RB lenses on Nikon FX?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by clive_murray_white, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. I originally posted this on the Nikon forum but got no replies so I thought I'd re-post it here.
    I've done quite a search looking for images taken with Mamiya RB lenses via the fotodiox adapter on Nikon D800 but only seem to come up with a very few pictures. As I have an old RB and a bunch of lenses so I was possibly interested in getting the Fotodiox adapter
    These seem to be about the only pics I can find: http://japanorama.co.uk/2014/06/03/mamiya-rb67-lenses-on-nikon-d800e/ enough to get me interested but..................would love to see more particularly in colour and landscape - has anyone got any leads?
    I pretty sure there are many arguments that will go along the lines of: there are sharper standard FX lenses so why bother, but I'm more interested to see if there is an interesting character to the pictures. Thanks in advance Clive
  2. IMO RB lenses are not old enough to bring a special "interesting character" to the pictures.
    If you are into this, look for 100 years old lenses, they show maybe eg cool flare. RB lenses are modern pro-level glasses without such weaknesses.
    Best to look in a large format forum, there are often threads about special old lenses.
  3. Thanks Mag - I suppose I'd better define "interesting character" as I see it Re: the use of Mamiya RB lenses on Nikon FX, even though "RB lenses maybe modern pro-level glasses without such weaknesses" they'll be slightly different to Nikon FX which tend to be quite clinical IMO. There may be something about the colour rendering of Mamiya that interests me, similarly bokeh, or separation from background or even general rendering of the subject - you know what I mean, Leica lenses are different from Zeiss or Nikon for that matter.

    The point is that some of the RB lenses on RB cameras take very nice pictures - I'm wondering if it carries over to Nikon D800
  4. You can hear the crickets chirping in most PN forums but thanks for the link. Saw it some time back but sensed zero interest here. This will fit any F mount camera, so the higher than usual price for the adapter is offset by that and the necessary focusing capability other adapters lack. My only concern is awkward handling due to the size of the RB lenses.
  5. Nikon FX which tend to be quite clinical IMO​
    and the faster the more clinical, I remember from the old days eg my MF 35/1.4, a sharp but terrible lense.
    Look for an old 43-86, I think the pre AI is better, which shows color rendition similar to RB lenses.
  6. If you have a bunch of RB lenses you want to be able to use, it lets you do that. And sense medium format lenses are generally longer focal lengths than those for FX DSLRs, you could get some good bokeh and separation as you suggest. And sense you'd be using the central sweet spot of the lens, it should be super sharp with no worries about edge falloff in sharpness, etc.

    Having said that, I'm not sure you would get anything you couldn't get much more conveniently with Nikon glass that would have AF, couple properly to the meter and be smaller and lighter.

