GX617 vs RZ67 Pro II which would make me better?

Discussion in 'Panoramic Cameras and Accessories' started by pollux, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. pollux

    pollux Member

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    Which of these would make me a better photographer in the end. The panorama format excites me. The composition and the rule of 3rd being thrown out. I have been trying to frame things to 6x17 in my head. I do feel the Fuji could be used for street or anything. I certainly don't want to use it for a landscape camera exclusively. The lenses are slow, however for a reasonably fast film, is the grain acceptable? How do people fair with scale focusing? I know it would make me a better photographer. Rangefinder, no lens coupling, huge film area, slow lenses. Just the expense of film is putting me off, however if the results are worth it, I would be inspired to buy more. This is not large format. I would hate to buy the mamiya, and wish for more space. I want to hear others views, regarding the film expense and the slow lenses. Can one get away with ISO400+ B&W film in winter, push processed?
     
  2. BenZucker

    BenZucker Member

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    Neither of these cameras will make you a better photographer. Taking pictures and learning from what you see and applying that to your future shooting will make you a better photographer. I would say that the rz67 is a much more versatile camera, the fuji is kind of a one trick pony so to speak. Also you can get away with anything you want so long as it matches your aesthetic. If grain worries you than use slower film and a tripod if the shutter speed is slow enough to get motion blur hand held.
     
  3. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    Only YOU, your brain and your motivation can and will make you a better photographer. No equipment can or will do it. Working will do it. Shooting will do it. Never worry about the cost of film. Select the format YOU like and want to work in and the cost of material be damned. Go and do it. Shoot a lot. Even Waste film is that's what you call it, but shoot lots!That will do it! Nothing else.
     
  4. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Get a Zeiss Ikon Contina RF, a Lucky 60M enlarger and copies of 'The Negative' and 'The Print' and use what you learn. That makes you a better photographer. Gadgets give you options, nothing more.
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Totally different cameras. Surely you mean to compare the fuji gx680 to the rz? The 617 format is very specialized.

    And... as everyone has said... no piece of gear, alone, is going to make you a better photographer. That said, when I think about which camera created the most new possibilities for me, it was probably the rb67 pro sd. Prior to that, just about everything I'd used was small, fast, light. The rb caused me to prethink my compositions and become much more selective than I had been... with an F5 it was klick-klick-klick-whirrrr... end of roll. So the rb was a helpful experience for me. After that I realized that I could see what I wanted before framing it... a little epiphany. So then I took a step further to MF rangefinders, where I really felt (and still feel) very much at home. Now I like Amish boxes. YMMV.
     
  6. PBrooks

    PBrooks Member

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    Neither camera will make you a better photographer and the cost of 120 film is so small it's not even worth mentioning.
     
  7. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    as many wise people have mentioned above,

    1. EQUIPMENT WILL NOT MAKE YOU A BETTER PHOTOGRAPHER, you have to train your eye.
    2. find what you want to shoot, and how you want to portray it. panoramic or not
    3. both are heavy systems, designed to live on a tripod. NOT to say you can't shoot handheld with either. I shoot handheld with my RZ, but prefer to have it on a tripod if possible. if I'm going out, I carry my F100 or my K1000 loaded with efke 25/acros or TMax 400.
    4. don't "Just shoot, forget about the costs", this mentality drives you nuts. You shoot without composing, and you only end up frustrated in the end, because you have crappy photographs with no heart and soul. And there's no though put into them, just like snapshots. Not to say snapshots are ALWAYS bad. Hell, look at Terry Richardson, he's made his name off of 'snapshot style' ad work. Works for him.
    5. Think about what you want to shoot, and how you are going to go about doing it. "The wise man always has a plan, no matter how short the circumstances" my dad has told me since I can remember it. I now apply it to my photography whenever I photograph something.

    maybe for you:smile: I'm a student, so my budget's really tight, even for acros and expired color neg 120/220

    just so you understand where I'm coming from, shoot what DRIVES YOU.


    not what others recommend you shoot. shoot what you like, how you like it.

    they're your pictures, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    having a plan does help though, it really does.

    -Dan
     
  8. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    Take the camera you have, drill a very tiny hole in the body-cap and use it as a pinhole. This very elementary photography device will bring you in a different 'region' of your hobby.
    Pinhole is rather a contemplating activity, demanding concentration, consideration and a certain prudence.
    When I ran out of 'fire' I went back to the basics, pinhole is very basic, and it was very enlightening.
    No new camera needed, just a few rolls of (outdated) film and some of your time...

    Good luck,

    Philippe
     
  9. pollux

    pollux Member

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    good answers btw. in the arts we learn by doing, and often times we achieve an unexpected result and are pleasantly suprised.
     
  10. david_mizen

    david_mizen Member

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    how about a try before you buy deal try them both see which you like better either will allow you to take great pictures if you can see the picture in the vista before you printing 617 may present some issues depending on what facilities are available to you
     
  11. pollux

    pollux Member

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    i've taken the step with the GX617. i am going to have fun with this. no reason it could not be used for street on a fine day. i think training your brain to think in each format helps. above all i am going to have fun, and improve with effort.

    this is an art, not a science and improvement can be incremental.
     
  12. pollux

    pollux Member

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    essentially i don't wish to "blast away" on an automated camera with matrix metering and a motordrive. i wish to compose and have ideas of what i wish to portray.
     
