Mamiya Info!

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by y29yuo, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. y29yuo

    y29yuo TPF Noob!

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    Hey I'm looking to get into Medium Format photography and I've been browsing this forum for a while now and all of you guys seem pretty knowledgeable about all things pertaining to cameras...so if you don't mind, I'd like to request some information.

    I'm looking to buy a Mamiya for sure...either a C220, C330, RB67, or 645. And I'm curious if someone would be able to just run down my list and explain a bit about each camera -- a general overview, some specifics, and then accessories (viewfinders/prisms, grips, etc) I would need for it. And what are motor drives??etc

    Also, which camera would take better pictures? -- in terms of which camera has the best lenses?

    I've looked for this information on the internet but I've not been able to find the answers I'm looking for.

    Anyways, I look forward to receiving a response. Thank you in advance for your time.
     
  2. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    M645j - http://creativeimagemaker.co.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=19

    RB67
    Larger than the 645. Accepts film backs that take 120 or 220 film. The backs can be rotated for either portrait or landscape formats. A film back has a darkslide that must be removed before you can expose the film and replaced before winding on your film. There are no exposure controls on the camera body. Shutter speed and aperture are controlled on the lenses. Hence, the glass is about the same weight as the body/back combo. Waist level viewfinders allow for easy viewing and have interchangeable viewing diopters. One trick, for each shot you must wind the film on the back and 'wind' the mirror crank on the camera body. Takes some getting used to but it's a cinch to get the hang of.

    If you are interested I am selling my RB67 w/ two 120 backs, WLF and 90mm Sekor lens for $350 + shipping.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    All the cameras on your list are heavy but each n every one of em are beautiful machines. Each is unique and each take great pictures. Mamiya lenses are all pro quality since these cameras were once top of the line pro equipment only affordable by professionals maknig money with them. They are not amature wana be pro cameras, they are the real deal once costing thousands of dollars.

    *Also expect to need some shop time on any of em. These cameras are 30 plus years old and probably pampered most of their life but surely neglected in the last 10 or more years in someone's closet. Seals will need changing, lenses may require cleaning, lube n adjusting the shutters. On the plus side they are very adjustable and reparable as well as plenty of newer used replacements available if you do have one at the end of it's life.

    The RB67 is a great camera. It's big n heavy but a real work horse built like a Russian tank. It has tons of accessories available and right now the prices are rock bottom n doesn't get any cheaper as a system. Once you get use to this monster, you'll wonder why you never had one sooner. The negatives are gorgious and will render enlargements that will blow you away. 6x7 isd the closest thing to large format.

    The Mamiya TLRs are no lightweights either. They are heavy but very well built. You can find em fairly cheap but beware, the lenses are still getting top dollar, so once you are hooked, you in up to your eyeballs. The 6x6 negatives are beautiful but you are stuck in the square. Enlargements on standard sized paper just wastes 1/3 of the sheet with large white borders. The other problem with TLRs is parralx. AS you get closer to a subject, the difference in the location of the lenses become more obvious and has to be compensated for to get the full subject in your frame. Mamiyas do have a red pointer in he view screen to indicate the top of the subject but it takes some getting use to. They all have interchangeable lenses, a feature not many TLRs have.

    On the other hand there are cheaper TLRs like Yashicas that generally need work to get em working or will cost you a bit more for a working restored camera... $25 (broken) to $200 (depending on which model) But... no interchangeable lenses, no interchangeable backs or accessories available.

    $350 for the RB67 is a good price for a nice working camera.
     
  4. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Its not as simple as that.

    To start with, these are very very different cameras and they shoot significantly different formats. The format difference between the RB67 and the M645 (and the C220/330 if you crop to the same 8x10 aspect ratio) is just as large as between "full frame" and "crop sensor" digital bodies.

    Second, the M645 and RB67 are SLRs with large (massive in the case of the RB) moving mirrors that impart a lot of vibration. The C220/330 are TLRs with no moving mirrors to degrade the image. The difference between these is far far more significant than vibration reducion is on modern digital camras.

    The bottom line is that the RB will deliver the best image quality IF AND ONLY IF you shoot flash or shoot on a very sturdy tripod. Handheld without flash it comes in last.

    Handheld without flash, the winners would be the C220/330. Even so, few users will get as good results handheld as on a tripod. The M645 will perform decently handheld, but the RB won't without the assistance given by the short exposure duration of electronic flash.

