Photos & Projects

Mamiya 7ii, Rollei RPX25 and an Old Datsun 120Y – By Filip Wawer

May 1, 2021

Last summer I had a chance to visit an old friend in Szczecin, Poland, the city we both studied in. He stayed there – I left. This was a rare occasion to meet and catch up. Peter, my friend, is crazy about old cars and their restoration. As a serious hobbyist is supposed to, he runs a website where all his brought-back-to-life beauties can be seen. Do not be worried though, dear reader, this will not just be about cars, but about a few frames of a car shoot with a wonderful camera.

It was a sunny, clear sky day. “Nice “, I thought and pulled low ISO Rollei RPX 25 film out of my bag. I briefly checked to see if the rating will be fine with available light on the Mamiya 7 II, and once confident I loaded the film. We both thought that the best place to do a couple of shots would be somewhere parked with the least amount of other cars and objects that would spoil and mess up with the background.

The old Datsun 120 Y started without major hesitation. In order to express our gratefulness, we decided to treat the ‘old beast’ to a car wash. This is always good for the look of pictures. Black & white photography is more forgiving, but some dirt here and there might still show up on the photographs.

Before I continue here, I need to make a statement. Peter is not a complementary type and he likes to do things himself, including driving his precious automobiles. So, once the wash was completed, I was all the more surprised when he handed over the keys, saying, “Chcesz się kajznąć?”, loosely meaning, “Do you want to try”. I like cars too and I like to drive them. I like to think of myself as someone who can feel them. Silly as it is, but hey…

In general, it’s good to have a plan, and here is no exception, but it is also good to be at ease and see what potential deviation from the plan can bring. After 20 minutes drive, we reached a parking spot that Peter had in his mind as an ideal location. We stopped and looked at each other with mixed feelings. Nope, this was not it. The plan had had not come good, so we continued our journey, soon reaching the outskirts of the city.

We found a beautiful, empty piece of road with very low traffic, just perfect! The energy was good as well. I followed the flow and did some gymnastics to get low, changing perspective, hoping for something at least acceptable.

I kept the lens quite open to create a nice bit of background blur, but not too much – this was where shooting a low-speed film came good. The lens used was the very easy to recommend 43mm wide-angle. The Mamiya 7ii is a very comfortable camera to shoot with, but the shutter release button is quite sensitive though, so I have to beware not to accidentally trigger it.

As for the photos, I will let you judge for yourself, dear reader. I liked them, but I also found them to be nothing particularly special. I was then all the more surprised when a few days later my phone blipped with a Facebook ‘new comment from Peter’ notification.

“What happens when you get an artist close to the car? You get this. aA different view of our Datsun through Filip Wawer’s eyes… “

Datsun 120Y shot on Rollei RPX25 with Mamiya 7ii

Datsun 120Y shot on Rollei RPX25 with Mamiya 7ii

Datsun 120Y shot on Rollei RPX25 with Mamiya 7ii

Datsun 120Y shot on Rollei RPX25 with Mamiya 7ii

Datsun 120Y shot on Rollei RPX25 with Mamiya 7ii

Datsun 120Y shot on Rollei RPX25 with Mamiya 7ii

Datsun 120Y shot on Rollei RPX25 with Mamiya 7ii

Peter’s website is: Sentimentalgarage.com

My website and social media:

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Martin
    May 1, 2021 at 10:27 am

    “I like to think of myself as someone who can feel them.” – That’s what most boys do 😉
    Great story and pics. Next a 125p?

  • Reply
    Ralph Turner
    May 1, 2021 at 11:15 am

    In the past pic, the humble 120Y look more like a Ford Mustang, or something 😎. Good stuff. We had an old 140Y for a short time as a stop gap while we were having our usual wheels fixed. To say it had seen better days is an understatement. The suspension had more bounce than Tigger and at motorway speeds it issued forth some slightly disquieting noises. Yet strangely, of all the cars I’ve driven, it was probably one of the most enjoyable. It’s undoing , though, came from it’s dodgy suspension (not a criticism of the type, just that particular car). My wife at the time was carrying our oldest son and well through her term when she discovered how bad the car’s foibles were. Even though she was well within the low speed limit negotiating a bend, the person coming the other way wasn’t. Through her own quick-witted skill she avoided the goon , but sadly the car had other ideas rather than stay on the road. Despite her best efforts (probably a lot better than mine) the old Datsun went into a spin and ended up planting itself along with my wife and child-to-be backwards in the opposite hedge. As it turned out the fact the car was more rust than metal held together with it’s bronze paint was our saving grace. It completely fell apart during impact, leaving bits strewn all along the edge of the road, seemingly absorbing the impact and keeping it’s occupants safe. Luckily, though shocked and badly shaken, both Mother and baby were completely unscathed by the event.
    Anyway I’m sure your friend Peter’s car, here, is in far better shape, as evidenced by your pics. Thx for sharing 🙂

    • Reply
      filip wawer
      May 1, 2021 at 11:22 am

      Ralph! What a story! Now the article is complete with your comment. 🙂 Most of all, happy for the ‘happy end’ !

  • Reply
    Michael J
    May 1, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Jak samochód piękny!

  • Reply
    Alan Withington
    May 1, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    Love the photos doing such justice to the car, I owned an old Datsun Sunny coupe only a few years younger than this one. Thanks for the enjoyable read!

  • Reply
    jim ralf
    May 2, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    My favourite is the closer shot of the trunk lid and tail lights with the big square shadow in the road.

    • Reply
      filip wawer
      May 2, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Hmm, I think I like the front one ( half) and the side one

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