Testing out a Mamiya RZ67 with three different films, 25 Portraits of Hwa

Testing out a Mamiya RZ67 with three different films, 25 Portraits of Hwa

retro 1 retro 2 retro 3 retro 4 retro 5 retro 6 retro 8

The shots above were taken on Rollei Retro 400s film, personally developed in the darkroom with D76. Note the subtle light leak on the upper left hand corner of one image. Rollei Retro films are very sensitive. Be careful when loading the film into the camera.

portra 1 portra 2 portra 3 portra 4 portra 5 portra 6 portra 7 portra 8 portra 9 portra 10 portra 11

The photos above were taken on Kodak Portra 400 film. I had to use a new photo lab to get this roll developed because my usual lab’s machine was under repair. I’m definitely not satisfied by this new lab. There were these odd sticky dots all over the film. Some of which can be seen in the scans. I certainly won’t be going back there any time soon.

tmax 1 tmax 2 tmax 3 tmax 4 tmax 5 tmax 6

The shots above were captured with Kodak Tmax 400 film, personally developed in the darkroom with D76.

One of my professors has this mint Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II camera which, sadly, gets very little use in today’s digital age. I’d seen the camera sitting on the shelf for sometime, and I decided to do a bit of research on it. Turns out that this beast of a medium format camera (6×7), weighing in around 6 pounds, was once one of the most common studio cameras around. There are many perks to still using one today, one of which is that it can be coupled with a Polaroid back to shoot instant film. I was eager to give the Mamiya a go, so I sheepishly asked my professor if I could borrow the camera and Polaroid back as long as I took utmost care of it all. Since the camera is rarely used, she agreed and I was overjoyed : )

Here we have 25 portraits that I shot of my friend Hwa ( my Korean sign language is improving ^^ ) on three different films, Rollei Retro 400s, Kodak Portra 400, and Kodak Tmax 400. I’ve also shot using the Polaroid back, but I haven’t scanned those images just yet…all in good time. Some of the photos are a touch out of focus. In my absent mindedness, I forgot to bring a tripod out to shoot with. This is a big mistake – since the Mamiya is such a chunky camera and I didn’t have a neck strap, it was a bit hard to shoot handheld, but I managed for the most part. It takes a bit of practice.  The lens, a Mamiya Sekor 110mm F2.8, is a true thing of beauty and works splendidly with medium format film. I absolutely love this lens’ swirly bokeh…simply divine for portraits. Fortunately, the professor has allowed me to continue shooting with the Mamiya for the remainder of the semester. I have a feeling it’ll get a lot of use from now til June, provided I can find the time to go out and shoot with it. I must admit I’m swamped these days. I’m working and studying too much, but I’m passionate about photography and I am certain that I will continue my craft. For now, check out these portraits which represent my first attempt at shooting this particular analog camera and stay tuned to see the Mamiya RZ / instant film photos I’ll be uploading sooner than later. Enjoy~! © Patrick Bresnahan

13 thoughts on “Testing out a Mamiya RZ67 with three different films, 25 Portraits of Hwa

  1. Good results. It makes me happy to see someone shoot film. Try developing the Rollei 400s in Rodinal I think you’ll like the results (better shadow detail while holding the highlights back)

    • Thanks, I love shooting film. Everything here on the blog was shot on film and without the aid of photoshop. I’m not too keen on digital photography. It simply isn’t as fun. I’ve heard about Rodinal working well with Rollei Retro films. It’s easier for me to get D76 here in Korea, but I might see if I can track down some Rodinal. Personally, I don’t mind some contrast or lack of shadow detail at times. It has a different look. I particularly like shooting Retro films with street photography. If I want more midtones and shadow detail, I tend to shoot with Tmax or Ilford FP4.

  2. Pingback: Silver Shade | pj brez photography

  3. Nice work indeed. The Retro can be tricky sometimes but you handled it very well. Also love the combination with D-76 or ID-11.
    I’ve had good and consistent results using Retro with D-76/ID-11, Adox APH 09 (Rodinal heritage) and with Rollei RHS DC.

    I get so frustrated by commercial labs when developing color film that I’m thinking about getting a Jobo and do it myself at home.

    • Thank you kindly : ) Same here, I’ve thought about trying color negative and slide film development at home. I haven’t done too much research, but I’ve heard that color film home development isn’t as hard as most folks tend to think. What keeps me going to labs is how cheap they are here in Korea. And they typically do a great job. On average, getting a roll developed ( and scanned at home ) costs less than three US dollars. I’ve heard that most labs in the States are charging 10-15 dollars per roll these days. If and when I decide to move back home to America, I’ll certainly have to start doing color developing on my own. I don’t think I could afford it otherwise.

    • Thank you very much. I also prefer the black and white photos over the color ones. She’s also a very natural model. I just let her go and snap away, giving very little direction.

  4. Hi Patrick. Thanks for your ‘like’ on my ‘resurrection’ blog post. Lovely pix of a lovely lady.They inspire me to haul out my Mamiya Press/Universal – also a bit of a brick. I have 6×7 and 6×9 backs for them but not a Polaroid back. I also have the Portra and Tmax 400 so good to have a bit of motivation. Hope to get onto ‘grumytykepix’ soon and get the film moving.

    • Yes, I’d love to see more posts! I’ve checked out the Mamiya Press online but never shot with one. The RZ 67 is a big, bulky camera but the lens is absolutely superb. The depth and quality of the images it takes on medium format film is stunning. I just love shooting with it. I ought to post more Mamiya shots. I’ll make that a priority in the near future! And both 6×7 and 6×9 are wonderful formats. I especially like 6×7 shot vertically…35mm vertical shots seem a bit skinny to me sometimes ㅎㅎ Anyhow, I’m looking forward to what you post next time around : )

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