Mamiya RB67 Professional SD

Hand holdable RB rig

This medium format camera is just plain big! What makes it unique? At least two things. First, as the name suggests, the film back rotates (RB). So for portrait orientation you leave the camera on the tripod and just spin the back. Secondly, this camera is 100% mechanical. That means no batteries!!! I find that sort of engineering to be somehow fascinating.

I’ve picked up a few accessories for this camera including an unmetered prism finder which works with either the RB or the RZ bodies, a very old metered prism finder, a battery powered, self advancing 6×8 film back, a 645 film back and a cable shutter release that has two connectors and is used for mirror lock up and bulb exposures. I also got a grip for it. Combined with the prism finder this rig is theoretically hand holdable. But in truth it gets rather bulky to say the least!

See some of my photos taken with this camera here.

There are at least three varieties of lenses for the Mamiya RB67. The original is the Mamiya-Sekor, followed by the Mamiya-Sekor C and the most recent is the Mamiya K/L series. My 65mm is the original version, the 90mm and 127mm standard lens are of the K/L variety and the 180mm  and 250mm lenses are the C version..

In June of 2012 I sold this camera and all the gear associated with it. It’s a great camera and mine was probably used fewer than ten times so it was in beautiful condition. But I had to let something go to help pay for the Fuji GF670 so this was the one. It wasn’t because I disliked this camera in any way at all. On the contrary, it’s a fabulous camera and I will probably miss it. But in reality I use medium format cameras usually in one of two ways. I’m either shooting color reversal film and doing landscapes on a tripod, or I’m shooting monochrome negative film and doing handheld snapshots and casual photography. In the case of landscape work the Pentax 67 and the Bronica GS-1 are both lighter and better suited. In the case of handheld work the Bronica GS-1 and the Fuji GF670 are better suited. The RB really shines in the studio but I rarely do studio work, especially with a film camera. So the RB ended up sitting a lot. Now its gone but the GF670 is getting a lot more use.

8 Responses to Mamiya RB67 Professional SD

  1. revdocjim says:

    Added lens info

  2. revdocjim says:

    I picked up a pristine copy of the 90/3.5 yesterday so I think I’m done lens shopping for this camera.

  3. revdocjim says:

    Well, not quite done… I found a somewhat dirty but cheap 250/4.5 and brought it home. So now I guess I might as well pick up the 65mm if I find a cheap one. Then I’ll be done for sure!!!

  4. Kevin says:

    I’ve just picked up a mint set as well this morning. Will have fun figuring out how to use this monster in the next few weeks :) How’s yours coming along?

  5. revdocjim says:

    I love it! I know it is generally considered a studio camera but I really enjoy doing landscape work with it; especially with the WLF, although it forces one to twist the mind a bit if not used to the backward view. :)

  6. Kevin says:

    Oh great stuff. I’ve just done a short blog on it and hope to get some pics this weekend :)
    http://www.kevinchooi.com/2011/04/world-of-medium-format.html

  7. Pingback: T-Max 400 on Mamiya RB ProSD | Chemical Cameras

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