Arax modified Kiev 60 or Mamiya 645?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by simon_hickie|1, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. Hi all.

    I have an elderly Pentacon 6 TL plus a Biometar MC 80mm and a CZJ MC
    Sonnar 180mm. The pentacon is no longer up to the job, having
    developed a shutter fault at 1/125 and above. I also have a Mamiya
    C330 with 80mm black lens. Given that my interest is in architecture,
    landscapes and close up flower shots, a MF SLR seems a better bet than
    buying more lenses for the C330.

    The question is, should I go for an Arax modified Kiev 60 (with MLU),
    or buy into the Mamiya 645 system? Cheers, Simon
  2. used mamiya or pentax. or contax, if you gave the dough. <br>
    at this point kievs are grossly overpriced (unless you can get <br>
    one for free).
  3. I have both an unmodified Kiev-60 and tons of M645 equipment. If you can live with the horizontal 6x4.5 format, I think it is by far the more sensible and hassle-free approach. The Mamiya glass is spectacular and up to professional standards, but the K60 lenses are, as you know, also very nice picture takers. I guess it boils down to ergonomics and your personal preferences. Of course a 6x7 camera (ahem, R*67) would be the best choice, but between the K60 and M645 it's a tough call.

    You probably know that you can use the K60 lenses on a M645 with an adapter (and without auto-aperture).
  4. Used Mamiya 645 equipment is dirt-cheap right now. I have a Mamiya outfit purchased used at Keh and I couldn't be happier.
  5. Why not get a CLA on the P6? That way you get a known good, serviced camera, and you can continue to use the (very good) lenses. The accessories for the P6/Kiev are still quite a bit cheaper than other systems.

    If you go for a S/H Mamiya (or anything else), you may well end up having to pay for a CLA on that anyway.

    Just a thought.
  6. I more or less replaced my Pentacon Six with an Arax 60 two years ago (I keep the P-6 as a back-up, but haven't used it). FWIW I've been very happy with the Arax, which is IMO a much better camera than the Pentacon. All my P-6 mount lenses work fine on the Arax, including the three CZJ lenses I bought for the Pentacon. BTW, Arax will sell a kit w/o the Ukrainian normal lens--I use the Biometar that came with my Pentacon

    Mamiya 645s are very nice cameras and are probably more reliable (although I've had NO problems with my Arax.) You can use your P-6 mount lenses on the Mamiya with an inexpensive adaptor, but you loose the automatic diaphragm, something of a PITA. There IS an automatic P-6 to Mamiya 645 adaptor listed on a German website (Weise ?) but it doesn't seem to actually be available--at least that's the concensus on the Kiev Report list AND the seller has not replied to my Emails.

    If you don't plan on replacing your P-6 lenses (and The 180 mm Sonnar would be a hard lens to replace--not only is it optically excellent, but it keeps your arms strong), the Arax is probably a better choice than the Mamiya, unless you don't care about having to stop down the lenses manually.
  7. Thanks for suggestions so far. My main reason for changing would be to have the mirror lock-up facility, hence I need to decide whether it's actually worth having the P6 CLAd. A 645J + 80mm + CDS Prism would set me back �300 from a reputable dealer (& I'm not sure the 645J has MLU!). The Arax complete kit would be around �220 including postage & less if I used my CZJ 80mm lens. I guess the question I'm asking myself is whether CLAing the P6, the Arax or the Mamiya 645 get me any further forward than the C330? Simon
  8. The M645J has no mirror lock-up. I would rather use a hand-held incident meter and a waist-level finder than the CdS prism, as focusing will be much easier (as long as you don't shoot in portrait format).

    I guess the C330 focuses closer than the SLRs (without extension tubes). Bellows focusing has its rewards, that's why I mentioned the Mamiya R*67 cameras. A RB67 with lens and back can sometimes be found on that internet auction site for less than $300.
  9. FWIW I had my Pentacon CLAed by Eddie Smolov,one of the best repair people in the US for E. German, Russian,and Ukrainian cameras and it still needed another repair to the film advance mechanism a short time later--that's why I bought the Arax. The Arax kit w/o the 80 mm Arsat lens was $40 cheaper and the 80 mm Biometar from the Pentacon is a very good lens. BTW I use the MLU on the Arax 60 whenever I use it on a tripod and it works quite well.
  10. BTW the Mamiya RB67 seems like a great camera and would probably be better for the kind of (landscape) work I do, but I have have seven P-6 mount lenses that will not cover 6 X 7.
  11. I realize I'm a little late, but I have found that my 50mmm Ziess P6 covers 6x7, my 180mm Sonnar covers more than 6x9, and the 300mm Sonnar just about covers 4x5!

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