Advice: Mamiya RB/RZ vs. Pentax 67 vs. Other

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by klhbeetle, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. klhbeetle

    klhbeetle TPF Noob!

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    I'm a total MF n00b and I'm looking for some advice. I know there are plenty of threads on this, because I've searched and read lots of them. Problem is: I'm still on the fence.

    I've narrowed down my search to a couple cameras and I'd like some advice. In order of most-to-least favored:

    1. Pentax 67 (II) MLU
    2. RB67 Pro SD
    3. Maybe a Rolleiflex f2.8 or Hasselblad 500 series

    I plan to shoot mostly travel and street, some portrait, occasional landscape, and I like faster lenses for interiors with available light. I also plan to shoot mostly B&W, if that makes any difference. My budget is sorta flexible, but I'd like to get in under $600 with lens.

    I like the Pentax because of the form factor and the faster lenses. My biggest concern is with shooting hand held and the shutter at slower shutter speeds I've heard is terrible. I don't plan on switching up film stocks much, so I don't need that function from the RB/RZ.

    The RB seems like the best bang-for-buck, and i could probably afford a couple extra lenses right away. The glass in the "KL" series seems pretty good. I'm not as concerned with the bulkiness of the body as I'm used to carrying around much bigger cameras. I don't like the slowness of the lenses (I think f3.5 is the fastest.)

    I prefer 6x7 over 6x6, mostly because I'm a filmmaker and square makes less sense to me, but I might learn to really like square. The quality of the glass in the Rollei and Hasselblads are pretty appealing. I don't know if I could afford a decent Hasselblad on my budget. I haven't found a huge supply of Rolleiflex lenses, I really don't know anything about them, but I'd like a camera with a couple decent lenses, so I'm not sure if the Rolleiflex would be that.

    Any input is appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Just got a 500CM with the t* 80mm and 2 120 backs (with matching numbers) in very, very nice shape for just over $700 but I have seen them go for $600. It is mostly a question of being patient. Having connections also helps.

    I loved my first one and I just went back to what I loved. The square format can be weird for some people because you have to think differently but I really enjoy it. I would not buy one though if you're going to crop the images to a rectangular as you lose too much of the neg and you may as well get a much cheaper 645.

    I personally enjoyed its light weight. I would not want to carry a RB67 all day, lol.

    But getting a second lens for this camera and stay within that price range is impossible. Anything used other than the 80 seem to be very few and far between anyway.

    Last but not least, I don't like the Pentax 67 type of cameras because of the inability to switch backs. And it is not just for the possibility of switching from B&W to color on the fly. It is also faster to switch backs than to rewind a film and put a new one in. And, of course, there is the possibility to use Polaroid if the company trying to bring back that film ever manages to get off the ground.

    Cheers.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Pentax 67 would be my first choice (actually it IS my choice). It
    is very usable as a hand-held camera and has the fastest shutter
    speed on your list and the most common normal lens is the fast 105/2.4.
    Additional lenses are plentiful too and reasonably priced.

    The RB would be my last choice for your criteria. It's a great camera
    but not practical for street shooting (too big/heavy/bulky).
     
  4. klhbeetle

    klhbeetle TPF Noob!

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    Congrats on the 500CM, that is a good buy. Keh has them at about 750 for BGN condition, if I could find a decent one for $600, I might do it. The weight and size is very appealing.
     
  5. klhbeetle

    klhbeetle TPF Noob!

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    That 105/2.4 creates a pretty amazing 3D-like image with the bokeh at 2.4. So the shutter clunk isn't an issue hand-held?
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Make sure and look at a bunch of square images and make sure you will enjoy that format before you make that decision though. I have met some people who just couldn't think square... lol.

    It is also a pretty nice camera for street shooting if you keep a waist level finder on it. You can get quite close to people and, because they're not used to this type of cameras, you get your photo before they know you shot one. Although it is not silent like a TLR, by the time your subject hears the mirror, you already have your shot.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A question if I may, why haven't you mentioned one of the 645s? Great quality lenses, faster than the RB/RZ, has the rectangular format, should fall in your price range and you could actually pack some clothes too.

    Of the ones you listed and your intents, I'd say the 'Blad. Even if you want rectangular you can always crop. Great lenses and fairly fast and more aligned to shooting right now (when you are ready- not the camera) than the Rollie, at least from what I've heard.

    You can shoot a long time with a Blad and an 80 before you start looking for another lens.

    $0.02


    btw there was a link to a site describing a way of composing on the diagonal in the last couple of weeks, try looking that up.
     
  8. klhbeetle

    klhbeetle TPF Noob!

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    I saw that link I think. It was and Irish photographer I believe, I checked out his how-to website.

    RE: 645 format. Part of the reason I like 6x7 is the DOF vs. FOV you get. Another reason I'm leaning towards the pentax with its fast lenses.
     
  9. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Doh! I just looked and saw that you are in Santa Fe. Get yourself a field camera! Pass Go, collect the $200 and don't look lower than 4X5. ;)
     
  10. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you feel you want to work hand-held, I suggest the smaller cameras.

    I shot RBs for over 20 years. I really loved using them. But I can count on one hand the number of exposures I made without a tripod. One big plus with the RB is you should be able to find lenses, hoods, backs and so on pretty easily.

    Does memory serve me right? Does the Pentax sync a 1/30? Is that a focal plane shutter?

    -Pete
     
  11. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes and yes.

    There are also 2 leaf shutter lenses (90 & 165mm) with full flash sync to 1/500.
     
  12. klhbeetle

    klhbeetle TPF Noob!

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    The RB has taken last place. Working with continuous lighting, I have zero experience with flash photography, so I don't really understand the tech-talk yet.

    I have been eyeing a couple of crown/speed graphics, but that's down the road. Santa Fe has some gorgeous scenery and light, I just moved here.
     

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