This is the most “pro” camera I currently own.
Having started with the Diana, I already experimented a bit with the medium format. After reading An Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography: Book 1 (Schaefer JP, 1999 Little, Brown) I was kind of fascinated with this world, at the point I wanted to get a TLR camera and start snapping.
Browsing the web I found that the some popular names for the amateur are Yashica MAT-124G, the Mamiya C330, the Rolleiflex 2.8f and the Lubitel 166U. I excluded the Lubitel because, as much as I have a thing for soviet cameras, I wanted for once something less lomographic and more serious. Auctions for the Rolleiflex always exceeded my finances, so that was a no as well.
I focused my search on the Yashica and the Mamiya and at the end I managed to get the C330 for a very good price. The camera arrived in perfect conditions, and it is fully working. Needless to say, I’m quite proud with this purchase.
The C330 was introduced in the 197-something (hey, this is as good as my sources go) for the professional and advanced amateur market (prosumer in today’s lingo – or promateur in mine). It has the unique feature of having interchangeable lenses: there are seven Mamiya Sekor lens kits available (55 mm f/4.5, 65mm f/3.5, standard 80mm f/2.8, 105 mm f/3.5, 135mm f/4.5, 180mm f/4.5 and 250mm f/6.3), and they all cost quite a lot.
Apart from the lens, there are also several accessories, from the optional pentaprism to the film sheet back.
The C330 shoots 120 and 220 film rolls – the film holder back can be rotated to change the pressure level needed for the second type of film. Instead of having the traditional red window, the C330 has an automatic frame counter that increments at every turn of the winding crank (quite convenient!).
A handy crank pops out on the side, that allows film advancement and shutter cocking, Next to the side crank there is the multi exposure switch which enables or prevents shooting multiple exposures.
On the other side, the distance indicator, shaped as an exagonal prism, which can be changed according to the lenses installed. There is also the lens unlock knob, together with the film speed selector and parallax correction settings.
The viewfinder is on the top and it’s a joy to use: it’s bright and clear and comes also with a magnifier that allows more precision during focusing.
Even though expensive, the possibility of changing lens in the future attracted me to this camera, which I find performs exceptionally well also with the standard 80mm kit.
To see some of the pictures I took with this camera, see this post.