Frequently Asked Questions
I thoroughly enjoy talking with people all over the
world about Mamiya 35mm cameras. However, I hear some of the same
questions over-and-over-and-over, and it sometimes does get
a little tedious. Some of the repetitive questions are better handled
by a page like this, so I have more time to enhance the site, enjoy
my grandchildren and, heavens! actually use some of
the cameras I have collected! If you can't find the answer you want, please
join my Collecting Mamiya 35mm Forum, and post your question
where lots of folks can try to answer you!
These are some of the questions I receive
most often... (not necessarily in any order):
...and these are some of the answers I give to them!
Q: What is my Mamiya
has to be the Number One question I am asked (and it is often about
non-Mamiya cameras)! The best answer in any case: "What
will someone give you for it?" That might sound flippant, but
it's true! I believe the price of any older camera is exactly
what the buyer and seller agree upon as the sale price at any
given moment in time.
If you follow these transactions long enough, you begin to see an
"average" price that people will tend to pay for a specific
item. Not the lowest selling point...and certainly not the highest
possible, either...but a comfortable spot in-between...an average.
So, in order to answer this frequently-requested question, I created
my Auction Prices
page, listing auction price averages for nearly every vintage Mamiya
35mm camera (the only exceptions are the "point-and-shoot"
Mamiya cameras, on which I collect no data). Remember, the prices
you see in the table are average prices for cameras in very
good condition. Remember too, just as there will always be someone
willing to pay more, there will always be someone who says "You've
got to be kidding!"
If you are inclined to ask me how much your Mamiya might be worth,
please check this Auction
Prices page first. If you still can't find the information
you need, then feel free to email me. I will try my best to
acknowledge your inquiry and answer your question (no guarantee),
but please don't abuse the privilege. I normally charge by the hour,
whether you take my advice or not!
Q: What lenses were
available for my Mamiya 35mm camera?
don't forget that these are old cameras, and lenses for them
are only available on the "used" market. Where original
equipment information is known, links have been provided on the specific
camera pages to pages that list the lenses and accessories that were
originally available. Check the individual camera page listings. If
no link appears for lenses, it means the information either has not
been compiled, or I have not located definitve information and only
sketchy data is available, if at all.
Please note there is no information listed on my site at all for lenses
made by manufacturers other than Mamiya. I will leave that effort
to someone building a site specifically for those lenses. That is,
of course, unless some Gentle Reader comes through with a wealth of
information! So, if you have such data (verifiable, please) for third-party
lenses (such as Revuenon or Osawa) you would like to contribute, please
consider joining my Collecting
Mamiya 35mm Forum to tell us about it (it's free)!
Q: Do you have
any information on the current selling price of the Mamiya lenses
for the old Mamiya 35mm SLR cameras?
a matter of fact, YES! I have been collecting data for a long
time on the auction prices of old Mamiya SLR lenses, and that has
now been published on my Lens
Auction Prices page!
Q: I need service
on my Mamiya 35mm camera, but my local tech says he cannot do the
job. Can you recommend someone?
are excellent repair facilities listed on my Related
Links page that I can recommend from both reputation and
experience. A very good one is Essex
Camera in New Jersey. While they may not be able to service
every old Mamiya SLR, they are highly recommended for most, from the
TL-series and newer. Other service facilities that may have helped
you with Mamiya 35mm SLR in the past will be added if you will just
tell me about them. If you find others, by all means, let
me know! Once I can verify their service, I will add them
to my "Links" page!
NOTE: Gentle Reader Ken Kline from Toronto, has written to
tell me about two shops in that city who still service the old Mamiya
35mm SLRs. I have spoken to each of them, but have never used their
service. Only Commercial
Camera had a web site when I last spoke
to them (although International Camera is working on one),
so you may have to do some good old-fashioned calling!
Commercial Camera Repair, Telephone: 1-416-223-2257
(ask for Gord)
International Camera Repair, Telephone:
1-800-340-5937 (ask for Stan)
If you use either facility, please post a critique on my
Mamiya 35mm Forum, so every reader will know what you discovered!
Q: Is there
a place in Europe where I can get service on my Mamiya 35mm cameras?
