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Mamiya RZ67 vs. RB67

Discussion in 'Everything Film' started by T_Sargeant, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. T_Sargeant

    T_Sargeant Well-Known Member

    Well, the title pretty much says it all, I'm looking at getting one of these beasts in the near future and I'm trying to decide which... I realise that the RZ takes batteries, and with the RB you have to wind on the film back as well as cock the shutter seperately. What other major diferences are there? (aside from price) Because if that's all, then I'll probably go with an RB, no battery to fail :)
  2. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Some of the older lenses made for the RB were not that great, some of them uncoated even. Anything from a 'C' lens onward is fine though. But the RZ, arriving on the scene somewhat later, had a load of newer, better lens designs all to itself. Only when the KL lenses appeared for the RB were they really on more or less the same footing. Having said that, three of my RB lenses are 'C' type, and they're outstanding in every way, so how big a disadvantage can it be?

    There are more options available now (and almost certainly in the future) for the RZ, should you ever wish to put a digital back on the camera.

    Also, whilst the RZ can use RB lenses (albeit they have to be wound out to reach infinity focus, because the flange distance is shorter on the RZ), the RB cannot under any circumstances use RZ lenses.

    And there are a couple of lenses in the range for the RZ which have no counterpart in the RB range - for instance the tilt/shift lens, or the 110mm f/2. Otherwise the lens ranges more or less exactly mirror each other.

    The RZ is a litle lighter, due to the greater use of plastics in its construction. And the electronics allow things like coupled metering with the requisite prism finders, and I think there's an AE option too, which obviously isn't possible with the all-manual, non-electronic RB.

    FWIW, if I were buying today, knowing what I know now, and having used the RB for some 16 years or so, I'd still make the same choice. But YMMV.
  3. Ben78

    Ben78 Well-Known Member

    Recently purchased an RB67 Pro SD and it's a cracker! Not sure yet if it's going to replace my Bronica SQA because it's much larger and heavier so the Bronnie is probably better for my photography abroad when I need to be 'on the move' a bit more! Nevertheless, I used the RB today for the first time, on the Kent coast in the rain , and it feels great to use (like a real camera! :cool:), so I can't wait to receive the developed slides when they are done! Anyway, I opted for the RB as it's fully mechanical, and slightly cheaper of the two.
  4. downfader

    downfader Well-Known Member

    I have held and tried an RZ67 Pro II in the LCE and it was superb to handle. As long as you use the strap there are no issues with its balance, it can get lens-heavy and feel like its tipping forward without it (esp with the bellows).

    As far as I know only the Pro II upwards can use the Mamiya digi back, older versions will not interface. I dont know about Leaf and Phase One, it may be the same.

    The ideal lenses on the RZ are the 50mm, the 90mm and the 210mm. The latter I have seen some truly fantastic portraits done with it. Ofcourse if you get the 90mm you can use the bellows up to 7 inches from your subject at full extention. The side of the body also has a scale for the drop off of light when using the bellows, so you know how many stops to compensate for.

    If you're using studio flash its also handy as it will sync at all speeds. Unlike most 35mm bodies I have come across.

    Your battery is unlikely to go dead very quickly in an RZ, and they are cheap, only a couple of quid. PX28's I think, I think argos used to do them.
  5. pilliwinks

    pilliwinks Well-Known Member

    The RZ allows half shutter speed increments, so a positive step there.

    The downside to me is that when you lock the mirror up, it is using the battery, and to prevent drain won't let you continue in this situation for more than 60 seconds. If you are like me, you would always have the camera tripod mounted, and after framing the shot lock up the mirror. If you then wait for a lull in the wind, you will probably come up against this.

    I have both RB and RZ, and I don't find the additional winding a problem. If I dropped to one only, I'd take the RB route because I always use a hand held meter, and rejected the metering prism that would allow automatic exposure.

    I also distrust batteries...

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