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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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Bronica rf versus mamiya6
Old 05-24-2007   #1
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Bronica rf versus mamiya6

Hello everybody,

anyone with an opinion about Mamiya6 versus Bronica rf.
I can buy both for approx. the same price.

A Mamiya6 mf with 50 and 75 lens or a Bronica rf with 45 and 65 lens.

I know Bronica's longer lens(es)are a problem but then I see a lot of people selling their Mami 150mm lens.

My aim is to have a camera to take on multi week trekkings lightweight and sturdy.
I have ruled out 35mm for subjective reasons.

Take care,

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Old 05-24-2007   #2
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Both are great: I have and use both, I'd never sell either one. What it comes down to is the format. If you want square photos, get the Mamiya; rectangular photos get the Bronica. Remember too that the Mamiya folds so even though it's bigger when it's open, it's more compact when it's folded. Mamiya is a little better built; less plastic, but Bronica is well built too. Mamiya has quieter shutter (very quiet) - Bronica is noisier.
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Old 05-24-2007   #3
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I have used Mamiya 6's for about two years now, I have no experience with the Bronica, although it has alot of nice features.

Bear in mind that the "default" framing on the Bronica is Portrait format (i.e., when holding the camera "normally" the picture will be taller than wider) - I JUST KNOW THAT THIS WOULD DRIVE ME CRAZY IF I HAD THE BRONICA - especially if I wasn't shooting mainly portraits. With 35mm, I would guess that more than 90% of my pictures are in Landscape orientation, so the Bronica just would be too ackward for me to use regularly.

I would be interested in hearing the experiences of some Bronica users in this regard.

I've been very happy with the Mamiya 6 - I have never had a technical problems with mine, except I don't entirely trust the metering system, it's very susceptible to underexposure due to sky in the frame, so although I use mine on Automatic, I often carry a handheld meter to check, or meter more off the ground and use the AE lock.

As for the Mamiya lenses, in Medium Format I've used a Zeiss Super Ikonta, and Brooks Veriwide 100, Mamiya 645's, a Rollei TLR with 80mm Planar 2.8 lens, and the Pentax 67 system with only the 105mm lens.

Keeping the Pentax and Veriwide aside, I would rate the Rolleiflex and the Mamiya 6 "the best optically" out of these, but in entirely different ways. For me, the rollei is about smooooth bokeh, and lovely rendition in Black and white, while the Mamiya 6 75mm and 50mm are very sharp and render colours better. These lenses only have an f/4 or so maximum aperture, so they're not fantastic for low light situations.

The bokeh on the Mamiya 75mm and 50mm is "okay", but the 150mm has FANTASTIC bokeh and despite only focusing down to 1.6 meters or so, is not so bad for portraits which include the upper body - I usually shoot it at minimum focusing distance at around f/8. I find the 150mm too big to lug around, so it doesn't get so much use.

My current favorite lens for the Mamiya 6 is the 50mm though. It's nice to have a bit more depth of field for fast moving shots, and there's just something "about" that lens.

'Hope this helps in your decision making process.
regards, sleepyhead
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Bronica rf
Old 06-01-2007   #4
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Cool Bronica rf

I have chosen the Bronica rf

Please don't ask why.

Take care,

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Old 06-01-2007   #5
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Are the Mamiya (or Bronica, for that matter) shutters standardized across the lenses, in that shutterspeeds and controls are the same between different lenses?
Hello World
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Old 06-01-2007   #6
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I have a RF645. I owned a Mamiya 6 and a few lenses at one point.

I sold the Mamiya and while I don't use it terribly often I'm likely to keep the Bronica for the foreseeable future.

I really like how it fits in my hand. Scarcely larger then my M7 with the RapidWinder and grip attached.

I find that I like the vertical format -- or rather don't really dislike it. I tend to take people pictures rather than landscapes so sometimes the vertical format is for the best.

Frankly, I find that I adapt somewhat automatically to whatever camera/film I have in hand. With color film (which I use on rare occasions), I find myself seeking suitable subject matter -- and usually different subjects then I'd find when I have b&w film.

Same for the Bronica vs. something else. With the RF645, I seem to automatically seek photos that are more vertically oriented. And I can still rotate the camera if that works better.

I don't miss the Mamiya which just never felt natural to me.
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