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Decapitated Mamiya Press camera

I can blame recent wet plate student Lianne for this one, she brought a Mamiya Super 23 to her tutorial for shooting wet plates. I was immediately impressed with it. Although I wanted one without the top rangefinder, no such model exists so I was more than happy to chop the top off of one. Thats if I could find one cheap enough to abuse. Unfortunately prices were way too high for my needs.


Then a few weeks ago, a stroke of luck, I found this “thing” on Feepay…. A decapitated Mamiya Press camera body!



I really liked the back mounted bellows for adjustments…


The “maker” has done a decent job and even added a top mounted viewfinder which works well… £16

I then started to search for other cheap additional parts, such as plate holder, ground glass back and maybe a lens although I was happy enough to add a brass one off the studio shelf.

Next to come, all the way from Japan, was the Ground Glass back… £24




Then I found this 90mm lens in the UK as a Buy it now/Best offer price plus hood…. £38!


Three plate holders and a pack film holder (plus inserts) from Spain… £24.


Can you still buy pack film for this??

So, for about £100 I’ve got the above set up. Some people had thought me mad for wanting, what they consider a terrible camera? But there seems to be a large number of fans of this kit especially some of the super sharp lenses.

I’ll be in the studio tomorrow to put some plates through it and make some enlarged prints.






  1. Posted December 21, 2014 at 9:10 PM | #

    It’s… red!

  2. Posted December 22, 2014 at 11:44 PM | #

    Well spotted Sam…. you want it when I’m done with it?

  3. James Wikan
    Posted February 22, 2015 at 6:07 PM | #

    Hello! Love your site and your work! I was curious about the images that came out of the Mamiya Press camera. I’m very interested in getting into wet plate photography and I have access to an old press 23 so I’d love to see your output on the on you mention on your blog.


  4. Posted February 22, 2015 at 8:46 PM | #

    Hi James,

    You can use any camera you can get a plate into and has a B or T setting.
    The Mamiya I only ran test plate through and it worked just fine, would prefer the wider lens though.
    If you need any help just let me know.


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