Will third time around be the charm with an RB67?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Graham_Martin, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Graham_Martin

    Graham_Martin Member

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    I've done it again and succumbed to the temptation to buy a Mamiya RB67 Pro S...yet again. This will be my third time around with this camera. I've also bought and sold a couple of the Fuji MF cameras in the past, but the RB67 is the one I keep coming back to. Am I crazy or have many of you done something similar and why? In my case I started wanting to get the feel of a fully mechanical camera, and to give myself a break from taking hundreds of images a day with my DSLRs. After a year I sold the RB67 because I wasn't using it that much. A couple years later I missed having the heavy old camera and bought my second one. A year later I did the same thing again and sold it. And now, here I am with my third RB67 and three lenses 65, 90, and 180 due to arrive on Tuesday.

    Hopefully I will keep this one for the long term.
     
  2. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    I have the same kit and love it. I go through phases of using mine or using my 4x5 or Rolleiflex. It's nice to give yourself a change of pace from time to time.

    Considering the relative inexpensive price of the RB67 gear you may as well hold onto it. Obviously it keeps calling you back. =)
     
  3. Perry

    Perry Member

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    RB67

    The sharpest, most detailed, most nearly 3D image I've made since I started in 1951, is one made with my Mamiya RB67 with 65 mm lens using Agfa Ultra 50 film. Stunning color, stunning detail, yet stunning tone - like a Rembrandt... While the subject matter and composition are nothing to shout about, the image itself just wants to jump out, grab you and pull you back in! The one image against which I judge all my others. That lens must have been touched by god himself (or Ansel). (I have 27 other cameras and maybe 35 lenses I'm judging this one against.)

    Contrarily, the BEST image I've ever made (judging all parameters) was made with a Kodak Instamatic 60 110 at night. All the forces were in alignment that night!

    However, I've made some other what I'll call exceptional images with my Agfa Super Isolette (Ansco Super Speedex) 6x6 folder, with 75 mm lens, with again, Agfa Ultra 50 film. Maybe it's the film quality that gives these images such a fantastic, almost unreal presence... Or maybe it's the 50's film and 50's lens combination?

    If you watch some Hollywood films made in the 50's where Ansco/Agfa film was used, especially outdoor cowboy movies, you'll see that same lush, sexy Rembrandt quality; VERY different from 'normal' movie film of the time.

    While the RB is a handful, it can make some gorgeous images.

    Perry
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I love my RB67!

    Jeff
     
  5. mrred

    mrred Subscriber

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    Life is giving you a hint here.....Keep your RZ and obviously 1 year of in activity doesn't tell you you will not enjoy the use again.

    I have an F6, 2x F100, 2x 601 and a bunch of wonderful glass to go with them. But when I go on vacation, it's the zorki and the FM that goes along for the ride. There is a time and place for everything an maybe that cycle had not come around before you sold the RZ.

    I've got a 645 that lights up my eyes everytime I use it. It was 3 years between the last shoot and the time before. I know it will have the same effect the next time I use it.

    Keep this RZ and consider yourself nuts if you let it go again!
     
  6. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

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    I've done the same fool thing and will do it again, I just know. I love those beasts. Add to that having done it with the 645 as well. Can't seem to get those Mamiya's out of my system. Also seem to be doing it with the SL66's too ! But go ahead and have some fun!
    Logan
     
  7. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

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    Sell the dslr.
     
  8. Graham_Martin

    Graham_Martin Member

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    Not when I'm shooting 1000 images at a football game! :laugh:
     
  9. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    The RB 67 is a handfull

    It's a handful but worth it. It's also OK to take 10 nice pictures instead of 1000 that you have to look through.
     
  10. Graham_Martin

    Graham_Martin Member

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    Quite true, but 1/400 second max shutter speed probably won't freeze the action. Maybe what I will do is bring the RB67 to a game where I am shooting for myself instead of the local paper. It would also probably work better at a baseball game where movement is more predictable. I could just pre-focus on a specific base and fire the shutter when the runner gets there.
     
  11. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

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    I used to shoot Motorsports in 35mm, back pre digital. Now I have this dream of taking my RB and a lens or two and hauling the thing around a track seeing what I can do with it. One of these days. It's a wonderful camera which I don't use all the time but always enjoy coming back to.
     
  12. Graham_Martin

    Graham_Martin Member

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    I have so much respect for the pre-digital, pre auto-focus sports photographers. They didn't know until the film got developed if the shot had come out okay, they had to pre-focus, and then they had to change film in the middle of it all and risk missing some critical shot. I guess the wire services photogs had someone to change the film on their other bodies. Did that mean having duplicate sets of lenses as well?
     
  13. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

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    Sold my first RB 67 when the RA got so bad I couldn't hand hold the camera any longer. Couple of years later I decided that shooting from a tripod was more fun then not shooting at all. So last year I bought a well cared for RB67 pro SD with all the extras I could find. couldn't be happier.
     
