Mamiya RB67 Questions
I am in the process of buying an RB67 ProS with a 90mm 3.8 C lens (includes two ProS 120 6x7 backs) from a friend and he let me borrow it for a few days to see if it was still working properly. I shot two rolls yesterday and I will find out over the weekend how they turned out. I have never used an RB67 before, only 645's, so I have several questions.
1. Why does the mirror stay in the lock up position after I snap a picture? (Yes, I found out that it returns back to the normal position after I push the small crank or handle on the side of the body) Is this normal?
2. It currently has a waist level finder. Can I purchase a finder with a built-in meter like the ones available for the 645 models? If so, any suggestions on a model number?
3. The camera is lighter than I expected but is somewhat awkward to hold while focusing, film advancing, shutter cranking, and composing the shot. Are there any decent handles (other than a handle mount flash setup) available for the RB?
4. Are the lenses, backs, finders, and other accessories compatible with the RZ67 line?
5. I am getting the camera with two 120, 6x7 backs. I have seen several different types of backs for the RZ67. Other than the 645 backs, poloroid backs, and 220 6x7 backs, what other types are available?
6. Can I fit newer non-C lenses on this body?
7. The camera is over 20 years old and the rubberized areas are starting to peel. Is there any recommended glue out there I can use?
8. Are there any split screen focusing screens out there to make focusing easier?
Thanks for any help you can provide. This is a cool camera and the lens seems to be near mint (no spots, scratches, fugus, or imperfections noted).
Hopefully others with more knowledge will chime in - but here is what i know:
1. are you using the shutter release on the body? Or a cable release on the lens? Is the mirror set to lock?
2. There are waist level, chimney, non-metered prizms and metered prisms. None of them will give you any auto-exposure ability, just so you know.
3. There are handles, although I have only seen ones that facilitate flash mounting as well. With this camera, I suggest a good strap to use with the WLF, and a monopod or tripod is your best friend if you find the camera on the large side. With the revolving back, you don't have to flip the camera, so it can always remain upright, making all this that much easier.
4. Yes and no. I am prety sure the backs are not. RZ lenses will not work on the RB, RB lenses will work on the RZ - so for your purposes, no. RZ finders can be made to fit the RB - I don't see the point though. see here for one such case
5. There is some dispute as to the 6x6 backs existance, I have it on good authority that it does exist. There is a 645 back and a motorized 6x8 back as well.
6. I believe the C lenses are the newer lenses, the C standing for "coated" as far as I know. If you mean the RZ lenses, then no, you can not. Again, I don't see why you would want to - the RB is a very complete system.
7. try the cameraskins website - I think they have some info on this - or search here on APUG in the camera repeair forum, its an often adressed question. Inspect all the light seals - they too may be detrirated, causing light leaks. Examine the bellows too.
8. There is a full range of focusing screens, including split-screens.
That's what I know - hope other's correct me if I am wrong on any of these, but unless otherwise indicated, I am fairly certain of these points.
Enjoy the camera - I know you'll love it!
Thanks for the info! I like the idea of a 6x8 back. So far I like the camera. I have always wanted a 6x7, can't wait to see the results!
KL lenses are the best optics you can get for the RB, they are completely redesigned lenses which are equivalent to the latest RZ lenses with the same optical formulas. They are quite rare on the used market but you do see them from time to time. There is one 180mm KL on ebay now. As mentioned you can use RB lenses on RZ's but not the other way around.
I would forget about grips, prisms, etc. and keep it simple. The modular prism/winders that you see on many 645 cameras is not something you should try to do on a RB or RZ. Start adding that stuff and your RB will weigh a ton and not be any easier to use or carry around, this is based on my experience with my RZ. The waist level finder also offers a brighter and larger image making it much easier to focus than a prism. Get a nice small hand held incident/reflected light meter and you are all set.
Here are some answers that I think I can provide:
1. I am not sure why, I suspect that it has something to do with the dampening that the the camera uses, but the mirror is indeed supposed to stay up until you wind the film. Says so in the manual which you can get at http://www.mamiya.com.
