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Author Topic: Mamiya RZ67 with digital back?  (Read 14179 times)
pjtn
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« on: March 16, 2013, 01:50:35 AM »
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I'm just wondering what the Mamiya RZ67 cameras are like when used with a digital back? I'm currently looking at one to use with either a Phase One P25 or Mamiya DM28 back for landscape photography.

I understand they are very heavy and quite large, I'm pretty sure I could deal with that though. I have also heard the lenses are very good. Which is great because they're also very cheap.
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RomainVaucher
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2013, 04:50:50 AM »
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I use a RZ67 Pro II. And I used it with several backs (from H5 to P25) but not for landscape work, mostly fashion.

I love it. It is really heavy but once you get used to it and to the manual focus on the fly, it is a great camera. Plus it is pretty cheap to get lenses etc. (You can fit some RB lenses on it if you need)

The only problem : Since I do not have the Pro II D there are some cables that get in the way.
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amsp
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2013, 06:35:56 AM »
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I bought an rz67 pro IID a couple of weeks ago and I'm using it with my P25. It's pretty much like you said, big, heavy, great lenses, and a lovely big waist level finder. Crop factor is of course slightly annoying and means you won't be able to shoot really wide, as the widest lens is a 50mm. But for me it's not huge problem as there's always film or I can use my 645 if I need to. All in all it's a great camera with some limitations, I'm definitely happy with it.
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pjtn
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2013, 09:23:51 AM »
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Do you use it for landscape amsp? I'm a little worried about the weight, that would be my main issue. I guess it's not so bad as lugging around a large format film camera at least.
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pjtn
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 09:43:28 AM »
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Does anyone know how the RZ lenses compare with those on the AFD system? I've looked around and the AFD lenses are usually around $700. I'd be looking for something like a 50mm, 80mm and 150mm.
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TMARK
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2013, 09:54:32 AM »
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Does anyone know how the RZ lenses compare with those on the AFD system? I've looked around and the AFD lenses are usually around $700. I'd be looking for something like a 50mm, 80mm and 150mm.

RZ lenses are amazing. No dogs in the pack. For landscape get the 50 ULD version as it has a floating element.

As to weight, it's lighter than an Arca F Field 4x5. It gets heavy with the winder and a prism.
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amsp
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2013, 11:18:51 AM »
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Do you use it for landscape amsp? I'm a little worried about the weight, that would be my main issue. I guess it's not so bad as lugging around a large format film camera at least.

I don't use it for landscape, but I think if you can work around the issue of wide angle lenses (stitch maybe?) then I don't think the weight should be a problem. I'd actually say the weight is more an issue if you do a lot of handheld type of photography. Use a good backpack and you should be fine, like TMARK said it's no worse than a large format camera. As for 645 lenses they are no slouch either, especially the ones you mentioned, 55, 80, 150 are all good. I haven't used the rz67 enough to compare the two, but I'd expect the rz lenses to be somewhat better because of the bellows design. I definitely love the rendering so far.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 11:39:15 AM by amsp » Logged
werner from aurora
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2013, 04:38:34 PM »
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   I can't give you any advice regarding the digital backs, but I use my RZ almost exclusively for portraits and landscapes. It can get a little heavy if you tend to carry every RZ lens you own with you.( in my case I am embarrassed to tell you how many). But there is a rhythm to using this camera that (for me) no full frame digital comes close to. I have gotten rid of a lot of Medium format cameras, but just can't part with this one. One day I know I will pick up a digital back for it.       Even if an older digital back barely matches some of the full frame DSLRs coming out, I know I would still get more keepers with the RZ. It just engages me in a way my full frame does not, and cannot. But that's just me. I don't make a living from my photography so I can afford to be a little eccentric. ( or stupid, depending on who you ask).
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 04:40:05 PM by werner from aurora » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2013, 04:53:28 PM »
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The RZ is a great camera. The waist level finder has quite good magnification for focusing, but it would be much better if Mamiya made a waist level finder specifically for the size of digital backs.

However one limitation you would have is wide angles. While the RZ has nice wide angles they are designed for 6x7 and with the crop of even a full frame MF digital sensor
You would not get much angle of view with the RZ lenses.
However the RZ lenses are very good even with film it's a very nice camera.
Here is a shot with film:



and here is a crop:



Black and white film could be a good compliment to a p25 RZ combo for when you want a wider angle, plus the option of shooting infrared film
is nice.


It would also be really nice if mamiya could make a stitch back for the RZ allowing you to shift the back making two captures that cover the full 6x7. Would be very nice for landscape and with a "modest" P25 you would get a 40MP capture.

You can get stitch backs for the Fuji gx680, but they are heavy cameras and the widest lens is 50mm.
However you can get very large files as it can do more than a two frame rectalinear stitch.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2013, 04:58:13 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2013, 05:13:20 PM »
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  Even if an older digital back barely matches some of the full frame DSLRs coming out, I know I would still get more keepers with the RZ. It just engages me in a way my full frame does not, and cannot. But that's just me. I don't make a living from my photography so I can afford to be a little eccentric. ( or stupid, depending on who you ask).

