The extreme kindness of a good friend has now set me off on a brand new adventure, this time into the world of medium format film photography. Come along as I share my VERY FIRST roll of medium format film that I have ever worked with!
Before I get into my thoughts on the process of shooting medium format film, let me just say that I know I mentioned I was working on a big end of year look back type of post for today. Well, I decided that for now I’m just going to skip that because honestly I’m more interested in looking ahead to where the adventure is taking me.
That being said, let’s talk about how THIS adventure started. My good friend Mac from the fantastic Shuttertime podcast, sent me an early Christmas gift. To say I was totally shocked and blown away would be an understatement. I opened the box and just stared down at the camera in total shock. So incredibly kind and I can’t say thank you enough times. Wow! Still blown away to be perfectly honest.
He gave me some instructions that included a promise that I had to use whatever he was sending me and when I opened that box there was no doubt in my mind that I’d be using it. So I spent the evening getting familiar with the controls, figuring out how everything worked and then I loaded a roll of the Kodak Ektar 100 film that he had included. The next morning it was game on!
The technical details for those wondering
The camera, as mentioned, is a Mamiya C330 Professional S. This is a beautiful TLR style camera that is fully manual. No electronics, no meters, nothing but the lens, film, and bliss.
The film, as also mentioned, was Kodak Ektar 100. I opted to treat this the same as I had been with my attempts at 35mm film and shoot it rated at half box speed. Since there is no meter it didn’t require any difference in camera setting, but I did use a freebie light meter on my iPhone to put me in the ballpark. I simply let it read at ISO/ASA 50 the whole time and ran with that while also trying to trust my eyeballs and internal exposure hunches.
Don’t worry, I’ll share the photos with you in just a moment. But first, my thoughts on my first attempt at shooting medium format film.
To sum it up simply it was fan-fricking-tastic. It was just so enjoyable to slow down, really take time to meter a scene, observe the light/shadows, frame it up and finally push that shutter button. Overall I’m very pleased with how this first attempt came out, they are a bit of a mish-mash of subjects with no real solid connection thread to them except for the first 4 or so images. If you want to hear what that connection is go listen to the recent episode of Shuttertime in which I share that connection story with Mac.
I did make a couple small mistakes, once or twice a slight missed focus, and one frame I PERFECTED the art of achieving the best inky blacks possible! (yeah, I fired a frame by mistake with the lens caps on I think lol) But overall I’m very pleased with how they turned out and honestly can’t wait to shoot the next roll!
As promised, here is the ENTIRE roll from my very first attempt at shooting medium format film! Yes, I’m including the mistakes because none of us are perfect and honestly, those blacks are SO DAMN GOOD from my bone-headed mistake photo! Trust me, you’ll love it!
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