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Mamiya RB67 ProSD | by Splendor and Demise
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Mamiya RB67 ProSD

The fashion photographer's workhorse of the 80's & '90's , the Mamiya RB67 is now in the hands of thousands of grateful amateurs..(C'est moi!!) Unwieldy to a fault sometimes, I believe it might have been the biggest, heaviest [almost 6 lbs as shown - over 8 lbs with a prism finder] medium format camera made - if I'm wrong please correct me in the comments (Edited Note: Stefan has brought the monstrous Fuji GX 680 to my attention!!)

 

Photo taken with a Nikon D200. High Rez version attached.

 

I'd always had a pesky light leak in the 120 film back, but was too cheap to pay $80 for a good used one, I finally realized that 220 backs seem to work just as well.

 

Specifications

 

Camera Type - Medium Format SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Camera

Format - 6x7cm, 6x4.5cm, 7.2x7.2cm (Quadra Back)

Lens Mount - Breech-lock Bayonet

System of 18 interchangeable Leaf Shutter Lenses

Viewfinder - Standard folding waist level with flip-up magnifier

Optional PD Prism Finder with spot and average metering patterns

Optional non-metering prism finder

Field of View 95% with automatic masking for vertical and horizontal revolving back position

Focus Type - Rack and pinion bellows focusing

Focus lock

46mm built-in bellows extension

Optional extension tubes

Focusing scale

Exposure compensation scale

Focus Screen - Standard Type A matte, seven additional interchangeable screens

Exposure Metering - Manual metering possible with optional PD Prism Viewfinder

Shutter /Release - Mechanically timed, 1 second to 1/400 second, B and T setting

Mirror-up Operation

Standard mechanical cable release

Flash sync - PC socket for electronic flash connection on lens barrel. Flash sync possible at all shutter speeds.

Film Transport - Double Action 114° Stroke

Optional power backs advance film automatically with single stroke

Camera Back - Revolving Back

Dark Slide Pocket

Dark Slide Safety Interlock

Tripod Socket3/8", 1/4"

Self Timer - No

PC Terminal - Yes

Depth Of Field Preview - Yes, with lever on lens barrel

Mirror Lock Up - Manual return mirror resets with shutter cocking lever on camera body side. This lever also cocks the shutter. Mirror lock-up possible with optional Mirror-Up double cable release.

Multiple Exposure - Single action Multi switch on film magazine

Power Source - Fully mechanical no batteries required

Dimensions - 4.1" x 5.7" x 9.2" (104 x 144 x 233mm)

Weight - 5.9 lbs. (2690 g.) with 127mm lens and 120 magazine

 

* * * *

 

My biggest disappointment (among the very few) with the RB (through no fault of its own) is the amazing 3D effect that one first see's when looking down on that big focusing screen - you actually expect the film plane to do something magical and capture the same effect that your eyes see. Sadly it doesn't.. :-(.

 

The 'hugeness' of the RB67 series in street photography is a double-edged sword - it's big and very visible, so it can attract unwanted attention from the criminal element (who don't realize that something so impressively august is actually virtually worthless in the marketplace..) - but the Bigness can be a benefit, to wit:

 

"...There is also the Street Photography Safety Factor. I think it was Bill Pierce who told this story. It may be apocryphal. To paraphrase: An old time Speed Graphic user was bemoaning the rise of the little 35mm cameras. "When you hit someone with a Nikon, they go down but they just get right back up. When you hit them with a Speed Graphic, they stay down..."

 

..the same can be said the of the RB series - cheers!

 

www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.ph p?t=2542

 

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Taken on November 2, 2007