It's that waist level view finder.... when you look down you frontal lobes in the brain get more blood... just kidding.
On second thoughts there might be something about that.
I shoot some 8x10 and to see the image straight on the ground glass I have to look at it upside down... even more blood to the brain. Wink
 
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pjtn
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2013, 11:11:35 PM »
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I have to admit personally I don't really like the modern DSLR's. Too automated and technology driven.

I'm also not convinced that the modern DSLR cameras have caught up to digital backs yet either. Looking at sample images from the latest 24mp DSLR cameras I find they lack detail and sharpness compared to a P25.

That photo is stunning FredBGG. The crop is also amazing, incredible detail. I wouldn't mind shooting film but here in country South Australia it's a long way to go for development. Scanning is also a huge problem.

Why are the RZ cameras so cheap when they seem to have such excellent optics?
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FredBGG
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2013, 03:33:05 AM »
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That photo is stunning FredBGG. The crop is also amazing, incredible detail. I wouldn't mind shooting film but here in country South Australia it's a long way to go for development. Scanning is also a huge problem.

Why are the RZ cameras so cheap when they seem to have such excellent optics?

Thanks for the compliment!
While processing and scanning is an issue with film it's a nice option to have. Also the photo I posted I processed the negatives myself and recently made the scan
with the Epson v750.

Personally I have found that I prefer a combination of top of the line 35mm DSLR  (d800 for me) for digital and them larger film formats for a different look.
I still shoot 6x8cm film, 8x10 inch film and for certain things straight to paper 8x10 inch.

However I think that the P25+ on an RZ with the film option of 6x7 with the excellent and inexpensive used RZ lenses is a great tool.
The Phase One P series backs are built like little tanks and the RZ is a very dependable and simple camera. However do keep in mind that you will get much better results when shooting mirror up. This is because the RZ has both a big mirror and quite a chunky lens driving mechanism that shuts down the iris etc.
However Mamiya made a very nice double cable release that makes mirror up shooting quite nice to do. However hand held it's a bit of an issue as there isn't a dedicated mirror up button.
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pjtn
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2013, 06:52:05 AM »
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Ah yes, the mirror lock-up. That is one thing I keep forgetting to find out.

I'm amazed at the quality you got from the Epson V750. I had no idea it was so capable. How large do you feel a file like that would print?

Right know I'm basically just tossing up between getting an RZ or AFD. There are two digital backs I'm looking at between a Phase One P25 and Mamiya DM28.

Basically it seems features of the two systems are:

RZ
- Very heavy and large but well made
- Mechanical design should be reliable and needs very little battery power
- Cheap bodies and lenses
- Very good optical quality

AFD
- Smaller and lighter
- Auto focus
- Relies on battery power
- More modern automated features
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neilwatson
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2013, 07:05:34 AM »
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Yes, it would be really good if Mamiya would make a sliding back for the RZ.
Actually it would be very easy for them.  The current adapter rotates and allows horizontal and vertical images. 
If they just offset the hole and put it on one side and made it veritical.  You could take a shot then rotate 180 degrees to get the other half of the 6x7 image
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pjtn
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2013, 07:15:37 AM »
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Actually, I'm assuming that either the P25 or Mamiya DM28 would make a good 24x32" print?
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TMARK
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2013, 08:30:24 AM »
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Actually, I'm assuming that either the P25 or Mamiya DM28 would make a good 24x32" print?

Yes they would. One thing to keep in mind is that the Phase backs need a wake up signal, so you need a wake up cable. The Leaf backs don't need the cable.
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pjtn
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2013, 08:39:42 AM »
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Ah ok, I think the combo I'm looking at already has the wake up cable. The photos I've seen have a cable which runs from the front of the camera to the DB.
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yaya
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2013, 09:16:15 AM »
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If you opt for the DM28 and a non-D body you need to order the Leaf adapter which A) rotates, B) comes with a lens-to-back synce cable and a marked focusing screen for your back

As TMARK mentioned you only need a sync cable from the lens to the back

Cheers

Yair
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Yair Shahar | Product Manager | Mamiya Leaf |
e: ysh@mamiyaleaf.com | m: +44(0)77 8992 8199 | www.mamiyaleaf.com | yaya's blog
amsp
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2013, 09:19:10 AM »
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There's no wake-up required with a P25 on an rz67, at least not with the IID.
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pjtn
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2013, 09:42:56 AM »
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I need to check but I think this is the Pro ii non D model.

I just did a little hunting for specs and I'm a little less worried about the weight now. With waist level finder, film back and 110mm lens it is only 2.5kg. My old Hasselblad H1 and P30+ with a lens would have weighed that. I never had an issue with that cameras weight either.
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