My first medium format camera: Mamiya C220 with 80mm 3.7

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by sigurdur, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. sigurdur

    sigurdur Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Reykjavik, I
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think I'm in love. Just got my first roll of Portra 400 developed and I am pleasantly surprised. No empty frames!

    I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this lens, as I read somewhere that it was a "budget" lens. I like it a lot but I don't haven't used the 80mm 2.8 (yet).

    Greetings!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ToddB

    ToddB Member

    Messages:
    1,137
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I own a C220.. you'll love it. It looks like your picture a testament for picture quality, looks awesome. I don't pay attention to reviews much. The only draw back about C220 and 330, it they are a little big to tote around, Went with Rollei's, but thats a personel prefrence. Happy shooting.
     
  3. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    A "budget" lens and 6cmx6cm film will blow a Leica and 24mmx36mm film into the next galaxy, as you have just learned :smile:
     
  4. Grif

    Grif Member

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Selah, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I had a C33 on loan during my buddies senior trip to SE Asia during the late 60's. Shot lots of film, loved the camera. I was a MUCH better photographer with it than any cameras since. I think the weight is not so much a problem as an asset, as is the view finder. Does a great job of forcing you to think about what you're doing. and with me, it really helped with the stability issues.

    One other thing that folks don't put much conversation into about tlr's vs slr's. When you pull the trigger on a Cxxx, the shutter goes off. It goes off Now. None of that mirror madness slap, bounce, wait a while, then fire a spring loaded curtain followed by another curtain, fully expecting the camera to stay still. (oh,,, I love my Nikon F, but I'm good for an extra stop of shutter speed if not two stops with a leaf shutter).

    And for sports, like horse shows. Trying to get the legs in the correct position with an slr takes a bit of practice and skill at leading the shutter release. And, I half way think people can respond to the slr noise and blink before the shutter fires.

    Oh,,, and available light. My definition of available light is all I can carry ;-) Really puts the focal plane at a disadvantage trying to balance fill in natural settings.

    I may end up with another C33 or C330 with three lenses. Only real trouble, a roll of 120 costs me about $20. Buy film, ship to North Coast, process, scan, ship back. So I really think my primary camera is going to be one of those dark side things that will use several of my existing lenses, with the 4x5 and hopefully a Mamiya kit as "I'm going to go take pictures and have fun today" equipment.

    Having fought the battle in the early 70's with my Ftn, I think, if you go back to your smaller format camera, some good slow film and really lock the sucker down on a tripod you'll find the 35mm format will do an order of magnitude better that you've come to expect. I'm one of those guys that never gets rid of things,,, the Ftn will always be around, but it did teach me a lot about stability. But a tripod and asa 25 or 50 is a bit the PITA, when you can shoot 125 or 400 hand held. (ok,,, sort of hand held, Nothing really convenient about a C33 hanging off a pistol grip ;-)

    You'll have a ball with the Mamiya.
     
  5. sigurdur

    sigurdur Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Reykjavik, I
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I guess it will take some time getting used to reversing left and right in the viewfinder, but I feel it makes me think more about the composition.
    When shooting portraits, there must be some advantage in seeing people's faces the same way they see themselves in the mirror...

    In the past weeks I have been using the Nikon F6 that my father loaned to me. I think it's the best slr that I have ever handled, but there is something that draws me to my new, completely manual Mamiya. Now I just need to find some excuse to go out and shoot another film!
     
  6. Nick Merritt

    Nick Merritt Member

    Messages:
    421
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Location:
    Hartford, Co
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd be interested in seeing more from the 80/3.7 -- I've never seen one myself, or pictures from one (until now). I'd say the loss of 2/3 stop is negligible in practical use; find yourself a different focal length next.

    I should mention the one thing about the 220 that is less than convenient -- it's very easy for me to start to press the shutter release and then release the pressure, only to find I have activated the double exposure prevention. No lost frames -- I just have to turn the knob to "Multi" and take the picture (and then turn the knob back to "Single.") All in all, though, it's a really nice camera -- as sturdy as the 3 series cameras, but noticeably lighter and smaller.
     
  7. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,011
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    Castle Rock,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you think you like what you get from Portra 400, just wait until you see what that sucker will do with Velvia.
     
