Need help making gear choice: get an RZ67 bundle or sink more $$ into the RB?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by kodachrome64, Nov 8, 2010.

Which choice would you make with limited funds?

  1. Wide-angle lens for RB67

    26 vote(s)
    96.3%
  2. BGN RZ67 bundle with 110mm f2.8 (and buy a wide-angle)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. EX RZ67 bundle with 90mm f3.5

    1 vote(s)
    3.7%
  1. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi Everyone,

    I have had my RB67 for a few years and usually shoot portraits with it and my 127mm f3.8 lens. I have been commissioned for a new job by a local landscaper to do some shots of landscaping and lighting on several homes in the area. He is giving me an advance for some supplies I'll need and the rest when I finish.

    My first thought was that I'll need a wide-angle lens for my RB67. I've looked at the 65mm and the 50mm and prices generally range from $150-300 for either (most of them non-C lenses). That's what I was able to see right now. I came across several 50mm Sekor Z lenses for the RZ67 for less than the Sekor C lenses.

    Here's my dilemma: at this point I have not sunk any extra money into my RB67. Rather than paying a couple hundred for a wide-angle lens for it, would you take the opportunity to get an RZ67 bundle? There are many reasonably priced ones on KEH, say for ~$350 with a 110mm f2.8 in BGN or with a 90mm f3.5 in EX.

    There is another question that comes up with the RZ67: do I go for one in BGN condition with the 110mm lens (which I've heard is very good) and still have to purchase a wide-angle for landscapes, or do I go for the bundle with the 90mm in EX condition, and hope that lens is wide enough where I don't have to purchase another (right now)? Sorry for all the questions; I thought it would be pretty simple to go get another lens for my RB but then I was hit with the great prices for RZ bundles and lenses. Please help!!

    Nick
     
  2. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,597
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The 90mm is not wide. It's more or less the "normal" lens for the RB/RZ. I would look for a "C" lens for the RB if it were me.
     
  3. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Oakdale, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I advise getting the wide-angle 'C' now. Get the RZ bundle after you finish the job. Back-up bodies are always good.

    And this will help the GAS pains.

    Mike
     
  4. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,031
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden/Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think I'd just go with a wider lens for the camera you already have. You know that camera and know it works. Being comfortable with your tools is a good way forward.
     
  5. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for the suggestions. I guess my issue is that it's hard to justify putting another couple hundred into the RB when I can get the RZ for such a good price.

    If I can swing getting the RZ (with 90mm or 110mm) and a 50mm lens before the job, would that be more advisable than getting the 50mm for the RB? I think I may be able to get it with the KEH prices. Is there any reason NOT to go the RZ route?

    Thanks!
     
  6. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,538
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Why not hire what you need and try it out in a dummy run?, then only if you have a regular constant need for it for these type of jobs buy it.
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    RB lenses will work on RZ bodies but NOT the other way 'round. You seem to have the hots for an RZ kit that duplicates what you have with added disadvantage that its lenses won't fit the RB--not smart. 50-65mm C RB wides aren't scarce nor are they that pricey. Provided your current RB kit functions properly, why chance a new kit that might not? Your client presumably wants results. Get an RB 50-65mm(your 90 probably isn't wide enough--assuming you've checked), finish the job, and futz with the RZ/RB conundrum later. FWIW, the KL series lenses for the RB are superb and identical to the RZ lenses, save for the electronic shutters. They aren't as cheap as C lenses but they are sharper with better coatings.
     
  8. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Oakdale, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maybe the coffee hasn't kicked in yet. Aren't the RB and RZ systems compatible except for the metering?

    Mike
     
  9. stillsilver

    stillsilver Member

    Messages:
    261
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Location:
    Oakdale, CA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are folks with faster fingers than I.
    And more informed.

    Mike
     
  10. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,031
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden/Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Even if you get the RZ at $350, you still need the wide angle and as I wouldn't gamble on BGN condition stuff, you're out at least $180 and some shipping. Say $550. With that kind of money you could get an EX or even EX+ condition RB lens and still have some spare change left.

    Go with the gut feeling. What feels best?
     
  11. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes, but in my searches the KL lenses are much more expensive. I've actually been able to find many RZ lenses for cheaper than C lenses, which is what got me thinking about an RZ kit.
     
  12. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,031
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden/Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
  13. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    From your original post and the comments following it, it sure looks like you want the RZ, which is changing the decision making process. If you want it that bad and can afford it, then you probably ought to buy it. However, be aware that you are suffering from a bout of GAS and giving in to it rarely makes it go away.

    What do you want from an RZ that you are not getting from your RB? If there is a significant reason to have the RZ rather than the RB, then this could represent a chance to upgrade to the RZ with a little less money out of your pocket. If you are just suffering from GAS, well, then you are just suffering from GAS and will need to decide how to deal with that. Perhaps you should just buy the RZ, but I have a feeling you will be happier with your choice if you understand why you are doing it.

