Major Problem With a Mamiya 645E!

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by danac, Sep 29, 2021.

  1. i bought this camera from someone in Japan on ebay a couple weeks ago (for a ton of money). Yesterday I made some images with it, developed and scanned them today. I used two different lenses and the results were the same. The camera was advertised as new/unused. All images were like the one below and there is a strange dark curved area at the edge of each photo. The film was Delta 100 with fresh DD-X developer. What in the world could have happened? I followed the manual out the window but... Besides that the LEDs were supposed to flash during the battery check and after advancing the film but did not do so.

    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
  2. Hi, tough luck. I don't know the camera and its interlocks, etc., but the first thing I'd try is to do a "time exposure" with lens removed so that you can see if there's anything hanging down in the top part of the film frame. Looks to me like a transparent sort of material partially jammed in the film gate. Maybe the same thing is somehow causing the center of the film to bulge out.

    If the camera doesn't allow operation with the lens off then do the same test with lens aperture wide open; use a small flashlight (aka "torch") to look inside.
  3. I know nothing about the camera but that looks like some kind of dreadful film/processing problem, combined with maybe not having the film follow the right path through the camera. Is it possible to fire the shutter with the back off to see if it's working correctly? Or with the lens off?
    robert_bowring likes this.
  4. Looks like a piece of paper, or protective plastic film over the film gate... you said it was advertised as new? Packaging still there?
  5. The manual does mention some internal packaging material that has to be removed before use. Also, remove the lens and shine a flashlight up through it. That's a severe test and it's common to see very slight hazing on older lenses, but it should be reasonably clear and free of fungus. If you see a white tangled mess, that would be a problem.
  6. I hate to say it, but... You was warned!
    The out-of-focus could be due to the dreaded cracked mirror rest that late-model M645s are prone to.

    The curved intrusion is a mystery though. Looks like there's some obstruction in the mirror-box or film gate. Which will be at the top, since the image is inverted in the camera.

    Whatever, I foresee that camera making its way back to Japan.
  7. On further viewing it looks like there could have been a protective film over the shutter, and under the film-insert, that hasn't been peeled off.

    If so, it needs removing pronto before it fouls the shutter. (And a crazy thing to add to any camera IMHO.)

    But that doesn't explain the LEDs not lighting up. Is there a Battery Check button to press?
  8. I am just this moment, the honored recipient of the IDIOT OF THE WEEK award. When I removed the film insert a piece of cellophane was innocently covering the entire shutter. In my own mind I can be partly forgiven as this was my first experience with anything other than a 35mm film cassette. Or maybe not. You be the judge.
  9. Problems are only obvious once you figure them out. Until then, they're a complete mystery and all can be forgiven.
  10. Thank you Conrad. I really needed that. In my own defense though the instructions in the box were in Japanese only and my Nihon-go is very limited. I spent the Summer of 1969 studying judo in Tokyo (that turned out quite well as I am now a 4th level black belt). Besides that the downloaded manual warned to change film in subdued light. I loaded the first roll of film in very dim light so it was easy to miss the cellophane as my attention was fully on the film insert. I will expose a roll of film today for a test and immediately develop and scan the negatives. If all goes well the return request can be cancelled. I can live with the non-functioning battery LED.
  11. The battery check is performed by depressing the shutter button half-way before the film is advanced.
  12. Okay. How's this?

    Deb Rocks.jpg

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