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Old 01-21-2015   #41
Rodchenko
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Fascinating camera system. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-21-2015   #42
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Interesting timeline, subscribed.
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Old 01-23-2015   #43
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Another f2.0 model has surfaced! Only the second (including mine) that I've seen.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/MAMIYA-MAGAZ...item3cf125998e

#782436 (yet another 782 body)
199429 lens (very close number to mine)

I wonder how many were made- a few hundred? more ?



Lens coating looks a bit worn/scratched....
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Old 02-14-2015   #44
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Minor- update: continuing aggravation

Got the f2.0 camera back from attempted repair...it was declared NOT REPAIRABLE. The problem seems to be worn-out gears in the slow-speed escapement. However-I'm a bit confused because the main problem was not the slow speeds before it was dis-assembled....now I have the camera back and it only fires at one speed for all settings - seems to be about 1/50 or 1/100 not sure exactly. Makes me mad because if you will remember- the main issue was the tough shutter release button- needs a lot of pressure to activate the shutter.

Well, now the release is a bit easier/better - but still crappy- it will make your finger sore after firing off several frames- not to mention the advance is not quite right either.

They seemed to indicate that the f2.8 camera is going to be restored just fine... so I guess that's good news. It wasn't ready to pick up yet so I'll believe it when I see it

I try to remind myself of the Buddhist idea that "Desire leads to Suffering", but man, I really wanted to have the f2.0 camera fixed right. Now it's no better than it was months ago...if not a bit worse off!

Advice?

Should I keep hunting for a repairman- Vermont Camera said they would look at it, Youxin Ye? Anyone else? Will they all likely say it's not fixable due to lack of parts? Give up? Hunt for another 2.0? Just wait for the 2.8 and shoot it?
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Old 02-20-2015   #45
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Seeking input and advice

The F2.8 model had been successfully repaired- that's the good news- it is on the way back to me now- so fingers crossed!

As far as the F2.0 model goes--- I refuse to give up I have been searching the world, online anyway, trying to find a repair option. No one wants to work on it...

Here's the questions: The shutter is a SEIKOSHA-MXL -- which was only offered in one size #00 and was used by several (many) different cameras i the late 1950's. It seems to be a fairly simple 5 bladed affair. Shouldn't parts be useable from other donor cameras? Not just more Mamiyas?

Can I fix this myself with the right tools, resources, and patience, and guidance? Could someone like Chris Sherlock (the Retina guy) fix the shutter if that's the issue?

The problem with the shutter release button may or may not involve a Mamiya specific linkage....right?
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Old 02-20-2015   #46
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I don't have any specific knowledge about the Seikosha (or the Mamiya 35s) but, if the same basic shutter was used in several different cameras with the same speed range, flash sync and a timer, then I would expect most, if not all of the internal components should be interchangeable. Particularly if they were the same types of cameras. You would expect versions made for other types of cameras Eg. a reflex installation (if applicable) to have their own model codes.

Your description of the repairs carried out do not impress at all. It's one thing for a camera not to be repairable, economically, at least. It's quite another for one to be returned in a worse state than it was despatched, but, from what you have said that is precisely what happened. Did you actually pay them to make your sick camera really sick? I would expect it back in at least the same condition you sent it to them.

I can't answer your question as to whether or not you could repair it yourself, I'm sorry. Only you can work that out. But patience, perseverance and a gentle touch go a long way, as does as willingness to look and think about what the parts are doing, and what they are probably meant to do. Some cameras were never very good to begin with, meaning that fifty years or more after they were made, it may be a very big ask for even the most capable of repair people to persuade them to run reliably. Not that I'm necessarily putting the Mamiya in that category. But from the little I know about the company's 35mm cameras, I understand that not all of them were made in house. Still, as long as the shutter wasn't manufactured out of inferior quality materials or under-dimensioned parts, etc. then, yes, with a little (or a lot) of patience, and perhaps some replacement parts, it should be possible to make it work. The thing you may have on your side is the ability to invest a lot more time in the exercise than the people you took it to. And from what you've said, more skills, too...

You would have to ask Chris if he would be willing to take the camera on. I do my own repairs so have never needed to use his services, but I have corresponded with him. He's a nice guy, often shares his knowledge generously with camera owners here at RFF, and has gone to the trouble of writing some great strip down and repair articles on his site. I've also heard a lot of good reports about his work, so I have no hesitation at all in recommending him, but he may or may not be interested in looking at your camera.

If you would like to have a crack at it yourself, I suggest you make a list of the other cameras that used the same shutter, investigate the existence of repair manuals, website articles or other sources of information, and then procure yourself an example of one of the cheaper types. Before you look to fixing the Mamiya, see if you can persuade the donor camera back to working order first.

