Local Mamiya RB67 Pro-S vs. KEH 500 C/M 'blad?
I've been shooting digital for a number of years and am trying to get into the MF world. I picked up a Bronica S2A recently on eBay, only to find it inoperable. The cost to repair is over the price I paid ($185, $155 respectively).
This local RB67 looks like a nice kit -- here is his listing on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mamiya-rb67-...item338c538d21
Locally, he's asking $450.
However, I'm concerned about buying the unit and it just being too impractical to tote around town.
When pricing out a Hasselblad on KEH.com, I see I can get one with "BGN" parts for under $750 shipped.
Am I better off NOT buying the RB67 and instead picking up a Hassy, for ease of use? Or is the quality of the RB67 worth the "discounted" price when compared to the 500 C/M?
Thanks for the help! I'd like to make this second purchase one that really delivers for me!
Price list from KEH:
|500CM CHR HASSELBLAD - 500CM CHROME WITHOUT WAISTLEVEL
|80 F2.8 C CHR (B50) HASSELBLAD - 80 F2.8 C CHROME (B50)
|A12 CHR HASSELBLAD - A12 CHROME
|WL CHR HASSELBLAD - WAISTLEVEL CHROME
Buy from KEH. They have a liberal return policy, offer a warranty, and are great to deal with.
You're right, the RB67 is too big and heavy to tote around. The 'blad is no light weight either, but I did it. Let me tell you, a Rolleiflex or Rolleicord is a LOT easier to tote, and the lenses are sharper as well. If you can deal w/ a TLR, that's my suggestion, and it will save a lot of money too. An Autocord is a great camera too.
If you're trying out a new format, I suggest doing it as cheaply as possible. There is very little difference in IQ between an $80-$200 Rolleicord and an $800 Hasselblad. See if it works for you before spending lots of money. There is a real difference in the size of the gear, and the speed in which you can use it. I love my 6x6 negs, but had to go back to 35mm because I like the ability to shoot on the fly quickly w/ different lenses and a small package.
Last edited by momus; 03-29-2014 at 10:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
As mention before, why not try a TLR first.
Medium format cameras have their own characteristics, and what one person loves, another will find difficult to use.
Both of your choices are high quality.
In my case, I always found it difficult to handle Hasselblad 500 series cameras, whereas the RB67 and I get along quite well.
It is true that the RB67 is heavy (especially with extra lenses and backs) but in my mind it is more bulky than heavy, when you compare it to Hasselblad. If you get an RB67, be sure to get a left hand trigger grip.
The 6x7 negatives are great to print from.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
FWIW, my story is not all that different from yours...got back into film last year, and started with an RB67.
My $0.02 is that there's not much point in trying to find the "right" MF setup if you haven't used any of them. You'll just never know until you try. I started with the RB because as it turned out, that was the camera I always wanted but couldn't afford 30 years ago. Once I discovered they are selling for cheap money now, I decided to give it a try.
After a while, I decided to expand my MF gear and bought an Agfa Isolette for carrying around. Really love the easy portability.
$450 for that RB kit seems a little rich. If it had the standard "C" lens, then I'd say no way its worth that. Maybe the "K/L" lens justifies the price? Someone more knowledgeable than me is needed here.
I shoot digital when I have to (most of those shots end up here
) and film (occasionally one of those shots ends up here
) when I want to.
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A good and cheaper option for MF is a Bronica SQ-B 6x6 camera. An excellent camera with great lenses, cheaper than Hasselblad.
Bert from Holland
"Have fun and catch that light beam!"
Bert from Holland
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* "So much time and so little to do. Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it. Thank you." (the original Willy Wonka: Gene Wilder, 1971)
* My favorite cameras: Leica SL, Leica M7, Russian FKD 18x24, Bronica SQ-B and RF645, Rolleiflex T2, Nikon F4s, Agfa Clack and my pinhole cameras
Go Hasselblad from KEH because if there is a problem they have the resources to correct the problem and because once you go 'blad you will never go back. Yes lenses may cost more but that just means that you wait a little longer between lens purchases.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
Did you return the Bronica or is it a 155 $ paperweight? If the latter, why not just get it working?
Otherwise, the Hasselblad and the Mamiya are both excellent cameras, but rather different in their working characteristics. If you are unfamiliar with them I'd recommend trying before you buy, if possible.
The Hasselblad will be easier to deal with if you're working mostly hand-held and moving around. Less conspicuous too.
OTH, 6x7 negs especially with films like Tmax get you near 4x5 image quality. If you like close work, then the Mamiya's built-in bellows is very useful.
TLR's are great for candid work, quiet and unobtrusive. If you are happy with one lens and you're not interested in changing films mid-roll, they are compact and light.
What are the important factors for you?
a Hasselblad 500 with an 80/2.8 and a loaded film back weighs 2.5 pounds less than a RB67 with a 90 and a loaded film back.
a Hasselblad 500 gives you an extra 2 frames per roll, making reloads less frequent, which is a plus when you're walking around with a skeleton load (no camera bag with extra backs, just a couple extra rolls of film in a jacket pocket)
a Hasselblad 500 is physically quite a lot smaller.
a Mamiya RB gives you a bigger negative, both in actual size, and in cropped proportions, if you prefer to print rectangles (I print square negatives as square pictures, so not an issue for me).
a Mamiya RB has less expensive lenses on the used market, giving you more FL options...65 + 90/127 + 180 can all be had for the price of an 80 + 150 in Hasselblad land.
a Mamiya RB can focus to dramatically shorter distances due to the bellows, if you do a lot of close-up work, consider this.
a Mamiya RB with a standard film back, doesn't advance the film and cock the shutter in one stroke, whereas the Hasselblads do.
I've owned both systems...sold off the RB67s, but still occasionally use my dad's RZ67 ProIIs (much more comparable to a Hasselblad in terms of actual ease of use, in my opinion)
I prefer Hasselblads to Mamiyas on all other fronts, regarding the overall gestalt, feel, and operational aspects.
That RB is too pricy, even with the film being current dated. I'd look elsewhere and probably get more kit for that price including shipping.
Originally Posted by csstanton
Personally? I would want an Excellent, Like New or New condition. It's new to you, you already have a big paperweight in the Bronica, why try "Bargain" Hassy? Compare Ex, LN or VG condition prices between Mamiya and Hassy. Or budget for the CLA.
Originally Posted by csstanton
+1 to try before you buy
+1 to if trying a new format, buying as cheap as possible.
Personal experience - never got around to liking Square format or the Hassy. Was completely new to the 67 format and the RB but it felt like home. I have come around to the thinking that heavier cameras are better for shooting - even handheld.
Are you going to use flash or such later on? Or thinking of an MFDB later? What would your usage look like?