mamiya rb67? (question from a pentax 67 user)

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by game, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. game

    game Member

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    ok, this is the deal.

    I have two camera systems:

    a pentax 67 and a sinar f2 (+ some smaller camera's)

    I use the f2 for certain project that I have figured out in advance, so once in a while. I use the pentax 67 for going places without a plan.

    Now I love the pentax 67. Really love it, but I reached the point where the flash synchronization of 1/30 starts to restrict me...
    I like to shoot more storie-like and people, but the pentax simple is not so good at that sort of work... I could get a leafshutter lens, but they cost a lot and I do not really like that solution...

    I am not rushing into other systems here, but I am wondering about the mamiya rb67. I have seen several on ebay and on local second hand sites for not to much, less than my pentax 67 system if i'd sell it.
    Off course I do have questions:

    1. Is the rb67-II buch better than the rb67?
    2. Is the rb67 just as good as the pentax in terms of optics?
    3. has the rb67 disadvantages in comparison to the pentax 67 for "slow shots" like landscapes etc.?
    4. has the pentax 67 any plusses in comparison to the rb67?
    5. whats the difference betwen rz and rb?


    (6. is bronica of the same quality as mamiya and pentax?)

    Thanks a lot for explaining!
    game
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2007
  2. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    1. No, but they are newer.
    2. Not sure, never used a 67.
    3. None.
    4. No idea, see 2 above.
    5. RZ is all electronic, the RB is batteryless.
    6. Yes.
     
  3. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I can talk about the RZ.

    It's heavy. Yes I bet even heavier then your Pentax. Other then that I think it does it all. For landscapes etc you'll like the rotating back.

    The RZ the shutter is electronically timed. So you need a battery. That's the main difference. It will use all RB lenses but with the limitation that you can't get quite as close. The RB can't use RZ lenses.

    Which Bronica? The GS or the SQ? Or the ESTRI? The SQ and the ETR line are fairly similar outside of the film size.
     
  4. avandesande

    avandesande Member

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    I have never handled a pentax 67 but I would say that the rb is perfectly balanced for a tripod, especially with a ball head.
    You can rotate the back so I would say the rb is superior to the pentax for landscape work.
    The optics are great, most of the anecdotes suggest getting C or KL series lenses(these are newer).
     
  5. wirehead

    wirehead Member

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    So, my main experience is with the RB, but I have played with an RZ and a Pentax.

    The Pentax is much lighter and more compact than the RB/RZ.

    On the other hand, the Pentax screams "handholdable" with the 35mm-SLR-styling, but the RB/RZ doesn't have any focal plane shutter and is nicely balanced, so it's more handholdable, for some definitions of handholdable.

    It works best if you've worked your right arm muscles out enough so that you don't get tired of holding the camera, have big hands to wrap around the bottom of it so as to access all of the controls one-handed, and are tall enough so that when you use the waist-level finder with diopter, you are at a reasonable height. :D

    The Pentax's focal plane shutter will go to 1/1000, the RB/RZ will do 1/400 or 1/500. However, all RB/RZ lenses are leaf-shutter, so they synch at all speeds.

    RB67 TTL meters are hard to find. I think my biggest complaint with the RB and RZ series is that they should have built the meter into the body so that I could use it with a waist-level finder.

    The RB/RZ encourages landscape and portrait orientations equally. The Pentax encourages just landscape orientation. For some reason, at least for me, this leads to a lot of portrait-orientation landscapes.

    The RB/RZ has great close-focusing ability that requires extension tubes on just about every other camera.

    The RB/RZ needs different inserts to do 120 or 220, the Pentax just has you flip a lever. The RB/RZ also lets you change backs.

    The Pentax has better TTL auto-flash (with the right body and flash) than the Mamiya.

    I dono. It's really hard to call one "better" than the other. The RB67 is *great* absolutely *great* for slow methodical shooting inside and outside.
     
  6. game

    game Member

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    Hmm, thanks everyone for all the info!!
    very helpfull.
    I think the RB67 is a good choice. If I want to avoid the flash sync problem of the pentax 67 I can either buy a leaf shutter lens, or consider a rb67 system. Actually there is not to much price difference...
    (I can not buy at KEH, since I am form europe and do not send creditcrad copies.... )
    So far I am very positive about what I hear of the mamiya.
    Hopefully someone can elaborate more on this:

    I want to use 6x7 primarly. So My choice: mamiya rb67, bronica gs1, pentax 67. The disadvantages of the pentax have been layed out enough.
    How do the mamiya and the bronica compare?
    And: are there 6x6 backs for the rb67?

