Im Blown Away By the Image Quality of the Mamiya RB67 !

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jon_kobeck|1, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. I few weeks ago I bought an RB67 kit on ebay, 3 backs, 90mm lens and a bunch of other goodies for only $220.00. Well I
    just got the first couple of rolls back and I am blown away by the IQ of that camera. Very sharp and contrasty, truthfully
    much better then the stuff I used to do with my 5D ! And I am scanning the negs from the Mamiya.

    I really cant believe that these are going for so cheap on ebay.

    I will admit, it is a pain to carry the thing around the streets of NYC, but the IQ makes it worth it.

    I am interested in a wide angle lens for a fine art project of interiors, rooms, living spaces, people in apartments etc.
    Can anyone recommend which wide angle I should buy for this type of work?

    I have been reading that the longer lenses are very popular, but for people up close and street type of photography I am
    more in need of wider lenses.

  2. I have been shooting only with Hasselblads from 1980 till now. People ask me all the time why i dont do digital....this is why. Film has worked for over 100 years....I think it has a few more in it.
  3. Well either the 50 or 65 mm.
    Jon -
    I prefer the 50 personally. (floating unit and C coating)
    Good chatter here and elsewhere.
    I too bought into RB about 3 1/2 years ago for pennies. What a lovely thing it is to see a great MF negative or slide! Somewhat of a pain in the butt to use but the results are seemingly without peer from the 35mm and similar sizes. Digital with the top bodies is coming close tho, but at quite a price tag for a hobbyist like myself.
    Jim M
  4. Jon, post some pictures, or the RB purchase never happened! <g>
  5. Anand here is a couple of quick scans
  6. And another
  7. I like it as much as my 5D and even better for black and white. I am having trouble scanning color film, it
    seems to have a green cast to it, but its probably my inexperience scanning
  8. With the 6x8 back, one can make a negative 5x the size of a 35mm negative. So the image quality improvememnt is understandable, especially when printing negatives in the traditional darkroom.
  9. Nice work. Medium format film is definitely the way to go for B&W.
    For the color casts... are you using an Epson with Epson software? I was never able to get color under control until I calibrated my monitor, installed Vuescan Pro, gave Vuescan the monitor calibration and set the output space, used the scan-the-leader-for-base-color trick and got careful with the Color tab. It's extra work but worthwhile.
  10. Thanks Jon! Nice pictures, thank you for sharing. Which film are these taken with?
    As for scanning color negative film, let me repeat the question Andrew posed. Which scanner is this? If it is a Coolscan, I may be able to help you. Also, which color negative film are you trying to scan in?
  11. The Asian lady is Kodak 400BWCN C41 film. The Man in the chair is Portra 400 converted to 16bit greyscale in vuescan. Im using an Epson V700 with Vuescan Pro. Here in an example of the green cast
  12. Thats Portra VC
  13. Some of the green cast is to be expected: there is green light reflected off the leaves. Also, Portra 160VC, in my experience, tends to cyan when scanning, and we are seeing that as well.
    Attached is a slightly better version of the same picture.
  14. Welcome to the wonderful world of digital post :)
    I put that in Photoshop, made a Color Balance layer and moved the green/magenta slider toward magenta and it cleared right up. Contrast and saturation are a bit high but the film gives you a lot to work with, either by saving a 16-bit file and working with it in PS, LR or whatever, or in Vuescan's adjustments. When I don't want to spend a lot of time on it, Auto Levels does wonders.
  15. YEa I guess I have to spend more time in post production with MF. Im used to my 5D which looks pretty good
    right out of the camera, oftentimes
