new ro medium format, which lens for mamiya rz67?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by emani, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. emani

    emani Member

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    Hi, I am totally new to medium format and film photography but have decided to switch to medium format film. After research, i have bought a mamiya rz67 pro II and the 110mm lens. But I am also very interested in architectural photography so i want a wide angle lens too. I have read that the 50mm uld lens is the best for this camera. But does the uld aspect make much difference compared to non-uld? and is the 65mm so noticeably narrower or poorer in quality?
    I'm an amateur but I really want to improve the quality of my output so if it makes a huge difference I will wait and save for the 50mm uld.
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I have an RB and use a C type 65mm that does great work. I have a 180 mm KL lens does great work too. The first lens I got for the camera was a non-C 90, which I still use and enjoy.

    The image quality differences between them are not monumental.

    The 65mm lens you speak of, as long as it is in good repair, can probably make better photos than most any of us could take.
     
  3. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG BTW.
     
  4. Neil Grant

    Neil Grant Member

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    Most roll film reflexes aren't really suited to architecture, if like most of us you'd like to keep your verticals upright. You can get a 75mm shift but it's not that wide - and I'm not sure how useful the limited amount of movements are in practice. I find the 50mm shift for the Mamiya 645 a capable architecture lens - the that's a whole different system - though not too expensive.
     
  5. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    If you buy a wideangle for the RZ (50mm or 65mm), you really must get the floating-element versions (ULD or M-LA, respectively) or it's just not worth shooting film that big. The non-ULD 50mm produces images that are softer in the corners than what you can get with a top-notch 24mm lens on 35mm film (1/4 of the film cost per frame!), which IMHO makes it a complete waste of time and money.

    The 65mm M-LA is definitely sharp; sharper than the 110/2.8 (at least, my copies) and it is easily the equal of the 50 ULD for image quality. The field of view... it is what it is. I find it's much easier to shoot with the 65mm than the 50mm without worrying nearly so much the camera angle, composition and weird distracting/distorted things in the corners. If you've come from 35mm and want the equivalent of a 24mm lens, you need to buy the 50 ULD; if you were happy shooting with a 28mm or 35mm lens, then get the 65 M-LA. Don't get the non-M-LA version; it's not as bad as the non-ULD 50mm but it's definitely not as good as the M-LA.

    If you're expecting to do perspective correction etc, then the RZ isn't the right camera. You'd be better off with a view camera, even if it's a 2x3" with a 6x7cm back on it. A 4x5" with 6x12cm back can be a good compromise between ultimate quality+flexibility and low per-shot costs. Such a setup will be bulkier than the RZ67 and much slower to use, but certainly lighter to carry around once you get 3 lenses into the backpack.
     
  6. emani

    emani Member

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    Thanks Everyone. All the responses are giving me a lot to think about. I think a view camera/large format is the ideal but realistically I'm less likely to get the benefit if the set up is so big so have decided to compromise and see what results i get with the mamiya (i was looking at the shen-hao and other large format cameras). i like the potential flexibility with this camera. I'm hoping the step increase from my micro four thirds camera to medium format will give me better photos.
    i realise it will be a while before i learn how to get the best of it and that it's the person not the camera that makes the photo but i want to improve my chances.

    Got to process all this info. Thanks again.
     
  7. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Here you go. This is Large Format Photography Forum's home page. A little research is good for the brain.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/

    I used to own an RZ67 with 50mm ULD, 110mm and 180mm lenses. It's a great camera. I sold it to help fund my interest in large format. It was the right move for me but not for everyone.
     
  8. emani

    emani Member

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    Ace. Thanks again! This is all a lot to think about, just waiting for my mamiya to get delivered now.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    LF systems are not necessarily physically larger (at least, packed) than an RZ67 system, unless you're using sheet film. If you're shooting rollfilm in an LF camera, I would expect a simple getup (body and 3 lenses) to be about half the size and weight using a 6x12 system than an RZ67, mainly because RZ lenses are huge and heavy compared to LF lenses. But it is much, much slower to use, with absolutely no chance of taking candid photos.

    For example, I use a Kata 3N1-30. In it, I can fit either:
    - RZ67, 3 lenses (e.g. 65, 110, 250), 3 backs, a few 5-packs of film, maybe a hotshoe flash or two
    - Toyo 45A, 3 lenses (90, 150, 240), dark cloth, LF accessories (loupe, spotmeter, step rings, etc) and 12 film holders
    ... and the 4x5 setup is noticeably lighter.

    If I shot 6x12 instead of 4x5, then I could fit more stuff (spare film, flashes, etc) in the bag than I could with the RZ system.

    However, the RZ is so much more convenient that if there is basically any possibility that I will need to take people-photos, then I will use the RZ.
     
  10. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    +1 to polyglot, LF system would be more compact than an RZ - especially in bulk, not necessarily in weight - even a monorail would pack in better, but would weigh more than the RZ system
    So, depends on what you wanna carry - once you actually have the RZ system to behold, you'll probably understand the size of it better. If you are adding more lenses to that system, each lens will be at least as big - more likely bigger than the 110 f2.8. (I have to keep reminding myself of that everytime I think of buying a new lens or lens accessory for my RB system)

    Also, you could use a Micro 4/3rds on an LF back - with the right adapter.

