbed the wrong camera bag and ended up using my Mamiya concert in a bar where the light level would have been ISO 800 F4 1/30, and I had no trouble focusing. But obviously I was assisted by the stage lighting, even if not very bright.
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Old 04-05-2017   #4
NaChase
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I have an M6 and a Mamiya 7. The Mamiya is a robust, professional camera that won't let you down. The Mamiya is silent and, like you point out, the leaf shutter allows flash sync speeds up to 1/500. I wouldn't recommend using the Mamiya to pound nails into a wall, but, having taken my Mamiya on various intense outdoors excursions, I can attest to its quality and durability.
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Old 04-05-2017   #5
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The flash sync speed of the M5 is 1/50.
So if you needed higher than that, your choice has been made.
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Old 04-05-2017   #6
Ko.Fe.
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IMO. Leica never been even close to be suitable for flash photography. Never was, not even close now and not going to be most likely.
But it is OK if you like to drag the shutter and do it Oppa Gilden style.
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Old 04-05-2017   #7
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having owned both cameras i can tell you the VF in the m7 isn't bad. its comparable to leica, especially the older m5. low light focussing shouldnt be a problem.
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Old 04-05-2017   #8
k__43
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The M7 has definitely a great Viewfinder. Big & hard edged RF patch
Killer with flash and also without. I do a lot of night shooting handheld at f/4 .. the bigger format and the gentle shutter allow for slow speeds!
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Old 04-05-2017   #9
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^ agreed. When I had mine I saw a huge potential for night shooting. The shutter combined with the electronic release and grip means low speeds are easily attainable.
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Old 04-05-2017   #10
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If you're even considering 35mm over a 6x7 then I'd have to say, a Nikon F100 or Canon equivalent will run circles around anything else for on camera flash work. Plus their max sync speed is only 1 stop less than the Mamiya. I'd go with the Mamiya 7 if you have a lot of other reasons to shoot a Mamiya 7 vs a 1 stop increase in sync speed.
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Old 04-05-2017   #11
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Thankyou very much for the responses, i will keep an eye out for a mamiya, where do people recommend looking for one in good condition?
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Old 04-05-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran_Keeton View Post
Thankyou very much for the responses, i will keep an eye out for a mamiya, where do people recommend looking for one in good condition?
because it's in good condition
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Old 04-05-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
If you're even considering 35mm over a 6x7 then I'd have to say, a Nikon F100 or Canon equivalent will run circles around anything else for on camera flash work. Plus their max sync speed is only 1 stop less than the Mamiya. I'd go with the Mamiya 7 if you have a lot of other reasons to shoot a Mamiya 7 vs a 1 stop increase in sync speed.
Nikon F6 can use high speed flash sync mode up to 1/8000 sec as part of the creative lighting system.
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Old 04-05-2017   #14
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Get a Minolta Hi Matic 9 instead. It has flashmatic in manual. Or get two.
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Old 04-05-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchu View Post
Get a Minolta Hi Matic 9 instead. It has flashmatic in manual. Or get two.
I like this idea.
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Old 04-05-2017   #16
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While I agree any canon or nikon from the nineties run circles around a leica in the flash department I do shoot m4 and m2 with thrystor flashes in near darkness with good hit rates(they are my carry everywhere cameras, I use an f90x for studio and near studio stuff).
No idea about mamiya though, never tried using one.
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Old 04-05-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kieran_Keeton View Post
Hello everyone this is my first time posting in a forum so apologies if this isn't posted in the right area, but I'm trying to weigh my options between owning a Leica M5 or a mamiya 7. I have used the M5 in the past and loved its toughness, bright rangefinder and larger size, but recently i have been looking into the benefits of the Mamiya's leaf shutter, firing a flash at 500th of a second would be invaluable to the kinds of images i want to create, but I've been told the camera is fragile and the rangefinder lacking in comparison to the M5, which is a shame as i am often focusing in low light. Is the negative size quality, optics and leaf shutter worth the trade for a less robust and user friendly camera? Aperture priority is a nice bonus but that doesn't sway me much, nether does film loading speed.
If you use flash mostly in low light, the flash sync speed is not that important.

If you do need high-speed flash sync, yes, then go for any camera with a leaf shutter.

The Nikon/Canon high-speed sync is not more advantageous as one might think comparing to leaf-shutter's sync speed. Those are achieved with reduced flash output. In addition, you may need to buy dedicated flashes to get those benefits (I could be wrong on this point, though).

Plus, if you are considering Mamiya 7, I assume that size is not a problem for you. If that's the case, no 135 camera comes close to it in terms of image quality, even Leica M.
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Old 04-05-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
Nikon F6 can use high speed flash sync mode up to 1/8000 sec as part of the creative lighting system.
As an F6 owner, heck yes it can!

I do believe there is a power penalty though, and I wouldn't expect most people to shell out for the F6, fine though it is.
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Old 04-05-2017   #19
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With a METZ 54 MZ3 flash the Leica M7 should be usable for flash photography up to 1/1000s shutter speed (High Speed Sync, HSS) as explained here. It would require a flashmeter or GN calculation for the correct exposure.
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Old 04-05-2017   #20
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If you are using flash outdoors, then the leaf shutter is the only camera to use (beating the sun, fill flash, mixing ambient and flash).
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Old 04-06-2017   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
Do you know what film you'll be using primarily? That could make a difference in your choice too.
maybe. I still think filmwise, the M7 is more versatile. You can shoot ANY film with flash sync at ANY speed.

Choosing the right film might only give the M5 a slight edge. But still no option for fast shutter speeds or shutter dragging.
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Old 04-06-2017   #22
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Kodak REtinette 1a. Flash to top speed as this is not focal plane. Great lens and cheap as chips.
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