Mamiya RB67-S users: Newbie with question

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by cherryhill, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    I've never used a medium format camera before, so please answer in the most elementary language possible.

    I bought a Mamiya RB67-S camera on eBay, and just got it, and have been trying to learn how to use it. I've gone through about 6 rolls of 120 film already, before I was finally able to get a single shot -- just learning how to load it, and advance the film was giving me an amazing amount of trouble. I kept having trouble getting to the second frame of the film. I finally found a way around the problem, but it seems so strange, that I am wondering if there is something wrong with the camera. Here's the thing... I've finally gotten the film loaded correctly, and advance the film to the 1st frame. I cock the shutter, and press the shutter button, and it takes a picture. That's the only one it wants to take though. From there, the camera wants to lock up on me, and won't allow me to advance the film with the film advance lever. The camera back seems to be on properly, with the S-lock in the proper position. Of course, the dark slide is not in... and the shutter lock is not on. It is not set for multiple exposure. What it wants me to do is manually move the "film wind stop release lever" to the right before I am allowed to advance the film. It took a lot of film before I figured that one out. The manual leaves much to be desired, and I am having a hard time learning how to use this from that alone.

    Does anyone who owns this camera know if this is normal, and if it's not, why that solves the problem of advancing the film to the next frame? I was finally able to get a roll of film with a few exposures, but only after using that little lever before taking every single picture.

    I've taken a pic of the lever I'm talking about, and circled it. The only thing I can find in the manual about that lever is: "The film wind-stop is released manually by this lever only when the Pro-S roll film holder is used for the Mamiya Press", and "the film wind-stop release lever provided for the Pro-S roll film holder is to be used when the holder is used for the Mamiya Universal Press, or when desiring to wind up to the film end while unexposed film remains in the holder" and "when the shutter is released, the film wind-stop mechanism is automatically disengaged, and the film can be advanced for the next frame." Well, it doesn't seem to be doing that automatically, and since I'm such a novice, I have no idea what a "Mamiya Universal Press" is, or why I have to shift that little lever for every shot. Is there a defect? And if so... would it be a defect just with the back, or with the camera body?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2008
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Normally you have to cock the shutter and advance the film- so, two operations required per shot. If it annoys, there are motorized backs that are inexpensive and give you 6x7 and ~6x8 captures.... and somewhat better film tension and flatness, in my opinion.

    There may indeed be an issue with your particular back, if you have to hit the little lever each time. I don't recall this being normal, though I have been using the motorized backs for more than a year so I may have forgotten!

    Does this back perchance have a multi-exposure mode lever? If so you may need to check that. Again, sorry, I don't recall the operations of this particular back.

    A "mamiya press" is another, older kind of camera on which you can use the back.
     
  3. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    Hi Keith, thanks for your response.

    The back does have the multiple exposure lever, but I have that off. I've actually tried to take pictures with it on, and that didn't solve the problem either. The only way around this "locking up" issue is manually flipping that "film wind stop release lever".

    I guess if I have to, I will buy a different back, or a motorized one which would be very nice. But, for the time being I am dirt broke, having just bought the camera, an extra lens, a light meter, and the enlarger lens and negative carrier to be able to use my enlarger in the 6x7 format. Guess it will have to wait a little while. But, I sure do wish the camera was functioning properly, as the eBay ad said it was.
     
  4. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    The item you have circled is the one you move if you want to finish the roll in mid-roll. It allows you to advance the film to the end without exposing the film. Keith is right, you have two operations per shot. Are you cocking the shutter and advancing the film after exposing the film?
     
  5. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    After taking the picture, I am cocking the shutter, then *trying* to advance the film, but it won't allow me to. Therein lies the problem. :sad:
     
  6. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I've not experienced this problem so I don't know what to say other than possibly the back has something wrong with it or maybe something with the revolving adapter. If you press the shutter release without the film back on, do you see the coupling pin on the revolving adapter move?
     
  7. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    Yes, the pin moves fine when the back isn't on. And, the film advance lever works great when it's not attached to the camera. It will go through the whole roll of film. I have wondered if the problem is the revolving back. The manual says to turn it until you hear it "click", but I don't hear any click at all. Could that be it? I am actually hoping if there's a defect that it's with the back, and not the body.
     
  8. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    If you say you can see or feel the coupling pin move when you press the shutter, seems to me the body and revolving adapter are OK.

    If the film is loaded properly and you're going through all of the proper steps and it sticks while trying to advance the film, my first instinct would be to try another film back. That being said, it would be best if you can take it to someone who is familiar with the camera. I don't know where you're located so I can't give you any recommendations on that.
     
  9. DJGainer

    DJGainer Member

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    It sounds to me that the back is not recognizing when you fire the shutter. The back locks up until the shutter is fired releasing the lock and allowing you to advance the film.
     
