Mamiya C220 Cable Release and Exposure Question

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by serhan74us, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. serhan74us

    serhan74us Member

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    Hello,

    I have a hardware question. I have purchased a Mamiya C220 kit (Body, 80 mm lens, left handed grip, shade for the 80 mm lens, WLF, porro finder, caps, 46 mm filters, literature-all hardly used and in mint condition for 350 USD). I intend to do bulb exposures, so I would need a cable release. I have been googleing for days in vain. Does anybody know where I could find one (hopefully at a reasonable price)?

    My second question is regarding exposure in this system. I have never used a camera that did not have a built-in meter. To determine exposure for the C220 I have two options: A prehistoric Kalimat B-1 meter, and the built-in meter for my trusty but cheesy Canon EOS XSN. I figure that at a lens setting of 50 mm with my Canon (and with the same filters) I could determine the correct exposure for the C220 with the 80 mm lens. Would that work?

    I certainly would appreciate your input regarding these questions. Thanks in advance.

    regards,

    Serhan
     
  2. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    A cable release is pretty simple to obtain. Check Adorama, B&H, or Freestyle (an APUG advertiser). As to metering, yes, the 80mm Mamiya lens is the supposed equvalent "normal" lens to the 35mm's 50mm lens, but there still may be variables you might need to compensate for. Try it. Shoot a few rolls and make adjustments as you encounter the need to....film is still relatively cheap, thank goodness:wink:


    Here, specifically, is a link to Freestyle's cable release offerings:

    http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_search.php?rfnp=80&q=cable+release&rfnc=804&
     
  3. donbga

    donbga Member

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    You can pickup Gossen Luna Pro meters and the spot attachment on e-bay for a song these days. A much better option than using another camera to meter with, IMO.

    Don Bryant
     
  4. clarence

    clarence Member

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    Hello,
    You should be able to find cable releases on ebay for not too much.

    Regarding exposure, I like to use my SLR's spotmeter to give me the most accurate reading. Even if you don't have a spot-meter in your SLR, mount a tele lens or a shorter lens with a tele-converter. With the longest focal length possible on your lens combination, you have a spot-meter at well under half the cost of a proper dedicated spot-meter.

    But since you are using the C220, you will have to compensate for exposure when you focus on near objects. If you look at the left side of your camera while you extend the bellows to focus nearer, you will notice a focus and exposure scale on the side that will tell you how much you will have to compensate for exposure or parallax error.

    Clarence
     
  5. serhan74us

    serhan74us Member

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    Jovo, Dongba, Clarence: Thanks for your input.

    Jovo: Do you know which of those cable release offerings at Freestyle would work with the socket of the C220?

    Dongba: I agree, it is just that I have broken the bank with the C220 (being a grad student), and am trying to shoot a few rolls on the cheap. I'll buy a good lightmeter in a few months.

    Clarence: Yes, that was how I intended on using the Canon. Figuring out the operational details of the C220 will be fun. I have been following eBay for a few weeks, and no C220/C330 release was offered (even a couple of paramenders were offered in the meantime, are Mamiya brand cable releases that rare?). I am not sure which third party cable releases would work.

    Thanks again.

    regards,

    Serhan
     
  6. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    You did not say whether the "prehistoric Kalimat" works properly or not. If it does then I would suggest using it. If not there is always the "sunny 16" option which I have used on many cameras and several locations on the planet. The sun is pretty much the same everywhere.

    Last year I was down near the Mexican border( Nogales,Az) shooting with my 4x5. I had also brought along a Mamiya C-3 recently obtained and I had Tri-x 320 in it. A friend was with me who had been a wedding and sports photographer many years ago and had used the Mamiya TLR system at that time. Although the sun was out there were clouds and one was partially blocking the sun at that moment. I had my Gossen Luna Star F meter with me and as I was dialing in the asa for the Tri-x my friend just looked around and called out an f-stop and speed for the shot. I took my reading and he was dead on the money. He knew the film so well he could just look at the scene and know what speed/f-stop to use. As I thought about it I realized that I could do that too with asa 100 film which is a film I have shot many rolls of in every type of lighting. I now try and call the exposure before I meter to see if I am still "calibrated".

    There is always "bracketing" to fall back on as well. But starting with F-16 at the speed of the film for open sunlight is a really good place to start.

    As far as the shutter release cable goes my C-3 takes a standard cable release which I have found easy to obtain both locally and on ebay.
     
  7. Wayne Frederick

    Wayne Frederick Subscriber

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    I use a standard cable release on my C220. Any standard inexpensive cable release should work.
     
  8. serhan74us

    serhan74us Member

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    AZLF, Wayne Frederick: Thank you for your input.

    AZLF:Oh! Typo! "Kalimar" should it be...And, well it is moody. Sometimes it is on target, but usually off by 2-3 steps, and not consistently. I have given up on trying to calibrate it. And kudos to you on your ability to use your eyes as a light-meter. I can't do that. I have to use a meter, but I have found that I can do w/o the grey card by doing compensation "guesses" and usually I am on target. I'll buy a standard cable release.