There are two reasons for suggesting this. Firstly, given the points you have queried, I'm assuming you haven't done a lot of camera repairs to date, right? Practicing on a donor camera you won't be as upset about possibly breaking is therefore a pretty good idea. Secondly, if you're trying to get the Mamiya going, it can be really helpful to observe a working example of the shutter in question, because it may assist greatly in determining what the particular faults with the Mamiya shutter are. So, don't rip into any donor shutter before you've had a go at getting it running and understanding how it works. And take digital photographs as you go. More than you think you need. You may need all of them!
Cheers,
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Old 02-21-2015   #47
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Brett- Thanks for the thoughtful response, it's good to hear from someone with good ideas- a lot of those ideas match my own.

I have "attempted" camera repair several times over the years...gathered some of the proper tools, supplies, and manuals, but I've never had much luck, sad to say. I am a competent auto mechanic and I've restored a few cars over the years, but those skills don't necessarily transfer over. Mostly I've just carefully dismantled cameras- never to really get them back together...I have had a bit of lucking cleaning and lubing already working cameras and fixing cosmetic damage (not very difficult work).

What I thought was interesting about Chris S. is that he mentions that he will rebuild a Seikosha shutter if the customer wants to remove it form the camera and send it (just the shutter) to him. Sounds like a possibility, assuming that's the problem.

The repair story on this particular camera is a bit more complicated than I've so far told, but long story short (it mostly in my previous posts here) the camera arrived last summer in OK shape- mostly functional- I almost immediately messed it up by trying to screw on a 48mm hood on the outer lens ring- the threads were a bit wobbly (bent then repaired) and I should have known better, but unscrewing after it wouldnt go in smoothly, messed up the aperture selector and the shutter speeds.

Doug (my local repairman) at Camera Clinic in north Seattle, got it going again - but had to improvise a broken part and the camera wasn't really the same- the new symptom was the overly firm shutter release button. I shot it like this for a few months- but wan't really happy and gradually the shutter itself became erratic.

Off to Portland for "repairs"--

"Your description of the repairs carried out do not impress at all. It's one thing for a camera not to be repairable, economically, at least. It's quite another for one to be returned in a worse state than it was despatched, but, from what you have said that is precisely what happened. Did you actually pay them to make your sick camera really sick? I would expect it back in at least the same condition you sent it to them."

I struggled with this as well- but I knew there were issues with preivous conditions and attempted repairs so I didn't pursure a complaint- there was NO CHARGE for their attempt-- they were able to repair another camera -- my Mamiya f2.8 Magazine.

So I have the camera back (the broken 2.0) --- I think I may call Doug- even though he said he did not want to work on it again- and get his advice. I watched him remove the front elements at his shop- looked pretty easy- I will need a piece of rubber to unscrew the front.

I have my eye on a few cheap cameras (like the various Aires model) with the same shutter for practice and I have a e-mail sent off to Chris Sherlock about shutter servicing.

I will keep the RFF community updated whatever happens
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Old 02-21-2015   #48
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Talked with Doug on the phone just now. He is willing to take another look at the camera. The only other thing I've noticed is the front element looks like it is screwed on a bit tighter than it was after Doug's repair last August...hmmmm.

Well, I'll get it over to him ASAP and see if he can work his magic
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Old 02-21-2015   #49
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There used to be a place called Photography on Bald Mountain that took on just about any repair...I think the fellows name was Ken....might be worth a try if he is still around......good luck..regards,Bill
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Old 02-21-2015   #50
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Thanks for the extra information. It's an unusual enough camera that it's worth going to reasonable lengths to try to save it I think, if it was mine I would be trying to get it going, too. Using various Contaflexes on a regular basis I am also able to appreciate the virtues of being able to switch films occasionally mid-roll. It can be a very useful feature and one that very few 35mm cameras offer.
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Old 02-21-2015   #51
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Thanks for agreeing that it's worth saving. The f2.8 model is decent for sure- but in practice- my test of the two cameras I have show the f2.0 glass to be sharper (not just faster and more rare).

Doug, my local guy, is funny about these old cameras- he is a real master but very frugal--- he can't believe that I would want to spend "as much as $150" to repair it. I tried to explain the rarity and the replacement value and he keeps referring to his source book that state the camera is worth no more than $225 in top condition (but that's for the f2.8 model-- his book doesn't even mention the F2.0 model). At least he has agree to have another look

I just bid and won a really rough and ugly looking f2.8 model.... might be fun for experimenting and at that price- the removeable back is worth the price!!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mamiya-Sekor...vip=true&rt=nc
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Old 02-21-2015   #52
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Perhaps you can get it going and worst case scenario you have, as you say, another back and a parts shutter.

