5 frames with...

5 Frames travelling with a Mamiya 6 MF – By Faraz

November 14, 2018

A few 35mm cameras into my return to analog and I was eager to try medium format. Trouble is MF cameras are generally a bit bulky and I mostly shoot when on business trips if I get a little time out. Eventually I set my mind on the Mamiya 6 and found one in good shape on eBay.

For travel it just feels great. It’s solidly built and the lens partly collapses into the body so it’s compact enough with the excellent 75mm f3.5 attached. The batteries seem to last forever and the light meter is reliable, though in tricky conditions I still meter externally just to be sure.

The frames here are from two trips, both in the US. The first shots are from Shenandoah just outside Washington DC. These were particularly satisfying. I always wanted to get some of that misty mood but the UK summer was never going to deliver any mist or fog.  Shenandoah had plenty of mist, mixed though with plenty of drenching rainfall.  I shot some expired Fomapan 400 which rendered nicely but is insanely curly when developed, and HP5+ which is my go to film. I wanted grain to add to the atmospherics and both films delivered, but Fomapan’s grain is particularly delicious. The film was scanned on an Epson V600.

Finally the misty mood I was craving, taken on expired Fomapan 400, developed in Studional 1:39

Trying to capture that misty mountain road vibe with the wider 50mm on HP5+ developed in Studional 1:39

The moment the dense mist cleared slightly to reveal the mountain captured on HP5+

The second set are from the deserts of Nevada. A 5am pre-dawn drive north out of Las Vegas got me to the Valley of Fire before the sun went into full toasting mode. I shot Fuji Acros for crispy frames and enough dynamic range that I could work in the contrast.

In early morning light on Fuji Acros shot at ISO80. Developed in Rodinal 1:50

The enigmatic patterns of the “Fire Wave”, shot on the fine grained Fuji Acros

For more Mamiya 6 photos visit my Flickr page
or follow me on Instagram @the_compulsive_emulsive

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Robert Pugh
    November 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Nice set of images and well exposed, B&W film always looks amazing, I love TRX-400

    • Reply
      faraz
      November 14, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Robert. I’ve shot plenty of TriX in 35mm but have yet to shoot it in 120, think I’ll try it next

  • Reply
    David M Burke
    November 14, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Very nice camera!

    I used to have a Mamiya 7 II although the pictures were excellent it was a bulky camera
    I switched to the Plaubel Makina 67. Also a range finder with a spot meter and the fact that it is collapsible and I can put it in my coat pocket is a huge plus. Very sharp pictures. Especially when you travel I use a collapsible Carbon fiber monopod and this camera and find it to be very user friendly.

    • Reply
      faraz
      November 14, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      The Plaubel Makina looks great and was on the short list when I was looking for a MF camera. But finding one in Europe (ie. not Japan) at a good price is becoming very difficult. I then settled on the Mamiya 7, but was won over by the Mamiya 6’s retractable lens and better portability

  • Reply
    Ant Lockyer
    November 14, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    That first Valley of Fire one was an oh wow moment!

  • Reply
    Aivaras
    November 14, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Good set of photos. Enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Robert Wählt
    November 14, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    I think the images you presented here are outstanding.

    • Reply
      Faraz
      December 19, 2018 at 7:19 pm

      thanks Robert

  • Reply
    walker
    November 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    hat’s off to you! those places really deserved a MF camera 😉

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