RZ67 or 645AFD for handheld portraits and fashion

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by christian_balslev_van_randwijk, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Hello, and a merry Christmas to everyone. I am considering getting into medium format territory. I am using a Canon 1DS Mark II regularly, so the reason to get into MF is to shoot film. I want to shoot film because I'm so sick of post-processing digital files. So my choice of MF system isn't dependent on getting a MF Digital back at some time. I am going to use it mainly for portraits and fashion, maybe a little bit of landscape as well. How big a difference in IQ is there between the 6x4,5 and 6x7 formats? I probably wouldn't be making humongous prints that often. I like the fact that the AFD has Autofocus and is lighter. I prefer shooting handheld with off-camera lighting, so I would like to hear from anyone using the RZ67 if it is awkward focusing such a large camera handheld? I don't really mind the weight, I won't be using it for street photography :)
  2. It's interesting you've shot digital, but now want to return to film. If you're wanting to do handheld shooting, I would definately go with the 645. The 645 format is roughly half the size of 6x7, but at that size I don't think you'll notice the difference. The 645 does handle like a large 35mm camera. I think the 645 format is much better for the available components like lenses (auto focus) and digital backs (if you decide to return to digital). The photos I've taken with 645 and digital back are outstanding. If I coud afford a higher resolution than 6mp I would never return to film processing.
  3. I'll vote for the 6x7. I was shocked at the difference when I switched from 645 to 6x7 (Mamiya 645Pro to Mamiya 7). It's a whole different thing. Basically, making a killer 16x20 from 6x7 is like falling off a log, but you have to work to make 12x18s from 645. (Truth in advertising: my Mamiya 7 arrived just shortly before my 5D, and for 12x18, the 5D was fine, so I stopped shooting film.)
    Although I've not used an RB/RZ, I love waist level finders, and the rotating back makes the WLF reasonable on the RB/RZ cameras. You'll need a separate meter, of course. If you put a grip and a prism on an RB/RZ, you'll have a camera that's heavier than I'd want to deal with. But that's me and YMMV.
    The bad news, of course, is that to get the most from film, you need to scan it yourself with a Nikon 9000 or pay for scans. At which point, you'll be spending more time in front of the computer than you are with digital.
  4. David,
    Must have been the lenses on the 645. It's not the format.
    There is not much difference between 6x4.5 and 6x7: a 1.3x extra magnification.
    About the difference between a 16x20 and a 12x18... ;-) If lenses and film had been of same quality, the smaller print's quality should have been the same as that of the larger print.
    Or, the other way round: all else being equal, the difference in image quality between 6x4.5 and 6x7 is that between a 12x18 print made of a 6x7 negative (representing 6x7), and a 16x20 print of that very same 6x7 negative (representing 6x4.5).
    Not a lot. ;-)
  5. The lenses for the Mamiya 645 are great: the 55/2.8 and 110/2.8 in particular are wonderful lenses. As is the 60/4.0 on the Fuji GS645S. But a 6x7 slide really is a lot more information than a 645 frame. Basically, 6x7 makes superb prints at the next size up from the prints 645 struggles at, whatever your personal definitions of "superb print" and "struggles at" happen to be. And I find that to be a big difference.
  6. But if the lenses are equally good, the film too, there should be no difference at all between the two sizes print you mentioned. Same magnification. No format advantage.
    I'm not saying that - all else being equal - the 6x7 format is not better. But it is that by a little bit only, compared to 6x4.5.
    I never seen "a lot more" in 6x7 images (have seen that the Mamiya 6x4.5 lenses however are not as good as those of its larger Mamiya brothers and sisters. But that was a long time ago, and maybe things changed?)
  7. A note on scanning-I'm scanning an old batch of E6 from some past travels. The very lat the ing I want to do is sit in front of PS. Well composed and exposed slides (100VS) needs very little, sometimes no post processing.
  8. Michael,
    Same goes for negatives. They are easier to expose well too.
    But i agree completely: scanning is not a fun way to while your time away.
  9. I'd opt for the 645 for hand-held shooting.
  10. The 6x7 has 42 centimeters, the 645 has 27. The difference is 1.55. For portraits, fashion and some landscape, The RZ is better. For handheld, the 645.
    I have used the RB67 Pro-s handheld,with a bellows hood, and would do it again. The best way is with a grip holder.
  11. Strange numbers. ;-)
    The long side of 6x4.5 is 56 mm. That of 6x7 is 72 mm. About 1.3 x longer.
    That's about the difference between the 42 mm of 6x4.5's short side and the 56 mm of 6x7's short side too.