With the Contaflex, Zeiss supplied a standard back when they were new and the magazine backs were accessories sold separately. So there are always a handful on offer at any time, and they are easy to find, if not always at reasonable prices. So I think that's a good score, as I imagine Mamiya film backs are not so easy to procure.
Cheers
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Old 02-23-2015   #53
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Right, with the Mamiya, the magazine back is all you have. Counting the one I just won last weekend, I now have 7 backs.

Today, the repaired 2.8 camera arrived at my door- seems to be in good working order now with all of the little flaws gone Some time soon, I will take the 2.0 back to the local option and let Doug have another shot at it.

I'll give you all an update when the beater arrives....
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Old 02-25-2015   #54
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I'm wondering about rangefinder calibration on my Mamiya cameras... focus is not accurate - especially on the f2.0. For example, at 7 feet the rangefinder coincides with 10 feet on the lens (compared with a couple of other known rangefinders and the good old tape measure).

Even the new repaired f2.8 model is focusing rather odd- pretty accurate up close, but gets worse at mid to far distance

See the little silver port/plug near the viewfinder window? Perhaps that is access to the rf adjustment? I'm still planning on taking the f2.0 in for repair when I can find time in the next couple of days... but it may be time to admit defeat with these interesting, but troublesome cameras. I would love to make these my number one shooters but I can't seem to get a fully functional copy. Have a look at the picture and see if you can spot the "port"

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Old 02-26-2015   #55
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Fate is not being kind with this endeavor--- cheap ebay find was marked as delivered today- no trace of it...they left it on the porch, now its gone. I am currently on hold on the phone USPS-- - of course they won't let me speak with a human-- eternal hold
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Old 02-27-2015   #56
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Perhaps better news is on the horizon...
The stolen/lost camera "may" turn up after all- may have been delivered to wrong house-- not holding my breathe.

The other two cameras are back at Doug's...we will have to wait and see if this is the end of the line or not... no more repairs or money will be spent on this project. EDIT: Unless $ is raised by selling camera gear!

Thanks for the interest and support! Advice always welcome- I value the voices here
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Old 03-11-2015   #57
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Mamiya Magazine 35 Research and List:

• Introduced in 1957 (list price $89.50)
• Noted in advertisement in Feb. 1960 (Broadway Camera Shops-close-out @ $49.50) Any one know of any sales references beyond this?

I've been doing some casual research and organized a quick list of known serial numbers for these cameras. All of these are public record, if you know of more and want to add to the list, let me know (could just be a partial number for security; like 783***)

Observed serial numbers:
750028 "Big Windows" - top plate only
750124 "Big Windows" - top plate only - I own this one.
750692 f2.8 "Big Windows"
750935 f2.8 "Big Windows"
• 751080 f2.8 “Big Windows” model – arsenal-photo.com
751146 f2.8 "Big Windows"
752415 f2.8 "Big Windows"
• 754015 f2.8 “Big Windows” model –“hjh67” collectiblend

• 754770 f2.8 “Big Windows” model
755875 f2.8 "Big Windows"
756082 f2.8 "Big Windows" w/ Japan language manual
756346 f2.8 "Big Windows"
757133 f2.8 "Big Windows"

• 780016 f2.8 – in the official Mamiya User’s Manual
780384 f2.8
780547 f2.8
780618 f2.8 - in the Virtual Camera Museum

781040 f2.8
781182 f2.8
781284 f2.8
781330 f2.8

781517 f2.8
• 781558 f2.8
781636 f2.8
781815 f2.8
781914 f2.8

• 782070 f2.8 – I own; from Pacific Rim Camera
782204 f2.8
782269 f2.8
• 782291 f2.8

782317 f2.8
782320 f2.8 - I own as of 9-2016 Complete but not working
• 782436 f2.0 – I own; from Tokyo
• 782528 f2.8 – Receipt for repair attempt in 1972
• 782605 f2.0 – I own; came from Gary Hill’s collection
782747 f2.8
• 782835 f2.8 – French website
782873 f2.8
782935 f2.8


783281 f2.8- Australian Website
• 783302 f2.8
• 783712 f2.8 – camera-wiki website


Lots of interesting questions and ponderings come up when looking at this list

The "Big Window" cameras are intriguing... the design is definitely different: all three windows- viewfinder, rangefinder, and eye-piece are shaped different/bigger. Are the internal optics different as well? Was this a Japan-only version? Early run? Late Run with out of sequence number batch? Was there a "Big Window" f2.0 made?

How many were made? What is the breakdown of f2.8 versus f2.0 cameras? Does the "7" indicate 1957? How long were they in production?

What do you think?
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Old 03-11-2015   #58
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Mine is 781636 (5cm/2.8 version).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Mamiya Magazine 35 Research and List:

• Introduced in 1957 (list price $89.50)
• Noted in advertisement in Feb. 1960 (Broadway Camera Shops-close-out @ $49.50) Any one know of any sales references beyond this?

