Gearview: Mamiya RB67 Pro S / by Balazs Szucs

The truck. This. Thing. Is. Awesome. I have always loved medium format and this camera serves me well. It is bulky and a bit awkward to handle sometimes due to some of the button placements, but I'll be damned if it isn't a good system. The controls are fully mechanical and the parts are interchangeable on all fronts. If you want some automation, then you should look at the Mamiya RZ67 line. With its switchable film back's I can have multiple films loaded and ready. With a PC-cable, I can hook it up to my flash system. The film cartridges can be turned sideways to switch between portrait and landscape view. Giddy-up.

This camera has been built with studio use in mind, so it is always a nice challenge to take it out and do street and news photography with it. Besides the handling, the only thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't have built-in lightmeter in the body (the RZ series do). There is a viewfinder with one, but it would be too bulky for my style of work. Anyhow, this means that external metering is needed, preferably with a light meter. Oddly enough I found that there is a difference in the resulting image when I use the readings from a compact camera and a light meter. But that is a topic for later.

The recording format is 6x7cm with this camera, which is on the higher end of the medium format scale. It gives me more surface to record details on upon, even though it limits my regular rolls to ten shots instead of twelve. But quality over quantity and learn to quick load, my friend. Keep in mind that medium format camera requires quite some precision when focusing due to it's 'negative' crop factor compared to regular full frame cameras.

My wishlist for this camera is grip bracket and the prism finder so that it will be easier to shoot in a more dynamic fashion.

In conclusion: Don't mind the weight and lift for glory.