    Not much.
  12. I think i better explain the "strange numbers" bit: when did you last decide to produce a print of, say, 234 square centimeters?

    Or (in other words): differences in area sound impressive. And they perhaps are.
    But because not a thing we think in, square inches or centimeters, hard to tell whether it (in this case 55% more area - hurrah! a percentage! ;-) Actually, the difference is closer to 70%) really is impressive, or not.
    Which is why the case for larger formats often is made in terms of image area...
    (And the opposite case usually not) ;-)
  13. To use those numbers, 56mm and 42 for 645. And, 56mm and 72mm for 6x7, gives the area for 6x7 at 4032mm and that of 645 at 2352mm. The difference would be 1.71%.
    Why taking the area to measure diference is important, is because, with a 4x5 and 8x10 comparison,the 8x10 is twice as long. But, it has 4 times the area. A 4x5 doubled in size is not 8x10. Using the linear measurment, is misleading. Doubling the size of an object is the same , no matter how large or small it is. I can almost put 2 of my 645 negs onto 1 of my 6x7s.
  14. Regardless of the area, I'd still recommend 645 for hand-held shooting because it's so much easier to handle. In addition, the OP stated that he won't be making huge prints very often.
  15. Robert, I agree with you a 100%. That's why, even though I have a RB67, I ordered a M645 Pro, to be used for more handheld shots. What i called a "big daddy to a 35", SLR.
  16. The RZ is Not a good handheld camera and anyone who says so is being silly. The RZ is large and cumbersome.
  17. Math is not my strongest suit; but which is the more important measure when comparing different sizes of film, or sensor? Is it surface area, or is it linear dimension? Maybe the issue is resolution (linear) vs. information (area).
    As has been said here, the 6x7 negative has about 1.6x the image area of the 645; but its linear dimension is only 33% larger in the smaller dimension, and 17% in the longer. Increasing the negative size doesn't change its "resolution" but does increase the surface area upon which "information" is stored.
    Conversely, doubling a chip's pixel capacity from, say, the 12MP of the full-frame Nikon D3 to the 25MP of the full-frame D3x, results in only about a 40% increase in resolution (in other words, the square root of 2, the increase factor for total pixels.) And since on the digital chip there has been no increase in chip size, but simply a larger number of smaller pixels crowded onto the same size piece of silicon, has "information" really increased?
    Point of all this? Not sure. My intuition is that film area is more important, since it relates to total "information" area contained. The "pixels" (~film grain clumps) are the same size in the 645 and the 67 negative, so you've effected a 60% increase in the number of pixels of "information" in the larger negative.
    I'm confident someone more mathetically inclined will point out the flaws in this way of looking at it.

    No doubt, though, that the 645 is preferred for handheld portraits. The RZ67 I've been trying out just dwarfs my Contax 645. Those big negatives look great, but not so much greater that my aching arm is willing to put up with the pain; nor so much greater that the larger number of motion-blurred images with the RZ is compensated for. It's a tripod-loving beast.
  18. I have both the RZ67D and the 645AFD-II and most lenses for both bodies. I could not recommend the RZ for handheld work as you will lose most of the benefit (tack sharp, LARGE scans/prints) of the large film area. The RZ is designed for a much *sloooooooower* work flow than most people are used to when working handheld. The only way to do handheld with the RZ is with the metering prism, which itself weighs almost as much as (maybe more than??) the body itself. Add the L-bracket and you've got a difficult mass to keep stable by hand. I much prefer to use the RZ on a carbon tripod with a Manfrotto 322RC2 head and a hand meter. This is the best use for this camera as you can use slow film (say ISO 100 or slower) and get super sharp, high rez, drum or LED scans that far exceed anything that can be had with the best digital back. You will, however, have to expand you skill set to achieve this level.
    The 645AFD is much better for handheld as you've got autofocus, film wind, and metering in a relative small package (for film). I like shooting the 645 handheld flim as much or more then my Nikon F5.
    Considering the prices of some Nikon's and Canon's latest TOTL units, one could purchase an RZIID kit and an 645AFD-II (now there is a -III) kit and have the best of both worlds.
  19. If you have a Canon FF camera then I recommend the RZ67. The prints will be more like what you are used to. I use a RZ67 for landscape and portraiture for many years and have had no problem with the size.
    That big 6x7cm frame is a real joy.
  20. I agree with Barry Sanford. I have also used both cameras and there is no doubt that the 645 is easier to use as a hand held camera. The RZ is a great camera but was clearly designed to be tripod based. With a 100 or 125 ASA film you should get beautiful results.
