Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Restoring a Mamiya-Six

I inherited this Mamiya-six from my dad and found it to be a perfect subject for a full restoration to make it usable again. The bellows was pretty much gone, having disintegrated through age while the lens was covered in haze and fungus.

Lens removed from shutter assembly
Luckily the shutter was firing well and being fully mechanical, this medium format camera was really quite simple in overall design. The first thing I did was to remove the Olympus Zuiko lens which only took a simple step of unscrewing it from the main shutter attachment. There's a tiny screw at the side of the lens that needed to be removed before I proceeded to clean the 2 elements.

Viewfinder removed
The next thing that needed some minor cleaning were the viewfinders whereby I needed to remove the top cover. This was quite simple and only consisted of 6 screws around the top cover. After that I removed the film advancing knob by just unscrewing it which enabled the top cover to be removed. The viewfinder was held together by 2 screws and a plate.

Dark slide chrome bits
Top cover
Next up I cleaned the chrome bits of the darkslide using Autosol to restore it back to its original shine. That was quite fun and I ended up polishing all the other chrome areas of the

Lens after cleaning
The final part was to remove the worn out bellows and this was quite easy as it literally melted when touched. The only problem I have now is finding a way to remove it from the end parts where it is connected to the shutter/lens mechanism and the back portion connected to the body. The back portion is quite easy as there's a sort of holder snapping it to the main body where it is glued down but its the shutter/lens part which is giving me the problem. I'll try to fabricate a lens hood out of suede cloth in the coming days before attaching it to the camera.
I'll post more pics after I've build up the bellows, hopefully by the end of the week.



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