When I first got the Mamiya 645 Pro TL, I didn’t really know what to do with it. I’d been shooting 35mm film exclusively and didn’t understand medium-format. I took the Mamiya out and approached my shots the same way I would as if I had my Pentax with me. The results were…okay. I didn’t (and still don’t…yet) know how to develop and print my own film, so I had to rely on the commercially-done prints to show me what I could do.
And to tell you the truth, I was a little intimidated. It’s a beast of a camera.
Because I was unsure of myself, I didn’t use her very much. Then Buzz and I invested in a scanner for our film negatives, and I got the Lubitel, which meant that I was experimenting with medium-format again. Working with my film images on a computer somehow made things finally click in my head. I hadn’t been getting good results with the medium-format camera because I was thinking like a 35mm camera. I had to approach my shots in a totally different way.
It was time to break out my Mamiya again, so I took her for a test run, armed with my new theory.
(Does anyone else now have an Abba song stuck in their heads?)
A little on the underexposed side, but I kept trying and I began to get the hang of it.
I got a bit more confidence and so I tried her on the street.
I was slowly getting better with the exposure.
I started to shoot wider than I usually do with my Pentax.
But if the desire strikes me, the medium-format allows me to take that wider shot and focus on the smaller details that are usually the subject of my interest.
I’m really pleased with how this new approach is working with the Mamiya, so I hope to keep practicing with her and bring you more from The Beast.