Mamiya RZ67
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carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

I just picked one of these up, and the last bit arrived today. I think I am going to enjoy this.

I was wondering if there is anyone else out there using one of these, or perhaps an RB67? I picked up the 127mm lens for now, a focal length I somehow found interesting. I am wondering what my next one will be. First I thought I would get the 65mm, and perhaps fill the gap with the 90mm, but looking through the camera and doing some eye-balling, I am wondering if the 75mm isn't what I am looking for, i.e. wide enough to do a full-body shot at about 3m, in portrait orientation.

It would be great if those of you who know this camera would share some of your knowledge.



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2014
Country: Australia

I still have an RZII and a few lenses but I don't use it any more. I used it professionally for several years and I must say it's never let me down however the film backs have always played up with spacing problems, even with constant servicing. I don't know if this is a common problem or just common to the service agent that I was using.

The 110/2.8 lens is excellent and if I starting using the RZ again then I would be happy to just use it.

Have fun.



sirimiri
Registered: Dec 10, 2007
Total Posts: 3479
Country: United States

The 180mm is a stonkin' portrait lens, and used doesn't cost much.

Does anything in the RZ system at this point, though?



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

Well, I got my kit for peanuts, that's for sure. I don't anticipate using it a whole lot, but I would like to get going with a project or two and use it for that. Neat camera, and I think I will like 6x7 format a lot.

I guess I will find out when I put film in and start using it for real, but one odd thing I did notice is that when in landscape orientation, I can only release the shutter in M mode, but in portrait orientation, I can also release in normal mode. I thought that was odd.

What kinds of film back spacing problems did you have, John?



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2014
Country: Australia

carstenw wrote:
...What kinds of film back spacing problems did you have, John?


Inconsistent spacing between frames, which is not a real problem in itself but some times frames would overlap, ruining 2 frames at a time (to some degree). This was happening wth the old and new (RZII) 120 RFH. I used to keep notes on each RFH I had (I had quite a few) so if I had spacing problems I could quickly pin point the culprit and have it serviced. Thing is if you bracket 3 frames and the only 2 good exposures are ruined then you've lost a shot, if not others on the same roll. It's not good.

The RZ is a great camera and it was the only camera I used for personal work because I felt it deliverd up to the standad that I wanted. The way I looked at it was this. I would spend the same time and make the same effort to shoot with 35mm film as I did with the RZ yet 35mm, even with Zeiss and Leica glass, just wasn't able to deliver the same quality. Not a hope in hell. It's different these days where the resolution you get from Zeiss/Leica and a good FF sensor outresolves medium format film (IMHO).



zalmyb
Registered: Apr 29, 2010
Total Posts: 1669
Country: United States

I absolutely love my rz67! I have the 65, 110, and the 180, but use the 110mm 97% of the time. It's the lightest and fastest lens for the system, and find it the perfect focal length for general portraiture.

I've never had any spacing issues, and have used two bodies and many backs.

For shooting kids (which I do a lot of) I find the waist level perfect for shooting at their level, and with the 110mm focussing is very easy. Some time soon I'll update my focusing screen to a maxwell one, but the stock screen is pretty good.

Also, I find the Polaroid back to be ridiculously addicting...



corposant
Registered: Jul 14, 2010
Total Posts: 2805
Country: United States

carstenw wrote:
I guess I will find out when I put film in and start using it for real, but one odd thing I did notice is that when in landscape orientation, I can only release the shutter in M mode, but in portrait orientation, I can also release in normal mode. I thought that was odd.


That... seems a bit unusual.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

Yeah, I was hoping that other owners would try it out on their cameras and tell me what they get...



corposant
Registered: Jul 14, 2010
Total Posts: 2805
Country: United States

carstenw wrote:
Yeah, I was hoping that other owners would try it out on their cameras and tell me what they get...


I just did - I get the yellow indicator, unless I am in M in either landscape or portrait. If you try to fire in R, the body should automatically release it to neutral so that you can fire the shutter on the next release. I guess you have some more features on your camera than I have on mine!



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

Thanks for trying it out. It seems from the manual that the camera should only release in M mode when there is no film in it. I guess mine is slightly faulty in that it releases even in portrait orientation in regular (middle) mode. It doesn't seem serious, but I hope it isn't indicative of other problems.



Ed Sawyer
Registered: May 08, 2007
Total Posts: 2205
Country: United States

Good choice on the RZ. This is a great system, I shoot with is a lot, for all sorts of uses. I haven't had the 90 or 127 (though I think I have 14 or 16 RZ lenses), those are older lenses and likely superseded by the 110 (a great lens, the fastest and lightest of the system, and a must-have, IMNSHO).

the 65 M/L-A is absurdly sharp. a great environmental portrait lens. I'd get that and the 110 for a nice 2-lens kit. the 180 would be a nice choice for a portrait lens. The Tessar formula has great bokeh, and it's relatively light, and not very expensive. I find the 75 too close to the 110 to be all that different, thus the recommendation of the 65. The best all-around 75 is probably the 75/3.5L, which was discontinued fairly early on, and as a result somewhat rare and overpriced. The 75 shift or SB is a great lens too, but a bit more specialized (though it would work fine for full-body portraits, esp. the shift model.)