  16. Definitely plan on spending time post-processing, yes. Still, you can do yourself a favor by choosing films with the digital workflow in mind. A modern film like Pro160S, for example, scans very well when compared to 160VC.
  17. There's no need to switch films. When you see an example of a film that "scans well" it's just that the person who scanned it got the color settings right. In truth, all current color negative films scan well, but each has its own color characteristics that let different sorts of errors in for each one. For example, "Ektar has a blue cast." The perception seems to be that you should just set it to color negative, and any further processing is cheating, but that's really not how it's meant to work.
    Kodak 400VC is a fantastic scanning film, I have had excellent results using it and an Epson scanner with Vuescan, but (like all color negative films, and this is not a fault of the film but a characteristic of color negative technology in general) it needs its color tweaked.
  18. The RB67 is an awesome beast. And keep in mind that the detail and grain you would get from the best 35mm at can now achieve in a 16x20 from the RB67.
    If you're impressed with the V700....then you'll be blown away from a high end scan. I find that the V700 tops out around opposed to about 3800 on a Nikon 9000. The real rez from the V700 limits the max true rez on the scan to be about the same as a 24mp camera. Not bad though for $220.
    I listed mine locally for $700 with 2 backs and 90 and 50 takers.....not even at $500. I decided it was better to keep than flog for a couple of hundred bucks....especially for B&W.
  19. I had a wedding on Saturday and I pulled out the RB67 Pro-SD w/ 127mm KL-L for the formals. Picked up the kit for 425 after shipping at
    Not only was the bridal party impressed and intrigued (and very willing to be in front of such a cool camera), but I'm also absolutely giddy to see the chromes come back.
    Black and white negatives are great too. I'm proud to be a part of the film revival revolution. At $8 a roll and $8 to develop from the local store, I only hope I can keep this alive for as long as I can.
  20. And keep in mind that the detail and grain you would get from the best 35mm at can now achieve in a 16x20 from the RB67.​
    Larger if you're using the new T-Grain films. I have a TMax 400 (TMY-2) 35mm 8x10 that was cropped from a roughly 10x12+ enlargement on Ilford MGIV. Sticking my nose up to the print, with some imagination, you sort of see grain.
    I have an 8x10 of some Arista branded something or another (Agfa?) that's blotchy and grainy. This was from a few years ago so it's not the rebadged film "Made in America" by a "major film manufacturer." or the one Made in Japan by another major film manufacturer.
    Both films were developed with D-76 1:1.
    It wouldn't surprise me if you shot that RB67 with some TMX (TMAX 100) or Portra 160 and are able to optically enlarge that sucker to 20"x30" have that look virtually grainless.
    I guess to really get the best out of it with a hybrid workflow, you'd have to scan with an Imacon or pay the bucks for a drum scan.
    Although, Philip Wilson got some very respectable results with his Nikon 9000 (good luck finding one!) and his GX680 shot at 6x8.
  21. Andrew,
    > When you see an example of a film that "scans well" it's just that the person who scanned it got the color settings right. In truth, all current color negative films scan well
    followed by
    > Kodak 400VC is a fantastic scanning film
    Some slight irony in your statements there, you dont think, Andrew? :)
  22. Some slight irony in your statements there, you dont think, Andrew? :)
    Not at all. Most current films are fantastic scanning films, and 400VC is one of them. Ergo, 400VC is a fantastic scanning film. It happens that I usually find the right settings, so I have many examples of films that "scan well".
  23. The Mamiya RB67 equipment is a steal. Try to stay with at least "C" lens. Get a 180mm for portraits and a 50mm for a wide angle. In my wet darkroom 16x20 prints are no problem.
  24. mtk


