Advice needed: Plaubel Makina W67 vs Mamiya 7

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Arne Norris

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I am getting equipment together to do a documentary project. I will be photographing everything from poorly lit interiors to general urban lanscape. I will use the camera both on and off a tripod. I currently use Leica M, but want better image quality, especially when I need to use higher speed film.

My goal is to have a wide angle and wide normal setup. I am considering two options: trying to find a pair of Plaubel Makina cameras, the W67 and either 67 or 670. Or to get a Mamiya 7/7II with the 50 and 80mm lenses. My original interest in the Plaubel was due to the supposedly better build quality and compactness. The W67 seems to be difficult to find, especially at a reasonable price.

I would appreciate any experiences people have had using the Plaubel Makina W67. I've never seen one. I'm wondering how good the viewfinder is as far as accuracy and quality and how much of view the lens/bellows obstructs.

Thanks!
 

Helen B

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Hi Arne,

I've sent you a pm. I use a Mamiya 7 II, a Makina 67 and 67W as well as Leica Ms regularly and will be happy to discuss their relative merits etc at length.

Best,
Helen
 
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Arne,

The M7 is built like a tank. After 4 years dragging it all over the place, including two hiking trips to Israel, I would have no qualms recommending it. The 50mm lens is amazing. I like it better than the 43 as I think the 43 is just a bit too wide.

I have only used the 67 once and can't speak to it but I love my M7II.
 

nobody

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Hi Arne,

I´m having the same doubt you had. Can you tell me what you decided and why (and if you´re satisfied)?
Thanks
 

hnrh2

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Just to mention that the mamiya 7 needs an external viewfinder with the 50. If 6X6 is an option, mamiya 6? If smaller: bronica rf 645 (45 and 65)?
Best.
 

revdocjim

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If you want top notch optics I would suggest the Fuji GF670 and GF670W over the Plaubel duo. More modern design, great build and optics that are hard to beat. But it would be awfully expensive!
The clear advantage of the Mamiya 7 is the exchangeable lenses. But like mentioned above, the Mamiya 6 is even better in terms of compactness and no need for the external VF. Of course that is only relevant if you are okay with 6x6...
 

250swb

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As you already use a Leica M you won't be worried by accessory viewfinders, so for lens quality and interchangability, extra image size, overall camera size and handling, the Mamiya 7 ticks as many boxes as there are.

If you have a strong assistant, and want to go bigger to 6x9, the Fuji 690 and GW690 are both relatively cheap, but they are heavy and gigantic (really big), but they are rangefinders, and don't need accessory viewfinders.

Steve
 

36cm2

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If you want top notch optics I would suggest the Fuji GF670 and GF670W over the Plaubel duo. More modern design, great build and optics that are hard to beat. But it would be awfully expensive!

This seems to suggest that the Makinas don't have top notch optics. I've seen photos from the Makinas and the new Fuji folders and I definitely prefer the Makina 67/670 rendering. I also prefer that rendering to the Mamiyas (which have always seem clinical to me). Resolution is not the be all end all. And as for build, the Plaubels are a metal brick. As long as you're not dumb about open and closing them to preserve the meter, no issues on build quality. Lastly, these are all cool cameras, but there's also something romantically "White Lines" about whipping out the PM67 for a shot...
 

revdocjim

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This seems to suggest that the Makinas don't have top notch optics. I've seen photos from the Makinas and the new Fuji folders and I definitely prefer the Makina 67/670 rendering. I also prefer that rendering to the Mamiyas (which have always seem clinical to me). Resolution is not the be all end all. And as for build, the Plaubels are a metal brick. As long as you're not dumb about open and closing them to preserve the meter, no issues on build quality. Lastly, these are all cool cameras, but there's also something romantically "White Lines" about whipping out the PM67 for a shot...

Of course, I will plead guilty to the charge of being emotionally infatuated with the GF670, and thus not entirely objective in my comments. It's just that I have immense respect for a company like Fuji that is willing to take the chance and produce new models of this type of camera in this day and age! No disrespect for the Plaubel intended. :smile:
 

36cm2

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It's just that I have immense respect for a company like Fuji that is willing to take the chance and produce new models of this type of camera in this day and age!

I agree completely and hope that others follow suit.
 

cjbecker

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I've become very interested in this thread as I'm looking to get a lighter camera then my hasselblad to haul around when backpacking and fishing/hunting in Alaska.
 

LiamG

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I don't really get the whole Mamiya build quality complaint: sure, it's not finished like a Leica, but it doesn't need as much shutter service either. I've broken lots of cameras- but haven't yet killed the M7; I've fallen on it, with it, used it in extreme cold, and spraying water. There are many medium format cameras better built (heavy), but I wouldn't want to carry them all day- I've done my share of that too. Personally, I didn't even consider the Makina because it doesn't have the 43mm option, but everyone has their own requirements- they are very different beasts.
 

