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Author Topic: Mamiya 645 AFD/AFDII -vs- Hassie H2  (Read 7828 times)
Ken Tanaka
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« on: March 29, 2006, 06:47:44 PM »
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I am strongly considering purchasing a medium format camera --my first-- and am somewhat torn on a couple of issues and selections.  Forgive me for asking a "what should I buy" -type question; I generally repel from those on other forums.  But I'm really just looking for a bit of practical insight from those who are experienced with MF.

While I anticipate that I may eventually get a digital back for the camera my initial plan would be to shoot with a film back.  Nevertheless if I'm going to get a mf body I do want one that will be able to interface with a digital back when the time comes.  The two cameras in this thread's title have become my finalists.  But, of course, there's a significant price difference between these brands.

So my key questions are as follows.

1.  What, if anything, would a Hasselblad H2 give me that a Mamiya 645 AFD would not?  I've pored over the specs of each and can find little.

2.  Are there some real key advancements of the Mamiya 645 AFD II over the AFD?

Thank you, in advance, for any guidance you can provide.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2006, 10:33:44 PM »
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I own a H1, but have only played a couple of times with the Mamiya.

I felt that:

- the viewfinder of the H1 was larger and brighter,
- the Fuji lenses are really top notch in terms of sharpness, but then again the Mamiya lenses are said to be no slouch either,
- the feel of the H1 is nice and it does have some neat features like built-in zone system spot metering, combined MLU and timer,...
- the AF is fast and accurate.

On the downside:

- the battery life of the H1 is pretty short,
- my body (with an old firmware) is pretty buggy, sometimes lenses or the viewfinder are not recognized,... the H2 is said to be better,
-  the H1 is heavy, and so are the lenses.

All in all, the H1 is IMHO not the best camera for landscape work, which is probably why I hardly use mine anymore... until I get a digital back at some point of time.

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Bernard
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Ed Jack
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2006, 03:17:07 AM »
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As an H1 owner I second everything Bernard has said, but would add that: with the Mamiya system everything is cheaper and you have access to huge array of lenses old and new designs that have different characterisitcs, not to mention the huge base of used leses to draw from if you want to get a full system with many lens "on the cheap". Not so much of an option with the H1 system which you might have to build more slowly depending on how big your wallet is! For example it is true that the 120mm HC macro is hard to get hold of even though this sort of lens should be the staple of any system.

The H1 does have a nice system of switching between MF and AF at will, which I think with the Mamiya requires pushing buttons.

Ed


Quote
I own a H1, but have only played a couple of times with the Mamiya.

I felt that:

- the viewfinder of the H1 was larger and brighter,
- the Fuji lenses are really top notch in terms of sharpness, but then again the Mamiya lenses are said to be no slouch either,
- the feel of the H1 is nice and it does have some neat features like built-in zone system spot metering, combined MLU and timer,...
- the AF is fast and accurate.

On the downside:

- the battery life of the H1 is pretty short,
- my body (with an old firmware) is pretty buggy, sometimes lenses or the viewfinder are not recognized,... the H2 is said to be better,
-  the H1 is heavy, and so are the lenses.

All in all, the H1 is IMHO not the best camera for landscape work, which is probably why I hardly use mine anymore... until I get a digital back at some point of time.

Regards,
Bernard
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Ken Tanaka
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 11:56:48 AM »
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Thank you so much for your remarks, gentlemen.  They have been quite helpful, since I don't know anyone shooting with either camera brand/format nor have I had any experience with them myself.

At this point my plans are to pursue the Mamiya 645 AFD II or the original AFD.  While the Hasselblad might have a brighter viewfinder (and more cache) the Mamiya will likely meet my (probably) occasional needs more practically and economically.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 11:59:13 AM by Ken Tanaka » Logged

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alexramsay
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2006, 04:36:31 AM »
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Thank you so much for your remarks, gentlemen.  They have been quite helpful, since I don't know anyone shooting with either camera brand/format nor have I had any experience with them myself.