    I have both an LF monorail and an RB system, and I prefer the RB for any hand-held shooting/portraiture shooting - especially where quicker setup is needed - I am not really a fan of using it on the tripod much.

    Oh by-the-way, no matter whether you have shot good 35mm film/digital cameras before or not, the 6x7 format quality is gonna blow your mind. :smile:
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    110/2.8 is the smallest and lightest RZ lens I think; most of the lenses are 2x-4x of its size and weight.

    If you're feeling particularly strong one day, slap on a 250APO, prism and power-winder and see how you go handholding it through a wedding reception. It's going to hurt, but that's the sort of thing entirely impossible with a view camera.
     
  12. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    For perspective control and focal plane control, there are shift/tilt lenses available for medium format cameras with the Exakta 66/Pentacon/Kiev 60 mount. Adapters are available for some other cameras. Also, the same lenses are made in some other mounts. I don't know if any of this is applicable to to RZ67, but it might be worth contacting Hartblei or Arax about this possibility.
     
  13. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Mamiya sells an RZ67 75mm(?) shift lens as well as a tilt shift adapter that works on their "short barrel" lenses ($$$), which are available in 75mm and 180mm I think. It's an expensive and poor solution compared to a real view camera though.

    There are no third party adapters (eg Hartblei/Arax) because of all the electronics in the lens mount.
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    emani,

    The RZ will work just fine for much of the work you'll probably do because there are simple techniques that can do wonders and more than one way to skin this cat.

    For example, simply leveling the camera right to left and front to back will solve a lot of the issues the guys suggesting LF want to solve.

    Surely the LF cameras are more adjustable and can be a lot of fun but they are considerably more work and give you lots more ways to screw up.

    Another thing is that some enlargers allow movements that can square up the print from a skewed negative.
     
  16. aRolleiBrujo

    aRolleiBrujo Member

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    Hello, and welcome, I used the 65mm on the RB67, and in my opinion it worked well, sharp for me as well!
     
  17. k.hendrik

    k.hendrik Subscriber

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    4.692 kg. I changed the 250 into 180sb with spacer, film not included :cool:
     
  18. emani

    emani Member

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    Also new to forums, so please excuse any etiquette fails. After reading all your comments and thinking more, I have bought the non-uld 50mm for less than half the price of the uld one. My thinking is I just need to get started with shooting and getting comforable with medium format and film asap.
    I'm dreading the first dip down in quality.
    i've got my eye on large format in the long term, and take your points polyglot. i have also looked at tiltshift, but i think that, given the prices, the money would be better spent saving for large format. I also have some large format film that i'm going to try doing pinhole stuff with.
    my mamiya set up is going to be bulky, but it still looks fairly ordinary. so my plan is to get comfortable with this before attempting large format.
     
  19. emani

    emani Member

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    I need to get a lot more basic photographic knowledge before i step up. I hoping this set up will be a good way to learn. Thanks everyone again.
     
  20. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I have seen 4x5 monorails go as cheap as $50.00 lately. You can pick up a real nice 210mm f/5.6 lens in an accurate modern Copal shutter for $150.00. Used 4x5 film holders sell as low as $5.00 a piece. You can use an inexpensive 4x loupe or cheap reading glasses from the drug store for a focussing aid. Use an oversized black T shirt or sweat shirt for a dark cloth. Use your 35mm camera, digital camera, or app on your cell phone as a light meter. You will need a good, sturdy tripod. Majestics are cheap. Sometimes you can buy a whole kit from one person for a very low price.

    If you do decide to try 4x5, do it cheap and you can always sell the gear and get at least most of your money back if you find it's not for you.
     
  21. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    I do have to warn you. I started with a 4x5 monorail and then a 4x5 field camera. Then I bought a better 4x5 monorail. Now I own an 8x10 camera.

    My wife says it's a sickness! :D
     
  22. emani

    emani Member

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    haha! I'm preparing for an expensive habit. I have downloaded a light meter. I dont need a loupe with my mamiya? i've seen people use them with view cameras? also is it a case of the bigger the magnification the greater the likelihood of sharpness?
    i'm concerned about the accuracy of the view on the mamiya screen.
     
  23. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    No, you don't need a loupe with the Mamiya. The waist level finder has a fold down magnifier to help you to fine focus.

    I used my RZ mostly for portraiture. I had no issues with the focussing screen.
     
  24. k.hendrik

    k.hendrik Subscriber

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    Oops; forgot to mention that a loupe was hanging on the AE prism finder. BTW Emani; you're still talking gear, go shooting your RZ-brick and show us some results :smile:
     
  25. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I had both the 50 ULD and the non-ULD 50 at the same time. A good copy of the non-ULD is still a great lens, far better than anything you will get from 35mm. That said, the ULD version IS better and I ended up keeping that one.

    All the lenses for the RZ are great, really. The film format helps some, sure, but in general Mamiya didn't skimp on these lenses. They were major $ back in the day, none under $1k I believe, some as much as $8k+. The 50ULD was something like $2250+ as I recall. now you can find them under $400.
     
  26. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Under $400 is a real bargain. I sold my mint- example a few years ago for $500 which was the same price I had paid for it. I thought the lens was worth every penny of that!