Mamiya 6 Alignment, something I can do myself?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by brian steinberger, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Well I just got my two Mamiya 6 bodies back from MAC group for a second time and they are still not aligned correctly. The one body is prefect but the other is still out.

    Here's the test I did before and after to check alignment:

    I put the 150mm lens on body “1” on a tripod and focused at a line at 7' and took a photo and processed the film. The film was perfectly sharp on that line. Without moving the tripod I went back again, focused at 7' again, then while carefully taking off the 150 not to change the focus I put the lens on camera “2” and the patch was not agreeing. It wanted to focus at about 6 ½'.

    So what I need is for body marked “2” to be aligned to match body “1”. I sent it back to MAC group after the first alignment telling them exactly what I needed and they still couldn't get it right.

    So is this something I can do myself? I have also contacted KEH to see if they can do this. It would seem rather simple to me. Adjusting a simple cam inside until the patch in camera "2" matches camera "1". Since I have one body that's prefect I don't think I could mess it up as easily right?

    Anyone else done this? Or should I leave it to the specialists (or so-called specialists)?
     
  2. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Its amazing at what 10 minutes of research can do on the internet. I found a few great articles on adjusting Mamiya 6/7 cameras yourself. So after feeling anxious and quite frustrated already. I took the cover off of camera "2" and saw the screws. One tiny fraction on a turn of the horizontal screw brought camera "2" into alignment with camera "1". UNBELIEVABLE!! I can't believe MAC group couldn't get this correct and I also don't understand why so many people discourage aligning these cameras themselves. All you need to be is gentle and patient. I guess it helps too that I have a one body that I know is prefect, so aligning the 2nd is simply a matter focusing on something close with the 150mm on a tripod with the good camera, taking the lens off being careful not to adjust the focus and putting it on the bad camera and adjusting the screw to make the patch line up horizontally.
     
  3. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Well now that I have the close focusing agreeing with the good camera, infinity won't line up. This doesn't make any sense to me. Anyone?
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    With the lens on body 2 does did it it focus correctly before you adjusted it?
    Your methodology seems a little funny. You need to calibrate the rangefinder of each body individually with some kind of makeshift ground glass on the film plane.
     
  5. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    ic, what I did was I had one body, body "1" that is perfect with each lens, up close, at infinity, in between. When the cameras came back from Mamiya the two cameras agreed at far focus (beyond 10ft) but not closer than 10 feet. My test was I focused camera "1" on something close at 7' (knowing this focus is correct), I took the lens of camera 1 and put it on camera 2 (without moving the focus ring) and the patches did not line up. So from there I adjusted the rangefinder until the patches lined up. But now camera 2 will not line up focus at infinity. It's almost like a trade-off. Do you want to focus up close accurately or far away with camera 2? And it shouldn't be like this.
     
  6. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    I understand your logic and your method but...

    Rangefinders and cameras are adjusted on a collimeter to infinity and ground glass tested throughout it's range of focus to be sure the film n viewfinders agree.

    Before adjusting anything...
    Have you checked it on a collimeter to be sure infinity is in focus on both cameras?

    Taking a lens off one without moving it is not a test of accuracy.

    Viewing a target side by side of identical cameras is not a confirmation, individual ground glass test is.

    After adjusting it... Have you actually tried putting a ground glass on the film gate to see if infact the image is in focus n still agrees with the RF?


    Since you say both cameras are identical... are the backs exactly the same? Check to see if one has a diopter of a different strength?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2010
  7. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Paul I understand what you're saying, BUT if a lens is focused at 7 feet then it's focused at 7 feet. So if you're focused on a point at 7 feet then it shouldn't matter which body the lens is on it should line up in the viewfinder at 7 feet.
     
  8. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Problems with the alignment of the rangefinder in rangefinder cameras (any format) is one major point of consideration when chosing a camera type for your photography. My experience of rangefinders in this regard has been somewhat discouraging. :sad:
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    What if there is a slight difference between the cameras with respect to the distance between the film and the front of the lens mount?

    Isn't rangefinder calibration designed to take the peculiarities of the camera into account?
     
  10. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    Yea but if on one camera body it's telling you something is 7 feet away and you put that lens on the other camera and it's telling you it's 6 1/2 feet away, what accounts for the half foot difference?
     
  11. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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  12. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    This is exactly what's wrong. What causes this? I don't understand. You would think if both bodies are aligned for a lens on infinity that they would both focus toward minimal focus at the same pace, and be in the same point at the same time.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Is it the camera body that is telling you this?

    Or is it the numbers on the lens barrel of the lens (which I am assuming for the first camera happen to agree with your tape measure)?

    Personally, I wouldn't overly trust those lens barrel numbers.
     
  14. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Brian, one thing you are overlooking... The lens barrel itself may show 7'... It might be slightly off either way. Secondly, each body could reflect different readings because the little lever that engages the lens could be off also..... While I understand you want to be abe to interchange the lenses. That is something that might be more trouble than it's worth. In an ideal world, they 'should' be the same, but in reality, with tolerance differences, that will NOT be the case. An easy compromise would be to split the difference somewhere in between each and stop down. As others have said, try using a ground glass screen with the back open to truly check focus. It could be that the rangefinders on both are accurate, but the lens barrel does not reflect that and that's something that might not be adjustable.
     
  15. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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    No, this has nothing to do with the lens barrel or tape measures. I know from shooting camera 1 that with my 150 I can focus far, middle and very close up, anywhere with complete accuracy. So knowing that, when I take the lens off camera 1 and put it on camera 2 if the patch doesn't line up I know the focus is going to be off if I use that camera.
     
  16. htimsdj

    htimsdj Advertiser Advertiser

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    I agree with the comment above that you must take into account both adjustments. I don't think what you are trying to achieve is impossible. Rather, you must take into, and account for, all the variables.
     
  17. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    What you are not taking into account is the linkage of the rangefinder to the lens may be bent or out of whack or the back film gate may be different or the lens to film may be different, wear n tear over the years.

    What matter most is how it actually focuses at the film gate and aligns with the range finder. If the rangefinder aligns, and the film image is sharp... everything else moot.

    If youy want that to be the same on both cameras, well you'll have to spend a fortune to have someone like me to rebuild the camera completely piece by piece so everything is perfecly aligned as good as new. How old is that camera?

    It amazes me how people compare light meters and get all bothered about being off a stop. It's all relative and means nothnig in the real world as long as it is consistant. You are not surveying to teh tenth of an inch or leveling dynamos with it, you mearly want sharp pictures.... end result.

    It's not the fault of the reapirers, it's the pickyness of the user. 6" off is nothing, make it up in DOF.


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