    Thanks for the previous and the next posts, game
     
  7. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    From memory.

    6x8
    6x7
    6x6
    6x4.5
    Not sure about 35mm -)

    The Mamiya is much more common that's the big advantage.
     
  8. game

    game Member

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    you mean, those are the backs available?

    Mamiya is more common than bronica and pentax you say, That can be an advantage indeed, thanks for telling.

    Anyone else thinks something should be added?
    All I can conclude is that mamiya should be the ''winner'' I understand everyone as preferences, and that there is no best, but the mamiya seems to have the better papers...
    Kind regards Sam
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I don't think the 6x8 is current but it used to be available.
     
  10. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    IMO (based on my experience) Pentax lenses are notably sharper than RB67 lenses, and they're substantially faster (f2.4 90mm and f2.8 165mm).

    The 90mm LS lens for P67 is relatively cheap. I got one for $120.
     
  11. game

    game Member

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    hmmm, I have been looking for a pentax LF lens, but in holland they tend to sell for 300 euro.... And As I said I can almost get a rb67 incl. all for that.
    I don;t know if the mayima lensen are off leeser performence. Maybe can someone tell some more on that?
    Game
     
  12. dickie vaara

    dickie vaara Member

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    RB vs Pentax

    1.)The "II" designation is unfamiliar to me in the RB line. That generally refers to the RZ. The RB models have progressively been the RB67, the RB67 Pro, the ProS, and the last of them was the ProSD, which I personally own.
    2.)Pentax glass is legendary, but anyone would be hard-pressed to show any significant differences in side-by-side comparisons of equally exposed shots, whether they came from Pentax, Mamiya, Bronica, etc.
    3.)I only recently have heard that the Pentax has trouble with some slower hand-held shots due to mirror vibration, say, under 1/250th. You would perhaps be the best judge there. I have routinely gone down to 1/60th hand-held with my RB and the shots are clear and sharp....your mirror is no bigger than mine, so hard to say.
    4.)This is all relative....I wanted the Pentax for years (still do), because it so resembled the feel of all my 35mms. It depends what you shoot. I don't do fashion or portraits, which the RB is famous for, in addition to being perfectly at home in the studio. It is big, heavy, and belongs on a tripod. By comparison, I think the Pentax is suitable to all disciplines, can be more easily hand-held, and has faster shutter speeds for outdoor work. I think the argument for having different backs for switching to color/b&w is lame....c'mon folks, there's only 10 frames to a roll! This brings up another plus for the Pentax, in that when you advance the film, you automatically re-cock the shutter....with the RB, each of those steps is done independently.
    5.)RZ is more electronic, needs bateries for the meter, film advance, etc.
    6.)Yes.

    Richard Vaara
    Everett, WA
     
  13. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Not sure I got your question right, but seen the preceding post you can rest assured that Mamiya lenses for the RB67 are as sharp as a blade. Mamiya is expecially famous for the superb quality of their optics, there is an absolute consensus on this matter. You can check previous topics here and draw your conclusions.

    I do not know what SPECIFIC lens Mr. max_ebb compared to what SPECIFIC Pentax lens and HOW the test was conducted, but I attribe a priori the difference - supposed there was any difference at all, which I strongly doubt - to a factory defective or damaged lens.

    Lenses apart, the revolving back, mirror-lock-up feature and leaf shutter will be an extra that will add versatility and steadiness in landscape photography. Just try a 90mm and see. You will keep it forever, granted.
     
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  15. joshverd

    joshverd Member

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    Agreed, I would not part with my RZ.
     
  16. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Something that should be mentioned in regards to leaf shutter medium-format SLR cameras such as the RB-67, but not limited to that particular camera, is that there is quite a lag between when you trip the shutter and when the camera actually takes the picture. The camera has to go through a series of actions...close the shutter, move the big mirror up, trip the shutter. This can pose a problem when shooting candids of people until you learn to anticipate the lag and learn to fire early. Also, in particular the RB-67, re-cocking the shutter and advancing the film are two separate tasks. Re-setting the camera (which recocks the shutter and brings the mirror down to viewing position) does not advance the film, which is a separate lever on the film magazine you have to move. I have always thought of the RB and RZ series cameras more as roll film view cameras, because they require the deliberate contemplative techniques more common to view camera operation, albeit with the convenience of reflex viewing and roll film.
     
