Just before going on my summer holiday, in a moment of madness, I bought a used RZ67 Pro II medium format film camera.
As someone who still uses and enjoys film photography I have long thought I would like to try using medium format film. I have previously borrowed both a Hasselblad V series camera and a Rolleiflex Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) and enjoyed the experience and the results after short-term use. People react differently to being photographed when the photographer is looking down into the camera and they can still exchange eye contact. I wasn’t sure how practical these cameras would be for long-term use but I always had a hankering to own one.
Buying what is an unfamiliar complex camera and immediately using it for holiday photos felt like a huge gamble. This is a big heavy camera — it’s not easy to carry, the viewfinder is inverted, shutter speed is limited and there is no light meter. Ten shots of 120 film plus the associated processing and scanning is expensive. There is a lot to go wrong!
In practice I found the camera comfortable to use and handle. With a decent wide strap it was reasonably comfortable to carry, often cradled on my forearm. It’s reassuringly heavy!
From the four rolls of film I shot I am very pleased with the results. This is me, looking pleased, below.
I went for an RZ67 over a Hasselblad or Rolleiflex to avoid being constrained to square photographs. The Mamiya has a clever rotating film back that allows one to switch between landscape and portrait format on-the-fly. The downside is that this makes the camera big, certainly compared to the Hasselblad (that feels like a beautifully engineered Swiss watch) or the Rolleiflex that has a much simpler mechanical design.
Even taking these few downsides into account I am delighted with this camera and looking forward to using it more.Posted on July 25, 2019 #Photography