Pentax 67 vs. Mamiya RZ67

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ssakari, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. ssakari

    ssakari Member

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    I am looking 6x7 format film camera mostly for landscape and macro photography. I think that I can manage heavy weight of camera and tripod. Both Pentax 67 and Mamiya RZ67 looks intresting alternatives for me but I do not have enough experience to decide either one.

    What are the major issues regarding these two systems.

    Thanks for helping me.
     
  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've not used the Pentax system, so I won't speak to it... the RZ is, I think, bit more versatile in that you can change backs and formats, so if you want, for example, a square format you can get a back for it. If you aren't interested in that, then the Pentax might be a bit of a more compact system, as it functions more like a big 35mm. If you can rent either for a week or so, that might be the best way to see which suits your needs best.
     
  3. wy2l

    wy2l Member

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    I own the Pentax 67 II with AE meter. The major issue is weight. Used for landscapes, the system demands to be used on a tripod. This has very little to do with the mirror bounce, as I have come to the conclusion that landscape photography simply requires a tripod. The weight of a kit for two weeks of backpacking is just a bit much. Like most P67 users, I wish the system had removable backs. The limiting factor with my P67 is the photographer, not the equipment.
     
  4. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    Its not a question of mechanics but optics. I like Pentax lenses more than Mamiya.
    Just visit flickr galleries and decide which lens and film make you dreaming about final result.
    If you wish to unless make speed photography , you can concentrate on mechanics , if you will make tripod photography , its about concentrating on optics.
     
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  5. mablo

    mablo Member

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    Pentax 105mm/2.4 is one particular lens that I'd like to have.
     
  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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  7. stradibarrius

    stradibarrius Member

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    I have an RB67 but no experience with the Pentax. One of the major pluses for the RB is the "system". Interchangeable back allow you to go from color to B&W mid roll. It also allows you to change formats...6x4.5, 6x7, 6x8. The back also rotates so you can go from portrait to landscape by just turning the back and not the whole camera. Mamiya lens are outstanding as well! Different viewfinders, focusing screens...and an extremely good buy right now.

    Another thing is that the RB focuses with bellows which allows for very close up shots without using extension tubes. If you use extension tubes it is like macro!
     
  8. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I like the RB67 because of the interchangeable backs.

    Jeff
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Swappable backs, higher flash sync speeds, close-focus ability without tubes or dedicated macro lenses, rotating film back that eliminates portrait/landscape flipflop. That pretty much sums up why I own an RB67 and not a Pentax 6x7. Both systems have excellent lenses and superb build quality but I found the RB67 to be more flexible. Still, I do like the Pentax with strobes for studio work where mobility is necessary.
     
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  10. AbbeyFoto

    AbbeyFoto Member

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    I have a Pentax 67MkII with AE prism and a RB (not RZ) with WLF. I guess a RZ with AE prism will be closer to the Pentax than the RB. I am a long time user of 35mm SLRs and I did take to the Pentax as a blown up SLR and the results are good. I have used the RB hand held, a bit different from the SLR style of the Pentax but it's possible. Undoubtedly both return best results on a tripod. One advantage of the RZ with leaf lenses will be flash synchronization if that is an issue. Others have mentioned the advantage of interchange backs. Choose the kit that suits your style of working, both are great systems.

    Chris
     
  11. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    RZ

    Generally, the RZ is the better choice, for many reasons. It's been discussed, search the archives.
     
  12. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I've used an RZ for a long time. I don't like traveling with it because it's heavy. I also don't like the waist level finder because the image is reversed. I saved enough for a prism and now my camera is even heavier. It's true that the RZ is more versatile due to interchangable backs. You can for example switch from BW film to chrome film by changing backs. It's a great studio camera, but it sucks as a travel camera. I'd go with a something more compact. You should even consider more compact and lighter range finders like the Fuji GW 670. Also a lighter camera requires a lighter tripod. As I get older my RZ system is heavier.
     
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  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I'd consider leaf shutter lenses, exchangeable magazines, and bellows focusing to be a big benefit in most situations. However, you can get certain lenses for the Pentax that use leaf shutters, and you can get extension tubes. Additionally, the benefits of a leaf shutter are not huge in a landscape shot. Over all, I'd say I like the RB/RZ better, but for one specific use such as landcapes, I don't see too much of a difference. The exchangeable backs always help, though, in almost any situation. The focusing scale on the Pentax is much better for landscapes in my opinion.
     
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  15. dande

    dande Member

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    RZ or Pentax

    What I prefer about the RZ is the waist level finder. It is great for composing your landscape picture. Like looking at a mini photo. I've always found it more difficult to really get good composition from a 35mm camera or the Pentax using the prism veiwer.
     
  16. Joachim_I

    Joachim_I Member

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    For landscape and macro I chose the Pentax 67II. The deciding factor for me were the lenses. The Pentax 67 system offers wider wide angle and faster tele lenses than the RZ system. For example, two of my most frequently used lenses are the 4.0/45mm and the 4.0/300mm ED lenses which don't have a direct counterpart in the RZ system. Both are excellent systems.
     
