Convert a Mamiya Press Camera (6X7 or 6X9) to a larger format for increased resolution, or to get digitized images up to ninety megapixels. * The camera uses 120 roll film, and you will be getting six exposures per roll. The actual size of the negative will be 57X111mm, however, with some Mamiya lenses a film width of only 106mm is possible. (The corners will not be exposed, so you have to crop the edges; if your particular shot allows you to crop the top and bottom 8mm, you can get a 41X111mm negative from most lenses and most setings.) By the way, the standard "6X7" negative is 67mm wide. Lenses available for the camera include: 50mm, 65mm, 90mm, 100mm, 150mm, and 250mm. We built the camera for panorama photography using the 65mm lens. (This is the wide angle "most bang for the buck" lens--the price range is $100 to $200.)

We have just published a 25 page (8 1/2" X 11") illustrated manual which tells you how to modify the camera and film back using basic hand and power tools (hacksaw, drill, file, sander, etc.) Machine shop work is not required, but you need to know how to safely operate tools. (If you are a klutz, please don't buy!)

Here is a sample page ...


A preliminary step--make a film-to-lens gauge

Before you start taking your Mamiya apart, you will want to be able to reassemble it with the exact same lens-to-film distance as the original. To do this, we will need to make a gauge for this distance. An old credit card will be useful for this device. Cut a 5mm by 48mm strip from the long side of the card. (A paper cutter will give you straight and right angle cuts.)

Set your camera lens to infinity. Place the gauge in the camera and check the distance from the rail (see arrow below) where the film rests to the metal back of the lens. (Do NOT measure to, or even touch, the glass lens!) Trim and retrim your card, (or increase the length of the cut-off area) until you get an exact fit. The paper cutter will enable you to shave tiny adjustments to your gauge. An error of 1/1000 of an inch is probably not critical, but an error of several thousands will degrade the sharpness of your photographs. Take your time to make the gauge as accurate as possible. You will want the gauge to touch two places on the lens back and the film rail. (Remember high school geometry: three points define a plane!)

Contents of the book are ...
-----What you need
----------The camera body
----------The lens
----------The roll film holder
Building the camera
-----Film-to-lens gauge
-----Disassembly of the Mamiya camera body
-----No-dark-slide version
Modifying the roll film holder
Dark slide version
Handle/protective cage option
Testing the camera
Digitizing your negatives
Appendix A - commercial 6X12 cameras
Appendix B - cutting metal
Appendix C - light seals
Appendix D - free updates & Internet sites of interest

Although this camera can digitize to 90 megapizxels, we have found that (for the type of sunset,cloudscape, and seascape photography we do) the difference between a 30 megapixel image and a 90 megapixel image is slight. Therefore, using the larger file size may not be justified, unless you are doing something that has a lot of details that require the maximum resolution possible. For more information on resolution, see this site: What you don't see on the Internet
However, even at our "lower" setting of 30 megapixels, this camera is much higher in resolution than the digital Nikons, Leicas, etc.!!!

This is, of course, a film camera. The way we get the digitized images is to use a film scanner with a 3,200DPI capacity. These cost between $300 and $500.

If 90 megapixels is too whimpy for you, our next project will tell you how to build a one hundred and forty-four megapixel 6X18 panorama camera with a Super Angulon lens. Information will be posted at our site:

October 12, 2005

We have just added a second 6X12 conversion design -- The 6X12 Lite. The new version does not have a dark slide, or a protective cage, however, it is easier and quicker to build, and does not require precision measuring using a micrometer. The "Lite" looks like a standard Mamiya 23, but it features a 106mm negative. (The standard 6X9 is 82mm; the 6X7 is 67mm.)

List Price

Note that here we are offering the eBook version of this manual. In the past we have offered the on-paper version, but that has sold out.

eBook Price

For shipping to the USA, you can pay by:
Money Order

To send a payment by mail, post your check/money order to:
John Galuszka
PO Box 140
San Simeon, CA 93452 USA

For shipping to any other country, please use PayPal. (That will make things go a lot faster and easier.)

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We also have manual for building a 6X18 format camera.

Will the eBook run on your computer?

If you are using a Linux, Apple, or anything other than a "plain vanilla" Windows operating system, you can test the eBook compatibility of your hardware by downloading and running a free sample eBook. If the free book runs on your computer, then the camera manual will also run on your computer.


Serendipity Systems has been publishing electronic books since 1986. Recently, we brought back the "dime novel," in the form of a copy of Owen Wister's classic western novel The Virginian. You can download a free copy of the complete novel here:
The password to open this book is: trampas

You do NOT have to be a camera manual buyer to get this free book. It is available to everyone who visits this location. Download it now!

Hint: If you are a smart bidder, you can get it for less than the list price at our eBay location; see below.

This manual is available at eBay ...
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