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  15. EdColorado

    EdColorado Member

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    When I shot motorsports I carried 2 T90s with different lenses but the same film plus my early F1 body as an emergency backup (which I never needed). You grab a film reload when you can and try to ignore the missed shots. One thing I liked about the T90 is its a relatively fast camera to load. Each body had a zoom on, one short and the other longer but with some overlap. Usually a 35-105 and a 80-200. Between the two pretty much anything could be covered. I sometimes wonder how a shooter with no film experience would handle not being able to look at their shots as they go but I don't remember it ever being a concern. It's just how it was. A three day weekend though could run over 30 rolls of E6. Lot of money for us freelancers to put out but also a lot if fun.
     
  16. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Come on now.. You'll love it so much n wonder why anyone uses a digital camera these days for anything other than a light meter!

    My B&Ws put my digital crap to shame.. TO SHAME I SAY!
     
  17. omaha

    omaha Member

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    My RB was my "return to film" camera from earlier this year. Its a demanding camera, but the results are amazing.

    I've got the 180mm, 90mm and 50mm lenses. Of those, I really like the 50. It was what I used on this shoot:

    Joker-Harley-Quinn-11x14Final.jpg
     
  18. omaha

    omaha Member

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    In college, I shot sports (football games) with my Pentax K1000. Mostly at night. In crap light. We pushed Tri-X 400 as far as we could. Since we were only shooting for the college newspaper, it was good enough.

    Funny...at the time we didn't think anything of it. I've got a shoebox full of what I flatter myself to think are really awesome shots. A modern DSLR with auto-focus and see-in-the-dark ISO? That would almost make it too easy!
     
  19. Charles Wass

    Charles Wass Subscriber

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    I sold my RB67 Pro SD along with 35mm kit after moving to digital some years ago. Last year I returned to shooting 35mm film. Seeing the RB67 on Ebay in the last few days at very low prices I am finding the urge to buy it again difficult to resist. I always found it more rewarding than 35mm and a TLR.
     
  20. Graham_Martin

    Graham_Martin Member

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    It's funny how the RB67 has such a lure for so many people that they keep coming back to it. I wonder of this is the same with other MF brands such as the Hasselblad 500/501 series. I took my new to me RB67 out yesterday. It is a pleasure to use. I had forgotten how heavy it is. I will just have to plan when and where to use it.
     
  21. Moopheus

    Moopheus Member

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    The RB67 is probably one of the best values out there right now in used gear. High quality kit at fairly low prices. The only real drawback to the system is its size, which does make it kind of a pain for just walking around with. On the other hand, it fits nicely into the trunk bag of my bike.
     
  22. Nuff

    Nuff Member

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    I will not be selling my 501, so there's no need to come back. It's a lot lighter, so I just leave it in camera bag.
     
  23. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Easy to understand given its virtues. I've never owned one, or even SEEN one IRL, but I'm often tempted to get one but suspect/fear I'd use my 4x5 a lot less if I did. Big negative, rotating back, no sheet film hassles - for shots off a tripod which don't demand movements and prints no larger than, say, 20x24, it gives up so little to large format with modern films as to sorely tempt me to escape the hassles of sheet film. Even the zone system is easily accommodated. One back for N, one for N-1.5 or so and one for N+1.5. Combined with modern VC paper that's all I'm likely to ever need.

    Tempting, but I do love using the view camera. :wink:
     
  24. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Member

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    That's exactly right, Roger. =) I'm probably at about 50%/50% usage percentage between my 4x5 and RB67. 3 lenses, 3 backs for different development and you're golden. It isn't any lighter than my 4x5 kit but it's much faster and you can load film anywhere.
     
  25. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    You guys are rubbing salt into my wound.

    When I read about you guys with your RB67 Pro S's, it is like rubbing salt into a wound. I had two RB's at one time, and had to sell them to pay the bills. Later I bought a Nikon DSLR to use for stock photography. If you think taking a picture with a camera that has 20 different options is fun, well then run down to your digital store and buy one. The thing that really bugged me was that after I had made the decision to sell the camera after the last roll was done, I took it to the camera store to be developed and when I got it back the guy handed it to me with it on a roll and the film was not cut or printed. I told him I didn't want just developing, but then I saw the price...$3.00. That was a big difference from the $8-$9 I was paying. I put the film in my scanner and examined the shots. I had taken pics of my sister. The detail was out of this world compared to 35mm. I don't know if I will ever get another RB, or go to large format. The weight never was much of a problem with me as I always used a tripod. Perhaps the day will come when I will get another. The thing I liked is that the viewing with the WL viewer was like watching a TV. At 61 year old, that helps a lot with these eyes. Ric.
     
  26. Graham_Martin

    Graham_Martin Member

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    The big VF is a huge help (I am 67 years old). I also find the RB67 incredibly easy to focus. Basically I just keep the bellows wound all the way in, and I am in focus. My camera came with a couple of extenders, and I am going to try them out to see that affects focusing.