  13. Greg Campbell

    Greg Campbell Member

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    Sounds good!
    You mentioned the 'rule of thirds' (ROT!) earlier. The sooner you put that mindless behavior completely out of your head, the sooner you'll start making interesting photographs! With any format, you need to trust your 'eye' and make your own aesthetic judgments.

    I try not to be a Gear Dweeb, but I soooo crave a 6x17! Have fun with the beast!
     
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  15. Sully75

    Sully75 Member

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  16. pollux

    pollux Member

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    as an update i didn't go through with the GX617. it was a scam seller, and i didn't send any money. i've been using an RZ67 Pro II for a few months. however I strained my neck outside photography, so I am looking for something lighter and more balanced. i've since sold the RZ67.
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    You might look at a mamiya 645 afd or 645 pro. Either will remind you of the rz in some ways, but they are way lighter. They also both take the older manual lenses, many of which are excellent and inexpensive.
     
  18. Andrew K

    Andrew K Subscriber

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    A very wise photographer once said "no photographer is as good as the simplest camera"

    Buy whichever one you like - use it, and have fun!
     
  19. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    If you want to get better in the most general sense, buy a simple camera that is not in an odd format and that represents a 'blank canvas.' IMHO any 35mm, 645, 6x7 camera with a couple of lenses will do that. Stick to regular films and developers and go shooting.

    I am not into the very long 617 format, but understand that others are, but I would say that irrespective of your liking for the format, it is probably not the best way to go about working on being a better photographer. For that I would recommend something much more portable and for which cost per shot is lower so you can shoot more. If you enjoy larger negs, 645/6x7 makes sense. In that case I would recommend the Bronica RF645 with an 45 and 65 or Mamiya 7 with maybe 3 lenses. Both can be shot casually in the hand or on a tripod for detailed landscape work. Both are dead simple to use and neither will limit you or weigh you down.
     
  20. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I found, having better cameras and equipment help me do what I already know how to do easier, quicker, and sometimes better.... meaning if I don't know how to do something to begin with, having better equipment won't help me do it at all in the first place. That said, I just love gears. Trying this and trying that is part of how I enjoy my hobby.

    The other part is learning how to apply techniques to realize my vision (or have vision to begin with sometimes) - which I find is much harder to do than collecting gears...
     
  21. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    Get a 617 and use it for street photography!

    [​IMG]
    Like I can only assume Brian Peterson does, photographed by John Sypal (Tokyo Camera Style)
     
  22. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    The above looks like someone who has just returned from some sort of deep sea rescue effort!
     
  23. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Natural ability and upbringing aside, which IMO are 90 percent of it, nothing will make you a better photographer in that last 10 percent except for practice. That means buy film, and shoot it, and print it...a lot!
     
  24. pollux

    pollux Member

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    if one were to use this as a street shooter, like josef koudelka, would iso 800 film be an acceptable compromise on the grain? i read a manual for the g617 online, the gx617 is outside my price range, and the large format lens does not appear to have a good depth of field at lower apertures. i've accepted this is a fair weather sunny f16 shooter. i would just use higher speed film for darker weather and accept the grain, if i were using handheld. my question: can depth of field be a problem close up? if so i would have to be decisive about when to take a shot.
     
  25. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Sure but you'd better research the Fuji 800z and find out whether it's going to be around much longer, if that is what you indeed plan to use (it is what I would use). Since the info is contradictory, I would be inclined to buy up a few hundred rolls, if this is going to be a long term ambition. And regarding scan grain, yes, in 120 format it's hardly an issue at 640 (which is the speed at which I rate the 800z).

    Let me expand on what I mean by scan grain. Especially if you scan the film, what you absolutely must not do is underexpose this film. You will get much less scan grain if you err slightly on the side of overexposure. Only a half stop or so is what I mean by "slightly." Keep this in mind if you are looking for 800 speed and especially if you plan to scan. You can bracket if you don't believe me. Even if you do believe me, bracket and learn anyway :wink:

    In my opinion, if you rate 800z at 800 then you need to develop it longer, e.g. treat it as a ~half stop push. I got very good results rating it at 1600, using 645 format, but it was developed as a 2 stop push... i.e. for 3200. My results, which I deem satisfactory in term of shadow grain, are in the apug general gallery somewhere, let's see, yes, here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2010
  26. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    Pollux, as many have said here, no camera makes you a better photographer. However having the right tool for the job makes a difference. The best carpenter in the world is not going to drive a nail with a wrench as well as an average carpenter can do it with a hammer.

    Regarding what camera type, film type etc, you don't seem to be asking yourself the right questions. You ask if 800 asa film will be too grainy, well the proper question is will 800 asa film be too grainy for an enlargement of X, and even then the definition of too grainy is subjective.

    As for "street photography" just what is that? Photos of people on the street done quickly and candidly? Photos of people on the street in a staged scene? That is you ask them to stop and sit (pose) for a photo? Or is you idea of street photography shooting what is considered "urban landscape", that is buildings, parks, stationary objects. You need to answer those questions.

    If you plan on shooting candid photography of people on the street, then you are most likely going to benefit by using a camera that is quick to focus, focuses accurately, can be hand held. A MF rangefinder might be the best option there, a camera similar to a Mamiya 7II. If you plan to stop people on the street and have them pose, then you might be able to use a tripod and therefore a camera with a larger negative and even ground glass focusing could work. For a mix of both photographic types the mamiya RZ, Fuji GX680, Hasselblad, Rollei 6008i, etc would be a good general compromise. If you really like the pano format then a Fuji GX617, I own a couple of them, could work well. However for hand held, I would suggest only using the wider lenses on it, or far focus distances.