  21. I agree with Barry Sanford. I have also used both cameras and there is no doubt that the 645 is easier to use as a hand held camera. The RZ is a great camera but was clearly designed to be tripod based. With a 100 or 125 ASA film you should get beautiful results.
  22. I have the RZ, and it is BIG. You can hang it around your neck and shoot handheld but the 6x6, and 645 can be so much smaller.
  23. Using the linear measurement, Jack, is not misleading, but quick, easy, and crystal clear.
    The linear dimension bit is preferable, because it leads quickest to something we know, and can compare.
    A 8x10 print increased in size by 71% is how big exactly...?
    On the other hand there is a quick and easy calculation: 8 x 1.3 = 10.4, 10 x 1.3 = 13.
    So do not try to make things more difficult for yourself than they need be.
    An 8x10 print made from a negative, and a 10.4x13 print made from the same negative show the difference in image quality between 6x7 and 6x4.5 (the larger print/higher magnification representing the smaller format).
    The impressive percentage may suggest many things, but forget about linear and percentual differences in size for a while, and simply compare such prints.
    You will see that even a 71% increase in size - though certainly not nothing - is not that much, really, in terms of image quality.
    Then consider whether this is enough for you to consider carrying the extra bulk of a 7x7 camera and it's larger lenses.
    Your choice, of course.
  24. Q. G, you make some great points. I read about this in the photo mags of the mid 70's. Where the author of the article was comparing a 35 neg to an 8x10. A 35 neg is almost 1.5 inches long. So, using the linear measurement, an 8x10 is 6.66 times larger than a 35. But, we all know that an 8x10 is many times that. The author used a number like 56 times (for area) larger. Which does make sense. I agree with you that 645, 6x6 makes great images. Which is why even though I have the Mamiya TLR, Mamiya press and a RB,I ordered a M645 Pro.
  25. huh? Jack, between you and Q.G. you lost me somewhere. Not a problem, I get the idea. Thanks.
  26. It's not just the multiplication factor of frame area -to- print area, it's also the *reduction* factor from the original subject -ttl- to the film frame. The 6x7 frame contains way more information to begin with than, say, a 35mm frame of the exact same original subject. For example, a 6x7 photograph of an NBA regulation basketball (9.5-inch diameter) contains 4.8 times more analog information than a 35mm shot of the same basketball. Thus, one is starting from a much "higher platform" when printing from 6x7 than when printing from 35mm. The total amount of noise introduced into the whole imaging workflow, from analog subject to analog print, starts with the lens system and how much reduction must first take place to even record the image.
  27. Try this for size:
    Imagine a picture of a newspaper.
    if you want to double the number of letters you see per row of printed text, you will need to double (linear) the size of the image (or squeeze twice as much in the same size image). Easy enough.
    The entire image (area) will then indeed contain 4x more letters. 4x more 'information'. But you will still only have doubled the number of letters you see per row of printed text.
    So would the total area (the thing that increased by a factor 4) be the measure to consider? You do only get lines that are twice as long... The number of lines too has only doubled...
  28. Has the length of the vertical portion of the picture is doubled, so is the horizontal. So, the letters per row would double, as would the letters in each column. Without changing the poportions of the image, what happens to the vertical also must happen to the horizontal.
    This reminds me of a math problem in grade school. Where, the farmer had a fence in area for his horses and doubled the number of horses he had. So, how much of a bigger area would he need for his horses.
    Q. G. , I love your website.
  29. The thing is that talk about an increase to 400% will appear as a promise of much, much more than we had before.
    But using area is misleading. Yes, we do indeed get 4x as much info. The way we look at things however only sees twice as many letters per row, only twice as many rows per page.
    Or put another way round: suppose we do not increase the image size, but the detail resolved instead. Letters that are just, but clearly readable in the original print may then be half the size to be as readable using the new resolution. But only half the size; not a quarter of the original size. Despite the fact that we can resolve 4x more detail in total.
    In short: using area as a measure is misleading.
  30. Easy Einstein. the square of the hypotenuse? I know HCB talked about the geometry of the composition but isnt this off the deep end? Anyway how does this correlate to a fashion shoot? Dont think the photogs shooting off the catwalk are math majors. (smile).
  31. I forgot earlier: Jack,
    I am glad you like the site!
    But it is not mine. It is a community project.
  32. I had an 645 AF and that would be the best for handheld as i do have an RZ now and that is more used with a tripod. I have shot it handheld but it so much nicer when sitting on a tripod. I even have used small point and shoot tripod and I get what I want. I now shoot all my handheld with a 67 Pentax.
