View Full Version : GX617 vs RZ67 Pro II which would make me better?

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11-06-2009, 07:31 PM
Which of these would make me a better photographer in the end. The panorama format excites me. The composition and the rule of 3rd being thrown out. I have been trying to frame things to 6x17 in my head. I do feel the Fuji could be used for street or anything. I certainly don't want to use it for a landscape camera exclusively. The lenses are slow, however for a reasonably fast film, is the grain acceptable? How do people fair with scale focusing? I know it would make me a better photographer. Rangefinder, no lens coupling, huge film area, slow lenses. Just the expense of film is putting me off, however if the results are worth it, I would be inspired to buy more. This is not large format. I would hate to buy the mamiya, and wish for more space. I want to hear others views, regarding the film expense and the slow lenses. Can one get away with ISO400+ B&W film in winter, push processed?

11-06-2009, 08:01 PM
Neither of these cameras will make you a better photographer. Taking pictures and learning from what you see and applying that to your future shooting will make you a better photographer. I would say that the rz67 is a much more versatile camera, the fuji is kind of a one trick pony so to speak. Also you can get away with anything you want so long as it matches your aesthetic. If grain worries you than use slower film and a tripod if the shutter speed is slow enough to get motion blur hand held.

11-06-2009, 08:26 PM
Only YOU, your brain and your motivation can and will make you a better photographer. No equipment can or will do it. Working will do it. Shooting will do it. Never worry about the cost of film. Select the format YOU like and want to work in and the cost of material be damned. Go and do it. Shoot a lot. Even Waste film is that's what you call it, but shoot lots!That will do it! Nothing else.

Christopher Walrath
11-06-2009, 09:06 PM
Get a Zeiss Ikon Contina RF, a Lucky 60M enlarger and copies of 'The Negative' and 'The Print' and use what you learn. That makes you a better photographer. Gadgets give you options, nothing more.

11-06-2009, 10:49 PM
Totally different cameras. Surely you mean to compare the fuji gx680 to the rz? The 617 format is very specialized.

And... as everyone has said... no piece of gear, alone, is going to make you a better photographer. That said, when I think about which camera created the most new possibilities for me, it was probably the rb67 pro sd. Prior to that, just about everything I'd used was small, fast, light. The rb caused me to prethink my compositions and become much more selective than I had been... with an F5 it was klick-klick-klick-whirrrr... end of roll. So the rb was a helpful experience for me. After that I realized that I could see what I wanted before framing it... a little epiphany. So then I took a step further to MF rangefinders, where I really felt (and still feel) very much at home. Now I like Amish boxes. YMMV.

11-07-2009, 12:38 AM
Neither camera will make you a better photographer and the cost of 120 film is so small it's not even worth mentioning.

11-07-2009, 02:20 AM
as many wise people have mentioned above,

2. find what you want to shoot, and how you want to portray it. panoramic or not
3. both are heavy systems, designed to live on a tripod. NOT to say you can't shoot handheld with either. I shoot handheld with my RZ, but prefer to have it on a tripod if possible. if I'm going out, I carry my F100 or my K1000 loaded with efke 25/acros or TMax 400.
4. don't "Just shoot, forget about the costs", this mentality drives you nuts. You shoot without composing, and you only end up frustrated in the end, because you have crappy photographs with no heart and soul. And there's no though put into them, just like snapshots. Not to say snapshots are ALWAYS bad. Hell, look at Terry Richardson, he's made his name off of 'snapshot style' ad work. Works for him.
5. Think about what you want to shoot, and how you are going to go about doing it. "The wise man always has a plan, no matter how short the circumstances" my dad has told me since I can remember it. I now apply it to my photography whenever I photograph something.

the cost of 120 film is so small it's not even worth mentioning.

maybe for you:) I'm a student, so my budget's really tight, even for acros and expired color neg 120/220

just so you understand where I'm coming from, shoot what DRIVES YOU.

not what others recommend you shoot. shoot what you like, how you like it.

they're your pictures, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

having a plan does help though, it really does.


