2nd hand Mamiya RB67 - what to check before buying- what are the risks/tips ??

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by TheToadMen, May 13, 2014.

  1. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I'm meting up with a guy who's gonna sell me his Mamiya RB67 next Monday. I know manual MF cameras, but have never used a Mamiya RB67.
    Here are some images of the ad:
    RB67-front.jpg RB67-lens-01.jpg RB67-lens-02.jpg

    The set contains:
    - RB PRO S BODY
    - LENSES: 90/50/180/360
    - PRISM FINDER WITH LIGHT METER
    - GRIP
    - 2 FILM BACKS
    - ALU CASE

    The complete set is supposed to be serviced by Mamiya in 2013 (he has the receipt). Body and lenses were cleaned and light seals were replaced.

    My questions are:
    - what is a fair price for this set?
    - what parts are "missing" or would be a nice extra?
    - how good are these lenses? (there aren't bad lenses, but you know what I mean)
    - and: what to check before buying?

    I'll test the shutter of each lens with the back removed from the body. This way I can see/hear the shutter and check the mirror movement (I guess).
    I'm looking forward to getting me such a camera. I haven't used one like this before, but I'm familiar with Bronica SQ-B, Rolleiflex TLR, Hasselblad SWC. I suppose this RB67 is bulkier and hazier, but that's fine by me.

    BTW: is it true that there is also a 6x8 film back for this camera??

    Thanks for the help in advance,
    Bert from Holland
    http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl

    PS. I know I don't need this camera, but I like it and would like to use it for B&W photography.
    A simple matter of GAS, I guess ...
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    There is a 6x8 motorized back. There is an APUG thread about someone's discoveries with it (it works better in one orientation than the other).

    Make sure that the backs are Pro-S or Pro-SD backs (they are clearly labelled) and not the original Pro versions.

    Check that the dark slides are there and that the interlocks prevent exposure when the dark slide is inserted.
     
  3. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi Matt,
    Thank you for the quick reply.

    Could you tell me why you don't like the original Pro backs? If these are Pro backs, should I cancel or just pay less?
    And do you know if the camera shutter will fire if there is no film inside the back? Otherwise I won't know if the interlock does work. won't I?
    I'll bring some old, expired film tot set the backs.
    Thanks for the tips.
    Bert
     
  4. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I forgot one image from the ad:
    RB67-side.jpg
     
  5. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

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    I've used non-Pro S backs on an RB Pro S. Just have to remember to advance them.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Pro backs don't offer double exposure prevention interlocks or an interlock that prevents taking a photograph when the dark slide is in.
    Otherwise they are fine!
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    You can test the interlocks without film. What you cannot test is whether the counter is working properly. It should allow you to advance to the first exposure without stopping, and then wind on past the 10th exposue to the end without stopping.
    Film will also let you test whether the wind function is smooth.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If you plan to hand hold it, L bracket is very nice. With it, it'll act like a humorously over-sized 35mm camera.... That's how I use mine.
     
  9. Xmas

    Xmas Member

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    you can test the lenses with backs on or when they are removed from camera.
    But you need a PDF of the manual as the interlocks are not obvious.
    eg the backs allow an option for double exposure or firing with dark slide in
    the lenses and bodies both need to be armed for mating etc.
     
  10. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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  11. omaha

    omaha Member

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    Not sure what pricing looks like in your area. Standard advice is to look at what KEH.com is getting for the same gear, and then go (down) from there.

    A few subtleties:

    - That 50mm lens is not the (preferred) "C" version.
    - Open the WLF and see what you have. Its hard to describe the difference between the preferred and the old kind, but the preferred can be closed with one hand where the old kind has three leaves that operate independently and a much inferior magnifier. On the new kind, the magnifier fills the top of the WLF, while on the old kind it does not.
     
  12. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    500.-- (came down from 800.--)
     
  13. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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  15. analoguey

    analoguey Member

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    Avoid the original pro backs as they dont have the lock for the darkslide - this prevents the back from being removed without darkslide in place.
    The lock is visible - if you look at the film back with darkslide in, there is a small metal(aluminium? SS?) protruding at the bottom.
     
  16. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I got the set and some extras:
    - body Pro-S (No. C195143) ##can anyone tell me how old this camera is?##
    - revolving back
    - filmback Pro-S
    - lens Mamiya Sekor C 1:4.5 f=50 mm No. 27227 (it actually is a "C" lens after all)
    - lens Mamiya Sekor C 1:3.8 f=90 mm No. 84967
    - lens Mamiya Sekor 1:4.5 f=180 mm No. No. 20030 (not a "C" lens)
    - lens Mamiya Sekor C 1:6.3 f=360 mm No. 43374
    - Macro extension tube
    - Prism finder (metered)
    - Waist level finder (can be closed with one hand)
    - Mamiya pistol grip
    - original aluminum case
    - original focussing screen (horizontal and vertical lines)

    The camera and lenses look like new and operate very smooth. The whole set was serviced by Mamiya in Jan. 2013.
    All glass clean and as new. Only the barrel of the 180 mm lens shows serious cosmetic marks from handling.

    He's gonna send me an extra focussing screen (with grid).

