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  1. #1

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    Mamiya RB67 vs RZ67

    I'm looking into getting a medium format camera, and i've narrowed my choices down to the two mamiya 6x7's (although the pentax 6x7 is still in the back of my mind.) Are there any astounding differences between the RB and RZ that make the RZ worth the extra money? I've also heard of modifications to attach RZ parts to a RB body, are those easy/worth doing?

  2. #2

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    The main differences are
    1) RZ67 has an electronic shutter (wider speed range, better mating with metered prism, battery dependent)
    2) RZ67 is still a current model, RB67 is discontinued and was closed out at around 25 to 40% of the new list price, as here:
    https://secure.ffordes.com/index.htm
    There are of course lots of second-hand examples - even the cosmetically good ones can vary from being in quite good condition to being total basket cases. The main transfer between models is to use RB lenses on an RZ body, finders will also interchange, I think magazines won't (I have an RB67, no experience of RZ).

  3. #3

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    The RZ stuff tends to be newer. I forget if it's still being made but I'm fairly sure the RB has been discontinued. If you compare similar vintage RB and RZ I don't think there is a huge difference in prices.

    The RZ is slightly lighter. But it's still an anvil -)

    It can provide some more "modern" features. Still fairly basic versus a modern 35mm.

    The RZ can use RB lenses.

    Personally I'd find the features that matter mostly to you.

  4. #4

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    Mamiya still makes both the RZ and the RB Pro SD. The KL/L lenses for the RB are optically identical to those on the RZ, just set in a mechanical shutter to mesh with the mechanical-only RB. While I haven't used an RZ, or an RB Pro SD I have used the slightly older RB Pro S. It was a joy to use, very solid feeling camera despite my example being obviously well used. The biggest difference as far as I know is that the RZ requires batteries, using an electronic shutter while the RB is fully mechanical. There is an adapter that is required to use the non-KL/L lenses on a RB Pro SD but otherwise all the normal RB lenses will fit. At least, I think so... Personally I don't think the RB was exceptionally heavy, but that's probably because I cart around a 4x5 studio monorail! If you're in to the fully mechanical idea and have an external meter you can't really go wrong with an RB! The waistlevel finder was nice, especially with the built-in magnifier, but the prism may better suit your type of photography. A good tripod, or at least monopod, would be recommended. It can be hand-held, especially with the accessory grip, but the camera is better suited to a mechanical support.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Silber View Post
    Mamiya still makes both the RZ and the RB Pro SD. ...
    I think this depends om where you live. In the UK, as I said, RB67 was closed out at very low prices and is now not available. The Mamiya website is still listing the camera and offering details of US dealers - whether the RB67 is still being made or just being sold from stock is hard to tell!

  6. #6

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    I have used them both. I own an RZ because it came onto the APUG classifieds as a kit, and was within my budget. Before that, I had often used borrowed and checked-out RBs (Pro S models).

    I like the RZ. I prefer the fact that the RB does not need batteries, and that I can shoot 6x8 with it, which is a FAR preferable aspect ratio for what I shoot most of the time. I may be able to shoot 6x8 on an RZ, but have not figured out how yet.

    I would prefer to have an RZ II, for the intermediate shutter speeds. I am not complaining about any other model, however this is a feature I would take advantage of all the time.

    I like that the RZ can easily take RZ or RB lenses.

    I prefer the mirror lockup ergonomics on the RZ. Insert a cable release, hit the button that is normally the shutter release to flip up the mirror. Hit the cable release to shoot. Advance lever brings the mirror back down. Very quick and easy for me to execute (and remember).

    I would definitely prefer an RB if I did a lot of very long exposures (minutes or hours versus seconds).

    The RZ looks and feels cheaper, but I think after using it that it is just cosmetics that make it seem this way.

    RZs and RBs are not as far away in price as they might seem. I never even considered an RZ until I saw that they had come down in price so darned much. I got my RZ kit with a normal lens, two backs, three inserts, Polaroid back, and a messed-up 250mm RB lens that only shoots wide open for what I had expected to invest in a slightly less full RB kit.

    I would not call either one of these cameras heavy or beasts. Heavier than a 35mm? Of course. It is a 6x7. But not heavy period.

    The most important features to me on each model would be the intermediate shutter speeds of the RZ II, and the 6x8 capability of the RB. Other than that, there would not be that much practical difference for me. I would grab whichever camera came my way first...which is what I did.

    One thing that I despise about both cameras is the focusing scale and depth of field indicators. Same gripe I have with the C series TLRs. It is near impossible to quickly and perfectly set focus to an exact distance, to zone focus, to hyperfocal focus, to tell what distance you are focused on, to preset focus, etc., etc. Every lens is crammed onto a sliding focusing scale (so the longer the lens, the easier it is to use). It is the only part of using the camera that I would call "terrible". I would rather use a scale for each lens that slips on over one of the focusing knobs to give you a Rollei-esque scale/DOF indication. This really just comes down to bellows versus helical focusing. What you gain with a bellows, you lose in this aspect of shooting.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 03-18-2009 at 05:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  7. #7

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    As an RB user, I have occasionally peered at the RZ and wondered about it, but for my style of photography, slow, the RB is top notch. The RZ would be a better studio/street camera for faster shooting I suppose, you can get AE finders, motor drives (also for the RB), it winds the film in the same motion as cocking the shutter, but I'm an old fashioned kind of guy and like the idea there are no batteries anywhere, get yourself a selenium meter and a stack of film and you can just shoot forever...

  8. #8

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    RBs are mechanical n I'll reapir any of em. RZs on the otherhand are electronic n will get tossed if anything goes wrong with it... or... you'll send it to Mamiya n they will toss it for you n give you a discount on a new one.

    As for glass, they are all good n just look anyone's RB pic postings n you'll see nothing but beautiful results.
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  9. #9
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    I've not used an RB, but have (and love) two RZ's. I have a friend who has an older RB, and one thing I notice that's different is hers has two levers that you need to use between shots. One to advance the film, and one to cock the shutter. For some applications this is fine, but I opted for the RZ because I photograph children, and decided the RZ would allow me to shoot a little faster with just the one crank between frames.

  10. #10
    keithwms's Avatar
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    2F, you can put a 6x8 back on the rb, but not on the rz without extensive surgery. I have looked into it a few times and concluded that it's probably not worth the bother!

    But one clear benefit of the rz, in my opinion, is the 100/2.8, which is by far the fastest lens in the rb/rz lines. You can de-pin the rz lenses to go on the rb but without further modification, the lens will only give you close focus.

    I have a pro SD and pro 2c and I like them both very much.
    Last edited by keithwms; 03-18-2009 at 12:22 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: without!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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