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photo:mamiyatlr

Mamiya twin lens reflex film cameras

general notes on Mamiya TLRs:

  • interchangeable sets of Mamiya-Sekor C-series lenses with Seiko #0 shutters 1-1/500thsec + Bulb which can be used on any of the bodies:
    • The earliest Seikosha-MX chrome lenses had shutter speeds to 1/400th sec and these are not compatible with auto-cocking bodies - the C33 and later;
    • the Seikosha-SLV chrome lenses made 1958-1962 will not auto-cock but unlike the MX lenses will not foul up the mechanism of auto-cocking bodies.
    • The Seikosha-S chrome lenses are not multi-coated, some of the black lenses are. The chrome lenses were replaced by the black models sometime in the 1970's as production of the black models appears to have started in 1969.
    • a blue insert on the shutter cocking arm of some black lenses indicates a newer shutter with raised tip on the leaf designed to minimise chance of shutter blades locking when closing;
    • lenses of different focal length have different back focus distances and thus require different bellows positions for infinity focus.
    • the square clamp-fit Mamiya lens hoods will only fit over slimline filters
    • many lenses have had their X-M sync lever cemented into the X position to avoid inadvertent movement to the M position which is designed for old bulb flashes and thus fires the shutter after a 200msec delay.
    • whilst intermediate apertures can be set, the shutter speeds must be at the marked speeds.
    • from Tim Brown:
      • “for the lenses that take 49mm filters, I start with a regular 49mm UV filter (Hoya), screw it onto the viewing lens, mark the side of the filter that faces the taking lens with a scribe, remove the filter, carefully file down this side with a fine stone grinder. After clean-up I replace the filter on the viewing lens. I now have enough room to put even a polarizer on the taking lens, which brings me to the next issue: A regular polarizing filter has an index mark on the side. I add several more marks on either side of this mark in multiple colors in approx. 1/4 in. intervals. I used fingernail polish but the little Testors paint for models could be used also. When I want to use the polarizer I hold it up, look through it and rotate it until I get the effect I want, note which mark or space between marks is facing up and place it on the taking lens with the same orientation. It might be more accurate to place it on the viewing lens first. It's a little tedious but it works.”
  • bellows focusing allows extreme close ups
  • pc cord connection is on the lenses, not the body
  • There is no exposure information in the viewfinder, and there are no coupled meters available.
  • multiple exposure setting
  • If you hold down the shutter release and wind the film, the film does not stop at the next frame, it just winds on. This is a feature not a bug. It lets you wind off a partially exposed roll of film quickly. If you start winding the film and you don't realize your cable release is locked, it seems like a bug.
  • when changing lenses to make sure both the lens and body are in matching states: shutter cocked and film wound, or shutter not cocked and film not wound. You won't jam up anything like you can with a Hasselblad, but you can easily get double or blank exposures.
  • Switching between 120 and 220 is easy. No separate parts to get lost of broken. Just turn one knob and then turn the pressure plate 90 degrees.
  • film wind tends to be noisy

Mamiya TLR lenses

  • 55mm f/4.5 wide angle:
    • equates to 35mm wide angle o a 35mm camera
    • 46mm filter
    • close focus to 24cm = 6.4×6.4cm subject
  • 65mm f/3.5 wide angle:
    • 49mm filter
    • vignettes with 49mm lens hood or filter so use step up ring
    • close focus to 27cm = 6.7×6.7cm subject
  • 80mm f/3.7 SLV chrome:
    • rare “budget” lens
  • 80mm f/2.8 chrome:
    • 40.5mm filter;
  • 80mm f/2.8 black:
    • 50deg angle of view;
    • 46mm filter
    • close focus to 35cm = 8.6×8.6cm subject
    • in 2007 on EBay sell for $US220
  • 80mm f/3.7 black:
    • uses a Copal shutter
    • rare “budget” lens
    • 40.5mm filter
  • 80mm f/2.8 S black:
    • later model, probably multi-coated but viewing lens is different design to taking lens
  • 105mm f/3.5 standard (silver):
    • 40.5mm filter thread & 42mm hood (not the usual 48mm hood for the black version)
    • 41deg angle;
    • older chrome/silver version, not multicoated.
    • closest focus 57.9cm covering subject 17.9×17.9cm;
    • different flange-focal length to the f/3.5D & f/3.8DS lenses so distance scale on the 330 camera should be the one marked 105, not 105D.DS
    • this is the one I have.
  • 105mm f/3.5D standard (black):
    • 46mm filter
    • close focus to 58cm = 18.4×18.4cm subject
  • 105mm f/3.8DS standard (black):
    • later model, probably multi-coated
    • similar to f/3.5D but also has:
      • aperture control on viewing lens for DOF preview, although of limited utility;
      • V setting as well as X/M for flash sync which effectively acts as an ~11 sec self timer
      • shrouded PC socket to reduce risk of damage
  • 135mm f/4.5 chrome:
    • 33deg angle of view; 46mm filter
    • close focus to 82.3cm = 22.8.2×22.8cm subject
  • 135mm f/4.5 black short telephoto:
    • 33deg angle of view; 46mm filter
    • close focus to 90cm = 25.2×25.2cm subject
    • One odd fact about the 135 is that all the glass is forward of the shutter and there is nothing in the rear. In other words, you can reach in the back and touch the shutter blades with your finger which risks damage.
  • 180mm f/4.5 chrome telephoto:
    • = 100mm angle of view in 35mm terms
    • 49mm filter
    • four elements in 3 groups design and has a shutter that is no longer supported with repair parts
    • close focus to 118.9cm = 23.5×23.5cm subject
  • 180mm f/4.5 black telephoto:
    • 49mm filter
    • same optical design as the chrome lens, with a newer shutter and cocking mechanism
    • marked 18cm not 180mm
    • close focus to 129cm = 27.5×27.5cm subject ?
  • 180mm f/4.5 Super black telephoto:
    • 49mm filter
    • close focus to 129cm = 27.5×27.5cm subject
    • optical design changed to 5 elements in 4 groups, retaining the new shutter and cocking mechanism
    • earlier ones don't have f-stop detents whilst the later ones do
    • earlier ones have a yellowish coating, the later ones have a purplish coating
    • said to give as sharp an image hand held at 1/125th as a Hasselblad 6×6 SLR with 180mm lens.
  • 250mm f/6.3 telephoto:
    • 49mm filter
    • manual cocking on all bodies
    • close focus to 205cm = 31.1×31.1cm subject
    • black version made perhaps as early as 1967