  10. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Every back I have for my rb67 requires I move that lever before advancing the film. Either you are confused and have company in me, or that's the way it's suppose to work. You take the shot, recock the mirror, move that lever to the right, advance the film.

    tim in san jose
     
  11. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    If I understand what he's saying, the film advance lever is stuck.
     
  12. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    And, if that's the case, then just buying another back would solve it, right? I don't have another back to just put on there, so I'd have to buy one to find out.
     
  13. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    Ah ha! That's exactly what I have to do. It doesn't say that in the manual, and if that's the case, then THREE steps are needed to take a picture. But, if this is the problem you've had with all your backs, then buying another won't cut that step out.

    I have to say that I am just glad at this point that I am *finally* able to take some pictures with this camera. I was getting ready to kick it into the lake until I figured out that little lever solved the problem.
     
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  15. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    The lever you have circled in your attachment is used to advance unexposed film. This is a quote from the manual...
    "When the film advance lever is continuously
    wound, with the film wind-stop release lever
    (42) pushed to the left, the film can be reeled
    up completely to its end, even though picture
    taking is still in progress and a film
    remains unexposed."


    On my RB67, after I release the shutter, I cock the mirror and move the film advance lever and then I'm ready for the next picture. That's it.
     
  16. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    I think there's some good money to be had for someone who wants to rewrite that manual in terms someone like me could understand.

    What that says to me is that if I want to roll up the film before I've taken all ten shots, then that's how it's done. But, I don't think it's telling me to use that film wind-stop release lever just to advance the roll one frame. So, I still don't know if that's the normal operation.

    Travis, what do you make of that? Cause I'm really having trouble understanding the way the manual is worded.
     
  17. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    That's exactly what it's saying. I've had my RB67 for almost 3 years and I've used the film wind-stop lever exactly twice.

    My RB body is a Pro-S and my backs are Pro-S. I've never used a non Pro-S back so I don't know Pro-S and non Pro-S backs/bodies interact. Are both body and back Pro-S?
     
  18. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    The problem is most likely either the the revolving adapter or back itself, more likely the revolving adapter. Even if the little pin moves when the shutter fires, it might not be coming out far enough. I have seen this problem with a couple of revolving adapters. The problem could also be with the back though. I would use a paper clip to test the function of the back.

    If it happens with every back, it is almost certainly the revolving adapter not working properly (the little pin probably doesn't move freely enough). It only takes a little resistance to cause the little pin to not work properly.
     
  19. tim_walls

    tim_walls Member

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    I've never used that lever - I didn't even know what it was for before this thread! Just cock shutter and advance the film.

    I have had similar symptoms though, normally after swapping the polaroid back and rotating back. Removing and reseating the rotating back (the whole plate, not just the film holder) has always fixed for me.
     
  20. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    They are interchangeable. You can use non Pro S backs on a Pro S body and vice versa. The only issue is that if you use a Pro S back on a non Pro S body, the multi exposure prevention doesn't work. It will allow you to double expose a frame without setting the back to multi exposure mode.
     
  21. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    Travis, both the back and the camera are Pro-S. Thanks for all your help!

    Max... please tell me how to use a paperclip to test the back. While the back is attached to the camera, I can try to get a little paperclip in there? Thanks for your response. I have already started eBaying for a new revolving adapter... no auctions yet. Anyone have an old, non-working RB67 they want to sell for parts?
     
  22. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    You may want to try KEH for a new revolving adapter (or film back)
    www.keh.com
     
  23. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    Okay, I've just ordered a revolving adapter from KEH. If that solves the problem, I will let you know and maybe "tim in san jose" would like to get himself one too. If it doesn't do the trick, maybe KEH will let me return theirs, and I will then try a different back.
     
  24. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Oh, I've never shot without a revolving adapter, didn't even know that was an option :wink:

    Cherry, get thee a motorized 6x8 back while you're at it and thank me later! They are inexpensive.
     
  25. cherryhill

    cherryhill Member

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    Keith, I haven't been shooting without a revolving adapter, just possibly shooting with a slightly defective one.

    As for the motorized back... man, haven't I spent enough money for a while? It really never stops does it? I will put that one on my wish list. Who knows, maybe a family member will want to know what I want for a birthday or Christmas. If this revolving back fixes my problem with the camera, I really think I am *done* shopping for equipment for a while. I am going to have a helluva time digging myself out of credit card debt ... all for the love of photography. :smile:
     
  26. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    I see what y'all are saying. I have both a professional and a Pro S bodies, I have both Pro S and non-Pro S backs and all of them require I move that lever to the right to advance the film.

    And frankly.. it doesn't matter. The cameras take great pictures. One extra little step doesn't infringe on my photo experience.

    tim