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Old May 3rd, 2006, 04:26 PM
robncircus robncircus is offline
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Which Medium Format Camera?

Mods please move if this is not right.

Hi
I'm finally ready to make the jump to Medium Format photography. I'm looking into the 6X7 world and have narrowed it down to two options: Pentax 67 or Mamiya RB67. I have ready review on both and they rank about the same. Is there anyone who has used both these cameras and can share some feedback?
I don't really have a style that I prefer to shoot so both cameras will adapt to what I'm shooting.

Any feedback would be great!
Thanks
Rob
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:23 PM
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Patman10 Patman10 is offline
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I have the RB67, but i classify it as a studio camera only. I have taken it out of the studio and the pictures are great only it gets real heavy after a while!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 02:12 AM
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Lordcroker Lordcroker is offline
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I love the RB/RZ, but out of a studio they are like lugging a paving slab around with you like Patman said.
It's certinly the most versatile with it's bellows focussing macro ability, and it's revolving film back is just ingenious!

The Pentax is appealing and although heavy is a little easier to handle. The standard prism finder and general shape make it seem more 'normal' if you are upgrading from a 35mm SLR.
It's very tempting to use it handheld, but camera shake is a bit of a problem. You have to bear in mind the size of that reflex mirror and focal plane shutter on the original 67. They are not particularly well damped either.
Personally I wouldn't handhold at less than 1/250th with the standard lens.
The original version also only has a 1/30th flash sync speed, which is frankly a joke. The Mamiya lenses all have leaf shutters that sync at all speeds.
The Pentax also lacks interchangeable film backs, so you cannot pre load 4 or 5 for a days shooting or have a variety of different films in different backs. The camera can be adapted to take a polaroid back, but cannot take one as standard like the Mamiya.
I'm not sure what the situatuion with digital backs is like, I know that the current Mamiya RZ can take them no problem.

Another option is the Bronica GS1. A while back I was after a 6x7 and the Bronica was my favourite of the Three. It doesn't have any special features like the Mamiya or Pentax, it's just a pretty conservative but well made camera. The only downside is tracking one down....they were not popular!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:23 AM
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Mike Jordan Mike Jordan is offline
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I used the RB67 Pro S for a number of years... and I used it out in the field, without a tripod more than I did in the studio. Besides weddings and portraits, I shot sports, school kids, scenics, theater groups, as well as a lot of stuff for the Air Force.

Yes, the camera can be heavey, but it's not much different than some of the large DSLR's with fast lenses on them. I suspect my 1DMKII with 70-200 2.8L IS lens weights about the same as my RB with 300mm lens on it did.

What made the difference with the RB when I had it, is I had the hand grip so I could put my left hand inside the strap. This made all the difference in the world carrying it. I used it so much that even though it was a three step process to take a picture (advance the film, cock the shutter, press the shutter button), not couting focusing, I could still take 20 shots as fast as anyone with a film SLR camera except for the motorized Nikons back when I used it. Being able to flip horizontal or vertical with a twist of the film back was great.

The only disadvantage I had was shooting weddings or someplace where at certain parts of the service it was real quiet. The RB has a very distinct and loud kerr-CHUNK as it flaps the mirror up, snaps the shutter and brings the mirror back down. It's not the camera for skittish wildlife.

And if you don't plan on shooting outdoors, it is also an excellent camera on a tripod in the studio.

Mike
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