2. There is a metered prism and I believe a metered chimney finder. No idea about the model numbers. I think for the kind of shooting I do with my RB, an on camera meter is really unnecessary.
3. Mamiya makes (made?) a couple of left hand grips that are nice. I am planning on getting one. I have used one on a friend's camera and liked it quite a bit.
6. All RB lenses work with the ProS. The K/L lenses are very nice and pricy as
Sandeep said. Pre C lenses will also work, but they are not multicoated and some are of older optical designs with poorer reputations.
Also, check KEH if you haven't yet. They have screens, backs, prisms, grips, etc.
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1) This is exactly as it is supposed to work, please disregard previous posts which say the contrary.
2) It is called "PD prism finder". Heavy, bulky and unnecessary if you ask me.
3) Yes it is called "Flash Bracket RB". Very unnecessary if you ask me.
4) Not in general, and forget it as RB stuff is much cheaper.
5) Sheet film holders.
8) Yes it is called "RangefinderSpot/Microprism"
Cheers - Marco.
I know a chap who does excellent portraits. The chap is a camera.
(Tristan Tzara, 1922)
Thanks again for all the responses! This is one of the main reasons I enjoy being part of this forum community! I did log on to KEH and noticed that they had plenty of lenses and accesories for the RB. One thing I noticed that I probably forgot to mention was the weight of the RB. For some reason I was expecting it to be heavier, but I think it weighs about the same as my old M645J with PD Prism and handle. The overall balance and weight distribution of the RB is fantastic. I was actually more tired after using the 645J than the RB. Then again this could be attributed to the excitement of using an RB for the first time.
Personally, I like my metered prism. It does add considerably more weight, but to me it is worth it.
Searching my way to perplexion
Exactly! There is no mirror lock-up on the RB67. It has a similar mirror pre-fire feature. Set the shutter selector on the lens to the "M" ("M"irror-up, not "N"ormal) position. The button on the camera body will cause the shutter to close, aperture to stop down, and mirror to move up. Next, you fire the shutter with a cable release screwed directly into the M/N selector on the lens. Once you're done with the exposure, cranking the right-hand side lever will reset everything (but not advance the film) for the next shot.
Originally Posted by Marco Gilardetti
Snegron, here are a couple recent threads that might be of interest to you:
Travis & I have had a few exchanges there, and agree on the fact that this is one of the most versitile and hot value MF camera's out there. I am astonished at the sheer number of items that are available for them on eBay any given day. Give it 12 hours, and several dozen more are listed. Great values, wide variety.
Try the left grip. It has a shutter release button, and a shoe for flash or accessories. In one of the threads, I have posted a picture of my Gossen Digiflash meter anchored to it. Very convenient, even more so than a metered prism. Mine came with a non-metered series II and a magnifier. Great stuff for tripod use. You may find that the waist level finder or a chimney is more suited to handheld use.
An optech B strap is a great help too. The leatherette does shrink somewhat. Mark at Cameraleather.com has a wide variety of materials to replace with, although they do not have an already cut kit. I am measuring mine out, and can provide a little later the dimensional sizes of sheet necessary for recovering. In the alternate, you can send him your camera body and he will do it for you. I am going to recover mine in an Indian Red kid skin. Should look super sharp when done.
The C series lens is multi-coated, while the regular Mamiya Sekor is single coated. Not too great of an issue with BW, and a lens hood to cut down on spurious light sources. A Hoya multicoated UV filter is a big help with this also, and provides much protection for the lens. Stay away from the Green series, for it will cut about 15% of your transmitted light out. Also, try to shoot for the SD series film backs. They do not use the foam seal system the others do, and are of a better and lighter design. The oldest series, while cheaper (Pro, and newer Pro S) require the foam seals and they get really gummy in time. Unless you are reasonably good at such things, its not worth the hassle in savings.
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