For RB67 Users: 50mm or 65mm lens?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by CPorter, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    I'm looking for opinions on which of these two lenses you think would best round out my MF RB system. My other two lenses are the 90mm and a 180mm. I'm looking to purchase another lens but only have the funds for one, so what do others think?

    Most of my subjects are more intimate, but I want to start trying to do more landscape type attempts, primarily clouds with and without a horizon (my daughter, who will be entering college in meterology, loves cloud formations, especially thunderstorm type clouds, so I want to give that type of photography a shot). I've never tried it with my other two lenses, but it seems like a more wideangle lens would be better. Also, I want the lens to be just as appropriate for more intimate subjects as well.

    Am interested in comments from those that have used one or both of these lenses. Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

    Chuck
     
  2. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I have a 65mm lens for my RB and I love it. Its my favorite lens. I also have a 90mm and 180mm. A good friend of mine has a 50mm lens for his RB and that one is his favorite. What I'm getting at is that it really is a matter of personal taste. For me the 50mm is a bit to wide and for my friend, the 65mm isn't wide enough.

    One plus for my 65mm C lens is that I can focus on something just 3.5 inches away. It won't produce a 1:1 image, but it will produce a .72X life-size image.

    Both are excellent lenses, though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2007
  3. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Chuck:

    I, too, have an RB and had the 90 and 180 lenses initially. I wanted the 50, but it seemed too expensive, so I "compromised" on the 65. Then, of course, I found a 50 cheap enough within a couple of months of buying the 65, so I have both. :rolleyes:

    The thing is, I should have known better, since I did the EXACT SAME THING years ago with the 55 and 65 for my Mamiya TLR. :tongue:

    Anyway, they are two different lenses! ("Obvious" alert.) It's like the difference in a 28mm and 35mm lens on a 35mm camera. All depends on the subject and need. I carry both lenses in the case with the RB, and they'll both get used. If I could only keep one, though, it would probably be the 50mm, since it is wider. I'm shooting a lot of buildings, inside and out. You can usually move a bit closer, but sometimes it is impossible to move any farther back.
     
  4. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Me too. I have the 50mm and 90mm and I love the 50mm for its wide but not distorted view. I have not tried the 65mm though so I can't give an opinion on that.

    I think I will get a 180mm next.

    Steve.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    She may be interested in these eccentric types then: http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.org/

    I'm a member.

    Steve.
     
  7. JRSoto

    JRSoto Member

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    I have both lenses. I agree with different uses statement. When I am against a wall the 50mm is the only one to use. The 65mm is excellent for every other use. I do like the wider view of the 50 but I still use the 65 when I have room to move around. Not really being helpfull.
    One thing, the 65 is about half a stop faster. If you do low light photography this might help.
     
  8. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I like cloud photography but wouldn't use a wide angle. Just not enough image size on the film. I think you should have it almost covered with what you have and add a wide for the closeup architectural type stuff or landscapes if that's your preferable view. My catalog compares the 50 to a 25mm lens and the 65 to a 32mm lens. For cloudscapes without a horizon I would not go under a 250mm lens which is compared to a 118mm lens in the 35mm realm.
     
  9. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Chuck, personal tastes apart (they are both good lenses), seen your current setup the 50mm makes much more sense from a mathematical point of view. Having the focal lenghts all in a serie multiplied by a constant factor (2x in your case) is always a good rule. I think you would find the 65mm to be too close to the 90mm and would regret not having purchased the 50mm.
     
  10. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    I was undecided when I came to buy a wide lens too and also had the 90mm and 180mm. In the end I went for the 50mm. I'm not a huge wide angle fan and use my 90mm most of the time for landscapes but when I need wide I need wide and the 50mm delivers that. The 65mm at somewhere around 35mm in 135 was neither here nor there for me and too close to the 90mm.
     
  11. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I had the same decision when I was buying RB-67 gear. The 50mm is what I bought because I figured I could always crop a 65mm view out of a 50mm view but not the other way around.

    I practice I have never done this crop. The 50mm has its own look and tells me where to stand so the picture looks right.
     
  12. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. I should have asked about this in my first post, but what about distortion when using the 50mm, is it a factor in doing landscape stuff? I mean, to the extent that one can do landscapes with the RB, will the 50mm show any barrel distortion that is unpleasant in the final print?

    Thanks,
    Chuck
     
  13. Abbazz

    Abbazz Member

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    Chuck,

    You might want to call Keh and check the condition of the 50mm lens they have in their "As Is" section. It is advertised as "DEPTH OF FIELD PREVIEW INOPERATIVE". If you can live with that, go for it, as the price is only $84. You might even be able to buy both lenses (they also have a $265 "bargain" 65mm lens)...

    Cheers,

    Sebastien
     
  14. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Hello Chuck. Yours is a very good point indeed and, notwithstanding what another poster said in a previous post, the 50mm shows indeed some barrel distortion.

    I'd say, however, that in landscape use the amount of distortion shown is absolutely not significant. It becomes a bit evident in street photography, where buildings framed towards the corners of the image can be not exactly "straight" under some conditions. It is, however, a minimal effect, which has to be expected in such a wide angle as a 50mm is for 6x7 format.

    To give you a thumb rule: if I would have known of the amount of distortion that the 50mm shows BEFORE buying it, I would have purchased it none the less. Enough said... :wink:
     
  15. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    The 65 will cover 100% more acreage than the 90.
    From 65 on up the RB series lenses have a 1.4 multiple;
    65, 90, 127, 180, 250, and so on. Each step up halves the
    acreage. The 65 is in line with what many years ago was
    termed a 'landscape lens'. Plenty wide for me. Dan
     
  16. dickie vaara

    dickie vaara Member

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    I, too, have had the 90 and 180, and was considering the choice between the 50 or 65. From all my personal research, it appears that the 65 has more edge- to- edge sharpness than the 50. Maybe a big deal, maybe not. If this is true, it doesn't matter if you're shooting flowers or Ferraris, most of us want knife-sharp results.
     
  17. haris

    haris Guest

    And I have that dillema too 50 or 65... Beside that, as I have only 127mm currently, what is beeter choice 180mm or 250mm.

    Saying that, is 150mm SF any good?

    Thanks
     
  18. jpwing8

    jpwing8 Member

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    That lens has an "Ugly" condition rating. I've purchased "Bargan" condition from KEH and have been satisfied with those purchases. Has anyone gotten anything rated "Ugly" ?

    Thanks, Jim

    I love digital! It made my MF affordable, well almost.
     
  19. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    KEH's definition of Ugly:

    "Ugly" Very rough looking. Multiple impressions in metal, excessive finish loss and brassing are likely. Glass will have marks, fungus or haze that will probably affect picture quality.

    Personally, I wouldn't take the risk. Sure you could send it back to them if you didn't like it, but you're paying for shipping 3 ways if you go that route (original shipping, back to KEH and then shipping again for the replacement lens). I've gotten very good condition items of Bargain grade.
     
  20. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    You can always ask them what condition it really is in.

    I've gotten "bargain" grade stuff that you need to look very carefully to find any fault. I bought a backup ETRSI body for less then the cost of the replacement crank handle. Why was it bargain? Flip it over and you see a few light marks on the tripod plate.