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RB67 digital back
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Jul 10, 2018 22:01:26   #
Uturn
 
Help - as I get closer to retirement and look to my photography I would really like to get out the RB67ProS and shoot with it.
I have had pretty good results scanning negatives & transparencies but I am interested (I think) in a digital back.

I have NO IDEA where to start or even if it makes sense.

Any thoughts about this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Bill
Atlanta

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Jul 10, 2018 22:19:14   #
Bobspez (a regular here)
 
Start with EBAY, something like this,

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Mamiya-RZ67-Pro-II-cameras-lenses-1-Leaf-Aptus-II-5-digital-back-etc/253741583125?hash=item3b142d4b15:g:a-EAAOSwvUJbGClL

then use google to research opinions and reviews of the equipment models you are interested in:

https://www.dpreview.com/articles/0762807063/leafaptusii5

In that price range you will get a Mamiya body and a Leaf Aptus 22MP digital back with probably a maximum usable iso of 400. Also the digital back sensor will not be the size of a 120 MF film negative, though twice the size of a Full Frame negative it will be considerably less than a MF Mamiya 645 film Negative or slide, and considerably less if your camera shoots larger formats than 6x4.5. You have to be careful to get all the required connectors and be sure the back actually matches the camera and is in working order. The ebay item I posted above would be one I'd stay away from because they don't even say if the equipment works. If they advertise it as fully functional and it is not, Paypal refunds your money.

I came close to buying a Mamiya 645D body and Leaf 22MP back for $1600 on ebay, but it had to be wired to a laptop to function, so OK for a studio but not practical for shooting outdoors. In the end I decided against it due to the low iso and reviews that said that particular model back was prone to having problems.

If I wanted to shoot digital MF I'd buy a Pentax 645Z like this one, even though I'd have to pay a few thousand more for Pentax Z autofocus lenses.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pentax-645-645Z-51-4MP-Digital-SLR-Camera-Black-Body-extras/153089829074?epid=208128693&hash=item23a4dd68d2:g:hT4AAOSwjdpbQFyi

Once again the sensor is only about half the size of 120 film, but twice the size of 35mm film.

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Jul 10, 2018 23:10:14   #
RWR (a regular here)
 
Uturn wrote:
Help - as I get closer to retirement and look to my photography I would really like to get out the RB67ProS and shoot with it.
I have had pretty good results scanning negatives & transparencies but I am interested (I think) in a digital back.

I have NO IDEA where to start or even if it makes sense.

Any thoughts about this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Bill
Atlanta

The Silvestri 7006 Adapter accepts Phase One, Leaf, Megavision, Imacon, and Eyelike backs for Hasselblad V:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/738545-REG/Silvestri_7006_7006_Adapter_for_Mamiya.html

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Jul 10, 2018 23:34:12   #
SharpShooter
 
Uturn wrote:
Help - as I get closer to retirement and look to my photography I would really like to get out the RB67ProS and shoot with it.
I have had pretty good results scanning negatives & transparencies but I am interested (I think) in a digital back.

I have NO IDEA where to start or even if it makes sense.

Any thoughts about this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Bill
Atlanta


Bill, I'll tell you what I think as well as what I have done.
I've never shoot much MF because I could just NOT see the advantages of it unless you were a wedding guy.
In the film daze, still going for me, I had always shot with 35mm or 4x5.
I could just not see of putting in the work and doing it with 120(MF), as romantic as it may seem.
Fast-forward to today. Those puny little sensors that pass for MF are to me a thing of the past!
Good ones are REALLY expensive especially when you look at lenses.
So what I have done, I moved up to a Canon 50 mp camera. That's more than enough camera for day to day ordinary photography. A used camera was cheap and uses all my regular lenses without a huge production. The 50 mp camera is the little brother to my sports camera and can be used as a second camera when I'm shooting action. It shoots the slow action!!! LoL
Bill it's a cheap and easy way to get into big mp. If In a year you still gotta have a MF, with ALL the money the Canon made you move up to a Phase One!!! LoL
Bill, good luck!
SS

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Jul 11, 2018 00:36:58   #
lamiaceae (a regular here)
 
SharpShooter wrote:
Bill, I'll tell you what I think as well as what I have done.
I've never shoot much MF because I could just NOT see the advantages of it unless you were a wedding guy.
In the film daze, still going for me, I had always shot with 35mm or 4x5.
I could just not see of putting in the work and doing it with 120(MF), as romantic as it may seem.
Fast-forward to today. Those puny little sensors that pass for MF are to me a thing of the past!
Good ones are REALLY expensive especially when you look at lenses.
So what I have done, I moved up to a Canon 50 mp camera. That's more than enough camera for day to day ordinary photography. A used camera was cheap and uses all my regular lenses without a huge production. The 50 mp camera is the little brother to my sports camera and can be used as a second camera when I'm shooting action. It shoots the slow action!!! LoL
Bill it's a cheap and easy way to get into big mp. If In a year you still gotta have a MF, with ALL the money the Canon made you move up to a Phase One!!! LoL
Bill, good luck!
SS
Bill, I'll tell you what I think as well as what I... (show quote)


I see your point. I used to have a medium format film camera, a Pentax 6x7. When it died, and it died horribly I left medium format but never really missed it. I've since shot with 35mm and 4x5" film. As a hobbyist I only need to please my self. I have several APS-C cameras and sure a FF would be great but I can't easily justify the expense. I really would like to have a Rolleiflex though.

