135compact.com       16mm film ultra compact cameras       Mamiya 16 EE de luxe

The first Mamiya 16 was released 1949, the model presented, a Mamiya 16 EE de luxe, was launched in 1962, a camera for all types of 16mm film
* (see below). It's the last model of the Mamiya 16 series, the successor of the Mamiya 16 Automatic from 1959 in a body similar to the Deluxe model from 1960. It has a very luminous, focussable lens and full automatic control.

* 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 usualy sits 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).

16mm 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, preset according to ISO
10x14mm picture format, can use all perfed or unferfed 16mm film
Size 120x54x34,  Weight 387 gr.
ISO 10-100, viewfinder foldable with bright framelines and parallax marks, PC flash socket, tripod socket, built-in ND4 filter,

Some pictures of the camera:

The camera, ready. It's not as small as the original 16 and more than the double weight.

Camera front closed. Well protected and shutter blocked.

Back view. Viewer folded. The slider releases the pressure plate. Film advance on top.

Seen from the top. Selenium meter and distance setting. Shutter release with cable release socket.
Speed/ISO setting: Film counter and tiny setting wheel. Film advance.

Seen from below. T
ripod socket.

Left side. Film chamber opening, Slide to O(pen) first, then press the tiny lever with a fingernail.

Right side. Accessory shoe and second tripod socket.

Camera open. Above the lens, to the left: filter slider, to the right: aperture setting, set to A(utomatic).

Filter slid before the lens. It's ND4 (2 stops). Could also be used for 400 ISO film at ISO 100 setting.

Camera open, viewer erected.

Seen from the back.
Finder with bright framelines and parallax marks.

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 film.

For more information about cartridges, please consult this page.

The film chamber.

Meter in the sun. The red needle should be between the small black mark to the extreme right and the broad black mark to the left for automatic use without compensation.

If the needle is on the broad black mark, the wheel should be moved 1 point to the left. If it's between the broad black mark and the small black mark to the left, it should be moved 2 points as shown, 3 points it the needle is on the thin left mark. Below it's flash. Move the wheel to the FL mark and set aperture according to distance.

For manual use set shutter speed, it's 1/200 for ISO 100 and 80 pointing to the black triangle, 1/100 at ISO 50, 1/50 at ISO 32, 1/25 at ISO 10. The next 2 point are 1/10 and 1/5. Then comes B setting. Then set your aperture. Please note that in manual setting the aperture is still controlled against over-exposure. So if you set F4 and the meter thinks F5.6 would be convenient, it closes to f5.6. However it can not open beyond the aperture set. So if you set F8 instead of 5.6, it would underexpose.

Shutter set to B.

This camera is very easy to use, slide it open, erect the viewer and it's ready.
As long as the meter needle is between the marks, there is nothing to set 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.

It's a very good full automatic camera with a very good lens, superb picture quality, good quality finish in a relatively small body. This camera feels very solid. It has a 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 point and shoot camera for 16mm film. If you intend to use manual settings more often, consider the predecessor, the Mamiya 16 Automatic. In spite of its name it isn't automatic, but it has a meter and easy settings.