Mamiya RZ67 Portraits / Model Photography Budapest
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
December 2017 (from February 2017)
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II Portraits
Mamiya RZ67 Portraits – Here are a series of film scan images I shot on my Mamiya RZ67 Pro II 6×7 medium format film camera. I used the Mamiya 110mm f2.8 lens (as pictured above), the amazingly big and bright Mamiya RZ waist level viewfinder and a Mamiya RZ 6×6 film back rather than a standard RZ 6×7 film back. After using my Hasselblad 501C / 500CM cameras a lot I prefer composing as a square than 6×7. I used a mixture of film stocks for the shoot but many of the colour photos were shot on expired 120 Kodak Portra 160 film.
All the photos were shot on a model photography trip to Budapest in February 2017 when I finally decided to take the big Mamiya RZ67 overseas (for the first time I think). Since then I have gone back to travelling with a Hasselblad camera or if I need to travel light only Leica M cameras. Hasselblad cameras are nice but the Mamiya RZ67 viewfinder is still the best (biggest, brightest, easiest to focus) and I enjoy the Mamiya RZ bellows system where I can focus as close as I wish with any lens. (Like the even more amazing Rolleiflex SL66E camera which also uses bellows but is always breaking / jammed).
I have blogged my thoughts on the Hasselblad vs. Mamiya RZ67 comparison before. 12 months (or so) on and with me now using more Hasselblad equipment I think the Mamiya RZ photos here render smoother than my Hasselblad photos (that I can think of) and using the above mentioned Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 lens the sharpness is fantastic. Both the Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and the Hasselblad 500CM /501C are very good cameras.
A big thanks to the Budapest models Petra, Patricia and Nora. I was using multiple cameras so the other girls may have been shot on a 35mm Leica film camera or digital Leica M240.
*(I don’t normally say this but I would strongly recommend you to click any image that catches your eye to view larger on Flickr as small size here really doesn’t do the camera / lens / model justice!).
Matthew Osborne Photography / Mr Leica
I have owned my Mamiya RZ67 medium format film camera since summer 2013 but have only recently bought my Hasselblad 501C. Here is a post to compare the Hasselblad vs Mamiya RZ67 giving information on each camera system and then a few example images.
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.
Mamiya RZ67 Portraits
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.
I was recently gifted a mixed batch of unrefrigerated expired camera film and some of the rolls were medium format 120 Ilford Delta 400 film dating back to 2006. I thought I would try a shooting a few rolls to see how I got on. I decided to expose the first film at 400@200 and developed in Rodinal. Some of the photos were a little dark so for the next roll I exposed at 400@100. Here are the results from recent model photography shoots in my Coventry studio. Cameras including my Mamiya 645 Super, Mamiya RZ 67 and 4×5 large format Pacemaker Speed Graphic with a 120 roll film back.
Mamiya 645 Super + Vega 28 MC 120mm f2.8 (Freelensing)
Model – Tegan (400@200)
Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II + Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 + RZ 6×6 Film Back
Model – Charlotte (400@100)
4×5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic + Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm f2.5 + Horseman 120 6×7 Roll Film Back
Model – Harriet (400@100)
The next expired film I tried was 2006 C41 black and white film 35mm Kodak BW400CN in Rodinal.. coming next.
Big thanks again to Richard who gifted the film to me.
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.
When home developing B&W film I normally I use a mix of Xtol & Rodinal to stand develop my film but today I tried just Rodinal, 1:100. I say Rodinal but the formula I use is actually called R09 One Shot. You can buy it in 125ml bottles from eBay.
For my 120 film reel depth in the Paterson tank I needed 600ml approx (to be safe) so used 6ml of Rodinal to tap water. Normally I develop for 19-23 mins so I did not want to wait the usual ‘1 hour’. I timed 30mins and did 1 agitation at 15mins (so this is semi-stand developing really)(for even results/ increased contrast) at 20 degrees.
This was a model photography portfolio shoot with UK model Josie. I used my Mamiya RZ67 and Fuji Acros film. She had mainly digital photos taken on the day but when I seen a nice pose I grab the Mamiya RZ67 / Contax 645 for some film photography shots. 🙂
The end result.. I actually much prefer this to my normal developing look for this photo at least. Very sharp, highlights not blown (nearly always are usually) and nice contrast and tonal range. I’m impressed!
I saw this post recently and I think it may well be the best description of Stand Development i’ve seen.
Have a read if you’ve never tried it!
Update: Second roll developed with Rodinal. Here I developed 120 Kodak T-Max 400 in Rodinal 1:150 for 1 hour at 20 degrees C. (Why 1:150..why not!)(will try Rodinal 1:200 next)
“The Dancer” shot with Contax 645 and Carl Zeiss 80mm f2 lens at 1/60 at f2
I’ll post more examples here as I scan the negatives.
Me in action shooting the Mamiya RZ67 Pro II medium format film camera!
This was taken of me while I was shooting an Asian pre-wedding shoot. For medium format film photography I currently use 120 Kodak T-Max 100 film or 120 Kodak TMax 400 film. The Mamiya RZ has a 6×7 format so gives 10 photos per roll of 120 film. (In comparison a 6×6 format film camera such as a Hasselblad will gives 12 photos per roll)
In this shot I am using the Mamiya Sekor 110mm f2.8 lens – my favourite lens of the Mamiya RZ67 lens lineup with amazing shallow depth of field and small and compact compared to some of the other RZ lenses. For wider photos I favour the Mamiya 65mm lens and for a telephoto the Mamiay 180mm lens. The 90mm lens came with the camera but I don’t use it as too close to my favoured 110mm.
Despite the large size of the RZ67 I use the camera like any other on location aswell as in the studio. I also use it handheld when there is suffiicient light (but in low light opt for a monopod).
The Mamiya RZ is currently my favourite camera and the huge 6×7 negative scans using an Epson v600 are just amazing. The subject gets a 3D look which is difficult to achieve with digital photography.
I use the RZ67 for model photography and as a wedding photographer. I am doing a black and white wedding photography package for a lucky couple this week so examples coming soon!
Anyone who has seen my Flickr photos will know I like to shoot lens wide open. That being, at their widest aperture.
My most used 3 lenses for model photography on the Nikon D800 are the Samyang 85mm f1.4, Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s and the Nikkor 200 f2 AI-s. I also use a 35/1.4 and 24/1.4 amongst others.
But.. after all of that I think my taste is evolving.. I stop down the above lenses to meter light for some of the medium format film camera like the Contax 645, Mamiya RZ67 ProII and the Moskva-5. Some of the medium format lens are f3.5 or f4 widest aperture. In this photo I was using the 65mm f4 WA Mamiya Sekor leaf shutter lens so had shot the Samyang at f4 also.
Because medium format lenses give a greater shallow DOF I find myself stopping them down to get extra sharpness yet they are still super shallow.
I think this habit is now transferring back to digital and I find myself shooting the Nikkor 50mm f1.2 at f2.8 or f4.
Another example of model Nella shot with the Samyang 85mm f1.4 at f2.8:
Here Nella with Nikkor 50mm f1.2 AI-s stopped down:
It will be interesting to see how my stream looks in 6 months from now..