One of the last 35mm cameras from Mamiya, yet it still showcases innovation from this long time Japanese manufacturer.
I received my copy as part of a camera swap. It uses a unique battery loader, utilizing a plastic carriage which holds four LR44 type batteries as a series, which as a whole inserts in the bottom of the camera. It has the feel of a cheap connector likely to break over time, although mine is still holding together.
Less reliable is the built in exposure meter. The camera seems to operate in either aperture priority or full auto mode. No matter what I do, the exposure meter only seems to work for a little while, and then starts to indicate all shots are underexposed, even when I aim the camera directly into a light. Removing then remounting the lens will occasionally make this problem go away for a few frames, then the exposure meter is off again. As there is no way to directly set shutter speed, this renders the camera more or less useless. Perhaps a good cleaning of the contacts might resolve this?
What’s So Special?
This was the first Japanese camera ever to use electronic coupling to communicate information between the camera and the lens. On my copy there are ten contacts on the lens, arranged as a group of six and a group of four. Yet there are only 3 contacts on the camera itself.
- Lightweight SLR
- Exposure compensation dial on left, along with a lockout button
- Quite responsive (when it is working)
- Glowing LEDs in viewfinder indicate the shutter speed selected by the camera given the other settings chosen by the user
- Limited selection of lenses
- No way to shoot in manual, or directly control shutter speed
- Battery mount feels flimsy and prone to breakage
- Manufacturer: Mamiya
- Country of Origin: Japan
- Made in: Japan
- Introduced: 1980
- Camera Type: SLR
- Lens Mount: Mamiya Sekor E
- Format: 35mm
- Battery: 4x LR44
- Dimensions (cm):
- Serial: N165183
- Flash: Mamiyalite ZE auto electronic flash
- Winder: Mamiya Winder ZE (2 frames per second max)
- Mamiya ZE on Butkus