Mamiya Press Built in Viewfinder

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by marco_vera|1, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. I have a question on a mamiya press camera, early type with graflock
    backs and no framelines.

    I found one at a REAL auction site an I am thinking about bidding on
    it, but have the following question I need answered:

    I understand the camera has a built in finder mask (of some kind) to
    adjust for different focal lengths. What should I be seeing in the
    viewfinder that indicates the limits of the frame? I took the lens
    off, found two "cams" at the 12 o'clock position one is for the RF
    the other I believe should "sense" the focal length and adjust some
    sort of mask? Am I correct? I cant see anything changing in the view

    The camera comes with a 90mm, a 65mm and a 250mm f8.0. What sort of
    applications can this last lens have?!? Can't be hand held, pretty
    sure need to use the ground glass to frame & focus..ground glass with

    Can some one help with approx. pricing? Ebay does not have this model
    with the graflock back listed recently...I would imagine $150.00 with
    the 90mm lens? I have found some pricing for the 65mm..but is the
    250mm worth anything...

  2. m_.


    If you want that focal length with this camera, you have no choice but to use it. the focus will sure be a little dimmer but again, no choice.
  3. There's usually a sliding mask on the front of the finder that gives you 150 by blocking off the appropriate part of the viewfinder. 90mm is just the whole finder. The 65mm requires an accessory finder. The second "cam" merely senses when the 90mm/100mm is collapsed, and blocks off the rangefinder spot since it's not accurate with the lens collapsed.

    There is no factory 250 framing with the older bodies. The newer bodies (Super 23 and Universal) the have 250 frame line, but the 250/8 doesn't even move them for parallax correction.

    I paid nearly $200 for my 250/8 on ebay. They seem to be rarer than the 250/5, they're a lot lighter, and have better sharpness and contrast too. They're just not rangefinder coupled. A lens this long really isn't that tough to focus on the ground glass, even at f8. Mamiya brought this concept back a few years ago with the uncoupled 210/8 for the Mamiya 7. Somebody must want this configuration... Oh, and the 250/5 has a pin on it the prevents it from mounting at all on the older bodies, so for them, the 250/8 is the only 250.

    A word of warning--the Press-era Mamiya Graflock backs had pretty awful film flatness. If you're going to use it much I'd suggest an early Mamiya RB back, which will fit and provide better flatness. The other, longer "M" back is a much better functional design than reverse curl backs, even modern non-vacuum backs can't beat it for flatness. It's just really ugly and kinda awkward.

    To me, the finder in the later Super 23/Universal is so much better that it's just not worth it to mess with Standards and Deluxes, although sometimes my Standard gets retrieved from the back of the closet and has my 50/6.3 put on it when I want to shoot multiple bodies at once when I'm doing 15-minute night exposures.

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