  33. I guess the main thing is that for the OP, no matter which camera Christian chooses. 645 or RZ, that he will enjoy using it. the 645 will be great handheld. The RZ can also be handheld. I have handheld a RB, and on "America's next Top model", I've seen the photographer handhold a RZ with the prism finder. He's shooting fashion with flash. They also use what looks like a Hasselblad H-1?
  34. I want to shoot film because I'm so sick of post-processing digital files.​
    Unless you're printing in a wet darkroom, you still have to scan the film. The result is still a file, and one that actually is much more hassle to work with than a digitally originated RAW.
  35. Despite what is said above, the RZ67 has been handheld by a lot of the greatest fashion photographers for a long time. Whether or not it's "best" on a tripod is irrelevant. Any camera is best on a tripod, as far as 'critically sharp' results are concerned.
    Herb Ritts, for one, was not a large/strong dude. He used it WITH the motor drive and grip, and 180mm lenses. Handheld. On beaches.
    Of all the major fashion guys in the 80s-90s, about half used the pentax 67 and half used the RZ. From what i've seen the majority of the RZ and P67 guys used their cameras handheld more than 50% of the time. I'm not talking about catalog shooters, who may have to deal with a larger volume of repeatable shots, though.
    I had the RZ for a while. My first MF camera. I used it 90% in hand, with the grip, but no motor. It's not lightweight, but it is pretty easy to use.
    If you're shooting fashion, i would think the 6x7 negative would be significantly more of what you're looking for in terms of dimensionality, even if you don't need added resolution or enlargement size. There's something different and 'magical' about a 6x7 Portra or Tri-X shot. I've owned the Mamiya 645AF and 646Pro at times, as well, but the RZ has an advantage in terms of results. Ease of use, of course - an AF 645 camera is nice. But, i don't think you'll get a significant advantage over a top dSLR with a 645 camera for fashion, if you're shooting mostly color and can use a plug-in like Alien Skin Exposure and/or Nik Color Efex.
    I also, though, don't think you're going to get away from post-processing files, just because you shoot film. Who's going to scan? You have to deal with 'spotting' dust and such. Then, you still have to make the same kinds of adjustments and editing decisions as you make with digital. The difference is that the film already imparts a great deal more character into the shot, while digital is more of a blank slate/canvas for you to start adding character.
    I started with the RZ then switched to the Pentax 67 because i was shooting both the RZ and Canon 35mm during model shoots. I found i was getting better framing/compositional results with the 35mm simply because it was more mobile, quicker, and i shot more frames. So, i thought going to the more 35mm-like Pentax might help. It did, but not enough, so i went to the Mamiya 645AF. But, in the end, i didn't get that 'oomph' from a 645 neg, so i went back to the Pentax.... The bottom line is that there is, certainly, a compromise when you shoot with the big cameras. But, you have to make a choice. Mobility versus Image. If i had to do it all over again, i'd shoot digital alongside the RZ and skip completely the 645 options unless i could afford a Hassy H with digital back.
  36. Derek,
    I'm very curious now: where did you find those statistics?
    And i will repeat what has been said earlier: the difference between 6x7 and 6x4.5 is negligible.
    There is one, yes. But "significantly more" are not the words that accurately describe it. On the contrary.
  37. I have shot extensively with Hasselblad using the best Zeiss lenses and the RZ67 using the best of those lenses. Here's the real math: Hassy, and I therefore assume (maybe incorrectly) is 54.5 mm. RZ is 72. Does anyone really think the difference between 54.5 and 72 is negligible? then how about we do a monetary exchange, I give you 54.5 dollars and you give me $72? Hmmm.......sounds like a big difference to me.....How about if fuel went from $2.72 per gallon to $3.60 per gallon? Anyone think that's a negligible percentage? No, and it's not on film either. For me, and I admit I am very critical, an 8 x 10 print is about as far as I want to push a medium format "type R" film from a 54.5 transparency (I hate to say 6 x 6, it was always such an exaggeration). But with an RZ transparency I'm happy with 11 x 14. Now, put an 8 x 10 up on the wall next to an 11 x 14 and try to tell me the difference is negligible. Not to me.....
    I'd rather hand hold a Hassy all day from a comfort point of view. Who wouldn't? There IS a reason all those folks were using the bigger, heavier RZ's. And it wasn't prestige.
