Mamiya Universal Instax

I gaffer taped an Instax back onto a Mamiya Universal.   It worked out OK after some adjusting & testing.

Lomography made a camera called the Belair, and it didn’t get amazing reviews.  Although it was innovative, functional, and fun to use, it had some deal-breaking faults.  Especially that the lenses weren’t so great.   However, they did make an instant back for it.   People have been putting this back on other cameras.  Unfortunately, its hard to find one now.

The Mamiya Universal is a nifty camera in that it can take a 120/220 roll film back, which are pre-set to 6×6, 6×7 or 6×9, or an instant back, for the Polaroid peel-apart film.

Due to the area on the Lomo Belair instant back that has the film rollers, even if you shave the rest of the back down to be flush with the film plane, the roller area still sticks out.  So I added some cardboard shims to make it level, then gaffer taped the whole thing shut.img_5739img_5740

My first shots were OK, except the back was just a few millimeters too far back, which caused the camera to focus about 20CM in front of where the viewfinder said it would be.  But I removed some layers of the cardboard shim, and it worked better.


Today I went to an animal petting zoo in Tacoma, WA.   It was pretty fun.  I’ve never touched a kangaroo before, or a mara, or a capybara.    There were a bunch of goats too.  There were snakes, a fennec fox, rabbits, a turtle, and other animals.    The mara just wanted to suck on your fingers, and one of the capybaras just wanted to climb into your lap.

It was inside, and it wasn’t super well lit.   Although the Instax film is ISO 800, I was shooting as though it was ISO 400, mostly.  The first few shots were over exposed.


I should have kept overexposing.  I like the first few, but the rest are too dark.   (And dark areas on Instax look blotchy when scanning them.)

Next I want to put this Instax back on an Auto Graflex.


5 thoughts on “Mamiya Universal Instax

  1. The Capybaras are particularly cute………Believe it or not I used to want one for a pet. Great Job with your ‘unique’ camera setup.


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