Mamiya Press Camera

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by 2bits, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    I recently acquired a Mamiya Press camera. It is really neat! It's not the 23, but is the Standard press camera. It came with the owners manual, which is not very clear on some info. I have all three basic lenses for it, the 65mm, 90mm and the 150mm. It came w/ all the viewfinder adaptors, and all the different backs. Right now I'm sticking w/ the 6X7 back and the 6X9 back which has the 6X6 and 6X4.5 inserts. I need to find out step by step how you load the 120 film in each, and setup for the first shot.
    When I load the film in the 6X9 back, I'm not sure where to line up the frames for the 1st shot? It has the hand crank type back to move the film forward. Also I can't figure out how to change the asa setting on the 6X9 back.
    The 6X7 back has the film wind lever like on a 35mm. I'm confused on it as I think you should press the little silver lever forward (located on the back) below the regular wind lever, before I can advance the film.. Is this correct?
    So if someone could help me figure this out step by step on each back, I would greatly appreciate it! I did load film in both but lost a couple frames. Also forgot to remove the slide cover insert on a couple. Live and learn haha. The camera was stored away for 40yrs, so it took a lot of cleaning to get rid of the dust etc..
    Thanks a bunch,
    2bits
     

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  2. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Member

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    I was looking for one of these as an alternative to a medium format SLR, but it seemed like it wasn't possible on my budget. Went with a Bronica ETR. Unfortunately, I can't take full Polaroid shots like I want, but it's good enough for what I want to do with it.
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Look here http://www.butkus.org/chinon/mamiya.htm for the manual you need.

    About the film speed setting, it is a reminder, isn't connected to a meter. The camera is meterless, you'll need to use an external meter or Sunny 11.
     
  4. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    Dan,
    I have the manual, but it is not clear at all regarding film loading etc. I know the film speed setting is not connected, metering is not a problem w/ the handheld meters and the one on the camera. I just can't figure out how to adjust it for the film I'm using.
     
  5. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    Well, I finally figured it out. Now that I understand it's pretty simple after all!
     
  6. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    2bits, you will find that much of the time the manual is assuming a level of understanding that no longer exists in the camera world. These were made for newpaper reporters who generally got shown how to use it or they already knew (think of the era...zero automation on cameras).

    Nice set up by the way. Remember if you find a "real" Super 23 (it took me two years to find one in good cosmetic condition that needed a total overhaul), everything will fit and can be used. I believe if you find a Universal, the same will be true.

    If you need service, I hope you can find someone to work on it. I can recommend Clarence Gass who may or may not still have his camera repair shop in Kansas Ctiy, Kansas. One of the last, great experts who can CLA......well, lets just say I gave him a camera that was completely and absolutely non functional. I got back a Super 23 that was as close to "factory fresh" as one could get. He even explained how a previous repair was done wrong. If he has closed the store, he is doing it at the house......he is in the phone book and lives just south of Overland Park. It's worth the time to call him. Best money I have ever spend on or for a camera.

    In between the manual and spending some quality time with your camera, most functions can be figured out. Because I don't use mine as much as I should, most times I have to learn how to use the camera again too. As someone else said too, get a nice light meter. You don't need to waste film. If I can find the right webpage, I will come back and give you a link to a thread from the photo.net website where the guy who has a complete universal setup (that recommended Clarence Gass).....he has taken photos on his press camera that will demostrate the absolutely amazing photos these cameras are capable of in the right hands.

    Bob E.
     
  7. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    Bob, I appreciate all the good info! After making the film loading mistakes on the first roll, I finally took the time to load properly and was amazed how simple it really was.
    I have gone through the whole camera now and am impressed with it's simplicity. The shutter speeds on all three lenses appear to be right on. And everything seems to be working fine. I bought this from an old timer locally, who let me have it all for $100. Which I think is pretty fair for what all there is.
    The only thing to really get used to is all the steps to operate it. I have some nice folders that are simple to operate compared to this. But am looking forward to using it for the 6X7 especially!
    Clarence "Gass" is an appropriate name for what I just got into! Will look him up if I run into problems.
    I've got a little help with seals coming from Jon Goodman, and that's about all I'll need for right now.
    Thanks again for all the info,
    2bits
     
  8. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Exactly what I was about to do. Butkus' site is great when you have an old camera.
    I have a Super 23 with two 6X7 backs and one 6X9 back. Lenses are 50mm, 100mm and 250mm. Then a nice selection of other accessories. I've been using this camera since the late 1970s, and it still works great and I love it. I did have the shutter in the 100mm lens serviced and have put new light seals all around.

    It's a big, heavy clunker, but I love it. Put it on my ancient Tilt-All tripod and away I go. Enjoy your 23!
     
  9. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Bruce, did you get light seals from Jon Goodman too or did you make them. Honestly, I didn't realize Jon was making them for the press. I need seals for all my film backs for mine...

    Bob E.
     
  10. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I purchased sheets of material from Micro Tools: http://www.micro-tools.com/ A little time with an Xacto knife and a straight edge, and you can have any size/shape seal you want.
     
  11. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Have fun with that one! I loved mine before I regrettably sold it for something that I ended up not liking....
     
  12. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    Thanks Kyle. Bob, Jon does not make seal kits for the Press cameras, He gets to few requests for them.
    But he will be putting together some odds and ends for me to seal it up.
     
  13. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    I wonder how many backs it would take for Jon to make us up a premade kits for the backs?

    Bob E.
     
  14. one90guy

    one90guy Subscriber

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    Jon did the same thing for me for a Mamiya NC1000S.

    David
     
  15. Bob Eskridge

    Bob Eskridge Member

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    Clarence Gass serviced a Universal and a lens for me about 2 years ago. Excellent job.
     
  16. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    Bob, it was about two years ago in June he did mine.

    Bob E.
     
  17. 2bits

    2bits Member

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    I will definitely be looking Mr. Gass up if I need it in the future. What does he charge for a standard CLA, without repair. Right now, all I need is an extra rear lens cap, and a lot more film! Haha
    Can't wait to get a couple rolls developed already.
     
  18. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

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    As I recall it was $250 and he went through everything and as I indicated before, fixed what the "other" guy tried to fix.

    Bob