Mamiya / Sekor Screw mount cameras

(Designed and manufactured by Mamiya Camera Company of Tokyo)
Many thanks to Lewis E. (Ed) Matthew who provided information about MSX and DSX cameras.
Joerg Kroeger maintaines very good Mamiya Page
Another very good Mamiya Page with information about various Mamya cameras is maintaned by Ron Herron

Mamiya / Sekor, 1964-??

Fixed pentaprism
Shutter: 1-1/1000, B, T
Flash: Standard F and X synch
Metering: CDS cell, needle on top of the body
Finder: ?
Battery: ?

Auto diaphragm
Instant return mirror
Self timer

Mamiya / Sekor 500 TL, 1966-??

Fixed pentaprism
Shutter: 1-1/500, B
Flash: Standard F and X synch at 1/60, no hot shoe
Metering: Stoped-down TTL metering, CdS cell
Finder: Microprism spot and ground glass collar ?
Battery: MS76

Auto diaphragm
Instant return mirror

(From Kate: Battery equivalents for MS76 are LR44 aka A76, KA76, V13GA. Sometimes you have to replace the rubber packing piece inside the battery compartment screwcap.)

Mamiya / Sekor 1000 TL, 1966-??

Same as 500 TL, but with the fastest shutter speed 1/1000 and self timer.

Mamiya / Sekor 500 DTL and 1000 DTL, 1968-??

Same as TL versions but with switchable between average and spot metering TTL meter.

Mamiya / Sekor 2000 DTL, 1969-??

Fixed pentaprism
Shutter: 1-1/2000, B
Flash: Standard F and X synch, at 1/90
Metering: Stoped down TTL metering, Average or Spot switcheable.
Finder: Microprism spot and ground glass collar ?
Battery: MS76

Auto diaphragm
Instant return mirror
Self timer

Mamiya / Sekor DSX 500 and DSX 1000, 1974-??

(DSX 1000B - black body)
Same as DTL versions but with open-aperture metering. The DSX 1000 also has a hot shoe.

Mamiya / Sekor MSX 500 and MSX 1000, 1975-??

(In US were also marketed as Sears 500 MX TLS and Sears 1000 MXB TLS.)
Same as DSX versions but only spot metering


Should you buy one?

Quote from [1]: "All these Mamiya/Sekor cameras performed well and sold badly. All are readily available at very modest prices and are well worth trying, particularly if you like the idea of readily available spot metering built into the camera. ... However, do check shutter performance on focal-plane Mamiya cameras more then usually carefully."

Warning from [3]: "Don't use the SMC Takumar - it can get stuck on the Mamiya mount the same way as on Zenit body."

From Mike Sink:
Have owned 2 Mamiyas since 1979. Both perform well, meter accurately. SX lenses are sharp and sturdily made. 135mm has weak aperture spring. 35 and 55 lenses are sharp. Open aperture metering is nice. Have used a variety of lenses on older camera. Vivitar, Star D, Pentax Takumar, Schirmer, and others. Spot metering is still accurate on MSX. Spot meter has stopped on DSX but average meter still works and is accurate.

From John Shaeffer:
( With the DSX series of cameras Mamiya released the SX series of lens dedicated to work with the open-aperture metering available on these bodies. Good news is that ordinary screw mount lenses will work just fine as well! )
I looked through the viewfinder and pressed the film advance lever toward the camera (this is how the spot meter seems to work with SX lenses). I could see the lens stopping down and the meter working while I did this. When I released the pressure, the lens opened up again, so I could focus with full aperture. Very similar to how Praktica metering works--although you have a dedicated lever above the shutter button, on them (L series--non electric). I've got plenty of other M42 mount automatic lenses, and the camera worked the same way with all of them.
(From aab - So pushing of the film advance lever works as a depth of field preview! Defenitely, the Mamyia DSX series goes to the top of the list of cameras with "unusual" solution for the DOF. Another one worth mentioning is the Pentax MX where you need to push self-timer lever toword the lens.
Many thanks to John for pointing this out!)

From Reid:
The main thing to watch out for with the DSX and MSX series of cameras is the light absorbing material which surrounds the mirror area of the camera. With age, this plasticized material tends to curl up as the glue degrades. As a result, about 80% of the MSX and DSX cameras that I have encountered have failing material in the bodies. The repair cost is quite high and it is troublesome for a do-it-yourself repair person because a piece of the material is attached to the back of the mirror and covers the spot meter. All that I can suggest is to not buy sight unseen. Ebay is full of cameras with this problem. You must set the exposure to "B" and fully inspect the interior of the camera before you purchase.

From Noel H. Guerrero
This camera (Mamya-Sekor 500 DSX?) I inherited from my father. Bought brand new in the 60's. I still have the original leather case and lens. Afetrmarket accessories I have are a clip on flash holder and 135 telephoto lens. Still works fine and looks brand new except for some scratches.It still has that oval quality control sticker attached. In comparison, my Olympus OM-10 with manual adapter has broken down(sticking shutter)in 1993 while on a 747 taking photos in the cockpit. Got it working again during the rest of the trip but broke down again. Never used it since. But my Mamiya still is alive and kicking.

From Otto Fajen:
I bought the DSX-1000B used in 1988 from Cambridge Camera with 55mm f/1.8, along with several NOS SX lenses: 21mm f/4, 35mm f/2.8, 105mm f/2.8 and 200mm f/3.5. I still use this camera (and a DSX-500) almost daily for family pictures. I keep two bodies ready with different films. Both bodies work great, as I had them both overhauled by UT Photo a few years ago. that costs $125 per body, but they are the only game in this continent (North America). i had the 105mm lens overhauled by them and it works beautifully for portraits. I rarely use the built in light meters (spot and average), since i generally either know how to set the exposure without metering, use my handheld meter or shoot flash with a thyristor flash that controls the exposure. I get consistently good shots with these cameras. One thing i wish i had was the 85mm f/2.8 SX lens (or a pentax smc 85mm f/1.8, etc.), but i make do with the 105mm and step back!

From Otto Fajen:
I bought the DSX-500 new in about 1976 with a 50mm f/2 SX lens. I still use it almost daily. It was overhauled by UT Photo a few years ago and takes great shots consistently. The only problem the DSX-500 still has is a finicky connection from the aperture ring to the light meter for open aperture metering. the needle operation is flaky and intermittent. UT worked on it and made it better and if i work the aperture ring a few times it does a bit better. i generally don't use a built in light meter anymore, anyway, so it's not big problem for me. The DSX-1000B has never had this problem.

Any experience with any of these cameras?
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