Tag Archives: Film Photography Project

Mamiya m645 Super

My real interest in medium format began during my visit to San Clemente, California, in March for the Film Photography Project Walking Workshop 2015. On the second day of the workshop, Mat Marrash covered medium and large format film and cameras. Up to this point, my experience with medium format, 120 film, was with my Holga, Debonair, and Yashica-A. After seeing some of the medium format cameras at the workshop, I added a few to my wish list, like the Pentax 645, Mamiya 645, and of course a Hasselblad. My heart wanted the Pentax, my eyes wanted the Hasselblad, but my wallet led me to the Mamiya.

Mamiya m645 Super
The Mamiya m645 Super is a medium format SLR camera made in 1985 by Mamiya in Tokyo, Japan. It features a Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f/2.8 lens, and shutter speeds are bulb, 4 through 1/1000 second. Like other medium format cameras, it’s a modular system, meaning you can add different components like a waist-level viewfinder, prism viewfinder, manual winding crank, powered winding grip, 120, 220, or Polaroid film back. One of the great features about using a medium format camera like the Mamiya is the ability to change the film back at any time using a metal dark slide to block the light from exposing the film.

These are some photos I captured on Kodak Tri-X 400 Black & White 120 Film, developed at home with New55 R3 Monobath, and scanned the negatives with an Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner. The photos were taken at the Ogden Union Station Restoration Shop in Ogden, Utah. For more information about the shop and the restoration of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway locomotive No. 223, read my guest post at IndieOgden.com.

I really enjoy shooting with the m645 Super. The camera and grip feel good, solid in my hands. What don’t I like about it? The shutter on this camera is loud. The mirror slap and powered film advance make a sound loud enough to set off car alarms and register on a seismograph at Utah State. Yes, I’m exaggerating, a little, but this camera is loud. And while the lens is sharp, stopping down makes it very dark in the viewfinder. On a roll of color film where I was shooting outdoors (100 ISO), I found the best solution was to focus, stop down (f/16 or f/22), check the meter, set the shutter speed, and then take the shot. Even outdoors in bright sunlight, f/22 is very dark through the viewfinder. Most of my images at the restoration shop were done at f/2.8. The 80mm lens is a great choice for portraits, which was my intent for this purchase.

There’s something very satisfying about shooting medium format film in an SLR. To me, I like knowing that my image is going to yield a large negative. I actually surprised myself, being new to souping my own film at home, the larger negative was easier for me to position and feed on to a Paterson spool than 35mm film. I’ll be sharing some additional photos from this camera in the near future.

Advertisements

Film Photography Project Walking Workshop – Part 3

On the first day of the FPP Walking Workshop, each person received a ticket to be part of a camera giveaway. Everyone had a chance to browse through several tables of cameras, select one, and enter to win that specific camera. I’ve been fascinated with old rangefinder cameras lately, so I put my ticket in the cup next to a Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. Because there were so many cameras, I was the only person that entered to win this 7s, and by default, I won! Along with the camera came a printed instruction manual, a contact sheet displaying the test images from the camera, and a letter entitled, “To the new owner,” along with details and specific information about the camera. Again, thank you FPP listener and contributor Johnny Brain in Iowa for this outstanding camera!

The Minolta Hi-Matic 7s rangefinder was manufactured in 1966. The 7s is one model in the popular line of Hi-Matic’s made from 1962 to 1984. Some other notable 35mm rangefinder cameras made during this time are the Canon Canonet and the Yashica Electro 35 series. The 7s has a very sharp, and wide, 45mm f/1.8 Rokkor lens. The aperture on the leaf shutter lens goes from f/1.8 all the way to f/22! Shutter speeds range from bulb, 4/sec up to 500/sec, ISO 25 to 800, and includes an automatic mode for both shutter and aperture settings. The 7s has a Contrast Light Compensation (CLC) metering system. This was an original feature Minolta borrowed from their SR-T SLR line of cameras and used for the Hi-Matic’s. The meter sensor is positioned at the top of the lens and the visible needle can be seen through the bright, clear, viewfinder. The meter is battery-powered and originally required a mercury battery. This 7s has an updated battery and uses an adapter with a diode to step-down the power for correct metering.

On the second day of the workshop, I sat outside in the warm morning sun and read through the 7s manual. Like a kid with a new toy, I really wanted to use this camera. I put some Kodak Ektar 100 in the 7s and used it to capture various moments throughout the second day. Aside from some poor compositions and getting used to the rangefinder, I’m really impressed with this camera. While walking around the workshop, several people commented on what a great camera it is. Yes, I’ve made a few easy mistakes with this camera. For example, because it’s a rangefinder, I’ve forgotten to remove the lens cap on two occasions. And as Leslie Lazenby points out on Episode #122 of the Film Photography Podcast, this camera also has the longest throw for advancing the film, 220 degrees! Because of this, I cranked the film right off the end of the roll! I won’t misjudge the film advance on this camera, or any other, ever again. I’m really impressed with this camera. I enjoy this camera so much that it was one of the five I selected to take to the Oregon coast a few weeks ago. If you’re looking for a solid rangefinder with sharp glass, make sure to check out the Hi-Matic’s. If you’re buying used, I recommend examining the leaf shutter for missing or broken aperture blades/leafs. If you’re concerned about using the meter, check into an updated battery or simply use the Sunny 16 Rule.

 

This Post Sponsored by:
50% off Aluminum panels at MailPix Canvas – Use promo code: Panel50 and get 50% off aluminum panels through August 31st at MailPix.com. Aluminum panels are a beautiful way to display your photos. Featuring a glossy surface and rounded edges. Aluminum panels are waterproof and float on the wall when displayed with no visible frame.

