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Dinner Party with Friends, Family and a Mamiya 645AF w/ 80mm f/2.8 Lens

On more than one occasion, I have been told that my camera is a black abyss which no image ever surfaces or sees the light of day to anyone other than myself. I am happy to report that I dare brave the trek to the bottom of said abyss and have returned with images!!

Back in Feb (yes, Feb, so it was only in the abyss for about 8 months), we were invited to head up to Marin County to have dinner with friends and family. I happened to have rented a Mamiya 645AF medium format camera that came with an 80mm f2.8 autofocus lens for testing and decided to bring it along. I had just started to get into the film thing and wasn’t feeling quite comfortable with exposure settings and manual operations, so the auto features of the Mamiya was a good compromise in taking a dip in the medium format film realm. One of my favorite features of the 645AF is the settings impression that can be turned on and will imprint on the side of the image all the camera settings and will develop along with the image for future reference. Obviously, every digital camera provides this in the EXIF data imbedded in the image, but to have this information with film was high-end stuff! If I really wanted to go “old school”, I could always bring along a small notepad to write down my settings as I shoot…nah!

Although a beast compared to most digital and 35mm film cameras, the Mamiya 645 is rather manageable and feels great in your hands. Made almost exclusively of plastics, it is quite light compared to other medium format cameras with steel frames. All the settings are within fingertip reach and the layout is pretty self-explanatory. Other than getting used to how to properly load the film inserts (which the insert does a great job with visual markings), the shooting experience with the 645 is a pleasurable one. It may have been the first time I rented the camera, but it surely has not been the last.

Speaking of film, the following images were all captured on Ilford Delta 100 medium format b&w film self developed with Kodak D-76, scanned using a Canoscan 9900F Mark II and lightly tweaked in PS to get rid of dust, scratches and nuisances on scanned negatives.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Adolf Gasser’s has a great deal in their rental department that allows for a 40% off the rental list price of anything on the shelf on Fridays after 3pm for a weekend rental, which is equal to one day as long as the items are back by noon on Monday.The Mamiya setup I took home typically rents for $45 for the weekend, but at 40% off, it’s a steal!! Although the deal is good for both digital and film cameras and accessories in stock, chances are that you’re going to want to make a reservation at the list price for items that you simply must have

Without further ado, here are some images…

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