Serious love for the RB67 Pro (original)

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sixby45

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Good morning everyone,

I wanted to share my absolute love of working with a new addition to my medium format collection - the venerable RB67 Pro , the original non S version. The viewfinder rumors are true, it does lock into focus in a 3D erie way, the mirror slap is negligible (the weight distributes it evenly), and the heft is pretty similar to a pro series (1D) dslr with something big like an 70-200 zoom attached. And of course! the lovely negatives made even cooler by enclosing that lovely film in a rotating back - probably my favorite bit about the RB.

Mine has seen some use, but seems pretty accurate, being all mechanical, and the only thing that took some getting used to was the wind on lever having a switch on the film back (little silver tab) some seem to have this some not, so was a bit confusing at first.

If anyone reading this is considering the RB67 in any flavor, I say go for it! You will not be unhappy - unless, and of course the most obvious - you dont desire the weight for long treks, or other reasons.

All in all a fantastic camera, and I invite any visitors to leave remarks about what makes the RB67 special to them.

-Rick.
 

David Brown

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I have and use an RB67 ProS. Wonderful machine and a pleasure to use. I also use a Mamiya TLR, and 645 by both Mamiya and Fuji. All lovely cameras and all different. I consider the RB67 to be my "main" 120 camera. I have never, however, taken a single frame of film in it that it wasn't mounted on a (sturdy) tripod. That's what it was designed to do. But the negatives are wonderful.

If you do not have a manual for your RB, I would suggest obtaining one. It will tell you all kinds of little quirks about the camera.

Good luck!

Cheers,
 

MattKing

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I have had and used both the Pro model and the Pro-S model. I'm down to just the Pro-S model now.
I confess I do better with the Pro-S model - the double exposure prevention and darkslide exposure prevention interlocks are rather handy.
The little tab you refer to is probably the one on the original Pro backs (IIRC) that helped you avoid unintentional double exposures.
I agree - the negatives are wonderful. Unlike David, I do use mine hand-held from time to time. It also works well with a monopod.
My RB67, my 645 Pro and my C330 all serve their purposes well. One of the reasons they all suit me is that, in conjunction with the grip options available, they are easy and confortable to use if you are left handed. Many other cameras are much more suited to right handed people.
 
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Neil Grant

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..it's a little easier to 'screw up' with the original 'Pro' version because of the lack of safety interlocks. The interlocks though, over time, can get a bit sticky - and this means your 'Pro S or SD' will need a service, when the 'Pro' will just keep on keeping on! All versions are of course rather giant, but a gentle giant at that. The mirror's movement would be best described as leisurely - and this no doubt contributes to the lacking of jarring as the shutter is tripped. It's quite a primitive camera compared to others of that era - graflex style backs and a massive cocking lever, but that really just adds to the appeal. Add almost complete reliability and you can begin to see why people really like the RB 67.
 

flavio81

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Good morning everyone,

I wanted to share my absolute love of working with a new addition to my medium format collection - the venerable RB67 Pro , the original non S version. The viewfinder rumors are true, it does lock into focus in a 3D erie way, the mirror slap is negligible (the weight distributes it evenly), and the heft is pretty similar to a pro series (1D) dslr with something big like an 70-200 zoom attached. And of course! the lovely negatives made even cooler by enclosing that lovely film in a rotating back - probably my favorite bit about the RB.

Mine has seen some use, but seems pretty accurate, being all mechanical, and the only thing that took some getting used to was the wind on lever having a switch on the film back (little silver tab) some seem to have this some not, so was a bit confusing at first.

If anyone reading this is considering the RB67 in any flavor, I say go for it! You will not be unhappy - unless, and of course the most obvious - you dont desire the weight for long treks, or other reasons.

All in all a fantastic camera, and I invite any visitors to leave remarks about what makes the RB67 special to them.

-Rick.

It's better to describe, online, the RB67 as "too heavy", "can't be used outside the studio" and "has a very strong mirror slap".

That way, we can be sure the prices are still low, so we can buy more.