11-07-2009, 02:52 AM
Take the camera you have, drill a very tiny hole in the body-cap and use it as a pinhole. This very elementary photography device will bring you in a different 'region' of your hobby.
Pinhole is rather a contemplating activity, demanding concentration, consideration and a certain prudence.
When I ran out of 'fire' I went back to the basics, pinhole is very basic, and it was very enlightening.
No new camera needed, just a few rolls of (outdated) film and some of your time...

Good luck,


11-07-2009, 02:57 AM
good answers btw. in the arts we learn by doing, and often times we achieve an unexpected result and are pleasantly suprised.

11-07-2009, 04:02 AM
how about a try before you buy deal try them both see which you like better either will allow you to take great pictures if you can see the picture in the vista before you printing 617 may present some issues depending on what facilities are available to you

11-25-2009, 05:40 PM
i've taken the step with the GX617. i am going to have fun with this. no reason it could not be used for street on a fine day. i think training your brain to think in each format helps. above all i am going to have fun, and improve with effort.

this is an art, not a science and improvement can be incremental.

11-25-2009, 05:43 PM
essentially i don't wish to "blast away" on an automated camera with matrix metering and a motordrive. i wish to compose and have ideas of what i wish to portray.

Greg Campbell
04-06-2010, 09:06 AM
Sounds good!
You mentioned the 'rule of thirds' (ROT!) earlier. The sooner you put that mindless behavior completely out of your head, the sooner you'll start making interesting photographs! With any format, you need to trust your 'eye' and make your own aesthetic judgments.

I try not to be a Gear Dweeb, but I soooo crave a 6x17! Have fun with the beast!

04-06-2010, 09:14 AM

substitute "Pentax MX or other good quality 35mm fully manual camera" for Leica everywhere here.

04-10-2010, 03:14 PM
as an update i didn't go through with the GX617. it was a scam seller, and i didn't send any money. i've been using an RZ67 Pro II for a few months. however I strained my neck outside photography, so I am looking for something lighter and more balanced. i've since sold the RZ67.

04-10-2010, 04:37 PM
You might look at a mamiya 645 afd or 645 pro. Either will remind you of the rz in some ways, but they are way lighter. They also both take the older manual lenses, many of which are excellent and inexpensive.

Andrew K
04-11-2010, 01:56 AM
A very wise photographer once said "no photographer is as good as the simplest camera"

Buy whichever one you like - use it, and have fun!

Tom Stanworth
04-11-2010, 11:50 PM
If you want to get better in the most general sense, buy a simple camera that is not in an odd format and that represents a 'blank canvas.' IMHO any 35mm, 645, 6x7 camera with a couple of lenses will do that. Stick to regular films and developers and go shooting.

I am not into the very long 617 format, but understand that others are, but I would say that irrespective of your liking for the format, it is probably not the best way to go about working on being a better photographer. For that I would recommend something much more portable and for which cost per shot is lower so you can shoot more. If you enjoy larger negs, 645/6x7 makes sense. In that case I would recommend the Bronica RF645 with an 45 and 65 or Mamiya 7 with maybe 3 lenses. Both can be shot casually in the hand or on a tripod for detailed landscape work. Both are dead simple to use and neither will limit you or weigh you down.

04-12-2010, 12:54 AM
I found, having better cameras and equipment help me do what I already know how to do easier, quicker, and sometimes better.... meaning if I don't know how to do something to begin with, having better equipment won't help me do it at all in the first place. That said, I just love gears. Trying this and trying that is part of how I enjoy my hobby.

The other part is learning how to apply techniques to realize my vision (or have vision to begin with sometimes) - which I find is much harder to do than collecting gears...

04-12-2010, 01:43 AM
Get a 617 and use it for street photography!

http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_l0pp4js4S81qzpwppo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId =0RYTHV9YYQ4W5Q3HQMG2&Expires=1271140977&Signature=oORq9R3F1NW9EcZxAgbYM4qpSO8%3D
Like I can only assume Brian Peterson does, photographed by John Sypal (Tokyo Camera Style)