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Mamiya or Pentax 6x7?

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by MartinB, Oct 7, 2002.

  1. MartinB

    MartinB Well-Known Member

    I've been toying with buying a secondhand 6x7 camera for some time to use in landscape photography - I'd like bigger negatives than my 35mm. I like the idea of the Mamiya 6x7 with the revolving back but also find the Pentax 6x7 interesting because it looks like (and handles like?) a scaled-up SLR. Obviously I'm naiive about which to choose but wonder if there are any obvious Pros and Cons about which to buy for Landscape Photography. Any helpful comments appreciated.

    Martin B
    Defender 110
     
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well, I've been agonising along similar lines for ages - Pentax or Mamiya 7, though, rather than the RB or RZ. I personally think the RB and RZ, both great cameras, are too heavy and bulky for realistic use in the field. But they do have interchangeable backs....
    So the choice for me comes down to the Pentax or the Mamiya 7. The Pentax isn't really suitable for handholding (it may look like a 35mm SLR but it weighs a ton and has a VERY clunky mirror), but has a great range of excellent lenses and is an SLR. The Mamiya is a go-anywhere type of camera, also has great lenses but isn't easy for filter use (that is polariser or grads).
    As I can't make up my mind, I've stuck with my M645 and Rollei combination for now.

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  3. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Actually, pound for lb, and cm for cm there's not a lot of difference between the Mamiya RB/RZ and the Pentax. Check the specs. Where things do begin to mount up is with Mamiya lenses, which are often considerably heavier than their Pentax equivalents.

    Tim BSRIPN [​IMG]
     
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yes, and then there's the prism if you want one, and a spare back (or what's the point?). The RB/RZ are great cameras, but not what I would choose for landscapes. At least unless you take the Edward Weston approach, in which case why not go for 10x8?

    Nick BSRIPN
     
  5. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    The point of spare backs (for landscape) is the ability to work with different film stocks at the same time - say colour transparency and B&W negative. Also for working with the ZS, if you want to do that. The removable back also allows you to make Polaroid tests. I've not often found that I wanted to do that with landscape work, but it has come in handy on occasion.

    As for 8x10, well I work with it, so I'm not going to decry it, but there are many more factors that come into play than just the size and weight for carrying. For one thing, if you want to do your own printing you will either need a fantastically expensive 8x10 enlarger (and maybe a bigger house!) or you will be restricted to contact printing - which of course is what EW tended to do anyway, and an LF contact print certainly has a certain special something about it. But if you want, say, to make 20x16 prints at home then MF is a much easier route to go down, regardless of how close to the car you want to work.

    Huw Evans.
    www.huwevans.freeuk.com
     
  6. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Sorry Nick, I misinterpreted your post re. what is the point of having interchangeable backs (if you don't bother to carry a spare) - it's been a hectic day!

    Huw Evans.
    www.huwevans.freeuk.com
     
  7. eryri

    eryri Well-Known Member

    Hi Martin
    I had the same decision to make 6 years ago. I went for the RB in the end. First, and weightwise, there isn't a lot of difference between the RB and the Pentax or their lenses.
    Second, the RB doesn't need a prism, the Pentax does (weight and penny saving). I prefer to look at a large glass screen than squinting through a viewfinder. You can of course buy a prism. There are 4 to choose from.
    Third, the RB is totally mechanical, no batteries.
    Fourth, you cannot appreciate what an advantage the revolving back is until your out in the field. It just makes life so much easier.
    Fifth, the interchangable backs allow me to carry two backs pre-loaded. That's 20 shots, which means I only have to load half as often. I also have a 645 back which allows a tighter composition, different shape neg and 16 shots to a roll.
    Sixth, you can use the Pentax as a large SLR and hand-hold it, but the mirror slap can be heard in Iceland and being the size of a barn door, it causes a lot of camera shake. So handholding is not really practical.
    Seventh, the RB can sync with flash at all speeds.
    A while ago, I wrote an article published in AP about using the RB for landscapes. Have a look at this link http://www.stevephoto.co.uk/htmls/ap1.html

    HTH

    Steve
    http://www.stevephoto.co.uk
     
  8. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    Message from "Nanook of the North"

    "Oi, whoever's using that Pentax 6x7 over in Blighty, would they kindly pack it in cause I'm trying to get some shuteye!"

    BigNanook!

    <font color=blue>Someday Jeri Ryan will weaken!<font color=black>
     
  9. Raz

    Raz Well-Known Member

    sounds like a case for the bronica GS-1,
    i dont think any of the camera's are that bad to weild handheld or in the field.
    but i GS-1 is considerably smaller and lighter than the others mentioned.
    with the same quality and userbility. although they are hard to find on the used market, i go with an RZ personaly. the swivelling back does it for me!
     
