Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 Pro II

Comparison between the Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67.  Which camera is better?!  Article includes information on each camera system + portrait sample photos with each camera + YouTube video reviews for each system.

Mamiya RZ67 6×7 – Camera gear

Over the last two years I have done Mamiya RZ67 fashion photography, Mamiya RZ67 wedding photography and Mamiya RZ67 Polaroid photos. I have a selection of Mamiya Sekor lenses for the RZ; 65mm f4, 90mm f3.5, 110mm f2.8 (my favourite lens on the RZ) and the 180mm f4.5. I also bought different film backs for the Mamiya; RZ 645 film back, RZ 6×6 film back, standard 6×7 film backs and lastly a Polaroid film back. To focus the RZ67 I use the big and bright waist level viewfinder and until this experiment I have only shot the RZ handheld.

Hasselblad 501C 6×6 – Camera gear

If you have read my recent blog posts you will be aware of my Hasselblad v-system camera equipment but to recap I use the following Hasselblad lenses; Zeiss Distagon 50mm f4 CF, Zeiss Planar 80mm f2.8 CF, Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 CF, Zeiss Sonnar 150mm f4 CF and I use two 6×6 Hasselblad A12 film back. To focus I use a Hasselblad 45 degree prism finder and try to use the Hasselblad on a monopod for the sharpest possible photos. I have a waist level viewfinder but found it very difficult to focus with the acute matte screen (without split prism). In the last few months since purchase I have already done a Hasselblad wedding and Hasselblad fashion photography. I absolutely love the Hasselblad portraits with the 6×6 crop factor and can honestly say that I think the Hasselblad has had more beneficial impact on my photography than any other camera.

Mamiya RZ67 6×7 – User experience

I have always loved the big bright RZ viewfinder and 6×7 rotating film back. The 110mm f2.8 lens give both sharpness and a shallow depth of field. The size and weight of the Mamiya RZ has not deterred me but that said I have not used it a huge amount and it has never been overseas on model photography trips. I have always been happy with image sharpness and camera handling. One of the features I like the most on the RZ is the bellows focusing system as I can get as close as I want to my subject without the need of additional extension tubes. Perhaps my only complaint is the fact that the Mamiya RZ requires a battery. I found I used the RZ more without a battery and at the 1/400 fixed shutter speed. The Mamiya RZ is great for 6×6 Polaroid photos and I like how the image is captured in the centre of the film rather than being offset. I have used the Mamiya RZ with Polaroid back for events and the Polaroid photos produced are great. I always used the RZ handheld and never really thought to do any different despite the weight.

Hasselblad 501C 6×6 – User experience

From my recent blog posts and the rave reviews you may have noticed that I am a huge fan of the Hasselblad camera. I really struggled to focus with the original waist level viewfinder but now I am happy using the 45 degree prism finder. My favourite lens is the super sharp Zeiss Makro-Planar 120mm f4 CF lens as it lets me focus closer than the 80mm Planar kit lens and is incredibly sharp. As such I have hardly used the 80mm kit lens that most people seem to keep on their Hasselblad 500 series cameras. The Hasselblad is smaller (lighter and more compact) than the Mamiya RZ and as such it has already been overseas with me to Poland for model photography location shoots. The Hasselblad is 100% mechanical so requires no batteries which I love and the build quality is on a par with my Leica M3 film cameras (I think). It is a very rewarding camera to use!

Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 Shoot Out

As I own both cameras I was interested to compare the Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 Pro II. Here are a few images from each camera from my shoot with Julie in the studio. All photos werer shot on expired 120 Ilford Delta 100 film and developed in Kodak Xtol developer. Film negatives were scanned with a Epson v800 scanner and finished in Photoshop. Both cameras were used on monopods to make it a fair test. I fitted the Mamiya RZ with a 6×6 film back so both cameras were 6×6 format.  Click on any photo to see the lens used and additional information.

Hasselblad Portraits

Hasselblad 50mm Distagon Portrait
Hasselblad Studio Shoot
Hasselblad High Contrast

Mamiya RZ67 Portraits

Mamiya RZ67 Studio Portrait
Mamiya RZ67 Headshot + 180mm f4.5
Mamiya RZ67 vs Hasselblad

Conclusion – Clear Winner?

Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67?  Both camera systems are capable of producing very sharp images and I cannot call a clear winner here.  As such I think it comes down to what camera I enjoy using more.  The Hasselblad is smaller, lighter, arguably better built but also more expensive than the RZ.  If you are on a tight budget I would say you can capture equally good photos with a Mamiya RZ but if you want a camera system for life I would get a Hasselblad everytime.  The Hasselblad 501C will still be with me together with the Leica M3s for years to come where as I think the Mamiyas will come and go.  That is my rose tinted 2 cents worth anyway.