    In looking at KEH, I see that the 50mm C lens for RB is $325 in EX and not available in BGN and the 50mm RZ in EX is $215. That is a big difference. However, the cheapest route, unless you sell your RB equipment, is to get the RB lens. If you are trying to convince yourself that the RB lens is overpriced and therefore you should drop another $350 to save $110, there is a hole in your logic. If you wish to get into RZ equipment, however, this is a chance to get into the RB rig (BGN rating) for something like $250 rather than $350, so it might represent a good opportunity for you.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2010
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Bargains are where you find them, which means they're not stocked on shelves. I got a boxed NOS 150/3.5 KL last summer for $175. I'm not sold on the idea that the RZ is a huge upgrade from a working RB kit. Many believe the old C lenses were better made and more durable than the later KL lenses. I'd also not freak about not getting a C lens. Better coatings don't take the place of intelligent use of a lens hood and seeing where flare would be a problem.
     
  16. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've got the 50mm C for my RB and it rarely leaves the camera, it's just awesome! Does that help?
     
  17. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,818
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    FWIW, I think that KEH normally has more 50mm RB lenses available than they currently have.
     
  18. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You make a good point. The reason I am considering an upgrade is because my RB (purchased off of eBay) is not in very good condition. None of the interlocks work and I'm probably going to have to be replacing it (or at least some parts) soon. I am at the point where I want to add a back or two and perhaps some accessories. That, and the need I now have to purchase a lens or two, is what is fueling thoughts about upgrading. The only lens I have for my RB is a 127mm which is about the cheapest lens available.

    I am not trying to spend $350 to save $110. I think I do wish to get into RZ equipment, and my thoughts were that I can get into it for $250 and can purchase the newer Sekor Z 50mm lens for less than I have generally been able to find the older 50mm Sekor non-C lens. I don't think there will be any issues in getting familiar with the equipment in order to do a job, since I'll have plenty of time to work with it before I need to use it.

    Has anyone ever gotten a BGN RZ67 from KEH? After looking at it I do want the RZ because of the updated design and features. I am not looking at it as a way to save money in an absolute sense, but perhaps to see if this is a good time to jump into the new system.
     
  19. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,031
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden/Germany
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Okay, now you're spillin' the beans... :wink:

    If the RB is not working as it should, then it's another story.
     
  20. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,597
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  21. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

    Messages:
    1,098
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Go for the RZ. The lenses are generally better, there's no analog to the 110/2.8 in the RB world. PLus the ULD 50 for the RZ is superb (regular 50 is quite nice too!). RZ: smaller, lighter, easier to use, better design, more modern, not much more $, and lenses and parts are easier to find than the RB equivalents (if they exist at all...). There's no downside to the RZ vs. RB, in my opinion. The only 2 I could even think of would be non-battery operation of RB (a non-issue, batteries last forever in the RZ and they are cheap and tiny), and the so-called 6x8 back on RB, which in reality is only 4mm wider than the RZ 6x7 back. (74 vs 70mm). but basically those are non-issues. Everything else favors the RZ.

    -Ed
     
  22. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No RZ items, but, ironically enough, I have a number of RB items purchased from KEH in BGN condition. All of them work great, one of the bodies is a little rough, the other items are generally prettier than I would have expected. I generally buy BGN from them unless it feels like the difference is not enough. I would buy the EX 50mm RZ lens because the BGN is not enough cheaper, for example.
     
  23. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Just keep in mind that both models earned their keep as professional equipment and many are high-mileage, worked-to-death veterans with issues. I only see the occasional RZ kit that was amateur shot; the rest are ex-pro gear. On balance, RB Pro S and Pro SD bodies seem to hold up better than the cracked and crunched Rzs with sketchy electronics friends keep showing me. They're both great system cameras but their job histories, rather than model alone, can make a huge difference. Caveat emptor, as usual.
     
  24. kodachrome64

    kodachrome64 Member

    Messages:
    303
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    This is an example of what I was trying to find out (and really my exact thought process). My line of thinking was that, aside from the initial investment in the camera bundle ($250-350), I would be spending about the same money on lenses and accessories that are newer and widely considered to be better. I don't really care about the battery issue and don't especially value an all-mechanical camera. I'm fine with the regular 6x7 back so that's a non-issue.

    The applicable downsides that have been brought up are unfamiliarity with the equipment and basing a job off of new equipment that may or may not be working properly. If I have sufficient time to play with it before using it for the job I don't think those two will be issues. If there is a problem, I can rent a 50mm RB lens from Dallas Camera per David's suggestion below.

    Great idea David...I have never used them before. Perhaps even renting a 50mm lens for this job would be a good idea anyway.

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I may seem like I asked a question that I wanted a certain answer to, but I do value the responses and collective knowledge here. Aside from any general concerns about doing jobs with unfamiliar equipment, are there any other issues that may be a factor in deciding whether or not to switch to the RZ system from RB?
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,988
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    you are already familiar with your camera ...
    the worst thing is to be unfamiliar with a camera you are
    using for a job, it kinda looks unprofessional ...

    get the wide lens, the good one for the camera you own now, and
    after the job then after you get paid, get the rz ...
    just remember that often times KEH ratings are cosmetics, not operation
    ... i have never had problems but others seem kind of upset ...
    ( you can search here under KEH to see stories ... so getting a new/used
    camera, and then having it konk out while you are using it is pretty bad too :sad: )

    have fun !
    john
     
  26. technopoptart

    technopoptart Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well the RB is fully mechanical, with the timing in each lens, with the RZ you have required electronics that need power to function. The RB will function as long as you can machine fine parts for the lenses and make your own film or get a digital back for it .....ie: hundreds of years to come..maybe forever.

    I would stick with the RB unless you have "extra" money you don't really need.