Thinking of moving from 4x5 to RB or RZ 67

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Removed Account, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    I've been shooting 4x5 for a few months now and I really enjoy it, but there are a few things that irk me. One is that I do not have a permanent darkroom, and having to lightproof my room before loading film can sometimes discourage me from shooting. On the other hand, do you have to load MF backs in the dark as well? Also the weight of the camera keeps me from really bringing it anywhere. Granted, I could switch from my Cambo SCX studio monorail to something far more portable, but I love the solidity with which the studio camera operates and am worried that a lighter 4x5 would not give the rock-solid feel of the 13 pound beast. The benefits of medium format to me are the lower cost of film and processing, especially colour film, and the convenience of not having to send colour to the mainland to get it processed and printed. I also like the lighter weight, and greater availability and variety of film. I am not a zonie, so the inability to individually process negatives is not that big of a minus for me, but I fear that I have grown used to what can be accomplished with movements. On the other hand, depth of field is less limited with MF lenses and even an RB would me much more suited to occasional wildlife shooting than the Cambo.

    I'm having extremely conflicting feelings about this, and wish I could afford to keep and use both. Anyone care to chime in and help me decide which direction to go in?

    Thanks again,

    - Justin
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Justin:

    Does your Cambo accept a roll film back? If it does, can you get an adapter that allows you to use Mamiya backs?

    You might be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, and ease any transition to RB/RZ land if it turns out that that would be better for you.

    Matt
     
  3. filmbug

    filmbug Member

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    A changing-bag will allow you to load film-holders without having to lightproof the room.
     
  4. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    Hi Justin,

    I had an RZ before I moved to LF. It's a great camera although it's not light. But in my opinion there's no comparison between a 6x7 and a 5x4 tranny or negative, and you lose movements with MF.

    You're right about the cost of processing if you use labs (I don't use colour films and process B&W myself, so that's not an issue for me). But you don't need a darkroom to load or process 5x4 film - a changing tent is more than adequate - or you could use quickloads. Also, I wouldn't even consider taking a studio monorail out into the field. It's totally the wrong camera - to heavy, too slow to setup, etc. A decent wooden 5x4 system weighs about the same as an RZ and is far more flexible (and stability really isn't an issue).

    One last thing: if you've only used 5x4 for a few months how can you know it's not right for you? And if you sell up and buy an MF system, how do you know you won't have the same problem a few months later? Are you sure you're not chasing silver bullets?

    Good luck whatever you choose,

    Ian.
     
  5. Matus Kalisky

    Matus Kalisky Member

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    You may as well consider a light 4x5 field camera that takes roll film back. It willbe lighter ir equall the RB. Though probably still slower.

    I started with LF a year ago with Tachihara (very light, but does not have the international graflock back - very few roll film backs available for it). Great fun. But as you said - it is not allways feasible to take it along. Finaly a few month ago I got Rolleiflex T - allows me to shoot handhold and rather fast. Still - if you want good depth of the field - you need to stop down and than the tripod is usualy a necessity.

    I would not want to give up the movements. For some occasional wildlife a some of the 645 SLR might be a better choice than the large RB. You may also consider the Mamyia C cameras (C33, C330 etc) - they have exchangable lenses but are larger and heavier than standard TLR.

    For fast and quiet MF - I would go with Mamiya 6 or 7 if Ihad the money. Built in metering speeds you up a lot.

    Good luck indeed
     
  6. Richard Kelham

    Richard Kelham Member

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    I'm amazed that anyone would even think of shooting wildlife with a Cambo monorail! An RB wouldn't be much better either. If I want to shoot wildlife I'll grab a Nikon or two with suitably long lenses (and a tripod).

    The Cambo is essentially a studio camera, and a pretty good one at that.

    As has been said several times in this thread, use a changing bag/tent for loading and unloading your dark slides, and no you don't need one for loading roll film. As has also been said, a light-weight 5x4 field camera will probably weigh less than an RB, be slower to use but vastly more versatile: it all depends on what you want to do with it. But there is no such thing as the Universal Camera and trying to find it smacks of a magic bullet hunt as someone else suggested.

    Figure out what you want to do, then find the camera(s) that best does it. Or become a camera trader...



