Mamiya RB67 Pro or RZ67 Pro II?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by david_newman|3, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. Here’s my question..a RB67 Pro or RZ67 Pro II?
    I’m in the market for a medium format camera and it appears that Mamiya’s a great entry point for the price and quality! My interest center around photographing static objects for compositing and getting back into developing images again. A long, long, long time ago, I owned a F2 and really enjoyed the capture/work flow. Any insight on the Mamiya cameras would be appreciated. Have no problem with Ebay or Craigslist and welcome any recommendations of reputable sources for purchase of camera. Will be using 110 and 220 format.
  2. Lets back up on the RZ. RB67 Pro or RZ67 Pro. I believe these two are more suited to my question.
  3. KEH had a bunch of RB lenses, new but being sold at used prices. Very affordable prices.
    They may still be available, and would influence my decision to buy.
  4. Hello David,
    RZ 67 is it for me, more lenses, more flexibility with attachments, including AE finders and Tilt and Shift option. Check out the piece on, to which I contributed a lot. If RZ, then RZ 67II, as it supports half times and is therefore better suited for slide photography and also is "younger" than the orignal RZ cameras.
  5. I think it comes down to your budget, and whether you prefer fully manual or hybrid manual/electronic cameras.
    It sounds to me as if the RZ system will get you slightly higher quality--the lenses are generally all newer designs (although the RB's KL-L lenses are said to be optically identical in nearly all cases), with improved coatings--and it's the more versatile system. As Christoph mentioned, there are many more lenses and attachments available (including a digital back option), you have a greater range of shutter speeds, and the cameras/lenses are lighter--the downside of that being the lower weight is the result of having more plastic in the construction, but they're still very durable cameras indeed.
    I personally went with the RB67. There is a fairly big price gap between the two systems, and I was able to build an extensive RB system for crazy cheap prices. Plus, I tend to fancy all-mechanical cameras, and I liked the fact that RB lenses (the shutters particularly) can be worked on more cheaply--an important factor when you're buying used--as if a shutter does go bad, you don't have to replace the whole thing. And I've found the RB C lenses I have to be well more than sharp enough.
    Still, the RZ is an extraordinarily useful camera, and there are days I know it would make my life slightly easier than using the RB--I can get the same images (with the exception of if a tilt/*X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* lens is needed), but I have to work harder at it sometimes.
    If your budget isn't an obstacle, I'd probably go with the RZ unless like me you prefer all-mechanical cameras, for the newer lenses, the lighter weight, the greater versatility, and the digital option. I'll probably pick up one for myself one of these days.
    And like Richard mentioned, check out first. The quality of their stuff is usually very good--their ratings are normally quite conservative--their return policy is excellent, and their prices are some of the best out there. That's where I've gotten nearly all my RB67 kit.
  6. David,
    RB or RZ? That's a decision only you can make.
    Take your time, do your research (, read some more). The owners manuals and system charts from Butkus Manuals will help identify the different capabilities, and optional components of the three (3) RB models, and the three (3) RZ models.
    Whichever model you choose, I don't think I would worry about a 220 back at first, (or at all). There are only about 6-8 different emulsions available in 220, and that herd seems to get thinned about every six months or so.
    There's lots of 120 still; 220...not so much.
    There is a motorized 6 X 8 back for the RB Pro SD. It's ridiculously expensive, but may be something that would appeal to you. The RZ can't use that back, (or make use of the 6 X 8 size due to a slightly smaller film plane area vs the RB's).
    The RZ line allows for Automatic Exposure control, via the use of AE prisms, and also, (only for use with the original RZ model), an AE metered chimney finder. Only the RZ line has the fastest lens in the family; the 110mm f:2.8.
    The mechanically shuttered RB lenses can be carried forward to the electric RZ, but the reverse is not true.
    There's no way for the RB to fire the electric shutters in the RZ lenses.
    Just a few thoughts from a RZ'r.
  7. dlw


    I have an RB Pro-SD and love it. I have the 90mm and 180mm K lenses and find them tack sharp. At this time I have only one back, a 120 but plan to get more. The SD backs don't have seals like the others and they don't go bad over time. I don't miss the tilt & shift feature of the RZ as if I need that, I use my 4x5. The all mechanical RB makes more sense for me because I don't have to mess with batteries or worry about an electrical malfunction. The price from KEH was really good and I"ve wanted one ever since I was in school and could finally afford one. Go with the RB, you'll be glad you did.
  8. Just an addition - the RB can in fact take digital backs as well; there is a (pricey) Mamiya adapter to mount 645AFD-mount digital backs to the RB (not sure if it's just the RB ProSD or all RB models). There is also one for the RZ ProIID; the adapter is cheaper but the camera body itself is a lot more expensive. Other RZs can take Hasselblad V-mount digital backs on adapters.
    Having a 645AFD and a modest 17MP digital back, I sometimes wonder about getting an RB or RZ in order to do this...but then reason reasserts itself. The big advantage of the RB/RZ, its gloriously large 6x7 or 6x8 frame size, would be neutered by the cropping of the digital back. The lenses would be slower, and the range of focal lengths about the same, except for a lack of wideangles under 50mm. So optically, no gains at all, only losses. Weight and bulk, again only losses; it would be highly unlikely that I'd take the camera out on walks and excursions like I do with my 645s. I'd gain leaf shutters, but I don't shoot flash often. I'd gain close bellows focusing...but I have extension rings for my 645, so I'd call that a tie. The one significant gain would be WLF or chimney-finder viewing, which I do value highly in certain circumstances. It's not enough, however, to swing it for me.
    If you want to shoot film, OTOH, it makes perfect sense to get one!
  9. Get a Pro II or Pro II D, and newer the body the better. Get more than one.
  10. Research was a good recommendation and I'm quite sure I'm in the market for either camera. I'm looking for a package deal on Ebay and a few other sources. Thanks for the input. Got all of my darkroom stuff down from the attic. Sure brings back really good memories. Perhaps I'll post a few images in the next month. Again, thanks for all!
  11. I have an RB67 Pro S. I prefer fully mechanical cameras.
  12. I loved my RB67 Pro-S, but the RZ has a more convenient film advance (everything happens when you cock the shutter, whereas with the RB you have to cock the shutter and then advance the film). When shooting formals for weddings, sometimes the RZ would lock up, forcing us to remove the lens and replace it, to hope the contact would improve. The RB never had this problem for me, being a purely mechanical camera.

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