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  1. #1

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    Mamiya RB67-S users: Newbie with question

    I've never used a medium format camera before, so please answer in the most elementary language possible.

    I bought a Mamiya RB67-S camera on eBay, and just got it, and have been trying to learn how to use it. I've gone through about 6 rolls of 120 film already, before I was finally able to get a single shot -- just learning how to load it, and advance the film was giving me an amazing amount of trouble. I kept having trouble getting to the second frame of the film. I finally found a way around the problem, but it seems so strange, that I am wondering if there is something wrong with the camera. Here's the thing... I've finally gotten the film loaded correctly, and advance the film to the 1st frame. I cock the shutter, and press the shutter button, and it takes a picture. That's the only one it wants to take though. From there, the camera wants to lock up on me, and won't allow me to advance the film with the film advance lever. The camera back seems to be on properly, with the S-lock in the proper position. Of course, the dark slide is not in... and the shutter lock is not on. It is not set for multiple exposure. What it wants me to do is manually move the "film wind stop release lever" to the right before I am allowed to advance the film. It took a lot of film before I figured that one out. The manual leaves much to be desired, and I am having a hard time learning how to use this from that alone.

    Does anyone who owns this camera know if this is normal, and if it's not, why that solves the problem of advancing the film to the next frame? I was finally able to get a roll of film with a few exposures, but only after using that little lever before taking every single picture.

    I've taken a pic of the lever I'm talking about, and circled it. The only thing I can find in the manual about that lever is: "The film wind-stop is released manually by this lever only when the Pro-S roll film holder is used for the Mamiya Press", and "the film wind-stop release lever provided for the Pro-S roll film holder is to be used when the holder is used for the Mamiya Universal Press, or when desiring to wind up to the film end while unexposed film remains in the holder" and "when the shutter is released, the film wind-stop mechanism is automatically disengaged, and the film can be advanced for the next frame." Well, it doesn't seem to be doing that automatically, and since I'm such a novice, I have no idea what a "Mamiya Universal Press" is, or why I have to shift that little lever for every shot. Is there a defect? And if so... would it be a defect just with the back, or with the camera body?

    Last edited by cherryhill; 04-27-2008 at 05:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Normally you have to cock the shutter and advance the film- so, two operations required per shot. If it annoys, there are motorized backs that are inexpensive and give you 6x7 and ~6x8 captures.... and somewhat better film tension and flatness, in my opinion.

    There may indeed be an issue with your particular back, if you have to hit the little lever each time. I don't recall this being normal, though I have been using the motorized backs for more than a year so I may have forgotten!

    Does this back perchance have a multi-exposure mode lever? If so you may need to check that. Again, sorry, I don't recall the operations of this particular back.

    A "mamiya press" is another, older kind of camera on which you can use the back.
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  3. #3

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    Hi Keith, thanks for your response.

    The back does have the multiple exposure lever, but I have that off. I've actually tried to take pictures with it on, and that didn't solve the problem either. The only way around this "locking up" issue is manually flipping that "film wind stop release lever".

    I guess if I have to, I will buy a different back, or a motorized one which would be very nice. But, for the time being I am dirt broke, having just bought the camera, an extra lens, a light meter, and the enlarger lens and negative carrier to be able to use my enlarger in the 6x7 format. Guess it will have to wait a little while. But, I sure do wish the camera was functioning properly, as the eBay ad said it was.

  4. #4
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    The item you have circled is the one you move if you want to finish the roll in mid-roll. It allows you to advance the film to the end without exposing the film. Keith is right, you have two operations per shot. Are you cocking the shutter and advancing the film after exposing the film?
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  5. #5

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    After taking the picture, I am cocking the shutter, then *trying* to advance the film, but it won't allow me to. Therein lies the problem.

  6. #6
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    I've not experienced this problem so I don't know what to say other than possibly the back has something wrong with it or maybe something with the revolving adapter. If you press the shutter release without the film back on, do you see the coupling pin on the revolving adapter move?
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  7. #7

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    Yes, the pin moves fine when the back isn't on. And, the film advance lever works great when it's not attached to the camera. It will go through the whole roll of film. I have wondered if the problem is the revolving back. The manual says to turn it until you hear it "click", but I don't hear any click at all. Could that be it? I am actually hoping if there's a defect that it's with the back, and not the body.

  8. #8
    Travis Nunn's Avatar
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    If you say you can see or feel the coupling pin move when you press the shutter, seems to me the body and revolving adapter are OK.

    If the film is loaded properly and you're going through all of the proper steps and it sticks while trying to advance the film, my first instinct would be to try another film back. That being said, it would be best if you can take it to someone who is familiar with the camera. I don't know where you're located so I can't give you any recommendations on that.
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  9. #9
    DJGainer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherryhill View Post
    Yes, the pin moves fine when the back isn't on. And, the film advance lever works great when it's not attached to the camera. It will go through the whole roll of film. I have wondered if the problem is the revolving back. The manual says to turn it until you hear it "click", but I don't hear any click at all. Could that be it? I am actually hoping if there's a defect that it's with the back, and not the body.
    It sounds to me that the back is not recognizing when you fire the shutter. The back locks up until the shutter is fired releasing the lock and allowing you to advance the film.

  10. #10

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    Every back I have for my rb67 requires I move that lever before advancing the film. Either you are confused and have company in me, or that's the way it's suppose to work. You take the shot, recock the mirror, move that lever to the right, advance the film.

    tim in san jose
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