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Mercury Works

135 Pano Conversion Kit for RB67 Back

135 Pano Conversion Kit for RB67 Back

Regular price $95.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $95.00 USD
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Type of RB67 Back
Matching Ground Glass Back

This kit enables you to easily modify your existing RB67 back to accept standard 135 (35mm) film, with a completely modified film gate, guided film path, and custom darkslide to keep your film 100% flat.  The result is a panoramic image approximately equivalent to the long-discontinued but greatly revered Hasselblad X-Pan.

Unlike various hacking methods and “adapters” out there, this fully modifies the film gate for the 24×67 frame size, eliminating excess light bleed/ internal reflections. Even more importantly, it provides a stabilized path for the film, allowing the pressure plate to hold the edges (perforations) of the film flat. Unlike all existing adapters, then, the Mercury 135 Pano back will produce a professional image on a flat film plane. The image will be the full, ordinary height of a 135 frame and approximately 67mm wide. A typical 35mm 36 exposure cartridge will yield approximately 14-15 panoramic exposures in this back. This back is particularly valuable for panoramic aficionados, for the medium format use of uncommon films that only exist in 135 format, and for inexpensive shooting and local developing.

Note that the back itself cannot rewind an exposed roll of film back into its cassette. A changing bag or darkroom will be necessary for that if you wish to rewind the cassette (for commercial processing, for instance). However, the back kit includes a small crank to make rewinding the cassette very fast and easy in the dark.

Read the conversion instructions for details on what is involved in the conversion (basically unscrewing parts, screwing in new parts, and gluing two parts).

Post-conversion operating instructions are available here.

Our matching ground glass back can be optionally included.  This back enables precise framing and focus on all cameras, and is particularly recommended for Horseman, Graflex, and Mercury cameras.

We have several different versions of this kit, for different types of RB67 backs.  It is very important that you match the correct kit to the correct type of back!

Pro:  This is the original, first version of the RB67 rollfilm back.  It has no special markings and no darkslide interlock (so you can remove the darkslide even when the back is not mounted on a camera).  One advantage to this model is that after conversion with this kit its built-in frame counter will work to some degree (though a couple of frames will be shot before it starts to indicate properly, and a couple of frames will be shot after it maxes out).

Pro-S:  This is the most common RB67 back made.  It contains a silver "Pro-S" marker on its back.  It works great with its corresponding kit.  Be aware, though, that your frame counter will not function after conversion.  An adhesive exposure counter strip is included.  You can use any small piece of tape or a magnet to keep track of your exposures.

Pro-S 220 "Red Label" version:  This back functions with the conversion like the standard Pro-S back, but requires a slightly different screw layout, and hence a different conversion kit.  You can identify this version because it contains, on top of the back, a "220" sticker that has a red border.  If it says "220" but has no red border, use the standard Pro-S kit.

Pro-SD:  This is the final and most advanced version of the RB67 rollfilm back, and incorporated substantial changes to its design.  One advantage is that it has better light seals that don't require adhesive upgrades ever couple of decades.  A disadvantage is that it is physically bulkier than the earlier versions.  Our kit for this back is more complex to construct and thus costs more.  The darkslide included with this kit is thicker and machine-cut for a more deluxe experience.  Note that our kit only works with the manual, lever-driven 6x7 version of this back.  While you can physically convert the motorized 6x8 version, it's electronic advance system won't operate correctly.

Ground Glass Back: If you would like a matching ground glass back for precising framing and focus when using with a tripod, you have the option of including it here. This is highly recommended for Graflex, Horseman, and Mercury cameras.  For RB67 use, you can download our ground glass overlay and print it on transparency, or use it as a guide to mark the ground glass in your waist level finder.

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