Mamiya RB67 Info

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Marvin, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    I have been thinking about getting a RB67 for a while but don't know that much about them. I am currently using a Bronica ETRSi so I am familiar with medium format but think the bigger 6x7 negative would be nice.

    I know that there are 3 models Pro, ProS and ProSD and wonder what backs and lenses will work with which models. I have noticed backs that are 120, 220 and some that does both. Also are RB and RZ backs and lenses compatible. It seems that RBs are reasonably priced and I guess this is because studios have gone digital. Just wonder where others find a good source for used RBs and if it is better to try to get the complete camera or just find all the pieces and put one together.
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The RBs you list run from oldest to newest. Feature-wise, the Pro S is probably the best value for its double exposure lock-out with Pro S and Pro SD backs. RZs are electronic, RBs are mechanical cameras. Mechanical RB lenses will work on RZs but not vice versa. The RBs sold strongly for years, which means there's a huge reservoir of used gear. The big auction site usually carries around 500 listings for Mamiya RB67 equipment. There's lots of info online about the systems, along with online manuals. The usual RB kit is a 120 back, body, WLF and 90/3.8 lens. They're tough but many older models need their film backs re-sealed(easy). Sometimes the bellows are leaky, too. Frankly, I wouldn't bother with the now-ancient Pro bodies/backs but would opt for a newer Pro S or Pro SD. Skip 220 backs since there's far less 220 film choice relative to 120. It's a very sweet system camera but far from petite. Still, I'd discount the customary blather about the RB/RZ being strictly a studio camera. I get around with mine and happily put up with the weight knowing the 6x7 negs and slides are worth the exercise.
     
  4. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    You're going love it if you decide to buy one. I've got RB67 Pro-S a few years ago still love using it.

    Jeff
     
  5. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    I love my Pro S with two bodies, 4 120 backs, 5 'C' lenses and an Extender.
     
  6. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    I really like the capacity to rotate the film backs for vertical shots.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I went from an ETRS to an RB67. I got the ETRS as it was the only medium format SLR I could afford at the time. I think that if I had a bit more money and bought a Bronica SQ instead I wouldn't have progressed to the RB67. I'm glad I did though as I love using it hand held with the left hand grip and the waist level finder.

    If you hand hold a lot though, see if you can try one out first as it's not going to suit everyone due to the weight.


    Steve.
     
  8. ContaxRTSFundus

    ContaxRTSFundus Subscriber

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    As your across the pond in the States, I can always recommend www.keh.com - and with them the cheapest way is to buy a 'camera outfit' however, I've just checked their site and there are none available. The good news is that their stocks churn very fast so there should be more at KEH soon enough. Adorama is also another good US source. And of course, ebay....
     
  9. jodys

    jodys Member

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    I realize it is a little bit late for the original poster; but I've been working on a guide to the RB67 for the past year, http://rb67.helluin.org There is a substantial amount of overlap. My suggestion is to buy a Pro-SD body (most recent body), Pro-SD backs (won't have to deal with light seals) and whatever you feel like in lenses; the original and NB include single coating, the C have better coatings, the K/L lenses have the best coatings (but have heavy duty plastic barrels, rather than metal). Don't buy Pro film backs, they lack the convenient darkslide and multiple exposure interlocks available on the Pro-S and Pro-SD bodies. 120 backs are the only useful backs--unless you have a stash of 220 film to begin with. The 120/220 backs are, generally speaking, not compatible. RZ lenses and most accessories are NOT compatible with the RB. I have bought most of RB67 gear from keh.com and have had no problems.
     
  10. dande

    dande Member

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    Re RB67

    I have a nice RB67 for sale if you are interested.
     
  11. HelenOster

    HelenOster Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation - and yes, we do have some in stock!
     
  12. Neil Grant

    Neil Grant Member

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    rb 67 details

    Jodys, interesting to read from your guide that KL lenses have plastic barrels - I've only ever come across C and non-C lenses and these are all metal. Just a few quick comments. I believe that the NB versions are extremely scarce - though there is no mention of that on your site. Additionally, the C lenses became lighter over their production run, so that, for example, an early 50 C will weigh rather more than the very last ones. You've accumulated a lot of detail - but the photos could be nicer couldn't they??
     
  13. jodys

    jodys Member

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    Neil, thanks for the comments. I updated the site with a note on the NB lenses; I only see them rarely, as well. As to the pictures, I'd like to improve them, but I only have a very small selection of RB67 gear, so I can't provide them. Finally, do you have any details on changing weights of the C lenses? Serial numbers or dates?
     
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  15. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    I don't have much either but if you need pictures perhaps post a list of things you need and we can provide what we have.
     
  16. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    I've got a few photos of my RB gear on my Chemical Cameras site. See my sig for the link.
     
  17. revdocjim

    revdocjim Member

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    Actually I have a bit of gear that I haven't photographed yet, now that I think of it. In addition to what is on the web site, I have the CDS prism finder, the model 2 prism finder and a 6x8 power back.
     
  18. hpulley

    hpulley Member

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    Hey, I'm wondering about the 6x8 power back. Do I need a special rotating back adapter to use it or is the one from the Pro S compatible, do you know?
     
  19. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Don't buy used from Adoroma or B&H, they sell mostly garbage finds. I have repaired too many of their crap junkers over the years. KEH is the best way to go and have the best of all return policies.
     
