Mamiya 16 Automatic

Mamiya 16 Automatic c1959

Wow! This is an interesting camera. I love it – it just looks so technical. It has lots of dials and settings and things to fiddle with. The flip-up viewfinder is just fantastic especially with its little flash of bright green paint surrounding the front glass. It really is a tour de force of 1950s miniature engineering. Its build quality isn’t as good as a Minox B from the same period as there are lots of screwheads visible but they just add to the mechanical and techy feel of the camera.

In use the camera is pretty good as all the controls can be easily manipulated. The exposure can be set by first setting the shutter speed, 1/5th second to 1/200th and B, and then rotate the meter dial to match the shutter speed against the lightmeter needle and the aperture is automatically set for you. There is a small window in which the aperture value is displayed (in very small numbers). Focus is set with a sliding tab on the right front section of the camera from infinity to one foot.

On the front of the camera there is a sliding cover over the lens which doulbles to lock the shutter release when closed and a second slider which places a filter over the lens. My one is fitted with a yellow filter. There is also a small trap door below the filter which allows the user to change the filter glass quite easily. The filters are just small squares of glass so it should be a simple matter to make other filters. You can’t do that on a Minox.

My example came complete with a part used Kodacolor X film of early 1960s vintage, so I guess that the camera hadn’t been used since that time. Just to find out if I could get anything off the film I developed it in ID11 1+1 for 7 minutes at 20 degrees C. and fixed with Ilford rapid fix for 5 minutes at 20 degrees followed by about 8 minute’s wash under running water. I got some quite scannable negatives - just latent images for almost 50 years – so much for process promptly!


The camera worked fine when I got it and all that I have had to do to it is give it an external clean and take the yellow filter out and clean that too. Film cassettes are hard to come by. I made a 16mm film slitter to cut down 35mm film and use the cassette that came with the camera as it works fine although the bridge has broken.



Mamiya 16 Automatic c1959 Made in Japan

Camera Type

16mm zone focusing sub-miniature camera

Film Format



Mamiya - Sekor f/2.8 25mm

Filter Size


Focusing Range

1 ft to infinity

Shutter Speeds

Manual priority with match needle speed selection

Exposure Meter Type

Single Selinium cell located on the front. 

Film Speed Range

ISO 10 to ISO 1600

Viewfinder Information

Brightline frame, With parallax correction marks

Focusing System

Zone focusing by slider control

Synchronization & Flash

Built-in "X" synchronization via pc socket

Loading Film

Mamiya 16mm special cassette

Advance Film

Thumb wheel Built-in double exposure prevention

Self Timer 





107 x 57 x 33 mm


Approx 230 g


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