USED RB67, what to look out for

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Kilgallb, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    I have been shooting 6x7 with an old Calumet 4x5 view camera with a roll film back. I love the format but the equipment is too old, fragile and heavy to do any serious back packing. So I am considering the purchase of a used RB67. Yeah I know an RB67 is not exactly light and small but they seem more rugged than a 4x5 view camera.

    Is there any known problems I should look out for before I invest? Is an old work horse likely to have shutter, bellows or other common problems?
     
  2. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Look out for aged light seals. They can be replaced if they leak though.
     
  3. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I have an RB 67 pro SD, I would go for that version if you can. There are a few differences between them.

    As you know the RBs have no movements, so if you want that you might consider a 2x3"/6x9cm camera. I have a horseman VH that weighs about a third of the RB. And the VH takes all the RB backs, from 645 to 6x8. Maybe worth considering if you have been using a view camera.

    I love my RB though! I just wouldn't take it backpacking.
     
  4. wirehead

    wirehead Member

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    The pro-SD can take the 75mm tilt-shift, wheras the Pro-S and Pro can't.

    Of course, I kinda wonder if it's a more economical option to just get any of the 2x3/6x9 view cameras with a graflex back...

    The usual things with any old camera apply -- shutter accuracy, pinholes in the bellows, aged light seals, etc. but not necessarily anything specific to the camera, from what I can tell.
     
  5. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I would get a mini graphic with the 6x7 roll film holder. You could probably use whatever lenses you're using now.

    Don't get me wrong, I have an RB and I really like it, but would not go hiking with the thing strapped to me! :surprised:
     
  6. snegron

    snegron Member

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    Watch for deteriorated foam seals on the film backs and the body. As for the weight, I don't find the RB with waistlevel finder terribly heavy. I have an RB with the CDS prism, and yes, it weighs a ton. I actually have carried it around on outdoor shoots with the CDS prism attatched. It is like a workout!
     
  7. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    The RZ has a lens-extension tube combination with movements. It is limited compared to 4x5 but is available if you need that feature.

    PE
     
  8. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I have had a couple of "car batteries" and I can say it is all that much lighter than some of the field cameras and I know for a fact it ain't lighter than a mini speed, I would look at a couple of the mini speed models and go from there.

    Dave
     
  9. wirehead

    wirehead Member

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    Can you give more details on how I could use an RB lens on a mini graphic? Is it a commonly available lens board that doesn't require you to cock the shutter from the back, or would one need to hack it?
     
  10. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I'm thinking David meant your 4x5 lenses on the mini graphic.
    Graphics are rugged cameras. Like, wash it off with the hose and take it apart with a flathead screwdriver rugged. Well, not really but pretty close.

    I use a 4x5 crown graphic with a 6x7 back. It's as light as my hasselblad w/80mm lens with waistlevel. I use it handheld. For hiking, this would work great as it packs up real nice and sturdy. Not too much movement but it's more than the RB.
     
  11. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    Pin holes in the focus bellows. I also met one where the mirror up also fired the shutter.

    David.
     
  12. Johnkpap

    Johnkpap Member

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    I solved the Weight problem of a RB 6x7 by replacing mine with a Bronica GS-1
    It is lighter and has a great metered prism, and you set the film speed on the back. With a Standard crank winder and a 65mm lense, 2 x 120 backs it is rather light, It does not have as many lenses as a RB or a RZ Ect but, I am very happy with the results I am getting so far. The other camera I have Bought for travel is the Fuji GA645s Rangefinder the results so far alot better than I expected the 60mm lense is Amazing the negs and Slides are ultra sharp with no light fall off.
     
  13. Kilgallb

    Kilgallb Subscriber

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I went to a local Camera Store and quick lifted the RB67. Yeah, with a lens and prism finder it would wiegh almost as much as my Calumet 4x5. I think I will need to consider a Crown Graphic or other folding view camera. I also realize that I have become dependant on movements.
     
  14. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    OMG! Sorry!:surprised:

    I was refering to the original question about replacing a 4x5 with an RB. Can't tell you how to use an RB lens on a graphic.
     
  15. CPorter

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    I find my RB Pro S to be just fine as a field camera, very tough. It recently took a fall and landed square on the front of the 90mm lens with the bellows fully extended. The lens needs a new shutter now, but the RB itself, no phase. Had it checked out and everything is just fine. Also, I got rid of the prism finder (that was like placing a brick on top of a rock to carry around) for a waistlevel finder and the camera is not near as cumbersome as before, actually quite nice by comparison. There was never a time that I was more glad to have that beast as the moment I saw that camera hit the ground because I really felt it could take it. However, I was instantly concerned about the lens, the glass was, remarkably, ok, but the leaf shutter is jammed up, going to cost $125 for a new shutter.

    Good luck
    Chuck
     
  16. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    Chuck, at the price of 90s on fleabay, it will likely cost you more to replace the shutter than it will to get a completely different lens. As to the RB as a field camera, this subject keeps coming up over and over. Each time the concensus is the same; there are those who say its great, those who think its too heavy, and those who recommend a Graflex or Bronica...

    I have found the bodies and lens kit to be great for field use. Its best to get a quality backpack to carry your kit in. Although there are those who will immediately say, OMG, I use a Tamrac Expedition 8. It holds two bodies, three lenses, filters, flashes, grips, WLF, prism finder, several backs, Lindahl shades, film, and other accessories. While this might be overkill for some, the whole thing weighs in at about 40lbs and is balanced well.

    For lighter duties, a smaller backpack is in order. Working crowds, events, small off road adventures can be done easily with an OpTech strap and trigger grip. Use the WLF finder.... I have found little use for a prism finder outside the studio.

    As stated, things to look for are bad seals on the RB and RB Pro backs. This can be totally avoided by the Pro SD back which does not use seals. The damper foam for the mirror goes too, but is easily repaired. Stick with the SD series and you will usually avoid bellows or mechanical problems unless the camera has been beat to death commercially. The SD also allows the use of both C & KL series lenses with an adapter.

    But, like the others have said, if you absolutely have to include movements, an old Graflex style is the way. You can even move up to a much lighter and 4x5 capability (in addition to roll film and Polaroid) by going with the aluminum body Super Graphic or the Busch Pressman D. The Pressman is a very reasonable alternative to the Super, and even has more range of movements. All of your 4x5 lenses will work with either of those...
     
  17. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    The problem with Mamiya RB67/RZ67 can be that many if not most spend their lives in the hands of pros who crank a awful lot of film through them. I remember a while back reading an interview with the glamour photographer Beverley Goodway, who prided himself in recognising when his RB67 was just about to expire and trading it in! Another interview was with the portrait photographer Rankin, who reckoned to replace his RZ67s around every 6 months (after shooting around 20 to 40 rolls a day during this time). #1 priority therefore should be to find an camera which has been amateur-owned and looked after (mine is 10 years old, I have used it for the occasional session where I have shot 10 rolls, most of the time it's in the case and it still looks and handles like brand new). RB67/RZ67 are good pro cameras, they don't quite have the toughness of Hasselblad!