Plaubel Makina 67 experiences?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by johnmarkpainter, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. I already know that the optical quality is excellent with this camera. I am wondering about
    the ease of use/ergonomics aspects...

    I know it weighs about 2.5 pounds. I don't know how 'compact' it really is when Folded
    (never seen one in person). I would likely be selling a Rolleiflex and some misc lenses to
    justify the purchase. It SEEMS that the Makina would be much more portable than the
    Rollei and I can shoot Hasselblad if I want to shoot Square format.

    I like Rangefinder shooting already so no problem there. I know you have to get one in
    good condition because of the 'scissors' that go bad.

    Any personal experiences?
  2. no personal experiences of my own, but this guy that I know thru the internet has a personal review of it.
  3. Hi, I use a Fuji g690bl, but having looked the Plaubel over I am having secong thoughts. Perhaps the film plane issues with Plaubel
    are not critical, certainly looks like a great camera though. The Plaubel 69W ProShift looks really great, although the 67 has a faster lens. At half the weight of my brass Fuji I am feeling tempted. My only consolation is the Fuji has interchangable lenses and it is a non-folder, so therefore has no film plane alignment issues, as yet.

    I seem to remember that the plaubel (and my Fuji) is very difficult to maintain if parts are worn, better find a good 'un!

  4. Although a great camera, I believe I read the this camera was a bit quirkly and tends to have repair issues. Has anyone had this experience?
  5. You can avoid all the repair and film plane alignment issues if you choose the readily available Mamiya 7 with an 80 or 65mm lens, Lots of advantages to this newer camera, a little bit better price, built better, interchangeable lenses, 120 or 220 film, etc. Leave the Plaubel to the collectors who are bidding the price ever higher. Bob.
  6. I have shot the Mamiya 7 before and of course it is a nice rig. I am only interested in the
    Plaubel because it folds and is a 2.8

    The key apparently is not abusing the bellows/scissors. From what I have read it is built
    quite well and was intended for photo-journalists.

    I personally don't like the Mamiya 7 as a multi-lens system because it isn't good for
    Headshots or Telephoto....requires an external finder for wides. All those things are also
    true about Leica, but the Leica is much more portable and has faster lenses that Focus
  7. I recently handled one in a camera store. Indeed it is well built and has a good viewfinder. I'd thoroughly check out the bellows if I were you. If possible, ask to take it into a dark room or closet with a
    flashlight or narrow-beam penlight. Shine the light inward all around the extended bellows and look in the open back. Check carefully since pinholes are hard to see without using this technique especially along folds or at corners. You'll easily see light if it has holes of any size. I had a Fuji GS645 folder, and its bellows eventually developed lots of teeny pinholes that cummulatively caused flare spots on film. I sold it under this acknowledged condition with the buyer paying less and having the bellows replaced.
  8. S. Linke,

    I have found one from a really reputable dealer. I almost bought the Fuji Folder
    once...good camera, but the lens is slightly slower than the Makina and the 6x7 neg
    makes it a much more drastic jump up from 35mm.

    When I carried the Fuji, I found myself wishing that had just brought a Leica.

  9. John, I thought the Plaubel had a rangefinder base similar to the Mamiya 7, as I don't think it focuses much closer than the Mamiya. You're right however about the Mamiya, it's not good for head shots, but the lenses are superb.
  10. Hi,

    I just got a Makina 67 a few weeks ago. It handles really well-- I just use a wrist strap with it. The bellows, I had read, are much less prone to pinholes than the Fuji ones.

    From what little I've gleaned through the Net, the key is to always focus to infinity (least stress on bellows) when folding up, and to not have the shutter wound when folding up. The photos are fantastic.

    If you get a Makina in good condition, it should work fine as long as it's not abused. I had asked one seller of a repaired 67 about his experiences with Nippon Photo Clinic, and he said that they give a quoted price-- it cost a lot less than $400 to have his shutter block repaired and CLA'd. I guess it depends upon the job.

    Finally, I chose the 67 over the Mamiya 7 because mine was a lot cheaper, and the 7 is bulkier to carry when not in use. The 2.8 is helpful, but a monopod with the 7's f/4 would handle just as well.
  11. Wow, reading my response a couple of hours later-- things that you want to convey certainly get jumbled!

    To be clear about Nippon, my point was that the quoted price they give you isn't necessarily what the final cost will be-- and my anecdote is that it may be significantly cheaper.

    Re the 7's monopod use, of course it might yield sharper images than the 67's f/2.8 handheld, but that's not the reason why you buy the 67! I was suggesting that the 7 with a monopod might be an acceptable trade-off.

