C330 S W/180mm Lens
Just picked up a C330 S and a 180mm lens to replace a Yashicamat 124 that was stolen from my truck. I usually shoot LF, and when I shoot MF I use a Bronica SQA. I like the square format, and wanted something in a good user TLR for everyday stuff. Would like to hear from other C330 users with advice on lenses and using and handling this sweetheart of a camera. I also have an 80mm that I salvaged from an older C330 parts camera. Thanks. RPippin
I have a C330s with a 180, 80 and 55 mm lenses. The 55 is the widest made for the C330 series, a fine lens. Graham Patterson's website has everything you want to know about the Mamiya TLRs:
There is also a manual online specifically for the C330s:
Because of the bellows the C330 series is capable of close-ups without attachments. A handy doodad for those is the Mamiya Paramender, which when placed on a tripod (which you want to use anyway for close-ups) raises the taking lens to the exact position of the viewing lens, allowing precise framing. Paramenders can be found with a little looking.
For me the 55-80-180 combination is just right. The C330 series has a few peculiarities which are hard to explain but easy to find in the manuals. I think you'll enjoy the camera. I've been using one for years with fine results.
Mine was a bit fussy. Always seemed to have some little piece breaking, falling off or not working. The 330S uses a focus screens that is unique to that model. Which means that they can be hard to find...
I had the 55mm, 80mm and 105mm. The 80 and 105 were spectacular. The 55mm always disappointed me - mostly because of its tendency toward wild flare.
Yes sir, the 105 for that camera is a sweet lens. Grab one if you can find it. I often use the 105 as a walkabout lens with one of my C220's. The angle of view offered by this lens on a square format negative feels just right to me.
I agree the 55, 65, 80, 105, and 180 are the litter pick here.... fine kit, if asked... rather like photographing with a cinder block, but the results will speak for them selves... I never used a 250, but am likely to try here soon.... love these old beasts....
The Paramender is more than just handy, IMO. It is essential, if you plan on seriously using these cameras at close focusing distances (on a tripod, of course). The oft-suggested trick of just raising the tripod column by the distance between the two lenses won't do the trick just right unless the tripod is perfectly level, and the vertical and horizontal axes of the head are also perfectly level...in other words, almost never.
Originally Posted by tessar
The Mamiya TLR 180 mm (or 18 cm) lenses are some of my favorite lenses that I have used. I have have three of them (as they seem to come in kits often). They were all great (one black, one silver 180 mm, and one silver 18 cm). I have pared down the trio to the one that had the most consistent and accurate shutter, as I couldn't tell any difference between the pictures shot with them.
As for tips, my advice is to shoot them at '500 or '250 if possible, when shooting hand held. If you really concentrate on it, you can get tack sharp shots at '125 as well. A left hand grip, pistol grip, or just a plain cable release can make this easier.
Also, pay close attention to your parallax indicator in the viewfinder ALL THE TIME. It moves quite a bit even when focusing on something only moderately closer than infinity.
These lenses are incredible. Super sharp, but without being overbearing about it. They have a very delicate quality about them, and tons of character in general. I have been told that they are all simply Carl Zeiss copies, but I have not confirmed this.
I suggest a lens hood as well.
As you move forward with expanding your C-Series system, I would not get hung up on getting black lenses as opposed to silver lenses for optical differences alone. My silver lenses leave nothing to be desired optically. The black lenses do have more modern shutters, for which parts are more readily available, and the apertures and shutter speeds are easier and more positive to set.
Thanks all. Good advice and well taken. First thing I'm going to do is load it up with a roll of FP4 and go shoot something. Then I'll keep my eye out for a 105mm and see if I can find a Paramender. Thanks again.
The parallax indicator is very useful - but remember it has to be reset if you change the lens because it is geared to the lens extension.
Does the C330S specifically require this?
Originally Posted by grahamp
I ask because none of the models I have used (C33 or C220) seem to require any changes in settings for the parallax indicator to work with any lens. I am not even sure where this control might be on my cameras, if it is there after all. I may be incorrect for the lenses that are not fully withdrawn when focused on infinity, however.