    I have no prejudice toward or against either brand.....I probably have more Hassy shots than RZ. The Hasselblad is sexier. It's lighter. It's prettier. It's Victor and Ansel the moon....... But throw the transparencies down on a light table or look at the englargements from both, pushing both to their limits. Do that and the ballgame's over. Do that and you'll pick the RZ.
  38. Forgot in my earlier post.........the math.........32% in the long dimension. If you print 8 x 10 that's a full 32% linear advantage......that would be 74.5% area advantage. And the area advantage is not playing games with math, the eye picks up area in a print, more than linear size, which is why an 11 x 14 next to 8 x 10 looks so much larger than the linear difference.
    Just one more context: this is no different than going from a 10 megapixel sensor to a 17.4 megapixel camera. Not exactly negligible.
  39. I wish I could edit an above post, I had an unfinished thought. It should read "..........and I therefore assume (maybe incorrectly) that the Mamiya 645 also measures 54.5 mm............"
    The missing thought is in italics in my above correction.
  40. Armando,
    In your amusing answers, you failed to say anything new.
    Oh, and yes (i'm also not saying anything new now) the difference is negligible.
    'Despite' your, and our, maths.
  41. " Does anyone really think the difference between 54.5 and 72 is negligible?"
    Sorry, but a comparison without context is useless. And the context here is usability and intended print size. I shoot 4x5, too, but I wouldn't recommend it for this application.
  42. OK, some context.
    If you always print below 8 x 10 with color film you will not be impressed with the difference. You may not see any difference.
    If you print 8 x 10 in color the difference may be important to you. It is noticeable to me and I can show you many examples of prints at 8 x 10 where the difference is worth it to me.
    If you print 11 x 14 or above, in color, the difference is immediately, absolutely obvious. To me, I am not interested in 11 x 14 off of 6 x 6, I never do it after seeing the falloff in quality. Yet I have yet to be disappointed in 11 x 14 prints off RZ transparencies.
    I think it's worth pointing out that I am not a "lover" of any particular brand, and haved owned or own, and more importantly shot pretty extensively with, Bronica ETRSi, Bronica RF 645, Hassy 6 x 6, Mamiya RB, Mamiya RZ, Mamiya 67II, as well as 6 x 17, 4 x 5 formats. I also use Canon 1DsII. So there is no vested interest here with any particular brand or model or format. I want the tool that does the best job. That is not often the case on this forum. I'm not trying to convince anyone to use what I own or have owned, as that list is spread across the field. What I am trying to do is let folks know then there is a difference in image quality. Part of the reason is that I was given so much misinformation by folks who had not had extensive experience with different brands and formats. I had to find out for myself. Often their suggestions came in the form of "You won't notice any difference between this lens and that or this neg size and that" and I was grossly disappointed when I saw other folks getting better technical results than I was using a larger format (and I consider 645 to 6x72 a jump in formats). I realized that most folks were not as picky as me, and that many folks were too wed to the brand and format they used to be objective about something else. Beware of guys specializing in one brand or format and then saying that the next bigger or more expensive is not the answer. Best to get a list of which models and formats they compared over a long period to come to their conclusions. Which lenses they used to do their tests. Then you can get a feel whether they are talking from a real experience base or just "gut feel" and personal bias.
  43. Armando,
    The difference 'scales' quite neatly: it always remains the same.
    Let's keep things at that you see a big difference. Even though the difference is negligible.
  44. I can't believe there's so much bickering over this. If you need to make big prints and can handle a 6x7 then fine use one. As I see it the 6x4.5 is probably the easier to handle so may well result in a higher proportion of "keepers" . As Q.G points out in practical terms the quality diference is only one papersize up anyway. It's far more important to get the shot and get it sharp and worry about how much you can enlarge it later!
  45. Q.G., I agree.........let's keep things simple.........you like to call a big difference negligible, if that big difference comes from something that the mighty Hasselblad does not cover. Which 6 x 7 format cameras have you owned and fully tested against Hasselbald to be so confident of the lack of difference in quality of the print?
    Let's keep our eye on the ball - as an early poster alluded to, 6 x 7 completely took over fashion for a reason, none of those folks carried those 6 x 7 cameras for the fun of it. Same for medium format product photography. Tripod or no tripod, the difference shows. Easily, unless you max out at 5 x 7 inch prints.
  46. Armando,
    Don't bring this down to a "what do you know", and "my brand is better than yours" level.
    I do know.
    And it's not about brand.
    So don't be silly. That doesn't help make a point. At least not one we would want to discuss here. ;-)
  47. "Armando, Don't bring this down to a "what do you know", and "my brand is better than yours" level."
