Mamiya RZ 645 Film Back

Mamiya RZ67 Pro ii

I am starting to miss my film photography that has been neglected since I got my Leica M9. I want to reduce the number of film cameras I own however I enjoy the different film formats – 6×9, 6×7, 6×6, 6×4.5, 35mm.

So, I just treated my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II medium format film camera to some new film backs. I bought 2x Mamiya 645 film back and 1 Mamiya 6×6 film back.

Why buy cropped film back for Mamiya?

I love the RZ large bright viewfinder and the sharp Mamiya Sekor leaf shutter lenses. I can sync my flash at 1/400 on the RZ vs. 1/200 for for Nikon D800 and 1/30 for my ARAX (Kiev 88). This allows me to ‘dim’ daylight more if needed.

The sharpest Mamiya RZ lenses that I own are the 65mm f4 and 110mm f2.8 Mamiya Sekor lenses. Both are a joy to use.

Mamiya RZ 6×6 Film Back

I bought a 6×6 film back as I prefer the square format. Yes I could crop a 6×7 photo but by having a dedicated 6×6 film back I get 2 more shots on a roll (12 rather than 10) and I get 6×6 straight out of camera which I prefer.

Mamiya RZ 645 Film Back

I bought 645 film backs so I can use the Mamiya for wedding portraits and studio portraits where I want to shoot more than 10 photos and yet I do not need the additional detail captured by 6×7 negatives. I believe there is a big jump from 35mm to 6×4.5 medium format in terms of detail captured in the negative. 35mm film can be too low resolution (more me) on occasion.

The Contax 645 let me see that the 645 format is a huge jump with almost 4x the negative ‘sensor’ size. Using a cropped 6×4.5 film back on a Mamiya RZ67 means I get 16 photos rather than 10 from each roll of 120 medum format film. This will make using the RZ more economical too with the ever rising film costs.

I realise I am losing up to half of the potential detail captured by the RZ but I don’t think anyone will tell the difference in the final image as I do not blow up my prints to make use of all those pixels.

So, new medium format film photography coming soon. I also plan to shoot a roll of 35mm film in my Voigtlander Bessa R3A rangefinder using the new Leica lenses – Summilux ASPH 50/1.4 + Summicron 50mm f2 and the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 50mm f1.5.

MatthewOsbornePhotography.co.uk

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About matthewosbornephotography

Coventry, UK studio based Model and Wedding Photographer offering both Medium Format Film and Digital Images. 1-2-1 Photography and Lighting Tuition also available.
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18 Responses to Mamiya RZ 645 Film Back

  1. Have fun with your new backs. However, I think you will get 12 6×6 shots (not 10) or 10 6×7 (not 8) shots from a roll of 120 film. In any case, more fun to be had! πŸ™‚

    • Many thanks Peter. I was blogging far to early in the morning! I was thinking of the 8 shots on a roll from my 6×9 Moskva-5 folding camera. Thanks for spotting, I have corrected! πŸ™‚

      • And I think it’s 15 645 shots not 16. πŸ™‚

        I just picked up a 645 back also. I don’t know why people say you’re “wasting” film when using a 645 back on the RZ. No film is wasted. Image is smaller, yes. But the RZ lenses are amazing, so why not shoot ratio/format with it.

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  4. Cheers Marc, It should be 16 in theory as you get 16 with a 645 camera like a Contax 645. I think by ‘waste’ they mean not getting the full use from the larger 6×7 format. I guess it is like using a full frame digital camera in crop mode all day. You capture half the detail. I have not used my 645 backs yet. I like 6×6 so has shot a roll of that and it’s in the fridge to develop! I will try to do some 645 shots with it over the summer and see if I can tell any difference vs 6×7 once scanned. 645 is still far more detail than 35mm! πŸ™‚

  5. kimberly yau says:

    hey question! for the rz67 pro ii – you can use the rz67 pro 645 and 66 backs? i’m new to medium format and the interchangeable backs thing is melting my brain.

    • Hi yes any RZ backs work on the Pro II πŸ˜‰ Don’t worry I had the same questions when I got my RZ! There is not that much info online about them. I have spare 645 back if you need one πŸ˜‰

      • kimberlykimono says:

        ha! sorry for the double post. logging in negated the “your comment is being moderated” feedback. i would TOTALLY be interested in a spare 645. let me win this auction for the camera, though, first. πŸ˜‰

      • kimberly y says:

        Having an RZ Pro II shipped to me today! Just had to bite the bullet. Let me know how much you’d want for your 645 back! I noticed that you’re in the UK, whilst I’m located in “‘Murica”.

      • Hey Kimberly, Congratulations on your new purchase!! πŸ™‚ I can promise you you will love it! Especially the huge viewfinder! πŸ™‚ I will get a price for 645 including postage. Thanks.

        What lens did you get with it? I have a 90mm lens spare too if you want it! πŸ™‚

      • kimberly y says:

        the 110mm f2.8! stoked. i will have to wait on another lens; must replenish my rupee bag first!

  6. kimberlykimono says:

    hey, question! the rz67 pro II can use the “regular” rz67 pro backs? i’m new to medium format and interchangeable backs is melting my brain!

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  9. Martin Tran says:

    Question: When using 645 backs, do you have to guess the framing in the finder?

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