First roll with RB67 - Do I love this camera?
I was so excited to get this camera. I have only recently discovered I love film and then only in 35mm format and a couple of 4x5. Medium Format seemed like a great way to get the image quality I was looking for (large prints) and also the quality of image I was looking for (film). The camera arrived with a 6x8 back and a polaroid back came the next day. I decided to start with a couple packs of Fuji instant to make sure every thing was working as it should. It was, but there was a lot of user error those first two packs! Then I was confident enough to try the film back. I loaded the camera up with Velvia and took some "test" shots in the neighborhood. Luckily for me, the neighborhood is Lake Tahoe/Sierra Nevada. 3 locations, three days. Each shot bracketed +/- one stop gave me nine exposures. That is all you get off a 6x8 back I guess. I posted the shots in the gallery for your comments.
So, what do I think of the RB67 Pro SD with the Mamiya Polaroid back and the Mamiya 6x8 motorized back? This thing is a tank. It is hard to lug around. It's heavy, unwieldy, and can be difficult to focus in some situations. Have I been spoiled? The cameras I've been using in 35mm are a Nikon F100 with various AI-S primes, an Olympus RC35 rangefinder, and a Leica 3f with a 50mm collapsible lens. Every one a dream to use (expect loading that damn Leica). I also have started dabbling in 4x5. Also a fantastic experience, but for completely different reasons. The slow and thoughtful methodology of the field camera forces me to be a better photographer. The RB67 seems somewhere in between, but not pleasantly. I think it might actually weigh more than my field camera. After shooting a number of rolls, I just wasn't feeling the love for the RB.
Then I got the negatives back.
"Crap, why didn't I take more pictures"
These photos are really amazing! Bravo.
But don't be confused as these are simply the results that film can do and they would be the same or even better if you were using a Hasselblad, a Pentax 67, a Mamiya 7, a Bronica. The easiness of use is a great advantage of a camera as it helps you to take more photos and in a more pleasant way.
All that I want to say is that first you have to try to become more familiar with your camera and if this is impossible to you then I am sure that many other cameras can replace this one...
I have most of the previous cameras but finally I am using my Mamiya 6 almost all of the time just because it's a pleasure to work with.
It's not just you - I think the RB67 is one of the finest cameras ever made. Great shots!
And the sign said, "long haired freaky people need not apply"
heh! nice neighbourhood you live in... think of carrying the camera as excellent exercize!
I had my RB67 for a good while, just love it!
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Luscious! I shoot with an RZ and I use RB lenses and they're razor sharp. You'll get grainless 16x20.
"Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
Great shots! Beautiful colors. RB67 was made for use indoors, not outdoors. It is bulky and heavy for handheld use. But lenses are amazingly sharp.
I just purchased a RB67 Pro SD--I am waiting for it to arrive. There is something exciting about taking something out of its element. Since the RB is intended to be in the studio, I am guessing you have to get creative when using it handheld!
This is my first post on APUG...
Originally Posted by grantlyd
No special creativity required, I find it very much in its element in the field.
I actuall find the waist level finder naturally provides a perspective I like.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I have an RB67, a Pentax 67II, a Fuji GW690III, and a Bronica SQ-Ai for my MF collection. I don't make nearly as much use of them as I should.
That said, the RB67 seems like a studio camera to me, or a "very close to the car" camera. The Pentax 67II is also a lot to carry around. The Fuji is my most portable MF camera since it does not have interchangeable lenses, and the images it produces rival large format. The Bronica was purchased as an admission that I'm just not going to carry around the Mamiya nor the Pentax.
Yes, MF can be spectacular. But I still love my 35mm rangefinders.