Mamiya Film Camera Back
Mamiya film camera backs are designed to be used with medium format Mamiya film cameras, including the Mamiya Press, RB67, RZ67 and 645.
Before digital and still to some extent today, medium format film cameras were the workhorses of the advertising, fashion and publicity industries. Using much larger film than the 35mm film that was employed by most cameras, they were able to produce negatives and transparencies of far greater detail.
These images could then be enlarged up to much larger sizes than those of 35mm cameras with less loss of clarity and sharpness.
Advantages of extra Mamiya film backs
Due to the size of Mamiya medium format cameras , they are usually used on a tripod. When the photographer wants to load more film which, as medium format films are only 8 to 32 exposures is quite often, it's advantageous to not disturb the camera too much. For this reason, Mamiya medium format cameras feature removable film backs. This means a used film back can be swapped for a new one very quickly and easily.
A Mamiya film camera back can also be swapped safely even with some frames still left unexposed, for example to move between black and white film and colour, or to change the type and speed of the film. The film inside is protected against the light during changeovers by a 'dark slide'.
Because 120 and 220 medium format film can quite difficult to load into a film back, most photographers will have more than one pre-loaded film back ready to use on a shoot.
When buying Mamiya film camera backs it is important to be sure they are correct for the Mamiya camera they are intended for. It's also important to make sure the film back comes with the important 'dark slide', as well as the take up roller for the film to thread to.
Types of Mamiya film backs
There are various types of film back types used by Mamiya medium format cameras with 120 and 220 film, including 6x9, 6x7, a combination 6x4.5-6x6-6x9 back and Polaroid film backs. Polaroid film is often used by photographers to quickly check their image before committing to a full roll of film.
Mamiya film backs can also contain motors to advance the film after each exposure. While a medium format Mamiya camera is not designed for fast working, a motorised back can make shooting sessions easier.