It's hard to go wrong with this system. I'd recommend a 20-20 brightscreen if you can find one. Also the Motor drive II and electronic L-grip help a lot for hand-holding. AE Prism II is a very nice addition too, esp. for hand-held shooting.

One of the great parts of the RZ system is it's so modular, plus there's a lot of it out there on the used market. It makes picking up and trying new lenses not that expensive. THey are also fairly easy to work on for DIY cleaning and repair. I've had several apart, for both reasons, and they've been pretty straightforward to work on. Mamiya USA is pretty helpful with spare parts and repair diagrams/manuals too.

good luck
-Ed



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

Hello Ed, and thanks for your thoughts. I thought long and hard about the 110, but I find that its 50mm-equivalent focal length doesn't really pull me in. The 90mm is a 43mm-equivalent lens, which I find more interesting, hence my 65/90/127 plan. However, 127/75 might also work well for me. I am not so concerned with sharpness, to be honest, but much more with character. I have seen shots from many of these lenses, and they all look good to me, so I thought I would just have fun and see what I can find for little money.

Zalmy, I forgot that you use an RZ67. I miss the updates of your kids, you haven't posted much lately.



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

The RZ67 is really quite a small camera...

http://throughthelensdarkly.com/forums/Others/gx680_rz67.jpg

(stolen from a Japanese website)



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2014
Country: Australia

Ed Sawyer wrote:
...Also the Motor drive II and electronic L-grip help a lot for hand-holding. AE Prism II is a very nice addition too, esp. for hand-held shooting...


I have both the motor and AE prism and I find I hardly ever used them, even when I didn't have to carry the camera far. Once you add the motor and AE prism the damn thing weighs more than I'm comfortable with. I far prefer the WL finder for most applications and it's easier to focus accurately too.

There's an odd thing I found re WL finder vs prisms. I always found that when using a WL finder I was composing an image in 2 dimensions, ie I saw the final 2D image (even if it is switched left to right). However when I use a prism I feel like I'm looking at the subject in 3 dimensions so the sense of the final 2D image was never there and I found it harder to compose. I still feel that way and prefer to use a ground glass, WL finder, Live View etc in preference to any prism. Of course this assumes you have time to sit there and slowly compose things. It's not great for action or street shooting etc.

In any case all that stuff is cheap these days so it's not expensive to try just about any of it. I paid a small fortune for my gear because I bought much of it new and the demand on the used market was huge so that was expensive too. But the stuff's almost free these days.



sirimiri
Registered: Dec 10, 2007
Total Posts: 3479
Country: United States

Does the RZ system have any stinkers in the range, really?



Ed Sawyer
Registered: May 08, 2007
Total Posts: 2205
Country: United States

no real stinkers for lenses that I have tried, even the non-ULD 50 was a good lens, IMNSHO. I haven't tried all of them, but I'd think the older ones would be more likely to be not as great. I had a 360/6 for a while, and even though not at the APO level, it was still very good.

I think the 110 is better than either the 90 or 127, also lighter and faster and with plenty of character, really. A 65/110/180 would be a nicely spread out package, better range I think. When I go out in the field with this camera, I usually take a bag with:

body
back
prism
L-grip
110
(all of the above attached and ready to go)

additionally usually these are in the bag too:

37mm
50 ULD or 65 L/A
140 or 210 or 250 or 350
1.4x converter
extra back
polaroid back
hoods
film

It makes for a heavy bag but with enough coverage to handle almost anything, with 4 lenses plus the 1.4x. the 140 makes a nice portrait lens in addition to macro.

-Ed



naturephoto1
Registered: Nov 09, 2005
Total Posts: 1817
Country: United States

The RZ67 was a camera that Jim Zuckerman used for some time producing outstanding results for quite some time. I am not sure if he is using it or shooting film anymore. But, the camera is quite large when compared with the Mamiya 7/7II.

Rich



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

Yes, but I guess this is natural for an SLR with 6x7cm negatives and a mirror to match Personally I am not interested in the least in the Mamiya 6/7/7II, but find the RZ very neat.

I'll take a look at Zuckerman's work thanks for the tip.



naturephoto1
Registered: Nov 09, 2005
Total Posts: 1817
Country: United States

carstenw wrote:
Yes, but I guess this is natural for an SLR with 6x7cm negatives and a mirror to match Personally I am not interested in the least in the Mamiya 6/7/7II, but find the RZ very neat.

I'll take a look at Zuckerman's work thanks for the tip.


Carsten,

Mamiya 7II and lenses are outstanding, some of the best lenses ever designed for Medium Format. I have one and 4 lenses. But, haven't shot film for awhile.

I shot this of the Maroon Bells, near Aspen, CO in 2008 with the Mamiya 7II and Mamiya 7 65mm f4.0 lens with Singh-Ray 2 stop Soft Graduated Neutral Density filter on Fujichrome Velvia 100 film (if you didn't notice with a Grad ND filter):

Super glass.

Rich



carstenw
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 16058
Country: Germany

Yes, I do understand that the 6/7/7II lenses have fantastic performance, especially the 43mm, I gather, but that system just doesn't move a single desire muscle in me. I can't explain it. I am also interested in equipment which doesn't touch others, I realise. I guess this just makes us all different.

Ultimately, any of us worth his/her salt could do what we want to do with a large variety of equipment, but certain things draw us in, and others leave us cold.

Beautiful shot! Is that Morraine Lake?



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