RB67 Pro SD - Christmas present to myself!
I can't comment on the Pentax 6x7 having never been anywhere near one but yesterday I received a Mamiya RB67 Pro SD in the post. (My christmas present to myself!).
From my limited playing around with it in the house, I was quite surprised at how easily I could hand hold it. It may get a bit tiring over time though.
I was also surprised at how quiet the mirror mechanism was compared to the noise my Bronica ETRS makes.
Hopefully the RB67 will eliminate some of the dilemnas I have with tye ETRS i.e. I prefer using the waist level finder to the prism but I find that 75% of the pictures I take are in the vertical format. The rotating back makes this easy.
The camera has come from the West Yorkshire Police photographic department and has not seen the heavy use that a camera in a pro portrait studio would. In fact, the second film back does not appear to have been used. It still has the manufacturer's label in the film label holder on the back.
It came with two backs, 50mm and 90mm lenses, UV filters on both and rubber lens hoods for both lenses and they put in twenty rolls of Fuji 160 ISO negative film for free.
If anyone is interested, they may still have a couple left. Details here: http://www.therightimage.biz/specials.html
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
What was the specific cause of this 'dreaded fozen advance-lever problem' you're referring? On any of the times you had the problem, did you try taking the battery out? To my knowledge (and in my experience), what causes the advance lever to freeze up is that the mirror hangs and doesn't drop back down all the way. I've only had it happen a couple times out of thousands of shots (both times it was when I was doing multiple exposures with the 90mm LS lense in cool weather with a battery that was getting low). When this happens, all you have to do is take the battery out and the mirror will drop down the rest of the way (fixing the problem). I have since found out that there is a tiny little reset button on the front of the camera that does the same thing as taking the battery out. If this is the problem you had, you got ripped off big time paying $350 (or any amount for that matter) for a repair that you could have easily done yourself by taking the battery out or using the reset button.
Originally Posted by Poco
As far as shutter vibration goes, I have never had any problems with it. I use a heavy duty tripod, and always use MLU for slow shutter speeds (and/or when using macro tubes). I don't have any lenses longer than 165, but I do a lot of macro work (using all three tubes together giving magnification higher than 1:1) where camera stability is just as much of an issue as it is with long lenses.
I also used an RB for a about a year and a half. IMO, pentax lenses are sharper than mamiya lenses, and they're also substantially faster than comparitively priced mamiya lenses. Everybody's requirements are different. I have no need for multiple or revolving film backs. For me, P67 beats RB67 hands down (because of lens quality). I also considered (briefly) the Bronica GS, but I had a Bronica SQA for a while, and I was less than impressed with the sharpness of Bronica lenses.
Also, leaf shutters give slightly more exposure to the center than they do to the outside. FP shutters insure that every part of the frame gets the exact same exposure.
Max, the usual point of failure on the older (non MLU) bodies is a stripped gear in the winding mechanism. This was beefed up when MLU was added and possibly again when the 67II was introduced. Because of these changes you can't get spares for the non MLU models and anyone of those with a winding issue is unrepairable. I know, I've tried, and ended up with a couple of nice bookends.
I've got a MLU 6x7 and a 67 and both of these are just fine. The 6x7 is heavily scarred and most of the MLU 6x7s and even 67s you see on eBay have had a lot of use yet are still working. Most of these are more than 20 years old and have been used profesionally for most of that time so there doesn't seem to be any inherent weakness in them.
One tip I have read is that your winding action should be smooth, not jerky. Putting a lot of torque through the mechanism with a 5fps thumb is not a good idea. When you are working hand held it is tempting to treat it like a 35mm SLR, but you are trying to move four times as much film for each frame, plus paper backing, so there is a lot more force involved.
Yeah, I've heard about the winding mechanism problem (stripped gear). It's my understanding that it was fairly common with the pre-MLU models that were heavily used. It's also my understanding that it's very rare for the MLU models, and is caused by people being overly forceful with the winding lever (combined with heavy use).
Originally Posted by paul ewins
The much more common cause of the winding lever locking up is the mirror not dropping back down all the way (hangs about half way in between). As I said, it's happened to me twice. It ruins one frame, but it's easily fixed by removing the battery or pressing the reset button (I haven't had it happen since I learned about the reset button, but from what I read, pressing the reset button does the same thing as taking the battery out).
Well, when you think about it, there really isn't much load on the winding lever to advance the film (consider the first 4 lever movements when you first load new film before the shutter cocks). The real load comes from cocking the shutter. The sutter spring mechanism is much stiffer than with 35mm shutters. My guess is that the load of cocking the shutter is what caused gears to strip in the older models. I agree with using a smooth motion though. I always use a smooth motion (not slamming it) when cocking the shutter/advancing the film.
Originally Posted by paul ewins
After thinking about it, I wonder how many of the stripped gear problems with the film advance mechanisms happened because the mirror hung up (not dropping down all the way), and the user tried to force the advance lever out of frustration/desperation, and stripped the gear in the process.
Hmm, ya gotta wonder.
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