I have to be honest that until now I didn’t know that Mamiya made 35mm Rangefinders. I saw this one by chance and was intrigued enough to act on whim, paying at the upper end of my comfortable price-range for buying a camera I wasn’t looking for and don’t really need. This takes my camera count dangerously close to 50 (anyone want to buy a camera or two?). Mamiya is a name I trust, having a great but slowly dying C330 TLR and I thought (is “thought” the right word? – this was definitely heart over mind but anyway) I thought “why not?”
It doesn’t actually say ‘Executive’ anywhere on the camera itself, I understand it’s the same as the ‘Mamiya 35 Crown’ but in a grey ‘livery’. It came with the case in reasonable condition and the original manual which through the title on the cover confirms it as ‘Mamiya 35 Executive’.
I was keen to take it out and see what that 1.9 48mm Mamiya-Sekor lens could do having confirmed that there were no obvious mechanical issues. I shoved in a roll of FujiPro 400 and carried it around with me for a few days.
I have to say that it’s a great camera to use; weighty in the hand but not too heavy, has a shutter (Seikosh-MXL) that is as quiet as anything and with all the functions just where you would expect them to be. The rangefinder is very dim on this one but I wonder if a little clean up would resolve that. It has a nice set of features including good dials for noting the film type and speed (something I am terrible at remembering). No light meter but that’s not a problem with my little shoe mounted unit.
I have to say that until I got the shots back I was a little nervous as; firstly that shutter is so quiet I wasn’t sure it was working properly and second, I couldn’t be sure I was being accurate with the very dull rangefinder. But I needn’t have worried, the images came out really good. The Fujfilm seems to like this lens and this one is definitely a keeper.
Now to clean up that rangefinder and see if I can improve things…