Japan 1957 – Compact – 35 mm – Rare.
The Magazine 35, produced in 1957, is NOT your usual Mamiya.
At first glance the Magazine 35 looks like a fairly plain camera from the mid 1950s, that you might not look twice at. It has a good build, feels solid and looks well made, the viewfinder shows a bright frame with parallax lines and a rangefinder spot but nothing to differentiate it from other similar cameras.
Until you realize that this is probably one of the most innovative Mamiya cameras ever.
The Magazine 35 is indeed one of the few rangefinders with interchangeable backs.
In an instant, the whole back of the camera slides down leaving just the objective and the viewfinders. This way the photographer can very quickly switch from one film to another (typically from a color film to a black and white) just by sliding a new magazine in. The camera came with two backs and extras could be purchased separately.
Mamiya had to completely rework its system to design a self-standing back that would contain the winding and rewinding mechanisms, as well as a slide to protect the film. Only very few rangefinder cameras offered Interchangeable backs. Most common examples are the Adox 300 and Kodak Ektra.
Despite its definite innovation, the Magazine 35 was not a commercial success, no doubt due to the increased cost of such a complex camera system. Making it a sought after collectible today.