  17. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I have never found the shutter release lag to be a problem when shooting portraits in the studio, but my RB67 would probably be my last choice for shooting candids in the street, well behind my Fuji GW609III or Rollei TLRs, or indeed any 35 mm camera!
     
  18. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Exactly so...the shutter lag is easily managable in a controlled studio environment where subjects hold a pose and you are directing them. That is why the RB is a good studio camera, moreso than a candid camera.
     
  19. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Photone,
    Not to be confrontational, but have you actually used an RB for any length of time?

    erie
     
  20. dickie vaara

    dickie vaara Member

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    Thanks David and Erie;

    Back to Mr. Photone...the RB67 was never designed for candids, but give me some 800 ISO on a sunny day and I can re-cock the shutter and advance the film in about 1 1/2 seconds thru all 10 frames. Candids don't necessarily require speed...you just need to be ready for that next shot. At 1/400th, I assure you there is no lag.

    Richard Vaara
    Everett, WA
     
  21. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    which is where I was heading, in the real world, the shutter lag is insignificant, I've used 35mm slrs that had as much lag, and plenty of Dslrs have significant lag. Many of the RB's out there have seen heavy use, and minimal care, a properly cleaned and adjusted lens and body have minimal (some say trivial) amounts of shutter lag. If the RB you used displayed noticeable lag, it's probably overdue for a good cleaning and adjustment.


    erie
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I have an rb pro-sd. My advice is to stick to the newest rb lenses, there are differences. Mind that there is one semi-important differences between the pro sd and the older models- the "throat" on the newer lenses is different from that on the older rb lenses, but there is an inexpensive Lens Mount Adapter Ring that you can get, it's just a little ring.

    I have recently been considering going to an rz pro IId just because of the 110/2.8 lens, there isn't anything that fast in the rb lineup. Also, all the rb lenses can go on a rz but not vice versa, as far as I know. So in that sense your access to new or used lenses is double with the rz. Also if you have visions of putting a digiback then an rz would probably be the easier route. If I do pick up an rz I will keep the rb though, it is a gem and it iwll almost certainly outlive me.

    Regarding weight, I have used the rb handheld (with the grip), with a fisheye and a metering prism, and I'm not even all that buff. Okay maybe I am a little bit buff <ahem> :wink: Anyway it can be done for short (~1 hr) periods. For street walking and hiking I will admit that I usually leave the rb behind though, and take a mamiya 6.

    By the way I strongly recommend the metering prism, I haven't used the waist level since I got mine.

    P.S. What is this lag business? I have never observed it.
     
  23. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Keith,
    I've been using RB's since the pre C days, (as a teenager in the mid 70's), and while they've gotten better and better, with the exception of the pre C 50mm, any of the lenses are quite good. I agree that the KL series is best, but in all fairness, any of the C series would be more than adequate for 99% of the photographers today.

    I use nearly all the RB lenses, with the exception of the 37mm and the 140 macro (though I am envious, as I can't seem to justify the 8 or 900 for a used 37mm that I just wouldn't use all that much)

    My regular outift that I take shooting is 2 bodies, a w/l finder, prism, 6 to 8 backs, 50, 65, 90, 127, 180, 250, 360, ext tubes, and a compendium shade. It all fits nicely in a large pelican case, and I can pick and choose what I want to use when I get there. That case and my small pelican flter/meter case go with me just about anywhere. If I need to travel light, I can get a body, prism, 50/65/127/180 and a few backs into a small pelican, with a little padding. At the prices that RB have been at, anybody even thinking about it should get a body, back and a few lenses, they're just about giving them away these days (though lately I've noticed the supply is starting to dry up and prices have started to rise)


    erie
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Erie, I agree about the lenses, I have a pre-C 360 that I adore. Judicious shading makes the coating a non-issue.

    One other point perhaps worth mention, I find the kenko teleplus 2x TC to be excellent.
     
  25. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    I was going to mention my Kenko MC6 2x, but hesitated as most purist would scoff, the 2x with the 360 makes an interesting wildlife setup, I'm working on a cradle to hold the combination in a way that allows focusing. (just have to finish my RB67 lensboard for the 4x5 first)


    erie
     
  26. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Oh if you're making a lensboard for 4x5 then we need to chat, I've been planning for some time to do some circles on 4x5 (or maybe 5x7 to play it safe) with my RB fisheye. My thought was to cut an extension tube in half and weld it onto a board but I haven't gotten to it yet. I need to figure out a safe way to cock the lens as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2007