I've been doing some casual research and organized a quick list of known serial numbers for these cameras. All of these are public record, if you know of more and want to add to the list, let me know (could just be a partial number for security; like 783***)

Observed serial numbers:
• 751080 f2.8 “Big Windows” model – arsenal-photo.com
• 754015 f2.8 “Big Windows” model –“hjh67” collectiblend
• 754770 f2.8 “Big Windows” model

• 780016 f2.8 – in the official Mamiya User’s Manual

• 781558 f2.8

• 782070 f2.8 – I own; from Pacific Rim Camera
• 782291 f2.8
• 782436 f2.0 – I own; from Tokyo (in transit)
• 782528 f2.8 – Receipt for repair attempt in 1972
• 782605 f2.0 – I own; came from Gary Hill’s collection; in for repair
• 782835 f2.8 – French website

• 783302 f2.8
• 783712 f2.8 – camera-wiki website


Lots of interesting questions and ponderings come up when looking at this list

The "Big Window" cameras are intriguing... the design is definitely different: all three windows- viewfinder, rangefinder, and eye-piece are shaped different/bigger. Are the internal optics different as well? Was this a Japan-only version? Early run? Late Run with out of sequence number batch? Was there a "Big Window" f2.0 made?

How many were made? What is the breakdown of f2.8 versus f2.0 cameras? Does the "7" indicate 1957? How long were they in production?

What do you think?
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Old 03-11-2015   #59
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Great! I will add it to the list.
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Old 03-14-2015   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
I'm wondering about rangefinder calibration on my Mamiya cameras... focus is not accurate - especially on the f2.0. For example, at 7 feet the rangefinder coincides with 10 feet on the lens (compared with a couple of other known rangefinders and the good old tape measure).

Even the new repaired f2.8 model is focusing rather odd- pretty accurate up close, but gets worse at mid to far distance

See the little silver port/plug near the viewfinder window? Perhaps that is access to the rf adjustment? I'm still planning on taking the f2.0 in for repair when I can find time in the next couple of days... but it may be time to admit defeat with these interesting, but troublesome cameras. I would love to make these my number one shooters but I can't seem to get a fully functional copy. Have a look at the picture and see if you can spot the "port"

Any thoughts on a RF adjust? One of my Magazine 35 cameras has a lens with a nice range of travel from near to infinity- but the actual double image in the viewfinder is quite a bit off at infinity--- I'm thinking the little port next to the front window MAY be the access. BUT there is no slot for a screw driver Any idea how to get it off without scratching the camera top plate??? Hmmm... HELP
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Old 03-14-2015   #61
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SUCCESS!

The little port is not a plug--it's a screw. A little gentle pushing in the correct direction and it unscrewed - would be a lot easier if they had made it with a slot for a screwdriver!

Side thought: The "Big Window" version of this camera does not have the port.... does that mean they made those first and then re-designed the camera to allow for a rangefinder adjustment with removing the top plate???

Anyway- the adjustment is right behind it- turning it clockwise, I was able to align the images at "infinity". Seems good now-- hooray.

Confession- this was on my newest acquisition - another example of the rare f2.0 model. I ordered it form an online seller based in Tokyo. The lens looked dirty on arrival, but some gentle cleaning and it's much cleaner- though there looks to be a bit of internal fungus on the edge. Pretty minor- but not as nice as my other f2.0 camera. I don't feel too bad about spending money on another one of these--- completely paid for by selling some Nikon gear
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Old 03-16-2015   #62
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Back in business! Today I was finally (not since October) able to shoot with a Mamiya Magazine 35..... Here's my "kit":
Leather half case
48-49 adapter ring to use 49mm hood
Neoprene strap (Samsonite)
Sekonic L-136 Cds meter=accurate!




The camera is so smooth and quiet, I wasn't sure at first it was working! SO nice...hopefully it is a good performer--this is the first test roll in this particular f2.0 camera.
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Old 03-16-2015   #63
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Sorry, I've just seen this. There were, I suspect, two reasons manufacturers often did not use screws with slots for such covers. Firstly, you have a cleaner appearance this way. Secondly, they probably did not want to make it too easy for owners to tamper with such adjustments. It wasn't just the Japanese manufacturers, either. German makers used a similar approach for covers over Eg. meter trim pots as well.