    Richard
     
  7. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I think I was a little cranky, and as Ian said there was a little silver bullet hunting going on. A quick printing session helped, and I am furthering my love affair with 4x5 TXP. As another positive, I have found my neg for the print exchange and just need a day off to do some "serious" printing. I will definitely be getting a changing bag, and will look in to the roll film backs for when I feel the urge to shoot colour or Delta 3200. The studio monorail works beautifully for 90% of what I shoot, but I am going to be saving my pennies and hunting for a field camera to use on those beautiful BC landscapes. Sometimes I just need a little kick in the butt to get going again. Thanks for the help!

    - Justin
     
  8. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    funny because I just bought a mamiya 6x7 since I'm having so much fun with medium format-and I have all the way to 8x20 cameras. point? I'm making my best photographs EVER!!
    Best, Peter
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    If you have a closet that faces away from the sun you can easily load in there all day long. Morning a west room. Afternoon an east room. The small amount of the light that will leak in under the door will be blocked by your back. Or you can stick a towel etc under the door.

    People have been using field cameras in the fields since day one. Most people tend to lean towards lighter and wider lenses outdoors.

    13lbs for a 4x5 in the field sounds nuts to me. Just my IMHO :tongue: Part of the reason I wanted to replace the Ansco was the weight and that's an 8x10.
     
  10. Daniel-OB

    Daniel-OB Member

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    67 mamiya used for pro work will make you cry or even business to fail.
     
  11. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    After seeing/playing with David's RB I think they are a *GREAT* system for someone who wants sharp lenses and bellows focusing on roll film. Quite heavy and one could could go with a 4x5 & roll film back cheaper, but that's not everybody's style. Definitely a pro camera.
     
  12. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    I sold my RZ when the 2nd hand prices started to drop. But I kinda wish I still had it. It was a bit heavy to carry around, but was absolutely reliable, rock solid and a dream to use. It's build quality was A1. I've had more reliability problems with my Leica MP (two factory repairs) than I had with my RZ (no issues whatsoever). While I wasn't a pro, the RZ was definitely a pro camera ;-)
     
  13. Jim_in_Kyiv

    Jim_in_Kyiv Member

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    If you've been shooting 4x5 for a few months, you've already grown accustomed to checking to see if the dark slide is out, so the Mamiya should be good for you in that regard.
    If you're considering something really solid for 4x5 in the field, look at a B&J press camera. Cheaper than a Speed Graphic and instead of wood, it's got a metal body suitable for chauking a medium-sized jet or stopping small-arms fire. I carted mine 1/4 the way around the world partly because it won't fall apart no matter what. You certainly lose some movements compared to a field camera, but think about how much movement you'll need and let that be your guide.
     
  14. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    Damn those pesky darkslides :wink: :wink: :wink:
     
  15. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I bought an RB after shooting a 4x5 Super Graphic and Crown Graphic thinking it would be more portable and faster/easier to use. :rolleyes: I'm back to a Crown now in the 3x4 format, with a Kalart, and I like the somewhat smaller body over the 4x5's and double the neg size over the 6x7. Get a cheap 4x5 Crown Graphic and continue on. If you buy the RB and don't like it, getting your money out of it to re-invest is much harder nowadays.
     
  16. m_liddell

    m_liddell Member

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    The RB is a really great camera. In the end the lack of movements (tilt) forced me to get a view camera which I now use the with the backs from the RB. If you can live with no movements and the weight go for it.
     
  17. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Daniel. In the case of this particular thread's originator, what you have said above probably doesn't matter but if I were seeking advice on any matter, especially if I had little knowledge and was a newcomer to APUG then I'd find such a statement unsettling and unhelpful and might not bother again.

    OK most of us have seen your two other threads on the 67 Mamiya and can work out why you've made such a statement but it seems to me that any thread originator deserves more help.

    I am not asking that you repeat your complaints, in fact quite the opposite, but at least make reference to whatever thread there was in which you gave your reasons for your position so the originator can decide on the validity of your statement for him or herself.

    I'll make you a promise in return. If ever you ask for advice on any matter, I promise that if my advice to you is very negative I will first of all consider if my position is fully justified and if it is, then take the trouble to fully explain why I have taken that position.