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Jul 11, 2018 04:13:58   #
rjaywallace (a regular here)
 
Another medium format choice you might consider is the Fujifilm GFXs. Outstanding resolution of 51.4 megapixels with exceptional tone, advanced color reproduction and high-performance lenses. A large 43.8x32.9mm CMOS sensor, coupled with a small, lightweight body made of magnesium alloy and equipped with an ultra-high definition detachable EVF. Fuji’s well known exceptional lenses and pro system attachments designed expressly for the GFX.

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Jul 11, 2018 06:43:37   #
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Jul 11, 2018 07:51:55   #
jeryh
 
The best way I found was to take your shots on tranny film, then send the trannies to a shop which will digitise them at the same time as develop/process. Make sure you tell them which process you require, as MAC and Microsoft are different, as I found to my cost, and had to get the digitise process set for my mac.

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Jul 11, 2018 12:26:54   #
speters (a regular here)
 
Uturn wrote:
Help - as I get closer to retirement and look to my photography I would really like to get out the RB67ProS and shoot with it.
I have had pretty good results scanning negatives & transparencies but I am interested (I think) in a digital back.

I have NO IDEA where to start or even if it makes sense.

Any thoughts about this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Bill
Atlanta

You must be very well heeled, I wish you good luck, hope you can find one you can affort. If not, keep using that nice camera and shoot film!

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Jul 11, 2018 17:35:16   #
jackm1943 (a regular here)
 
lamiaceae wrote:
I see your point. I used to have a medium format film camera, a Pentax 6x7. When it died, and it died horribly I left medium format but never really missed it. I've since shot with 35mm and 4x5" film. As a hobbyist I only need to please my self. I have several APS-C cameras and sure a FF would be great but I can't easily justify the expense. I really would like to have a Rolleiflex though.

I had a Rolleiflex E3 2.8 Planar and loved it. It was the perfect "street" camera because it was so quiet and could be used at hip level. The image quality was outstanding. I gave it to my grandaughter a couple of years ago and she prefers it to her Hassy for several reasons, including the coolness factor. She gets asked about it from people my age. Developing 120 b/w film is pretty easy, can be done in a darkened bathroom. My friends who do color film say it just about as easy to develop as b/w film. These types of cameras can be had for relatively little. I'd still have it if my granddaughter didn't like film better than digital.

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Jul 11, 2018 19:03:12   #
SharpShooter
 
jackm1943 wrote:


including the coolness factor. She gets asked about it from people my age.


Jack, LoL, and young girls just love talking to old codgers like us! NOT!!!
SS

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Jul 11, 2018 20:36:20   #
Uturn
 
Thanks to one and all for the information and suggestions about digital backs for the RB67.

As I stated in my post I am quite ignorant about these product and the information you folks have provided is extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.

First - I was surprised to learn that the sensor isn't nearly as large as I imagined (yep - thought it would be full format - told ya I'm ignorant), nor did I know that the ISO is as limited as it seems to be.

I started shooting a little bit of commercial work (very little) after graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta but could never let go of my "real job" selling building materials.

I started shoot the RB67 in 1995 - shot about 5 weddings with it, and came to the conclusion that I don't like shooting weddings (well except the ones for my wife's youngest sister, and later my brothers wedding).

I used it to shoot product for a couple of very small clients (although the Horseman 4x5 was much better suited) and later turned to using it for landscapes during travels with my wife ( she has the patience to sit and be at peace with the world whilst I attempt to be artistic)

'round about 1999 -2001 I sold my Horseman and my dark room equipment but kept the RB67 and a Mamiya 645.

I bought into the trend that said "film is dead" went digital - first with a Canon EOS Rebel and I liked it well enough but there just wasn't enough resolution for my taste -later I turned to a Canon 50D and then added a 6D - along with a pretty good selection lenses.

While I like my Canons I still long for the days of clamping the RB67 to a really good Bogen tripod and really framing the shot - there is something carthatic about the process that using a SLR digital just doesn't seem to offer - but that's just me.

Having said that I have produced some very good photos with both of Canons and I think that I need to concentrate on using the tools that I have.

So I will continue to use the Canons (try to remember the tripod -it actually slows me down - makes me think) and just might get around to shooting film in both of my medium formats.

Thank you all for your advice and comments - you have been most helpful in this matter.

Bill

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Jul 11, 2018 20:42:37   #
Uturn
 
coming up on retirement and, while we are in good shape, I'm not all that "well heeled" money's gotta last 25 years or more (assuming the wife doesn't do me in)

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Jul 11, 2018 21:45:51   #
TriX (a regular here)
 
I’d put some Velvia or NPS for color or TriX (of course), FP4 or HP5 for B&W in that RB and enjoy it. You can either scan the negatives or print B&W on silver-based paper (if you still have a darkroom, and like me, prefer the look).

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Jul 11, 2018 23:56:00   #
Besperus
 
There are several large megapixel cameras which are equally large and heavier than the now popular mirrorless craze. Nikon 850 D, two Canon 5D models, the Sony bunch (A series) and surprise, a Fuji camera GFX50S, then the Pentax 645 and Hasselblad and probably others (Leica has a medium format camera?) All of them are expensive!
So, attaching a digital sensor (larger) to a medium format camera seems to make sense. Cheaper way to have a huge sensor
and high performance leaf shutter familiar lens. Time and technology keep changing.
Get real. You want a superior image buy a superior camera, Hasselblad. Alternative, 4X5 camera and a digital back?
The idea has been well explored. That’s my five cents worth.

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