I like the metering prism on my rb, I think I've taken it off maybe once since I got it... but everyone feels differently about this. I like it because I do a fair amount of closeup and macro with the rb and with the metering prism, I don't have to think about bellows factor.
A couple of rb goodies...
* motorized 6x8 back. I think this is a major bonus of the rb system. Even though you can't see the full composition on your ground glass, it does come in handy, and most of the rb lenses cover it very well (the only exceptions of which I am personally aware are the fisheye and the 50). That extra few millimeters really helps, in my opinion.
*if you are serious about shooting slide then it pays to get a polaroid back; the fuji films are quite inexpensive and beside giving you a good exposure proof for slide film, they are also damn good print material in themselves and you can make very nice emulsion lifts. I also still have some polaroid 665, look for some of that if you can, it is the smaller version of the famed polaroid pos/neg type 55 and it still exists here and there. Somebody told me about that a few years ago and that was one of the best tips I ever got in photography. Awesome negatives. Expensive but worth every penny.
*an epson 4990 instead of a 4490. I had the 4490 and had difficulties scanning velvia. Now I use vuescan (cheap) with a refurbed 4990 from epson and it's great. Watch for refurb deals at epson. Free shipping.
You will need a pretty robust tripod and mount, the rb is quite a thing. The tripod and mount that I use is rated for 10 lbs and that is a basic requirement. I actually broke a lesser tripod with my rb.
Take note of the lens deals at robertwhite in the UK, you can get some brand new apo KL lenses for a song. Take special note of the 65mm, the 127, and the 210, in my opinion those are the superstars in the rb lineup. I am not saying that the other lenses are inferior per se, but those three are the really shining ones, in my experience. I am somewhat less enamored with the 50, the 150 SF, and the 180. Anyway, all the lenses are good, even the oldies without the fancy coatings. But do get proper screw-in hoods for whatever lenses you have, they do help, even if they do somewhat resemble toilet plungers.
Take note, pretty much all the lenses have 77mm filter rings, but if you look on the backside of some of the lenses you can fit a much smaller filter there. I mention this because a 77mm multicoated filter is pretty expensive. I have resorted to taping on filters to the backsides of lenses to get around that.
I didn't have a PD prism but I did have a CDS metered prism and found it to be very accurate when compared against my RZ AE prism (I also have the FE701), and against my digital Pentax spot meter. I liked the CDS magnifier (chimney) finder better though. I found both the CDS prism and the CDS magnifier finder to be easy to calibrate myself just by removing the dial and repositioning the plate inside (I recalibrated both of them to be accurate with a brite screen I was using, and then recalibrated them back for the regular screen when I sold my RB gear).
Originally Posted by MP_Wayne
Yes, you still have to set the aperture and shutter speed when using a metered finder on an RB, but you don't have to compensate for filter factors or bellows/extension tube factors because you're still metering through the lens.
Also, the PD prism finder, when working, only tells you what to set on the RB67. You still have to set the aperature and shutter speed, and compensate for filter factors, etc (as it is not integrated like on the RZ67ii).
For normal photography, I agree 100%. I much prefer using a spot meter for shooting landscapes (even with compensating for filter factors). For super close macro work though (when the lens is really close to the subject), a spot meter isn't very useful in my experience. The camera is in the way, so you have to move it out of the way to get the correct position and angle for the spot meter, and then you have to compensate for the bellows, extension tube(s), and filter factors.
SO, if you are on a budget (or you would rather use those funds to buy lenses), skip getting a metered prism finder for your RB and get a good, more accurate and reliable spot meter. You will not regret having a good spot meter.
lol Steve I don't think it's out of line to discuss scanners in this forum, we are allowed to post transparency scans, and people do use scanners to get printed work online... My apologies to the OP if this is regarded as straying too far off topic.
Anyway... when scanning transparencies, the 4990 achieves something like one stop more in Dmax than the 4490. And in my opinion, after using both with multipass techniques, I definitely did see the difference. When you scan something like velvia, which can go almost pitch black, you need every dribble of Dmax you can get. For my b&w negs, the differences between the 4490 and 4990 were zero, but velvia was a different story. I didn't get satisfactory scans from velvia with the 4490 unless I deliberately overexposed, and that's a shame.
