Mamiya RB67 Pro SD Medium Format

Mamiya RB67 Pro SD Medium Format 

DESCRIPTION

Out-of-production 6x7 SLR system.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 23  
[Feb 16, 2019]
Monday317


Strength:

Mamiya RB67 is THE best manual 6 x 7 film camera system available period. Bellows focusing of lens eliminates optical issues with helicoid focusing, and the lenses render subjects with clarity and realism. Plenty of lens choices and accessories for every conceivable need. Pro SD eliminates light leaks at film backs, used quality resin (OK, plastic) body parts to reduce weight, but frame still built from solid metal. Built like a tank, good for any MF use, other than covert detective work...

Weakness:

Built like a tank; lighter than heavier models. Should use a tripod where possible, handheld only for lumberjacks. Some compatibility issues for some Pro SD components if mating with older models desired.

Purchased:
Used  
OVERALL
RATING
5
[Jan 29, 2009]
hudi82
Intermediate

Strength:

- good format
- rotatable back
- complete system
- good lenses
- high sync speed

Weakness:

- big and heavy
- hard to use in the field
- dark lenses
- not very well balanced in the hand
- no 6x6 back, no 35mm panoramic back

I bought this camera out of curiosity because I was kinda bored with 6x6 and heard wonders about 6x7 and out of Bronica and Mamiya I went with Mamiya because there were simply more of it on the market.

This is a seriously BIG camera, 2x bigger and heavier than my Kiev. I was totally surprised by this. I'm a quite strong person but I have problems holding it still with the metering prism thats why I don't use it :-)

The best think I like about this camera is the rotating back, its so easy to use and is very handy something I'd never give up for. The film backs are kinda delicate, the 2 that I own have old seals that I need to replace and have some platic parts broken off and the winding isn't perfect etc, but the biggest problme with them (at least 1) is that the film counter doesn't trigger after exposure and I often inadvertantly get double exposures which are horrible considering there are only 10 exposures per roll.

The lenses are pretty big and heavy, optically are very good (my 50mm and 127mm are quite dirty inside and one has even water mark after some dude badly cleaned it). I can see quite a lot of details on my slides. The only problem that I see is that the lenses are quite dark 3.5 the brightest. Compared to my Carl Zeiss Lenses for Pentacon, Mamiya lenses are much darker (2 stops) but optically are at least comparable. They have built in Seiko leaf shutters that can sync with flash at any speed and are the reasons I bought them. Also they all have the same filter size of 77mm (except 50 and 65mm lenses I think) which is great.

The focusing needs getting use to as its a knob like in TLRs and focusing is done through a bellow. Its quite precise and can be focused by both hands. The down part is that the bellow looses light if extended too long and needs to be compensated.

The view finder is bright and large with lines for both verticle and horizontal positions. However the standard ground glass doesn't have a split prism for focusing and it might take some time to get a perfect focus with the dark lenses. The waist level finder is what I use and it has a large lens that makes the focusing a lot easier. The Prism is VERY heavy and I think its rather dark and the metering is rather cumbersome so a external meter is required.

All in all, its a very nice system with many lenses and possibilities.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 03, 2007]
Tony
Professional

Strength:

Robust feal, the lense, it's fun, fun , fun to use. Makes you think and expand your creativity.

Weakness:

Nothing.

Got this monster (I mean this in a good way) from Ebay for a super price as a whole kit and I am still buying accessories for it. I love the weight, I love the film size and I love the fact that this camera is allowing me to get back to thinking about how I photograph instead of shooting from the hip and looking at my view finder. I love digital, but this is so much more fun. I have 2 other medium format camera's, this actually is the easiest to use.

Customer Service

Mamiya's website only. Great website and easy to use.

Similar Products Used:

Mamiya C330, Yashica 124G

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 22, 2005]
magoo
Intermediate

Strength:

Cheap, durable, reliable, and it has never let me down

Weakness:

Heavy

Love this camera. It is much bigger than most mf cameras but it is solid. Once you get everything down pat it becomes second nature. cock the shutter, then advance the film then push the shutter and repeat. The pictures I take are tack sharp depending on the lens. You hear all the time, I have a hasselblad, the hasselblad takes the best pictures, but you know what? Try and tell the difference between plus accessories and lenses won't break the bank. Also if you have the opportunity to get the 150mm sf lens, get it. I love that lens, some beautiful shots were made with that lens.

Customer Service

never needed it.

Similar Products Used:

mamiya c33

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 18, 2005]
DaveKasdan
Expert

Strength:

Presence--absolute, imposing presence of a real photography rig. Crystal clear images and no limits to creating great photographs.