I have two pro-S bodies, the 50, 65, 90, 127 and 180 lenses (C-variety) and three backs: two for 6x7 and one for 6x4.5

I use it handheld, exclusively.
 

Theo Sulphate

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The RB67 system and lenses are excellent. Yes, be sure to get the manual.

I have two RB67 Pro S systems, with 50, 65, 90, 127, 140, and 180mm lenses. I use only the waist level finder and most of my photos are handheld.
 

Trail Images

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Over the years I have worked hard to put together a solid RB67 system. Starting out with the original Pro body and worked through the ProS and up to finally the ProSD unit. I've also collected an array of "C" lenses with the 37-50-65-90-127-140-150-180. The only reason I do not use it every week is a work with a 4x5 kit too. But, all around RB67 usage and lens selection are the best of tools I've got and they are used at least twice a month in the field. A guide link listed below.
RB67 Guide
 

Doc W

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I shoot more LF these days, but I still love my RB67 Pro SD. For years, it was my "point and shoot" :laugh: I have a 90mm, 127mm, and 180mm, but I almost always use the 90mm, switching to the 180 only for portraits. And of course, you NEED a tripod. I sometimes use a Mamiya 7, but to be honest, I still prefer the RB.

Why do you favour the original over later models? I very much like the double-exposure prevention.
 

flavio81

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Over the years I have worked hard to put together a solid RB67 system. Starting out with the original Pro body and worked through the ProS and up to finally the ProSD unit. I've also collected an array of "C" lenses with the 37-50-65-90-127-140-150-180. The only reason I do not use it every week is a work with a 4x5 kit too. But, all around RB67 usage and lens selection are the best of tools I've got and they are used at least twice a month in the field. A guide link listed below.
RB67 Guide

You have the 37mm? How much did it cost you? Is the performance good?
 

Neil Grant

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You have the 37mm? How much did it cost you? Is the performance good?
...i can answer part of this: it's sharp in the centre, less so towards the periphery with visible (tolerable) lateral colour. It will cover the 6x8 cm format with the petals of the hood visible in the corners. A rear mounted filter is always needed for infinity focus. Dedicated thin-frame ones are quite rare but can be improvised with a little enginuity. Can't remember price.
 

Trail Images

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You have the 37mm? How much did it cost you? Is the performance good?
I've had this unit for several years now. It was not cheap as I wanted a solid unit with all the filters. I bought through KEH and it was in excellent condition as they as always listed it slightly below true condition. I've not found any issues with softness as mentioned. In fact, I've used it on a shot I just could not work out with my 4x5 because of working distance and it is one of my favorites with the lens.
Ldsr0717_A_(APUG).jpg
 

Meerkieker

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You have the 37mm? How much did it cost you? Is the performance good?
It is very sharp in the centre, just as razor sharp as any RB lens. Towards the edges it gets inevitably softer (yet not that much as you'd expect, just a little bit), given the extreme lens design. Chromatic aberrations around the edge are a tad more noticeable, yet manageable, with color film than with monochromatic.
The lens is a joy to use, mine does not get used frequently but it's indeed, very amusing using it. Not to say about all the attention and questions from astounded passersby, intrigued by the size of the front element (and the RB) :smile:
I got it dirt cheap, for a steal, paid it 180€ on an online auction, i was the only one bidding. And it was mint, in its box with filters and papers, never used.

here's a pair of examples:
27719363388_ae37cfdb27_h.jpg

41018985124_36cb12307c_h.jpg
 
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flavio81

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Fantastic shots. I love when the fisheye is so well used. Thanks for your replies!
 

Sirius Glass

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If that is your first love, then follow it. Since your name has you permanently locked to 645, I will not talk about 6x6 with you. Enjoy.
 

Sirius Glass

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Well, by doing so he spared the hassle(blad?) of dealing with certain arguments. Good for him.

He is not spared. Hasselblad can take 645. I just do not think it is worth it. Hasselblad advertised for years that "Square is the perfect format." But the OP clearly is not interested in that.
 