    Q.G., I can't bring it down to "my brand is better than yours", I don't have a brand, I don't have a format. I'm only after the ultimate quality practical in each particular situation.
    Now, with all due respect, we do know that you have a history of love for Hasselblad and have expressed no need to go bigger than Victor's original choice, 6 x 6. But our purpose here should be to answer the original poster and without direct experience with 6 x 7 RZ lenses and format, and without having done direct tests, you should not dismiss a system with serious advantages above 5 x 7 as "insignificant". This is also being dismissive of others who have seen the difference and express that it is important to them. I am strictly thinking of the original question and remembering how I wished for a next level better for too many years (without having to cart around my 4 x 5 on trips, which I did do several times.) When I finally started using those lenses with that format I was elated at the elevation in quality at 8 x 10 and above, and wished someone had clued me in on what I was missing. I am not trying to prove what I know, that's a mission for lost lost souls and another discussion entirely. I'm just feeling empathetic to the guy who is in the position I was once, wondering about the differences. I invite you and other interested parties in this thread to my place one hour from Boston to see prints and posters, from 8 x 10 to 24 x 30 from each of the formats and see, strictly for the purpose of sharing real information, not to prove anything. The differences are there, it's the only reason 6 x 7 flourished. If you said "To me the differences are not important but may be for others" I would have no issue. But to say "negligible" is a more of a discounting of other posters who feel otherwise

    A final note to the original poster, if you are still undecided about the formats and it would help I can dig up some tests and send you the transparencies of the exact same shots (boring parking lot on a sunny day with cars, trees, bushes all around) of the different formats, you can get them printed. I have 50mm against 50mm, 110 against 100, 210 apo against 250 Superachromat. All on tripod, like lens shots taken within minutes of each other, same lot pro-pack of transparency film. You might want to do just 2 prints to see yourself.
    The image matters most. I don't care about the type of camera, the brand, the price, the prestige, the reputation, none of that matters. Being there for the image comes first, but I want to be prepared with the equipment that will maximize the technical quality of that image, which be my one shot in that particular situation in my life. Since this is so important to me I like to share that info with folks in case it's as important to them. That's why I'll answer a question here and there, and if you'll check my posts you will see they are few and are always about a subject where I have directly had much experience or have done specific tests.
    Poster, send me a private message if you want some trannys of the tests.
  48. Armando,
    'With all due respect', you're clutching at straws.
  49. No, QG, it is you who shows a "head in sand" attitude by grasping a format used by a brand you so have so fixated on for so long that you ignore the obvious, that thousands of pros have found a larger format (full 6 x 7) to have serious image advantages.
    Saying that "I am willing to make the tradeoff to use the smaller camera and format" would be a valid valid position. Maintaining that there really is not a difference, or that the difference is negligible, is simply an untenable and extremely obstinate position.
    It is noteworthy you have not mentioned the other systems of 6 x 7 format you have done careful evaluations with to come to your conclusion.
  50. Armando,

    I'm afraid you've lost the plot completely.
    You don't even notice that you're arguing, not against the views put forward, but that someone has a vested interest in a certain format.
    And , indeed, that you are the one with 'the knowledge'.
    Ah well. If that floats your boat.
    I must say, you are stressing the point very convincingly.
    But that point you are putting across so well is not about the relative merits of formats.
    Was clutching at straws mentioned already?
  51. Q.G., maybe you should read again.......my point is entirely that there is a significant advantage to 6 x 7 (as long as the system has good lenses, which the RZ certainly has) and that you are truly somehow missing the advantage, and giving Christian misleading information, by sticking to your "negligible" difference stance.
    Now, directed toward Christian, I am assuming you are quite interested in technical quality of your images since you use a 1DsII, which I also use. If you are going MF I'm still going to suggest going as big as possible, to the RZ, or you may be let down. The RZ will be stacking the odds in your favor for having a satisfying experience regarding image quality.
    Maybe you want to consider what I have often done in these situations: buy both, with a single lens, maybe normal lenses, the best for the RZ being the 110. Shoot and print. Compare. Sell the one you like less. Buying used, if you pay fair market price you'll get approximately the same back. You won't be left wondering "What if I got the other?"
  52. Armando,
    If you think it will help, sure, i will read again.
    Perhaps you could do the same? Then you will see that wat you brought to this 'argument' is some - and it has to be said - rather nonsensical, because absolutely irrelevant (and untrue to boot), points.
    "You failed to say anything new", remember?
    If you think i am providing misleading information, fine. Say so, and tell what you think is correct. And why.
    But spare us your nonsense.
