View Full Version : Mamiya Universal/Super Press 23
Any other Mamiya Press/Universal users out there? What lenses, accessories do you have, use, like, don't like? Let's hear it.
Hope to see other users of Mamiya Universal/Super Press rangefinders out there. I have a Super Press 23 that I have had for almost 30 years. It still works well and I love it. I don't take any photos as much as I used to, but hope to start using this again soon. I have the 100mm retractable lens, a 50mm, and a 65mm (currently with shutter problems). I have four roll film backs, a focusing back, and a sheet film back with 9 holders. All fun stuff to use and it's hard to beat those large negatives and 'chromes.
Hm, never actually SEEN a Super Press 23 camera I must admit (shame on me....). Do you have any photos you've taken with it posted on the internet?
You can see them all the time on ebay. As to photos taken with it, yes, but my scanner isn't too good and my scanning ability is worse. Under my screen name at phototalk.net, the one of the boy and the sunset, the head at the MinSokChon, and the old mill are all with the Super Press 23. Nothing particularly outstanding about the photos I'm afraid.
The camera is a rangefinder, and is a pleasure to work with. It is heavey, but not as bad as you might think since it is a rangefinder. It is versatile and those large negatives/slides just have to be seen. I have made some nice enlargements with it. 16x20 are no problem.
I've posted in the "Other" portion of the Mamiya section...
I've two Universal bodies (one "chrome", one black)
75mm lens (Polaroid capable image circle)
65mm lens (incredible, for only 4 elements!)
100mm f-2.8 (my standard film lens)
127mm lens (standard Polaroid lens)
150mm lens (unlike the nearly identical Tessar copy for the Polaroid 600SE, this one clips the corners on Polaroid)
I've had mechanical issues, but none critical. Parts of the camera setup have been to the shop (the 75mm lens is waiting for me as I type- shutter work) but honestly, it's been a good camera- takes good pictures.
I've one criticism and solution for it, though. It's hard to pack. Not "heavy" exactly, but simply very difficult for the odd shape to pack effectively. The backs are huge, and make it all the more difficult (though the Graflex backs make the camera slightly more packable). For travel, I bought a Mamiya 7 with a 80mm and 43mm lens (want badly the 150mm!) and suffer for the lack of flexibility compared with the Universal...
(Comicbook Store Guy from the Simpsons: "Favorite Camera Ever.")
I've changed my position on the Universal vs. 7, and traded the 7 for a fast autofocus SLR (medium format, of course!)
I'm back to the Universal.
Now, what do folks use as an easily portable meter? I've the Sekonic's but it ain't small.
I've used a Gossen Super Pilot SBC for years and years. It's no longer made, but an ideal size for a shirt pocket... looks like a Luna Pro but smaller. Seems to me there is a current Gossen about this size, but I don't recall the model. I hear other folks raving about the Sekonic 508...
I don't know how you define small. I have used a Sekonic L28c2 for years. When you are carrying a Mamiya Super Press 23, it seems a small enough meter. I almost always use it in the incident mode.
The old Sekonic Micro Leaders were good reflected light meters in their day, and were surprisingly good low light meters. I think they used mercury batteries and may not be as good with newer batteries.
I have been looking at getting a Gossen Luna Pro sbc since I dropped the Sekonic L28c2. Now the needle sticks at odd places. Anybody know if that is fixable and worth the cost?
For many years, I used a Luna Pro. I bought a Sekonic and the darned thing came in a holster. (I was afraid of what patroling police might think.) Anyway, I have used the little Gossen Digisix meter for about 6 months now. It is as small as you would want, gives me a good incident reading (my preferred way of metering) and will even tell you the time and temperature if you wish. Also mercifully inexpensive.
mmmmmmm.well im not sure i like small as the major decider on metering;
there is a small gossen ;its a cds cell- but theres probably a modern one- the cds is fine;no battery i probably have one; and i sent one to my brother for use in utah mountains-snow; along with a handpainted target for grey; -as i disagree with kodaks grey targets@18 %.-i think they are abit too light;
due to ansel adams lobbeying efforts/ for his zone system standard.
i encourage anyone interested to make up their own targets.
mine are finnish birch plywood; then i use acrylic and acrylic gesso; mixed to the tone; and painted on ; in many layers ; so they cant chip.
i awalys carry one with the spotmeters.
im using a pentax 1/digital for reflected and a gossen lunastar2-incident ; and a calculilite -x; which does both; all relayable.
the question of size gets us back to those meters sqqqqqueeeeezzzeeed into the cameras; and their many limitations;thats why we use handhelds in the first place.
i hope this is of some help-
but as for arguing about the 18% issue; i dont care to - i did the reading and thats my conclusion.
use whatever works for you;regardless of aa/ or the zone std.18%
all that matters is that you start standardizing some parts of the process- the metering; film processing; asa number changes;
-as many as possible; actually,so you can make < single> changes in the process to improve your results;
all of the meters ; even the very best ones ; suffer from little engineering
mistakes like this.
this is my third post.
I generally use a spotmeter when I'm using the Press. My kit consists of a Super 23 body, a Universal body, the 50, 75, 100/2.8, 100/3.5 and 150 lenses, and a few different backs. I also have the ground glass back which I use when doing close-up or copy work with the Super 23 - using the back movements to get closer focus. My primary use is for landscape snaps.
I'm about to buy the 250mm lens for my getup.
Has anyone used both 250mm lenses for a comparitive test? I saw someone on Photo.net post that his f/8 version had better contrast at all f-stops than the f/5 version. I'm getting the latter.
Any comments? I've never seen a diagram for the 250mm f/8, so I don't know if it's a tele-tessar type, and fewer elements in a lens would usually mean less flare.
I just picked up a 6x9 film back intending to use it for a project. Curious what it was, I posted some inquiries, and we've id'ed it as a "Focussing Screen Holder for Mamiya Press".
eBay prices were all over the place when properly ID'ed. One sold for over $100.
So this has me pondering whether someone needs it worse than my hairbrained project for which I've just been working on any solution (I don't even have a Mamiya Press). I just needed a way to do 6x9 with a barrel zoom I want to check out.
Is this accessory something the world needs so I should let someone who needs it have and perhaps find an alternate solution?
Well, I'm keepin' it...got some 2x3 film holders...just need some 2x3 film.
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