What should I pay for a Mamiya RB-67?
I've been meaning to buy a Medium Format SLR for quite some time after discovering the joys of MF with my Yashica Mat-124G. I recently put out an ad and recieved a reply from someone wanting to sell his Mamiya RB-67. However I'm not sure how much I should pay for it.
He is selling the camera "as-is" (no guarantee of function), but claims to have tested the shutter and body. He also says that the shutter in the included lens (a 250mm) is slow, and probably in need of repair, he doesn't mention a film back but I assume it is included. He wants 2200SEK for it, which is roughly $340 (including shipping). Would you say this is a fair price, or would I be better off picking up something on the proverbial auction site?
I don't know about prices in Sweden, but in the US I would think that is too much, particularly if it is the original version. I paid $135 for one with the normal 90mm lens and got to inspect it and try it out before buying. It also had a back and the waist level finder. I have a 250mm lens, but I find it less useful than the two more normal lenses - the 90mm and the 127mm. Also, there are several versions of the lenses, some considered better than others. I'd recommend you do some more research. There is a US outfit on ebay that sells a lot of RB67 stuff. Also you might try keh.com. I don't know if they ship overseas, nor how much shipping would be, but keh is a very reputable company.
A guy had his RB on Craigslist recently here in St. Louis, Mo. in the United States. He wanted $200.00 U.S. and claimed it was professionally used in his studio since new. The camera worked perfectly and looked close to new. The camera came with an eye level finder and a 180mm lens.
It sounds cheap to me but I hate buying something that was professionally used.
You can check Ebay's past sales on RB's to give you an idea what they are going for.
I would say your friend is high but that would be here in the U.S. I don't know what would be a fair price in Sweden.
I will not buy something like that.
If he tested the body why would he sell it as-is? Also, if the lens need servicing, are you going to get it done? That'll cost you quite a bit... Also, don't assume there is back, or finder included if he doesn't tell you so. Even if the kit is fair price for the condition, doing ANYTHING to it and having it professionally done will put you in a price range where you could have bought a much better kit with guarantee of function.
I don't deal with Ebays... I only buy from known APUGer or other places that offer known good guarantees.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Really? Why? My best used purchases are usually from pros. 1- when your income is dependent on the condition of your equipment, you usually treat it better, and make sure it gets regular maintenance. 2- they know the equipment's functionality. None of the "as-is", "it looks like it works", "I can't test it" stuff you'll see on many sales.
Originally Posted by Alan Gales
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I'd start calling local photographers just to see if anyone has any MF gear that they might have been thinking about selling since they have moved to digital capture. I suppose I can understand the hangup because you might think it has been overused. But I agree with eddie in that you will be purchasing something from a professional and I would hope they would be less likely to rip you off.
It's never too early to panic.
There are three (3) different models in the RB line. The 'RB Pro,' the 'RB Pro S,' and the 'RB Pro SD.'
The 'RB Pro SD' is the latest and probably the most desirable.
Lenses for the RB line were also available in about three (3) different levels.
Early 'non-C' lenses with very little or single coatings, the 'C' lenses with multi coatings,
and then the best/latest, the 'K/L' lenses.
If I were starting a RB kit, I don't think the 250mm lens would be a desired focal length, early on.
A 120 film back will be more useful to you then a 220 back.
As mentioned, do ensure a view finder, WLF preferred, and focus screen are included.
RB Pro S manual:
RB Pro SD manual:
Old RB accessory manual:
Check prices at KEH Camera, Georgia, USA.
Prices from KEH, minus about 30-40 percent will give you a fair average of the value of used camera gear in the USA.
(Odd...as of this posting, KEH does not show any RB bodies on hand/in stock).
I find pros to be a lot more realistic when it comes to pricing, too. They've made money off the camera, written it off their taxes, and know what used stuff is worth.
I'm not a pro photographer. I come from construction (Sheet Metal Workers Local 36). I have owned and used many of my own tools as well as the bosses" tools. I have always taken care of all the tools that I used because like you said my income was dependent on my tools. I also wore out a lot of tools.
Originally Posted by eddie
To a professional photographer a camera and lenses are tools whether they belong to him or his boss. I'm sure they are taken care of and most of the time properly maintained. The problem is they are used up. For example there are a lot of 4x5 Sinar P monorails on Ebay with a lot of slop in them from just being used to death. I would much rather buy a Hasselblad from an amateur then from a pro. Even with a CLA every few years normal maintenance, there are a lot of mechanical parts inside the camera to wear out.
I try to buy my gear in great shape from knowledgeable amateurs.
Here's something I can offer....
When it comes to used equipment, expect nothing. I always buy with return guarantee of some kind and check everything before it expires. You can try to profile the seller but it IS a used equipment you are buying. Despite the best intent, things can go wrong. (and does sometimes) This is awfully important when you are tight on budget. If something IS wrong and you are stuck with the gear, your options are extremely limited.
I always wonder why, when seller says he/she checked the gear but still offer no guarantees.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?