    When used on modest tripod (6lb range in the class of a Tiltall) the M645 shines, the C220/330 come a close second, and the RB trails the pack unless you use the mirror prerelease funtion. If you use the RB's mirror pre-release and wait adequately for the vibration to dampen it can deliver the best images on modest tripods.
     
  5. y29yuo

    y29yuo TPF Noob!

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    ^^^What is this mirror pre-release you're talking about? What does it do?

    Thanks for all the help/info so far, btw :)
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Once you have composed and focused your image, you raise the mirror out of the way. This way, when you release the shutter, no vibration.

    It is true that the RB is heavy (one of my reasons to go with Hasselblad) but I sure wouldn't say you can't handhold one. Mind you, I've never shot one myself but I've seen them used handheld by wedding photographers and I imagine they were getting the shots.
     
  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    another point to consider: The 645 and RB/RZ series accept digital backs.
    The 6Mp ones are cheap enough (usually around 2000 plus or minus 200, ) but you will need an apple to run the older digital backs. Especially if they are teathered.

    This is not something to do now, but down the road it is well worth the effort. There are also other tangable benifits to the 645's and RB's. They are in great supply and parts and service is pleantaful. The only down side is getting them into the US cheaply. mamyia is very rear end rententave about all that now.

    Outside of that, the 6x7 also can shoot 6x6 6x5 6x4.5 6x3, etc. The only real drawback there is finding a decint enough processor for your film. (unless you develope it yourself.)
     
  8. epatsellis

    epatsellis TPF Noob!

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    Dwig, I'm sure Paul will chime in, but if you have an RB with mirror vibration issues at any reasonable speed, there's something terribly wrong with it.

    The RB has one of, if not the best, mirror dampening systems available in an MF body ever. Then again, I've only been shooting them for nearly 25 years now, so what would I know.

    As to tripods, I use old (really old, as in no number models) Gitzos, either a Studex (3 series) or TeleStudex (5 series) with a Graf Studioball head most of the time, with an Arca plate on the body, it takes only seconds to securely mount the camera on the head
    erie
     
  9. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    True, as far as MF camras go, Still, there is significant vibration induced by the large mirror. You can get decent modest enlargements from a handheld RB, but if you want better image quality that a premium 35mm system, you can't get by simply handholding an RB.
     
  10. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    If you are getting too much vibration from an RB, you need service, more experiance shooting or a better tripod, plain n simple. I do agree TLRs are more vibration stable... on a tripod. BUT... they both suffer the same person holding em which is in most cases the major contributor of vibration. A proper neck strap and experiance makes it very stable hand held. Now as for the same TLR results if not better from an RB on a tripod... mirror up is the answer. The lens quality of an RB is far superior to TLR's. RB lenses are LF build... Erie has the proof if you are curious.

    The 35mm comparison... No matter how you use an RB, hand held or tripod, it will out do the image quality of any 35mm on the market in the same conditions. I'd be willing to say my ANSCO will kick ass in comparison. I'd love to see your 35mm 16x20s, you tell me?



    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2009
  11. epatsellis

    epatsellis TPF Noob!

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    well, to each his own I suppose.

    I can say that I make (and have made) a decent living with my RB, shooting professionally as well as doing fine art work. Some handheld and some tripod mounted, I see no difference at 20x24, on exhibition prints.

    I'm assuming Paul is referring to this:
    [​IMG]

    while useful for architectural work (and costing a lot less than an Arcbody/Flexbody), it extends the capability of the RB system to unimagined levels, the lenses (original, C and KL) are all far more capable of sharper images than the film is at typical enlargements.

    I suppose if you wanted to measure aerial resolution the lenses on my Hassy would likely measure better, but the RB lenses have a creamy smoothness that is hard to describe.

    This image was shot with the 150 SF:
    [​IMG]

    At 20x24, the rust is startingly sharp, handheld.

    Even an old 65 non C can produce acceptable images,
    [​IMG]

    And the 180 is a wonderfullly sharp portrait lens:
    [​IMG]

    I'm assuming that 20x24 is beyond what you would consider "modest enlargement". Also, I'm curious as to what you consider "premium" 35mm? Can you elaborate?
     
  12. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I get your point; HOWEVER, the photos I've taken handheld with my f5 don't hold a candle to the handheld photos I've taken with my 645... it's hard for me to believe the 6x7 would be THAT much worse.
     

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