Mamiya RB67 or RZ67?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ANelles, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. ANelles

    ANelles Member

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    Hello,

    I am considering stepping up to a better MF camera for studio type work. I have been shooting with a Yashica-D for sometime now and am looking for something a little better. I am looking into something 6x7 and the Mamiyas seem to have a good reputation.

    My question is, do you guys think I would be satisfied with a RB67 or should I fork over the extra cash for a RZ67? What exactly are the differences? Are there any other cameras I should consider, I was looking also at Pentax 67's.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I'm not sure similar vintages of RB are much/any cheaper then similar vintages of RZs.

    Differences off the top of my head.

    RZ is electronic with all that means.


    The RZ can use RB lenses with some limits. The film plane is further out so you have to focus the RZ a bit even at infinity. The RB I don't think can use RZ lenses.

    You need an adapter I think to use RB backs on RZ but things don't go the other way.

    The RB has a 70mm back but it uses perforated film. A 6x8 back to I think.
     
  3. snegron

    snegron Member

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    I have an RB and I think it's a great camera if you like all manual controls. Whatever your choice it would be a good idea to get a newer lens with better coating. The coolest thing is the revolving back. I recently purchased a metered prism for my RB and it now weighs about 7 pounds! If you will be using it for studio work, I don't think that a metered prism would be necessary. Also, if you buy used check the foam seals in the camera and the back for wear.
     
  4. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    I use the RZ w/RB lenses and everything works perfectly! Love the system. Oh, and the non-metered prism is an RB unit while the waist level unit is an RZ. No problems anywhere.

    drew
     
  5. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    I really like my RB, and while I have RZ lust to a certain degree, I don't think I would make a big difference in my life. I have a non metered prism and a waist level and I use both. I find that for certain circumstances, the prism is really handy. It is heavy, however. I have settled on a ProS model with the newer ProSD backs, which I like much more than the ProS backs. I think that the statement that a similar vintage RB is almost as much as an RZ is probably about right. The newer K series lense, which are the same as the RZ lenses but have the mechanical RB linkage are a lot more expensive than C lenses, which is what I have. I have been very happy with the performance of my lenses, for what that is worth.

    I guess you need to look at your budget and what you want. I might think that if you have a limited budget, you should consider the possibility of getting an RB with multiple lenses and backs rather than an RZ with only one lens and back.
     
  6. ANelles

    ANelles Member

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    So what exactly is changed between the RB and the RZ besides the electronic shutter?

    - Thanks for all the help so far!
     
  7. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    The RZ has more plastic and therefore is probably a little lighter, especially the prisms. The lenses were new, but as I mentioned, they were also released for the RB as the K series. The RB requires you to wind the back and cock the shutter in two separate motions, the RZ uses just one motion of the cocking lever on the body to also wind the film. The RZ has a relatively inexpensive (used, at least) winder that fits under the camera, the only winder for the RB is a whole different back and is kind of clumsy. The RZ can take an electronic cable release which is kind of cool because they made one that was about 25 feet long. (I had one for the Mamiya 645 Super, it is the same one for the RZ) I am sure that there are other differences.

    In functionality, they are extremely similar. They are both rotating back 6X7 cameras (really multiformat, depending on the back) with leaf shutters in the lens that take interchangable backs and finders.
     
  8. ANelles

    ANelles Member

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    The 1 lever to cock and wind the film might have sold me on the RZ. I always seem to forget if I've pushed both levers on cameras with 2, I hate accidental double exposures or skipped frames.

    Again thanks for everyones help. I just have 1 final question before I start shopping for a kit. It was mentioned there are different series of lenses for the RB/RZ. Anyone know if a list of the different series and what they are? Just want to make sure I will be knowledgeable enough to select a good one.
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you try the Mamiya website they might have the info on users forum.

    For the RZ I think it's:

    Newest APO or ULD
    W
    Rest
     
  10. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Contact your Mamiya distributer, and they will send you a brochure.
     
  11. Troy Ammons

    Troy Ammons Member

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    The RZ is a more refined camera IMO. It has additional centrfigul wheels to absorb shock, one stroke action, and the lenses are sharper than the normal RB C lenses.

    The RB KL lenses are supposedly the same optically as the normal RZ lenses, but there are no ULD or apo RB lenses as far as I know.

    The RZ has electronic aperture control but you can shoot any RB lens on it, although the scale will be off.
     
  12. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    The ProS and ProSD versions of the RB have an interlock to prevent double exposures and don't allow you to advance until a picture is taken (there are overrides for both.) You have to have a ProS or ProSD back for these features to work.