At this point my plans are to pursue the Mamiya 645 AFD II or the original AFD.  While the Hasselblad might have a brighter viewfinder (and more cache) the Mamiya will likely meet my (probably) occasional needs more practically and economically.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61379\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The word on the street here in the UK is that the autofocus on the original AFD is really poor, but that the AFD II has resolved this issue.

Alex Ramsay
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dazzajl
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2006, 07:25:49 AM »
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Hello Ken,

I was in a similar situation to yourself recently and was looking for a MF outfit to use primarily with a digi back.

Again, like you probably did, I decided that the one I would most like to work with was the Contax but had to discount it.

So, that leaves the Hassy or the Mamiya. I went for the Mamiya based mainly on the fact that I couldn't see twice the quality in the Hassy for twice the outlay. I don't doubt that the H1 or H2 are better than either version AFD and that the Fuji lenses will out perform the Mamiya ones a little but not by enough. For me this isn't a major problem as I use a 5x4 camera mostly with my digi back and the Schneider Digitar lenses are just stunning and better than either MF choice.

The AFD or AFD II are very good cameras and the lenses are pretty good to. Remember that Mamiya MF cameras have had a huge chunk of the pro market for decades so it's unlikey that anyone will ever look at you images in isolation and say "hmmmm, if only he'd have bought the hassy".

There is much talk with the AFD II about the improved auto focus and I'd agree that it is better than it was but for me, it's still nowhere near good enough to really be of use. If you've never used an auto focus camera you might be impressed with it but if you've ever handled any 35mm style body it's not going to compare. Except perhaps the old Pentax ME-F.  

Because of this I saw no good reason to get the AFD II and 2nd hand AFD's can be had for well under 1000 now. This coupled with the vast range of good manual focus lenses you can use means you can put togther a very complete system for far less than any other MF digi back carrier.

D  
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2006, 09:09:50 PM »
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Thank you so much for your remarks, gentlemen.  They have been quite helpful, since I don't know anyone shooting with either camera brand/format nor have I had any experience with them myself.

At this point my plans are to pursue the Mamiya 645 AFD II or the original AFD.  While the Hasselblad might have a brighter viewfinder (and more cache) the Mamiya will likely meet my (probably) occasional needs more practically and economically.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=61379\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi
I am a user of a Maniya 645 AFD & the new 645 AFDII. Buy the AFDII the focus is better plus you have the option of front or rear focus seperate from the shutter release! This is a big bonus. At the moment you can buy AFD lenses on ebay for amazing prices. I have been a user of Mamiya for 6 years and the lenses are excellent. My favorite lense is the 55-110 zoom.
Thanks Denis Montalbetti
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Denis Montalbetti
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2006, 12:35:08 AM »
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It was a part of a deal with my demo P25 and this was my first time with the Mamiya AFD. But it was a great deal for me. I got a 35mm Mamiya wide angle lens from ebay and it is sharp and cheap, it was less then $200 for this manual lens. I got a spare body with lens and film back for less then $1250 and their APO lenses are just sharp, I got a 300 f2.8 for less then $1600 and I shot the Las Vegas sky line and it was sharp from the 15 miles sign, to the main part of Vegas strip and everything was tack sharp at f5.6. You can also get a adpater for the Hass C lens. If you are looking for a good cheap way of getting a good camera system, then the Mamiya is a way to go.
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2006, 03:14:37 AM »
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Blad v Mamiya or Mamiya v Blad.  
It depends upon through which stable you were raised.
Product loyalty can be a major fact.  So is the budget with which you have to operate.
The quality of the last two left standing in the Medium Format wars is unquestionable both are outstanding.

This year I have had to review what was available for digital work.  My main work has been Commercial & Industrial with my Sinar P and Mamiya RZ for the past twenty plus years.  What camera + digital back combo would serve my needs?

