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Mamiya RB67 KL 127mm f/3.5 L Medium Format

5/5 (7 Reviews)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andres Noble a Expert

Date Reviewed: October 18, 2010

Strengths:    Bokeh. Fast Aperture. Sharp edge to edge. Compact. Well made. Once shutter speed and aperture correct, you move both rings in same direction for same exposure.

Weaknesses:    None that I can tell. This 127KL lens is ideal.

Bottom Line:   
This is a beautiful lens that is compact. Compact design balances very well on camera. This lens is very sharp - seemingly as sharp as my 35mm Nikon lenses. Sharpness extends to the edges of the film. Sharp wide open. Creamy bokeh wide open.

I was pleasantly surprised with the smooth creamy bokeh this lens produces. I own 6 different RB/KL lenses. The 127KL is my favorite.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $225.00

Purchased At:   KEH

Similar Products Used:   Many Many lenses from 35mm to large format.

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Webster Forrest a Professional

Date Reviewed: April 12, 2005

Strengths:    Reliability is like a rock
Optical quality is unsurpassed by anything


Weaknesses:    Would be nice to have shutter speed and aperture coupled - but that's just a gimmick

Bottom Line:   
I have used this lens for full-length and head-and--shoulders portraits, photos of very large-scale architecture and landscape, and right down to closeups of lillies, a sleeping hedgehog, people feet, and other similarly small-ish subjects. In every case I have been delighted with the results.

This lens is by far the most versatile single lens of any photographic set-up I have ever used, and it is also the highest quality of optics, and construction. I have used Hasselblad a great deal, which I continue to use, and many other professional systems from Mamiya, Bronica, Nikon, Canon, Leica etc. Each system has its own 'look' and character. The unique thing about the Mamiya KL 127mm is that it is 'impartial' and amazingly accurate and reliable: its 'look', if it has one at all, is fine, smooth, and of realistic contrast. It's 'look' is the most like 'the real thing' of any lense system I've used. If someone asked me, 'I want to shoot with film, what do you recommend', I would say, get an RB67 with a 127mm KL lens: you may never need another camera or lens in your life, because of the incredible quality of the images, because of the versatility of the 127mm, but also becasue it will probably last longer than us frail humans.

One word of advice for a beginner: if you are coming to MF for the first time (from 35mm or digital), you will find that MF lenses are 'darker'. The maximum aperture of this lens is f/3.5, which means you need a decent amount of light - or long exposure - if you're using a slow speed film. Plan ahead with this in mind. An available-light portrait session can be difficult for these large negatives. Try getting fast film, or increase the amount of light. Of course this does not apply with a static subject.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Mamiya RB C lenses
Mamiya M645 lenses
Mamiya C330 lenses
Hasselblad T* lenses
Nikon 35mm




Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David R Munson a Professional from Columbia, MO

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2002

Strengths:    The glass is everything a lens should be. Sharp, contrasty, lovely bokeh. A fantastic focal length for 6x7.

Weaknesses:    As with all RB lenses, new or old, bulb and time exposures are a little finnicky, but for the amount that I use the camera for applications needing bulb or time exposures, it doesn't seem to be an issue much.

Bottom Line:   
These days it seems like most people seem to gravitate towards the very wide and/or very long lenses, so this and other "standard" lenses seem to be overlooked. I find this ever so slightly telephoto lens to be just about perfect for 90% of my portraiture and fashion work. Wide open or stopped down, things are crisp and beautiful edge to edge. Worth every penny, and it will cost you a lot less than most other lenses in the system, new or used.

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   KEH

Similar Products Used:   KL 65mm and 250mm lenses. Various other lenses by Hasselblad, Bronica, etc.

Type of photography:   People


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by joavphoto a Professional from Manila, Philippines

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2001

Strengths:    This lens has fantastic sharpness and minimal distortion. Even when the aperture is wide open there is still crispness to how it renders detail.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
This was the lens that came with my RB67 set when I first purchased it about four years ago. I survived on this lens for two years. I found its focal length to be versatile enough for most of my needs. In hindsight, I think that this lens has helped given my work a very distinctive look because most of my other colleagues in the industry are using either something shorter or longer.

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Similar Products Used:   Mamiya RB67 50mm and 250mm, Pentax 67 45mm, 105mm, and 135mm Macro.

Type of photography:   Other


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fleming Robert a Professional from West Plains, MO USA

Date Reviewed: July 24, 2001

Strengths:    An incredibly sharp and contrasty lens, a big improvement over the already good 127/3.8 C.

Weaknesses:    None. Yes, it's heavy, but so is any lens for the RB/RZ.

Bottom Line:   
This is a sleeper of a lens, often overlooked and underrated, a great "normal" for a 6X7 camera--like a 60mm on your 35mm camera. Used KL lenses are often great bargains, especially this stellar stepchild I bought for about 25% of new.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   KEH through eBay

Similar Products Used:   All RB/RZ lenses from 50 to 250.

Type of photography:   People



Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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