    As APUG members,each of us deserve no less from each other


    pentaxuser
     
  18. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Daniel,
    I've refrained from commenting until now.

    The reality is that the RB/RZ family is stout and rugged. The first time I shot with RB's, I had a commercial studio, 4 photographers and several outfits, all bought brand new at astronomical prices, they all paid for themselves within 3 months, and made way more money than I could have imagined. Your situation is unusual, and signifies something very, very wrong with your camera. I liken it to having a new car, leaving the parking brake on because the light didnt' come on, and blaming the car for destroying the rear brakes. Plain and simple operator error.


    I no longer shoot vocationally, by choice and when it came time to get an MF system, the RB was the natural choice. (followed by a hassy for hiking an more "portable" use.)

    I understand heat of the moment, but really, are you that unfamiliar with the camera that you don't have that checklist ingrained in your head? Even my wife knows to check for the darkslide, and she's no photographer, but she's been around my RB's and LF format cameras the last 2 years and has watched me over and over, going over the checklist mentally.


    erie patsellis
     
  19. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    Also I might add, if you are truly a pro, do what most pros do, use an assistant, to handle all those "pesky" little details like darkslides, lighting ratios and such, allowing you to focus on the image.

    I don't know you from Adam, but your postings and attitude sure scream to me of a person who enjoys photography as a hobby, and gets the occiasional job, not a professional who's expertise and familiarity with the technical and aesthetic aspects is of a level that commands respect from fellow photographers.

    erie patsellis
     
  20. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

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    I was just about to pipe in about Daniel-OB comments, but it seems as though others have said it already. I let the first two threads regarding the so called 'un-professional' nature of the RZ pass me by, but the comments made on here are just unhelpful.

    I own 3 RZ's and have had a few minor problems with them over the years, but on the whole they are the best cameras i have owned. IF you have problems with the darkslide send it back to mamiya it should not do that, but i think most of us have heard enough about your problem with this camera.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 28, 2007
  21. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    After looking at the other threads he started (e.g. "how do I use my light meter?" and "how big is a big portrait?"), I wonder why I and so many others took his puerile outburst so seriously. Shall we let the troll go back to sleep and answer the OP's question? :smile:
     
  22. MP_Wayne

    MP_Wayne Member

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    Hear ! Hear! Very well said!

    There are 8-10 pages of debate on this "What is a pro Medium Format camera" issue on another thread... chew on it over there and help the originator of this thread with constructive suggestions instead of meaningless drivel and carping ...
     
  23. MP_Wayne

    MP_Wayne Member

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    I was in your position about 2 years ago, but not really perhaps quite so uncertain about 4x5. An APUGer, Eric Rose, (who got me into 4x5 4 years ago thereby starting my own private insanity), thought I would like the RB67 system for Medium Format (Eric also likes to help separate me from my meagre money - LOL!), but in all fairness to him, I have not looked back with any regret on either path (4x5 or MF).

    I started, humbly with an RB67 and a couple of lenses, which has since grown into more bodies and lenses - and I love using all of it!

    However, I still kept (and grew) my 4x5 stuff because I very much enjoy using that too. They are two completely different styles of photography for which there is some overlap, but not 100% overlap.

    There are some days/locales/subjects when I want to shoot 4x5, and other days when I don't want the bother, but I still want superb negs. The Mamiya RB67 Medium Format stuff fills that requirement. The main thing is that I am shooting something !! (now I sound like a gun toting Elmer Fudd - sorry about that)...

    In reading your initial post - you want some of the things in both LF and MF - for example, convenience (MF), simplicity of film loading (MF), yet movements (LF). In my case, I did not want to decide, nor was I really interested in deciding - so I adopted both formats...

    Now the challenge is to carve enough time to do both... What a predicament... double the equipment, so the need for double the time to make photographs! Oh well, we all have private struggles to endure (LOL)...

    Perhaps the best approach is to rent/try out some MF equipment for a while? As cited in many other threads, there is a HUGE LOT of good quality used MF equipment out there, so there is no need to panic buy... Perhaps with using both formats for a while, and some time moving back and forth between the two, you can decide which direction you want to proceed (including perhaps both directions)...

    Ultimately, whatever you choose is great if it gets you out working on your art...the equipment is just the means to your artistic ends...

    Best of luck!