The Mamiya Press Universal is big, weighty and boxy. But this beautiful camera is quite possibly the best medium format camera you can find!
image from eyescoffee
Mamiya are without a doubt up there with your Hasselblads when it comes to delivering the goods with their medium format cameras. After picking up a cheap M645J kit off Ebay I spied another interesting camera, the Press Universal. After some research (which involved wading through hundreds of images on peoples Flickr pages) I discovered what this camera could offer.
Being a rangefinder you don’t get the TTL view that you do with the 645J but the viewfinder of the Press Universal is accurate, bright and spot on. All functions are 100% manual. There are a few lenses available for this model camera, the one that came with it was a 100mm 3.5 Mamiya Sekor (shutter speeds from: 500-B) but there are 50mm, 75mm, 127mm and 250mm lenses on the market but are hard to come by.
What I love about the camera is it’s interchangeable back system allowing (via three different adaptors M, K and G.)you to use 6×7, 6×9, Polaroid and 4×5 cut film backs not just from Mamiya but Graflok too. With the addition of an insert you can also shoot 6×6 and 6×4.5 on the K mount 6×9 back which really covers all of the medium format sizes.
My set up came with 2 spacers for close up/macro shots as well as additional backs all for £250, it is in mint conditon and was confident with the purchase after e-mailing the seller frequently regarding how it was used and how often.
Be warned it is heavy and is probably not best suited to street photography (although it’s one of William Eggleston’s favored cameras) but really shines when it comes to urban and landscape shots.
Take a look at the gallery and see for yourself, the images are super sharp with stunning detail. I’m stoked to have this camera in my collection, when i’m home it’s my medium camera of choice.