N.b. I have had a few drumscans made from velvia slides and even the 4990 still isn't quite that good, but it is very close and certainly good enough for most velvia slides from MF up. Now the only reason I have for drumming is the flatness issue with some MF slides and the folks who run the drum seem to have a real knack for matching the colours in certain difficult slides.
I have a CanoScan 8600F, and it does an excellent job on both negatives and transparencies (including some Velvia that I've scanned), even some transparencies that were a bit darkish.
Keith, thats wasn't Off, I was curious as well =]
For the camera, if I receive enough. I'm going to order the RB67 Pro-S with waist level finder, 127mm F/3.8 C, and 120mm back off KEH, EX grade.
Looking at the Gossen Luna meter, is this a good/decent one? Or should I try and stick with digital for being a "noob"
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For general metering I use a simple, inexpensive, gossen digipro F. There are all manner of fancy spot meters to be had, but the digipro does it for me, I use it for incident metering mostly anyway.
I recently started to think slide is too expensive to bracket, so then I started to use a dslr as a meter- I consult the histogram. That works very nicely for slide, the highlight tolerance is kinda similar. And it also functions as a good colour temp meter!
For really critical work, I still think nothing beats an instant film proof shot. And with the fuji fp100b or fp100c, a suprising number of those proofs have turned out to be keepers... or at least handy references for scanning or printing a neg or slide later on.
I'd go for a digital meter simply for ease of use and instant information...Sekonic 309 (cheap) or the industry standard Minolta IVF. You will need a good tripod, the heaviest you can carry..Unilock or the Benbo 1 are superb and very flexible. When you start changing cameras, expenses can rise what with new filters, cases and lenses.
Without the prism finder, it can be quite awkward at the start, but you will get used to it and it can even be an advantage when composing shots as it gives a different perspective, shapes can stand out. But as MP Wayne said earlier, a meter prism is not really necessary.
If I can put my ¥2 in, I started MF with a TLR (Primoflex - Japanese brand.) It was a cheap way to get into the format, but I was very disappointed when shooting wide open. Older Japanese lenses and those with scratches give you that swirly out of focus pattern in the background. If that's your bag then great, but personally it gave me motion sickness. Three of three Japanese TLRs gave me those results.
I just purchased a Rolleiflex Automat last month and have not had the same issue.
Old folders are good but you'll need to check the bellows.
Didn't someone mention the Fuji GS645W? I'll put another vote in for that camera. Very simple to use and it takes great photos.
Those who know, shoot film
Very interesting. You have me thinking I might have a bum PD prism... Do you know, max_ebb, if a PD can be "home" calibrated like your CDS? That might be a worthwhile exercise for me. The reason I was so down on the PD before was because it was so out of whack compared to the FE701 and my Sekonic 558 (the latter two track within 1/2 stop of each other). But perhaps my PD just needs a tweak like you did with your CDS. Hmmmm...
Originally Posted by max_ebb
Absolutely correct (I write corrected). I am so used to working with the spot meter and doing the "in my head" bellows/filter factoring with my 4x5, so I guess I tend to do the "manual" process on the RB as well (especially because of my apparently bum PD prism) - damn thing!
Originally Posted by max_ebb
" Be happy. Take a silver break today !!!"
I've never had one, but just from looking at the dial on the RB PD prism, I'd guess probably yes (it looks a little different than the CDS dial, but very similar). With the CDS, you can unscrew the silver thing in the middle with your fingers, and there's a spring behind it. Once you remove that you can remove the dial that you pull out and turn to set the film speed. The plate behind that has 2 screws, one in a slotted hole and one in a small hole, and there are lots of other small holes. If you loosen the screw in the slotted hole and remove the screw in the small hole, you can turn the plate, and different small holes will line up with different threaded holes as you turn it (there are lots of threaded holes behind the plate). This sounds really strange, but that's the way it is with the CDS metered finders. You just have to know which direction you need to turn it, and approximately how far to turn it before you start.
Originally Posted by MP_Wayne
Is your PD prism reading too fast or too slow? Are you using a brighter screen than a regular RB screen? Are you setting the finder for the lens you're using (3.8, 4.5, 6.3, 8)? With all the RB metered finders, you have to set them for the lens that you're using. If nothing else, you can compensate when you set the film speed if it's consistently off a set number of stops.