    Wayne Frederick: I will buy a standard cable release.

    Of course I can always compensate for over/underexposure in the negative while printing (at a considerable quality cost). I hate negatives that are not perfectly exposed.

    Thanks again for your input.

    regards,

    Serhan
     
  9. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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  10. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    The C220 should have a standard conical threaded socket at the top of the lensboard frame on the right of the camera as you hold it.

    Pictures are here: https://webfiles.berkeley.edu/grahamp/public_html/c220/c220.html
    Look at the right side and the overhead pictures. Some C220 (and C22/C33) cameras have lost the conical thread socket from the frame.
     
  11. serhan74us

    serhan74us Member

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    AZLF, Grahamp: Thank you for your input.

    AZLF: Eventually I will buy a lightmeter-probably on eBay. There's a "buy now" digisix @~160 USD right now...And heeding your words I'll test my exposure guesstimating skills. I shoot Ilford HP5 exclusively (I was understandibly shocked when Ilford nearly went under a couple years back). I develop my negatives, and print (using a prehistoric Kodak Precision enlarger) in my own dark room-errr...dark closet. OMG, I'm a closet-photographer!

    BTW I have looked at your photos on your homepage. Very beautiful photos indeed. I particularly liked the fireworks, Fox theater, the bike, and the engine. How did you make the fireworks shot? I know nothing about color films (I exclusively shoot B&W), and certainly nothing about large format photography. But ASA 64 film? Your lens must be as wide as barn-door!

    Ah well, here are some photos of mine at altphotos (a digital hell btw), under a pseudonym of course (I'll post here when I become a contributor):

    http://www.altphotos.com/Gallery.aspx?browseby=search&search=troger

    Grahamp: Fortunately, my C220 has that socket. The C220 is practically new. It is interesting to own a 35 year old "new" camera.

    Thanks again for your input.

    regards,

    Serhan
     
  12. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    AZLF: Eventually I will buy a lightmeter-probably on eBay. There's a "buy now" digisix @~160 USD right now...And heeding your words I'll test my exposure guesstimating skills.

    The bin price sounds about right for the meter. Tiny little thing with big features. The friend I mentioned in an earlier post has one and I liked it but I wanted flash metering as well.



    I shoot Ilford HP5 exclusively (I was understandibly shocked when Ilford nearly went under a couple years back). I develop my negatives, and print (using a prehistoric Kodak Precision enlarger) in my own dark room-errr...dark closet. OMG, I'm a closet-photographer!

    At least you have your darkcloset. I have three enlargers (Two D series Omegas and a Durst 606 sitting behind me now waiting for me to clear this room out and make it into a darkroom. Work,life and a serious case of procrastination have stood in the way thus far.

    BTW I have looked at your photos on your homepage. Very beautiful photos indeed. I particularly liked the fireworks, Fox theater, the bike, and the engine. How did you make the fireworks shot? I know nothing about color films (I exclusively shoot B&W), and certainly nothing about large format photography. But ASA 64 film? Your lens must be as wide as barn-door!

    Not really. I used a Schneider Super Angulon 90mm f-8 for the fireworks stopped down to f-11 for the shot. It was on a fixed focus 4x5" camera body I built so I didn't have to lug around the Omega D and E models in their respective trunk sized cases. The exposure for the fireworks was 10 seconds but as you can see it could have been as low as 2 or three. The fireworks burst (the big one) was first and had enough light value to make the shot on it's own. The other smaller bursts came after it at about 6 and 8 seconds into the exposure. In retrospect I would have been better served using the Omega with a 210mm lens. I was less that a mile from the location of the fireworks but even that close the actual image size of the bursts is about the size of a 35mm neg on the 4x5" transparency. The 90mm was way more film image than was required. But I had not done it before and was guessing about everything. Attached below is a pic of the wide angle fixed focus camera body with the 90mm on it. It uses the ground glass/film holder from Omega E 4x5". I have since stopped using it after buying a Crown Graphic which folds up even smaller than the home built body. The second image is actually my favorite of the fireworks shots. I like the blue tips on the large burst. I've been meaning to put it on the website but haven't had the time so far. I had an 11x14" print done of it and it worked out well.

    The Fox Tucson shot was easy. I used the Luna Star F and metered it with correction dialed in for the 80a filter.

    Ah well, here are some photos of mine at altphotos (a digital hell btw), under a pseudonym of course (I'll post here when I become a contributor):

    http://www.altphotos.com/Gallery.aspx?browseby=search&search=troger


    I like all of your shots but I REALLY like 1,3,and 4 the best. I'm a sucker for long exposure night shots and the first one has a nerve rattling intensity that appeals to me. The metal fence shot is a classic in my opinion and very, very aptly titled. Perfect composition and execution.
     
  13. serhan74us

    serhan74us Member

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    AZLF: Thank you for your input, and kind words regarding my photos.

    "I'm a sucker for long exposure night shots and the first one has a nerve rattling intensity that appeals to me."

