The Mamiya TLR series was topped by the C330 which boasts features such as 120 & 220 compatibility, a one-action wind on crank, a changeable back for single exposure photography, and also weighs 340g less than the C33. It also has interchangeable lenses across all the series – a massive selling point for these cameras. Ideal TLR’s for people who like to chop and change lenses or do lots of differing styles of photography that need different focal lengths.
If I had a choice of one TLR to use, this would definitely be in contention. The macro capabilities and the lens system makes them very appealing.
A few good bits
Interchangeable lenses – Unlike most TLR’s, the Mamiya series all have interchangeable lenses. This has obvious benefits including different focal lengths and easier to clean/repair. Changing focal lengths is the biggest plus on these, as other TLR’s can be quite restrictive, or cost a fortune to get a wider/longer focal length.
Medium format – Larger negatives & excellent IQ as comes with 120 cameras. With this being a TLR it’s 6×6 so produces 12 photos a roll, in the pretty iconic square format, which has become extremely popular over the last few years.
Built like a tank – These are very very sturdy, this is a bit of a downside too as discussed further down, however for lots of photographers good build quality is paramount.
The bellows allow for excellent macro – The Mamiya TLR’s have visible bellows which extend quite far from the body, allowing very close focus, without having to lug around an extra dedicated macro lens.
A few bad bits
You’ll never need a gym again – Alongside the point above about it being built like a tank… It weighs a similar amount too. These are beasty cameras that weigh a ton. This is obviously going to come alongside it being well built and so sturdy, so if the build quality is something you’re after then the weight is just something that has to be dealt with.
Parallax correction – While shooting macro the image you see through the finder is slightly different to what you will get in the negative, this is due to the nature of a TLR and with the close focus exaggerating this. There are little tools called paramenders which rectify this issue.
The bottom line
Lovely cameras which are built very well, and with the macro capabilities and interchangeable lenses it allows for a great camera kit which can do it all.
The C330’s with a standard 80mm lens will put you back around £199-299, however the earlier versions such as the C2, C3, C220 can all be had from around £99-£199. We have a large quantity of these in stock at the moment so get in touch if you are interested.