Generally you will find that a small piece of rubber under a thumb will provide the required grip to remove such fasteners without marking them. I keep various grades of rubber on hand for such things. Car inner tube is reasonably thick, recently I scored a surplus motorcycle tube from a friend as the rubber is a little thinner. Bicycle inner tubes are thinner again. All potentially have their uses and are good to have on hand. Even the mats you can buy at the supermarket to help you unscrew stubborn lids from jars of produce and the like can come in handy. Whenever I have to take the front off a Rolleicord I always use a piece of rubber for the flash lock screw. It is slotted if required but many are burred by careless use of a screwdriver. It's rare a tool is needed on one, but using a rubber piece keeps them looking as new. You got there anyway, well done.
Cheers
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Old 03-16-2015   #64
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Yes-- having some rubber/grippy material on hand is a good policy. I have observed my repair guy using rubber plugs to quickly un-screw parts very easily! I was lucky/careful and did not scratch my camera on the way to figuring out it was a screw-not a plug! I did use tape to surround the area I was "poking at" but it was a bit loose already and that was my clue to unscrew it.
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Old 03-17-2015   #65
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Mamiya Magazine 35 Fermi Calculations + Known Data

How many of these cameras were made?
How many are left today? Known facts:


• Made 1957-1960?
• Described often as “rare”, “not commercially successful”, “getting harder to find today in working condition”
• Three known model variations:
75**** series with “Big Windows” and the 5cm f2.8 lens
78**** series with smaller windows and the 5cm f2.8 lens
78**** series with smaller windows and the 4.8cm f2.0 lens

• During this time- late 1950s through early 1960’s, Mamiya was “ramping up” the interchangeable TLR cameras and starting production of their first SLRs; Prismat (rangefinder production continued well into the 1960’s)

• Initial list price of $89.50 in 1957 is equivalent to $744 in 2015 (Kodak Bantam RF was $25.95, a Leica IIIf with Elmar was around $240). Sounds impressive, but it doesn’t take too much research to realize that quality cameras were quite expensive in the 1950’s, much like today but a different sales philosophy and not as much “designed obsolescence”.

OK—Here’s the “Fermi” calculations…take these with a grain of salt and feel free to criticize/critique…I am speculating based on incomplete/non-existent evidence:

Assumptions:
• Each 3- digit block represents about 1,000 units.
• There are about 6 blocks (751***,754***, 781***, 782***, 783***, 76****)
• 25% of 3 blocks were f2.0 equipped models

Total Mamiya Magazine 35 camera production would therefore be approx.
5,250 f2.8 units and 750 f2.0 units

Problems with the assumptions:
• Not enough evidence (pretty obvious)
• Allotted # blocks does NOT always mean that all numbers are actually used (could be less than 1,000)
• Not known how many “blocks” exist (or exact time of production)
• Not know which blocks include f2.0 models

Why speculate or use the Fermi-style estimation? The idea is that some over-estimations will balance out under-estimation and the calculations gives a “ball-park” number UNTIL more evidence comes in! Plus, it’s fun…

I will update, adjust, delete as more info. becomes known.

EDIT: 11-15 The observed serial number list on page 2 now includes TWO more variants: 750*** (seems to be the first ones made) and 756*** (the last of the "Big Window"/ Japan Market version)
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Old 03-24-2015   #66
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Back to the images- here's a few from the new-to-me f2.0 model (the other one is the shop still) - I really like the way this mamiya-sekor renders. The first shot is a basic un-altered scan. The others all need filters/enhancement to make up for poor negative handling Local development is half the price of mail-order and about half the quality!









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Old 04-21-2015   #67
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Better results from careful processing Just got back three rolls shot with Tri-X. Loving the new-to-me M35 f2.0 model.
















Maybe not such careful processing-- I'm seeing what looks like dirty roller marks in the sky--hmmm better check the negatives carefully!
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Old 04-21-2015   #68
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Holy Cats ! a '57 Pontiac Safari wagon ???


Somebody needs to save that... FAR rarer than any Chevy Nomad !

LF
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Old 04-21-2015   #69
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These guys had some cool cars--- looks like they have a restoration shop in the building in the background (an old Chevy Dealership).

The Pontiac was rough- but saveable.... the Corvair was a Spyder (turbo-charged).
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Old 04-21-2015   #70
cassel
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See the black short marks in the scans above?

I don't have the negs back to look at yet... any ideas? Remember: the pressure plate, rollers/spools, rewind is all in the remove-able film back-- I think I know which one I used and it seems fine.

I shot 6 rolls on this trip. Three rolls from the Mamiya have the scratching--- I believe all three rolls used the same back and all scratched rolls were Tri-X.

The other three rolls - 2 color and one Tri-X were shot with different camera systems and do not have the strange marks...

There is a half-shot roll of 800 CineStill in another film back that is not yet developed...

Seems like the back right?...but the marks don't run very long at all...maybe processing? (but not with the other Tri-X roll)
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Old 04-28-2015   #71
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Conclusion/Ideas about scratches in M35 negatives:

Tri-X has a thinner base/emulsion than the other films I have shot with the 3 Mamiyas...
After looking carefully back through my negatives I can see now that ALL the negatives with ALL the various film back used so far ( I really need to number them with stickers or something to keep them straight) show some level of scratching--looks like the space between sprocket holes is the worst.

