Mamiya 6MF Mystery Button

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by crowdspotting, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Hello all,
    I have two Mamiya 6MF cameras and have discovered an odd difference between them that I cannot explain. I am hoping the group may help me find the answer.

    One of my 6MF cameras has a rewind button on the base plate, near the battery compartment. The other 6MF does not have this rewind button, but rather a flat metal cover that cannot be pressed.
    This is important to me because I use the panoramic adapter, and the camera without the rewind button will not allow me to rewind the film once I reach the end of a roll.
    Has anyone had this issue before? Does your 6MF have rewind button, or not?

    Thanks for any advice you can provide.

    - Jeff
    P.S. Both cameras are in the 315XXX serial number range, and it appears they were built about 1000 units apart.
  2. Rewind button? There is no such thing on MF cameras! Anyone ever tried to rewind a roll of 120? Just about impossible! I wonder if this is just a difference in the way the spools are tensioned or fitted. I have a 7, but am too lazy to pull it out and look.
  3. John, there are rewind buttons on MF cameras (see the camera on the right, in the picture above). The panoramic adapter for the 6MF allows you to use 35mm film instead of 120.
  4. OK, that makes sense. But maybe the panoramic adapter came out later and so one model has the rewind button and the older one didn't anticipate needing it.
  5. Too bad the serial number of the one lacking rewind is cut off in the above photo. Which camera has the earlier #?
  6. One camera is 314326, and the other is 315405.
    It would be easy to conclude that Mamiya changed the camera at the 315,000 mark. However, being that it was sold as a "multi-format" camera (and the earliest manuals that I've found all contain a reference to the panoramic adapter, and show the rewind button in the photographs) it just doesn't make sense.
    Of course, the "multi-format" feature also included a 6x4.5 mask, so it's conceivable that the first 6MF cameras were produced without the panoramic adapter option and were later modified once the adapter became available.
    I would have expected this to be mentioned somewhere though, since there are a ton of reviews, discussions and other materials available online.
  7. According to Bob Shell's "Mamiya Pro Guide" (1995 supplement), the Mamiya 6MF was "added" to the Mamiya 6 offerings. Therefore there might have been overlapping serial numbers.
  8. I have 2 Mamiya 6's serial 304xxx and 309xxx. Neither has the mystery rewind button. An even bigger mystery may be how to use it without a "rewind crank". Never saw the panorama kit - but I thought it simply cropped the 120 or 220 film. If it does use 35mm film how do you rewind the film into the cartridge?
  9. Looks like there is a 35mm kit. Came with its own rewind crank. See this link to a used kit
  10. Thanks Mike. I've got the 35mm pano kit, and it comes with its own rewind crank that you attach to the bottom of the camera.

    When you reach the end of the roll of 35mm film, you press the "rewind button" and then use the crank just like you would on a regular 35mm SLR or rangefinder.
    The problem with one of my 6MF cameras is, there is no rewind button!

    If your cameras are Mamiya 6 models, as you mention above, then you won't have the rewind button. Only the 6MF model has the rewind button, and thus capable of using the pano adapter.
  11. Normally, the (two) disk shaped spaces on both 6 and 6MF camera body baseplates are the 120 roll spool centering pins, which click out for spool entry and are pushed back in to secure the spools, during film loading. In the 6MF model, one such disk (that shown by Jeff) can be retrofitted later with the button assembly of the 35mm film panorama kit. One reason I bought the regular 6 and not the MF model was that I had no use for the pano kit. Any panorama I wish to make can be done on 120 film and then the film cropped to give that particular aspect ratio (24:56).
  12. Hello Arthur,
    I am interested in knowing more about your explanation, "In the 6MF model, one such disk (that shown by Jeff) can be retrofitted later with the button assembly of the 35mm film panorama kit."
    The 35mm panorama kit does not include any kind of button assembly that the user must install on the camera. See attached picture.
    All of the pictures of other 6MF cameras I have been able to find online show the rewind button in place, as though it was installed in the factory.
    This is truly a strange mystery and I am beginning to think that my 6MF was repaired at some point before I owned it, and perhaps the repair person used a spool centering pin from a Mamiya 6 by mistake, instead of the rewind button assembly. This is the only explanation I can think of...

  13. Jeff, as I do not own the MF model my answer was a bit conjecture in nature. I hope I am not confusing the issue by that ignorance. I have instead two Mamiya 6 regular models (which I love), where the disks are simply part of the spool centering and charging - they are on springs and you can have them clicked out from the baseplate to allow the spool or film to be placed in position. You no doubt have that on one end at least of your 6MF. My conjecture was that the button assembly replaces one of the disks, to allow the 35 mm holder and rewind button to be placed in its spot. The first photo link seems to show the rewind button on the end of the assembly, but my eyesight may be faulty.
    In any case, how do you place 120 film spools in that end of the camera if you have a button and not a spring loaded disk? Perhaps te button assembly is a factory original item and that the whole assembly around the button pops out like the disk. If not, there must be some way to remove the button assembly and replace it with the disk when you shoot 120, no?
    Perhaps your camera with the disk only is a regular model and not an MF model, and/or someone has replaced the original 6 top cover with a later 6MF one?
  14. Aurthur,
    My apologies for misreading your posting. Your input and experience with these cameras is greatly appreciated.
    The rewind button is a sort of "combination" disk. It's permanently attached to the camera. It has both the spring-loaded mechanism that holds 120 reels in place, as well as the center button which allows 35mm film to be rewound. From the pictures that I can see online (such as 6MF cameras for sale/sold on eBay), all 6MFs have the rewind button.
    So, I am agreement with your theory that something was changed on the camera later on, perhaps in a repair. I do think that a repair person probably replaced the rewind button "combination disk" with a flat disk from a regular 6 model. The reason that I think that this is likely, instead of the top cover being replaced, is that the viewfinder has the extra lines for the 6x4.5 and panoramic format adapters, which of course only appear on the 6MF model.
    Thanks Aurthur for your help and input. And to the others that replied, I thank you as well.

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