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120 RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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Mamiya 7 Rangefinder Adjustment
Old 10-12-2004   #1
jdos2
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Mamiya 7 Rangefinder Adjustment

The following procedure assumes that your Mamiya 7 was at one time in good, known focus. This is NOT a re-columniation, though Iíll cover that under another procedure.


If youíve ever browsed for Mamiya 7 things on e-B$y youíve probably noticed folks selling a rangefinder adjustment kit for as much as $50.
Thatís a bit much.

I went to Lisbon last year and noticed that after I stuck the 150mm lens on the camera, the rangefinder was off in both vertical and the horizontal. It wasnít much, but it was noticeable and with the 150mm being notoriously difficult to focus wide open, I wanted the camera right.

I went to the Columbo mall and then to Aki to buy a set of jewelers screwdrivers (6 Euros)Ö

Be aware that Mamiya themselves have posted a procedure on their user forum site, but itís hard to find, and I didnít, at the time, have the benefit of looking for it, deciding to handle the matter in hand, so to speak. Having read it after the fact, there is a warning I want to include:

***WARNING***

Do NOT turn the vertical adjuster more than ľ turn in either direction, or damage to the camera may result.

***End of warning***

Be aware too, of course, that these repairs are on you. Neither I nor this site take any responsibility for damage to you or your camera. Basically, if you break your camera in half, you get to keep both halves.


Here we go:

Pop the little plastic cap off the back of the camera. Itís soft-ish plastic, so do it gently. Everyone in the world will know that you adjusted the rangefinder anyway, but take some care to pull the plug out in such a way as to minimize any damage or impressionsóitíll fit better later.

Look inside the hole that the plug covered. Youíll see two screws. Those are the rangefinder adjustment screws. The upper (and more recessed one) is the vertical alignment, the raised one is the horizontal adjustment.

Making sure that there is no gunk on the rangefinder coupling (either the lens or the camera side!), mount the 80mm and turn it to infinity. Find a spot with a cell tower (common in Europe) or radio/TV antenna a mile away (1 km worked fine for me) in view.

Look through the viewfinder and see where the images align. This rangefinder has a TOUCH of dependencies between the vertical and horizontal adjustments, but itís not as bad as some Iíve adjusted. Go for the vertical first.
Put the right sized screwdriver (use one that really fits the slot!) into the upper and more recessed screw and turn just a bit- 1/16th turn is probably too much. Look through the viewfinder and see how much youíve done. If too much (likely, of you werenít too far out of adjustment with which to begin) back it off slightly, or go for a tad more. Adjustments here are slow. Take your time, and get it right. Complete it and make SURE that the adjustment is as close to perfect as you can.

Working on the horizontal, first double check that the lens is at infinity. The screw to adjust is the raised one. Same thing as the vertical adjustment, do only small motions with the screw and make it perfect. You might at this time have to re-adjust the vertical adjustment if you had to do more than a Ĺ turn on the horizontal. Get it RIGHT. Once you are done, crank the lens to close focus, then back out to infinity, just to check. I hit the camera against the palm of my hand to jar things, but I understand wanting to forego that step. Check vertical and horizontal again, and re-run the procedure if necessary.

Once you are done, and itís PERFECT, try your other lenses and just make sure that none of them are not set for infinity correctly. My 150mm was EXACTLY the same as the 80mm when it came to infinity focus, contrary to what Mamiya has said about the 150mm focusing slightly past infinity.

The final step, should you choose to do it, is to put a drop of locktite (thread locking compound- THE WEAKEST) on the horizontal (raised screw) adjuster. I didnít do it, and for the remainder of my trip, my rangefinder was just fine- it never crept out adjustment again.

Itís an easy fix that took 15 minutes in the field. I saved several dollars from going to someone whoíd send me an instruction manual and screwdriver for $50, and it didnít have to go back to Mamiya. Better yet was my feeling of certainty when using the 150mm lens on the camera.

Good luck & light!
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Old 09-19-2010   #2
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brilliant. thank you!!
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Old 09-19-2010   #3
RayPA
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Yes. Thanks for putting this together, jdos2!



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Old 07-01-2011   #4
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Wow thanks so much. I just was just about to take it into the shop as the focus was waaay off. I now have it dialed in perfectly thanks to you post!

Cheers!
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Old 07-02-2011   #5
cosmonaut
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I don't even own one but still interesting and thanks for your time to help others.
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Old 07-31-2011   #6
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Thanks, I was thinking in send it to make it serviced, now reading you I am encouraging myself.
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Old 08-01-2011   #7
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This is handy. Mine have both drifted vertically and could do with a tweak.
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Old 08-02-2011   #8
Atto
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Any pics showing how looks the little plastic cap/plug after removal? seems complicated to remove it without ruining.

Regards,
NicolŠs.
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Old 08-02-2011   #9
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I just used the teeniest flat screw driver, pops right out.
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Old 08-03-2011   #10
Atto
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I figure out how to remove the plastic plug using a wine bottle vacuum pump in order to do not scratch it.




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the circular mark around the hole in the camera is argentinean Malbec, incredible red wine source of inspiration.




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Old 08-03-2011   #11
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Thank you Atto for the best post I've seen for a very long time!
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Old 08-04-2011   #12
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You are welcome and i hard recommend you a Malbec from Mendoza!
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Old 08-24-2011   #13
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Nothing like shooting after drinking a few glasses of Malbec!
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Old 10-08-2011   #14
keytarjunkie
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This was very helpful. I opened mine up, just touched the screwdriver to the horizontal adjustment screw, and - viola! It fixed itself! My horizontal alignment got all screwed up today and I freaked out, but it looks like maybe the camera got a small bump and the piece that the screw is attached to moved around. It seems like moving this piece around can change where infinity is...weird...but, hopefully problem solved!
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Old 02-21-2012   #15
Scheelings
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atto View Post
Any pics showing how looks the little plastic cap/plug after removal? seems complicated to remove it without ruining.

Regards,
NicolŠs.
I used two needles (the kind used for stitching) for levering it out. You only need to stick them in a few mm
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Old 02-21-2012   #16
Scheelings
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And thanks very much to the OP for posting this guide!
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Old 11-08-2012   #17
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Question: out of ignorance.


My Mamiya focus's slightly past infinity. However, so do all my Canon SLR's, the only camera that stops exactly at infinity is my Mamiya RZ67 but it had bellows so I assumed it was just different because of that.

Are you saying my Mamiya 7 II shouldn't focus past infinity and in fact it's out of alignment and I didn't even realize? (I don't often shoot wide open so I haven't noticed any focus problem).

Thanks

~Stone~ The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic. Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner
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Old 09-06-2013   #18
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What if I can't adjust the bottom screw far enough for horizontal adjustment?

I'm traveling in Dublin and dropped my camera. Now the rangefinder is off, saying that a landmark (Spire of Dublin) that is over 1 kilometer away, is only 3 meters away.

I turn the lower (more raised) screw counter-clockwise and the problem becomes worse. Then I turn it clockwise, and the situation improves - but I can't turn it past the point where my distant landmark is shown as being in exact focus at 7 meters. I don't want to force the screw because I'm afraid I'll break something.

Time to send my camera off for repairs then?

(Btw, just to make sure, with horizontal adjustment I mean that things are moving left to right, not up-down. The up-down alignment of the rf still seems perfect.)
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