Painting with light and the Mamiya C33

I am still rocking this camera since my last post. In fact now I have two of them. One Mamiya C33 I will be running black and white film through it and the other I will continue to run color film through it. Plus, if one ever breaks I have a back up camera! Yay!

It has been an interesting few months learning the C33 and getting used to what it can and can’t do well. I have been mostly using Kodak Portra films and having them professionally developed and scanned. The results have been amazing and very satisfying for me. It has become my go to camera when my wife and I go out and about exploring. However after seeing the results from one of our trips to the Chicago Botanic gardens, I am going to have to take what I can do with this camera way more seriously. I was able to create art! I am an artist by trade but this was the first time that I felt I had made a painting using light and film. I will be pursuing this more in the future with the C33.

The magic came from using the Mamiya lenses almost wide open, mixing it with beautiful natural light and choosing the right film to paint the colors. In this case it was Kodak Ektar film. The subject was the lily display at the gardens. In most of the area the light was strong midday lighting but in a couple of spots there was shade with some spattered lighting sneaking through. I tend to use this camera on a monopod all of the time because of it’s size and weight. It helps keep it steady for the slower shutter speeds. Very little work is done to the scans afterwards other than dust removal and maybe some curve adjustments. Everything is done in camera at the moment it clicks. I have added a couple of other photos to this post for you to see what you can do with this camera.

Happy wanderings and long live film!

The Mamiya C33

It’s been a long time since my last post. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone has left and wouldn’t blame you. However there is a new camera in my collection that I think is worth people knowing about so here we go! The Mamiya C33! It’s Mamiya’s answer to the Rolleiflex. Like all Mamiya cameras, it is built like a tank. If you have handled an RB67 or an old 645 1000s by Mamiya, they are all solid hunks of metal and the C33 doesn’t stray from that lineage.

It is quite a bit larger than the Rolleiflex and heavier so you won’t be quite as nimble with it. I have found a simple monopod helps quite nicely in keeping the camera steady. Mine came with the standard chrome version 80mm, 2.8 lens which is a very sharp lens. The great thing about the Mamiya vs. the Rolleiflex is you can change lenses on the Mamiya and it usually sells for a lot cheaper price! I picked mine up and also added two lenses to the kit for a lot less money than I would have spent on just a Rolleiflex 2.8 or even 3.5 camera.

But is it any good you ask? I have been pleasantly surprised and actually thrilled with the results. I have shot with a TLR before, I own two Rolleicords and love this type of camera. The Mamiya gave me a chance to try a TLR with a 2.8 lens without breaking the bank and it did not disappoint. The other two lensed I picked up were the 65mm and the 180mm. The 180mm is not the Super version and yet it is very sharp. I am waiting to get the film back where I shot the 65mm but I am expecting the same results. All the lenses have leaf shutters built into them. The camera also operates with a bellows system which allows one to focus really closely for detail type photos.

The Mamiya is quite the bargain in TLR cameras but the results I feel match the best of them. Happy wanderings!