135compact.com 16mm film ultra compact cameras Mamiya 16 Automatic
first Mamiya 16 was released 1949, the model presented, a Mamiya 16
Automatic, was launched in 1959, a camera for all types of 16mm
film* (see below).
It's a model with a meter, but it's in no way automatic inspite of its
name, nevertheless it's easy to use. It has a very luminous, focussable
lens and full manual control which is meter-assisted.
16mm film is a movie film format, as was 35mm film. In the early
days it was cut from 35mm film and thus had perforations on one
side (single perforation). Please note, that the perfs and their area
of 35mm are bigger than those of modern 16mm film. As soon as 1923
Kodak introduced a set with camera, projector, tripod,
screen and splicer (or was it a slitter?) aiming at amateurs. The new format was rapidly
adopted by still camera producers to build smaller devices. The film
in a cartridge, but no standard has been established, many have 2
cassettes, one feeding and one taking. So every maker made his own
system. Some, like Minolta, even sold a choice of readily available
film cassettes. If you want to use your camera, you should at least
have one (pair of) cassette(s).
film is still made. There is double perf, single perf and unperforated
film. Check, which one suits your camera. Some need perfs to advance.
Smaller picture formats can use double perf film, bigger ones would
have the perfs (or sprockets) visible in the picture area. There is
10mm of usable space between the perfs of double perf film, 12.5mm to
the side of single perf film. Film can also be s(p)lit from other
formats like 120.
The camera's main features are:
25mm F2.8 coated Mamiya lens, F2.8-F16, min. focus 0.3m (!) Shutter speeds: B, 1/5 - 1/200, 10x14mm picture format, can use all perfed or unferfed 16mm film Size 108x48x30, Weight 289 gr. ISO 10-1600(!), foldable finder with bright framelines and parallax marks, PC flash socket, tripod socket, built-in filter (yellow), can be changed
Some pictures of the camera:
The camera, case and strap..
The camera, ready. It's not as small as the original 16.
Camera front closed. Well protected and shutter blocked.
Back view. Viewer folded. Film advance on top right.
from the top. Selenium meter to the right with ISO setting. You have to
match the desired speed with the needle and the window towards the
front will show the aperture (white numbers on black). Distance
Shutter release with cable release socket. Speed setting. Film counter. Film advance and film type memo.
from below. Tripod socket. 2nd socket for grip. PC socket.
Left side. Film chamber opening, Slide the button up first, then press the tiny lever with a fingernail.
Right side. Accessory shoe and second tripod socket.
Above the lens, to the left: camera opening slider, to the right:
filter slider. Under the lens: access to filter chamber.
Filter slid before the lens. It's yellow (can be changed)
Camera film compartment open. Mamiya
sold its own film in double cartridges, but there were single
and double cartridges which could be reloaded. The camera uses any type of 16mm
For more information about cartridges, please consult this page.
The film chamber.
Meter in the sun. The desired speed should be matched with the red needle.
Shutter set to B.
Size comparison with the original Mamiya 16.
camera is very easy to use, slide it open, erect the viewer and it's ready. Match the desired speed with the meter needle, control speed and aperture setting before pressing the shutter release. After taking
a picture, you have to turn the advance wheel for film advance and shutter
cocking. Putting a film is easy if you have a double cartridge, for reloadable cartriges it's a bit longer,
you have to engage the film into the winding spool, advance to the first frame and that's it.
a very good full manual camera, meter-assisted for an easy use,
with a very good lens, superb picture quality, good quality
finish in a relatively small body. This camera feels very solid. It has
luminous lens. Picture results
were good. It has 2 rare features: focussing down to 30cm without extra
lenses and a B shutter. It's a good choice if you want a high quality,
easy to use camera for 16mm film. It's smaller and lighter than its
succesor, the Mamiya16 EE de luxe. It gives you full manual control.