Medium Format, Frost, and Bugs

Asian Beetle on a Mum

I finally got a medium format camera. I’ve been hemming and hawing about this for a while: 35mm, 6×6 TLR, or 6×7 SLR? I finally went with a Mamiya C330 TLR purchased from KEH via Ebay. It was relatively inexpensive, but could use a good cleaning.

Frost killed tomatoes

The picture above is from my first roll of file through it, Kodak TMAX400. All in all not too bad, I’d say. The scans reveal an incredible amount of detail. It’s really quite stunning. I seem to have a bit of a lint issue somewhere, as all of the negatives have somewhat large squigly pieces of lint in them as well as regular flecks. I’ll have to think about my processing procedures and see where I can try to reduce dust contamination.

I’m very happy with the sharpness of the pictures. I also like using the waist level finder. It’s easy to get focus (though not fast). The biggest downside is the price. A single roll of TMAX400 film costs about $3.80. I get 12 exposures from a roll of film. Once the bloom wears off my new toy I’m guessing that I’ll shoot a roll a week or so. I had thought about trying some slide film, but the cost of the film plus processing is approaching $10 per roll. A bit too much for my blood.

I’ve already got a series of shooting strategies for my next several rolls:

  • Hand-held push: My current roll has several shots at 1/30th shutter speed. I want to see how that will turn out.
  • Under the lights: I want to see how the camera / film / pictures respond when using it for portraiture and my lights.
  • Pushing: Push the film to ISO1600 and/or ISO3200.

I had 10 rolls of film when I started. I’m down to 8 rolls now. Soon to be 5.

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  1. I will never go back to film. I don’t have that kind of skill. But one day, one of those Mamiya DM22s is going to drop into my lap.

    However, please keep up your shots because they are inspiring!

      • Nick
      • October 21st, 2009

      DM22? If you’re dreaming might as well go for the DM28, right? With a full compliment of lenses to boot.

      Thanks for your kind words. I’ve definitely been in a photographic slump lately and I’m hoping that my recent acquisition will give me a bit more creative energy.

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