    Hi Jon, I did the same thing...I went scrounging on for ugly and bargain grade RB67. The body had a tough life. Then I couldn't stop...I bought an EX condition Pro S body with one broken focus knob for 25 bucks. I bought two backs from the AS IS portion of the catalouge for 20 bucks a piece and refoamed them myself. Got a 90, 127 and a 210 lens all for under 300 Dollars! Absolutely love this thing! When loaded up and extended with the wlvf this thing looks more like a weapon than a camera! Great purchase, now I need to learn how to scan as well. still have a traditional dark room.
  25. Dave,
    My biggest prints from the RB67 were a 32x40 from Fuji NPS 160....that had a small amount of grain, but nthing bad. It was a wedding group shot and it scanned very well. Sharp as all get out.
    The other was a landscape shot at 32x40 from Fuji Astia 100F. There is pretty much no grain visible. Just stunning!
  26. Glad you're hooked Jon. For black and whites, I use Ilford FP4 or Kodak Portra NC. The FP4 has a very 'noir' look to it, and is usually my go-to. When I want a little cleaner look, I actually use the colour NC. The new formula has better tonal range and grain, and makes excellent black and whites. Not as good as actual black and white film, but much better than C41 BW, and much cleaner. The trick is to overexpose by about a stop, give or take depending on the contrast of the scene. This often results in colour shift, but once you process the files in Lightroom/Photoshop/Aperture and raise the black level, you get a much broader tonal range than if you had exposed normally. The same goes for darkroom printing - it looks awesome, but you'll have an extremely long exposure because of the orange base.
    Shot with 400NC
    Shot with 160NC
  27. Incredible. I AM amazed that digital hasn't caught up to film, of all types, yet! Maybe I switched too soon. But it's the price we pay for convenience. Although someday it will catch up once the noise problem is resolved. Its just a matter of time.
  28. So where can one get 120 film processed these days?
  29. Are there other differences/characteristics that separate film from digital, other then resolution? I like the tonality and
    general "look" of black and white film
  30. The funny thing is, I almost completely stoped using the 5d because of the suze and weight with the prime L lens.
    Especially for street type stuff.
    Now I buy this Mamiya and it makes the 5d look like a Holga!

