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Tag Archives: performance

MAMIYA C330F – The Best Mamiya TLR

MAMIYA C330F – magnusslayde.

 

Description and function of the C330F camera, and it’s capabilities, flaws and quirks.

     The MAMIYA C-330F was the final version of the “C” series cameras built by the MAMIYA camera corporation of JAPAN. The “F” model was the final model produced into 1980 by the MAMIYA corporation, it was a moderatly priced unit that came with an 80mm (normal) lens, that allow professionals, and advanced amateurs to create with a great deal of flexibility and capability in the medium format 6cmX6cm (2.25″x2.25″) square realm. The twin lens system on an extension bellows allowed for extreme closeups without the use of closeup lenses or extensions, and there are a number of accesories available for this camera as well. Here are it’s following abilities;

mamiya c330

  • uses 120 and 200 film
  • Self cocking with film advance on most of the lenses (not on the 180 or 250mm though)
  • Double exposure capable
  • Interchangeable focus screens
  • right angle viewers (porrofinders) available
  • parallax correction devices

     There are a number of safety interlocks to prevent ruining film, or accidental exposures from occuring, until the user get’s used to them, they can be detrimental to action photography, as it’s easy to mis a shot from not setting things just right on the camera. The porro finders also suffered from low light when used, mostly with the mirror type, but some complaints with the prism were heard as well. The lenses are all excellent quality and design, the give supperior photos, usually only seen with German or Russian optics, comparable to the Japanese lenses used in the KONI OMEGA Rapid 100,200 and M series. The lenses available are as follows;

  • 55mm (wide angle) F4.5
  • 65mm (wide angle) F3.5
  • 80mm (normal) F2.8
  • 105mm (normal ,good portrait lens) F3.5                           
  • 135mm  (telephoto) F4.5
  • 180mm (telephoto) F4.5
  • 250mm (telephoto) F6.5

      Some users including myself have found that the 180mm and 250mm old style lenses don’t quite fit the MAMIYA C330F camera, the lens connection is the same, but he aluminum and steel cases of the lenses are just a little too big, and jam the self cocking lever. I have a perfect old style 180mm that I carefully marked with a map pencil as to the area of the case that the cocking lever rubs across when operating, and then ground down the case in that area with a DREMEL rotary tool, and the used sanding cuffs the the dremel to smoooth it out, now the camera works with the lens, and allow the film to advance, with the 180 and 250mm you have to cock the lens manually anyway, so this isn’t a big issue.

Manual for C330F

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/mamiya/mamiya_c330f_prof/mamiya_c330f_prof.htm

Photos by Mamiya C330F:

beautiful set about portrait:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/donlam/tags/c330f/page4/

Another set about landscape and stills:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/46665374@N06/sets/72157623230753752/with/4376981854/

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Rolleiflex 2.8F Review

Source:Photography Matters

Imagine if you had to choose just one camera and lens for all your photography for the rest of your life. You can make it whatever you want but there’s no going back. Film or digital? 35mm or medium format? Large format? You can make a case for lots of different cameras depending on the type of work you want to do with them.
Given that scenario, I’d go for the Rolleiflex 2.8F every time. Over the years I’ve used a lot of cameras. Some of them I’ve posted about under the “favourite cameras” tab. I’ll get round to writing about some others one day but the one that never failed me and proved more versatile the more I used it was the Rollei.
I say “was” because I haven’t put a roll of film through it for years. And the bad news is that it has now started to develop a little fungus between the elements of its fabulous 80mm Planar lens. Of course, it’s that superb glass that is the heart of the Rolleiflex and that’s why I’m thinking about sending it away to be CLA’d. The focusing screen is also a little dim now having picked up some scratches over the years.

