This article is about the camera made in the 1990s. For the earlier camera (1940–c.1959), see Mamiya Six.
The Mamiya 6 or New Mamiya 6 was released in 1989; is a modern rangefinder camera giving 6×6 cm images on 120 / 220 film. The body has a collapsing lens mount which accepts several interchangeable Mamiya lenses of very high quality. Lenses include a wide angle 50mm f/4.0, a standard 75mm f/3.5 and a telephoto 150mm f/4.5.
It uses an electronic shutter built into each lens with speeds from 1/500 to 4 seconds plus bulb exposure. Since it's a leaf shutter system, flash sync is available at all speeds. It can be used with either the hot shoe or the PC sync connector. An electronic self-timer is available with a delay of 10 seconds. When set, the LED in front is lit, and then blinks when about to release. A standard mechanical cable release can also be used. The base of the camera contains the built-in dark slide knob and knob lock. Closing and opening the slide allows you to change lenses without wasting an exposure. The lens can not be removed with the dark slide open. When closed the shutter will not release.
Film loading is the semi-automatic type, meaning you have to align the start indicator on the film to an indicator on the camera body. Setting the ISO speed is done by lifting up the outer ring of the shutter speed dial, rotate to the desired setting between 25 to 1600 ISO. Changing to 120 or 220 film requires rotating the pressure plate inside the film back. A memo clip is on the back as a reminder of the film type. Film advance is done manually via and advance crank.
The viewfinder is coupled to the rangefinder. It has bright frame lines that change automatically depending on the mounted lens. Along with frame lines, the finder displays shutter speed with over exposure (blinking triangle), B bulb, LT for long exposure time, underexposure is indicated with (blinking LT). In manual exposure mode, the chosen shutter speed is lit, while the metered speed blinks. A warning led is on the top right of the frame. It lights when the shutter is not cocked, there is no film loaded, lens mount is collapsed or dark slide is still covered.
The camera has an exposure meter that is a center-weighted average type that uses a SpD sensor with a range of 3.5 to 18 EV (ISO 100). Three exposure modes are available. AE (auto exposure), AEL (auto exposure lock) and manual exposure. On the shutter dial AE mode is indicated by a (circle) while AEL (square). The range of speeds on the knob are in 500, 250, 125, 60, 30, 15, 8, 4 and 2. Full seconds 1, 2, 4 plus B. The exposure compensation feature requires pressing a button by the shutter knob and rotating the base of the knob. Changes can be made in the range of ±2 EV in 1/3 stops. The camera is powered by 2x SR44 batteries.
After initial release, a minor change was done to the shutter knob. This time using the less cryptic A and AEL instead of circle and square.
Mamiya 6 MF
The Mamiya 6 MF is a revision that was made available in 1993. It is nearly identical to the New Mamiya 6 but supports multiple formats. The finder has changed a bit accommodating the different format frame sizes. It supports the default format of 6×6, as well as 6 ×4.5. This is done by using a masking insert. Since the mechanics did not change, the number of exposures remains the same, so you still get 12 exposures for 120 film and 24 for 220 film. It also supports 35mm film which can be used with the panoramic adapter which captures at 24 × 54 mm. 36 exposure rolls will get you 20 exposures, 24/12, and 12 will get 5 exposures.