Fantastic vintage Japanese Mamiya EE Merit camera

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This is a lovely Japanese Mamiya camera. Highly collectable and comes complete with its original leather carrying case. The camera is in great condition and the case is perfectly functional but the leather is worn in places as one would expect, and commensurate with age.

A great find, a great camera, a great price!

Camera Info

The EE Merit was a 1962 shutter priority auto exposure camera made by Mamiya. This is a zone focus model with an f/2.8 Mamiya-Kominar 40mm lens. Around the lens was a ring-shaped selenium photocell—located within the filter threads to compensate automatically for the light-loss when filters were used.

Mamiya also provided this camera for other distributors to sell under their own names. It appeared as the Mansfield Eye-Tronic 35 and as the Honeywell Electric Eye.

Company History

Mamiya was founded in May 1940 by Mamiya Seiichi and Sugawara Tsunejirō as Mamiya Kōki Seisakusho, Mamiya Optical Works). It was based in Tokyo, Hongo, and its first camera was the Mamiya Six, a 6×6 folder with coupled rangefinder that focused by moving the film plane. There were many versions in the Mamiya Six series, and it was the only Mamiya model for eight years. Despite the onset of World War II a year after the release of the first Mamiya Six model, the company continued to thrive, expanding production facilities in February 1942 and again in February 1944, employing 150 staff. By March 1944, a secondary factory was opened at Tokyo University for the manufacture and assembly of lenses. The company closed the facility in Tokyo in March 1945 and relocated. As early as October 1945, a month after Japanese surrender, Mamiya was the first Japanese company to receive a substantial order from the Central Purchasing Office of SCAP, which allowed the company to resume full-scale production in January 1946 at new facilities in Tokyo.

To ensure a reliable supply of lenses, Mamiya bought an optical company at Setagaya, Tokyo. Mamiya began to make its own Stamina shutters and Neocon lenses in 1947 at the Setagaya plant. In 1950, the Setagaya plant became Setagaya Kōki K.K. making shutters and lenses. The name Sekor that appears on most Mamiya lenses comes from Setagaya Kōki, with r probably for renzu lens. Setagaya Kōki was merged into Mamiya Kōki in 1963.

After 1948 the Mamiya range became more diversified, with the introduction of the Mamiyaflex series of 6×6 TLRs in 1948, the Mamiya 35 series of 35mm fixed lens rangefinder in 1949 and the Mamiya 16 series of 16mm film sub miniature cameras in the same year. Together with the Mamiya Six, these four series were the basis of the Mamiya range throughout the 1950s. In 1950, the company name was changed to Mamiya Kōki Kabushiki Kaisha, Mamiya Optical Co., Ltd. The last Mamiya Six version appeared in 1958.

In 1957 Mamiya introduced two innovative designs, the Magazine 35, a 35mm camera with interchangeable backs and the Mamiyaflex C, a 6×6 TLR with interchangeable lens pairs. Despite being an exciting innovation, the Mamiya Magazine 35 was only a limited success, while the Mamiyaflex C would become the first of a long series.

A mention should be made here of Mamiya's short lived entry into movie camera production with a range of small 8mm electric cameras made between 1958 and 1961.

The first Mamiya 35mm SLR was the Prismat, launched in 1960. The same year Mamiya introduced the Mamiya Press, a medium format press camera inspired by some Linhof models. Mamiya dropped the 35mm rangefinders around the mid 1960s, and the range of the Mamiya series at the end of the 1960s was formed by the Press, the Mamiya C and the 35mm SLRs.

The RB67 Professional 6×7 SLR in 1970, the Mamiya M645 4.5×6 SLR in 1975 and the RZ67 Professional 6×7 SLR in 1982 confirmed Mamiya's orientation towards the medium format professional market. Mamiya made a last attempt towards the amateur market at the end of the 1970s with some rangefinder and point and shoot 35mm cameras, together with their continuing series of 35mm SLRs, but following the collapse of one of their major international distributors, Osawa, the company went bankrupt in 1984. As part of the restructuring, Mamiya stopped producing 35mm cameras and terminated a number of its medium format offerings (such as the Rapid Omega).

Mamiya continued as a specialized medium format camera maker, with the M645 Super 4.5×6 SLR from 1985, new versions of the RB67, RZ67 and Mamiya C, the new Mamiya 6 6×6 format rangefinder from 1989 and its successor the Mamiya 7 6×7 rangefinder from 1995. In 1993, the company name was changed to Mamiya-OP K.K.


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