    As for the lenses, I do not have any list, but the series are Non-C, C, and K for the RB and Z for the RZ. If you take a look at KEH.com, they will have many, if not most, of the lenses in their listing. This will also give you a decent idea of value.
     
  13. snegron

    snegron Member

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    How do you operate that interlock device? If I don't cock the film advance I will continue to get multiple exposures on the same frame. I have the RB Pro S and the Pro S back as well.
     
  14. eclarke

    eclarke Member

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    Make sure and get an RZ ProII, the first version was buggy and the new ones are going for bargain prices at the auction...EC
     
  15. egdinger

    egdinger Member

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    snegron, there is a switch around the film advance lever, it is the multi-exposure switch. My guess is it is set wrong, try putting it in the other position.
     
  16. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    If the red dot is showing by the multi exposure switch, you'll get multiple exposures. Trust me, I know far too well. :wink:
     
  17. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    There are actually two motor backs for the RB series. One (oldest) takes a special Pro S back and couples it to a motor drive that is attached to the bottom of the camera. Functional, but bulky, expensive, and unweildy. A newer solution is the motorized SD back, which uses batteries and the motor in a self contained back unit. I have these, and am well pleased. Only one motion, which is cocking the shutter. Look out hassy....

    If you go with the RB, pick up a Pro SD or Pro S (older). The standard Pro is the oldest model, most prone to problems, and has a number of limitations in the backs. These are all quite reasonable on fleabay.

    The KL series of lenses are the latest for the RB's. They do not fit on the oldest RB's. A special spacer is necessary for some lenses on some bodies. All of this stuff is readily avalable. I have compared the C series (older) and the K/L series, and for the majority of studio and exterior work can find little differences in the negative. Not enough to justify the cost, unless one has a great deal of money to throw around.
     
  18. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Oh, if you do go the RB route, a couple of things:

    1 Don't even consider a non Pro-S or SD model, the prices at KEH aren't that much more and it will save your butt.

    2l Wander over to www.mamiya.com (I think) and d/l the manual, play with the camera for a while w/o any film in it.

    3. Most importantly, before you shoot, ALWAYS check the mirror up knob, or if you're lucky, you'll be out shooting with your new toy and realize by the 2nd or 3rd frame that you hear the fwoook of the mirror (you will be assimilated, you will like that sound), but no 1/2 sec of shutter.....yeah, been one of those weekends.


    erie
     
  19. catem

    catem Member

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    Warning also for the RZ - if it's on the orange dot by mistake instead of the white dot (or the red dot) the shutter speed will be set automatically at 1/400 no matter what the shutter dial is set at, and you'll also be able to take pics with the dark slide in place. This is an 'emergency' setting if the battery runs out. Someone asked recently about using the camera with the dark slide in place - it struck me afterwards this could have been what happenned (normally it's impossible the release the shutter with the dark slide in place).
    Cate
     
  20. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    lol! The RB sounds weird, right down to the strange metallic ring after you recock the shutter.
     
  21. Stew Squires

    Stew Squires Member

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    The RB ProS has wonderful interlocks for both winders and even the dark slide. It won't let you release the shutter unless all is ready to go unless you purposefully set the shutter to multi exposure.

    Stew
     
  22. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I've decided to chime in.

    I have owned an RZ and an RB. The RZ is so much better in every way that I sold the RB at a very low price to an aspiring RIT student.

    PE
     
  23. MAGNAchrom

    MAGNAchrom Member

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    I just purchased a gorgeous 37mm RB lens to mount onto my Linhof for large-format fisheye (probably with a 6x12 back or perhaps just a 6x9 back -- we'll see). Pretty sure the image circle is approx 100mm or so.

    To make the custom lens mount, I also purchased a RB67 body -- and while I only needed the lens flange and winder, I was shocked at how "worn out" this camera was. Clearly it had been used (and abused) by a professional for many years -- likely a wedding photographer. Fortunately I got it cheap and could care less about the rest of the camera as the lens mount was in fine condition.

    So my only advice is this: be VERY careful about purchasing a used medium format body. Insist on a pristine version and you'll be rewarded with years of good service. These cameras were great workhorses. However, many of the bodies available today on eBay are basically worthless. Caveat Emptor!
     
  24. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    I have just brought an RB camera; I think I must now get an RZ for the other shoulder; so that I can stand up straight again. Lightweight they are not.
     
  25. catem

    catem Member

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    That's another thing - the RZ is a bit lighter :smile:
    Ease of use ( & relative lack of disturbance from mirror return) also more than makes up for the fact that they're a bit more weighty than some other MF cameras.