  20. jodys

    jodys Member

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    I don't have any direct experience, however, I have been able to glean the following details about shooting 6x8 on the RB67. So, yes, you do need a special revolving adapter.

    • a 6×8 power back.
    • a 6×8 light baffle–which lies between the revolving adapter and the body. You can tell what sort of baffle you have by taking off the current revolving adapter. There is a flat black baffle held in by four screws, if this says “8″ or “6×8″ you are ready to go.
    • Pro-SD 6×8 revolving adapter

    --

    With regard to pictures; my goal is to have complete photographic documentation of all the details of all bodies, all lenses and all accessories. I'm hoping to aid myself and others in identifying stuff in auctions, etc. I also find myself having questions (like, do all lenses have the DOF preview lever?) that could easily be answered with detailed pictures.

    If anyone is interested in helping, I'd be extremely pleased. The site needs pictures of bodies (Pro, Pro-S), backs, lens, and accessories. I think the important aspect is to have well lit pictures that covers most angles (e.g. for lens; all sides, front, back, oblique).

    --

    revdocjim, your pictures look great! Would it be possible for me to use them on my site? I'd also be very excited to see pictures of any other accessories, lens, etc.
     
  21. HelenOster

    HelenOster Member

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    I'm sorry to read your posting, which sounds as though you've had a bad experience with Adorama in the past.
    While I agree with you that some of the items we list are fit only for spares as per the ratings chart below, with over 25,000 pieces of camera, lighting and video equipment, plus cases accessories etc. in the used warehouse, there should be something for every pocket

    We have items from as inexpensive as $1 - right up to $60,000......not so much junk?

    NB Just in the last year, we spent over $20,000,000 on purchasing used equipment...........

    New (Brand New)
    All original packaging and manuals included.

    Demo (Like New)
    98-100% of original condition. Like New with little or no signs of use.

    Excellent Plus
    90-95% of original condition. Lens Glass very clean - cosmetically may show slight wear and/or signs of use.

    Excellent Minus
    85-89% of original condition. Shows signs of moderate use - Lens Glass is perfect but may have some dust which will not affect picture quality.

    Very Good
    75-84% of original condition. Appears well-used and may include dings, brassing, scrapes and bruises but is in fully functional condition. Glass may have marks or haze that should not affect picture quality.

    Good
    50-74% of original condition. Appears to have been used very heavily with multiple dings, scrapes, scratches and heavy brassing. Glass may have fungus, excessive dust and/or scratches that can affect picture quality.

    Fair
    Item works with certain malfunctions. Read comments for exact malfunction details. For parts only.

    Without wanting to sound like an advert, I would like to point out that every used item comes with a 90-day warranty - which includes a 30-day returns period.

    Also, we are happy to supply a selection of pictures of any unit plus an actuation count if we have the software.

    If you have a problem with Adorama which has gone unresolved in the past, I apologize;please drop me an email and allow me to put it right for you: HelenO@adorama.com

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador


    ♫★Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year ★♫
     
  22. Neil Grant

    Neil Grant Member

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    Jodys,
    I can't relate weight to serial number. I've had a couple of 50mm C lenses bought about twenty years apart (the early one was swapped for a 65mm C) and the later one was definitely lighter and also lost the rather nice chromed front rim. You'd need to survey some users for weight for various lenses - but I'm fairly sure they all got lighter with later production. I recently got a 37mm which looks barely used. I think its early because the shutter has plain steel blades as opposed to teflon coated ones. I haven't tried weighing it but I can believe that it's at the 'book value' of about 1340g.
     
  23. mickster

    mickster Member

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    Hi Jody

    Re the K/L lenses: I have the 90 and 180 lenses in K/L versions and they both definitely have metal barrels; the aperture & shutter speed rings may be plastic however.
    I have read claims that parts of the internal shutter mechanism are plastic in the K/Ls as opposed to metal in earlier series - perhaps this is what you were thinking of? I can't comment on this latter claim as I've never seen the innards of an RB shutter of any generation.
     
  24. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    As far as Adoroma's staement....


    Me personally, never! I wouldn't buy anything from Adoroma because of what I see come into my repair shop from you, plus the lousey service nightmres my clients keep telling me about over n over. Shame on you!

    The last RB67 Pro-S I reapired this week was purchased 2 years ago from Adorama by a client. This camera isn't worth 2 cents and has given my client nothing but heartaches.

    It looks like some DIY abortion. Seals made of yarn glued in with construction calking, green rotted bellows, rusted screws, green mold in nooks n crannies, glued on indoor outdoor carpet as a light seals under the mirror, lenses are so fungus riddled they should be served with garlic sauce, not used as a camera. This camera sold for $450, should have been sold as PARTS ONLY for $1. This fellow tried to take it back several times n was jerked around by your service dept so many times n screwed over, he just gave up... exactly what you plan on by doing this.

    I hope more of your customers would go public here n chime in so you can get a better idea of how bad your store is.

    KEH is the best way to go. Stay away form B&H and Adoroma used equipment
     
  25. 23mjm

    23mjm Member

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    I call BS on you----I have dealt with both Adorama and B&H, both used departments have good grading systems and have provided excellent customer service. I have had to return items to both Adorama and B&H as well as KEH all three were excellent, no questions ask just send it back, replace of refund at my discretion. While it is true KEH has the most conservative rating system. Adorama and B&H are not inaccurate.

     
  26. Alan W

    Alan W Subscriber

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    Hear,Hear!