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  1. #31
    fmajor's Avatar
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    As someone reasonably new to medium format (coming from 35mm and the electronic format) i can honestly say buying my RB67 Pro-S was probably the best photographic purchase i've ever made.

    Here was my decision-making process which led me to the Mamiya RB67.

    I wanted to slow my photography way down and yet increase the image-quality exponentially over my 35mm gear (meaning medium format and larger). Right away i knew i would only choose a camera which was of professional build quality - this is always my 1st requirement. My friend has a Mamiya RB67 and i was impressed with it and the quality of his photos (OK, some of this came from his developing/printing ability as well, but you can't get diamonds from pigs) so the search was on!

    I realized i wanted to a film format which was not too inconvenient - so that meant roll film (and excluded large-frame/sheet film). Nor did i want a camera too cumbersome to carry/use (i.e. i still wanted to be able to hand-hold the camera). That also removed large-format from the option list. So, the largest *reasonably* useable format was 6x7cm (i know there are other 6x_____ formats and the RB67 can do most of them). Finally, i wanted a camera which used interchangeable lenses and as i began learning more, had a significant array of accessories (aka modularity). So i started searching for 6x7cm SLR cameras having learned a range-finder camera simply wouldn't meet the modularity criteria.

    My 1st impressions of the RB67 were starting to be corroborated with my research results!!!

    After reading hundreds of comparisons btw Hassy and Mamiya (to ascertain lens/image quality potential), i realized at this level of camera, image/lens quality was more of a 'Mercedes vs BMW' argument. Both cameras are superb - it's the 'driver' that really makes the difference (no different than 35mm in this regard).

    Ultimately, my conclusion is that the Mamiya RB67 System is utterly professional. It was designed, built-for and primarily used by professional photographers. I will *never* use my camera as much as someone who works w/theirs for a living and if it's *good enough* for professional work, it's doggone sure good enough for me.

    There are 11 Pro-S lenses (more if you add the later K/L variants), 4 different Pro-S backs for the revolving adapter (actually more if you use the "P" adapter), 5 different view-finders, 6 different focus screens (more if you count 'after-market providers), 2 auto-extension tubes for macro (though the bellows rack allows for some pretty nice 'almost marco' photography), various grips and flash brackets.

    Honestly, i can't overemphasize the value of the RB67 *revolving back*. To be able to go from landscape to portrait orientation and not have to change my hold on the camera or tripod position is invaluable.

    So, there's my publication on the merits of the Mamiya RB67 - hth your decision.
    Last edited by fmajor; 08-19-2011 at 10:01 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: revolving backs NOT unique to Mamiya RB67 cameras

  2. #32
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    Fmajor, good report. But the Revolving back is not unique to this system :P

  3. #33
    fmajor's Avatar
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    Doh!!!!! My ignorance....... OK, i must've been blinded by lust! I'll post a correction!

  4. #34

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    I've owned two RB67 cameras. After I sold the first one I was somewhat heart-broken and soon got another (actually two broken ones which became one working camera). Because of the built-in bellows, the RB is great for macro; I do a lot of plant closeups. Right now I only have the huge 100-200mm zoom lens. I got the zoom so I could do portraits without having to change lenses. This lens should come with a cradle; that attaches to the bottom of the camera, which holds the lens. Strongly recommended for the 100-200mm, I wouldn't buy the zoom without this part. For macro work I'd prefer the 127mm and sometimes an extension tube. Very wonderful camera!

  5. #35

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    I love shooting with the RB67.. just spent a couple of hours practising with extension tube and the polaroid back. I can't recommend the polaroid back too highly.. it's just such fun to use, and appears to be some sort of magic or alchemy to those too young to remember polaroid the first time round.

    My first thought when heading out to shoot is always now, "could I be using the RB for this?". And the only time the answer is "no" is when I specifically need a digital result quickly (sorry, it might be heresy but for website work I find digital easier for a quicker workflow) or if travelling lightweight is a priority (in which case it's either 35mm compact or a folding 120).

  6. #36
    hpulley's Avatar
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    Heresy but you can get digital backs for the RB67. I prefer the Polaroid backs but I was laughed out of the room last time I suggested it so I must be a glutton for punishment...
    Harry Pulley - Visit the BLIND PRINT EXCHANGE FORUM

    Happiness is...

  7. #37
    tomalophicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpulley View Post
    Heresy but you can get digital backs for the RB67. I prefer the Polaroid backs but I was laughed out of the room last time I suggested it so I must be a glutton for punishment...
    Harry, that guy was an angry internet dwarf know-all. I got a polaroid back for mine but keep forgetting to buy a pack of film for it.

  8. #38
    agfarapid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    In my eyes, the main problem with hand holding the RB is not it's size and weight. It is a stable camera when used against the chest with the WLF, and it is even OK at eye level. The mirror sounds intimidating, but it is actually very well damped. But you have to use it in pretty strong light to get the shutter speeds you need to hand hold it, and long lenses are pretty much out for this purpose. Focusing it quickly and accurately is also more difficult than with many cameras. It can be challenging to nail focus when shooting wide open.

    I do shoot my RZ hand held quite a bit. I use the 110 f/2.8 and 65mm f/4 for this. I have not been that successful with the 210mm lens. (I did not expect to be, but I had to try!)

    One good thing about the large frame is that you can use fast films and they won't appear very grainy or soft when you enlarge them. I use T-Max 400, Tri-X, and Fuji NPH more than any other films when shooting my RZ hand held.
    I find using and focusing my RB hand held is much easier than using my 500C which I recently purchased. I can hand hold down to 1/125 with TMY pretty easily in most daylight situations. The rack and pinion focusing on the RB is more accurate and faster than either my Hasselblad or my Mamiya 645's. I guess personal preference has a lot to do with it.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    I need another camera I don't use like I need holes in my head. nevertheless...I'm tempted. Hoping you'll talk me out of it.
    Boy, have you come to the wrong place.

  10. #40

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    You should check the light seals.

    No one has mentioned the light seals on the RB's. I replaced my own on the film back, but plan to send the camera in for a replacement of the mirror cushion pad or whatever you call it. The factory and replacement part for the seals is a foam rubber, but I replaced mine with felt. The advantage is that felt doesn't turn into a gummy mess over time. However, some will not recommend it. Anyway, I have two RB67 Pro-S's and love them both. I might some day dump one of them, but hope to keep the other till they pry my cold dead hands off of it. I can get 120 film developed cheaper per print than 35mm, but have about 15 rolls of 35mm to use up, but after that the RB will be the camera of choice and the 35mm will be used less and less. I'd buy one, try it for a time and if you don't like it, sell it on that big auction place, or CL. They always sell. Ric.

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