    I'm very happy with this great set. I think I like the 50 mm lens best, butI'll shoot all lenses to see what it is capable of.
    The 360 mm lens is new and never used. But since I like wide angle it might not get much exercise with me either.

    BTW: I also got me a 40 mm lens for my Bronica SQ-B from him.

    I'm so happy :wink:
     
  17. omaha

    omaha Member

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    Sounds like you did well! Enjoy your new gear!
     
  18. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Your main concern are light leaks in the bellows. Do the bright light inside, inspect for leaks in a darkroom. Everything else on the body can be repaired.

    As for lensed, fungus is a main concern. Shutters are pretty reliable n most just need a cla. Watch out for newer shutters in K lenses, they have plastic parts n if they fail, replacement shutters are expensive.

    Backs are tough n most common problem are seals. Dark slide baffled rarely fail unless someone has been pushing wet or dirty slides in em.

    The rotating back can have problems if the camera was laid on the back n bent or pushed dirt into the tits the pins live in.

    Get the manual from butkus, read n follow directions carefully.

    *if the camera won't cock or fire..... DON'T FORCE IT! The most common repairs i do are forced cameras n the most damage is always of a forced camera!

    Cock the lens n cock the body before mounting a lens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2014
  19. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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    That's a great set. $500 for equipment that probably cost $8,000-$10,000 new when a dollar was worth a dollar.
     
  20. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    A tip on the mirror up exposures.

    As you go through the manual take a good study of the mirror up page. You might lose an exposure or two if you don't do it right. When you wind the camera it also winds the shutter, however if you leave the MU knob turned on MU (after taking a shot) and cock the camera, the shutter will not cock. Therefore, you will trip the camera and no exposure will be made. You must return the MU knob to the regular position before you cock the shutter. Now, Mamiya made a two prong cable release for that camera, but you can use a regular single one. You trip the camera with the release button as usual, and then trip the shutter with the cable release. There is another way to trip the shutter but I don't want to confuse you. I think I have this right, but for others out there that know more about this, if I have messed this up, please correct me.

    The other thing I will warn you about is the interlocks. You will have a love-hate relationship with them at first. Just as you are about to shoot the hottest looking babe you ever saw in the vertical format, you will turn the back while you are looking at those super hot eyes, and you will turn it 85 degrees past horizontal. You will now have a camera that is jammed up tighter than a drum. You will check the winding, the release button lock, your zipper on your pants, if you left your keys in the car, and 10,000 other things. As she walks off the set, you will see you didn't turn the back all the way. Once I turned mine to vertical and because I couldn't see the film wind lever I failed to wind it. I figured it was time to send the camera in. After a while you will appreciate that this camera did not ruin a good chunk of film and caught your forgetfulness. When you get those negs back you will be blown away. Enjoy. Ric.
     
  21. omaha

    omaha Member

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    The first roll I ran through my RB came out perfectly un-exposed because I had been fiddling with the mirror-up control on the lens and left it in the wrong position.

    Oops.

    Won't make that mistake again.

    Each RB system lens has a small knob on the left hand side (from the perspective of the photographer holding the camera). You pull it out a smidge to turn it. Turn it counter-clockwise until it stops, and you will be in "regular" mode: The shutter will fire when you press the release on the body. Turn it clockwise until it stops, and you are in "mirror up" mode: The shutter will not fire when you press the release on the body. Instead you have to either (a) attach a standard cable release to the knob on the lens and use it to fire the shutter OR (b) rotate the knob counter-clockwise until the shutter fires.

    In practice, I've stopped using mirror-up mode. I only shoot portraits, and the subjects find it confusing (they hear you release the body, and think you took the shot). Mamiya made a dual remote release cable, and I might grab one of those to see how it works. In my experience, however, with the type of shooting I do, I don't have a problem with mirror-slap induced camera shake anyway.
     
  22. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi Ric,
    This already happened. When the seller was demonstrating me the camera, the shutter wouldn't fire.
    I saw him starting to sweat, for the camera did work just fine at home, but he then saw the back wasn't fully rotated .... and then the shutter purred like a happy kitten after a bowl of milk.
    First lesson learned :D
     
  23. omaha

    omaha Member

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    I think every RB user must end up coming up with a "why isn't it working" checklist:

    Camera Won't Fire:
    - Darkslide out?
    - Film advanced?
    - Out of film?
    - Back rotated correctly?

    Camera Won't Cock:
    - Remove lens, cock camera, cock shutter on lens, fire camera, fire lens, re-cock both, put lens back on.
    - (If that doesn't work, then I have no idea what to do next)
     
  24. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I'll remember that :cool:
    Thanks,
    Bert

     
  25. Jeff Searust

    Jeff Searust Member

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    I have screwed up many, many shots with it on the wrong setting.--- he will learn...hehe

    360-- will never get used
    180-- great portrait lens

    See if you can find a cheap 127 or a 150-- the 150 is also a SF lens and is really useful as a regular lens.
     
  26. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

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    I've had to run through my own (why won't it fire checklist) many a time, it's almost always the darkslide. I've had a few double exposures when my fat thumb hit the double exposure switch while winding, and then I forgot to wind for the next frame.