    But it's weird because i don't seem to mind carrying the Mamiya, in fact i kind of enjoy all the strange looks
  31. Jon-
    Comparing apples to apples (35mm to "35mm" and 120 to "120"), you'll find well-processed black and white films have a broader tonal range, and colour and slide films are about the same. Black and whites done by anything less than a fantastic lab will be a little better than digital in the range department, at best.
    Digital is a much cleaner image, and provides less grain/noise at all ISO levels, assuming we're talking about a new DSLR. However, the noise is a lot more likely to disrupt the image when it does finally show up.
    Of course, there is the matter of personal preference. Many people prefer the look of slide film or Portra VC, but that's personal preference. I like film better too (not that I can afford a medium format digital anyway), but I admit it's mostly subjective.
    Also note that the Zone System works great with film even if you're just scanning it, but attempting to use it to squeeze out more than an extra stop or two of range with digital will often result in clipped highlights or noisy shadows.
    I process black and white in my bathroom using Rodinal. You only need a changing bag, and about $100 should set you up to process at least 30 rolls. Once you run out of chemicals, it should only cost $25-$50 to replace them, depending on what you use. I work at a lab that does colour 120 ... we charge a $8-$15 to develop and scan to a CD, depending on whether you want jpgs of tifs. I think our tif prices are a little low though.
  32. Yep it's stunning all right. It actually makes you improve your technique so that you can be worthy of the camera, unlike all the other cameras that are trying to be worthy of you. Trying to appreciate the scans in the size posted here is like listening to a classical music concert through a telephone handset, but no matter. We shooters of RB67s (Blads, Bronicas, Rolleis) know what you mean. The 67, I think, is easily the best bargain in photography for face-melting image quality for the buck. Try it with Ektar, that stuff rocks. The 50mm C lens is a honey as well. Do you have a trigger side grip and bracket yet? That is very handy for street shooting. I sometimes do action shooting with the 180mm lens, prism finder and side grip; that weighs in around 14 pounds and gets some attention!
  33. Jon have a look at my gallery. It's some f my early work, but everything there was taken with a RZ67 and printed uncropped by myself. It's a bit of a chore to use it in the street but it gets easier. Good luck.
  34. Marc, you make me want to take my RZ for a walk.
  35. LOL Andrew. Just remember to pick up after it so nobody gets any stinky surprises on their shoe ;-)
  36. Jon,
    Although the discussion is primarily about Mamiya RB67, I share the same experience like yours when I first bought an used Pentax 67 with 55mm Pentax SMC lens. The results are just outstanding. You may like to see some examples in my portfolio ( I really like the 6X7 format and wide dynamic range of film. I use Epson V750 Pro scanner and do not experience any color distortion. Definitely Nikon Coolscan 9000 would be the best, but Epson does fairly good job.
  37. What's wrong with grain anyway? I know it does not suit every photo but in some circumstances it is great. If you are looking for the old time look, then grain is the way to go. Just as a bit of vinguetting is good also, if it suits the purpose. Remember the old Zeiss folding bellows 120 cameras. The look of a picture from those were quite remarkable, slight sepia toning from age (that can now be added with a bit of chem istry) and voila! a pickie of which to be proud.
    Now, where is my Pentax 67II? Bother, I sold it. Same as the mamiya 7II. My question to Jon is how the heck do you get away with pointing that RB67 weapon at people in NYC without having it hit over your head? Here, in Oz land, if you point even a relatively small Canon 24 - 105 at someone you are likely to get some rude words at the least, the person of the shot would duck, everyone would see you coming for miles and there would be nothing to shoot.
    Lovely pictures tho. Mark
  38. Congrats on your purchase Jon. I too am new to the RB67 Pro, after selling off my Hasselblad equipment to concentrate on 35mm photography (weddings). I was never that happy shooting the 'blad for reasons I won't go into, however the glass was fantastic. I was prepared to take a small hit in IQ with the Mamiya, to gain other advantages such as close focusing and the rotating back. The squate format of the 'blad has its own appeal for certain applications, however it is marketed by 'blad as a convenient feature to allow the photographer to shoot without having to rotate the camera. So by the time you crop the image to your liking, it ends significantly smaller than the 6x7 o 6x8 neg of the Mamiya. I have been pleasantly suprised with the optical prints I have made, and also the scans. The Mamiya gives up nothing to the 'blad apart from size/weight, but the results are sure worth it.
    As for your other question Jon, film and digital just look different. I used to shoot weddings with my D3, and the last one I shot 50% D3, and 50% F5. The client chose 85% of the shots from my F5, and the remaining shots were chosen mostly due to the 'moment' captured (better facial expressions etc). This is what finally made me decide to go back to film for all of my important is my preference, but may not be everyone's. But if I can figure out how to put my 4Gb Sandisk CF card into my Durst enlarger, things might change!
  39. Just a little of correction, under the trees everything is green....
  40. No matter how many pixels they pack into those 35mm cameras, they are still a 35mm camera, same goes for cropped sensors.
  41. If you want to try something for perfect color, grab a roll of Fuji Pro 160S, meter around iso 125-200, mainly for skintones, and have it processed and scanned by Richard Photo Labs in LA. Down load your scans and make some 11x14 and 16x20 prints.
    You won't pick up your 5D for quality work any longer!
  42. Ooops, I meant meter at 50-80 iso. I was thinking of my meter setings for Fuji Pro 400H.
  43. Mark, in my experience a 35mm or digital SLR is the last thing you want to point at people. Too normal. Might be a stalker. With a huge and/or old camera you can get away with a lot. Walk around with a TLR and you can do basically whatever you want to with it. So long as you don't mind people talking to you.
  44. Marc Todd: Nice work! It looks like you carry the beast around for street stuff also. I need to get a
    comfortable neck grip.
    Jimi: You cleaned up that image nicely.

