(Relative) Portability of the RB67?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Mack, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Steve Mack

    Steve Mack Member

    Messages:
    142
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    Dillwyn, Vir
    Shooter:
    35mm
    So, if I wanted to add the Mamiya RB67 to my growing collection:smile:, how portable is it? I already own a Mamiya 645Pro, which is fairly easy to lug around. I don't plan to use it for street photography, although I have read of some people using it for just that. But how about lugging to a site? I try to avoid walking more that half a mile. If I have to go more than that I just might decide it really isn't worth it. I'm looking for some portability at my age!:D

    Thanks to all who reply.

    With best regards,

    Stephen
     
  2. rszumski

    rszumski Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Mamiya RB67 portability? Hahahahahahah! I have been using one for over 2 years as an amateur and I would describe this beast as an iron loaf of bread! The image output is outstanding however. Seriously now, I have used this camera out in the field and as long as you are willing to be transporting it in the trunk of your car along with a tripod, it is transportable. It weighs about 5 1/2 pounds with a 90 mm lens. You will want to use a tripod to get the best resolution out of the camera. If I were looking for a hand-held medium format I would prefer a Mamiya 6 or 7 or other equivalent rangefinder. Having said all this, I swear I saw Annie Liebovitz handling hand holding an RB67 (same form factor and weight) at Obama's inauguration!! She must be mighty strong. So for 'lugging it to a site', I find it worth the effort. Street photography, not a great choice.
    Roman
     
  3. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,177
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Location:
    Washington,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maybe you could get a gym membership.:rolleyes:
     
  4. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Messages:
    8,004
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's pretty easily portable if you have only one body and one lens or maybe two. You can carry three lenses and several backs and a second body easily if you have a good backpack for it. It also helps a LOT using the WLF instead of the prism. I don't understand the comments that always come up about the size and weight of these cameras making them unluggable. I find them to be much easier to handle than a P67, personally, and much more useful in "the field."

    My standard RZ kit when I go traveling is a combo of my kit and my friend's. It consists of:

    2 RZ bodies
    7 backs
    65mm f/4
    110mm f/2.8
    210mm APO
    WLF
    Prism
    two rubber lens hoods
    bellows lens hood

    It all fits into a medium-sized backpack. The tripod (Bogen 3036 or 3051) goes across my chest or over my shoulder on a strap. You start to feel it after maybe a mile, but I have pretty easily covered 8 miles of hiking this way in about a 6 hour period. (Going slow, taking lots of water/picture breaks is the key.) For more intense hiking (meaning overnight camping, really), I take one body and two lenses only, usually three backs, and no prism.

    For anything but the hiking/camping I mentioned, I feel no need whatsoever to ever pare down the kit for travel.

    For simple, quick, day to day use, I'd probably just have a body, WLF, two backs, and two lenses (65 and 110). This is a very manageable setup with a smallish bag.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2010
  5. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The above about covers it, add a tripod and you will need a mule or a cart or a Sherpa, or a back surgeon. The one about it being like an iron loaf of bread is the most apt. Put a body and two lenses plus a telexender and the prism and a wlf with some backs and filters in a case, pick it up and carry it around a city block a couple of times. If it isn't a problem then you have it licked.
     
  6. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It is relative portable if you have the right back pack.

    Jeff
     
  7. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,943
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And the right back. :rolleyes:
     
  8. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Location:
    British Colu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No, no, you can cancel your gym membership. Kill two birds with one iron loaf of bread, so to speak.
    Seriously, I'm almost 69, I have two lenses (65 and 127) and two backs and I find it very manageable with a small backpack. Usually my FM3A is in the same pack, with an extra couple of lenses. The most awkward piece is the tripod, which I carry separately.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,793
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My Mamiya RB67 with WLF, one back, one grip and two lenses in a camera case is a bit smaller and about the same weight as my Mamiya 645 Pro with prism finder, two backs, one grip and three lenses in a camera case.
     
  10. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    OK, so I stretched it a bit due to its reputation. I put mine in a back pack with the body, wlf, prism, three backs, and two lenses with accessories and walked around Arches National Park for a "while" with my wife. It wasn't that difficult at all and when we got back to the truck my wife said the bag did overburden here much on the way back.

    So it can be done easily and I'm just ten years younger than johnnywalker and have lift that bale tote that barge pills to make it happen. Only problem now is I've had to go off of the lift that bale tote that barge pills, some, not all. If I lightened the load and planned the excursion I could do just fine and there is nothing wrong with a stroller to haul it around. They even have Nation Park approved ones. I haven't tried sitting in one yet but I'll give it a try when my wife is not working all the time. I could even load backs sitting in there, or just take a nap until we're at the location. Just kidding of course, life isn't that simple is it? I said to the Doctor the other day that I felt a little stressed these days and he said, join the rest of us.