  10. eryri

    eryri Well-Known Member

    The GS-1 is considerably more expensive than the RB (and the RZ). The GS-1 does have OTF flash metering and is lighter at 2.0kgs. The RZ weighs 2.5 kgs and the RB 2.7 kgs (no plastic bits on the RB /img/wwwthreads/smile.gif). The GS-1 is very heavy on the batteries though. If you want electronic shutters and light weight, go with the Bronica, though you'll pay for it. The RB's merits I've already outlined. The RZ is a good middle ground if you want electronics and a rotating back without breaking the bank (or your back/img/wwwthreads/smile.gif)

    Steve
    http://www.stevephoto.co.uk
     
  11. F1F2

    F1F2 Well-Known Member

    I use a Pentax 6x7 with a 105mm F2.4 Takumar. Hand held. With a bit of practice you can learn to flip the mirro and then fire. I've done an AB comparison with my Hasselblad and the P67 beats it hands down- and yes that's on Velvia.

    I would go for a P67 and take the prism off for landscape format shooting 'in the field'. Forget backs and synchro shutters, just concentrate on getting those 10 shots per roll as perfect as you can. It's a real discipline and good fun........eventually!

    Oh and Pentax lenses are cheaper and SUPERB quality.

    Mick
     
  12. eryri

    eryri Well-Known Member

    take the prism off for landscape format shooting

    What about portrait format shooting?/img/wwwthreads/frown.gif

    Forget backs

    Why ? Because the Pentax doesn't have any? Interchangable backs give those cameras that have them far more versatilty and give you a lot more options, including access to digital backs (if you have the desire and money!)

    Oh and Pentax lenses are cheaper

    They're aboout the same as RB 'C' lenses on price.

    It's weird really. The magazines would have us believe that the Pentax is good outdoors and the RB, RZ and GS-1 are good in the studio. Yet it's my experience that this is the exact opposite of what really happens. I've only met one proffessional landscape photographer working on 6x7 who uses a Pentax 67. All the others I've met or read about use the RB or the RZ.

    Steve
    http://www.stevephoto.co.uk
     
  13. MartinB

    MartinB Well-Known Member

    I'll hire a 6x7

    With Calumet down the road I might decide to hire a 6x7 before I buy - a less expensive option than taking the plunge and spending £1000 on a secondhand outfit.

    Martin B
    Defender 110
     
  14. eryri

    eryri Well-Known Member

    Re: I'll hire a 6x7

    Good idea Martin. I did the same and was going to suggest it, but sometimes the cost is a little steep. I was lucky as a friendly dealer loaned me a Pentax and then an RB for a weekend each for me to assess. Best of luck.

    Steve
    http://www.stevephoto.co.uk
     
  15. F1F2

    F1F2 Well-Known Member

    Oy!

    Oy Steve!

    It's only MY opinion- you don't have to jump down my throat!

    I personally used RBs for years, but I'm one of the lucky ones who CAN use P67s handheld for most of the day, don't need backs, lens shutters and I do take the prism off for landscape shooting. Portraits? I don't touch 'em mate....


    Mick
     
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I have to say that ALL the semi-pro landscapers I've met using 6x7 (with one, GS1-toting exception) have used the Pentax or sometimes the Mamiya 7. Last year, in the Outer Hebrides, the most common camera I saw was the Pentax 6x7 (nobody seemed to have a recent one!) - more so than any 35mm camera. Given my potential interest in the camera, I tend to ask them about their experiences and their usage, and they all have seemed to think it perfect for them. But then I suppose they would say that, wouldn't they?
    One German woman on the ferry over was taking hand-held shots of the coast and the Summer Isles on the way out of Ullapool. I asked her about the risk of camera shake - she just laughed and told me she had used the camera for 20 years without a problem, so she wasn't going to start having problems now!
    Another guy, taking a portrait-format landscape at the Butt of Lewis lighthouse was using a tripod (and prism!), and told me the camera was close to impossible to hand-hold below 1/250. So I don't know! Yet another, at the Calanais stone circle. said hand-holding was OK with mirror lock-up but not otherwise, and a fourth at Arnol Black House was another tripod devotee. In 5 days I met 4 Pentax 6x7 owners shooting stock (or in one case for a book) - I found it really quite odd that there were that many!


    Nick BSRIPN
     
  17. eryri

    eryri Well-Known Member

    Each to his own eh/img/wwwthreads/smile.gif
    Actually, one of the things which put me off the Pentax was having to turn such a large camera on it's side on the tripod to do portrait format shots. It just didn't look secure!!
    Anyway, whatever you choose, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your camera. Operation should be second nature and it should never hamper your ability or vision.

    Steve
    http://www.stevephoto.co.uk
     
  18. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Absolutely on all points!

    Nick BSRIPN
     

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