    (And if think you have not talked nonense, i'm perfectly willing to point out the numerous fallacies and untruths in the strange argument you presented to support your view. But that too would add nothing new, so i will not.)
  53. Bah... so many typos.
    But you get the drift.
    Now don't think i am "being dismissive of others". We mustn't be, right? I'm just separating the wheat from the chaff, as they say, and concentrate on the relevant bits. And "that is not often the case on this forum."... ;-)
  54. why not a pentax 6x7? it's inexpensive with great optics and it shoots like a 35mm.
  55. Chris,
    I have a Mamiya RZ67 Proll and I love it... focusing is not hard at all, you will love it, eventough is a big and heavy camera, I take it averywhere to make any kind of pictures. I even make aerial with this camera and they come out great, some people say this camera has limitations, but I just love it and I would not change it.
    Aaron from Cancun
  56. That does it! Im selling my 501CM kit and getting a 645E. That should leave me about $3,000 richer.
    I give you $2 and you give me how much? A money changer pulled this trick on me...got to have some humor after all.
  57. "As I see it the 6x4.5 is probably the easier to handle so may well result in a higher proportion of "keepers" . As Q.G points out in practical terms the quality diference is only one papersize up anyway. It's far more important to get the shot and get it sharp and worry about how much you can enlarge it later!"
    Bryn undestands Q.G.'s point perfectly. You will get identical results from both 645 and 67 at the same levels of enlargement. So you'll end up printing about one paper size smaller with 645 to get *identical* quality. Why can't other folks see this? It's not about brand, and it's not difficult to understand.
    Whatever. Real men shoot large format!
  58. Hi Christian

    The simple truth is in the seeing. I strongly suggest that take up Armando’s generous offer. There is a basic rule in life " you won’t learn if you don't test " and here Armando has done the testing. I was lucky when I moved into Photography as I came from a background of testing so I asked the questions Armando is answering for you. I won't respond to further quips on this thread but I will say that tests support Armando.

    Best Regards

  59. 6x7 is actually a little bit better than 1 print size larger. if you make a 16x20 print from 6x4.5, that's about a 9.5x enlargement. blow up 6x7 the same amount and the image is 21x26. that's why it's easier to print from 6x7, even when the paper is one size larger.
    not that 6x7 is a magic bullet. the rz67 is technically handholdable, but if that's important to you, the 645afd won't ruin your prints.
  60. Hi All,
    Rather than percentages and such, I needed to view the facts in a easy to understand visual format: http://jbcrane.zenfolio.com/p572167072/e11d13485
    This graphic shows from 12.4mp up through 645 actual film size, then 67 actual film size. Of course, there are other aspects to consider when picking your format besides size. But for me and what I was trying to accomplish with MF, this visual made it abundantly clear to me. Hope someone else finds it useful.
    (the original images was shot digital with my Nikon D300)
    Kind regards,
    John Crane
  61. I'm a little surprised at some assertations that 6x7 is only negligibly better than 645. To me and my way of thinking (this is subjective, I understand...) a "negligible" difference might be considered the difference between, say, the 35mm scanned size vs. the D3X's 24.4mp (let's leave quality of pixels & scan aside for now). In purely megapixel speak that would be ~20mp vs. 24.4mp. Numbers aside, it's visually on the graphic a small jump.

    ...but the jump from 645 to 6x7 visually speaking is substantial enough to note, in my humble opinion. I think a good question for the OP might be whether the jump from the 5D SLR to the 645 is going to dramatically increase image quality (through increased size & image fidelity) while attempting to take the same type of photos. Will the 645 handle well enough to allow this? Unknown to me.
    The difference in handling between the RZ and the DSLR is substantial and requires practice. The results are well worth it. Just my .02¢.

    Kind regards,
    John Crane
  62. "Derek,
    I'm very curious now: where did you find those statistics?
    And i will repeat what has been said earlier: the difference between 6x7 and 6x4.5 is negligible."
    QG - which 'statistics' are you doubting?
    This was a discussion, not a report. My post was made with regard to the people i considered the "major" fashion photographers of the 80s and 90s: Michael Thompson, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, Mario Sorrenti, Peter Lindbergh, Thierry LeGoues, Mark Seliger, Annie Leibovitz, Mario Testino, Philip Dixon, Mark Borthwick, Regan Cameron, Nathaniel Goldberg, Seb Janiak, Christophe Kutner, Greg Gorman, Lance Staedler, Davis Factor, Andrew MacPherson, Ruven Afanador, Mark Baptiste, Koto Bolofo, Robert Erdman, Stewart Shining, Sante D'Orazio, Tony Duran, Miles Aldridge, Patric Shaw, Greg Kadel, Satoshi Saikusa, Norman Jean Roy, Tim Walker, Alistair Taylor Young, Marc Legrange, Rankin....
