Mamiya RB 67 Pro SD Issue

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by nateseff, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Hi guys,

    I'm a new member but I've always used these forums to diagnose issues with my Rolleiflex and Yashica Mat 124g. That being said, I just picked up an RB 67 Pro SD (to move away from TLRs) and all looked super clean/solid. However, upon receiving my first roll back I've been faced with this. Can anyone help me identify what might be the cause? I've asked a few film friends and they all think it has to do with either the back, how the film was rolled/loaded, or the shutter. I'm PRAYING it's not the shutter, however I notice that the marks are consistent with how the back orientation is set (if it were the shutter I believe the marks wouldnt have changed their position). Has anyone else had this issue? Any help would be amazing! Thank you.





  2. Wow. That’s crazy. Looks like some weird filter added to it. Definitely following this thread.
    nateseff likes this.
  3. it's a strange one. Perhaps try to eliminate what hasn't caused it. You mention faulty shutter: try a visual test without film. Also, faulty loading (seems unlikley): what about the frame spacing?? Foam seals deteriorate with age and these are worth checking - the light marks (fog on yor negs) are unusual - multiple and sharply defined. A ProSD back does away with foam seals, but the body still has a number of them. Can you develop b/w films yourself for test purposes?
  4. Any chance you've got another lens handy?

    I'd start checking the light path with the back removed. Set speed to "T" on the lens and check out the back of the lens for obvious internal weirdness with the shutter open. Turn the speed dial to 1 to close the shutter and inspect it for any oddities. Possibly screwed-up shutter/iris leaves--casualties of a less-than-expert repair/cleaning?

    Pretty sure that's no light leak, at least not like any I've seen from messed-up/missing foam on a film back or RB surface. Maybe leaking around the baffle that seals off the focus screen? Dunno.
  5. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA


    Is it too late to send the camera back for a refund?
  6. I'd be shocked if it turned out to be the leaf shutter in the lens: I've had issues with weird blade behavior (starfishing) in a similar Hasselblad lens, and it looked nothing like this. All your examples show a consistent intrusion from one of the long sides of the frame: like some sort of strangely defined light leak. The ProSD backs have sturdy mechanical seals, but perhaps the foam seals in the body rotation mount are worn? Or the mirror not fully sealing in up position?
    ken_kuzenski likes this.
  7. Don't forget that all the RB67 backs are forward and backward compatible(plus there are a bunch of other compatible backs that will fit). Since the Pro-SD backs carry a significant premium over other styles of RB67 back in my experience(not unlike Hasselblad A12s vs. all other V system backs) it's not uncommon to see Pro-SD backs sold separately from a kit. Alternatively, even if buying a complete used kit, many people outfitted it with Pro-S or earlier backs regardless of the body due to the cost.

    I agree that the pattern is "weird" for a light leak, but I don't think it can be anywhere other than in the back itself or in where the back mates to the rotating adapter. To my eye, it's not anywhere in the body or where the rotating adapter mates to the body. The reason for that is the leaks are in the same position along the film in both horizontal and vertical photos presented here.
    mag_miksch likes this.
  8. +1
    nateseff likes this.
  9. The artifacts move with the film back orientation, is that correct? It seems the artifacts are aligned with the long edge of the film, correct? The artifacts are on the bottom edge of the image in a landscape composition, correct? Which model film back are you using? All generations of film backs are compatible with the Pro SD body.

    It looks like a light leak to me. It does not look like a shutter or iris defect.

    Suggested areas to check:

    - revolving adapter securely attached to the body. Check the chrome lever at the bottom.
    - film back securely attached to the revolving adapter. Check the upper and lower slide locks.
    - light seals between revolving adapter and body
    - light seals between film back and revolving adapter
    - light seals in the film back, if you are using a Pro S or Pro film back

    Cock the body and lens together, then remove the lens. Pull the darkslide out of the film back, and trip the body. Now the light baffle should be raised. Use a high intensity flashlight around the film back-to-revolving adapter interface, and look from the lens axis to see if you see light coming into the body. Re-cock the body before re-mounting the lens.

    Other areas to check, after checking the above:

    - waist level finder or prism finder securely attached to body
    - lens securely attached to body
  10. Currently no, but i just fired the shutter a few times at different apertures on T and everything looks as it should. The only thing I've found odd is a small bend on the last blade on each side of the shutter, but I've heard that Mamiya did that to ensure a smoother shutter operation long term (or something). The lens seems super clean otherwise. Attached are pics of both (the aperture blade has the same bend on the other end of the shutter).

    I am picking up the film too (as I have had no time to go to the lab yet and will be out this weekend) and then I will post a further update later.


  11. Unfortunately, yes. The seller said they'd send me an extra $70 so might take that in case of the worst...
  12. I just did, and nothing seems to be off with the shutter (at least as far as I can tell and time). Every speed operates as it should, there isnt any stick either to my surprise. I agree in that it doesn't look like any light leak I've ever seen since it's so defined, but it does follow the the orientation of the back when I change it. It seems like some sort of leak, but I thought the Pro SD did away with most of the foam. I just checked the focus screen and it looks snug too. I feel like it has to do with the revolving back part.

    Wish i had another lens for this thing! Would've put me much more at ease if I could test it out with one, that way I could eliminate the possibility of it being the lens. Not that it matters necessarily but it's a 90mm K/L.

  13. Exactly what I'm thinking/hoping, a very strangely defined light leak. They are consistent enough and are all from one side, one that follows the orientation of the back.
  14. Yea, really hoping it's the back and that it's an easily fixable issue. I dont have any friends with one of these so if I cant pinpoint it otherwise, I'll have to get another back for it.
  15. But yes the streaks follow the orientation of the back, which is somewhat promising in terms of diagnosing this.
  16. About to try that out. It is a Pro SD back. I feel like it's gotta be a light seal, so hopefully I'll have my answer once I try this out. The lever doesnt seem to be bent out of place or anything, and it doesnt look like it was really ever forced.
  17. Was my first time loading this but nothing seemed out of place while doing so (or too much tension). I will have someone who is familiar with it load it next time, since apparently I might not be gifted at loading this thing properly lol. If it's as simple as that, I'll be relieved but also feel so dumb hahaha. We shall see after I do the flashlight test. Not sure when I'll get to it in that I'll be out for the weekend, but I will post updates as I find out more.
  18. Just tried the light trick in the bathroom, no visible leaks. So maybe it was how I loaded it? I hope not...never had an issue loading film before but i suppose it is my first time with this thing
  19. Just to set your mind at ease, yes this "bent tip" on a couple blades of a leaf shutter is normal. At some point, most of the pro medium format camera mfrs adopted bent tips as a means of reducing potential shutter blade jams (presumably this happened enough times to warrant the change, but I've never experienced it myself nor heard any reports of it). It can be confusing when you have a camera system thats been around for decades: earlier lenses may not have the bent tip, but some do (perhaps after a repair service bulletin). Newer lenses usually have a bent tip, but some don't (which really throws things off). Overall, it doesn't matter one way or the other: leaf shutters all eventually need repair or lubrication, so its not like bent tips are a magic bullet or unbent tips are inferior. The K/L lenses for RB are superb.

    This is the most intriguing, unique "leak-like" defect posted here in awhile. Hope you solve it soon, and let us know the cause. Good luck!
  20. Lucky and unlucky me then, aha. And okay good, thank you for confirming. So it looks like (hopefully) it has to do with either the film or the back, and I wont be able to get the film until next week so stay tuned...will continue to post as I find out more.

    Thanks for all of the feedback guys.

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