Mamiya RB67 Lens Questions
Hi there, thinking about picking up an rb67, I have a couple of questions.
1. How are the lenses for portraits? Photos that i see from pentax 67s always look like they have a lot of depth, with nice transition from sharp focus to out of focus areas. How are the mamiyas in this regard? I don't find searching flickr to be indicative of the actual image, so any first-hand advice would be great.
2. Is the only difference between the non-C, C, and KL the coating/contrast [besides the shutter I think in the KL]? Or is there a difference in sharpness/resolution as well?
Thanks very much.
They are great for portraits. My experience is that all the lenses are great, but I would get C lenses to get the most out of your money (they are newer so less likely to need service).
The mamiya is a great camera, and don't let anybody tell you you can't hand hold it, it's actually quite easy, although I wouldn't recommend doing it for hours on end unless you want to gain muscle mass!
The C and non-C lenses are more or less the same with the exception of the coatings. I think some of the K/L lenses are changed from the original designs. I know for a fact that the 90mm and 140mm Macro differs between K/L L and Sekor C.
The Mamiya RB 67 lenses are particularly suited to portraiture because the camera offers bellows focussing for close-ups with longer lenses. For example the 180mm lens focusses to less than a metre which permits a tight face portrait. By way of contrast the wonderful Hasselblad 150mm lens, the ideal portrait focal length, can't get close enough without an additional extension tube.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
the c and non c lenses have better shutters than the kl.....
awesome camera BTW
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That's interesting; how did you find this out?
Originally Posted by eddie gunks
The RB lenses are super for portraiture, the transitions are typically very smooth.
The newest KL lenses have, in my opinion, better colour neutrality. I suspect that it's more than coatings that distinguish the KLs- I think they are better colour corrected. And note that if you shoot b&w, dispersion does still matter.
I'd advise going with the newest pro SD body and KL lenses if your budget permits. The price difference between new and much older (and probably heavily used) RB gear is typically small (at least compared with their main competitor, the hassies).
The standout lenses, to me, are: the 65 KL, the 127 KL, the 150 SF, and the 210 KL apo, the latter being quite possibly the best all round lens in the system.
Consider getting a motorized 6x8 back as well. And if you aren't familiar with bellows factor, a metering prism will be a welcome tool. The RB is such a weapon for closeups, and a metering prism really speeds you along.
P.S. I've had no issues at all with the KL shutters, and I don't see why I should expect any. The RB system remains the most rock solid system on the market, bar none.
Keep in mind that the RB67 was developed and "hard used" as the standard workhorse of studio photography. There is no question as to its place in portraiture right up to its displacement with digital systems.
Pre-C lenses are certainly a bargain--and fraught with possible issues. One of the common ones is separation of the cement in the lens elements around the periphery--and problems with much slower performance at the highest speed of 1/500. Rarely are they worth the cost of reconditioning due to the current exchange values. The coating issue also presents--and can make for real problems if the camera is taken out of the studio environment.
The KL series requires an adapter--and rarely will one actually note a difference in performance with the C series. This latter series is affordable, a huge performer, and less likely to be subject to problems as the non-C lenses. The coatings match well to standard studio lighting solutions and also work well with field usage.
Of course, a lot of RB bodies and lenses have been beat to death and hung up fairly useless. The best venue is through a retailer such as KEH who vastly underrates the condition of a lens, and provides protections to the buyer that are not available in such places as Fleabay.
IMHO, if you leave the comfort of the studio and attach a grip with release, a prism is a sheer nuisance. Field use off the tripod is best accomplished with a waist level finder and a good depth of field. Nothing really beats a quality handheld meter either inside or outside the studio....
something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...
my buddy repairs them. say s the kl shutters use plastic where the others do not.
Originally Posted by thisismyname09
that being said, i am sure all work fine but if you are unfortunate to have one that has been ridden hard in the studio this is where the difficulty may lie.
i have been using my very old and well used C lenses for many years with no problem. i would love the KL lenses for sure but i have too many RB lenses now.
i highly recommend the rb system as possibly the best value for money going around. the bellows focus is great for portraiture and the depth of field is very shallow rendering out of focus areas with great tones. the 140mm macro is a surprisingly good portrait lens and has some of the nicest bokeh of any lens i have used. i have a non-c 90mm that has quite low contrast for outdoor b/w but other than that it performs quite well. i personally see no reason why the newer, more expensive sd model would be better but at the end of the day, buy what you can afford and then buy all the film that you can't.