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mamiya super 23 question

 
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mgluss



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i just purchased a mamiya super 23 and cant fire the camera. how does one cock the camera. i put film in the back, set the counter to 1 and took the slide out but nothing. help!! thank you
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1892
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2006-04-25 20:47, mgluss wrote:
i just purchased a mamiya super 23 and cant fire the camera. how does one cock the camera. i put film in the back, set the counter to 1 and took the slide out but nothing. help!! thank you
There's a cocking lever on the shutter. Film advance and shutter cocking are not coupled. Welcome to the wonderful world of press cameras.
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ASpeedGraphic



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 24
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

Sounds like you are having trouble with the camera. Let me know if you want to unload it...

Just kidding. These are great cameras. I have a sweet one myself, early silver model with the ground glass back for 6X9 sheet film and its matching lens. Seriously, though. I am surprised you even have this camera if you don't know this. They are not well known among people who are not already camera nerds. Really, it's no big deal. They are called "press" cameras, but when they came out these things were very rarely used by the press anyhow, so speed wasn't really an issue.

You need to cock the shutter, which is located right behind the lens. I assume you have one of the two 100mm 3.5s available for the camera. It's called a leaf shutter. What you are used to is called a focal plane shutter. The leaf shutter is right behind the lens, while the focal plane shutter is right in front of the film.

The focal plane shutter is a great type of shutter to have, and in almost all cases the shutter is automatically cocked when you advance the film. The pain is that you can only use flash up to a certain shutter speed, and you can get weird distortion on objects if they are moving to fast to be frozen (like the old picture of the race car that looks like it's a cartoon because of the forward leaning oblong wheels). On teh Super 23, you are dealing with an old style shutter, like those found on pretty much any large format camera and some medium format ones.

Your lens has a few conrols. First, there is the shutter cocking lever. It's a small level on the top of the lens. Near it, there should be a button to open the shutter for composing the image on the ground glass if you have it. You won't use this very often unless you are using the ground glass or checking something out with your lens. There is also the shutter release lever (above which there should be a bracket for the cable release triggered from the handle) and the aperture ring (or needle on some lenses).

Once you cock the shutter, you can trip it with your left hand using the button on the grip or with your right hand on the shutter itself to make your exposure. Then, you make two complete strokes of the advance lever, cock your shutter, set your new exposure if necessary, and you are ready again. This is how it was done for years upon years. 35mm cameras were a very expensive luxury when they first came out.

It would behoove you to learn on one of these fully manual "dinosaurs". It will help you fully understand, appreciate, and make better use of your 35. It will teach you to think about your composition, it will teach you technique, and it will teach you about the mechanics of the camera. It will REALLY teach you about exposure! I quickly dropped my 35 for a long time when I got my Super 23. I discovered it was the aspect ratio that I really loved more than anything, and you have the same one with 6X9. I would hang onto that camera and learn it inside out. It's not a question of one vs. the other, but, rather knowing what camera to use for what situations. The 35 has a spontaneous quality like no other, but you can get darn close with your 23 or a Graphic.

[ This Message was edited by: ASpeedGraphic on 2006-05-11 00:24 ]
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