    My bottom line was that the 67 was the closest thing to a Leica, i.e. a quiet, relatively small, hand-held camera that had a big 6x7 neg to boot.

    Sadly, many user reports tell of its finicky repair issues. I think that the scissors will only go bad if one does idiotic things like letting the lens fall out of/into the body when extending/collapsing, or without having set it to infinity when collapsing. And then there's paying for a meter repair, which I would not do. Is the 67 finicky? Yes. Having one is certainly a double-edged sword, but is most tolerably wielded in this case.
  12. I purchase my 67 in 1980. My 670 in 1982, and a W67 from a friend in 1987. I have never had a problem with the wires in any of the three cameras. But, as indicated in a previous post, I always collapse the bellows with the camera at infinity. I have never had film plane problems with any of the three cameras.

    The 670 meter switch finally failed and was sent in for repair in 1997. At which time I had the entire camera redone with a new film transport mechanism and a clean & lube. After 14 years and at least 10,000 exposures, I don't think that's too bad.
  13. <I have found one from a really reputable dealer.> John, The dealer can most certainly be reputable, but the bellows can still have pinholes. Check it out! Better catch it now than after plunking down the big bucks.

    <...the Fuji Folder...> I'm not recommending the Fuji folder. Just giving an example of pinhole problems. It indeed is a good camera, especially the lens. I just didn't use it much.
  14. I've used a Plaubel 67 for ages and a few years ago I decided to add a W67. Instead, I took the seemingly sensible path and bought a Mamiya 7 II with 65 mm and 43 mm lenses. Great camera though it is, I found that the Mamiya didn't suit me nearly as much as the Plaubel, so now I have a W67 as well.

    A lot of my preference is because of the portability of the Plaubel. If you are comparing it to a Rolleiflex TLR then I'd say that it is a very close call, but if you are comparing it to a Rolleiflex SLR then there's a big difference in portability.

    Best, Helen
  15. I have had the 67, 670, and w67. i love them all. i use them frequently, not professionally. i believe they would stand up to high volume but they must be babied. like the previous posts, focus at infinity when collapsing down. the meter is extremely accurate. nippon photo clinic is certainly the place for repairs and parts. there is a finite number of parts in stock, though. i say buy one, john, and you will probably make a profit if you decide to part with it down the road. if you would like to speak about them email me and we can speak.

  16. I've had one and also a Mamiya 7 (both are now sold but it's another story). The Plaubel is a really cool camera and folds neatly. Lens is great though I found the 80mm on the M7 sharper. Purely subjective, Nikon lens is also excellent. The meter on mine had died and having it repaired in Canada was somewhat of an issue, meter problems came (it seems) from wires being moved everytime you open and closed the lens. Also read this was a pocketable camera, I wouldn't go that far, as much trouble to carry as a Blad. Design wise however is classic early 80s and operation is very easy. So this is a big and heavy camera. I sold it because I had the opportunity to acquire an M7 with the 80mm. M7 feels and is more plastic but you can buy other lenses which you can't with the Plaubel (you can always buy the 67w but harder and more $$$). As for selling the Rolleiflex, I did not find the Plaubel more portable, on the contrary, it's way heavier than the Rolleiflex. Plaubel viewfinder is pretty nice and you can focus easily with it. If you get a Plaubel try to get the shade because it cost a bundle when you can get one off E..y. I finally sold the M7 because lens prices were out of my budget but If I had to pick one I would pick the Plaubel.
  17. Use the W67. Dependable, great meter. It's at least more portable than my F5.
  18. Great camera, good viewfinder, great meter sharp photos . I have never had a problems.
  19. Great camera, good viewfinder, great meter sharp photos . I have never had a problems.
  20. I have had all of the above issues with my Makina. It was given to me by a retired pro and had many issues that took months to get fixed properly. First, a bellows leak.. easy fix. Then the light seals, bit trickier to cut because of the design. a replacement diopter, which the factory no longer has in stock, was installed because the old one was chipped. A leica diopter fit in perfectly and seemed to be a bit sharper. I had a meter problem and a repair guy had nightmares over it. now the meter doesn't work at all. no big deal get a hand held meter. A CLa and rangefinder adjustment were needed. Good repairs are next to impossible to find. the factory still works on them but it's insanely expensive. even insured shipping over to germany will be $100+ back and forth from the states.
    That said, I love the images it produces. One thing, I'm not sure it was mentioned, the shutter release it actually quite loud for a leaf shutter camera because of the cocking mechanisms. there is a loud double "CHA_CHUNK" sound. the mamiya 7 and rollei TLR are silent in comparison.

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