The guide/tensioner/roller on the film canister side is dragging on all backs to some degree...pivot points are likely somewhat clogged with small particles/bits of shredded film.

Thicker/more scratch resistant negatives -- like most color-- does scratch but it does not show in the print/scan. Apparently the sprocket dragging from the not-so-freely spinning roller creates debris that coats the roller and scratches the emulsion side of the negative - not just in the sprocket area but also occasionally in the frame. Not certain if advancing the film or rewinding creates more scratches or both!

Possible "fixes":
  1. Clean/Lube Rollers
  2. Avoid thin base films (Tri-X is 5ml and more prone to scratches as a silver halide film)
  3. Rewind film in the dark ? (more as an experiment- obviously not pratical)
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Old 04-29-2015   #72
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OK-- I completed step #1 on my list : Clean and Lube roller. I cleaned the interiors of all the film backs well and put number stickers on each to better track performance





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Old 05-25-2015   #73
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Camera is working well... (still waiting for two bodies to return from repair) Got the backs (six of them) all cleaned and lubed up-- time will tell if that eliminates the scratches on negatives

Here's some scheming for the future: getting a body painted black Kanto in Japan has indicated they would be willing to give it a shot... maybe later this year. Here's a couple of quick PShop mock-ups:



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Old 06-19-2015   #74
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Update- June 2015.

Camera #3 (my current user) keeps clicking along just fine Should have more film to develop soon.

Cameras #1 and #2 are STILL in for repair Talked with Doug today.... long story short he should have them for me next week. At this point I will give him a call on Tuesday or Wednesday and pick up at the end of next week- ready or not He didn't seem to understand what I wanted repaired (too much force was required on shutter release) and... well... just not great communication between us. Great guy, but time is up.

I will update next week-- fingers crossed, but not hopeful.

Ideas? Comments?
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Old 06-25-2015   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Both cameras need a CLA/Overhaul to be in tip-top condition. I think they are worth repairing, but because they are so rare (and old) it has been difficult to find a shop willing to work on them. After a lot of searching, I found a place down in Portland, OR that will look at them and give me an estimate. I have written up descriptions of all the various issues with each camera body. I am not sure I want to trust the USPS with these rare bodies (the f 2.0 model is the only one I've seen) Here's the write-up:

Mamiya Camera #782605
Model: Magazine 35
Lens: 4.8cm f2.0
Problems/Condition:
• Advance Lever is “gritty”- not smooth
• 1/500 second speed does not work
• Slow Speeds are inconsistent- usually fires at a higher speeds
• Shutter release button is TOO Firm- you have to press hard to activate
• Removable magazine/back has a tight winding spool (right side- the silver one with gears)

Other functions- Rangefinder, Viewfinder, Rewind, Aperture, Speed selector, Focus, etc. all seem OK. I have shot film with the camera and had good results- The main issue is the shutter release button



Mamiya Camera #782070
Model: Magazine 35
Lens: 5cm f2.8
Problems/Condition:
• Advance Lever is smooth BUT does not return quickly
• 1/500 second speed does not work
• Shutter is inconsistent- sometimes fires fine- other times with a delay
• Shutter release button is inconsistent- sometime only a light touch activates, other time a firm press is needed
• Removable magazine/back has a tight tensioning spool (left side- the thin silver one)- doesn’t spin freely
• Rangefinder Window is loose/crooked- MOVES when the shutter is fired!

Other functions- Rangefinder, Viewfinder, Rewind, Aperture, Speed selector, Focus, etc. all seem OK. I have shot film with the camera and had good results- The main issue is the erratic shutter.

Had to go back and re-read my original list of symptoms on my TWO problem cameras. The 2.8 seems to be all sorted out--- everything works now... just need to calibrate the rangefinder when I get it back from Doug.

The 2.0 is a mess Doug says slow speeds are not working and all other speeds seem to be the same = 1/250 AND the firm shutter release is no better, he did not even try to fix that....He was thinking perhaps a piece or two of the slow speed drive train was MISSING-- the Portland shop? He said he felt bad about the time he had it and was not able to do more to fix it (had it since FEB)-- said he would not charge me...Not sure if that means a refund on my down payment.

I will pick up both cameras on Friday or Saturday. I said earlier that this was it -- no more spent on this body It will take some will-power to stick to that. I have looked around the world and found no takers on this repair! The optics are so nice on this example it would be a shame to give up on it.