I looked at the H2 Blad.  The price they are demanding compared to the Mamiya AFD II was a signicant factor.  The Blad did sit more comfortably in the hand and appeared to repond quickly.  Comparable images from the AFD II and Blad left you moving backwards and forwards between files and eventually loosing track of which was from which camera.  

I chose the AFD II.  It is matched with an Aptus 75 which I find a good partnership.

The fact that I went to the AFD II meant the more funds for a great digital back and more lenses.

Today (I feel I will be cast in to depths of the abyss for what I am about to say) the new MF digital is here and my film is going stale on the shelf.  The issue of film v digital in the professional realm is no longer an issue, digital has more than arrived.  This all comes from a person who up until recently believed it would still be may years before I would need to move to the dark side as I saw it.

The serious photographer, be they professional or ameteur should no longer wait as we now are at the start of an exciting time in photography.

What do you buy Mamiya or Hasselblad.

It doesn't matter, if you have the budet for a Blad go for it.  It is a great camera from a line of quality thoroughbreds.

If you make the choice to go with the AFD II know you are not travelling second class,  but you do have more funds left over to enjoy the journey.
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2006, 05:49:21 AM »
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It's a little ironic that people are talking about the choice being reduced to Mamiya v Hasselblad.

Mamiya has announed some time ago that they sold off their camera business, so that's a big unknown.

Secondly, Rollei is still in business and the 6008 AF is an impressive camera! Flash sync up to 1/1000 on fast lenses. Who else does that? Plus the various metering modes. Definitely worth a look.
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2006, 08:00:03 AM »
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Quote from: foto-z,Aug 12 2006, 05:49 AM
It's a little ironic that people are talking about the choice being reduced to Mamiya v Hasselblad.

Mamiya has announed some time ago that they sold off their camera business, so that's a big unknown.

Secondly, Rollei is still in business and the 6008 AF is an impressive camera! Flash sync up to 1/1000 on fast lenses. Who else does that? Plus the various metering modes. Definitely worth a look.

Hi
From a good source I heard that MF sales in 2002 ( 25,000), 2003 (12000) and 2004 (4500) WORLDWIDE! In that time period Contax and Bronica have gone. Hasselblad & Imacon are owned by a Chinese company. Jenopic buys Sinar. Pentax keeps stalling? Who knows maby MF will come back?Huh I still believe the quality is better than 35D. Also about a year ago I was buying a Mamiya 150mm AFD lens off of Adorama for $ 450.00 USD a bargain for this quality of glass but market price used. We got into a discussion and I was asking him about the Canon 1Ds MKII .... the waiting list was 200 and they were selling 200 units/week!!! Think about that what was B&H doing etc etc. I still don't know what the worldwide sales for MF (2005). It is no wonder that Mamiya has been sold but  at least they are affordable in a shrinking MF market. At the moment there are 4 players in MFD Hasselblad/Imacon, Sinar/Rollie/Jenoptic, Phase and Leaf. The only camera left is Mamiya not to be directly associated with a MFD Back company and how long will that last?Huh Sony & Nikon have just announced 10mp under $1000.00 USD. Wedding photographers who used to use MF have basicly switched to 35D here in Australia. This is not like 20 years ago when MF was healthy, digital has changed that. I still love the format (MF) but most photographers are not using it anymore. Thaks Denis
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Denis Montalbetti
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2006, 03:17:20 AM »
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I just bought a Fotodiox Hasselblad to Mamiya converter, so you can you can easily use the older blad lenses in manual stop down mode as well with the AFDII.  This worked fine for me with the 80mm CF 2.8.  I am attracted to the possibility of using the 40mm distagon with the AFDII.  

A side issue, but one problem with the AFDII is that most rental houses seem to have gone with the blad. Traditionally rental houses had large stocks of the RB/RZ gear, but didnt have much 645. So if you need to rent gear, it looks like the H1 might be better.
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