Bristol campus with a Mamiya TLR

I decided to treat myself to a Mamiya C220 medium format twin-lens reflex camera. It takes square pictures with 6×6cm negatives. When shooting with old cameras, the golden rule is to try it before you rely on it, so I took it out for a lunchtime photowalk and photographed the “usual suspects” – things near my office that I’ve photographed many times before. I wanted to make sure the shutter worked, the bellows didn’t have holes and things like that.

Turns out the camera is in perfect working order and I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it. Not only that, but the 80mm f/2.8 lens is a wonderful piece of glass – pin sharp and with beautiful shallow depth of field. As the camera has bellows focusing built-in, you can also achieve almost 1:1 macro with no extra equipment. It was intended as a professional camera, and it feels like it. It’s heavy, sturdy and strong.

You get 12 photos on a roll and I’ve published my favourite six here. That’s an extraordinarily high hit-rate, especially given that these were just quick snapshots to test the camera. I’m delighted!

Note: Paul took the picture of the grass. I’m sure he won’t mind me stealing showcasing his work 😉 In fact, he published the same photo taken with a digital camera for comparison.

2 Comments

  1. adam
    August 14, 2012
    Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    Great shots, i just got me a rolleiflex 3.5f TLR and can’t wait to use it.
    What film did you use for these photos.?
    adam

  2. August 14, 2012
    Reply

    Thanks 🙂 These were shot on Ilford FP4+, which is probably my favourite general-purpose film.

    The Rolleiflex series are excellent, you’ll have to send me a link to your photos when you’ve published the results.

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