Dim and Distant

That’s the real reason that the Rollei hasn’t seen a lot of use over the last decade: I found I could no longer easily focus it. When you look down into the collapsible hood you see a picture that is laterally reversed. It takes a little while to get used to this but pretty soon it becomes second nature. I’d lost the knack when I picked up the Rollei after a period of years and when I found that I was really having to strain to get the image in focus as well, I decided it was time to put it aside.
I read on the internet about replacement screens but these were so expensive I couldn’t justify the outlay. Then someone said that a Mamiya RB67 screen could be cut down to fit and that made more sense. I managed to get one off Ebay but haven’t fitted it yet. Maybe whoever does the CLA can fit it for me.
Sticky Shutter
It was round about that time, say six months ago, when I noticed that the glass wasn’t looking quite as pristine as it used to. The camera’s in pretty good condition considering it’s about 46 years old – just a couple of years younger than I am – but it’s always suffered from sticky slow speeds. Normally the one and half second setting will fire OK but sometimes the shutter sticks wide open. That’s something else that the CLA should cure.
So what’s so good about the Rollei? First, kind of like the Leica, it’s just a beautifully built camera that’s lovely to hold and operate. Unlike the Leica, however, which produces results that are not discernibly better than other top 35mm cameras, the Rollei’s images are superb. When you pop a fantastic lens like the 80mm Planar on the front, couple it to a near silent and vibration-free shutter and add in the Rollei’s engineering integrity, you have a recipe for success.
OK, so I’d be restricted to just one lens instead of choosing a camera with a zoom but the 80mm focal length equates to something like a 35mm lens on the 35mm format if printed square and a 43mm lens if printed onto 8×10″ paper and is much more versatile than you’d think. The vast majority of photographs during the film era were taken somewhere in the 40-50mm range although I’d imagine that would no longer be the case for digital cameras most of which are equipped with wide-range zooms. A focal length of 40mm or so is my favourite anyway so the Rollei is ideal for my particular view of the world.
Nowadays, I’ll come back from a photography trip with hundreds and hundreds of images, many of which are duplicates of the same scene as I tried different views and adjusted exposure, etc. With 35mm this tendency was nowhere near as acute but out of 36 explosures it was uncommon for there to be more than about eight that you could say were different in the sense of being completely separate photographs rather than variations on a theme. With the 12 shots available on the Rollei (24 if you used 220 film), you had to make every one count. Under that sort of pressure I definitely took far more care and gave the scene much more thought.

Then there’s the square format. If you’ve only ever seen the world as a rectangle, you tend to think that it will be difficult composing within a 6x6cm square. But you’d be wrong. It didn’t seem to matter whether it was a landscape, a portrait, a street shot, or whatever, the square format is just a powerful way of representing a three dimensional world in two dimensions. It’s especially good for street work or, strange as it might seem, as a walkabout camera. It doesn’t appear to intimidate people the way a big DSLR like the D700 can and the fact that you’re looking down into the hood lends the process of photographing someone an air of detachment. It’s just less confrontational.

Looking at some of the pics on this post, I can see that my Rollei might need a bit of a renovation on top of a CLA. It’s missing some leather from the front panel from the time a few months ago when I decided to take the front off to see if I could get at the fungus. That’ll need to be replaced. Then there’s a lump under the leather on the winder side of the camera where there’s some corrosion on one of the screw heads. Maybe it’s time to strip all the leather off, clean everything up and give it a new set of clothes courtesy of cameraleather.com. They do a leather kit that is virtually identical to the original but I quite fancy the British Racing Green calfskin. Nice!

That’s the Rolleiflex 2.8F, then. A versatile, reliable, beautifully made camera that’s capable of the highest quality photographs. A little TLC and my Rollei will be fit enough to take outside again with a few rolls of XP2 for company.

Film Review: 120-Format Kodak Ektar 100

Just cannot live without 120 film.

 

I managed to get my hands on some120-format Kodak Ektar 100 before it was available to the general public, and I was given the opportunity to conduct an informal review of the film. Based on the hype surrounding this film, I was quite happy to test it out. After shooting 5 rolls through a few different cameras, I was not at all disappointed with the results as I scanned them in.

