tell me about the RB67
I ran into a guy who has several of these, and he wants them sold. I've always been interested in MF, but its never been an interest I've scratched. I need another camera I don't use like I need holes in my head. nevertheless...I'm tempted. Hoping you'll talk me out of it.
From an hour of googling I gather these are quite solid (and heavy) well respected cameras. But I'm not sure why I'd want one except to save on film, because its about the size and weight of my Wista 45sp. So tell me why should I want one...what are they good for, what do they suck at. One of them had a 127mm, cant recall what the other lens was, and he may have additional lenses.
I think he'd sell them for a great price, but I dont know what that is. As point of reference he sold me a monorail Cambo 4x5 with 150mm Caltar for $100, which I gather is about 1/2-1/3 what most other people ask. I offered him $100, having no clue what they are worth and fully expecting him to decline. He did.
Great cameras. Awesome image quality. Very versatile with backs and finders and lenses. Big and heavy. Between 35mm and LF as you'd expect uses more film than 35mm but less than 4x5. Do you need something in between?
Wayne, I'm sure you can't use your field camera handheld or very quickly.
anyway, camera,len,back and finder seem to be going in the $250-$600 range. asking ,prices. Selling at $200-$300ish.
Pro-S bodies. Earlier are slightly less.
No I dont need something in between, but I am MF curious. Eventually-hopefully at least 15-20 years, I may need something smaller than LF. While the camera isnt smaller, no film holders and such to monkey with. I would expect to use any MF camera on a tripod, unless I got a Rolleiflex or something like that. I would probably use it mostly for portraits and macros.
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I had the pro-s before Hassy prices fell to attractive levels. I wouldn't go back.
The first time I saw an RB67 it was in the hands of a wedding photographer - he had switched to them as a smaller alternative to the Speed Graphic he had been shooting weddings with .
I shoot my RB67s usually from a tripod, but the rotating back and the appropriate Mamiya grip makes it easy to shoot them handheld with a waist level finder.
The 6x7 negatives are really nice to print from.
And almost all the lenses offer excellent close focus capabilities.
“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
They are amazing cameras. One of the best systems ever made IMHO.
They aren't very good if you like fast lenses. And they aren't that good if you always hand hold (especially with longer focal lengths).
But, I would have a hard time recommending any other medium format camera to someone who can work within these limits.
For better hand holding ability and faster lenses, I'd go with Hasselblad, Mamiya 645, Pentax 645, or Bronica (SQ or 645).
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I love mine and run more film thru it than my 6x6 and 645 cameras. It's plus size but easy to learn to drive. Two things are especially nice: the huge, bright focus screen that's jawdropping with the WLF and mag flipped up; and the revolving back that twists quickly between portrait and landscape while mass of the body stays stationary. Bellows focusing lets you get close without tubes or macro lenses. If you get one, study an online manual, especially for exposure comp at various distances.
I'd get the newest body you can find, a clean Pro S is kind of a minimum. With those and Pro S or Pro SD backs, you get the face-saving double-exposure lock-outs the ancient Pro bodies and backs lack. "C" lenses are what you want; K/L lenses have updated optics and coatings identical to the RZ lenses.
They're still fairly cheap, though I'd not shy from building a kit up piece by piece. There are lots on the market but that also includes bodies, lenses and backs that are utterly smoked. Be picky and be patient. The big negatives are addictive.
I'm looking at this mostly as an opportunity to invest in my photographic future, for when I get older and weaker and silver gets even more expensive. So if I can't get a steal of deal, I wont buy, because I really dont have much free cash. I didnt need the monorail 4x5, I just couldn't pass it up for $100. I was not in the market for MF either, I just stumbled into this guy by chance. So if I cant buy for much less than going price, I wont. I'm still an LF guy, for now. I haven't used a developing tank in 30 years, lol. But maybe I could be switched over, if I had one...
Are prices on these going up or down? I would think down...but if they are going up that would make my decision to buy now easier.
I'm not sure if they are Pros or Pro S. They are owned by a pro who used them professionally. They looked older so they are unlikely to be SD
I like what I hear about the closeup possibilities. :-)
I do all of my shooting in natural light though, and my eyesight isnt getting any better lol so I don't know how the slow lenses are going to work. Hmm. just looked at their specs and I think they are faster than most or all of what I use now! I am going back to look at them and a bunch of other equipment the guy has next week, and I cant test them out a bit then.