Purchasing Mamiya Equipment

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by E76, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. E76

    E76 Member

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    I have been pricing out two Mamiya systems: one based on the RB67 Pro SD and the other on the RZ67 Pro II. What I found has surprised me: the RZ67 costs about the same (if not less) used than the RB67!

    For example, from KEH an RB67 Pro SD with 3 backs (including Polaroid), a 65mm C lens, a 127mm KL lens, and a 180mm KL lens ran $1,347, all in EX condition. The RZ67, on the other hand, with the same accessories and 65, 110, and 180mm lenses, was $1,498. The backs and 65mm lens were in EX condition, while everything else was EX+. I also noticed that the 180mm KL lens (in EX condition) for the RB was $65 more than the same lens (in EX+ condition) for the RZ.

    Does this seem right or have I just found the deal of a lifetime on the RZ system? Should I be looking elsewhere for RB gear? None of this is making any sense to me (considering the apparent superiority of the RZ system), but I'm certainly not complaining! :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2008
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The deals in RB gear is the older stuff. You've picked the latest KL lenses which will be relatively rare. At least compared to the older more common stuff. Did you also pick the latest RZ lines? You also picked the Ex grade from KEH. That cuts your choices that much more.
     
  3. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    What exactly superiority of the RZ system are you talking about?
    You want the latest? By the RZ. You want a system that has shot 200 plus million studio product photographs in the last 35 years... buy the RB, and who cares if it's a SD model?

    But...

    Buy what you want. You aren't gonna get screwed at KEH. I always check them first before bidding on EBAY.

    I shoot a rb67 Professional S. You think you are a better photographer than that? I doubt it.

    tim in san jose
     
  4. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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    I think the issue is you are choosing the latest RB body and the last iteration of lenses versus the 1st RZ, all RZ lenses IIRC being of the 'same series' so you cant tell how old they are, and in Ex or better grade to boot. You will then find little difference in cost. So, no you dont have the deal of the century! As regards RB vs RZ its apples and pears: all manual vs electronic, bit heavier vs bit lighter etc etc, but it isnt lesser vs better model

    If you want to go cheaper go older with the RB eg pro S body and C lenses (although the KL are generally held as better). If you want to push the price differential go with RZII which will push the difference up by ~200. If the price floats your boat buy it: as said above you arent going to get done at KEH
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    IIRC there are three series of RZ lenses. W I think is the middle version. The latest are the APOs.
     
  6. E76

    E76 Member

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    Judging by the responses to this thread, it seems my mistake was treating the two systems as predecessor and successor, and not companions. That answers my first question as to why they are priced so similarly.

    As for my choices, I went with the Pro SD body simply because it did not cost much more than the Pro S, and would allow me to use the shift lens; it was not about being "too good" for one body or the other. The KL lenses, on the other hand, are a different story. I have come across some horror stories concerning non-KL lenses, and others claiming them to perfectly acceptable. So I guess my final question is: are the price premiums on KL lenses really worth it? My logic here is that if KL lenses are so much better than C lenses, I might as well get an RZ.

    Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I just want to make sure I'm getting the best possible system at the best possible price (not the latest or greatest).
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    A couple of things....

    (1) There may be some migration of rz people to the new pro2d, which may affect the used rz prices.

    (2) you can use the rb lenses on the rz... which can save you a lot on lenses overall....

    (3) I think the KL lenses are worth the slight extra cost in many cases, but bear in mind that if you judiciously hood the pre-KL lenses you will likely get comparable performance.

    (4) I have an rz pro 2 and an rb pro sd and I see no meaningful difference in weight, build quality etc. The rb remains my preferred body just because of the 6x8 back and variety of other nifty doodads like a 4x5 back (with which I shoot QL sheets) and some 3.25" sheet holders I have. Plus I recently adapted the rz t&s adapter to fit on my rb as well. I do like the totally non-electronic option of the rb but also find the rz system handy now and then.
     
  8. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    E86...
    How is E99 BTW?

    I was only slightly kidding about being too good for a ProS model. I haven't met many photographers who could make the RZ/rbSD do anything more than a ProS with C type lens. Like none that I know. So when you get to a pinnacle, why spend more for nothing more than you can use?

    Couple of different lens? Well OK, if that's important to you. When I do the shifty thingie, it's called LF and I can do it in any size from 2x3 to 8x10. No need to push the MF world in that direction. But once again, if it's your bag, do it.

    As far as lens performance, you read a lot here and a good portion of the thoughts are the C lens from Mamiya are as good as anything Zeiss has ever put out. Put a little rubber thingie on it and you are protected from those annoying flare and contrast issues. I bought like 30 of them at an ebay auction (for like 20 bucks) so I am covered probably till the camera falls apart, somewhere in the early 22 century.

    Good luck with your SD.

    tim in san jose
     
  9. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    This is correct.

    Pick one and for the 1400 or so you were going to spend, you are going to end up with a huge pile of goodies. I believe there are 11 lenses for the RB, and I have 6 really nice ones and a couple junkers, I also have 4 bodies, of which I consider one to be really nice. I am also only about $1200 in.

    So yes, play the eBay game, and also check KEH regularly, the goodies change.

    There are a few parts of the system I consider essential.

    My studio partner for the longest time was a real sucker for RZ stuff, but he was willing to spend huge amounts of green stuff for things that I considered second rate. Yes, I would like a big pile of RZ goodies someday, but it's not required. I have owned damn near every Mamiya camera ever made, including a six and several of the TLR models. I consider the RB and the C220 to be the finest stuff they have made.

    Remember, if you really want a NEW camera, that they still sell the RB as new today.
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    They do? I thought they'd killed off the RB? :confused:
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have a Pro SD. It's much better than I am or are ever likely to be.


    Steve.
     
  12. rmann

    rmann Subscriber

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    I am new to this system -

    What is a 4x5 back for a RB? Is this a Mamiya product or something else? Are you getting a full 4x5 negative with it - or something smaller?

    Thanks -
     
  13. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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    Well its still on the product list at Mamiya UK website and BH and several others have it on the shelves :D
     
  14. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    No, you don't get a 4x5 image with it, you get something like a 72x72mm square. Now, you might say, geez what a waste of space... well yeah but I like squares very much, prefer using sheet film for some things, and sometimes like to process one sheet at a time etc. It's not for everybody but sometimes I like it. I do get more bang for the buck out of the 3.25" sheet backs though.

    The 4x5 back is a 4x5 polaroid back, though, so you can only use 4x5 polaroid and Fuji QLs with it. I haven't tried RLs- might work, might not.

    Both of the Mamiya systems are fabulously modular. There are full system charts for the rb and rz lines that will amaze and delight.