More GAS: Mamiya RB67 symptoms
Until last year, medium format was not in my photographic vocabulary. It was all 35mm and 4x5. With those two, of what possible benefit could the third hold? An attack of GAS led to the purchase of a Yashicamat 124 for cheap.
This little TLR put the fun back into being in the field. No more struggling with monorails, bulky Graflex, tripods, etcetera to get a frame with better definition than the 35. I was hooked! The only thing was, the 6x6 prints best in the same aspect, and a lot of cropping is in order when printing to conventional paper size. Doing the cropping on camera composition seemed to reduce the selfsame reason the negative was superior; making the central point of interest smaller in the frame.
I have always admired the look of the RB 67 series. Back when there was no real used market like there is now, these were pricey items far outside my meagre photo budget. But no more! The bug has gotten hold of me, and I find that I covet with all my heart a Pro-S rig with prism, WLF, and 180mm C lens. The deal is not long from consummation
My thinking is to add a 90mm C lens right away as part of the basic kit. Other primes can be added bit by bit. I have heard however, that some of these lenses have a reputation for being "soft". Does anyone care to comment on the meaning of this, and which to avoid if one is not looking for a soft lens? Please advise, as the change I have in my pocket to cure this GAS attack is burning a hole in it...
something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...
One of the forums that my wife Karin inhabits has the acronym "SABLE" - Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy. Similar to GAS, but (allegedly) less expensive.
I think I suffer from both: with 14 cameras at the last count and number 15 pending (a LF system this time).
Karin is bad. Very bad. She feeds my SABLE habit by buying me nice little trinkets like filters, expodisks, RF viewfinders etc for birthdays, Christmas and sometimes just because. She leaves the GAS for me. However, she's not immune to the odd attack herself...:-)
With the prices the way they are it is an all you can eat buffet. I haven't heard many bad things about the lenses as long as they are 'C' or newer.
art is about managing compromise
The RB67 is a great camera design. I had to have one too and purchased the Pro-s body, WLF and 127mm "C" lens and 120 back. I prefered the 127mm over the 90mm as it seemed the 90 wasn't long enough nor wide enough for me. It was a difficult choice though, since I've seen so many sharp images made with the 90mm.
I prefer now the Pro-SD backs. No more gummy seals as the design of these backs doesn't require them. Also they have a very convenient dark slide holder that the older backs do not.
The next lens I purchased was the 180mm "C". A must have. Beautiful optic, just the right perspective, and sharp. Next was the 65mm. Its great...wide enough for what I need and cheaper than the 50mm.
All the lenses I have are "C" lenses.
I understand that the "C" designation lenses are the multicoated versions and render better contrast overall than the older, non-"C".
Oh, I forgot to mention that my 127mm "C" eventually had a shutter failure and I replaced it with the later "KL" version, and I didn't notice any difference in quality.
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Ah those RBs are great machines. I haven't had any let me down.
I do have 2 bodies with nice WLF screens n 2 backs I can part with real cheap. You'd need to get a lens for it as i am at a shortage of shutter parts right now. If you're interested e-me at firstname.lastname@example.org ...Paul NYC
Oh and that fellow that has the bum lens?... I can use the parts if you want to sell me that broken lens cheap?
Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.
Thr RB is a great camera but with prices low check out the RZ as well. Newer camera, some pros and cons. I learned on a hassy so winding the camera and the film back always messed me up on the RB but the RZ is is just one stroke for both.
DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
I recently purchased the RZ (used) and bought two RB lenses...the 65 and the 127 and I'm happy with both. All were had for a somewhat low price...! I'd go that route but make sure the RB lenses are compatable with the RZ as some of them aren't. Anyways, the RB/RZ system is great and neg size is near perfect.
What could I poissibly add - I am in love with this beast! Its my next camera purchase for sure, and I think it can be objectively called the biggest bang for the buck in the used market right now: every component is built to true professional standards, its a full and flexible system, its well thought out, built like a tank (ok... well... it is a tank) and if you look at the number of pros who have used it over the years (and still do) you can be assured it gives away nothing in terms of quality to almost anything out there. I also love the bellows - both because, well... I just love bellows - but mainly because you can get in nice and close should you choose to, and the focusing is smooth and precise and very intuitive. Pick one in good shape and you are pretty much guilty of theft at today's prices.
If you start with a 90mm lens, I can highly recommend the 140mm macro as a good 2nd lens. I got one with a barrel that looked like it had been through a war but with perfect glass, and I could not be happier. The 140mm focal length really works as a portrait length for me, and the close-up work that the lens is capable of is amazing.
The one thing to remember with the RB is that nothing is light. It's all good, it's all inexpensive, it's all capable, but it's all heavy. I don't find that to be a bad thing, but it's something to be aware of.
My next lens will be the 50mm, but I see no reason to rush at this point. Prices seem to have stabilized for now, and I doubt that they'll head up again any time soon. There is a lot of Mamiya equipment that's been dumped onto the market by pro's leaving film, and with the selling off of the camera business by the parent company I don't think we'll see any new equipment coming along to make RB's more expensive again.
I guess this is a round-about way of saying "Go for it!" As long as the weight is acceptable, it's hard to go wrong with equipment that's this good for so little money.
Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.