A: A Gentle Reader of
this site sent information about
Sendean Cameras, in the UK, as a repair
service that still works on the old Mamiya SLR line. When I contacted
them, Sendean verified that information and said, "We service all
cameras and have dedicated Mamiya technicians specifically for the
older range and professional cameras."
I have not personally used their service facility (and from my location
here in the USA would have little occasion to do so), and have received
no reports about the quality of their service (other than the original
note, which was full of praise). If you use Sendean, please use my
Forum to tell everyone about your experience with them!
I also heard from several sources that Mamiya Corporation of Germany
has been helpful in servicing old Mamiya 35mm, particularly the later
ones (TL-series forward).
However, when I contacted them, they indicated that their supply of
parts has been rather depleted and they are no longer offering
full service on these cameras. They did not rule out an occasional
bit of assistance, however, so I would at least ask! You can inquire
about it directly from them by clicking
here. So far, those are the only non-North American facilities
that anyone has brought to my attention.
Q: Where is the best place
to sell my Mamiya camera?
A: I'm not sure I know the
best place to sell any camera! I have sold them at camera fairs, garage
sales and even following conversations in the supermarket! I buy a
few at the same fairs, garage or estate sales on occasion (before
you deluge me with sale offers, there are only a few Mamiya 35mm in
which I might still be interested -- see below)! However, I can tell
you without hesitation that my personal favorite place to buy and
sell old cameras is
Q: Will my Mamiya NC1000
lenses fit a Mamiya ZE? (read also: ZE-2, ZE-X or ZM)
A: Yes, Mamiya CS lenses (the type
used on the NC) will fit the Z-series, but not without a loss of
the auto aperture function, which is not recommended. The lens
will also be skewed about 90° in the mount.
In one of the unfortunate (in my opinion) marketing blunders made
by Mamiya Corporation, the E- or EF-series lenses made for the Z-series
cameras cannot be used on the earllier Mamiya NC1000 &
NC1000s because of a different pin-reading element...even though both
are bayonet-mount lenses with a similar mount!
Q: I cannot find Mamiyalite
flash unit information on your site. Have I missed it?
A: No. There is no Mamiya flash
unit information published on the site right now, although instruction
manual reprints for the Mamiyalite ZE and MZ 18R are available on
my Instruction Manuals
Q: Do you own all the Mamiya
cameras you show on your site?
A: Not quite, but I'm getting close.
Q: Are there Mamiya 35mm
cameras you are specifically interested in buying?
A: Yes, I'm still looking for a
Mamiya Sketch and the original Mamiya Prismat
(the one with the curved nameplate on the prism -- c.1960). If you
have either of these available (in any reasonable condition)
please contact me!
Q: Do you really have all
of the "other" cameras you list on your site (such as your
German, Russian and Kodak cameras)?
A: Yes. That part of my collection
is not as comprehensive as my Mamiya collection, but I have each camera
listed (as well as multiples of some, and some that aren't listed
at all), including a growing collection of old Kodak & Voigtländer
folders, Speed Graphics, view cameras and Russian rangefinders. Along
with my regular Mamiya collection, they take up quite a bit of room
(much to the consternation of my wife). I do not, however, have a
lot of support documentation about them. There are instruction manual
reprints available for some, and if you need one, check my
Q: Do you have the complete
lens system for each camera?
A: No. And I sincerely doubt I
ever will. I have many of the different focal length Mamiya lenses
that were made for the DTL and NC, but it would be senseless (and
expensive) to accumulate every focal length lens for every camera
I own, particularly since I will seldom ever find time to use the
ones I have!
Q: Do you have lens system
information for each camera?
A: No. Comprehensive data has been
hard to find. I have added as much information as I have been able
to verify in the available tables. I am certain there were aftermarket
lenses such as Osawa, Revuenon, Tamron, Spiratone and others for many
of the Mamiya models, that I have no information about.
Q: Do you do camera appraisals?
A: An emphatic NO. An appraisal
would require me to physically inspect your camera or system, and
I do not want to get involved in shipping items back and forth,
traveling, or waiting for someone to show up on my doorstep. This
is only a hobby for me, not a job.
