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Week Twenty Three, Mamiya 645

April 11, 2017

Week 23 – The Mamiya 645.

TMax Party week, a week of fair weather and the kiddie winkies on hols meant a chance for some photographic fun. The Mamiya is another one of those cubed multiple attachment medium format SLRs, in fact go back a month and read the Bronica week there is little to say different! The 2 main differences were for this one there isn't the option of interchangeable backs and the mirror recoil is much gentler. I went all tripod and slide in square filters so I could play a bit and get the beasty down in the slower shutter speeds.

Film 1 – Ilfords SFX 200, a black and white film mimicking infra-red film but my twitter buddy Sandeep informed me could be shot like regular B&W film. It was a nice sunny day with the right sort of clouds. I wandered the harbours dropping in yellow, orange and eagerly popping in the red filter to darken those blue skies. There was my first school boy error! If you look at the ice cream van shots the writing has all but disappeared, I had been so focused on the background I missed how it would treat the central character! That said the results are very good over all, a film for first time out I thought I did well with and it has a feel and glow I really liked. Then we get to our second film…

Film 2 – Kodak TMax 400. A film I have struggled with, I just cannot get to grips with this finicky film. The 3 days it took to shoot it ranged from even overcast grey to super bright harsh clear skies so developing for all image metering was difficult. I tried stacking filters for effect, a couple have graduated ND filters behind orange and that didn't really work giving a look like I used a lightroom filter badly! I tried 2 shallow D of F of my kids, one close and one far with the latter not really working for me. I am just not a great fan of this film type and the images just miss something for me although these are probably my better efforts.

The camera itself was nice to use, simple, straight forward and sharp. I cannot see myself going down this route though, I prefer my 6x6 TLRs. If interchangeable lens/viewer options are important to you this modular type system might be for you if you don't mind heavy! Which of the several available makes would be down to aesthetic taste?

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