    From what i've seen/read/heard, all of the above used the Mamiya RZ67 or Pentax 67 for the bulk of their MF work. And, there are many, many more that i suspect used those two cameras - but i can't recall specifically where i may have found that information. The list above is from American Photo, French Photo, PDN, various video programs, including Style with Elsa Klensh (CNN), and Fashion TV, and conversation with assistants and rental studios.
    Among those credited with using 6x4.5 cameras, the list is relatively small, until the digital back became a factor.
    Why is this a matter of debate for you? We're not suggesting the Hasselblad isn't a worthy camera. After going through the RZ, Pentax, and a couple of 645s, i've happily 'settled' with a 203FE. But, i stopped shooting fashion. When i go back to it, it will be with an RZ67.
    And, YES, there is a significant difference between 6x7 and 6x4.5. And, NO, that difference needn't present itself in microscopic examination of film grain. There's a similar difference in dimensionality as when going from 35mm to Medium Format, and medium format to large format. The differences in film grain, though, in my experience, are also significant enough for me to prefer, by far, a 6x7 neg to a 6x4.5. I will admit, though, that if you're shooting with strobe, and/or with lots of DOF, the differences are smaller. But, with natural light and more shallow DOF, where grain becomes more apparent, 6x7 is something else altogether.
  63. Steven Klein, Markus Klinko, David Sims, Fabien Baron, Craig McDean, Solve Sundsbo, Mikael Jansson, Tom Munro, Thomas Schenk, Bruno Bisang, Andreas Bitesnich, Rocco LaSpata, Walter Chin, Nathaniel Goldberg, Vincent Peters.... Gilles Bensimon used the big Fuji GX, among lots of other cameras, but he said in an interview that he didn't use anything smaller than 6x7.
    It was pretty simple back then. If you shot fashion, you bought/rented an RZ67 or Pentax 67. Now, it's the Hassy H.
    The number of people i can think of that shot 6x4.5 is very small. There was a very famous French guy who's name i can't recall. Ellen von Unwerth said in an interview that, occasionally, certain of her clients made her use 645 (Contax, i believe) when they needed "big blowups" of things. But, her normal work was all done with 35mm Nikons with grainy film, so her 'moving up' to 645 is of no significance in this discussion. Same story with Terry Richardson. I think Pamela Hanson used 645s.
    @Robert Budding:
    It's not about enlargement size necessarily, until you get to posters/exhibition-sized stuff. It's about tonality and dimension, and having more information in a scan to manipulate it. If the objective was only to get an 11x14" print with the smallest grain size, you get a Canon 5D or Nikon D700 and add a little 'grain' with Exposure. You shoot a 6x7 to get a bigger feeling image. I don't have the words to adequately describe what that means. But, if you've looked at enough fashion shot with those cameras and then compare the images to those shot with 35mm or "35mm digital," you should see it. Look at the RZ images here:
    Look at a Herb Ritts book (or, better yet, print). Tri-X with an RZ is unmistakable. Tri-X with a 645 looks more like 35mm ISO 100 film.
    or this:
    What's important to remember is that we're talking about fashion, handheld. Under optimal circumstances: tripod, stationary subject matter, strobe-lit, fine-grained film, yeah, the differences shrink until you get to very large prints. But, fashion and stills are different animals. The bottom line for me was this: 100 fashion pros used the RZ/P67. 5 used a 645. Was i trying to 'outsmart' the 100 guys getting the Calvin Klein and Prada campaigns?
    This horse is pate´ it's been beaten so thoroughly.
  65. Hate to add anything on such an already inflamed thread, but I just want to report on my recent purchase of RZ67 -- not for fashion, but for landscape photography. I carried it around the Wichita Mountains with surprising comfort. Granted, this was with one lens and one back and a waist-level finder. But nonetheless it carries quite comfortably. Because the mirror shock is less a problem than, say, with the Pentax 67, I'd claim the RZ's weight makes it actually quite handholdable for non-telephoto lengths. This might be because, after all I'd read I was led to believe that the RZ was more like trying to handhold a car, and so my expectations were pretty low. Sorry I cannot speak for the ergonomics/tradeoffs in the context of fashion. But I highly recommend the RZ in general; don't fret about the weight. You'll get used to it quickly.

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