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49 years and still going

Making progress with the Mamiya-Sekor 500DTL and 55mm f/1.8 lens

A while back I received a parcel from Canada, containing a Mamiya-Sekor 500DTL SLR Camera with a 55mm f/1.8 lens. Slowly I have been cleaning the lens and camera body in an attempt to breath new life into a 49 year old body. It has been slow progress however it is beginning to pay off.

With a pinch of luck the shutter curtain has returned from its resting place, and in once piece at that. You could guess the amount of dust and crud stored within the body, not pretty.

What is it like to peer through 49 years of dirt and dust? Have a look for yourself:


Dark, dirty, gunky and amazing, all in equal measure. You can just make out the exposure needle on the right although I think that is the shadows fault. The Single or Average Meter needle still works, which is nice. The mirror definitely needs a clean which should brighten things up a bit.

I still need a replacement battery to get the light meter working (maybe) but I think I will begin work on the lens first. The shot of the yellow roses was taken using the stiff lens with my OM-D and shows just how much character these vintage (and radioactive) lenses have. Wonderful colour rendition and creamy bokeh, this lens renders beautifully. If I can clean out the gunk and re-lubricate this should be a joy to use.

Once again I would like to extend my thanks to Conrad Knauer who posted the camera and lens from Canada. The fact this lens has survived this long and the journey across the Atlantic Ocean is truly amazing. If the lens produce photos this wonderful I cannot wait to get the camera body working too!

I will continue to press on with the camera and lens, I look forward to the challenge ahead.