Could I try this myself with proper tools and parts? Could I I salvage parts from this? I have a few tools; what exactly would I need.
Please don't give me crap about an amateur attempting a pro repair on an ancient camera with limited parts. I understand all that....
Same shutter:



HELP
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Old 06-25-2015   #76
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Is that an aires iiic camera? I had one once with stuck shutter blades. If I remember you can take the whole lens/shutter off by unscrewing the retaining ring through the back, but to put it back you'll have to do it piece by piece from the front. The whole black front lens piece just unscrews I think, if you have a piece of rubber get some grip.
nathan
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Old 06-25-2015   #77
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Yep - an Aires IIIc --paid about $25 bucks for it. Pretty nice but the rangefinder spot has faded away and the shutter needs a good cleaning-- fires fine at all speeds but is sluggish if you let it sit for too long.

Wondering if I could steal parts from the Aires to fix the Mamiya....

you know, break two old cameras instead of one
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Old 06-25-2015   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarcophilus Harrisii View Post
I don't have any specific knowledge about the Seikosha (or the Mamiya 35s) but, if the same basic shutter was used in several different cameras with the same speed range, flash sync and a timer, then I would expect most, if not all of the internal components should be interchangeable. Particularly if they were the same types of cameras. You would expect versions made for other types of cameras Eg. a reflex installation (if applicable) to have their own model codes.

Your description of the repairs carried out do not impress at all. It's one thing for a camera not to be repairable, economically, at least. It's quite another for one to be returned in a worse state than it was despatched, but, from what you have said that is precisely what happened. Did you actually pay them to make your sick camera really sick? I would expect it back in at least the same condition you sent it to them.

I can't answer your question as to whether or not you could repair it yourself, I'm sorry. Only you can work that out. But patience, perseverance and a gentle touch go a long way, as does as willingness to look and think about what the parts are doing, and what they are probably meant to do. Some cameras were never very good to begin with, meaning that fifty years or more after they were made, it may be a very big ask for even the most capable of repair people to persuade them to run reliably. Not that I'm necessarily putting the Mamiya in that category. But from the little I know about the company's 35mm cameras, I understand that not all of them were made in house. Still, as long as the shutter wasn't manufactured out of inferior quality materials or under-dimensioned parts, etc. then, yes, with a little (or a lot) of patience, and perhaps some replacement parts, it should be possible to make it work. The thing you may have on your side is the ability to invest a lot more time in the exercise than the people you took it to. And from what you've said, more skills, too...

You would have to ask Chris if he would be willing to take the camera on. I do my own repairs so have never needed to use his services, but I have corresponded with him. He's a nice guy, often shares his knowledge generously with camera owners here at RFF, and has gone to the trouble of writing some great strip down and repair articles on his site. I've also heard a lot of good reports about his work, so I have no hesitation at all in recommending him, but he may or may not be interested in looking at your camera.

If you would like to have a crack at it yourself, I suggest you make a list of the other cameras that used the same shutter, investigate the existence of repair manuals, website articles or other sources of information, and then procure yourself an example of one of the cheaper types. Before you look to fixing the Mamiya, see if you can persuade the donor camera back to working order first.

There are two reasons for suggesting this. Firstly, given the points you have queried, I'm assuming you haven't done a lot of camera repairs to date, right? Practicing on a donor camera you won't be as upset about possibly breaking is therefore a pretty good idea. Secondly, if you're trying to get the Mamiya going, it can be really helpful to observe a working example of the shutter in question, because it may assist greatly in determining what the particular faults with the Mamiya shutter are. So, don't rip into any donor shutter before you've had a go at getting it running and understanding how it works. And take digital photographs as you go. More than you think you need. You may need all of them!
Cheers,
Brett
Had to review the good advice here from a while ago... thanks Brett
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Old 06-25-2015   #79
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Side by side comparison: the Mamiya is on the left- the Aires is on the right. The shutter speed selection runs in opposite directions

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Old 06-25-2015   #80
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Originally Posted by cassel View Post
Had to review the good advice here from a while ago... thanks Brett
No worries, it's an interesting camera
The speed control ring will be connected by a tab or peg or similar to the control cam inside the shutter that manipulates the pins for the escapement etc. to set the various combinations that produce all the various speeds. What may therefore be a concern is that, with the rings on the two shutters being reversed, certain parts inside may be a mirror image of each other. The speed cam, certainly, unless it is capable of being fitted either way (upside down, as it were). I don't know, not having ever been inside one but I suppose it's possible and would make mirror versions easier and cheaper to make.

What did Chris have to say about the models involved? Is he willing to have a look at them?

If you would like to have a go yourself, in your shoes, I suppose I would approach it the same way I would with a cranky Compur. Get the lens glass out of the front, take the front cover rings etc. off, and if practicable (it generally is) have the shutter in a state ready to go (cover rings off, speed cam installed etc.) so that you can cock and fire it and observe it in operation. Starting with the Aires, I suppose, if it is basically working.