    Someone mentioned that the IQ was better in a "blad". How much better? Is it the glass? Now I feel like I
    have a second rate camera compared to a blad. Uh oh Hassy envy is beginning. I was looking at those also
    on ebay because I really wanted a flex body, but they are alot more then the Mamiya.

    I do plan to have the whole kit CLA in the next few weeks, although there are no signs that it needs it, but I
    am sure the light seals should be changed by now.

    Regarding street use, I think one can pick a bust street corner and set up with a tripod or even shoot
    handheld, when there are literally hundreds of people moving back and forth no one is really going to notice
    you. Places like Grand Central Station etc.
    But I would feel a little self conscience to attempt to get candids on the street of people when you have to
    focus, meter, and do all those critical adjustments that can take up to 30 seconds to perform, and your
    pointing what looks like a canon at someone.
  45. Someone mentioned that the IQ was better in a "blad". How much better? Is it the glass? Now I feel like I have a second rate camera compared to a blad.​
    Jon, that my inititial assumption, however this has proven to be far from the truth. The RB gives up nothing to the 'blad.
  46. I think it would be fair to say that i'm a bit of a Hasselblad man.
    And from that perspective i can honestly say that the Big Mamiyas are indeed every bit as good. There's nothing in it.

    (Except that the Big Mamiyas are too darn big to be usefull. ;-) )
  47. ahem....
    Sorry to interupt the love fest but I just had to interject. There is no doubt medium format will give greater resolution than 35mm digital, but there is a heck of a lot more to image quality than pure resolution. I look at your example of the fellow sitting on the bench (in colour). The image looks absolutely terrible because of the horrible colour rendition from your scan. I appreciate that other scanners and/or scanner operators can do a better job but therin lies the much work do you need to do to get the colours right?? I could have shot that exact same photo with my 1DS2 in Jpg and it would have looked a million times better straight out of the camera.
    With that said, I do appreciate and see the benefit of film's added exposure latitude, and even the resolution if you really need it.
  48. I have just finished a shooting session with a RZ+180, and amongst other things, these were some of my thoughts during the shoot:
    • This darn thing is really huge. I`d say feels bigger than my 4x5s...
    • If the model moves again (focus lost), I`ll need to loosen the head to check focus once again. No please, I don`t want to move the beast...
    • If he moves again I will get mad and I`ll take a D700 to finish the session! That`s all.
    • How can the rack and pinion hold this 180+compendium? That`s incredible.
    • This is the latest time I shoot without a geared head. I will go for it tomorrow.
    • Hmmm, the scene at the screen looks nice... let me check how it looks vertical... no better horizontal... this rotating back is great. I`d like it on the 4x5s...
    • This head will broke. It holds the weight but better another five times bigger.
    • Clonk! Is there any dampening on the mirror? Hassies must be designed like Leicas, to have a softer mirror landing. I miss it.
    • Nothing like a leaf shutter with half speeds. This thing is great.
    And many others... :)
  49. Clint don't rain on our parade man :)
  50. It's easy to get the colour right, both straight out of the scanner, and in postprocessing.
    If that's all the 1Ds2 has going for it (and it doesn't have much going for it, compared to the RB. It's not even considerably smaller), beter throw your 1Ds2 in the bin, Clint! ;-)
  51. Who dares mention the 1Ds2 in this thread. I thought we were talking about cameras....not toys ;-)
  52. I've used every digital camera from an old Kodak/Nikon NC 2000 through the 1DSMKIII, D700, Phase One backs and M9.
    Recently I decided to go back to film and I'm loving it. I've been shooting with a Mamiya 7II kit and portra 160NC and 400NC and I've also been blown away by the quality. And compared to the digital cameras I've used, the scans require far less post processing than photos made with digital cameras. I scan with viewscan on an LS 9000, do a quick levels in PS and that's just about it. Really.
    I'm not saying one is better, digital and film are different mediums and each has its benefits. But I don't think that one flawed scan means that film automatically needs more post work.
    Film offers a unique look that is different from digital. To some extent digital can mimic film with software, but that seems artificial when it's often easier to just shoot film to begin with.
    I don't know much about lenses for the RB since I've only used one a handful of times, but the Mamiya 7 50mm is amazing for interiors and environmental portraits in tight spaces.
  53. Noah, I followed carefully your adventure with the M9 and am glad to see you ended up with a Mamiya 7II and 9000ED solution. I recently made some 24" x 30" prints from the 7II and 43mm captured using Provia 100F and without a doubt, the M9 would struggle at this print dimension.
  54. It's easy to get the colour right, both straight out of the scanner, and in postprocessing.
    If that's all the 1Ds2 has going for it (and it doesn't have much going for it, compared to the RB. It's not even considerably smaller), beter throw your 1Ds2 in the bin, Clint! ;-)​
    It's ok to bug me about my old and out-dated toy 1Ds2, I don't mind:) If it's so easy to get the colour right straight out of the scanner why are the examples in this post so poor? I'm actually a fan of medium format too by the way, with that said I recently sold my Mamiya 645afd.
    I think the 1DS2 is one of the bargain buys out there. I bought mine a year ago for $2100. The image quality is better than my brand new 7D, and for prints 20x30 or less I prefer it to my old Mamiya. The biggest reason I shoot digital is that 75% of my work is all long expsosures at night, and the clean files from the digitals these days are awesome. Film has a certain nastalgia that I miss, but for me the quality and convenience of RAW files from my 1DS2 trump nastalgia any day.
  55. "If it's so easy to get the colour right straight out of the scanner why are the examples in this post so poor?"