accessories

viewfinders

  • Porrofinder:
    • dim, and the image is small
    • in 2007 on EBay sell for $US90
  • metered CDS Porrofinder
  • prism finder:
    • gives correct left to right viewing and is brighter than the mirror-based Porrofinder
  • rigid chimney finder:
    • with 3.5x full field magnifier and flip up 6x lens that magnifies center of screen only.
    • blocks outside light much better than the standard folding finder, and accurate focus is easier, it doesn't weigh any more, it's just more bulky.

focusing screens

  • NB. the screens for the C330s are NOT compatible with C330 and C330f.
  • No1 Matte
    • basic matte screen with fresnel lens and exposure factor graduations
  • No2 RF spot 4%
    • has a central fresnel with split image focus assist and exposure factor graduations

parallax correction

  • optional paramender accessory to compensate for parallax:
    • This mounts between a tripod and the camera body. After composing, turning a lever raises the body so the taking lens is exactly where the viewing lens was

timeline of camera models

  • 1956-58:
    • Mamiyaflex C
      • manual shutter cocking and frame counter resetting; 120 film only; lens focus scales for original chrome 80mm, 105mm, 135mm lenses; 1/4“ tripod screw;
      • no interchangeable screens; 80mm sportsfinder WLF; film advance via a knob;
  • 1958-62:
    • Mamiya C2
      • adds a 2nd focus knob; 65mm & 180mm lenses added;
  • 1962-65:
    • Mamiya C3
      • film advance changed to a crank with partial 350deg wind then reverse to rest;
      • lens focus scales for 65mm, 80mm, 105mm (chrome), 135mm & 180mm lenses;
      • WLF for 80mm but can use masks for the other lenses;
      • lenses upgraded to 1/500th sec instead of 1/400th sec;
      • auto-zeroing frame counter; two-stage lens release;
  • 1965-69?:
    • Mamiya C33
      • 1.81kg; automatic shutter cocking;
      • automatic parallax and exposure compensation marker in viewfinder for 80mm, 105mm, 135mm & 180mm lenses;
      • lens focus scales for 105mm (chrome), 135mm, 180mm on plates (after 1968, some models also had 55mm & 250mm scales on the plate), while window display showed scales for 65mm & 80mm lenses.
  • 1966-68:
    • Mamiya C22
      • 1.48kg; manual shutter cocking; parallax/exposure compensation scale only;
      • optional 220 film back; multi-exposure only via direct manipulation of shutter;
  • 1968-1982?:
    • Mamiya C220
      • 1.15kg; film advance knob with fold-out crank; manual shutter cocking; parallax scale;
      • rotating pressure plate for 120 vs 220 film; no removable back;
  • 1969-74:
    • Mamiya C330:
      • 1.47kg; film advance crank;
      • automatic shutter cocking; automatic parallax and exposure compensation marker in viewfinder for 80mm, 105mm, 135mm & 180mm lenses, and also for 55mm & 65mm lenses if 55/65mm correction plate employed.
      • has a little distance scale rod with a sliding cover keyed to the lens you have attached
      • rotating pressure plate for 120 vs 220 film;
      • has interchangeable focusing screens, the 220 and 33 doesn't:
        • matte / 4deg split / 6deg split / microprism / cross hair /grid
      • has two shutter release buttons, the 220 has one;
      • back is removable and sheet backs exist, not for the 220;
      • lens focus scale now a rotatable rod.
      • is heavier than the 220;
      • tripod screw now 3/8” with 1/4“ insert;
      • film speed reminder dial includes B&W, daylight & tungsten film reminder;
      • no focus lock;
      • The major difference between the 33 and 330 bodies is that the 330 can use 220 film without attachments
  • 1972-82:
    • Mamiya C330f
      • this is the model I have
      • see as for C330
      • 1.39kg; film advance now a single 360deg crank, no need for reverse to rest;
      • WLF is type 2, not type 1 as on C330
  • 1982-1995:
    • Mamiya C220f
      • 1.15kg;
      • see as for C220;
      • larger film advance knob than C220 but no fold-out crank;
      • automatic frame counter adjustment for 120/220 film;
      • lens focus scales via chart;
      • WLF type 2 but without sportsfinder;
  • 1983-1994:
    • Mamiya C330s
      • as for C330f but adds:
        • focusing knob larger and with fixing lever to lock focus
        • sportsfinder frame for 65mm lens
        • release button for sportsfinder frame
        • lugs for neck strap instead of loops
        • rear door latch now on body not on back, with separate lock & release catches;
      • interchangeable screens NOT compatible with C330 and C330f.
      • WLF type 2, sportsfinder with interchangheable masks for each lens 105mm and longer.
      • tripod screw now back to only 1/4”
      • 1650g with 80mm lens
      • in 2007 on EBay sell for $US350
  • 1994:
    • production of the Mamiya TLRs ended.
photo/mamiyatlr.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/30 10:01 by gary1