    I like bulb exposures too, it gives photos a dynamism that a motion picture can never have. And taking that shot had a "nerve rattling intensity" too. I did not have a cable release for the Canon (still don't), so I had to stand there still with my finger on the shutter release button-with one foot on the road-for 30 sec (I don't remember the exact duration of exposure, but it was quite long). A passing-by bus nearly sent me over to meet my maker.

    "The exposure for the fireworks was 10 seconds but as you can see it could have been as low as 2 or three. The fireworks burst (the big one) was first and had enough light value to make the shot on it's own. The other smaller bursts came after it at about 6 and 8 seconds into the exposure."

    Silly me! I did not appreciate the light intensity of the fireworks. But your exposure is perfect. Particularly considering it was just a guess. How would one meter fireworks anyway? But ASA 64 @ f 11? ...Wow! I would have cranked the aperture all the way up! Looking at the last photo on your homepage, you seem to have an impressive collection of photographic equipment. Is that a C330 or C3-C33 in the back with the 180 mm chrome lens? Taking landscape shots with LF cameras must be muscle building experience. How much do your LF cameras weigh?

    "I'm a sucker for long exposure night shots..."

    In the January 2005 issue of Photolife on pages 24-30 there is an article and photographs by Larrie Thomson. All of the photos are bulb exposures. I am sure that the shot on page 28 will blow you away...

    regards,

    Serhan
     
  14. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    I like bulb exposures too, it gives photos a dynamism that a motion picture can never have. And taking that shot had a "nerve rattling intensity" too. I did not have a cable release for the Canon (still don't), so I had to stand there still with my finger on the shutter release button-with one foot on the road-for 30 sec (I don't remember the exact duration of exposure, but it was quite long). A passing-by bus nearly sent me over to meet my maker.


    That was one of my first thoughts when looking at the first bulb photo. "Jeez, he's darned close to the traffic"!




    you seem to have an impressive collection of photographic equipment. Is that a C330 or C3-C33 in the back with the 180 mm chrome lens? Taking landscape shots with LF cameras must be muscle building experience. How much do your LF cameras weigh?

    The TLR is an old C-3 . I've since added a black body 105mm to that system. Its a finicky old camera but I love what I get with the 180mm. And the photo of my cameras is out of date by a couple of cameras. Since that shot I've added a Leica IIIa w/50mm f-2 Summar and a Mamiya 645 w/55,150,210mm Mamiya lenses and a Vega 90mm with adaptor and the Crown Graphic mentioned earlier.

    I think the Omegas weigh about 10 pounds each but I'm not sure of that. I've not weighed them. I built cases for both of them. The Mamiya TLR is sitting on top of one of the cases which is stacked on top of the other case out of frame. When I take them out I use a folding luggage cart with wheels with the tripod and a milk carton with my mono lights (when needed) bungied across the top.

    With the exception of the Leica my camera collection is a duplication of what I used when I was working as an assistant to a very good commercial photographer here in Tucson about 20 years ago. At the time I could not afford such a collection. The prices then were drastically higher. But with so many pro's switching to digital I realized that I could afford them now. I get the odd photo job thrown my way and its nice to have the gear to turn out pro results but in truth I'm a film camera lover and I just like having them around to use when the urge hits me (and I get hit almost every day). :rolleyes:


    In the January 2005 issue of Photolife on pages 24-30 there is an article and photographs by Larrie Thomson. All of the photos are bulb exposures. I am sure that the shot on page 28 will blow you away...

    I'll look for it.

    Serhan[/QUOTE]
     
  15. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    So somebody else has a C3! I was beginning to think I was the only one. Just got it, haven't tried it yet...
     
  16. AZLF

    AZLF Member

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    Yep. I have a C-3. But I hope yours works better than mine. The mechanism inside the camera body that allows the side mounted shutter release to fully depress and fire the shutter is not working properly on my copy. I have to carefully get my finger up to the actual shutter release arm on the lens and actuate the lens from that point if the camera is set for roll film. Oddly enough if the camera is set to sheet film (an odd little add on I have only seen one time on ebay) then the side shutter release will work and the film will advance properly. But aside from that I love the old beast. I have read many times to avoid the chrome (older) lenses because of lack of sharpness compared to the newer black body lenses but the chrome 180mm I have is a wonderful portrait lens. It is sharp enough if stopped down to do whatever might need to be done and has a beautiful smoothness if opened up. I have both the wlf and the metered eye level finder but the latter is very dim and I find it difficult to get good focus in anything but bright sunlight using it.

    I bought it for nostalgic reasons. The first first Mamiya TLR I owned I bought in Yacota, Japan on a short stop there when flying back from Viet Nam in late 1970. That one was a C-220 and I bought the 80 and 135mm lens with it and paid about $200.00 for everything in the duty free shop in the airport. But I did not take to the camera at the time and sold it about two years later. And came to regret it. I don't use the C-3 often these days after getting the 645 but I doubt I will ever sell it. A good sturdy workhorse camera.
     
  17. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    I bought mine for similar reasons - but the first (and until now, only) TLR I've owned was a Lubitel. The C-3 is a big step up!

    Mine seems to work. As soon as I'm done getting the 24x30cm plate camera up and running, I'll put a film through the C-3.