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Mamiya TLRs

Mamiya started out with a fairly low-end conventional TLR in 1948, following up with a number of quite classy Rollei-type models, most using its own Sekor lenses, sometimes Olympus Zuiko ones. Then in 1957 it went for the professional market in a big way, with the giant "C" series of folding models with interchangeable lens sets (different series, chrome and black, all Sekor, copied in concept from the unsuccessful French Rex Reflex interchangeable-lens model of the early fifties), eventually ranging from 55mm to 250mm.

The three photos immediately below are from a photoshoot which Ivor Matanle organised with my cameras for his April 2006 article in Amateur Photographer. They show four of my early (pre-C-series) cameras, the three earlier C's, and then the C200 and C330, the late models. Following these pictures is the key section listing each camera individually - click on the thumbnail pic in each case to see larger versions.

The DEFINITIVE website for Mamiya C-series cameras is Graham Patterson's Mamiya System Summary.  The tables and other information provided are a vital resource if you're researching these unique cameras.

In May 2006, Ivor Matanle published an article on Mamiyaflexes in Amateur Photographer, in which he used my cameras for all the photos. This is reproduced HERE by kind permission of Gary Coward of AP.

If you have a good example of any of the models missing here, PLEASE LET ME KNOW

The early Mamiyaflexes (Pre-C Series)

Mamiyaflex Junior

The first of the line 1948 - fairly basic. This one is the second of three main variants, all front-geared focussing. "Made in Occupied Japan" on winder.
Lens Towa Koki Neocon 75mm f3.5
Shutter Stamina 1 to 1/200

Mamiyaflex I

Continuation of the front-geared line from 1951. The Mamiyaflex I and II are superficially very similar, but this one has no underline on nameplate.
Lens Setagaya Koki Sekor 75mm f3.5
Shutter Setagaya Merit 1 to 1/300

Mamiyaflex II

Very similar to Mamiyaflex I of previous year, but has sports finder, self-timer and cocking by film wind-on. Mamiya was starting to move up-market.
Lens Setagaya Sekor 75mm f3.5
Shutter Setagaya Merit 1 to 1/300

Mamiyaflex Automatic A

The classier A/B series were quite advanced - from c 1949. First Japanese Tlr with auto-filmstop, two dials for setting speed/aperture. Well made feel.
Lens Olympus Zuiko 75mm f3.5
Shutter Seikosha Rapid 1 to 1/500

Mamiyaflex Automat B

Dating from 1953, this dates from close to the end of the period when Mamiya still preferred Olympus Zuiko lenses for their top-end model (the A) and used Sekors for the B. The "Sekor" is still presented with the Setagaya Koki company name - they were soon to become "Mamiya-Sekor"
Lens Setagaya Koki Sekor 75mm f3.5
Shutter Seikosha Rapid 1 to 1/500

C Series Mamiyaflexes (Bellows Models)

The C series (early ones badged "Mamiyaflex", later ones just "Mamiya") were a major departure in TLR development, using bellows for close focusing (dowwn to 7") and a wide range of interchangeable paired lenses.

Mamiyaflex C

The original C Professional was launched in 1956/7, and is very rare, with production rapidly swithched to the improved C2 (right). It is distinguished by having only one focus knob (usually on the right, although I believe some left-handed ones were made.

Lens here is Sekor 80mm f2.8 (silver)
Seikosha-MX Shutter 1 to 1/400

Mamiyaflex C2

The C2 was launched in 1958, improved mainly by two focus knobs rather than one, by a removable hood and the Seikosha-S shutter on the standard lens. Rack extension/ bellows focus down to 7" transformed the TLR market. SHutters were also improved.
Lens here is Sekor 80mm f2.8 (silver)
Seikosha-S Shutter 1 to 1/500

Mamiya C3

The C3XX series differs from the C2xx chiefly by having a film-advance crank, rather than a knob. Auto exposure prevention. This is the first of the long-lived series, made c 1962

Lens here Sekor 80mm f3.7 (black)
Copal Shutter 1 to 1/500

Mamiya C33

The C33 series succeeded the C3 c 1965. Film-advance crank now tensioned the shutter. Automatic parallax compensation.

Lens here Sekor 135mm f4.5 (black)
Seiko Shutter 1 to 1/500

Mamiya C22

The first of this series was the C2, succeeding the Mamiyaflex C. The C22 (1966) is a lighter body with knob advance. 120/220 backs available.
Lens here Sekor 80mm f2.8 (silver), with Seikosha-S Shutter 1 to 1/500

Mamiya C220

Followed the C22 (1968). Small crank on wind knob. Single back takes 120/220 film. Later (1982) succeeded by a C220f with minor improvements.
Lens here Sekor 180mm f4.5 (silver), with Seikosha-S Shutter 1 to 1/500

Mamiya C330s

Last of the line (1983) after intermediate C330f. Lighter body, parallax indicator in viewfinder. Still widely used, top-quality camera. The linked page (click thumbnail) has a picture of a strange "Special Edition" of this camera.
Lens here Sekor 55mm f4.5 (black) with Seiko Shutter 1 to 1/500