StoneNYC

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My vote is also for the Mamiya 7, I personally only have the 150mm, 65mm, and 43mm lenses I don't have the 80mm or 50mm but I do have them on my RZ67 and those perspectives are great, I chose the others for my Mamiya 7 just to have the opposite lenses, it's worked so far. Anyways I took them all over, including the grand canyon when they got knocked around a lot. Really great, just make sure you have the viewfinder for the 50mm, I got my 43mm without a viewfinder thinking I got a deal on the price and have regretted it ever since.

Mamiya 7 all the way!


~Stone

Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cjbecker

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How long are your batteries lasting out on hikes/ below freezing temps?
 

StoneNYC

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How long are your batteries lasting out on hikes/ below freezing temps?

Fresh battery? As long as you aren't doing 1 hour exposures, you'll be good for 4 months easy :wink:


~Stone

Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
 

revdocjim

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I dropped my Mamiya 6 yesterday at the airport! grrr... It was in my coat pocket when I arrived at Narita, and when I took my coat off and set it on my luggage cart it slipped off and fell to the floor. I heard a bit of a clunk but hopefully the coat cushioned the blow. So far everything seems to be in proper working order. (keeping my fingers crossed!)
 

LiamG

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How long are your batteries lasting out on hikes/ below freezing temps?
I've had really good luck. At least 6 months to a battery, and it doesn't die on me in the cold like my GS-1 used to (same battery, BTW). Certainly in the 10-20F range it hasn't been a problem, I've only used it shortly in colder conditions than that (try reloading film- not so fun).
 

StoneNYC

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Yea the only time the battery died early on was when I was shooting for over an hour in -15 degree (Fahrenheit) temperates at the rim of the Grand Canyon. But again NEGATIVE 15 degrees haha

I'll admit by the end of the hour it went from -15 to a balmy -8 but still, pretty good.


~Stone

Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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I own the Makina 67, 670 and W67. I am totally impressed by the lens signature of the Makina 67 and 670 for portraiture. They are somehow sharper than my Hasselblad 503CW with the CFE 80mm lens. I bought a Mamiya 6 but returned it because I found the build not as solid as the Makina. I hear the Mamiya 7 is sharper than the Makina but sometimes sharpness isn't everything...check out this shot on my flickr account:http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_cloth_shutter/6909595583/in/set-72157628680978073
 

Dismayed

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I would only consider Plaubel if the main purpose would be portraits or such - the f/2.8 lens has really nice OOF rendering that you will not get with M7. The Bessa III / Fuji gf670 seems to have a bit busy rendering at times.

The M7 150mm lens is superb. As for shallow DOF - you'll only get 4 inches at 6 feet and f/5.6. The real issue is focusing accurately with the fairly short rangefinder baseline. That's why I shoot environmental portraits with mine. There are better choices if you want tight head shots (SLR comes to mind).

http://dofmaster.com/doftable.html
 

vpwphoto

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I've become very interested in this thread as I'm looking to get a lighter camera then my hasselblad to haul around when backpacking and fishing/hunting in Alaska.

I have thought long and hard about what you articulate. That being said. I have arrived at this- I can put a Hasselblad into a rolled up rain-coat or whatever, and have no qualm with it getting knocked about or leaned on during a rest. I hiked Colorado this way a couple years back. If a Makina 67 were in my pack, I would would be afraid of rough treatment. Also a Hasslebald with WLF closed hangs real nice on your side, and with prices what they are, parts and repairs seemingly to be had anywhere, who cares if it gets knocked around or wet (and aside from grit and a absolute soaking a Hasselblad doesn't mind either, I think you could stand on one too.) I couldn't feel that way about any other camera I currently own... (except my economically worthless Nikonos system).
 
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vpwphoto

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I own the Makina 67, 670 and W67. I am totally impressed by the lens signature of the Makina 67 and 670 for portraiture. They are somehow sharper than my Hasselblad 503CW with the CFE 80mm lens. I bought a Mamiya 6 but returned it because I found the build not as solid as the Makina. I hear the Mamiya 7 is sharper than the Makina but sometimes sharpness isn't everything...check out this shot on my flickr account:http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_cloth_shutter/6909595583/in/set-72157628680978073

+1 I covet the look/rendering of the Makina 67's Nikkor.

BUT if I didn't own the 500cm system, I'd covet it too... :smile:
 

mindthemix

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This seems to suggest that the Makinas don't have top notch optics. I've seen photos from the Makinas and the new Fuji folders and I definitely prefer the Makina 67/670 rendering. I also prefer that rendering to the Mamiyas (which have always seem clinical to me). Resolution is not the be all end all. And as for build, the Plaubels are a metal brick. As long as you're not dumb about open and closing them to preserve the meter, no issues on build quality. Lastly, these are all cool cameras, but there's also something romantically "White Lines" about whipping out the PM67 for a shot...

(which have always seem clinical to me) I really like this comment
 
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