    Good question. I hate to speculate... ;-)
    But don't let it make you believe that it's not easy. Because it is.
  56. To get off topic a bit, regarding the RB67: when I first got it I didnt read the manual and tried to cock the mirror,
    when it wouldnt budge I was pushing on that lever pretty forceful, until I finally figured out the problem. Do you
    think i may have done any damage to the gear or mechanism?
  57. Jon I find that slide - e.g. velvia scans better for colour work although I have found portra woks fine with practice. I never really go on with my Epson scanner as it was a massive effot to get good results. Eventually I cracked and bought the Nikon 9000 which makes scanning much easier. here are some crops to compare the 5DII and the Fuji GX680 with Velvia. remember these are extreme crops - I find the 5DII is comparable to my Mamiya 645 in image quality and resolution - the mamiya is slightly better on very detailed inspection but I think this is due to the lenses.
  58. Detail from 5DII note the lens is at F2.8 not the best for quality but I was using the 5DII like a polaroid as the Fuji has very limited metering
  59. Gx680 compressed image
  60. crop from the GX680
  61. It is important to note that the Fuji is about 0.3% of the complete image while the Canon is 1.37% of the image. While the resolution of the film is slightly higher - it has 5 times the area the real difference is the lens. The Canon 16-35 II is not a bad lens - indeed it is a $1500 L series model it is pushed much harder by the 5DII sensor resolution. In contrast the Fuji GX680 lenses are top quality - remember they make the Hassleblad H series lenses and the lens it not stress to resolve in the same way. The crop does not show the 16-35 II in the best light as it is at F2.8 - things get better at F8 but still not up to the Fuji. DXOMark has this lens at 40 lines per mm resolution at F2.8 and worst case - the best case is only 51lpm at the edge. The best lenses DXO mark have tested only reach 67 lines per mm - well below the sensor resolution - this explains why the image is soft. Interestingly the Fuji GX680 scan is at 4000dpi (Nikon 9000) and the 5DII sensor is 4000 pixels per inch.
  62. I bet you could get more out of the Canon by stopping down the lens and bringing up the saturation in the raw processing, but the detail from the Velvia scan makes a compelling argument. Frame size is important.
  63. True Andrew....the Canon could look a lot better. But when it comes to detail, it will never math the large film formats.
  64. Even stopped down the Canon is not in the same league - I posted this shot because it was the same scene. here is a crop showing the same area as the GX680 (i.e. 330 x200 pixels approx). This is probably getting close to a 5DII best case as it was taken with the 70-200 f4 IS at 1/100 ISO 100 F16 and 155mm from a tripod. It was shot in RAW, converted in ACR with all sharpness setting turned off than carefully sharpened at 100% 0.2 pixel three times - this gives about as sharp an image as I am able to get. The peak is middle sister and was taken from the center of the image. it was then converted to 8 bit and saved as a JPEG - no compression. The GX680 crop was compressed when it was saved (64% I think) so it would fit on the screen. I know a prime is probably better so when I have time I will look for one taken with my 100 F2.8 L IS Macro which is probably the sharpest EF lens I own. When I look at the two crops side by side in Photoshop the GX680 crop still looks pretty sharp but the 5DII looks soft and you can see the pixels. If anyone can get the Canon 5DII sharper than this please post and explain how!
  65. Because the crop posts so small (it has less pixels) you need to bing the images into photoshop or similar and examine them at the same size. the GX680 is 700 x474 pixels from a scan that was 11,969x8,819. The 5DII is 331x199 form an image that was 5,634x3,573. The GX680 - if it displays about 8 inches wide on my screen would be equivalent to a 137 inch by 101 inches (i.e. 11.4 feet by 8.4 feet!). This is the real benefit of MF. I used to have an RZ system which I loved before I switched to Fuji - I miss the RZ's handling and relative portability but the Fuji compensates with better glass and full front lens movement. With the 65mm lens (the 50mm does not have full coverage) you can use left and right shift to create panorama's that are 20,000 pixels wide. I have not figured out a way to post them online as whenever I open them to compress the algorithm crashes - I assume it is because the file is over 1GB as a TIFF
  66. jon the OP: those are fantastic, outstanding portraits. what a camera! wow!! i have the mamiya 7, but thinking about an RB67 also. i think you have pushed me over the edge! all that capability for 200 bucks and change... miraculous.
    [pardon the interruption, boys. you can go back to chatting about pixels, sensors and RAW files now.]
  67. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    Now ho ho hohollld on there you kids. First off you are scanning your beautiful negatives (a crime in my book) to convert them to digital. SOOOooooo of course they will look like crap. Analog print em to about 16x20, then compare your ddigital pics side by side n see what you have to say then? You can't compare em on some cheap monitor as your gold standard.
  68. Paul,
    I've compared scans to darkroom prints for color and no comparison....the scans slaughtered the darkroom color work. The scanned film was sharper, had better color, and better tonality. I have yet to have someone make the comparisons between the two actually choose the darkroom prints. So, the crime is printing in the darkroom and ending up with inferior results.
  69. I find that I scan colour these days (even though I have a full colour enlarger set up Omega D5XL with dichromic, colour analyzer etc...- care of a Police training lab!) as i find going through a scanner works better (I know Heresy). For Black and White I always do it wet - I have never managed to get good scans of B&W for some reason - I have seen them but mine always look weaker than the wet images. It is probably user error but ut gives me a reason to go into the darkroom. Frankly my B&W scans look like S**T with either no contrast or too much!
  70. Philip, you should give canon a try, digital is like negative which must be printed, you can do whatever with it, even make it unreal.