Weakness:

Parts and accessories are getting rare. Forget having it fixed--just look for replacements save the costly repair expense.

From the second I looked through the pop-up view finder...in love with this camera! It took me about 2 rolls to work out the mechanical processes and be comfortable with the controls. I feel like a macho adventure photographer using this tank out in the field. The image quality is outstanding--the straight contact prints are gorgeous. If you want to think about your shots and really practice "previsualization" and Zone work, then this is the kit to use. Was fortunate enough to get the 90mm and 180mm lenses for free from a retired pro and friend, then filled out the kit with a second body and accessories. Now I have one whole RB67 with the 90mm lens and a speed grip, the other body sports the 180mm lens and is worn with the neck strap. Carry it all with 3 different film backs, filters, etc. in a big bag and nobody stands in my way.

Customer Service

Emailed a question to corporate and had a response in 24 hours! Excellent!

Similar Products Used:

No other MF cameras. Plenty of 35mm, from full manual to P&S.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 15, 2003]
peguin
Expert

Strength:

every thing looks amazing too the rotating back is its greatest asset

Weakness:

the cocking levers (only a tiny thing)

the rb67 pro sd is amazing i was told to definatly get another rz pro2 after mine was stolen but i didnt and am so glad. i am only young (17) but i have had alot of experiance with possibly every current pro camera and have grown around fashion shoots and had a play with any camera i have ever come into contact with and this is the best nothing comes close except an rz. but this will last longer than a rz ever could the quality of the images it has always produced for me are inceadible and it stands up to any abuse thrown at it. buy it if you can

Customer Service

never needed

Similar Products Used:

mamiya rz67 pro , mamiya rz67 pro2 , hassenbald 500

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 18, 2003]
Todd Walker
Professional

Strength:

Big negatives!, sharp lenses, very affordable to buy it and accessories on the used market. Rotating back. No batteries or electronics to worry about. Fairly quite operation. Good solid construction and very reliable.

Weakness:

One of the most heavy cameras made (when prism is attached), but not bad with a monopod for support. No problem when using tripod. Much light in weight if using waist level finder instead of prism. Top shutter speed of only 1/400 sec.

This review is actually for the Pro-s which I purchased used. Great camera! Produces awesome results when big enlargments are needed from prints. I also love the rotating back, never have to turn camera sideways for vertical shots. Bellows mounted lens allows for close focusing. Lots of accessories available for this camera. Very quick and easy to change focusing screen. Big camera that produces excellent results when used for it's intended purpose. Don't try using for fast action style shooting (use a smaller lighter camera for that).

Customer Service

not needed, but excellent user forum on website.

Similar Products Used:

Mamiya 645 Pro-tl, 6451000s, Pentax 6x7, Bronica GS-1, Bronica ETRS, Hasselblad 500C

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 21, 2003]
Maroc7
Expert

Strength:

See above

Weakness:

None

Mamiya RB67 Pro-S Want one? Heres the rub... This camera has been called the workhorse of the photographic industry for many years with good reason. It has often been linked as guilty by assumption, with studio work, product and commercial photography only; due to it's robust size and weight. The idea that this camera is unweildly outside the studio invironment is only true for those perhaps not prepared to utilize this baby to it's fullest potential. That and they might lack moral fibre and upper body strength! This particular review relates to the RB67 Pro-S specifically. I bought this beast as new a few years back from a Studio Portrait photographer with 40 years in the business. The camera came with a f3.8 127mm Mamiya Sekor lens, 120 roll film holder, pop up view finder with a 2+ diopter and a speed grip for hand holding with top mounted hotshoe. My 35mm outfit barely gets a look in anymore because I always hike this beast everywhere I go. The big neg in 6x7 is so impressive that I have become totally absorbed by the MF culture and approach. I had a vision for larger formats that my 35mm images were not able to provide in results. So when I took my RB into the mountains and rainsforests shooting waterfalls and coastal scenics, what I got back in E6 jumped off the light box in a way I had never seen before. I was sold! Don't be told that this camera isn't meant for outdoor work or landscapes, this camera is a standard in the Landscape and Scenic photographic culture. If weight is an issue for you and you can't stomach anything heavier than a 35mm camera then the Rb may not be for you. The RZ is a little lighter but then you have other issues of a non mechanical nature to deal with. The RB67 Pro-S has a series of locking features which prevent you from making accidental exposures. You have a bellows system for focussing which allows a macro function with nearly all lenses. For more details on these features I recommend you go to www.mamiya.com and download a manual in PDF. This camera was ten years old when I bought it and it has behaved flawlessly since then, with nary a hickup. Shutter speeds may be a little on the slow side for some at 1/400th to 1 sec; but I have never needed anything above 1/125 for what I do anyway. If you are buying a new RB67 in the Pro-SD area then you are in for some fine lenses. In the past there were some manufacture tolerance issues with a couple of the old C and non C lenses. Some people called them soft and others got a sharp optic. Those days are over and the new lenses, particularly the 50mm, which suffered the worst reputation over the years are now top quality and in line with the new design KL lenses. Some people still complain about lack of edge to edge sharpness regarding 50mm 4.5 lenses, but many have failed to understand over even operate the fine focus ring which controls critical DOF. ...Getting the most out of your 50mm... There are a couple of lens' in the Mamiya RB family which require you to manually adjust the select focus ring on the lens itself to correct for critical depth of field. As with a standard lens, adjust focussing by turning the focussing knob on the camera body. Merely turning the floating ring will not produce accurate focussing. Next, read the distance to subject, set the distance scale of the floating ring to the cener index mark (red dot), and then take a picture. Floating ring may be set either before or after focussing. When turning the floating ring, a portion of the lens system is shifted to the front and rear; however, no variations can be observed on the ground glass focussing screen. When placing emphasis on spur of the moment snaps, set the infinity mark (red) of the floating ring to the center index mark (red)when the distance to subject is from infinity to 7ft (2 metres).If the distance to subject is less than the above a sufficiently sharp image can be attained merely by setting 3.3ft/1m (red) to the index. In the case of close up photography nearer than 3.3ft, set the floating ring to 3.3ft then stop down the lens as much as possible. Distance to subject implies the distance from film place to subject. Notes for those looking to buy with the aim of Studio and Commercial work... RB67 Pro-S and 127mm f3.8C You can easily shoot portraits with this lens but if you want to go for a longer focal length then you can. There are some lenses that are softer than others so depending on your purposes, when buying, be aware and try them out first as this could be just what you want or not the thing at all. I would suggest two lenses to begin with, but if you can only afford one, then you can't go wrong with the 127mm which ought to come stock with an Rb. You have a choice of view finders which range from the pop up viewer or the PD Prism. With the pop up finder you have a choice of plastic diopters which serve to magnify the image on the glass. If you are mainly doing commercial and portr

Similar Products Used:

Various MF

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 26, 2002]
David R Munson
Professional

Strength:

Logical (to me) controls, durability, versatility, built in bellows focusing makes shooting close-up a breeze, and the new-formula KL lenses are easily as sharp as current offerings from the likes of Zeiss, Bronica, etc. The leaf shutters make working with mixed lighting a breeze. A complete system that allows you to do just about anything. The rotating back is a Godsend.

Weakness:

It's heavy. Honestly, I don't find the weight too oppressive in most situations, even with the prism finder attatched, but people should take this into consideration before buying. There are much lighter cameras out there. Also, bulb and time exposures could be a lot more convenient, though things are pretty managable, particularly if you use two shutter releases. Not a camera issue, but some of the older C and even older non-C lenses could be sharper (not the case with the KL offerings).

There are two reasons this camera is oft-referred to as the workhorse of the photo industry. First off and most importantly, it takes a complete beating and keeps turning in superior results day after day after day. Second, its sheer mass makes it quite similar to an actual horse.

Customer Service

Mamiya is a great company to do business with and I've found them quite helpful in the two instances I've needed their help.

Similar Products Used:

Hasselblad, Bronica, Mamiya 645, Mamiya C220f, various Russian copies.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 30, 2002]
Christopher Briggs
Professional

Strength:

The true workhorse of the photographic industry, builds muscle tone, too!

Weakness:

No 35mm panoramic back, they don't make Kodachrome in 120 anymore(not really the camera's fault), not heavy enough.

An unstoppable beast, lumbering but nimble and a vast array of dependable, affordable accessories made this system the perfect setup for me. Although it is not petite like the 'blads, I find I can shoot weddings journalisticly with little effort.(other than actually carring the camera!) The revolving back can't be beat for portraits, landscapes and commercial applications...a good marriage of 35mm and 4x5 with out the tilts and shifts.

Customer Service

Never needed any.

Similar Products Used:

Hasselblad, Pentax 67, Mamiya 7, Bronica GS-1, Contax 645AF, Nikon 35mm, Various 4x5 & 8x10 view cameras

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 23  

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