Mamiya Magazine 35

This is the Magazine 35, a short-lived interchangeable back rangefinder made by Mamiya Optical Co. Ltd of Japan in 1957. It is one of a short list of 35mm cameras with interchangeable film backs. The list includes cameras such as the Kodak Ektra, Zeiss Ikon Contarex Super, and Adox 300.

Seiichi Mamiya

This particular camera is from KEH and was listed in their “Ugly” category with sticky aperture blades and dinged front lens ring. Thankfully, it was actually the shutter that was sticky; a problem quickly remedied with Ronsonol and patience. Expandable filter ring repair tools seem to be ineffective when used as intended. I have much more success using the tool as a rounded form that is hammered against with a jewelers mallet. Though not perfectly round, the ring looks much better.

The Magazine 35 is well built, particularly the film back. Wind and rewind as well as a dark slide that protects the film when the back is removed from the camera are build into the back. All of the controls, with the possible exception of the shutter release, provide positive feedback while in use. The shutter release is too soft in my opinion and the shutter sounds anemic though it appears to be firing at correct speeds. Whether or not this is normal or a peculiarity of my particular camera, I do not know.

The interchangeable film back is built like a tank. Everything on it moves with purpose and snaps satisfyingly into position. It is almost as though the film back was designed for a much more expensive camera and the lens/shutter unit was an afterthought to bring the price down to a somewhat affordable range.

ModelMagazine 35
Format35mm (interchangeable film backs)
SpeedB, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500
 f2.8 50mm
Focus3ft – ∞
Aperturef2.8 – 22
Light MeterNo

Sample images on Kodak TMax 100. Stand-developed HC110, 30 minutes.

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