dim screen on mamiya c220

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I have a mamiya c220 and I am quite dissapointed in the view screen.
    Its quite dime, and added that many of the mamiya tlr lenses were not speedy, its pretty tough for me to focus. ( I have f3.5 and f4.5 lenses)

    Is this normal with the mamiya TLR's or is that a problem with my camera... maybe dust or something?
     
  2. Uhner

    Uhner Member

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    A friend of mine recently bought a mint Mamiya 330s and he has had some real trouble focusing the camera with the original screen. The problem is not that it is dim (in the sense of not bright - it is almost as bright as a Hasselblad Acu matte to my eyes) – but that it is somewhat fuzzy.

    Anyway, after blowing a few shots he got fed up and replaced the original screen with an aftermarket one.
     
  3. kraker

    kraker Member

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    I started with the 80mm f/2.8, never had any problems with focusing there. But when I bought the 65mm f/3.5, I noticed that it was a bit more problematic in low light. Not to mention the 18cm f/4.5.

    But if you have problems even in sunny f/16, then something else must be wrong...
    I really only have the occasional problem focusing indoors or at dawn with the slower lenses.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2008
  4. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    If you've been used to 35mm, then a TLR is going to seem really dim! It just takes some patience and practice.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    If you want the large image from medium format and the brightness of the 35mm, you need to get a Hasselblad or other SLR MF camera. There is a big difference.

    Steve
     
  6. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I'm ~used~ to large format and I have an easier time focussing a f5.6 lens on my 4x5 than a f3.5 on the mamiya tlr.

    I gave it some thought and here are some real reasons why this is happening: 1. I'm using the mamiya handheld at waist level. When im using 35mm or LF my face is right up to the camera. 2. A considerable amount of ambient light shines down into the viewscreen.

    -When I am using 4x5, I have a dark cloth that blocks out the light. When i am using my century graphic, the focussing hood is pointed behind me, so unless I am pointing the camera down I get very little ambient light from above.

    The next step is find solutions to the problem... hmmm...
     
  7. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    Can you expain?
    In both cases it's a single mirror, a fairly large aperture lens. I don't find my rb67 any brighter than my c220. didn't like the flat screen on the C220 so I replaced it with a split prism from a c330.

    tim in san jose
     
  8. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Try bringing the tlr up to your eye by using the built in magnifier in the focusing hood. This should take care of most of your "ambient light". :smile:
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I agree.

    My Mamiya C330 and C220 each have a neckstrap shortened almost as far as I can adjust them. The "waist level" finder might be better described as a "chest level" finder.

    Matt
     
  10. lgrabun

    lgrabun Member

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    For few month I had Yashica Mat which - when I get bored with it and which I now sincerely regret - sold it and bought myself Mamiya C330. If Yashica's view screen could have been tagged as "dim", I would never say this about C330. It was bright, with a decent magnifying loupe. Never had a problem with it.

    You may want to check out Beattie screens. And if you are lucky and they make C220 model, it would cost you more than the camera.

    Seriously speaking, maybe it's time for CLA?
     
  11. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    You could try cleaning the screen. Use a good quality Q-tip, distilled water (moistened only). Go in through the lens mount - removing C220 screens is not recommended unless you are prepared for the shims that will fall out.

    Ambient light is a problem. You really need to use the magnifier to focus, even if you frame at arm's length. You also need to check that the magnifier is suitable for your eyesight. If you cannot focus the rim of the focus spot correctly, you will never bring the image to focus.
     
  12. Blighty

    Blighty Subscriber

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    Rather than buy a Beattie screen (which are bloody dear!), see if you can get a chimney finder - metered or unmetered. I use one on my C330f and it gives a very bright image or rather, it effectively blocks out all extraneous light. Don't, repeat don't get a prism finder. I made that mistake! They're OK if you really need to have an unreversed viewfinder image, but they make the image really dark.
     
  13. grainhound

    grainhound Member

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    I just had a used RB 67 horizontal split image focusing screen cut down and installed in my 220. $25 for the screen, $30 for installation and focus check. The 220 focusing screen isn't interchangeable, so being mechanically disinclined, I'd have paid my technician to install any screen.

    My 220 is now much easier to focus, and I didn't spend the price of a lens or another body for it.