Mamiya Press Super 23 and the 6x9 Format

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by a._robert, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Hey all. I just got a good deal on a Mamiya Press Super 23 kit with 3 lenses, 3 backs, ground glass, a bunch of other stuff and most important to this posting, 3 Type A Cut Film/Plate Holders. I'm very well versed in the world of medium format and have used plenty of 645, 6x6, and 6x7 in my day, but 6x9 is new to me. For this particular camera, from what I understand, there are 6x9 backs that use strip film in addition to what was included in mine (listed above). Without ever seeing one, I can imagine that it would be just like shooting 6x7, correct me if I'm wrong. But the reason for this post is this: the 6x9 holders that I have are for individual negatives to be shot one at a time like 4x5. I focus it with the ground glass, lock it, and place in the film holder then in the camera. Got it. But how or where do I get the film from? Do I get a roll of 120 and somehow cut it to size in a darkroom?? Does it come already pre-cut to size like 4x5 sheet film does? I'm sorry if this seems like an easy question but I've never had to deal with this before. A little guiding in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. - Adam
  2. There is an ADOX CHS 100 9x12cm 50 sheet film on the market that you have to cut in the middle to get a 6x9cm sheet. It is not that expensive and brings you on 23ยข/shot.
  3. You didn't get any 6x9 backs with the camera? I have 2 6x7s and a 6x9 so I haven't bothered using the cut film holders. I recommend just buying a 6x9 roll film back.
  4. Don't know how easy it would be to get, but the Adox site lists 6x9 film size along with a whole slew of other sheet films.
  5. Yes, if you want to shoot 6x9 I agree with Greg here, they have roll film backs with 6x9 film gate.
  6. I've bought 6x9 sheet film from B&Hphotovideo. Also, Freestyle has it, too.
    Adam, I have the Universal with 2 lenses, 3 backs. One 6x9, the Polaroid back, and the Model P focusing hood. Welcome to the Mamiya Press community! Have one sheet film holder. But, not the groundglass back for it.
  7. Well that all sounds great. I will check out Adox film and also look into a 6x9 roll back. 6x9 interests me a lot, but I really would like to take advantage of the tilting back (didn't even know it had one till I got it home!) and I think I can only do that with the ground glass and individual cut film. I just looked on Freestyle and it looked as though all they had was Fotokemika Efke in iso 25 & 100. Anyone had any experience with it? Any precut color film around to anyones knowledge? Preferably transparency... I checked B&H for 6x9 and it looked as though they no longer sold it. Thanks everyone for the help!
  8. As long as you don't change your focus or move your back, you can just replace your ground glass holder with the 6x9 rollfilm back.
  9. Hadn't really thought of that... I guess that would work. I would be on a tripod so that sounds like the way to go.
  10. Didn't you say in your post that the camera comes with three backs? What kind of backs are they? One assumes on reading it that you mean roll film backs.
    Maybe I'm just dense....
  11. Do your backs use 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 size film or 6.5x9cm size? Both are available from Freestyle but make sure you get the right size. Also how are you going to process the film? I use a Nikor sheet film tank for 2 1/4 x 3 1/4. Those small sheets are fun to try but for the long term I would look for a 6x9 roll back. Unless you are heavy into the Zone System and want to individually process each sheet for different times.
  12. Adam, it's going to be very difficult to find 6x9 sheet film in color. Especially in E-6. Most people who use sheet film, do it in B&W. B&H has Efke 6x9 in 25, 100 and accepting orders in 50 ASA. I guess it's called ISO now.
  13. @ Micheal:I'm not sure the exact models, but 2 of them are newer with nothing written on the on the back other than Mamiya 6x7 Roll Film Holder. They are both both silver on the top with a black leatherette backing that wraps around the sides were the roll is held. The third back is, I'm guessing an older model because it is worn out and dated looking. It also has a knob to advance film instead of a lever or cocking mechanism like the first two. And finally, on the back of this one it there is an indentation with 6x4.5 and 6x6 windows (to check film advancement). And yes, these three are all roll film backs.
    @ Chuck: I believe that you're asking about the sheet film backs correct and not the regular three. If that is the case, the boxes that the sheet film holders came in say "Cut Film Holder Type A for Mamiya Press 6.5 x 9cm (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.). As far as processing, I hadn't even thought ahead that far... If I found color film, I would take them to my lab, but B&W I could probably do myself if I learned how to process sheet film. I know how to process roll film. Yeah, I agree that a roll film back kind of sounds like the way to go now.
    @ Jack: From what I've found, or haven't found..., that's the way it appears. I would like to use color, but looks like I don't really have that option right now. Would you mind posting a link to B&H where you found the Efke for sale? I'm obviously looking in the wrong place. Thanks.
    Hope that helps. On the B&H website, I clicked on the "film, tapes and media" near the top. Then,under film the "120, 220 and sheet film". Then, "sheet film print". Then, the 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 under "size". The back that also has the 645 and 6x6 windows is the older Model K. I have one of those. The other two, The two I have are all black and are the Model 2's in 6x7. You might have the older version or the Silver and black model 2, if it came in that color arraigement. the first two backs you mentioned have a slot to put in the darkslide. The model K doesn't.
    Here's another link on the Press models from who many feel is the number one expert. My Universal is the black and silver model. I always wanted the all black version. But, Tony on this second link says that the black and silver models, the finish wears better. When I got my 6x9 sheet film box, it was the 125 speed Ilford. So, it might be possible to find Ilford film in that size sheets.
  15. Hello Adam, Firstly your 6x7 backs are model I if they don't have a storage slot for the darkslide, and model II, all black or silver, if they do. The model III has provision for a cable release, and a shutter release button. These are the holy grail because they make the grips redundant. For me the grips are redundant anyway as it is easier to manipulate the lens settings, *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* the shutter and release it, by cradling the camera like an overgrown 35mm. Your knob wind back is a model K, and may be in either 6x9 or 6x7 if it is earlier type with a film counter for the full image. I think the later type was 6x9 only, with masks for 6x6 and 6x45, all three formats via ruby window. Whether yours is 6x9 or 6x7 (unmasked), you will have to measure. Actual width will be closer to 8.5cm. if 6x9.
    Your ground glass screen is pretty good, not as bright as the fresnel right angle and straight viewers, but much more compact, and dandy with a small loupe when you slide the catch to let the lid open up to vertical.
    I am sure you realise by now that only the retracting versions of the 90 and 100 lenses will work with the moveable back of the super 23 at infinity, not without major surgery on the rear. At close focus the others may work for you though! You can download the instructions from
  16. @ Jack: Thanks a bunch. I guess I missed that somehow. I think I'm going to buy a pack and see what happens. And thanks for the other info!
    @ David: I'm guessing you were right about them being Model I backs because there is no slot for a dark slide... unfortunately. Any ideas on a "DIY" holder? They are a bit awkward to hold, I really need to get a strap for it in addition to just the grip. I've read that the retracting lenses are the only models I can use for the ground glass, but I haven't put it to use yet. I read that they need to be collapsed while shooting, correct? Thanks for all the extra knowledge.
  17. Adam, you can use any lens with the groundglass. I have a 100 3.5 and the 127 lens for my Universal. Also, have the Polaroid focusing screen that has the groundglass for Polaroid, 6x7 and 6x9. I can use either lens with it. With the 100 3.5 lens, and the back is extended the lens must also be retracted for distance shots. Non-retracting lenses will not focus beyond middle distances when the back is extended. It looks as if to keep the camera in Normal shooting mode. If the back is extended, then the lens must be retracted. If, the back is not extended, then the lens must be in it's normal mode. (Not-Retracted).

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