I use both an RB67 and Mamiya 645 Pro.
The advantages of the RB67 are:
1) larger negatives/transparencies, with all the inherent resolution, detail and "tonality" that results;
2) rotating back that makes use with a waistlevel finder or chimney finder simple and easy;
3) leaf shutters on all the lenses;
4) lenses that have contrast and resolution characteristics that I particularly like to print from;
5) common filter size (77mm) across all my lenses;
6) 6 x 4.5 backs that give me the option to take and project slides in my projector; and
6) a hand grip with built in shutter release that works for me.
The advantages of the 645 pro:
a) negatives/transparencies that are large enough to assure excellent resolution, detail and "tonality";
b) when used with a grip and prism finder, reasonably easy to use in either portrait or landscape orientation;
c) reasonably small and light, when used with a prism finder. Lenses and accessories also reasonably small and light;
d) good metering results with a metering finder;
e) inexpensive and plentiful used film backs and inserts;
f) slides that will work with my medium format projector!;
g) a roll of 6 x 4.5 negatives or slides will fit in a single Printfile negative/transparency sheet, without any orphan leftovers:blink:; and
h) a hand grip with built in shutter release and hot shoe that works for me.
You should try the Pentax 67 system. It basically handles just like a giant 35mm camera and the optics are excellent. You can get a system for a fairly low price too.
I sold my 645 system(Pentax 645nII) but have been shooting some 35mm recently, and in all honesty, there is a HUGE jump in the quality and "draw" compared to using 645, much less 6x7. Almost to the point that I've considered selling my Nikon system and going back to a Mamiya 645AF or something like that and leaving the "miniature format" stuff to the digit@l realm entirely...
That said, I also use a GX680 kit, and despite it being heavy and bulky, the lenses are stupendous, and absurdly sharp even wide open.
And the 3x4 ratio(same as 645) is nice too.
What's your normal print size? That's an important consideration.
I have worked with both 645 (Mamiya) and 6x7 (Mamiya and Pentax) and in my opinion 6x7 is a lot closer to 4x5 than 645 is to 6x7.
Even in 11x14 the difference is noticeable, not that 11x14s from a (really good) 645 negative are all that bad.
I once had a client change the specs on a location shoot at the last minute from wanting a series of 16x20s to wanting some 16x20s and a 5x7 (feet!) enlargement. I had left my 4x5 at home (200 miles away) and only had my RB67, called my lab, they said no sweat, they made the print and it was beautiful. Happy client and one totally amazed photographer. And this was on Kodak CPS!!!
Reading Matt's reply I can add that I have an ETrsi and an RZ67. Both have nearly the same features such as leaf shutters. There are two big differences to me:
1. ETrsi has a smart connection for flash. The RZ does not unless you can get special adapter modules.
2. The RZ is a LOT heavier.
3. The RZ has the tilt and swing lens.
4. The RZ has a compensation scale on the side and can do closeups more easily.
Otherwise, I find that they have very similar features and the negatives print up to 16x20 from both with good quality given the same film and process.
I assume you mean the mirror?
Originally Posted by Toffle
RE #1: A spart connection?
Originally Posted by Photo Engineer
RE #3: The ETR series did have a tilt/shift lens. Made by Schneider, it's named Zenzanon-PE Super Angulon 55mm f4.5 PCS. Not a lot of them out there. The same Schneider lens is in some other MF mounts also.
BTW, which two of the four are the big differences?;):p
Personally I don't see a need to get a bigger negative (and camera) if you print 16x20 or maybe even 20x24. If you stand more than three feet away from the print, you're not likely to spot much difference. It depends a little on what film you use.
A properly exposed and processed negative in 645 format will yield a virtually grain free 16x20s. Heck, shooting Acros/Xtol in 35mm I get almost grain free 16x20s; you'd have to press your eye up against the print surface to see it.
My advice - In interest of the pictures themselves, you're best off shooting the camera that feels the most natural in your hands and fits into your work flow best. Unless you like to look at your prints with a loupe. Those are my two cents.
Sorry to go off topic of original post, but the question made me think of it and perhaps also not applicable to APUG. But wouldn't a 35mm size d*g*t*l with a shift lens of the correct focal length be able to take multiple shots of a static subject and join them up to give a large format equivalent?