  71. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    Then shoot the guy that did your analog prints or invest in better darkroom equipment. I do my own printing n haven't seen what you are talking about. I doubt a digital printer will do better prints at 16x20. AND scaned negatives printed at 16x20 will make you puke so why bother shooting film if that's what you are going to do to em. Like putting ketsup on a steak, shoulda had the hamburger if you don't know how to eat. Sorry but I'll stick to my darkroom n listen to you go on n on about how great digital is, you can't convince me, can't teach an old dog new tricks.
  72. That Canon sample looks a lot better Philip.
  73. Paul I really don't want to shoot myself but you might be surprised by scanned and printed film. Indeed I no longer know ANY processor in Western Canada that prints slides by any other machanism than scanning and printing. I actually started to scan and print slides when I found that all the pro labs round me did the same thing. I like shooting Velvia but I know no-one who prints wet from positives - I am surprised you are able to do this at home - what process do you use? I rarely shoot colour print (sometimes 35mm) and as I said I do black and white all wet. I have always personally preferred to have Velvia processed by labs as I have never been great at keeping such a complex process within a narrow temperature range (obviously I always had Kodachrome processed by someone else). The cost of getting 120 Velvia processed and cut is not horiffic (about $1 per shot) and as you can see with the Nikon it scans very well. Have you much experience of the latest Epson printers? You will have to take my word for it but with a fully colour controlled process (calibration from monitor to printer) and using (the insanely expensive Epson inks) I find that I get much better results than I used to see from Cibachrome. For colour negatives you might be right but I only shoot the occasionally and the paper and chemical life means that I have stopped doing print (my Jobo processor is pretty much end of life as well).
    Jimi if you read higher you will see that I do shoot Canon Digital (1DIIN, 5DII and 7D). I still shoot 35mm Film - usually B&W which I cannot get good results scanning and much prefer to do in the darkroom or Velvia. I find that with 35mm I rarely use my EOS bodies (1NRS, 1V, 3). I much prefer to use my old FD bodies from when I did this for a living (F1, New F1, EF, T90 etc...)
  74. Jon, Enjoy your RB. All of my work for the last two decades has been on a Pentax 67 and all of my summer 2010 collection is direct scans. I regularly read commentary from small format digital shooters claiming successful MF is dependent on static, studio work. You will find that is just not the case. I was on location hip deep in moving water standing on a rocky stream bed for the front page shot of my web site and how much sharper would anyone want it?
  75. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    The shame of it all is comparing a film scanned digital print to a digital print makes us MFers look bad and I think it's intensional to make film that much more obsolete (more of an excuse). People do compare with their eyes, n yes, a digitally taken picture will out do a scanned film pic but let's not say a digital pic is comparable to a wet print... that's living in denyal or you really haven't experianced the ture potential of MF film.
    I don't work in color, I do B&W. But I would take any color slide over any digital print you possably can produce. How about comparing a digital slide to a film slide and make this a fair fight? Oh I forgot, you can't do that.
  76. How about comparing a digital slide to a film slide and make this a fair fight? Oh I forgot, you can't do that.​
    Actually, you can.
  77. Pual since I also do B&W completely in the darkroom why are you so against using film and scanning. As I tried to explain above if you want colour MF (especially slide). Scan and print is the most prctical way - using an inteneg is terrible compared to a scanner. Why does the fact that I am using the best process available make NFers look bad? Are you suggesting that we should tell Fuji to stop making Velvia?
  78. On the comparison of digital prints to film-scanned prints as opposed to wet prints, I understand the point to be that as a practical matter wet prints are not an option for most. That is, while wet prints may (or may not) be superior, for many posters prints will be digital and so the only comparison that matters is an all-digital process to a film-scan then digital process. I have no opinion on the relative merits, but mention this only because people seem to be talking past one another on this thread.
  79. i've never gotten as good a result with my nikon d3 than i have with my hasselblad or mamiya film cameras. i'm not sure how people are scanning their film, but I do my own, and also get lab scans. they look fantastic, i've got that beautiful organic look of film, i've got the negs archived, i've got highlights as opposed to blobs of white pixels, i've got more time on my hands. i still need my digicam from time to time though. but i don't feel the need to justify my purchase of the d3 by making outragous claims to its performance. sure it cost over ten times the amount of my rb67, but i knew what i was getting before i bought it. it's funny however that we are comparing digital scans to digicam pics and also a full ag-x process. that is the very beauty of the film've got the choice. i just tried to put my 16gb Sandisk CF car into my Durst enlarger to compare, and i can definately see limitations with the D3 when it comes to analogue prints.
  80. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    Glad to see we are all enjoying photography regardless of how we do it. Yes the quality issue will always be something to keep us buzzing n it will keep us talking here. But regardless of how we print or shoot, the only thing to keep in mind is to make yourself happy first. When it;'s not fun anymore, quit!
    I'd like to see some of the OPs pics soon. I remeber the first time I shot my RB. My pics came out like crap but I had a great time doing it. I was using 35mm before that so when I heard the mirror slap, I thought I was done... no no no, wait for that shsutter to go off after you hear the mirror go up n your p[ics will improve 100%.
    Enjoy that camera no matter how you make your prints. Just keep buring lots of film so the companies keep making the stuff for us to argue about.
    SMILE EVERYONE, Say cheese?
  81. If you know how to scan, the B&W prints will look great. If you don't know how to scan, then you'll think the darkroom is better.
  82. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    I think you got it.
  83. On the topic of the RB67 - I had the fortune of good timing and recently picked up 7 brand new KL lenses and a couple brand new RB67 bodies for fraction of their price of years ago.

