For a while I’ve fancied a Mamiya RB67 medium format SLR. I’d read about the tech specs, the wonderful lenses, the high resolution, and all the other benefits of such a powerful camera, and last week I splashed the cash and bought one. Optically, it was just what I was expecting – but nothing could have prepared me for the size and weight of this beast.
Sure, I’d seen figures online that said it weighed so many grammes and was so many millimetres wide. But that didn’t mean anything to me as an abstract number. Now I have the RB67 in my possession, I decided to take a few photos to put the figures into context. Most other photography equipment websites concentrate on how the gear performs, but I’m going to ignore that and focus solely on size and weight in a light-hearted and unscientific way.
I’ve got several other medium format cameras, although they are not SLRs. I knew the RB67 would be bigger than the others, but here the RB67 dwarfs my Coronet Conway Synchronised – not a small camera itself.
And to put this size into a more tangible context for normal people who don’t collect box cameras, here it is with my Canon AE-1 Program – a popular consumer SLR in the 80s. It’s slightly larger and a little heavier than a modern digital SLR.
And then we come to the matter of lenses. The RB67’s lenses have a longer focal length due to the larger film format, but they are also chunkier in every dimension. Here I have photographed a Mamiya-Sekor 50mm wide-angle lens with an equivalent Canon 28mm wide-angle lens for the AE-1 Program.
The Mamiya-Sekor 50mm lens on its own weighs about the same as the whole Canon AE-1 Program camera with a lens. It also weighs about the same as a collection of four Canon FD-mount lenses (135mm, 35-70mm, 28mm and 50mm, if you’re interested).
A basic RB67 set-up with standard lens, waist-level finder and film back weighs in at around 2.5kg, or about the same as a bottle of Pepsi and a can of soup.
Well, I hope this has proved entertaining and possibly even useful to someone who may be considering buying an RB67. It is most definitely a camera for use in a studio, or perhaps on a tripod for landscapes. Don’t even think about sport.
I offer my apologies for these poor still-life shots of camera equipment. My flashguns are in the loft and it’s cold up there, so I used a single macro LED ring flash, and it seems to have done OK.