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.

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