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The Mamiya RZ67 is very interesting and in many ways, an unusual camera. I do not work for this brand, unfortunately gone today, having been entirely bought out by Phase One and I do not work for them either! The result is this guide. Split into five parts, it comes in at around 40, words. There is a lot to cover here: three camera models, eight focusing screens, three viewfinders, 27 lenses!!!
The naming of the RZ67 is a bit weird. One iconic image seen by billions of people was taken on a Mamiya RZ I really hated this photo, mainly because it was highly pixelated and of low jpeg quality. It really comes down to one question: do you want a completely mechanical camera or not? For any other answer, choose the RZ In addition, the RZ has more accessories. If you try to buy one of the three RZ versions on the second-hand market today, the main thing to try and understand — and always complicated to find — is the usage history of the camera.
Some photographers used it intensively, and you may encounter malfunctions or other problems because of that. That said, the RZ all versions is a very robust and reliable camera.
The first generation is usually cheaper but older. The Pro II is the clear winner for me. It has the fine focusing knob and 0. These additions make the Pro II the best option in my opinion. The Mamiya RZ67 is a versatile camera, with a lot of options and accessories. You also have a large range of lenses to choose from, all of excellent quality.
Here you can see the camera with the waist level viewfinder, the automatic winder, a film back, and a lens. You can also see different other lenses behind. I normally use my RZ67 to take portraits but I also bring it with me for shooting landscapes. Most of the time when I hike in the mountains, I will bring my mm. The main problem I have found is its ergonomics. I know your camera!
My father had the same one! OK, you have the RZ in hands for the first time and you want to shoot your first image with it. Not really. Check if you have a battery in your camera on the bottom.
Load a film into the film back. Point at and frame your subject. Focus by looking through the viewfinder, using the big knobs on each side of the RZ. Note: you can use a magnifying lens to help. Find the correct exposure using an external light meter. With the waist level viewfinder, you have to shoot the camera with no metering assistance. Set the shutter speed of your exposure with the knob on the left side. At the same time, take a look in the viewfinder to see if you have any LED lights showing.
No lit LEDs in the viewfinder? You can take your shot. Press the shutter release button all the way. You will hear a click the mirror and the shutter and you have just made your first exposure. Your camera is now cocked and ready to take the next shot. You will learn to load a film roll very quickly, the alarms in the viewfinder will warn you if you forget to remove the dark slide, or load a film, or if you need to put a new battery.
The handling of this device quickly becomes a reflex, and you will promptly do all this out of habit. The lock setting physically stops the shutter from being triggered. It can be helpful sometimes:. To access in this mode, you need to push the collar stop lever which has a white square dot a little before turning the release button collar. Then, turn so that the white dot faces the orange dot. Sometimes, if your RZ is a little old, or has been used a lot, the collar stop can be a little loose and will not stop the round collar in the shoot position when you turn it.
Always be mindful of putting the collar in its lock position when you are not using your camera. In a bag, for example, if the release shutter button is a little depressed by something, that can quickly discharge the battery. You can also use a single cable release to avoid blur if you have enough light and can use a high enough shutter speed.
But it does not work every time It depends on me, not the camera. You should make tests. For further warranty, use a release cable. So a simple release cable can be used and simply needs to be screwed into the port at the center of the shutter button.
It does the same job as if you pressed the shutter button with your finger. Both types work very well. The long one is a pump version I use with one of my feet. Otherwise, the shutter closes as soon as you stop squeezing the pump! The short one has a lock to block the release button during the desired exposure. The RZ is a reflex camera, which means that there is a mirror inside which allows you to see your composition in the viewfinder.
The mirror moves up and out of the way when you push the shutter button to expose the film. The RZ has the option to lift the mirror up independently, just before the release. For this, you can use the mirror up cable release from Mamiya. One cable is to lift the mirror, and the second is to trip the shutter. You have two different colors at each end, one silver, and one black.
The black cable goes on the lens and it is used to lift the mirror. Note the red ring that pokes out when the cable is screwed-in correctly.
This is because if the red ring is showing — even without the cable screwed-in — the mirror cannot be lowered using the cocking lever. So when you remove the mirror cable, be careful that this little tube fits entirely in the lens, you must not see the red circle , otherwise, your Mamiya will be blocked, and you will not be able to make new photos. If the mirror is in the up position if the tube stays out after a release, even though you removed the trigger cable , you will not be able to remove the film back, and you will not be able to use the cocking lever neither remove your lens.
To solve this problem, you need to screw the cable in again, then unscrew it, making sure the tube recesses itself back into the lens barrel. So, Important reminder: when you screw in a cable on the lens plug, you can see a little tube coming out with a red ring around it.
When you remove the cable from the lens plug, take care that the tube is totally retracted until you no longer see the red ring. Instead, you will no be able to shoot with your RZ! And it works like that. When you push the release button on the cable, it first lifts the mirror up, then shortly after, trips the shutter. As the big mirror can produce vibrations that blur your images at low speeds, this double cable is a perfect solution, especially for long time exposures. But remember: you have to lift up the mirror first using the cable screwed onto the lens!
Many photographers find the focusing system on RZ67 different and quite awkward to their usual cameras. The RZ67 uses bellows focusing with a rack and pinion drive, much like a large format view camera, but without ground glass nevertheless, there is an option available for the RZ! When the bellows is deployed, the camera shows a diagram on the right side of the camera body with a lot of information.
This diagram is to help you find the right depth of field DoF and set the best diaphragm to get what you want in focus. You also use the blue ring on your lens that tells you what the real DoF obtained with your diaphragm setting is. On the left of the diagram, you have the focusing distances in meters white and feet yellow. On the right, you have a list of lenses ranging from 50mm to mm not the complete system.
In between these, there is a diagram for each lens, for the corresponding focusing distance. The diagram is also useful to find exposure compensation values when the bellows is deployed. You can see from the diagram below that the 90mm lens only needs a small amount of compensation to be added. The picture below shows the bellows extended fully. Check for the white dot to see which curve represents which lens.
From the right to left: 50mm, 65mm, 75mm, 90mm, mm, etc. Fully collapsed bellows will give you infinite focus for all lenses. Fully extended, it depends on the lens, but you can focus as close as 0. The distances on the camera go from infinity to 0. For example, the minimum focusing distance from the front of the 50mm is 45mm. As you rack the bellows out to focus, the diagram shows you the amount of exposure compensation you will need to apply to your meter reading based on the distance to your subject.
Mamiya RZ67 PRO II Instructions Manual
Mamiya RZ67 PRO II User Manual
A complete guide to the Mamiya RZ67 Pro: part one – deep system overview