  17. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Love the big focusing screen but...

    Love the big focusing screen but never got used to the flopped image with the waist level finder. I use a prism that weighs as much as a lens.
     
  18. NJS

    NJS Member

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    the only reason why I haven't decided for RZ yet as my next camera is those damn takumars, 45mm and 35mm. other than that I think RZ leaves the P67 in dust, very versatile thingy it is.
     
  19. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Either of these cameras can be used with a WLF or a prism.
     
  20. Tony Karnezis

    Tony Karnezis Member

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    I also went through the same decision for MF landscape and macro work and ended up with the Pentax which was definitely the better decision for me. The issue came down to size and portability over absolute convenience once in the field. Though the Mamiya offered advantages over the Pentax (bellows, rotating backs), neither of them were absolute advantages. They only made things a little more convenient but not enough to outweigh (pun intended) the fact that the Mamiya was too big and heavy for my needs. A different supposed advantage (interchangeable backs) wasn't relevant to me since I only shot one film at the time. For macro work, I used the Pentax 165/2.8 and extension tubes with excellent results, either with the waist level finder or metered prism.

    I second the suggestion to use the system before your buy. Renting equipment locally is not always possible or cheap. If you can get a no questions return policy on your purchase, that would give you the chance to play with the gear for a week or so before permanently committing to it. Then again, a week isn't very long to get to know a system well. Another alternative is to buy a modest, reasonably priced, used system and spend a good amount of time shooting with it to see if it suits your needs. If it doesn't, you can usually sell if for around what you paid for it. Any loss you might incur will likely be a fraction of any rental fee.
     
  21. Mark Lewis

    Mark Lewis Member

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    While a bit late to this thread, I just wanted to add that many people find the vibrations in the Pentax system to be problematic, even with the mirror locked up on a sturdy tripod. I initially had three of the 67/MLU bodies (precursor to the 67II), two for film and one dedicated to a Polaroid back. Upon returning from each distant location shoot, I'd nearly pull my hair out at the number of frames that had issues with vibration (often the right side of the frame). I eventually gave up on the Pentax 67's and went to Horseman SW cameras with rollfilm backs - worked great but not a very fluid solution for most people.

    Pentax then came out with the 67II, which promised better vibration dampening, 1/2 stop shutter speeds, and a few other features that were more marketing than practical. I figured I'd give it another go as most of my work at the time was best suited to the compactness of that system vs. some of the larger 6x7 competitors. Well, the 67II was indeed nicer than the 67, but there were a number of shutter speeds (1/2-1/30th) that were all but impossible to attain a TRULY SHARP image at. No amount of mirror lock-up or 75# tripod is going to dampen that huge shutter (forget the mirror, the shutter itself causes issues). After returning from several major shoots overseas with models in tow, and reviewing the images on the lightbox back home, the second experiment with Pentax MF came to a close. The lenses I owned were the 35/45/55/90/105/200. I never used the leaf-shutter lenses intended for the Pentax 67, those may be the ticket for subduing the vibration. That said, I can't be limited to just those lenses.

    The optics themselves are quite good, the 105 is rather amazing.
     
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    It's too big a question; these are very different systems. Why not say more about your photography and your needs, then you will get more helpful advice. E.g. would this be for portrait, landscape, travel, street, macro... or some combo? Do you plan to work mostly handheld? What types of lenses are you looking to use... wide, long, zooms, fisheye, etc.?
     
  23. Joachim_I

    Joachim_I Member

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    Sorry, Mark, my experience with the 67II is very different.

    I consistently get very sharp pictures, both under the magnifier (6x Rodenstock aspheric) and projected on a 2.2mx2.2m dalite screen using a Goetschmann G67 projector. Only with the 300mm lens, I sometimes get unsharp pictures. My tripod (Gitzo G1340 + Linhof III) obviously reaches its boundaries with this focal length.

    The quality difference to 35mm slides (Leica M) is huge!

    I have no explantion why our experience differs so much.
     
  24. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    The original post mentioned landscape and macro.
    Most of the differences have already been mentioned so no need to repeat.
    I have both cameras and love 'em both!
    But if I had to hike very far for landscape I would take the Pentax.
    Furthermore, even though the Mamiya can focus closer thanks to the bellows, the reversing ring on the Pentax is sweet and can opens up a whole different world for macro shooters. And it's part of the system, along with the spacer rings and even one with a helicoid. I don't think Mamiya has anything like that for their system but I could be wrong.
     
  25. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    The Mamiya works better as a waist-level camera and the Pentax as an eye-level camera, although you can do both with each. But this is a very personal choice. Is there a way you can rent these cameras?
     
  26. mtjade2007

    mtjade2007 Member

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    Can you post a few shots that showed the vibration problem? I have owned my P67-II for almost 10 years now I have never had a unsharp shot not cause by unstable hands. Not because I don't believe you. I just never saw a picture that shows the widely speculated problem of Pentax 67 camera system. Every time Pentax 67 system was discussed there were always posts talking about this problem. I would really like to see an example image. I am particularly interested in seeing one that is blurred on the right side but not else where on the frame.