  8. SafetyBob

    SafetyBob Member

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    Location:
    Yukon, OK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I second the Velvia. You will not believe your eyes. Do I feel someone in the market for a medium format projector now......

    I started out in the Yashica 124G camp mainly because it was put in my hands when I was a teenager. I still love the Yashica but have always wanted any of the Mamiya "CXX/CXXX" cameras. After I saw what was capable out of these medium format cameras, what could be better than interchangable lenses? I am glad you have given us all reason to look at these wonderful cameras again.

    Now, go get some Velvia and prepare yourself for your next love affair!!

    Bob E.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Absolutely. The sharpest lens you have is a Tiltall. While that Mamiya can be used handleld, a tripod will imrove the images from any camera.
     
  10. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary, AB,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    What I've found (and an art prof agrees) is that the right-to-left viewfinder reversal can actually improve composition because you're looking INTO the camera at an unfamiliar image on a flat surface instead of looking THROUGH the camera at the subject unchanged from how you see it with the naked eye. You tend to see what you're shooting in terms of angles of lines, masses of light and dark, etc.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,121
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Is yours the chrome version or the black version.

    Either way, I think Graham Patterson might be interested in communicating with you.

    The entries in his Mamiya TLR System summary for either version of the lens make it clear that they are rare and there isn't much information on them.

    If you haven't already reviewed his wonderful resource, you should!

    http://www.gapatterson.com/grahamp
     
  12. Grif

    Grif Member

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Location:
    Selah, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yup,,, for me I'm sure that's part of the reason I did better with it. On the other hand, it really didn't take all that long to get totally comfortable with that, and the little parallax pointer.
     
  13. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

    Messages:
    937
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have never understood why the 80mm f3.7 was introduced. I have a few theories - import controls, shortage of shutters, or just trying to make the basic camera cheaper - but nothing concrete. Apart from some quirks with the Copal shutter, it should do what you need. I have heard nothing against it optically. I don't have the lens design to hand, but I would expect something like a tessar formula. A bit soft at full bore, but improving quickly to f8. I'd be curious as to the weight of the unit. The Seiko shuttered 80 f2.8 comes in around 310g. If this is significantly lighter it should make for a very portable basic camera on a C220. Maybe they were going after YashicaMats?

    Graham
     
  14. David Brown

    David Brown Member

    Messages:
    3,553
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a C220 that came with the f3.7 lens. I've never had the need to "upgrade" to another 80mm. I did all of my wedding business back in the 1970s with that lens and a 135mm.

    It is my understanding that this was a "kit" lens (for lack of a better word) that Mamiya marketed with the C220 to make the camera an entry level model. That is the only thing "budget" about it - the retail cost, not the quality. (IMHO)

    One thing that is a bit odd, however (and it may have been a way of cutting cost, but I don't see how): since the C220 does not auto-cock the shutter when one advances the film, Mamiya did not see it was necessary to put the required mechanism on the F3.7 lens. Fine. However, the cocking lever is on the opposite side of the lens from all the other lenses that go on the camera. It takes some getting used to if you have several lenses (I have 6 of the 7 available focal lengths) and use them all. :cool:
     
  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Upside-down and backwards is even better.:laugh:
     
  16. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    At f:3.7, it could even be a triplet - a type which can be very good. The Rodenstock Geronar LF lens is a triplet, multicoated, and damn good.
     
  17. sigurdur

    sigurdur Member

    Messages:
    5
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Location:
    Reykjavik, I
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I just weighed the lens: 219g. It is the black version.
    Thanks for pointing me to Graham's website, it's a fantastic resource.

    I will probably get another lens for the camera, when I have gotten to know this one better. Any recommendations? Most of the lenses seem to be rather inexpensive on ebay.
     
  18. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

    Messages:
    937
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisc
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    So about 100g (4oz) lighter. As for other lenses, the 180mm Super is good, the 135mm can be useful. At the wider end the 65mm maybe too close to the 80mm. The 55mm can be variable, but that is pretty wide for 6x6. The 105mm is a nice long standard, but close to the 80mm. The 250mm is probably equaled by enlarging the 180mm Super, and that lens is a stop faster.

    it sounds like the C220 with the 80mm f3.7 is a nice light unit - don't be in too much rush to add extra weight and choice :cool:
     
  19. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    Calgary, AB,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To be sure, E. von Hoegh, I also shoot large format!