Week 49 – The Mamiya c330
The last couple of weeks have left me smarting a bit if I am honest, I like to see nice images and they had been thin on the ground. Emulsivefilm’s DeltaDefJam had come around again and I wanted to at least hold my head up amongst my peers. The Mamiya c330 was just the ticket, a 1970s TLR aimed at the pro and serious amateur market it promised quality. 1.7 kilos of simplicity is what you get, no meter, Aperture and shutter rings around the taking lens, interchangeable lenses mounted on rack and pinion bellows for focusing which holds 2 sweet 80mm lenses. You view through a lovely bright ground glass with a fancy system for parallax correction involving an indicator needle and exposure correction scale, simple but effective.
I intended to run it alongside the Bronica s2a which would give me a whole bag of my favourite 6x6 images hopefully. Each would have a pair of Ilford Delta films of the 400 and 100 asa variety. A quick rummage in the filter boxes turned up a nice set of black and white filters but no hood. Loading was straight forward and I was pretty confident there would be no light leaks as it had just had new seals. The only slight question mark was the lenses which had some marks.
The week started slowly with work and dreary weather, I did manage an hour or so over the river Tamar at Torpoint but just 3 shots to show for it and not feeling too inspired. It was Friday before I really got a chance to get my teeth into it. I got an early start and tried my luck on the other side of the city taking the water taxi over the river Plym to Mount Batten. It was a much better day with sun, clouds and a mind willing to work. The Mamiya made it easy, it can focus really close and equally sharp at infinity, everything looks super sharp and almost 3D like in the viewer. It is quite however heavy and doubled up with mighty Bronie my back knew it had been worked hard. There are lots of boat yards to meander around plus the breakwater pier and a pebble beach. The later was a real boost for inspiration and I found when I got down low I could create little Micro landscapes in the rocks and pools. I was so taken with this idea I returned on the Sunday and shot more with the Bronie.
In short it performed really well, excellent consistent images only limited by my short comings, I did lose one frame completely but that was me. I have to say it is a bit of a lump for a TLR and setting up for exposures is a bit fiddly compared to others, ergonomics were not high on the designers mind but you can forgive this given the high quality images it churns out with ease. This isn’t the tidiest example around but it certainly performed well. I am looking forward to the film party now!
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