What's a Mamiya RB67 kit worth these days?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by robert_lai, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. I'll be up front an state that I know next to nothing about medium format cameras except for a brief fling that I had with a 6x6cm Zeiss Super Ikonta B folder. I was in the camera shop that gave away a Nikon F2AS for free yesterday, looking over their used products selection. In the post about the Nikon F2AS, someone had asked me about their medium format gear, so I inquired about it.
    They had on hand a very clean Mamiya RB67 outfit. So clean in fact, that it looks brand new. I can't find a mark on any of the finishes. They have all the boxes for it also. The camera was used by an amateur, who then traded it in. Here's what was offered: RB67 body with waist level finder, 90mm f/3.5 lens, 2 x 120 film backs, and one Polaroid film back. Asking price for the entire outfit was $1000 even. I could probably have haggled the price down if I was serious. However, I don't know whether this is a good or bad price for this gear, so I'm asking you guys. Why? I guess I'm just trying to gauge if this is a good shop to get used gear from.
     
  2. If KEH prices are any measure, they seem to say that is somewhere between about right and a bit of a deal - depending on which vintage RB67 model we are talking about. Obviously the RB is a nice camera with a proven track record. But given past experience with that shop, you ought to low-ball your offer. The shopkeep already knows you are willing to spend too much money on a worthless Nikon F2AS though, so your cover may be totally blown. ;-)
     
  3. Let me adjust that a bit: just an RB, too much money; RB-S, about right, maybe a bit high; RB-SD, a good deal.
     
  4. In order to give you a perspective of prices these days for Mamiya RB gear, consider this, a BRAND NEW Mamiya RB 100-200 which used to retail for $4000,was bid out on e-bay for $568.00. Prices for MF gear are great for anyone getting into MF, and unlike Digital, you can use it for life as long as you maintain the gear w/reasonable but minimal maintence. Don't buy this particularly when you can probable get a RB-SD demo/like new outfit or better for under $1,000. If you just take your time and wait, the market is going your way, MORE brand new/demo/like new/pristine gear will be coming your way, gurenteed. Great thing about this is that no matter how terrible this is for the manufacturers, there are enough already manufactured cameras and lenses on the planet to last us all forever, and unlike digital, plenty of technicians who can fix these things pretty cheaply.
     
  5. jmf

    jmf

    A fair number of the pro-s's come up on ebay. The pro-s is relatively newer and has double exposure interlock when used with a pro-s film back. The Pro-S also introduced the framing bars that show you the landscape crop in the viewfinder. Look for the "C" lenses as they have better coatings on the optics. Not that the older ones are bad, just more prone to flare and lower contrast. I'd say his price is a little high for a Pro-S. The film backs run about $170, the body about $200, the Mamiya P-back about $80, and maybe $200 for the 90 lens (they're common). All prices +- about 10% The 65mm is a nice landscape lens, and the 180 is nice for protraits I've had my RB since when they were still pretty pricey. They're big (technically 7x7), bulky (I think you could park a hassy inside), built like a brick outhouse, weigh only a little less than one, and I love mine. You just don't take the photographic process lightly with one. The glass is totally up to anything you'll likely ask of it. The 90mm and the 127mm are considered the "normal" lenses. The shutters are all mechanical, and do have a few drawbacks. One is that 1/400 is the top speed, but is rarely accurate in used lenses. Unless the lens as been CLA'd in the last couple of years, you'll want to send it out to be done.
     
  6. Used RB67 complete w/ back and 90mm lens & WL finder are selling for roughly $300 on ebay nowadays. Each additional back would be no more than $75 to $100 added, even if they are very clean. So, that makes the outfit your looking at to be a roughly $450-$500 on ebay. Frankly, an F2AS is worth more than an RB67 nowadays.
     
  7. If you see this price HERE you'd be suprised how it can be as low as $295 :)
     
  8. Go here http://cgi.ebay.com/MAMIYA-RB67-PRO-SD-WITH-90mm-KL-LENS- 120-RFB-WLF_W0QQitemZ7535315456QQcategoryZ3352QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem hopefully the link is good, if not, you should still be able to track it down on e-bay, it's a Pro-SD, 90KL lens, and RFB, bidding is currently at $584.10.
     
  9. Just remember that all the serious bids come in the last 15 seconds. Do a "Completed items" search for a true idea of values.
     
  10. I didn't post this to give him an idea of any early bidding, I gave him this to moniter, AND jump in on the bidding since it may bid out somewhere in the ballpark of the other deal, with way newer gear.
     
  11. I recently picked up an R^-67 Pro II outfit with 2 lenses (one an RB wide lens the other an RZ, 120 back and waist level finder on Ebay for aobut $1100.00. Shop around and get the newest you can get for your grand. They weigh a ton and it is a pain reloading every 10 shots, but the slides are awsome compared to 35mm.
     
  12. I bought an RB67 Pro S about 4 months ago, with much input from this group. It came with 3 lenses: a 90mm and a 127mm, both "C" lenses, and a 180 KL. It also had two backs: a 220 and a 220/120 (which needed repair). I got the whole kit for $1250 and it is a really terrific camera. I am mainly a large format guy so the RB, believe it not, is my point and shoot. And yes, I know that is perverse. On another note, I get as much reaction with the RB as I do with my large format cameras. People instantly assume you are a "real" photographer if you shoot MF or LF.
     
  13. jmf

    jmf

    Do be careful with the older RB pro and pro-s. There are a bunch of foam lined light traps built into the film backs and the rotating adapter. Age and heat will turn these to tar and goo. If you're handy with tight work (no tiny parts or dissassembly involved), you can replace these yourself for reasonable money. I just got a RB67 Pro-S kit that I suspect was exposed to high temps, although the exterior was near new. About $220, but the foam was completely broken down. I wouldn't touch an old "Pro" anymore given how cheap the newer Pro-S's are and even the Pro-SD's (which came out in '95) are a deal for what you're buying. On one hand you can say that the RB67's are state of the art for 1975, but conversely, that technology (mechanical, film based camera) was completely mature at that time. The RZ's introduced electronic shutters (a good thing), but they also brought batteries (which can sometimes be a bad thing). Most of the improvements in film cameras between then and Digital, were auto exposure/focus. The RB's and RZ were strongest in the portrait, product and landscape fields where hardly anyone cared about auto anything. You can argue that Mamiya and Hassy are fighting over who can make the best "buggy whip", but I'm still buying 120, and still dragging that boat anchor all over creation and back. If it got stolen tomorrow, I'd go right out and buy it again.
     
  14. I've purchased RB67 body with waist level finder, 127mm f/3.5 lens, 2 x 120 film backs, suit-case, for 200US$ + 120 US$ custom fees.
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  15. haven't been on Photo.net for a long while but thought I add my 2 cents here. I recently picked up a RB67 ProSD with a 90mm k/L L f/3.5 lens and a 120 back from a pro for $280 (USD), Well used, but solid piece of camera. I loved the big waist level viewfinder, the multiexposure, that it is totally mechanical, and best of all revolving back. oh, and the bellow for close focusing. I am looking to add another lens and an additional back so I can switch between slides and b&w when I am out. I am petite and I take this camera to shoot landscape on tripod of course (in my car that is :)) It is not terribly heavy (like an old laptop), I can envision carrying it with a tripod oj short hikes. I use a Pentax Digital spotmeter for metering. LOVE IT.
     

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