Mamiya Super Press 23 65mm lens problem

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absalom1951

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I just got a 65mm lens from the big auction site . I checked it out and the glass is excellent , shutter fires properly , looks hardly used. The problem arises after mounting on the camera.. It won't focus. I have to focus it down to 3.5 ft before mounting and then it stops around 4 feet- no, I haven't forced it. I am real gentle- when it feels like it hit something I stop. Also , it doesn't seem like the lens tightening collar goes all the way . Any suggestions , is the lens defective ?

thanks--tom
 

Paul Howell

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First does the lens focus when off the camera but not when on? That will tell you if the issue is with lens or the camera. As the Mamiya press series are breech mounted made sure the lens is seated properly, the rangefinder cam need to free to move as the lens focus and the collar locks into place without jamming the lens so tight it cannot focus. I have a 65mm that had a similar problem, very stiff focus, came on very suddenly when I hadn't used the lens for some time, a year maybe more. Had it cleaned and lubed works just fine now. You can try to clean and lub it yourself or even put a few drops of sewing machine or gun oil to see if will move. If so you can get by for a while, but at some point the old dried up lubricant needs to be cleaned out and new lub added.
 
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absalom1951

absalom1951

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Yes, the lens does focus when off the camera. And I am now able to mount the lens when the focus is past 4 feet. It seems to focus properly from infinity on down but --when it passes 4 foot going down , I have to remove the lens and focus the lens past 4 foot and then remount the lens. I removed the film back and watched what was happening inside the camera . The silver quarter of a circle piece which the rangefinder cam rides on also has an arm that rides on it. The arm comes to the end of the piece which the rangefinder cam rides on and then it is not able to glide back onto the silver quarter piece- this silver piece has adjusting slots in it , and it appears that it has been adjusted before. If this piece was adjusted then the arm would be able to stay on and not run off the end o it ? I wish I knew the technical names of these pieces , instead of sounding ?
 
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absalom1951

absalom1951

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I have looked at pictures of 4 different 65mm lens ( showing the back ) and on every photo the silver cam bar is at very different positions.
 

Paul Howell

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The sliver bar is the Cam it held in by 2 screws that can adjusted to keep the rangefinder in aliment. In the camera body there is pin that moves in and out following the cam. If you look closely you will see that the cam is a slight grade to it, as the pin follows the cam as the lens is focused it moves in and out just a little, that motion syncs to the rangefinder which tells you when the lens is in focus. Depending where the cam was when the lens removed the cam will be a different position. The only guess I can make is that cam is rubbing against the back of the lens mount. The screws allows the cam to be adjusted left or right to realine the came with the rangefinder. The cam must be screwed on tightly, if it lose just little it will blind. The reason is it blinding as you focus closer than 4 feet is because of the slight grade or curvature of the cam. Is the Cam lose at all? If it is then it also likely out of aliment in which case to tell the truth I'm not sure of the best method to about making sure the cam is in the correct position. Seems that rather than make a cam that fits right where it needs to be, Mamyia used the same back plate on the 55mm as well.
 
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absalom1951

absalom1951

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After reading your post I re-examined everything . I wondered what the little arm's function was ,I thought this arm and the pin were both part of focusing because this arm was preventing focusing. If I removed the lens and focused the lens past 4 feet and then remounted the lens , there was no problem focusing to infinity. So after I searched for more pictures and more reading I discovered the only function of the arm is when the 100mm lens is retracted a red warning indicator pops into the viewfinder. I mounted the 100mm lens and retracted it , while there was no film holder mounted, and saw that the arm was not engaging far enough to make the red warning signal pop up in the view finder. I very gently pulled back the arm, the red warning signal popped up. I figured out that someway or another and at sometime the lens retraction warning arm had been bent somehow. I gently bent it just enough so the red warning indicator popped up when the 100mm lens is retracted. After removing the 100mm lens and mounting the 65mm lens I was able to focus the 65mm lens successfully. The red warning indicator arm was bent just enough to where it interfered with focusing. A very simple fix, that wouldn't have been possible without your assistance. Thank you very much.
 

Paul Howell

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I have a 2 Universal2, it doesn't have the arm or warning indicator in, so when you talking about the arm I thought you talking about the rangefinder pin that follows the cam. Good to hear you figured it out.
 
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