Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rental Cameras: Mamiya RZ67 Pro II, Part 2

Bent Sapling
Bent Sapling; Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 65mm f/4, Ilford HP5+

This continues part 1 of my discussion of the Mamiya RZ67. After a week of developing and scanning 4 rolls of film, I finally have all the results from my weekend with the RZ67 available, and the camera did not disappoint me. I shot 2 rolls of HP5+ rated at 400 in Muir Woods, 1 roll of Velvia 50 on and around Mt. Tamalpais, and 1 roll of Provia 100F for food photography, and all of them look great.

Rock On The Hillside
Rock On The Hillside; Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 180mm f/4.5, Ilford HP5+

Both lenses worked very well; the 180mm focal length in particular felt very natural to me, and I was very happy with many of the shots I got with it. This is not a huge surprise to me, as my first lens for my Canon 30D was a 50mm prime, which is actually a short telephoto lens on an APS-C sensor camera. Since then, I've always liked a longer than normal focal length. Were I to buy an RZ67 with only one lens, I think that this would be the one.

Coastal Grass
Coastal Grass; Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 65mm f/4, Fuji Velvia 50

The 65mm lens was also great, however. Having to adjust the floating element for close-up sharpness was a little annoying, but it seemed to work very well. The wide-normal view (about 30-35mm in 35mm terms) is also one that I like a lot. This is probably attributable to the 42mm lens on my Olympus 35RC, which has always felt very natural.

Fern Leaves
Fern Leaves; Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 180mm f/4.5, Ilford HP5+

For landscape work, both lenses worked very well, and the HP5+ looks lovely. One advantage of the 6x7 format is that a 400 speed film like HP5+ appears very grain-free as compared to 35mm (which is good, because the 400 speed lets you use much needed higher shutter speeds, especially somewhere as dark as Muir Woods). The bellows also enable some nice close ups like the fern above.

Hummus Plate (Provia 1)
Hummus Plate (Provia 1); Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 180mm f/4.5, Fuji Provia 100F, Canon 430EX, LumoPro LP120

One result that I was very interested in was how the food photography with Provia came out. Here, I was not disappointed either. There's a slight blue cast to the Provia, which I expected, and the DOF is much smaller, but the result looks very good. All of it was done with the 180mm, which worked nicely; it did require a stop of exposure compensation, but I expected that. Compared to the digital versions of the same shots, the digital is a little warmer, and has more DOF (same aperture for both, so this is expected), but the film version has a magic all its own. One thing I do note is that I would need an extension tube to get any closer with the 180mm, but this is not a huge hardship (although it would make my flashes work harder!).

Hummus Plate (Provia 2) Hummus Plate (Digital 2)
Hummus Plate (Provia 2) & Hummus Plate (Digital 2); Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 180mm f/4.5, Fuji Provia 100F, Canon 430EX, LumoPro LP120 & Canon 30D, Canon 200m f/2.8L

Roasted Squash With Salsa (Provia) Roasted Squash With Salsa (Digital)
Roasted Squash With Salsa (Prova & Digital); Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 180mm f/4.5, Fuji Provia 100F, Canon 430EX, LumoPro LP120, LumiQuest SB-III & Canon 30D, Canon 200m f/2.8L

All of the shots with and of the RZ67, including the ones in this post, can be seen in this Flickr set. All in all, I'm very happy with this camera, and with the results it produced. Really, the only negatives are the size and weight. Next, it's time to see how a 6x6 SLR fares.

Leaning Tree
Leaning Tree; Mamiyz RZ67 Pro II, 65mm f/4, Ilford HP5+

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