Thinking of buying a RB67 - what to look/ask for
I've been looking to jump into MF for a while. Among some TLR's I've been eyeing, the Mamiya RB67's really have me for some reason.
I found a local craigslist ad for one that seems like a really good price. Seems to be about equal for what they go for around here, and much less than the Bay. Here is the ad:
The ad does not include pictures.
Mamiya RB67 Medium Format Camera - $200
Mamiya RB67 Medium Format Camera Outfit. Comes with instruction manual, metal case, 90mm F38 Lens and two 120 film backs. $200.00
l'm wondering when I call, what I should be asking? Also, is this a good price? Would I be insulting him if I tried to haggle?
Thanks in advance for the help!
It's a scary good price. In fact.... it's a bit too low.
Other than general, does it work? kind of question,
Questions I'd ask:
1) What exactly is the model, Pro, Pro-S, or Pro-SD?
2) Are there any light leaks? (backs are notorious for light leaks - also bellows can leak)
3) When you extend the bellows all the way out, is it solid or wobble a bit? (supposed to be rock solid)
4) Are film frame spacing even?
5) Are shutter speeds accurate? (shutters are in the lens, not the body)
I'd add more as I think of it....
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
Sold an outfit like that for a bit more so I think it is
not to low. But I think that will show signs of heavy use or shutter speeds might be a bit off. As stated above, ask what model it is (Pro,ProSetc..). You can meet up to take a look and if you don't like it, don't buy it.
Ask if the owner knows the camera's history. If the owner has had it since new, what did he do with it? If he was a pro, wedding photographer, etc. the shutter may have a lot of miles on it. If an amateur, the camera could well be a steal even if it is the early Pro model. That said, I bought a Pro from someone who used it for wedding for a while and as an amateur for most of its life, and it has been a very good camera for me.
All great stuff! Keep it coming. I figured it was a great price, just wanted to get it from
So is the age progression Pro (oldest), ProS (middle), ProSD (newest)?
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Yes - and the Pro-S was available the longest.
Originally Posted by edcculus
The biggest practical difference between the Pro and the ProS/D models (for film use) is in the interlocks - double exposure prevention is very valuable!
If it is a Pro, and it, the back and the lens is otherwise in good shape, $200.00 will get you a very useful camera. You can always replace the body and back later.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
I would say that is a great price if the camera is functional.
Light leaks and accurate shutter speeds are your biggest concerns. Both can easily be repaired though so even if things end up not being perfect you can get the camera fixed or just replace the individual piece that isn't working. That is one of the great things about modular camera designs. When one part fails the camera isn't a total loss. I would also bring a roll of film with me and run it through the back just to make sure it advances smoothly and doesn't seem to "slip" which would result in overlapping film frames.
Any obvious light leaks can be inspected with a flash light and a dim room. I once met up with someone on craigslist to buy an old folder and I ended up taking the camera into the coffee shop restroom, turned out the lights, and inspected the bellows with a key chain flash light.
Overall the RB67 is one of the most reliable camera systems ever made. If this camera was owned by someone who just used it as a hobby camera it probably has a lot of life left in it.
The price seems good but check it out.
Just to be clear, the RB67 is not a "TLR".
Originally Posted by edcculus
Remember the shutter is part of the lens-- so even if the lens/shutter is junk, $200 for a decent body and a couple working backs is a good price.
* Just because your eyes are closed, doesn't mean the lights in the darkroom are off. *
* When the film you put in the camera is worth more than the camera you put the film in... *
* When I started using 8x10, it amazed me how many shots were close to the car. *