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

Pros:

— 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

Cons

— 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 KEH.com. Will keep you posted.

Cheers!

Below are some sample images I’ve shot

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