5 frames with...

5 frames with the Mamiya 35 ‘Executive’ – By Nigel Haycock

Mamiya 35 'Executive'

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…

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  • Avatar
    jeremy north
    September 29, 2019 at 10:57 am

    It certainly is a classy looking camera and the results speak for themselves. I think it would be well worthwhile cleaning the viewfinder to make it more enjoyable to use.

  • Avatar
    September 29, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Thats a very elegant looking camera. Any Idea how old it is, and what other lenses were made for it?

    • Avatar
      September 29, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Yes, it’s from around 1958. It’s a fixed lens camera so no other focal lengths available.

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