Mamiya Six III

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History

Mamiya Six Model III (and its derivative, the Mamiya Six II) is unique inasmuch as its production straddles World War II. The Mamiya Six III was initially announced in March 1940,[1] before the outbreak of the Pacific War, and was produced as long as possible during the war until the factory had to be eventually moved from Tokyo in March 1945 due to increased U.S. air raids. Immediately after the war plans were made to restart production. Because the Mamiya Six seems to have been the first camera to have been ordered by the Central Purchasing Office of SCAP,[2] full scale production of the Mamiya Six III resumed as early as January 1946, when 46 units were delivered.[3]

War-time version

The camera was announced in February 1941[4] and introduced to the market in ¶¶ 1942[5] During the war, production volumes seem to have increased, twice necessitating an enlargement of the factory, first in February 1942 and then again in February 1944[6] In March 1944, Mamiya opened a secondary production facility at Tokyo University for the grinding and assembly of lenses.[7] The production of the Mamiya Six III was halted in March 1945, when the Mamiya factory had to be relocated from Tokyo to the intensified U.S. bombing raids.[8]

Technical details

Like the Mamiya I, the camera was fitted with a double exposure warning system, comprised of a small transparent, red coloured half-pane that would appear in the rangefinder window. At least the post war version has a shutter release lock that prevented accidental double exposure.[9] Double exposure warning mark in viewfinder. Flash contact.

The Pre-War Versions of the Mamiya Six III are built-identical with the Mamiya Six I, but have a slightly smaller waist level finder (10 x10 mm) window on the top late, while the round viewfinder window on the front has a smooth edge. The shutter release button now has a slight depression (dimple) in the top and the frame counter is encased in the shape of a droplet. The guide rail for the removable pressure plate runs for the length of the film gate and now exhibits an embossed directional arrow. The eyelets for a neck strap, which had been part of the Mamiya Six I design, have been omitted.

Dimensions

145 x 107 x 55 mm closed (107 mm open) ; weight: 820g[10]

Lens and shutter combinations

  • K.O.L. Sola Special Anastigmat f/3.5 75mm
  • K.O.L. Special f/3.5 75mm
    • in DABIT-SUPER (B, 1-500th) shutter[13]
    • in GINREI KOHKI VESTER-3 (B, 1-200th) shutter[14]
    • in NKS-TOKIO (B, T, 1-200th) shutter[15]
    • in Orient A shutter[16]
    • in TYS -II (B, T, 1-200th) shutter[17]
  • Schneider Xenar f/3.5 75mm
    • in F. DECKEL MÜNCHEN COMPUR RAPID (T, B, 1-300th) shutter[18]
 
 


Focussing Gearing

Post war versions

Immediately after Japan's surrender, Mamiya sought to return to Tokyo and recommence camera production. When production restarted after the war, some examples of the Mamiya Six III may well have assembled been from spare parts. Soon after, however, new bodies were machined, which have slight design variations compared with the pre-War and War-time bodies (→ technical details). These post-war versions can most readily be distinguished by the use of Takatiho Tokio Zuiko f/3.5 75mm lenses; these lenses, which were later replaced with Olympus Zuiko badged versions, were designed in post-World War II and first released in 1946.[21].

Full production recommenced in January 1946, when the first 57 units were delivered. Additional orders were placed by the Japan Trade Agency for bartered exports.[22] The price control list of June 1946 includes the Mamiya Six III among the thirteen cameras assessed.[23] The renewed production was facillitated in October 1946 by a major order placed by the Central Purchasing Office of SCAP. An English language manual for the Mamiya Six with a printing date of November 1946 depicts a Mamiya Six III but does not give much additional detail regarding lenses.[24] The fact that so far far no Mamiya Six III units have been noted which carry the engraving "Made in Occupied Japan" on the bottom, suggests that the production of the Mamiya Six III halted before the issuance of SCAPIN 1535 in February 1947.[25] Yet, advertising for the camera continued until December 1947 (→ Advertisements). Either these were surplus stocks, or units inscribed with Made in Occupied Japan have gone unnoticed.

When pricing resumed in June 1946, the Mamiya Six III (with a 1/400 shutter) was the most expensive camera listed at ¥5250.[26] By early September 1947 the price for a Mamiya Six II with a 1/200 shutter had risen to ¥14.300, while a camera with a 1/500 shutter could be had for ¥15,300.[27]


Technical details

Post War versions of the Mamiya Six III are very similar to the prewar versions. They have a cold shoe for the flash which is affixed by two screws set diagonally; and a depth of field indicator ranging from 3.5 to 22. The encased, more elaborate droplet shaped frame counter of the war-time versions is replaced by a simple broad arrow.[28] The film winding knob is now mush-room-shaped. The directional arrow at the focus wheel has a filled head and only shows infinity as a direction. Minor differences are a stronger internal door catch and a different shape to the shutter release side of the front door. In addition, the protruding tripod socket is a slightly flatter than the pre-war models.


