While were preparing some of our gear for a Photoshoot, we broke out some our old Medium Format Film Cameras, blew off some dust and admired the quality of the construction and how great they feel in the hand. Lurking in the background is our trusty digital Nikon D7000 and in the front we have a Mamiya C3 and Mamiya 645. The C3 was from my Father’s early years as a Photographer in the 50s and 60s. He showed up one day with this baby and proudly showed it to my Mom. Even at this time, the C3 was not cheap and likely cost several weeks wages. Mom was not pleased and instituted a “Zone of Silence” which according to rumors lasted several weeks! Same thing when he brought home a 12 gauge shotgun, but that is a different story!
The Mamiya 645 is not the most expensive of their line, but a sturdy workhorse. There is nothing fancy about this camera, it does have an internal light meter, but there are no “Presets” or Automatic Settings. These types of cameras really teach you Manual Operation, and being film, you really have to think about what it is you are trying to achieve, have confidence in your mastery of light and perform a “first time right” shot. There is no instant preview which we are now used to with digital cameras. We almost always shoot digital in Manual Mode, just because of our training with gear such as this – take the plunge and put your camera on Manual and experiment. At least you won’t need to wait a week for the proofs to come back from The Lab!
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Happy Shooting, Kathleen and Erik