Medium format photography: sometimes, bigger really is better

And here is another exciting post: I have to say, I can barely cope with all this photographic excitement, I’ll need to go and sit down in a dark corner and cuddle up to my tripod or something if this keeps going!

A colleague at work invited me over last Friday to look at his Mamiya 645 ProTL: he had told me on a train journey to work a few days before that he had bought it a few years ago – and had never used it!  So he was thinking of selling it, but wanted to let me borrow it with a view to eventually perhaps buying it from him rather than putting it up for sale somewhere.  Very generously, he’s letting me play with it until September – so I can take it with me on holiday and try it in lots of different settings.  There are 80mm and 150mm lenses (approx. 50mm and 95mm in ‘normal’ 35mm film format), and the camera has a motor winder.  He has also given me a couple of rolls of Fujichrome (Provia 100F), and lots of rolls of monochrome film.  All the film is out of date, but has been kept in a fridge so should be absolutely fine.

And there’s more: as he was getting this out for me, he also came across his old Rolleiflex 2.8C (number 13 here; there appears to no direct link), along with a collection of filters for monochrome photography (orange, yellow-green etc.).  And he wanted to give this to me as he was no longer using it… So I went home that day with two medium format cameras and various accessories, one of them mine, the other possibly to become mine!

I had been wondering about moving into medium format photography for a while, primarily because of the tremendous image quality that it offers with the bigger film, but the cost of doing so was putting me off (my overdraft needs nurturing, not more abuse!).  So the gift and the loan offer from my colleague took me very much by surprise, and I really welcome it.  Yesterday I dropped off the first Fujichrome (Mamiya) and Ilford (Rolleiflex) films to be processed.  I suspect they’ll be rather bad, but I look forward to lots of practice, and I’ll begin to put images up here too!

Of course, I’ll now need to get a scanner that can cope with this size of film… anyone want to buy my present scanner?!


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  1. Pingback: First results from the Rolleiflex | taking processing developing viewing

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