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Wide angle in need, so Mamiya RB?

Angel Wang , Jul 23, 2011; 01:28 a.m.

Hi everyone,

I've been using Seagull 4C as my 120 equipment, which has a lens at 75mm/f3.5. Recently, I'm considering taking wide angle photos with 120 film and after a short searching on ebay I find Mamiya RB67 may be my choice. It's cheap and available to change lens, but I can't find detail using experience. Will you who has or had this camera share your opinions with me?

Also, suggestions on other equipments that meet my need are welcome as well.

Thanks,
Angel

Responses

Bernard Miller , Jul 23, 2011; 05:05 a.m.

Well, Angel, there is loads and loads of information on the internet about RB67s. If you do a search here at photo.net, you will find practically everything you'd want to know--including plenty of user experiences. You just have to look a little harder!

I own one, so I'll give you my experience: it's indeed a superb camera, the lenses (most of them at least) are extremely good performers, especially if you go with the newer versions (KL-L are the latest, C are the version before that--still very fine lenses) and you'll get amazing images. The camera is vastly larger and heavier than your Seagull, and has a huge mirror that flips up, as it's an SLR. For some things, a tripod would be almost essential with it.

The 50 millimetre lens available for it will give you a much wider angle of view than your current 75.

If you don't like the idea of lugging around an enormous camera that can be a bit of a pain to use outside a studio and you like the feel of your TLR, why not look at a Mamiya C220 or C330 model with a 55 mm lens? It won't be quite as wide as the 50 on the RB67 would be, but you'd still get excellent quality and a lot more portable and hand-holdable camera.

Best of luck!

Angel Wang , Jul 23, 2011; 06:53 a.m.

Thanks, Bernard! The information you provided is exactly I need: I knew RB67 is a huge guy, but I didn't know will it's size/weight be my overburden, nor "a tripod would be almost essential with it", as you mentioned.

I think I do want my new camera more portable since I take photos during travels mainly, so I will take a good look at Mamiya C220/C330 and do a really harder search on it. :p

Thanks again!

Dave Lee , Jul 23, 2011; 11:54 a.m.

You can certainly hand hold the Mamiya RB67 camera, I had one and used a neckstrap with it. I also had the speed grip which had a shutter release on it (two leads, one to the body and one to the lens, in case you wanted to pre-release the mirror). But 90% of the time I used it on a tripod, as that is how it feels the most natural. Image quality is superb, lenses superb, a real work horse of a camera.

Frank Major , Jul 23, 2011; 01:28 p.m.

Hi Angel,

I currently have a RB67 Pro-S and *love* it! It really is a brick of a camera. I regularly handhold mine (i have an awesome strap as well), but i'm on the physically large side so it's weight is not too bothersome at all. For me.

I travel *alot* and for many photo opportunities, i find the RB67 a little cumbersome for those important 'quick-grab' photos. It is something i use to attempt 'fine art' and so i am able to put it into use quickly *if* i'm carrying it around my neck and know the light where i'm shooting.

The RB67 can be used for travel, but keep in mind there is a little extra effort needed to use it.

For me, a smaller camera works better for just walking around 'travel'. In those situations i use a digi-snap though i also use a dSLR and 35mm SLR's - it just depends on what i'm after really.

Chris Nielsen , Jul 23, 2011; 05:54 p.m.

I have one and have started using it handheld with the prism finder and an optech neck strap. It works really well but is insanely big and heavy. I am also big and heavy so i don't mind but be aware it can be hard to carry round all day

Jim Momary , Jul 23, 2011; 08:18 p.m.

Angel –

RB67 too giant-normous?
You may want to take a look at something in Mamiya 645 family. (Focal plane shutter, waist or eye level finders, PDS prism has meter)

I have the older M645 1000S and it is 'like' a mini-version of the RB67 (that I use too). If I'm tied to a tripod I'll use my RB67. If I want to walk around 'all day' I'll use the 645 (sure, some sacrifice in negative size but my geezer-like body appreciates that).

The Mamiya 645 family has pluses - cheap prices, good lenses, easy ergonomics and loads of accessories still plentiful.

Lenses in the wide range that are readily available: C type ... 35mm, 45mm and 55mm.
You can also get a 70mm with leaf shutter for fill flash fun if needed.

See KEH or eBay to see what’s available and get a feel on prices.

Below is a photo of a Mamiya M645 1000S with 45mm lens side by side with a Nikon FM2n with 35mm 1.4, for the sake of showing a comparison of relative sizes.

Jim


Mamiya M645 next to a Nikon FM2n

Maris Rusis , Jul 23, 2011; 09:36 p.m.

I use a Seagull 4A-103A TLR with its 75mm lens for square pictures and a Mamiya RB 67 for rectangular pictures. The Mamiya 50mm lens is excellent and the 37mm fish-eye also gives good image quality over its spectacular 180 degree field of view.

There is no doubt about it, the Mamiya RB 67 is a large camera and the body weighs 1.4 Kg. It is best used on a tripod but not because of the weight. The supreme image quality it delivers is too good to risk by handholding. Camera shake caused by handholding is a random thing; some frames are better than others and you won't know which until well after the shoot. If camera has to be handheld (something I've not done since 1977) then premium 35mm is the way to go.

And if my Mamiya RB 67 starts to feel heavy in the camera bag I just remind myself WHY I'm carrying it. Then it feels light again.

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