However, if someone wants a sight-unseen guess as to the value of
their camera (and they have not figured out how to use my
Auction Pricing tables), I will be happy to charge a flat
$25.00 fee (payable in advance via PayPal) and email them my
opinion. Just contact
me about where to send your
money. But that's a lot to pay
for an opinion that is little more than a guess without actually seeing
Q: Do you sell these vintage
A: If you mean directly from my
web site, the answer is no. My site is for providing information about
these vintage 35mm cameras, not for selling them. I do sell cameras,
camera bodies, or lenses from my collection occasionally, but that
is usually on eBay.
Q: Why don't you sell current
Mamiya medium-format film cameras, or the new Mamiya ZD medium-format
digital camera on your site?
A: I would like to. In fact, I
approached Mamiya USA about advertising and selling their medium-format
cameras on my site. However, they apparently do not license such online
selling unless the seller also has a physical "storefront" presence,
which I, alas, do not.
Q: Do you have information on
the old Mamiya Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) cameras?
A: Not much. My collecting interest
has been limited to Mamiya 35mm SLR cameras, and this site is dedicated
to them. I did recently acquire some old Mamiya TLR and medium-format
information. Reprints of the instructions I have will be available
on my Manuals
Q: I have an old Mamiya 35mm
that has fungus on the lens. Do you know how I can clean it? Nothing
seems to work on that stuff!
A: I have to assume you know how
to disassemble your lens to get the glass separate from the rest of
the mechanism. That done, make a small 50-50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide
and regular ammonia, and wipe it directly (Q-Tips work well) on the
fungus. It will literally melt right off! Follow up with clean water
or a lens cleaner. Visit my How
To section for more information.
Q: I would like to clean
the reflex mirror in my camera. How do I go about it?
A: First of all, I would definitely
not recommend self-cleaning the mirror. However, if you insist
on pursuing it yourself, use plain water on lens-cleaning paper. I
have also heard it recommended to use a diluted solution (about one
drop per cup of water) of dishwasher rinse aid (not the soap).
Do NOT use lens cleaner! With some mirrors, the silvering can
come off, leaving you with just a clear (albeit clean) piece of glass!
Q: What is the difference between
a Mamiya tele-extender and an extension tube?
A: An extension tube is essentially
a hollow device that goes between the camera body and lens. Moving
the existing lens farther from the film plane allows for closer (or
macro) focusing of your lens. A tele-extender contains glass optical
elements that change the focal length of your lens (i.e; a 2X tele-extender
would make a 50mm lens function as a 100mm lens). The number associated
with the tele-extender indicates the degree of magnification.
Q: Are all the pictures
on your site of your own cameras?
A: Almost all of them are, but
a very few are shots used with the written permission of the original
owner. I give credit when someone asks for it, in return for the use
of the image. Regardless of where the images came from, the entire
site is copyright protected, and neither images or text can be used
without my written permission.
Q: Where can I get instruction
manuals for my Mamiya 35mm SLR camera?
A: You may look elsewhere if you
like, but you will find one of the most comprehensive collections
of support information for Mamiya 35mm rangefinders, fixed-lens and
SLR cameras right on this web site, on my Instruction
Q: Why do you have advertising
links on your site?
A: Good question! I would like
to be able to present a nice, clean, ad-free information site. In
fact, that is exactly how this site started.
However, as the effort grew, so did the expense associated with it.
The ad links on most pages list other sites that pay for traffic,
and I have them here to help generate revenue to offset site maintenance
costs (Hint: it isn't working)!
Q: Why don't you give away
instruction manual copies, instead of charging for them?
A: Another good question! I suppose
that would be nice but, as I said before,
I already have a considerable investment just in gathering all of
this information (and a lot of it I've had to buy), not to mention
the costs of maintaining the site itself. Quite honestly, it
costs me far more each month to continue the site than I have ever
If money had never been a concern in my life, instead of one that
rears it's ugly head each month, this is something I probably would
do for free, because I enjoy it. I will continue to gather Mamiya
information for myself as long as I am able, but it gets expensive
to make it available to others. Offering reprints of information is
just an attempt to help the site pay for itself.
Believe me, so far it's only an attempt, because it definitely
does not pay for itself! There's not enough traffic. But if
anyone would actually like to make a donation to help out, please
feel free to do so - and I promise I will be very, very grateful!