    I really like this camera a lot and have never regretted getting it. BTW I think Mamiya is an excellent camera manufacturer.
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The rb travels well - it is virtually indestructible. However the standard 3-lens kit that I usually want amounts to a way, waaay heavier bundle than a typical 4x5 LF 3 lens kit. The problem with the rb, for travel, is that the lenses are so freaking heavy and bulky. Lately I have been traveling with the m645 pro and it is far more suitable, at least for my taste.

    But the ultimate medium format travel kit, in my opinion of course, is the mamiya 6 system.
     
  12. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,561
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Nort
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I totally agree, on a trip to Hawaii last year I was going to take the RB but at that last moment I decided that my Mamiya 645 was the one to take. I took a 55, 80, 150 and a 105-210 zoom. Even with the inserts it was a joy to use as usual. The RB would have been nice but the 645 is a lot lighter. I used Rollei Pan 25 and the results were excellent. I have a leaf photo in the gallery that was taken with that combination. I have done testing and have the focus screen adjusted to the tee.

    Ideally I'd love to have a Mamiya 7II. I'd could enlarge or sc*** them and make d****** negatives for Carbon or Platinum. Let's just say here that I'd make enlargements, as the leaves in the gallery is a negative scan I did enlarge it on fiber based paper and it looks similar.

    The RB has a place in the scheme of things, going on a plane and travel mobility isn't one for me. But, I have the option of changing my mind, if I need a larger negative on roll film and a revolving back and hadn't gotten a Mamiya 7II, which is remote at this point.
     
  13. lynxkcg

    lynxkcg Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I went around the park and zoo for 6 hours last week with my RB. I ended up carrying it most of the time, and I didn't have a terribly hard time of it, unless I was reloading. I use the standard kit of 127mm,WL,120 back, and no strap. I would have preferred a monopod for some shots, but for zoo snapshots with my girlfriend it just wan't worth more hassle, she already thinks I'm crazy for taking the RB.
    There were times I wish I had my F3 instead, but I'd lug that RB with me anywhere.
     
  14. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,529
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I always thought Curt that the Mamiya Corporation missed a real business opportunity in not having as part of the RB/RZ system a Mamiya truss for ones hernia :D
     
  15. patrickth

    patrickth Member

    Messages:
    86
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    bellingham w
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I use mine for street shooting, but have stifled the urge to bring several different backs and lenses. My setup in an old vivitar grip mounted on camera and then mounted on monopod. It makes for a good balanced package, even without the mono extended. I use the slik mono that is spring loaded. Works out just fine.
     
  16. UKJohn

    UKJohn Subscriber

    Messages:
    272
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2005
    Location:
    Wolverhampton
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I carted my RZ67 complete with two backs, two lenses, two light meters, filters, colour and b/w film plus a few other accessories and a tripod across Russia which included 6 flights and three train journeys plus lots and lots of walking...and although somewhat bulky I don't regret it. Even thinking about heading back with my 5" x 4" later this year.
     
  17. A_M_Johnson

    A_M_Johnson Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Location:
    Las Vegas, N
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I carry mine all over the place with one back and lens. I have a Lowpro Trekker backpack so there is even room for snacks!
     
  18. rthomas

    rthomas Member

    Messages:
    1,182
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC, USA
    Shooter:
    35mm
    My RB kit consists of a 65 and a 127, plus two backs. I've sometimes used the left-hand grip and shot handheld, but most of the time I shoot on a tripod. (I try to shoot on a tripod whenever possible, even with 35mm). If I add any more lenses to my kit I'll need a bigger bag, but I consider this a reasonably portable camera.

    When I shot large format, I was known to take my Calumet CC401 monorail camera into the field (camera in one hand, tripod in the other, film holders and miscellany in a bag over my shoulder). So I may have a slight bias on what constitutes "portable."
     
  19. Pumal

    Pumal Member

    Messages:
    580
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In terms of "portability"; if you are an old man like me: start using Steroids and Growth Hormone. I use it in the Studio on a Tripod.
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,529
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Relativity

    I was thinking about " relative portability" of Mamiya RB 67 equipment, and think yes it's a great idea, get a relative to lug it. :D
     
  21. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

    Messages:
    6,930
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Location:
    Richmond VA.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I agree, I don't go far due to my age. But I do enjoy using it!:smile:

    Jeff
     
  22. marylandphoto

    marylandphoto Member

    Messages:
    135
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Due to the fact that I'm very deliberate when taking images with it, I usually take a friend along. Come to think of it, I've seldom used the camera without an assistant. That's just me however; I also have the option of that luxury more often with 99.9% of my photography being nature shots.
     
  23. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    881
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If I was making a photographic record of my travels I would take a point 'n shoot. But in recent years I travel in order to photograph so the results have to be worthwhile. Anything less than top photographic quality is a waste of time, money, and effort.

    The Mamiya RB 67 outfit is what I carry when the mountain is too steep or the weather too bad for the 8x10 gear. Frankly the RB feels so small and light I almost feel guilty using it.