I found the colors to be extremely natural and pleasing under daylight conditions. And the sharpness and grain are absolutely to die for. In general, the film has the best characteristics from both slide film and color negative film. Read on for my informal review.

ABOUT THE FILM

The Umbrella Perched on a Sink

Kodak Professional Ektar 100 is a color-negative film (using the C-41 process) available in 35mm and 120-formats. It is claimed to have extremely fine grain (the world’s finest for color-neg) and high color saturation, making it ideal for nature, landscape, and travel photographers.

In September, 2008 the Ektar 100 became available in 35mm format. Due to popular demand, Kodak has made the film available in 120-format in April, 2009 (I believe it’s available for purchase through a few vendors right now).

MY NON-TECHNICAL REVIEW

La Jolla Coastline San Clemente Pier

Equipped with a pro-pack of the Ektar 100, I loaded up my two medium format cameras and headed out on a few photowalks along the coast. One camera was my old 1956 Minolta Autocord MXS (twin lens reflex) and the other was my Diana+ (toy camera). I must admit, putting this film into a plastic toy camera felt a bit like ripping the engine from an F-1 car and strapping it to a tricycle.

The first day I shot this film, the weather turned heavy overcast quite rapidly, but I managed to finish off three rolls. I went out a few days later and shot the last two rolls in full sunshine. The film can certainly be used in either condition, but its white balance is intended for daylight use. The overcast photos just scanned in a bit cold — and I could have adjusted it, but it seemed fitting to leave them as is.

The Family in La Jolla Splish-Splash

Up to this point, I’ve been shooting mostly Kodak Portra VC color-neg films on medium format (and a little bit of Velvia slide). The Ektar 100 seems quite comparable to the color saturation of these films, but the colors on the Ektar 100 seem more “realistic” to me. The color saturation and contrast isn’t so overbearing that it looks unnatural, and the colors seems to closely represent the actual colors of the scene. One thing I did notice, though, is that the greens tend to be more saturated than the other colors — sometimes a bit too much.

The shots (especially those from the TLR) appear to be very sharp and free from grain. I might even go so far as to say that the Ektar 100 is comparable to Ilford’s PanF Plus black and white film (which is the primary film I use with my Autocord). Though I’ve only scanned the film (which tends to present softer grain versus an optical enlarger), I was hard-pressed to find any signs of grain even at 100% zoom on a 3200 ppi scan.

GRAIN? WHAT GRAIN?

If you don’t believe me, see for yourself. Here’s an image with a decent exposure — the little box is the spot I’ve taken the 100% crop for the image immediately below it. The full image is approximately 50MP, or 7000 x 7000 pixels.

Kayakers

Kayakers at 100% Crop

The softness of the 100% crop probably comes from scanning the film since I don’t use any sharpening while scanning. Even so, I can usually make out the grain easily on most films — it’s just not as sharp as with an optical enlargement. The Ektar 100 scans don’t show much sign of grain.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

I Stand Alone La Jolla Pier

I like it — a lot. When I decide to shoot color on my TLR, I’ll probably use the Ektar 100 exclusively. The colors look great and the shots appear to be very sharp and fine-grained. I’m still undecided with the Diana+… I might try a few more rolls and see how it goes, but I’m still leaning toward the Portra VC films just because I have a history of good results with it.

The Ektar 100 film seems to have similar features of slide film (high saturation and fine grain), but with a more forgiving dynamic range of a color negative.

But the thing that gets me most about this film is how natural the colors appear. Color film often has a “film-like” appearance to it because of shifted colors or grain. The Ektar 100 (to me) looks more like a well-processed digital than it does a typical film.

Would I recommend this film for color enthusiasts? Certainly! It seems well-suited for landscape and nature photography, but even skin tones in portraits aren’t completely unnatural.

via Film Review: 120-Format Kodak Ektar 100.