Question about Mamiya RB67 Pro SD Medium Format Camera

1 Answer

50mm C lens issue

1 - In MU on T - I fire the body the mirror drops but
the aperture is OPEN. When I use the cable release on
the lens to fire the shutter nothing happens and the
aperture will only close using the cocking arm on the
body.

2 - In MU at all speeds - I fire the body, the mirror
drops and the aperture is OPEN. But this time I can
close the aperture using the cable release on the
lens.

What should be happening is that I fire the body, the
mirror drops and the lens aperture is closed until I
fire the lens with the cable release right?

Best, S

Posted by on

  • Tikirocker Apr 19, 2008


    Thanks for that ... I have spoken to a friend who repairs RB's and he recommended a CLA also which is likely all it needs.

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  • Master
  • 667 Answers

From your description, Yes. All RB67 lenses have common problems, usually sticky blades. Since there are 2 sets of blades, (shutter and aperture), the shutter blades may be contaminated with oil/debris

Posted on Apr 19, 2008

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I found this camera available for purchase as brand new for $450. Spending nearly $300 to repair an older version may no be a wise choice. You may find there is a market for the camera in its current non-working condition on eBay.

With that said, to your questions. 1) It will be difficult to diagnose without seeing it, but I have a suspicion in mind.

The viewfinder picture is actually what the lens sees, bounced up via mirror to a prism that projects the image to the viewfinder. If the mirror has become dislodged and is stuck in an odd position, the image would not be projected in the viewfinder. You can see the mirror when you remove the lens from the body. The mirror should be centered in the opening but at about a 45 degree angle. If it is loose or otherwise in the wrong place, this could be the problem. If the mirror is stuck and preventing the image in the lens from projecting on the sensor (behind the mirror) no capture will be possible. Other than the optics inside the lens and the mirror, there are few parts that could obstruct the image in the lens from reaching the viewfinder. Is the aperture of the lens open? If not, there may not be enough light to see the image in the viewfinder. This would also indicate that the lens is not opening up to let you see, and may not get set to the correct aperture when taking a picture. The camera usually opens the aperture to allow you to have a nice, bright image in the viewfinder. When you press the shutter release, the lens stops down to what the program says (or your manual selection) and the mirror lifts up out of the way, and the shutter fires.

2) Can you fix it? Maybe. Again, without seeing it - its hard to know for sure what the problem is and I don't know your level of skill either.

My suggestion is to bypass the camera shop that "doesn't know what the problem is but will fix it for $270" (how is that even possible??) and deal directly with Olympus USA Service and Support by phone or email to get an estimate / factory trained tech perform the repair.

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As far as not being able to even see through the viewfinder, it sounds like something may be obstructing the light from reaching the meter and viewfinder. The problem is most likely the position of mirror inside the camera body. With the lens off the body, the mirror should be plainly visible at about a 45 degree angle to the opening. A side view drawing of this is below. The solid red line is the mirror in the normal position. The red dashed line is the up position of the mirror when the shutter is released.

steve_con_93.jpg

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steve_con_92.jpg

By default, the aperture is at minimum. The camera moves the lever from this position to full open (and anywhere between) as needed. You should gently move the lever to the other end of its travel to open the aperture to maximum. Point the lens away from a light source but preferably at a light colored background. Look through the lens. There should be no obstructions and be clear. Next, look at a dark colored background to find the same results. If you want, you can even allow sunlight to shine through the lens onto a sheet of paper (like a magnifying glass). The result should be a bright circle with no obstructions. Obstructions in the lens will prevent the meter in the camera from getting accurate information about the scene and if significant enough, prevent viewing through the viewfinder.

You may wish to have the camera & lens professionally cleaned and serviced to repair a mirror or lens issue.

If this was helpful, please rate it as such. Good luck!

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