Variant A

single raised button to release the front door catch


Variant B

twin buttons to release the front door catch

[1]

Dimensions

146 x 108 x 50mm closed (106 open); weight: 827g[29]

Lens and shutter combinations



Brochures and Manuals


Advertisements




Notes and References

  1. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 3
  2. Supreme Command of the Allied Powers in Japan
  3. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 4
  4. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 3.
  5. Asahi Camera ¶¶¶¶¶ | Neco's Mamiya page
  6. The tripling in size (Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 4).
  7. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 4.—At this point of the research it is not clear whether the lenses manufactured at Tokyo University carried a different nomenclature.
  8. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 4.
  9. Intentional double exposure was possible by pushing the film advance lock to the left, but not advancing the film
  10. With K.O.L. Special f/3.5 75mm in TYS -II (B, T, 1-200th) shutter
  11. Neco's Mamiya Site
  12. November 2010)|Yahoo Auction, seen December 2010
  13. Neco's Mamiya Site
  14. Neco's Mamiya Site
  15. Neco's Mamiya Site
  16. Neco's Mamiya site
  17. sn#17170—Photographica Collection Dirk HR Spennemann
  18. Flickr image
  19. Japanese utility model publication (実用新案出現広告) no.S15-14673. Applied for (出現) on Jul. 1, 1939 and published (公告) on Oct. 5, 1940.
  20. Japanese patent publication (特許出現広告) no.S16-4067. Applied for (出現) on Oct. 11, 1940 and published (公告) on Aug. 15, 1941.
  21. See the lens chronology on the Zuiko page.
  22. Mamiya. A History of Innovation. Mamiya 50th Anniversary. Produced by the Mamiya-History of Innovation Editorial Committee. Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo: Mamiya Camera Co. Ltd. p. 4.
  23. The US authorities managing in post-war Japan set up a price control system that regulated not only how much manufacturers could charge for their products but also the resulting wholesale (5.5% mark-up) and retail prices (additional 15.6-15.8% mark up). The maximum price that could be charged for second-hand cameras was set at 70% of the retail price.
  24. Photographica Collection Dirk HR Spennemann
  25. See the entry Made in Occupied Japan for background.
  26. Factory price was ¥4400, and wholesale price was ¥4576. Minister of Finance Tanzan Ishibashi. Controlled Prices for home-made [= domestic production, Ed.] camera (abolishes Notification nº 444 of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, issued August 1940). Minityry of Finance Notification No. 444 of 17 June 1944 Official Gazette (English Version) Extra 17 June 1946, pp. 65-66. [Tokyo: Government Printing Bureau].
  27. Mamiya Six Type 3 F.5 with shutter T.B. 1-1/200 ("Focussing coupled rangefinder, windstop preventing double exposure, synchroflash") ex factory ¥11,720, whole sale ¥12365.—Mamiya Six Type 3F 3.5 with shutter T.B. 1-1/500 ("Focussing coupled rangefinder, windstop preventing double exposure, synchroflash") ex factory ¥12580, whole sale ¥13272. Director General of the Price Board Wada Hiroo. Controlled Prices for home-made [= domestic production, Ed.] camera and its accessory (abolishes Price Board Notification nº 494 of August 1947). Price Board Notification No. 554 of 3 September 1947. Official Gazette (English Version) nº 429, 3 September 1946, pp. 2-4.[Tokyo: Government Printing Bureau].—Less than a month earlier, the prices had been set at factory ¥8200/wholesale ¥8651/ retail ¥10000 for the Mamiya Six II with the 1/200 shutter and ¥8800/¥9284/¥10740 for a camera with a 1/500 shutter. Director General of the Price Board Wada Hiroo. Controlled Prices for home-made [= domestic production, Ed.] camera and its accessory (abolishes Ministry of Finance Notification nº 467 of June 1946). Price Board Notification No. 494 of 25 August 1947. Official Gazette (English Version) nº 421, 25 August 1947, pp. 6-8.[Tokyo: Government Printing Bureau].
  28. In essence the design goes back to that of the Mamiya Six I.
  29. With Tōwa Kōki Neocon f/3.5 75mm in COPAL (B, 1-300th) shutter
  30. Photographica Collection Dirk HR Spennemann; based on data for the Fujica Six, the Fuji f/4.5 lens in a Lotus shutter was released in April 1948 and seems to have gone out of fashion in 1949.
  31. image]
  32. Web page
  33. sn#24763—Photographica Collection Dirk HR Spennemann
  34. Neco's Mamiya site
  35. Neco's Mamiya site
  36. sn#25585—Photographica Collection Dirk HR Spennemann
  37. Web page
  38. Eastwestphoto < NO OTHER REF GIVEN, NEEDS VERIFICATION<
  39. Neco's Mamiya site
  40. advertisement, seen December 2010]
  41. Web page
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