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  1. #1
    fmajor's Avatar
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    Mamiya RB67 Sekor C 180mm for landscape?

    Hi all,

    I've *just* bought a Mamiya RB67 Sekor C 180mm and am wondering the best way to use it for landscapes? If i've read correctly, this is more of a portrait lens, but it's all i'll have for awhile and i really like landscapes.

    What say you?

  2. #2

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    Well the RB67-180mm lens is about 90mm in 35mm camera size and can be useful at times for landscape work when everything would look too small using say a RB 65mm lens.

    Wouldn't work for me though in this shot, when testing 10 plus year old film

    RB67-65mm lens


    RB67-180mm lens

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    This is not really my expertize, but I, and the many that have viewed your question may be having trouble deciding what the question is, but I will give it a go if nothing more than to start a conversation. I would think a 180mm lense is certainly usable for landscapes, although maybe not the best. I think I would search for the small areas of a landscape that are interesting rather than thinking of a whole wide area. Perhaps a small waterfall with a few people near it would be the first thing to come to mind. With a wider lense you would be thinking of the possible path on one side of the water fall and viewing deck. I guess I would find that small area and then round up a few friends to have them stand 'here' while I burn some film. I like to paste pictures together and find no more than three suits me. So also think of using it to take two or three pictures side by side. Oh, you might invest in a polarizer filter too. (Just fight the tempation to crank it all the way to the dark side. The main thing to do is...have fun. Ric.

  4. #4
    brucemuir's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that you will notice your landscapes improve when you start using a tele.
    I tend to agree unless you are specifically going for near/far compositions.

    That 180 is superb and one way to think of it when you are in the field is make 'portraits" of plant life or like Ric mentioned pick out details in a scape and feature it rather than always going for wide vistas.

    just my take. hope it helps a bit.

  5. #5

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    I geuss you could use the 180 for landscape. I use it sometimes. It's a great lens!

    Jeff

  6. #6
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    Better question, why not?
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #7
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    Whatever focal length is required to get the image you want is the correct lens. Living in Colorado, most of my mountainscapes are with telephotos because you need some distance between you and the mounting to get the necessary scene compression. When hiking with the Bronica GS-1, I take my 50mm and 200mm, and if I'm feeling extra strong that day I'll haul the 100mm and 150mm, too.

  8. #8
    fmajor's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone - i really appreciate the advice!

    I'm hoping to learn more about the DOF being compressed with the "longer" focal length of the 180mm at wider apertures (realizing that i'll tend toward stopping down a bit?). This approach, as compared to the "sweeping vista" more characteristic of say the 50mm (or 65mm for that matter), is at the heart of my question.

    Sorry to reference a smaller format, but it's my 'frame of reference' ;-). On 35mm format, the FOV of a 24mm is almost too much for what i like to see and honestly for what i can capture well given my pathetic skill level. I have a superb 24mm f2.8 lens in Minolta SR mount, but it's approaching too much width whereas my 35mm f2.8 is just about perfect for what i usually "see". I also have the 28mm f2.8 "in-betweener", but for some reason (user error probably) it's just not there for me - knowing that i can simply move to alter what's in the frame.

    Thanks again - this is all so new to me - i greatly appreciate your responses and look forward to learning more!

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fmajor View Post
    Thanks everyone - i really appreciate the advice!

    I'm hoping to learn more about the DOF being compressed with the "longer" focal length of the 180mm at wider apertures (realizing that i'll tend toward stopping down a bit?). This approach, as compared to the "sweeping vista" more characteristic of say the 50mm (or 65mm for that matter), is at the heart of my question.

    Sorry to reference a smaller format, but it's my 'frame of reference' ;-). On 35mm format, the FOV of a 24mm is almost too much for what i like to see and honestly for what i can capture well given my pathetic skill level. I have a superb 24mm f2.8 lens in Minolta SR mount, but it's approaching too much width whereas my 35mm f2.8 is just about perfect for what i usually "see". I also have the 28mm f2.8 "in-betweener", but for some reason (user error probably) it's just not there for me - knowing that i can simply move to alter what's in the frame.

    Thanks again - this is all so new to me - i greatly appreciate your responses and look forward to learning more!
    Just a couple of observations here - they aren't intended as criticisms.

    Your reference to depth of field is a bit confusing.

    For a given subject image size (on the film) and f/stop, different focal lengths will give the same depth of field - because in order to get the same subject image size with a longer lens, you need to move farther away.

    The factor that changes with focal length (for a given subject image size) is perspective - to get the same subject image size with a longer lens, you need to move farther away, thus creating more depth "compression" in your image.

    Sometimes, with landscapes, we tend to pay more attention to field of view than perspective. By that, I mean we tend to strive to get the entire vista in, and therefore lean to the shorter focal length lenses. Sometimes this ends up in a disappointing result.

    There are an infinite number of landscape subjects out there that will benefit from a longer focal length, just not all of them.

    If you have only one lens, you are going to have to choose appropriate subjects anyways.

    As for your "frame of reference", don't discount it, because it is important!

    There is at least one long and interesting thread her on APUG where the question is asked: "What do you consider to be your 'normal' lens?" (I'm paraphrasing the title). It is interesting, because it highlights how different people are most comfortable with different "frames of reference". So, subject to a couple of considerations, I would suggest that you trust your experience with 35mm when you consider what to do in larger formats.

    What are those considerations?

    First, the aspect ratio of an RB67 is close to 6x7, rather than the 2x3 aspect ratio of 35mm. To me, 6x7 looks less wide than 35mm when using lenses with equivalent "wide" angles of view. Most likely this is because the format is less rectangular.

    Second, the differences in handling (bigger! camera) and viewing (bigger! view screen) seem to subtly affect my perception, and thus affect my photographic choices as well. I cannot really describe why this happens, but I'm sure that at least some of this is due to the fact that I only use a WLF on my RB67, whereas my 35mm (and 645) cameras are almost invariably used with an eye level prism.

    FWIW, my favourite lenses on 35mm are 35mm, and on 645 are 55mm. For my 6x7 work, I really liked the 58mm on the Koni-Omegas I just sold, and find that the 50mm on my RB67 is very satisfactory, although the 90mm gets a lot of use too.

    Hope this helps.
    Matt

    “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

  10. #10
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    First, the aspect ratio of an RB67 is close to 6x7, rather than the 2x3 aspect ratio of 35mm.
    Matt, 6x7 cm cameras produce images that are 4x5 ratio (55.6x69 mm for my GS-1).

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