Mamiya RZ - what's your experience
I'm dumping my dig**al gear and getting another MF camera. I have a Bronica SQ and I wanted to go bigger than 6x6 so I settled on 6x7, yeah not much bigger I know but I like the aspect ratio. I kept coming back to the Mamiya and I think I've settled on the RZ67 Pro II. I shoot a lot of portrait/fashion stuff, some landscapes, and old buildings, mostly in black and white.
The outfit I've built is the RZ67 Pro II, AE prism, two 120 backs, a polaroid back, a 50mm lens, a 110mm lens, and a 150mm lens. I'm feeling pretty good about everything after reading a bunch of stuff on other sites but I'd like to hear from APUG too. What's everyone's thoughts on the build of the camera, the lenses, getting an RZ serviced if needed, and the reliability of the camera over all?
Thanks in advance.
You're going to love the RZ Pro II. That's what my experience is. You're going to love the 110mm, diito.
While it's available, get a couple of Brand New RB lenses for it (yes, compatible) for pennies on the dollar:
Mamiya RB KL 180mm Portrait Lens
And the Mamiya RB 127mm general purpose lens (portraits, lanscape, etc.
I love this set-up. I really enjoy the 50mm.
Agree with Andre, the 127mm and 180mm are my two favorite focal lengths for the RZ.
That being said, I love my SQ, and if I had to choose one camera for the rest of my life, that would be the one. Advantages: lighter, crop to verticals if needed for portraits, and two extra frames per roll, which happen to fit easier into a binder sleeve.
I almost prefer the Bronica GS to the Mamiya. The RZ/Rb kit is just so darn big that it's almost like trucking a 4x5 around, without any of the benefits of movements. Just my .02c
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I have a RZ67II with the 65mm and 110mm. I've also liked the 50mm for something a little wider. I also think the 250mm is a killer portrait lens especially for outdoors. You can take head shots at F16 and still get a creamy background.
That being said, it's not a walk-around camera. It stays in my bag until I see something I like. Then I take it out and stick it on a tripod.
As far as the AE Prism, I thought about it and turned it down. And actually I like seeing the image through the WLF. You can view your composition with both eyes which I find very nice.
As far as reliability, I've had no issues thus far. I image it will need a new battery at some point, but the camera is still light tight.
I have almost the same kit, but a 180mm instead of 150mm. And the 350mm as well. I had a very nice Hasselblad kit but sold it in preference of the RZ. I like how it focuses, the rotating back, the ae finder... And i much prefer the bellows focusing. It's such a nice system, I should really use it more!
It is a tank however, so hikes see me with the Mamiya 7 or Bronica rf645 as the weight savings is huge.
Good luck with yours and please post some photos when you can.
Thanks for the replies, guys.
I guess my main question is RB or RZ at this point. Some of the bells and whistles on the RZ are nice but I can get another lens if I go the RB route.
I don't mind the size and weight so much since I'll have it on sticks 99% of the time.
I like the idea of a rotating back for my portrait work. The bellows focusing seemsi interesting, I'd like to try some close up shots at some point.
Last edited by robbalbrecht; 07-24-2012 at 10:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I owned a Mamiya RZ67 for a few years. I never had a problem with it at all. I owned the 110mm, and 180mm. I tried the 150mm but preferred the 180mm focal length. Both are great lenses, however.
I highly recommend the Mamiya flash bracket even if you never put a flash on it. It makes the camera handle so much better! As for the AE prism, well I hated it. It makes the all ready heavy RZ heavier. I preferred using the waist level finder anyway.
I used the camera entirely for portraiture. I owned a 6x6 Bronica EC for everything else. I ended up selling the RZ to help fund the purchase of a 4x5 outfit.
I would recommend the RZ over the RB. Sure you may find a used RB a little cheaper. The fact that it doesn't use batteries is nice.
While using RZ lenses with an RZ when you advance the film it also cocks the shutter. Yes, I realize cocking the shutter is no big deal.
OK, here's a big one! With the RZ you have the choice of using both RZ lenses and RB lenses. Of course you have to cock the shutters on the RB lenses.
The 110mm standard lens for the RZ is fantastic plus Mamiya has a floating element 50mm wide angle for the RZ if you like wide angles.
Just something to think about!