    As for color rendition, I've always been of the opinion that there shouldn't be noticeable color difference from one lens to the other regardless of format, manufacturer, focal length etc. And if it does happen, it's both correctable and create-able in today's digital world.
  7. Agree. Looks like not so many people have used their RB/RZ lenses on FX, as said probably because it is not worth the expense in the adapter and because the handling... I have a some RZ lenses and I sometimes have wondered about it, but at the end I prefer to shoot the whole 6x7 frame on film rather than to try such long focals on a small format camera. I bet it`d be a couple shots amusement.
    I cannot say about color, as I almost exclusively shoot b&w but, format properties aside, on film I`d say I don`t appreciate special "character" differences. Some are "clinical", others not that much, like with the Nikkors.
  8. Thanks everyone - yes it does seem a lot of money for a little experiment, hence wanting to see more pictures taken with it prior to purchase.
    The handling/weight issues don't really bother me too much as I do most of my work on a solid tripod. My go to lens is a 45 TC-E heavier than any of the Sekors.
    I did email Fotodiox asking if they had some links but they haven't replied yet - and I did find a Canon forum on the same topic, where they complained bitterly about Fotodiox communication.
    Mag - Nikon 43-86 gets regularly listed in the top 10 worst Nikon lenses ever made - http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00FVNg but then some people enjoy an over-abundance of flare.
    I guess the RB lenses can sit around until I actually see a good range results from other people. Thanks again Clive
  9. I know about the reputation of the 43-86 but from my experience it shows unique color rendering, maybe its not the
    sharpest but I got sharp prints up to 30x45 cm. It costs a lot less than the RB adaptor.
    And btw: that Rockwell writes a lot of nonsense and I trust my eyes more than him:)
  10. I have used M645 lenses quite a lot. On canon EOS. I have used them on a Mirex tilt shift adapter and they perform very
    well indeed. While it is years since I sold my RZ I suspect that the lenses will work well on nikon. You may want to
    consider a TS adapter if you can find one as it gives you a versatility you do not get with most nikon lenses
  11. Didn't know such an adapter existed 'till I saw your post on the Nikon forum. Unfortunately I'd just got back from the pub & let my curiosity get the better of me so I'm now awaiting a delivery from Amazon UK. If it turns out OK I will put a few examples in my PN gallery. If not you may see an adapter going cheap on ebay... :)
  12. The wonders of PN + pub induced curiosity! I shall look forward to seeing a few results, a post pub review may be quite interesting too!! - thanks Martyn.
    Good on you - Clive
  13. Martyn - The only review I've found seems to intimate that its not straightforward to use and there doesn't seem to be an adequate manual or instructions available!! so finding out if is intuitive will be interesting :)
  14. These seem to be about the only pics I can find: http://japanorama.co.uk/2014/06/03/mamiya-rb67-lenses-on-nikon-d800e/ enough to get me interested​
    He tries a 127mm f3.8 RB lens on his D800E and - ouch! - he goes on to say: "Focal length is, I am guessing [I'll do a proper comparison with my Nikon 24-70mm tomorrow], about 60-65mm".
    Well, I am "guessing" that the focal length of his 127 mm lens is...127mm.
    Anyway, the Fotodiox RB/RZ adapter family looks promising. Wish they'd make one for RB/RZ lenses onto the M645...at those prices rather than at Hartblei's prices!
  15. Adapter arrived yesterday. Good, robust, all metal construction - seems to be well made. No instructions but pretty straight forward if you're familiar with the RB67. The shutter cock pins need to line up correctly to mount the lens & there is a twist ring to open the shutter so you can see through it... You have to use the aperture preview lever to stop the lens down for metering & shooting. Metering worked OK with the D800 set to app priority.
    Took a few (extremely boring) test shots with my RB 50, 90 & 180mm lenses, all produced technically acceptable results (best at f11), broadly comparable to the Nikon 50mm f1.8 standard lens set on auto. Bit heavy/awkward to use handheld but works well enough on a tripod.
    Reckon it would probably work OK for landscapes, will take it out for a run ASAP & post a few examples - not sure yet if it will be worth the effort... :)
  16. Ray - You would have thought that Mamiya would have made an adapter back in the hey days of MF. I know every forum goes a bit crazy when focal length/crop factor/etc get mentioned - so trying to avoid that and talk entirely in terms of how a 127mm f4.5MF lens will appear to behave on an FX body, sure it's always a 127, but when looking through the viewfinder of FX what do we see? the same as a Nikon FX 127mm or an image that looks more like 60-65mm? or does it present us with the same view that we would see on an RB? I've read that in effect the f4.5 will get a lot faster on FX.
    Looking forward to seeing what you think Martyn
  17. Not keen to get too involved in these details, but the field of view of the RB 50mm is close (but slightly wider) to that of the Nikon 50mm.
  18. Thanks, now I'm getting more interested, Martyn, because my favourite range is from normal to portrait.
  19. in terms of how a 127mm f4.5MF lens will appear to behave on an FX body, sure it's always a 127, but when looking through the viewfinder of FX what do we see? the same as a Nikon FX 127mm or an image that looks more like 60-65mm?​
    Answer - the same as a Nikon FX 127mm. You said it yourself - "sure it's always a 127".
    or does it present us with the same view that we would see on an RB?​
    Answer - no. Focusing screens have essentially the same dimensions as the film/digital sensor inside the camera. So an RB screen, being about 4 times larger than a Nikon screen, shows a much wider image field than a Nikon, when the same lens is put on both.
    I've read that in effect the f4.5 will get a lot faster on FX.​
    It remains an f4.5 lens, on all formats. Perhaps what you read is that faster shutter speeds are possible because the FX digital camera has vastly better high ISO performance than medium format film/digital? But that has nothing to do with the lens.
  20. Put a few examples in the gallery http://www.photo.net/photodb/folder?folder_id=1074226. Not claiming they have any artistic merit but they do show that the adapter works - the 3 colour examples were mounted on a tripod & are straight from the camera except for reduction. The B&W pic was shot hand held, converted it to see how it would work.
    So, it does work... but, can't really see where any advantage is using the Mamiya lenses on the Nikon body, certainly much less convenient & I don't see any special quality in the images. Will probably give it a more thorough run out when I have the time but I doubt it will get a lot of use.
  21. Thanks for those pictures they certainly add to our knowledge about the Fotodiox RB adapter on Nikon FX, colour seems nice and accurate, no lack of sharpness even at edges, no obvious colour fringing and a hint that the bokeh could be quite entertaining - annoying if you don't like swirly or busy backgrounds.
    Thanks again - Clive
  22. Looking more closely at the pictures, even though I think I'm wanting to find more than is actually there, I'm sensing that the famous 3D effects that Mamiya RB is noted for seems to be there.
  23. Hi, just in case anyone is still following this thread - decided to sell the adapter, works fine but just can't see it getting much use. Probably putting it up for auction at the weekend - if anyone would care to make a reasonable offer in the meantime I'd much rather sell to someone here...
    Regards - Martyn
  24. Hi Martyn, I kind of guessed that the use of RB lenses on Nikon would be underwhelming....and our currency has dropped so much recently that buying outside Australia just doesn't make a lot of sense at the moment. Good luck with your sale. All the best, Clive

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