Mamiya U

One thing I have found is that almost all Mamiya U cameras suffer from their shutter buttons turning into goo. Its too bad because they are a wonderful 80s design with their lens hump.

I purchased one in a box at a camera show prior to the necessity for physical distancing. (I add that because in the future I hope that comment was of this time and not in perpetuity) This camera was no exception, with the remains of its button an orange goop, so I set about the task of making a replacement.

My first effort (Yes it required more than one) was to use the rubber from an old lens focusing ring/area/zone/whatever.

Ta da! unfortunately the rubber was too flat and too stiff resulting in the camera wanting to take pictures on its own.

Effort two was to find a camera with a similar size button and transplant it

Looks good but it had the same issue no amount of hollowing it out could make it not constantly trip the shutter as soon as the film was advanced.

Getting a little desperate I now tried molding a button out of gasket material. Yes it was as sticky and worked as well as it looked, I presume if I had ever put it near the camera.

Effort number four though was getting close I used elastic material that had the right feel but was still a little too stiff.

And finally attempt number 5 yielded a working result.

And the winner was a chunk of a nitrile glove. No beauty but it sealed the camera to the elements and functioned.

Now with a functional camera it was time to try out that 35mm f2.8 lens. There isn’t a lot of user control available and the focus is via simple zone settings but the lens has a beautiful blue coating and was a good performer. The 5 element lens was sharp with good contrast. Additionally the use of 2 AAA batteries rather than some now defunct cell is always welcome.

One Response to “Mamiya U”

  • Nikhil Ramkarran Says:

    Have you come across Suguru? Seems perfect for this kind of fix. Don’t want to put a link, but you can Google it.

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