YouTube: Review Including Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67

Related Links:

> Hasselblad Links:
You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!
  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit  – HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit  – HERE

> Mamiya RZ67 Links:

20 thoughts on “Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 (6×6 vs 6×7 Cameras)”

  1. Very nice images.

    It’s interesting that you also had trouble focusing the Hasselblad with the waist-level finder. Compared to my Rolleiflex 2,8F my Hasselblad 500 C/M is a lot more difficult to judge focus with.

  2. The image quality is superb for both cameras. However the Mamiya is massive. I’d not want use one unless it was on a tripod and i’m not a weakling. The one I used had the prism finder though so perhaps a WLF would make it hand holdable. The main advantage of the RZ or RB is that it is 6×7. 6×6 there is no comparison. Hassie wins hands down. Even so it is not a comfortable camera to use. The prism is ugly, the shutter release in the wrong place
    AS you said though, it will last forever and of the highest quality images.

    1. Thanks Joe, I think for a fair comparison I would need to shoot identical photos in identical light. I agree here that for me at least perhaps 2 of the 3 RZ images are pleasing to my eye vs 1 for the Hassy. I was trying a range of lenses too so not all taken with a ‘normal’ focal length. Thanks for your thoughts.

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  4. I own the RB67 and the Hasselblad 503 cxi. I have the 50mm and the 150mm for the Hassebald. I also appreciate the bellows focusing on the Mamiya for the same reasons as you. I wish I had it on my Hasselblad actually. I am really very happy with the crisp contrasty sharp photos with the Hasselblad those lenses just rock and it is a smaller system than the old RB67 so that is a plus. I shoot my medium format cameras almost always on the tripod.

  5. Great review Matthew. For me the speed and accuracy of focussing would outweigh weight and even price tbh. I have a whole range of 35mm 1970s/1980s cameras and haven’t ever really shot on medium format before, although a friend of mine has the 500? 50th anniversary edition with 80mm lens.. how would that one compare to the Mamiya RZ67? I might try to convince him to sell me it at ‘mates rates’!
    The photos are beautiful I must say! What’s the name of the model? She is stunning.


    1. Thanks Oli! Yes I agree each camera has it’s place. I shoot weddings with 35mm Leicas but also take Hasselblad cameras so have to decide when to use each. I would certainly try the mates rates plan! If your eyes are used to 35mm film scans you will be blown away by the detail difference of a 6×6 negative. (then try 4×5! it’s another level ha) 🙂

      Thanks the model is Julie from the UK. If you ever want to know more details for photo I share on my blog normally you can click then and it will take you through to Flickr where I list camera/lens/film/developing/model etc etc.


      1. matthewosbornephotography

        Hi Gildas, sorry to just see this but I replied to your same message via Instagram. Thanks Matt

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  9. Great article. I own the RZ Pro II and it requires a steady hand to shoot handheld.
    I’ve been contemplating a smaller system.
    I’ve owned the Hassy but I found the waist level focus difficult. Maybe I’ll rethink the prism. I’m also interested in the Contax 645.
    I too love the 6×6 format.
    Shooting medium format is damn expense per shot. I would guesstimate $5 per shot.
    I’ll follow you 👍

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Thanks Michael, check out some of the more recent YouTube reviews on a few different MF cameras. Mamiya 645 but if you like 6×6 maybe a Rollei ..but the Hassy is better for me.

  10. Michael LaMaster

    Just found your videos while googling for info regarding Hasselblad’s vs RZ67 PROII/IID. Great info. I mainly shoot my Shen Hao 4×5 and have shot 4×5 since mid-late 90s. Just thinking recently of getting a medium format for some work. I do a lot of zone system style landscapes and some portraits for fun. I love the idea of the RZ67 ProiiD being able to take the digital backs (if I feel like dropping that much cash in the future) but for now, have been debating on RZ67 vs a Hasselblad 500/501 setup. I really love the 6×7 format, personally, and always felt that if I wanted to do a 6×6 format, I could always just visualize in shooting and crop in printing, so that was never an issue for me. I love the idea of an internal light meter, which I see is offered for both, Mamiya and Hasselblad, so again, that doesn’t really sway me one way or the other. As for quality, that is what I am mainly concerned with. I love my Schneider APO Symmar lenses on my 4×5 and really am drawn to the super bright 110mm lens for the RZ. I see a lot of pros and cons for both cameras so it has been a tough decision as to which I would like to settle on.
    Any thoughts on overall quality / reliability of each?

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi Michael, good to hear from you. I have Schneider APO lenses for 4×5 too so I can relate! (Love the size). I like the WLF view of the RZ67 better but use Hasselblad more. Smaller and full manual if get older models which suits me. Less things to go wrong! You’ll be happy with both I think so weigh up the lens options, format, size etc. I prefer 6×6 so I lean more that way too.

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