Any Mamiya C220 experts out there?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by timjones51, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. Hi All

    I've just obtained a Mamiya C220 Professional.

    Had a minor problem with the shutter not closing on half and one second speeds, but a bit of exercising seemed to correct that.

    However, putting my second film through it yesterday I got to frame 9 and the shutter refused to fire. I was able to wind the film forward to the end of the roll, even though the shutter had not fired. The shutter cocking lever moves but there is obviously nothing happening, and the shutter lever also moves but without firing the shutter.

    Is there something obvious I'm missing or is the thing terminal?

  2. Your shutter is sicking, needs a service.
  3. Seiko shutters weren't the finest construction to begin with, and yours is now nearly 50 years old. If it hasn't been serviced in all that time, what do you expect?
  4. Lack of use no help either.
  5. Since the shutter is in the lens it might be less expensive to find another lens. As long as the camera works properly.
  6. After you get the lens back from a decent CLA, always store the shutter in the B (bulb) position AFTER firing from the B setting. Relaxes all springs. This is sound advice for any camera / lens combo even if it will just sit a few days. It is a PITA at times, but I spend about two hours the first of the month running thru all my cameras and lenses. Pick an evening time and have a brewsky. Aloha, Bill
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  7. This is sensible advice but for whatever reason my camera, a Fujica folder, cannot be folded unless the shutter is cocked. It also doesn't have a Bulb option. Just "T"

    I'm thinking there's a reason that it has to be cocked. I just don't know what it is. My guess is that for the linkage to operate correctly, the shutter has to be in some known position before folding and the linkage is disconnected. I just wonder why they chose cocked instead of fired.
  8. It all depends on how the springs were heat treated when they were made. Springs seldom fail when stored either in tension or relaxed. The problems occur from the action of putting a spring in tension, and then releasing that tension. Done too much, shortens the life of the spring. Another problem lies with lubricants used in the mechanisms. Older lubes tend to gel and solidify, making those springs have to work harder.

    I shoot pistols, favoring the Colt 1911 in .45 ACP. I have some magazines which date from WWII, and were stored at full capacity in the 1950's. Seventy years later, I've yet to have a failure with those springs.
  9. Congrats! Very fun and versatile camera (like 'em so much I own two C220F and one original C220).

    This is typical of random Mamiya TLR lenses that may have been sitting unused for a long time. The exercise trick sometimes helps get the slow speeds working again, but the problem often returns after the camera sits a couple weeks and ultimately requires proper servicing.

    Sadly, this is also very very common with "as-found" Mamiya TLR lenses, and it definitely requires a proper servicing (CLA) to cure. Aside from not opening at all, the most common Mamiya TLR lens issue I've seen is all the shutter speeds seem to fire at 1/250, or the slow speeds all fire at 1/30 while all the fast speeds fire at 1/60. Some here have posted of success with DIY repairs, but the several attempts I made over the years all failed. The Mamiya TLR lenses are deceptively simple: the mechanism itself isn't at all complicated, but getting all the parts to synchronize correctly after opening/cleaning/lubing can be trickier than you'd think. There are a couple of retaining rings that can be insanely fussy, etc. But any professional camera repair tech can fix the Mamiya TLR lenses blindfolded, and the cost should not be unreasonable.

    Not terminal, but will need a full proper service (which I assume you've had done by now, as I just noticed this thread began back in September). Its isn't usually the mainspring but dried up old lube or dislodged part that drags the slow speeds or prevents firing. Depending on the lens focal length and version, it is sometimes more cost effective to replace it with another that the seller guarantees is working (i.e. working 135mm lens pairs can often be found for only $60).

    OTOH, all these lenses are at least 25 years old now, so even one that is working perfectly today could fail next week. If the glass and cosmetics in your existing non-firing lens are clean, a proper mechanical service will make it perfect, and it should then run reliably without a problem for many years. While the Seiko shutters do tend to gum up and seize after sitting unused for a decade, after an overhaul they tend to stay in good shape for the next decade.
    cameragary likes this.
  10. As andrewbergman noted on another thread re Mamiya RB67 lenses: also check the flash sync setting.

    Don't know how I could have forgot that bug, as its bitten me countless times. The M setting for flashbulbs introduces a mechanical delay in shutter operation. Since flashbulbs have not been widely used by pros since the late1960s, the M sync mechanism of most Mamiya lenses has rarely if ever gotten any exercise in decades. If the sync selector on the TLR lenses gets knocked even a hair off from exactly X position, the disused gummed-up M gearing can cause all manner of apparent "shutter breakdowns", including the symptoms described by OP of this thread. This was such a well known problem that many second-hand Mamiya lenses have the sync arrow superglued in the X position (a sure sign the lens was owned by a pro at some point).

    When one of these lenses suddenly acts up, try firmly pushing the sync control toward X, to the degree you almost bruise your fingertip. If this doesn't return functions to normal, the lens probably has deeper issues that require repair.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
    NHSN likes this.
  11. It is because you have been away from for so long ;)
    You have been missed. Glad to see you back!
  12. ...this very thing happened with one of my C 330 lenses today (65mm). I noticed when the bulb setting allowed the shutter to close prematurely. Testing with the lens off- body, showed a 'delayed action' effect at all speeds with the shutter only firing a few seconds after triggering. I swapped the lens for a functional 80mm to take the photo, then started to contemplate my options with the 'faulty' 65mm. It seemed fine a few months before. Careful inspection revealed that the x/m synchro had indeed slipped off x. Returning it fully to x, and the shutter was working again! Quite a relief. These cameras really do have bits sticking out all over the place. The flash synch must have been disturbed by accident, and the x/m lever is small and almost unnoticeable, tucked away on the side of the lens.

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