Mamiya RB67 - Should I get the 250mm or 360mm (or both)?
I've been struggling with this decision for a while now, so I thought I'd ask for some advice. I currently have the 65mm and 140mm lenses, and I'm trying to decide what comes next. The 250mm is cheaper and more readily available, but it is also shorter and I wonder if it's too close to the 140mm to be worth it. The difference between the 140mm and the 360mm is definitely significant. However, it is also slower, more expensive, and much more rare.
So here are my questions:
1. If I only get one lens which should it be?
2. Are they different enough to be worth eventually getting both?
3. If I do get both, which should I get first?
4. All my lenses are from the C series. I have heard bad things about the quality control of the original non-C line, especially the 50mm. Does anyone know anything about the non-C 360mm? Should I trust it?
Thanks in advance for any advice,
I have never shot the 140mm, but I do own the 250, and love it. I suppose it all depends on your finacial status right now.
If you get the 360mm, make sure it comes with the support bracket.
The bracket is harder to find on the used market then the lens itself.
New price on the bracket is $179 dollars-US.
There are three lenses/focal lengths in the RB/RZ line that need support brackets;
the 100-200mm Zoom, the 350/360mm Telephotos, and the 500mm Telephotos.
Don't listen to anyone telling you that these lenses can be used w/out a bracket.
These are some of the same people selling cameras with stripped focusing gears, and bent rack-rails.
I have the 350mm APO, for RZ. Nice lens, but I really don't use it enough to justify it's cost.
I have the 1.4 tele-converter. Using that with my 180mm, gives me a 252mm, a focal length I use often.
Unless your are constantly shooting wildlife, (bird watching), spying on your neighbor's wife, (different kind of bird),
or shooting the moon, the 250 focal length for RB,
will probably be more useful for you [everyday] than the 360mm.
Currently on the big auction site, there is an abundance of NOS or LN, RB 250mm K/L lenses for sale.
About $200 dollars-US, (give or take), and no bracket required. Look at KEH, also.
Last edited by Marc B.; 02-07-2011 at 01:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I shoot the original non-C 360mm f6.3 telephoto on my Mamiya RB67 ProS for landscapes and occasional portrait work. I'm continually astounded how sharp the negatives are even at full aperture.
Of course the camera + lens combo is on a solid tripod, the mirror-up facility is engaged and the subject isn't moving around. Importantly, the camera isn't bumped about and the focussing rack has no trouble carrying the 360mm f6.3 without any help from a support bracket. Looking through my old Mamiya price and equipment lists I find the support brackets for the 100 - 200mm zoom, 350mm apo, and 500mm apo were listed as accessories rather than standard equipment. I'd recommend them as essential for any robust work or even in cases where multiple extension tubes are used.
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.
I would go for the 360.
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What are you going to use the lens(es) for? Not sure how anyone can advise you without knowing this first...
I have the 360 C without the bracket. I haven't noticed a need for the bracket. Here's a shot with the 350 C.
I am using a heavy tripod. I also have a 180, 90 and 50. All are C for coated except my 90. I bought my 350 new years ago. I can probably get all my equipment now for half the price I paid for just the lens back then. So whatever you pay is a good deal. I can't comment on which is best for you, 250 or 350, although I admit I didn't use my 350 as much as the others. You might consider a lens hood too.
I like the 250 non C that I have...though I can only use it wide open because it has a busted diaphragm with one lame blade. It's sharp enough for me. And I like the way the pre-C glass looks for many things. It is no modern APO lens, but I like its "delicate" character. Very much like the Mamiya C series glass IME.
I think I would prefer the 360, personally. But I am not you. Either lens could be very useful for a wide variety of things. It will come down to your stylistic preferences, I think. Do you prefer the look you get by moving back from the subject a bit, or the look you get by moving back more than a bit from the subject?
I also do not think that the 250 is too close to the 140. Nor do I think that the 360 would be too close to the 250.
If I had both, I would use both. If I had to pick one, I would pick the 360.
"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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Thank you everyone, these are some great answers. Please keep them coming.
I can't really pinpoint a specific use. I don't have a long lens at the moment, and I'd like to get one.
I didn't realize that the 360 needs the support bracket (are at least that it's debatable.) Are the brackets for the 360, 500, and zoom all compatible, or would I need to be sure to find the right one?
Incidentally, I started my first college photo class last week, and I actually just developed my first roll of film earlier this evening. Feel free to congratulate me.
I dont think there ever was a bracket for the original 360mm f6.3. The lens itself is a lot more manageable than the early wasp-waisted 250mm - which also didn't have a bracket. I've used both C and non-C versions of this lens and the C is definitely better - especially shooting into the light - though the non-C was OK. Depth of field is very shallow, even with objects that you might regard as being at infinity, and tripod, mirror up use is pretty much mandatory. Just be careful with it. Probably best not to transport camera in bag with lens attached.
Originally Posted by Augied