Hello to all:
i am am new to APUG, returning to film photography after a 30 year absence. I've already started shooting some 35mm to limber up my index finder, but want to return to my real interest of medium format. Years ago I had a Bronica S2, but coming back into it maybe I should try something different (variety is the spice of life).
So I have been thinking 6x7' and the single lens Mamiyas impress me, especially with the leaf shutters. I have readj various specification sources for both the RB and RZ models. Considering I do no "for hire" photography; I'm just a goon wondering around taking pictures, the question I would like help answering is . . .
Which would be best for me; cost is not the first consideration. I guess reliability and flexibility would be the two most impart ant drivers for me.
Thanks for any help and comments anyone would like to pass on.
Grand Rapids, MI
Hi Speed !
Welcome To APUG !
I would recommend The RB67 ( Pro S, Pro SD ) it's a magnificent system.
I would also recommend purchasing a 6X8 120/220 Power Drive Film Back.
Recognize that the RB67 is completely manual and completely mechanical - no meter, motor drive etc, unless you choose to add a metered prism finder and/or motor drive film back which are both a bit pricey. The film is advanced manually via a lever on the film back separate from the shutter cocking lever and shutter speed is set via a rotating ring on the lens. The RZ is commonly seen with a metered finder, film is advanced with the shutter cocking lever and the shutter is electronically controlled via a dial on the camera body. The RZ can also be fitted for a digital back, and has a LED lamps in the viewfinder to indicate dark slide presence, shutter not cocked, battery status and flash ready.
I have the RB67 ProSD and am quite pleased with it. If it were a daily shooter the RZ67 might be slightly more convenient. Last time I looked RZ67 lenses seemed to be a bit cheaper then the RB67 lenses. For an occasional shooter I'd recommend the RB67 ProSD. The ProSD does have a couple of minor improvements over the S and Pro S but the prices for all three models are all pretty close. I had wanted a motorized 6x7 back but after much consideration don't really see any real advantage to one other than it sounds & looks cool.
Welcome Speed Gray, glad you found the Mamiya forum here too.
I'm retired and do outdoor landscape shooting weekly. It helps clear my mind of all the noise around me. With that all said I use the heck out of my RB67 ProSD and numerous lenses I've amassed over 25 years now. I do 4x5 also, so no stranger to LF either. However, after using 4x5 exclusively for the last 10 years I've returned to using the RB a lot.
For me I like all mechanical, excluding light-metering. I do use a Prism Finder II with built in meter. I also carry a spotmeter as well. It's really a matter of taste between all mechanical and some conveniences the later RZ might provide that you find necessary for your personal usage.
Check back if you follow up and buy to let us know how things go overall.......good luck.
##### One item about the ProSD over the Pro and S models is the front opening was increased slightly to accommodate the 75mm S/T lens and the 500mm lens too. With that said it is highly recommended to use the Mamiya lens collar or sleeve on the standard lenses. Basically, it is just an adapter that slips on to the lens to snug the fit to the larger opening on the ProSD front opening. No big issue at all, just need to have at least one for that need. I have acquired enough to leave them on all my lenses so no need for moving one each time.
Sometimes, I think that only a crazy person would ask for recommendations over the internet. That being said, I really love my RB67 ProSD. It is big and heavy, and I like that. The three lenses that I have are all superb (90mm f3.5 K/L L, 127mm f3.4 K/L L and the 180mm f4.5 K/L L-A). I use the camera mostly for landscape. I get wonderful quality and printing the 6x7 negatives is quite easy.
Permalink: thanks for the advise and guidance.
Dave: Calling me crazy makes me feel welcomed here; I sure you are just as smooth in other interactions in your life.
The only way to know that YOU will like any particular model of camera, is to use it.