Mamiya RB67 Pro S

2009-09-01 13

It’s large, in charge and will take you places… that is if you can carry it there. This professional level camera will give you the shots you want whenever you want.

Welcome to the Mamiya RB67, an awesome camera. In my opinion, it’s the best camera I have ever bought.

Why I got one

The reason I purchased a Mamiya RB67 Pro S system last year are because of a few things:

  1. I needed a medium format camera for my images that I make, for sharpness and quality.
  2. The rotating back allowed me to do horizontal images as well as vertical images.

These two selling points were the main reason for me picking one up. The cameras are now easier to get a hold of because of the increase of digital cameras among professional photographers. Normally the RB67 would be very expensive to the average consumer, but now you can get one for around three hundred dollars (American). Now this is what I paid and individual experiences will vary.

Question: What does the RB in Mamiya RB67 mean?
Answer: RB means Rotating Back.
The camera features a unique system that allows the film back to be rotated to take vertical and horizontal images. Since the camera is so bulky and heavy that it’s almost impossible to turn the camera on its side while on a tripod. This system makes it easy for a photographer to be versatile on the move.

Who is it for?
Well I would recommend this camera to those that want quality and extremely sharp images that are consistent in quality. This isn’t for someone on the go, because it’s an extremely bulky camera and quite heavy. Something of a change from the small plastic cameras that Lomographers are used to.

Some History (According to Wikipedia):
In 1970, Mamiya introduced the RB67 6×7 cm professional single lens reflex (SLR). The RB67, a large, heavy, medium-format camera with built-in closeup bellows was innovative and successful. Previous medium-format professional cameras used the square 6×6cm format which did not require the camera to be rotated for photographs in portrait orientation, problematical with large and heavy cameras when tripod-mounted. The RB67 had a rotating back which enabled photographs to be taken in either landscape or portrait orientation without rotating the camera, at the expense of additional weight and bulk. The RB67 soon became widely used by professional studio photographers.
Source: Mamiya - Wikipedia

This link will take you to a web page that gives the specifics of the RB67, lenses, and other information that won’t transfer well to this review.

Personal Experience:
The camera helped me make the professional images that I am doing currently. My digital camera couldn’t give me the resolution that I needed, unless I bought a really expensive model. So with very little options left to me I purchased the RB. The process may be slower than digital because I have to wait till I get my film processed at a lab then I have to scan it, rather than just downloading a memory card. There is something about the camera that makes my images just pop. The combination of my lighting, the sharp lens and the film allow me to make some great (my opinion) images.

Some warnings for you:
Well if you are ready to sit down and learn a complex camera system, then this is the camera for you. It will provide a challenge to those not familiar with F-Stops, Shutter Speeds, and other technical mumbo jumbo. It may look small on your screen but it is bigger than my 15 inch macbook pro, by width. So don’t plan on taking this anywhere unless you have a large camera bag. I devote one bag exclusively to this camera. Like most medium format professional cameras it does not have a light meter. So unless you have a light meter or a fully manual digital camera (to match settings with, like the Nikon D200) you will be completely lost with the exposures. Now don’t let these warnings turn you off from getting a camera. It just takes longer to learn how to use it, like a stick shift in a manual car. It’s sensitive and takes some finesse to get it to do what you want.

Thanks for reading my review, I hope you enjoy my images that I have made with the camera. You can go to my website and view all of my images that I have taken with the camera that I haven’t uploaded here yet. My Web Site

written by irbypace on 2009-09-01 #gear #mamiya #rb67 #120 #medium #professional #format #review #rotating-back


  1. blue-dog
    blue-dog ·

    Wow what a great set of photographs, your sets are crazy cool! I would love to see a story on how you do these.

  2. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    dont forget its heavy as hell!

  3. halfawakehaiku
    halfawakehaiku ·

    absolutely wicked gallery.

  4. lomosexual_manboy
    lomosexual_manboy ·

    Really great review and awesome gallery. What a cool camera.

  5. mgf
    mgf ·

    awesome photos!

  6. jeabzz
    jeabzz ·

    really interesting review , and great photos :)

  7. stouf
    stouf ·

    What a camera ! And surprising gallery !

  8. herbert-4
    herbert-4 ·

    Wonderful photos, great studio camera. The backdrops are GLORIOUS!!! Did you paint them?

  9. spncrwillis
    spncrwillis ·

    Golly I want one of these!!! GREAT shots BTW

  10. irbypace
    irbypace ·

    Thanks everyone for the comments, didn't even know they had published this.

  11. stickyvinny
    stickyvinny ·

    Great review!

  12. iandevlinphoto
    iandevlinphoto ·

    tthankyou for your review there are two mamiyas in a local store and im contemplaing buying one your review was helpfull

  13. jsimonstudio
    jsimonstudio ·

    Thank you for the article. I'm considering purchasing a Mamiya RB67 Pro S for my mixed media art studio. Your review was helpful.

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