Let’s talk about S&M … I mean Mamiya


Mamiya Koki Seisakusho (Mamiya Optical Works) was founded by businessman Tsunejiro Sugawara and engineer Seiichi Mamiya in 1940. The S M company logo was designed by students from the Japan Fine Arts School … which is still the same used today.

The first camera they produced was a folding medium format with an odd focusing mechanism … the lens did not move … the film plane does!!! Another oddity was the fact that this was the only camera they made for the first 8 years. They started producing their own shutters and lenses in 1947 and added new products like a TLR, submini and 35mm SLRs. In 1950 the Sekor lens name appeared. In 1957 they looked outside the box again and made a 35mm rangefinder with interchangeable backs (the Magazine 35) and an interchangeable lens TLR, (the Mamiyaflex C).

Mamiya would continue their modern camera line primarily with medium format. Mamiya Op Co was transferred from Mamiya-OP to Mamiya Digital Imaging Co. Mamiya-OP makes industrial and electronic devices and other things like golf clubs. Mamiya Digital Imaging is the current photographic company using the name.


The Mamiya SIX type III folding rangefinder


I cannot resist medium format folders … and this one is really cool. This has a coupled rangefinder using 6×6 film format.

The focusing is done by moving the film plane, instead of the lens.

About 13 versions of the Six/6 were made. This type III introduced in 1942 and was made throughout WWII and later. My Six is a pre-war version.

It has a K.O.L. Sola Special Anastigmat 7.5cm f/3.5 lens and NKS Tokio shutter.

The one that I just got needs a LOT of cleaning and it appears the focusing mechanism needs repair … I think there is even mold growing on the leather bellows !! Looking over the camera and especially the screws, it appears that this one has been taken apart before.


National Graflex – didn’t win

I was a little hopeful that I would be able to get this one working based on the description of the item before I purchased it … well, I was too hopeful. This is still a cool looking camera to add to my collection, and it is a Graflex !!

The lens is removable so that made it fairly easy to clean. Just pull off the U clip from the back of the lens … then push the lens forward until it can be pulled up-off.

Access the interior lens elements by screwing off the ring in the back and unscrewing the front cell.

There was some slight haze that was easily cleaned off.

Now the main problem with this camera was the shutter. I was anticipating that the shutter curtains were torn … but it appeared that at least the rear curtain was intact. I was able to turn the winding knob and saw that the front curtain was also intact … but the shutter winding would not stay cocked.

Time to open it up …

First remove the hood by removing the four screws at the corners.

There will be a clamping bracket under the screw that also come off.

I removed the plate on the left side and figured out that it is not necessary … but I will show you anyway.

Unscrew the small shutter release knob.

Remove the screw on the rewind knob and remove.

Remove the screws that hold the plate on.

The two bolts you see are holding the spring loaded shutter curtain take-up reels.

Now on to the right side

Remove the screw from the film counter dial. Pull off the dial. Remove the pointer arm.

Remove the screw from the shutter winder dial. Pull off the dial … note that there are multiple parts within the dial.

Remove the screw from the Bulb switch and pull off the little arm.

The mirror set lever has a screw and bolt through it … unscrew both.

Remove the four screws that hold the plate off.

These are the parts for the winding / shutter speed setting knob (including the gear that sits under the plate).

Not much here … and I did not find any info on the web to help me figure this out … so I moved stuff and guessed.

The golden gear at the bottom of the image (that sits under the winding knob) appeared to be the cause of the problems.

I can turn it to cock the shutter, but it would just freely wind back.

I pulled it off to take a look at what was happening underneath.

Ok, some more turning and guessing.

The gear underneath is responsible for moving the front shutter curtain. It was locking in place fine.

The gear that I removed (that was on top of it) is responsible for the rear curtain … and also locks it in place.

The toothed lever on the bottom looks like it locks the top gear.

Looking under the top gear … I can see that the tooth was worn down, so it no long could catch.

I would have to either mill a new part (I don’t have a mini milling machine) or get a replacement part.

Hopefully this will be of help for anyone else that is going to tackle restoring one of these … this one is sitting with the rest of my camera collection.



I was dealing with the dreaded issue with iPhone cords fraying at the ends … I used liquid electrical tape on them in the past, but I found that eventually it hardens too much after time and breaks off, or the cable starts fraying at the point where the liquid electrical tape ended.

Searching the web I found, and tried, a solution described by Liem Bahneman … Teflon Tape.

Actually the tape can’t be called “Teflon” tape as DuPont does not make this product anymore and it is a trademarked name … so it is PTFE tape, or plumbers tape.

Just start wrapping it around the affected area. Keep it tight and don’t be afraid of using a lot of it.

Just pull/tear it off when you are done.

The PTFE material does a nice job of sticking to itself so you do not need to adhere the ends.

Looks good and is flexible so to reduce the fraying in the future … thank you Liem.