 


Film Photography Project Walking Workshop – Part 1

Two weeks ago, Scott Smith and I flew from Utah to San Diego, California, and drove up to San Clemente for the Film Photography Project Walking Workshop at the headquarters of TheDarkroom.com. We arrived a day early because we knew we wanted to take our time getting to our hotel in Dana Point, and find some good photo ops along the way. We spent some time walking around San Clemente, stopping at various small shops including Arcade Camera. At six o’clock we went down to the pier for some photos at sunset. I took five film cameras with me, one of them was the Minolta SR-T202 that I had purchased earlier in the month. This was my first opportunity to use this camera, so I loaded it with some Kodak Ektar 100 film and casually walked along the beach. One of the shots I wanted to get was the lifeguard stand with the pier at sunset. This is the first time I’ve done any real landscape photography in several years.

The next morning at the workshop, we were greeted with a big smile and handshake from Michael Raso and Mat Marrash from the Film Photography Podcast. One of the first people in the group I recognized was Brian Moore, a knowledgeable photographer from Huntington Beach. Another was Mark Dalzell also from the Film Photography Podcast and Smoove Sailors. Mark gave me some advice last year on cleaning my Argus C3. We talked about what a great indestructible workhorse the C3 is.

The entire staff at The Dark Room deserve a big thank you. From myself and my fellow FPP friends, thank you! Keith, Phil, and Joe, the tour was fascinating. You opened your business doors to a bunch of strangers and customers (and some strange customers), answered countless questions and made sure everyone was having a good time. Again, thank you so much.

As the afternoon progressed, Michael and Mark spoke about unique, unusual, and hand-rolled films. One of the more entertaining presentations was Michael’s commentary about Svema film from Russia. They don’t respond to email, but will accept a purchase order, accept money, and ship film to the FPP in New Jersey. I believe the repeated remark from Michael was, “Hey! You don’t know what’s going on in Russia!” After completing the roll of Kodak Ektar in the Minolta SR-T202, I loaded it with Svema Color Negative 125. Photographers that have purchased it from the FPP Store have nothing but positive things to say, so I’m very optimistic. After the discussion on film, Michael gave away some unique film from the FPP Store, including some color infrared, 620 film and the new FPP 620 film spools.

Each FPP workshop attendee received a ticket to be part of a camera giveaway. Everyone had a chance to browse through several tables of cameras, select one, and enter the raffle to win that camera. I won a beautiful Minolta 7s rangefinder. Along with the camera came a printed instruction manual, a contact sheet displaying the test images from the camera, and a letter entitled, “To the new owner,” along with details and specific information about the camera. The Minolta 7s has a battery-powered exposure meter that originally required a mercury battery. The letter explains how the updated battery uses an adapter with a diode to step-down the power for the meter. Thank you FPP listener and contributor Johnny Brain in Iowa for this outstanding camera!

In the late afternoon, everyone boarded the FPP Big Yellow School Bus and went to the San Clemente Pier for a photowalk. The weather was beautiful. I took my time walking along the pier, occasionally stopping to ask random people if I could take a photo of them. When I have a camera in my hands, I have no hesitation talking to people. This is something about me that makes my friends and family uncomfortable. I know it embarrasses my kids when I stop and photograph this way. Whether its candid street photography or street portraits, a smile and a positive comment can usually produce an interesting image. The day ended with a bus ride back to The Dark Room where we spent more time talking with other photographers while sharing our newly won cameras.

To be continued…


2015: Looking Forward to Film Photography

One of the aspects of my personality is that I enjoy looking forward to specific events. I’m the kind of guy that buys concert tickets the minute they go on sale and then counts down the days to see my favorite band. Having something to look forward to keeps me going. It gives me something to go to bed thinking about and energizes me when I wake up. There are several things happening the world of film photography that I’m looking forward to in 2015.

Film Photography Project

The Film Photography Project last week announced the 2015 FPP Walking Workshop, March 14th & 15th. This annual event is now in its third year. The workshop this year will be two full days in San Clemente, California. The workshop includes a tour of TheDarkRoom.com lab, giveaways, prizes, Q&A with The Dark Room owners and staff, Q&A with the Film Photography Project gang, street photography in San Celementa, camera and film demonstrations, and more to be announced. Registration is free, but limited. If you’re thinking about going, make sure to sign up now.

Film Ferrania

In 2014 Film Ferrania launched a Kickstarter project to fund 100 More Years of Analog Film. Working closely with the Italian government, the original factory constructed in 1923 is now being re-assembled to create a new film production facility. Film Ferrania will be producing 35mm and 120mm film, as well as Super 8 and 16mm cine films. Those of us that funded the Kickstarter will be receiving our film this April! #FilmIsAlive

CineStill 120 Rolls

Unfortunately another film Kickstarter campaign went unfunded in 2014, CineStill Medium Format Film. The popularity of using motion picture film in still cameras is on the rise. Along with their 35mm film, CineStill wanted to produce tungsten balanced, 800 ISO, medium format 120mm film. The film quality gives photos an incredible cinematic look. Even though the 120mm film won’t be produced by CineStill, I don’t think the market and desire are going to go away. There’s been a lot of talk about Kodak Vision 3 film online that originally inspired CineStill. I believe someone in 2015 is going to make 120 cinematic film. I plan to shoot some CineStill 35mm this year.

I’m looking forward to executing many ideas I have for Utah Film Photography this year. I have numerous rolls of film, new vintage cameras, and exciting gear to review in 2015. We’re also planning a Utah Film Photowalk and some guest posts from local film photographers.

What are you looking forward to in film photography this year?

 

This Post Sponsored by:
Lomography is a passionate Community dedicated to Analogue Photography. We stock a huge range of practical, charming, colorful and inexpensive Cameras and a wide selection of Films.