One possibility I've never tried (I've actually just thought of it myself) might be to record some video footage of the shutter being actuated. I'm not much good with video but, if it is possible to pause the footage or frame by frame it, then perhaps it may be of some assistance when you are trying to pinpoint what makes the Aires shutter basically work but the Mamiya item not work. In any case, take some sharp, detailed images of the camera as you take the parts off the front. They can be a great aid to memory when re-assembing them. And also by enlarging the images on your computer monitor, occasionally you will notice problems you might not spot when you're examining the actual shutter. A digital magnifying glass, if you like.

Given enough patience, it is sometimes possible to fix an item from scratch. However, a process that is often faster and effective is to compare a fault with a known good item and, following from that, substitution of parts step by step until the fault has been isolated. Hence, I'd take a look at a shutter that is basically running, if I had one on hand (and you do, even if it is not completely identical) and then I would take a close look at the Mamiya, seeking differences in condition (or even, presence) of parts. If there is a part that the Mamiya is missing or which is bent, worn, etc. these are the sorts of clues that are likely to get it going again.

You have a pretty hard task in some ways. It is quite one thing to save an original example that has a bit of wear or needs cleaning. If the camera was any sort of quality when new, the proposition that if it worked well once it can be made to work well again, is pretty reasonable. On the other hand, if it has been meddled with, and badly, all bets are off. I'll give you an example.

I'm rather fond of German cameras, and M42 SLRs, too. Although I've specialised in the Contaflex SLRs for a while, it was probably inevitable that sooner or later I'd want another German SLR, that is both a Zeiss Ikon and M42: one of their Icarex TM models which Stephen (Gandy) speaks so highly of. But they can often be rather pricey on eBay. Happily I found a reasonably priced one listed in France that was tidy enough but needed a bloody good clean. The seller hadn't offered postage to Australia, but, after a polite request to do so he agreed to sell it to me, (and I duly left glowing feedback, he was great).

Problem was that, on arrival, the camera wasn't very functional. It would cock and fire, but the slow speeds stuck and there were a few other problems. I got the speeds working, but the curtain timing was off. In itself, this wasn't so hard to sort out, EG. the springs had lost a little tension over the years, and needed just a little boosting at their ratchets after cleaning the spindles. All good, so far. But the reflex mirror simply descended way too soon, before the second curtain was anywhere near finished closing the film gate.

I figured the mechanism had developed a fault or wear. The Icarex mirror mechanism is a bit strange. Not unique, perhaps, but odd nonetheless. The second curtain gear releases a straight rod that flips back to front through and vice-versa through a slot on the mirror bracket. As the rod slides up and down in the slot, it slides the mirror up and down. Not exactly a sophisticated approach, but one that ought to work. So I tried to correct the mirror timing by adjusting the linkages that actuated the rod, adjusting the position of the bracket that the rod is mounted in, and even the shape of the rod itself. Plus two or three other adjustments I can't even remember now. All of them got the mirror timing delayed more, but, none actually set it late enough to not obscure the top of the film gate towards the end of the exposure. I must have spent a eight hours, all told, before I nailed it.

During the whole time, I'd pondered the position of the gear driven by the second curtain shaft, wondering if I could make the mirror time correctly simply by adjusting the timing of the gear, and hence, the peg on its top that tripped the linkage to release the mirror. But, I told myself that the problem must be elsewhere, because, as installed, the gear timing had to be correct. After all: who would install such a gear with the timing completely off?

Eventually, after a great deal of searching, I found a photo of (I think, a Rollei 35mm SLR) with the lower cover removed. Not an identical camera to the Icarex, but it was based on it, and had the same mirror mechanism. Well, you can guess where I'm going: the gear timing was completely different. All the time I'd spent trying to adjust the mirror right at every other place in the actuation process was needless, because someone, at some point, had simply fitted the drive gear completely out of time. By setting the timing up as per the photograph, the mirror proceeded to work perfectly, and I then had to set all the other adjustments I'd done back to standard, as they simply weren't needed. I've since run a roll of Delta 100 through the Icarex and love it, it is a gorgeous camera.

That was rather long winded, sorry. But it illustrates just how unpredictable your chances of success can be, when you're trying to resurrect a camera that has been buggered around with by someone else. Yes, it's frequently do-able, but it is a real lottery as to how long it can take, or what the problem is ultimately going to be. You can't assume anything and have to start from basics. Hence, if you can look to a mechanism that is actually functioning, it is a massive edge, because by working backwards from that state with the patient, hopefully replicating the condition of the working example will result in the same outcome.

The last thing I would recommend (if you've not already done it) is to do a google search for hits to other models using the same type of shutter as the Mamiyas and then, with a list of candidated, cross reference any hits you can find for repair articles, forum posts, etc. about repairing any of these. Not all the comments you find will necessarily be correct, but I always do at least a quick look before starting on an unfamiliar mechanism, because it can often save time.

This is an interesting project, so I appreciate the updates. I hope you get there.
Cheers,
Brett
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