Edward Romero

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Good morning everyone,

I wanted to share my absolute love of working with a new addition to my medium format collection - the venerable RB67 Pro , the original non S version. The viewfinder rumors are true, it does lock into focus in a 3D erie way, the mirror slap is negligible (the weight distributes it evenly), and the heft is pretty similar to a pro series (1D) dslr with something big like an 70-200 zoom attached. And of course! the lovely negatives made even cooler by enclosing that lovely film in a rotating back - probably my favorite bit about the RB.

Mine has seen some use, but seems pretty accurate, being all mechanical, and the only thing that took some getting used to was the wind on lever having a switch on the film back (little silver tab) some seem to have this some not, so was a bit confusing at first.

If anyone reading this is considering the RB67 in any flavor, I say go for it! You will not be unhappy - unless, and of course the most obvious - you dont desire the weight for long treks, or other reasons.

All in all a fantastic camera, and I invite any visitors to leave remarks about what makes the RB67 special to them.

-Rick.
I bought
 

Edward Romero

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I bought my RB Pro S back in 1984. At that time I could only afford a 65mm and a 180mm lens.
It was a hard choice between that and the 330 Pro S. Since have added the 127,250, and the 360mm. Also added years later a 330 Pro S and a Bronica SQ-A plus a fun one is the Kodak Tourist which shoots a 6x9 negative on 620. The RB has been a great camera. People complain about the weight but it doesn’t bother me and I’m 72 years old. My tripod weighs 16lbs plus my bag around 30lbs. The RB a pure workhorse with no problems all these years and still shooting film and still using my darkroom. All those cameras are just pure fun. Haven’t had the Bronica that long and just a little skeptical on it using a electronic shutter. But a fun camera and fast using a prism finder and speed grip.
 

Theo Sulphate

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It's better to describe, online, the RB67 as "too heavy", "can't be used outside the studio" and "has a very strong mirror slap".

That way, we can be sure the prices are still low, so we can buy more.

...

The K/L lenses are rubbish - it's like looking and focusing through a Coke bottle. They're huge and heavy. Best to get rid of them. Out of sympathy, I would generously pay $50 for one.
 

flavio81

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The K/L lenses are rubbish - it's like looking and focusing through a Coke bottle. They're huge and heavy. Best to get rid of them. Out of sympathy, I would generously pay $50 for one.
You're a very generous man, i would offer only $19.99 (limited time offer).
 

Theo Sulphate

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You're a very generous man, i would offer only $19.99 (limited time offer).

Well, it would have to be new-in-box with hood, filter, and the double cable release, of course.
 
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sixby45

sixby45

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Hi everyone - so I actually shoot a 6x6 Rolleiflex most these days :smile: but the RB67 and it's weight and rotating back will always be my favorite and go to for studio / portraits. I used it as a street photography camera and it was wild - then shot a C330 and finally found happiness street shooting with a Rolleiflex but the RB67 is one of my favorites!
 

Trail Images

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narsuitus

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I invite any visitors to leave remarks about what makes the RB67 special to them.

Over the years, I have used the following medium format cameras for shooting landscapes, portraits, travel, tabletop, architectural, weddings, and general photography:
Ansco 6x6cm folding camera
Yashica 6x6cm TLR camera
Mamiya 6x6cm TLR camera (personal favorite for portraits, weddings, and tabletop)
Fuji 6x7cm rangefinder camera
Fuji 6x9cm rangefinder camera (personal favorite for landscapes)

When I sold my three worn out 6x6cm Mamiya TLR cameras, I replaced them with a Fuji 6x7cm rangefinder, a Fuji 6x9cm rangefinder, and a Mamiya RB67 6x7cm SLR.

The RB67 features that I like include:
6x7cm image size
modular design
all mechanical operation
waist-level finder
interchangeable film backs
lack of parallax problems
flash sync at all speeds
rotating film back
mirror lock-up
ergonomics (compared to the Hasselblad, I prefer the way the RB67 handles)
77mm filter size for all lenses
easy use of graduated filters
low-price

The size, the weight, and the operational complexity of the RB67 bother me but compared to my larger, heavier, and just as complex 4x5 inch large format view camera, it is a joy to use.


Medium Format Kit
by Narsuitus, on Flickr
 
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