    The 127KL lens is as sharp as my Nikon 35mm prime lenses, and has beautiful bokeh - and I am not even big on bokeh.

    If your hands are big enough to grasp an American football one handed, your hands are big enough to easily grasp this camera with one hand.

    It is a precise, solid, and ergonomic photographic instrument.
  84. Some of these "arguments" to persuade us of the strong suits of this or that technique or piece of equipment are outstanding. But in many cases the photos that are posted to help with the arguments do not do the case any justice. In fact they detract from the point that is trying to be made and are just plain bad photos.
  85. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    What can you expect from scans n digital pics. :)
  86. Dave Luttman - Dave as you can see I get good results scanning colour slide or negative but I find my B&W scans are very poor. While I suspect that the Darkroom may alwasy win for B&W I am interested in being able to scan B&W well. I currently use a Nikon 9000 ED with a glass holder but I find I either have too much or too little contrast - even when I scan on the same settings. I scan B&W on the B&W settiung using the Nikon software and have tried almost every setting but get poor images. I know it is not the negative as I can print them fine in the darkroom - any advice?
  87. Philip, the Coolscan 9000 scans B&W film perfectly every single time without the need of any corrections. Make sure you have all features on the Nikonscan software turned off with the exception of auto focus and auto exposure.
    Also make sure you are not loading a previous setting with exposure values in them.
    Basically, do nothing and they will be perfect unless the negatives have a problem.
  88. So this thread turned in to another Digital vs. film, GM vs. Ford, Pizza vs. Spaghetti round, did it?
    To answer the OP: With my Hasselblad 6x6, I find that the lens I use the most is the 50mm Distagon. I would imagine that it would be the same for the 6x7 format.
    And no, in line with what also Q.G. said, there is no need to dump the Mamiya in favor of a 'Blad - so that comes from at least two Hasselblad fans. One of my good friends in Singapore uses the Mamiya and quite frankly, his pictures are every bit as good quality-wise as my ones.
    Just use what you have and enjoy the smell every new roll of 120 you put in to it!
  89. I always seem to start threads that become immensely popular. The owners should make me an admin :)
  90. Jon, the images you posted appear to be under-exposed. Try about a stop extra and then carefully bracket another half to one stop extra, other wise, they're interesting images. A bit more depth of field would also make a difference.
    Some fill-in light would be useful to help with excessive contrast and to provide more detail in the shadows.
  91. I just picked up my first roll of 120 velvia. Let me tell you, just looking at it is enough to never want to shoot digital again.
    Don't trust those scans, I'm not impressed in this case. I'm sure the negatives are far superior. Take a digital print and a darkroom print to really compare. Scanning and printing, unless done very expensively and correctly, is still only as good as the scanner.
    It's like that TV bit they did on film vs digital where they blew up the two Brits in a Mr. and Mrs. Smith-esque building banner. They showed digital winning, but they didn't give any specs as to how they really went about it. Did they use highest dpi scan? They used the most advanced full frame DSLR and software to edit the digital.
  92. If scans work for some of the best photographers around...that's good enough for me.
  93. Rayn - if you want to print from Velvia I am afraid you will have to scan - or have it scanned. Cibachrome no longer exists and internegs are very low quality compared to scanning.
  94. "Cibachrome no longer exists"
    Um, that's rubbish. It still exists.
  95. Ed,
    Cibachrome no longer exists. Period!
  96. Exactly. I said it doesn't exist...and it doesn't. Ilfochrome is close...but different.
  97. Yes.
    There is a difference.
    The name has changed, and only the "chrome" bit in it is the same...
  98. Don't trust those scans, I'm not impressed in this case. I'm sure the negatives are far superior. Take a digital print and a darkroom print to really compare. Scanning and printing, unless done very expensively and correctly, is still only as good as the scanner.​
    Exactly. Which is why all of those tedious film versus digital debates are really scanner versus digital debates. The qualaity being discussed is dependant upon the lowest quality item or process in the chain - in the scanned film's case it's the scanner.
  99. I have been using an Epson V750 for a while now with the Epson software. As far as I've been able to see they are very close to the V700. It seems to work fine for scanning.
    Here is a set of my RB67 Pro S shots using a few different types of film. Some of them are not marked as to film type, but many are.
    Scans from Portra VC
    I like the 65mm lens for a general use lens. I also have a 90mm and a 180mm that I use occasionally. 220 backs are nice because you don't have to reload as often. I had light leaks with a couple of my 120 backs, which is easily remedied with new seals. I had mine done. I like Kodak Portra 160NC the best for a general purpose color accurate film, but pick up some 800 for lower light, it is handy. I put my film in at Walmart unless it is something important or that I want back right away. Under $2 a roll. Sometimes the negatives aren't washed enough or something and you need to do extra touch up. For important things I have a good lab about 30 miles from here. I'm guessing with your being in NYC that you have one closer.
  100. i don't know if any of you have this option , but i never send the b&w in but i do the color it takes a two days for them to scan my images from the negative and develop the film , i can pick my resolution and wala , what beautiful results , it is like there is atmosphere in between my image and senor on a d5 and nothing but pure clean light in between my subject and film with a rb67 not even the best of my 35 mm cameras comes close once scanned , and you can get them scanned less than prints and inter the images into the digital world with ease , a starting point to see what is on the neg.s from here print all you want or pick the ones you want scanned yourself
  101. Subject: Digital back on my Mamiya RB67: I am a pro photographer from India. The results i got from using digital
    backs on my Mamiya RB67 was just mind-blowing. The lenses are razor sharp as the company claims. The contrast
    is too good. Compared to the results from my friend's Hasselbled, the image quality on my Mamiya lenses are more
    contrasty, good saturation with awesome sharpness. I worked with a H20 Phaseone digital back and the results from
    the jewellery items i shot were very impressive even with the image cropped to almost 85%. I had the opportunity to
    work with a Hasselblad back cfv-50. It worked smoothly without a wake-up cable and the results were mind-blowing.
    A studio here allowed me to rent their Leaf Aptus II 5 digital back and again the results were fantastic with back
    working smoothly. Needless to say the back produced very sharp pictures with mamiya rb lenses. I would
    recommend that highly for someone with a tight budget. You only have to get the v-mount adapter for mamiya rb67.
    Only phaseone backs with the exception of p40+ and p65+ will require a wake-up cable. Remember to get your rb
    lenses services by a good repairer once in 2 years if the use is regular and heavy. If someone wants to see phaseone
    h20 results and leaf results, they can tell me so. The pics are available with me.

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