Mama Mamiya!

July 26, 2011

After a year and some months of shooting with my Rolleiflex, I’ve finally graduated to a system camera – the Mamiya RZ67. I’m really excited to have interchangeable backs (meaning I can switch what film I’m shooting with mid-roll, and always keep one loaded with B&W, and one with color).

Plus the rotating back feature is super cool, as I can’t imagine any scenario where I would feel comfortable flipping this beast on its side in order to take a vertical photo!

By request of the awesome Lisa Kejonen, I made sure to take a mirror SP with my second roll of film. This was a new film for me (Ilford Pan F Plus 50) being shot with a new camera, so the results were so-so. They did get me excited to learn how to properly wield this beast, though.

Despite the fact that I desperately need a neckstrap, I’m pretty much in love.

On an extremely technical note:

While shooting my first roll I had a brief moment of panic when I noticed that the sound the shutter made was more or less the same exact sound no matter what speed I set it. 1/400 to 1/2 – all the same.

Then I RTFMed like I should’ve in the first place and learned that the actual shutter is in the LENS. Oh, DUH!. I removed the magazine, set the shutter to 2 seconds and released it while looking through the lens. Sure enough, the shutter blades opened and closed for 2 seconds, making a faint little tick! when the time was up.

I’m sorry if all of that sounded like a bunch of gibberish to any of you! I only mentioned it in the event that anyone who may stumble on this post in the future might find it helpful. Google failed to help me much, as I knew my battery was full and the camera wasn’t in emergency mode.

Camera: Mamiya RZ67
Lens: Mamiya 110mm 2.8
Film: Ilford Pan F Plus 50
Scanned from a negative developed by Blue Moon Camera & Machine

Oh my, thanks for the shoutout and sorry for commenting way late. And I dare say thats you that’s the awesome one :)

I’ve decided to go all business from autumn 2013 so I’m in the stage of preparing a decent portfolio, saving up for gear, thinking and re-tinking branding strategies. I was accepted to the sapmi business bootcamp (business develompent program) and have been assigned a tutor , which is so unbelievable and wicked cool. Anyways, what I really wanted to say was that for the first tuition we were to fill a questionary and one of the Qs were to mention some persons that inspire oneself and you’re on my list :)

Oh Lisa! HOORAY! This is such exciting news!! And I’m very flattered to have been included in your list of inspirations. It goes both ways, most definitely. :)

hehe Love the Serenity reference! I’ve never named my cameras but it might be fun to try it out. :-)

Ommgggggg, I can’t wait wait wait to see the photos out of this beast. (I love this one, too.)

Is it just me or can you already tell the quality is super slick even from this photo? I CAN. It’s like when Mal first found Serenity. (Not that I am implying your Mamiya is in rough shape) but ooooh boy oh boy humminah humminah!

LOL. Dude, if I ever stuck with the names I give my cameras, I’d totally start calling this thing Serenity! But, I always make a big deal out of naming my cameras and then never actually use them name. I love when other people do it but… I dunno, I always feel kinda silly.

About the IQ: I get it, too. Half this roll were band photos I tried to shoot in dodgy lighting for Harlowe. They didn’t turn out that great overall, but when just looking at bits and pieces of each photo I’m like, Joey Lawrence-ing all over the place, haha. I’m excited to develop my first “real” roll, now that I know A) that the shutter DOES work ;) and B) what is/isn’t an appropriate shutter speed for handheld shooting.


Kim, congrats on your new baby!

Jacqueline, I’ve had my Hasselblad for about 10 years now, and though it’s wonderful, I started with a Rolleiflex to get comfortable with MF. I’m glad I did that since the resale value of Rolleiflexes are good and the Hassy had a bit of a learning curve (mostly the film loader) that would have been longer had I not already experimented in MF.

I shoot handheld since I have a bit of an aversion to tripods and I would agree that it gets heavy around your neck. I tend to just be careful walking around with it and keep it in my hands or in a bag.

Thanks Erica! To be sure, I carry it in a camera tote and pull it out only when I’m shooting. I walked around my neighborhood one day with it just in my hands and could feel the burn by the time I got back to my apartment. But, it’s worth it – I, too, loathe tripods, and avoid them at all costs unless the scene truly requires it.

ooooh! i have been dying to get into MF but don’t quite know where to start. all i know is i want it to have a waist-level viewfinder. i’m thinking hassey.

Also, forgot to mention, Rolleis and other TLR cameras are a good in-between introduction to MF. Most people start with Holgas, I have officially broken up with my toy cameras though, haha. A used TLR comes at a pretty decent price, and they’re lightweight, easy to hold, super easy to learn how to use… Always a great conversation starter, too! It’s definitely what I’d recommend to someone wanting to start up with MF. Unless you wanna just dive in head first, then I say go for the Hassy!

Hassys are definitely more manageable than the RZ67 in regards to size! But, even though I’ve barley had this beast for a month, I don’t think I could let go of the rotating back feature. Simply switch a button, rotate the magazine and voila! I’m shooting vertically! Of course, if you plan on shooting 6×6 that feature is totally useless, hah. :)

Get yourself a tripod! I can’t even imagine putting that thing on a neck strap…you’d break your neck! lol I can’t wait to see more shots from this camera. I’ll have to bring mine out soon to play with it some more. I tend to use my Mamiya 645 more because it has a light meter and is a little easier to manage because of its size. How are you metering your shots?

Oh! And I forgot to answer your question – I have a handheld light meter, the Sekonic L-358.

Hearing about how heavy this camera is made me a little worried after I’d already decided to buy it, but I honestly don’t think it’s as heavy as people say it is! I shoot a lot with my D700 and 105mm lens, which is ~3.5 lbs – the RZ67 setup I have is a little over 5 lbs. Not too much difference! Or maybe I’m just buffer than the average JoAnne? ;)

I mostly want the neckstrap to protect against the (heaven forbid) possibility of dropping it, as it isn’t exactly the most ergonomic piece of equipment ever, to say the least!