MOPA - My Own Private Assumptions

Mamiya, first encounters

About 2 month ago i was browsing eBay and came across a dream listing of mine — Mamiya RZ67.

I badly wanted to shoot with this camera ever since I got hooked on medium format. The listing stated that it was the Pro version ( Mamiya made 3 versions altogether — RZ67Pro, RZ67Pro II and RZ67ProIID). It came with one of the kit lenses, 90mm F3.5, not the sought after 110mm F2.8, but I did not care — the price was too good to pass on( paid $367 including shipping from Japan, and Shinto gods protected me from paying custom duties). To my obvious surprise, the camera arrived 5 days later, shout out to Japan Post, instead of a promised month.

The first impression — it is a heavy beast, it’s a tank, it’s a machine, it’s a beauty! Dark sheen and all- only a gear whore would understand. It took a bit of time and youtube videos ( especially Matt Day)to figure the nuts and bolts and I was on my way.

All and all I shot about 5 or 6 rolls for the last 3 weeks, mostly Ilford HP5 and Kodak Ektar.

Here are the pros and cons aI can think of


— amazing bright viewfinder with a grid

— ability to focus really close( due to bellows)

— you can shoot both landscape and portrait mode without flipping the camera

— sharp lens

— negative size. You can capture A LOT OF detail.

— the camera feels great in your hands. Albeit the size and the boxiness, it is a pleasure to shoot with and you burn through film really quick


— size and weight, both curse and blessing

— flimsy lever that switches the camera to both rotating and multiple exposure modes.

— during the first shoot i had couple of issues when the shutter just wouldn’t fire, have to figure out that one

— i tried to shoot with strobes and had issues with the sync cable and the transceivers— the flash fired 1 time out of 3 or 4 shots ( lots of wastwd film, still working on figuring that out

— negative size. You get only 10 shots per roll, plus when scanning( usually i do it at home) due to the size, you can only scan two at the time.

To sum up, I really enjoy my Mamiya (and she does hold a resale value, just in case). I am planning to get that 110mm or maybe 127mm lens, plus Polaroid back and maybe the AE Finder, probably from Will keep you posted.


Below are some sample images I’ve shot