Since my RB67 seems to be a popular search subject

My RB67

I noticed that a lot of search terms related to my RB67 are appearing in my log since last time.

There really isn't much good info on the web about the RB67, I'll give you, so I want to help others out. You can always email me, too. I love my RB67 and am more than glad to share the love with you. :)

Here are some search terms I found in my logs, and suggested answers:

Shooting with my RB67

Loading film:

The manual probably explains this better. Failing that, most camera stores will show you how to load film.

Fuji makes the easiest-to-load spools. I save empty Fuji spools because they've got a little thing in the slot that catches a hole they cut in the backing paper that makes the loading process faster and more reliable.


You really need to have a shooting routine for the RB67, especially the early models, or else you results will be most depressing.

Best lens for Mamiya RB67

There's two opinions.

One opinions says that the best mechanical construction was in the earliest lenses, and they got cheaper and more plastic over time.

The other opinion is that the optical designs and coatings are better in the C and KL lenses, and the factory got more consistent over time.

The real answer? Try it and see. Lens comparison is not about numbers, it's about using the lens.

I'm not sure how the RB67 stacks up to the various other medium format cameras. However, if you are finding that you want to squeeze every last bit of resolution out of a given format, maybe you should consider using a larger format instead. Or maybe shooting something other than test charts. :P

Setting film speed on rb67 pro

(related search strings: mamiya rb67 proper exposure / shooting with rb67 iso asa / mamiya rb67 meter )

There's no way to set the speed on an RB67 unless you have a metering prism (which I don't). I use a Canon A95 as an exposure meter. You can buy a real external meter if you want, too.

The trick to remember is that any two cameras, meters, etc. are going to be off by as much of a stop between each other. So make sure you bracket your exposures at first when you try by overexposing by a stop, shooting at the indicated setting, and then underexposing a stop.

Metering prisms for the RB67 series are hard to find. Most of the meters in the older CdS Finders have died.

RB67 to digital

The biggest digital back is a 6x4.5. You can mount some of them on your RB67, but you won't get the full frame. And you will spend a lot of money. And it works better on the latest RZ67, which is actually designed to take digital backs.... but it's expensive, even used.

Personally, I just shoot film on the RB67 and scan it on a decent quality (Epson 4490, 4990, V700 or V750) flatbed scanner or a high-end Nikon.

After using an RB67 and seeing a 100 ASA scan, the only digital SLRs that you have any chance of liking are the full-frame 35mm SLRS (Canon 5D, 1DsII) and the medium format digital SLRs. Trust me on this.

Mamiya RB67 35mm film back

As far as I know, there isn't one. Remember, however, that the back of the RB67 is a graflok mount, so if you find a 2x3 Graflok back, it'll work.

There's an adapter for the Mamiya 7, which is a rangefinder camera.

RB67 blog

Here? :)

RB67 flashes

All RB67 lenses have a PC connector on the body. Most of them have a switch for "T" or "X" flash synch. You want to leave it set to "X" and plug the flash in.

You can use any shutter speed you want. Your flash should tell you what aperture you should use. This is great, compared to my 35mm cameras, which only synch at 1/60 or slower.

The Pro-S and Pro-SD bodies have a coldshoe on the side. Either way you probably want to get a flash bracket.

There's no OTF/TTL sensors available for RB67, so you want an Auto Thrystar flash with a PC connector. A Sunpack 144PC, Sunpack 383 Super, Vivitar 283, or Vivitar 285 should work. The Sunpack cables are a little cheaply built, so you may end up wanting to get a PC-connector-to-hotshoe cable.

Right now, I mostly use my RB67 with off-camera flashes, so I'm being lazy about picking up a flash bracket.

How to tell age of a Mamiya RB67

There's no way to tell for sure.

The RB67 Pro was made between 1970 and 1974. The Pro-S was made between 1974 and 1990. The Pro-SD was made starting in 1990. KL lenses were introduced with the Pro-SD line.

Mamiya RB67 portrait camera


The RB67 is great for portraits. The waist level finder is great because you can make eye contact with your subjects in a less threatening manner than with a big lens between you. The shutter synchs at any speed. The image quality is hard to beat and the bokeh soft and beautiful. And the rotating back makes it easy to shoot in portrait orientation.

The 90mm is not the greatest lens for headshot portraits, but great for full-body. You might consider the 127mm lens (or the 180mm) if you do more people shots.

The only drawback is that you get 10 shots per roll. So you really want to make each one count. I'm toying with getting a 645 back for my Mamiya so I can get 16 shots per roll for portraits.

How do i do time exposures with a Mamiya RB67

The way I do long exposures with the RB67:

  1. Set up my shot on a tripod
  2. Set shutter to T
  3. Gently trigger the shutter
  4. Time the exposure using a stopwatch
  5. When the time is up, gently twist the shutter knob from T to 1

If there's a lot of light, I usually end up stopping down to the aperture to lengthen the exposure to at least a few seconds.

If you are worried about being able to trigger the shutter and twist the shutter knob without shaking the camera, use the lens cap as a shutter instead, putting it on between step 1 and 2, taking it off between steps 3 and 4, and putting it back on between steps 4 and 5.

Mamiya RB67 in field

Go for it! Because my 6x7 images look so much better than 35mm, I take my RB67 regularly outside. Don't let anybody tell you that the RB67 can't be handheld while being out in the great outdoors. It'll do a better job with daylight synch flash than the Pentax 67 and be even better to knock out the bear that wants you over for lunch (or the guy with the knife who wants your lunch money, depending on which sort of wilderness you are in)

Posted by Goran :
You said you want to get 465 back for mamiya so you can shoot 16 pics, why not get a 220back, replace it with your 120 that takes 10 shots, and then you can do 20 shots. (With the 220 back of course)
For those long exposures, your technique seems awesome, but it is way safer to get a cable release. You'd be a fool not to have one with long exposures, or even regular exposures. It's just safer that way.
Posted by Wirehead Arts :
So, I said toying with getting the 645 back... I've still just been toying with getting it.. :) The problem with getting a 220 back is that 220 film is getting hard to find. It's never been super-popular and it seems to be getting worse as they try and reduce the number of unique SKU's to cut costs.

I have a cable release. I just don't use it. There is a difference between being safe and cautious... :)
Posted by Armand :
Hello, Thanks for your page! useful.
I have a question about this camera. Do you know if a 645 Prism would fit on it? or is it completely different?? thanks for your help.
Posted by Wirehead Arts :
No, 645 prisms are not likely to work...
Posted by Ben :
Wonderful article, I'm about to acquire a Mamiya RB67 Pro S and i've been reading up on the net before it arrives.

Just a slight correction, that thin plate of metal that goes in the film back is called a Dark Slide not Side :)
Posted by pedro :
i have owned a rb67 system for a while and loooove far as there being a 35mm back for it..there isnt one in production but i have heard of ppl who have modified old backs to be able to handle a 35mm film cartridge....

why would you want to shoot 35mm in a medium format when you can just use a 35mm slr....there rationale was just to get used to the system before investing the monies needed with 120/220
Useful related blog entries if you shoot the RB67:

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