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Thread: Medium Format

  1. #1
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    Cool Medium Format

    Hello All

    Well i purchased my first medium format camera two days ago from Ebay and it is supposed to be here in 6-10 days..Its a Mamiya C330 and i got it for 275$..I'm kind of worried about it being broken or something but i hope it will get here safely..This is the first time I'm actually buying something from Ebay..Not sure if i did a right thing, i just hope its working fine..

    Before getting the actual camera i wanted to know what do you guys think would be an ideal roll to do some tests shots on? I also herd of the term "expired film" but i haven't used film in my life so i have no idea what that means. I saw it being sold on Ebay. Doesn't it change the contrast of the photo or does it make look good in any way? :idea:

    By the way do you guys have any idea what i have to do lets say if the camera is broken when its being shipped? do i get my money back? does USPS pay for the repair?

    One of the members (Paul) also told me that i can use my Digital SLR Camera as a light meter until i get the actual light meter from Ebay or something. I was just wondering how i can do that? Do i set to camera to "M" or "Av" and just change the ISO matching the film ISO i purchased?

    Would appreciate some help here
    Thanks

  2. #2
    trigger happy geriatric.
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    Re: Medium Format

    Hi mate,

    Stuff from ebay is usually OK, I've bought lots of photo stuff and never had a problem. Hopefully you checked the description out? As far as getting your money back - it's highly unlikely unless the goods have been posted with insurance.

    Expired film is film that is past the date printed on the box. I've used it before and it's been OK, but I guess how far past date it is really. If it's well out of date and been stored badly, it can spoil colour banance and take on a cast - all kinds of things. Again it's a chance you take, but may well be worth it.

    If I were using my DSLR as a meter, I'd change the ISO reading to match the speed of the film and use the multi pattern metering on the scene or spot meter the face if it were a portrait. Take the photo with an approximately equal focal length lens and if it turns out ok use those exposure settings on your 330.

    Hope everything works out fine, I'm sure it will.

    Nice camera the C330

    Dave

  3. #3
    GB1
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    Re: Medium Format

    Does not the Mamiya C330 have a built-in meter? Only very old cameras don't have them. Many studio photographers use a supplemental handheld incident light meter, but this isn't needed for general photography in the field.

    I've bought about 1/2 dozen items on eBay w/o issue. 99% of the sellers up there are really really conscience of their ratings and don't want an upset customer.

    I think you can use expired film just fine if it was stored in a refrigerator or, better yet, a freezer for most of its life. My experience has been that the film cos are fairly conservative on their dating, and I've never had a problem using old (expired) film.

    Finally, I think eBay insures your purchase for the first $300 (?). Something like that anyway.

    Good luck!!

    G
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  4. #4
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Medium Format

    I've never had a problem with something being damaged during shipment. If it is broken during shipment, you're out of luck unless it was insured...as far as I know. If the seller misrepresented the condition of the item, you can ask the seller for your money back. If they refuse you can file a complaint through ebay. I've never had to do that, so I'm not sure how effective it is.

    As for expired film, I agree with what others have said so far, but I just want to add that the ISO makes a difference. Faster film, ISOs of 800 or above, will generally be less stable and more likely to show problems if they are too old. As long as it's med to slow film, and only a little out of date, it's probably fine. But, there's always a little risk, because you don't know how it was stored.

    Regardless of what meter you use, you will have to learn how to get the best exposure from it. That means, you should take a reading from the meter (or your DSLR), set the C330 accordingly, and take a photo. Then take a few more shots bracketing around that exposure in half stops. Your first few rolls of film will help you figure out how to get the best exposure from the meter. Spot meters will probably take more getting used to. Read up on them before trying to use one.

    As far as using the DSLR is concerned, yes set the ISO to match the film and set the aperture to whatever aperture you want to use. Check to see what shutter speed the camera is suggesting. It could be in Av or M mode for this to work. Then copy that setting over to the C330. Focus, shoot, bracket, take notes, and inspect the results to see which exposure was best.

    Good luck!

    Paul

  5. #5
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    Re: Medium Format

    great
    thank you all

    one last question...when i shoot my first roll how do i know if there is a problem with the camera or not? its my first time using a medium format and i dont know anything about it. And this camera has 2 weeks warranty so i want to make sure if anything is wrong i would have to ship it back to the seller...

    Also i read the manual it doesnt really show how i put the film inside the camera properly. It gives a brief description that didnt really help. I couldnt find a video on youtube either.

  6. #6
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
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    Re: Medium Format

    Quote Originally Posted by AmirVscas
    great
    thank you all

    one last question...when i shoot my first roll how do i know if there is a problem with the camera or not? its my first time using a medium format and i dont know anything about it. And this camera has 2 weeks warranty so i want to make sure if anything is wrong i would have to ship it back to the seller...

    Also i read the manual it doesnt really show how i put the film inside the camera properly. It gives a brief description that didnt really help. I couldnt find a video on youtube either.
    Play with the camera a little before you load it with film. Make sure the film advance lever actually makes the take-up spool turn inside the camera when you turn it. Check the shutter by ear. Set it to 1 sec and see if it's close to 1 sec, then gradually increase the speed and you should be able to hear a difference in the sound. That's not very scientific, but if there's a major shutter problem you will probably notice it when doing this. Stop down the aperture and inspect the aperture blades for any indications of physical damage. Also look for oil. A tiny trace of oil on the aperture is probably not a big deal with a TLR, but a lot of oil could be a problem because it can get on the inside of the lens elements. Inspect the lens by shinning a flashlight through it. It's normal to find a little bit of dust when you do this, but if there is a lot of dust or haze, or any fungus or oil droplets you could have a problem. After you're done with all of this, take some test shots and see how they come out. If there's anything you're not sure about, post some photos here and we'll try to help identify the issue.

    As for loading the film, check this out: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how2load120.htm

    Paul

  7. #7
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    Re: Medium Format

    A good place to start estimating expsure is the "sunny 16" rule. It is simply this, set the aperture at F16 and set the shuttersheed at the reciprical of the film speed. In other words, with ISO 400 film, set the shutterspeed at 1/400 of a second and the F-stop at F16. This rule works in bright sunshine, few if no clouds and distinct shadows. If it's partly cloudy, with softer shadows, open up one stop to F11 or change the shutterspeed to 1/250 of a second. For overcast or in shade, open up one stop more. If extremely bright, such as snow or beach scenes, close down onestop from the sunny 16 rule, i.e. F22.

    Since your C330 has a leaf shutter its fastest exposure is probably 1/400. (I've never used a C330, but I have used an RB67 and that is its fastest shutter speed.) Given the relatively slow maximum shutter speed, for bright sunshine you would have a little more flexibility with slower film, like kodacolor 100 or 200 or 160VC or 160NC.

    Of course, you can substitute equivilent exposures, i.e. F16 @ 1/125 would equal F11 @ 1/250 and so on.

    Have fun with the Mamiya!

    Color negative film is wonderfully forgiving, particularly of over-exposure. Black and White film is very similar. Chromogenic Black and White film is very forgiving. The most picky film is color transparency film. It responds similar to digital if it is over-exposed or under-exposed.

  8. #8
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    Re: Medium Format

    Well today i received my new Mamiya C330 that i purchased from Ebay. I'm not sure if there is a problem with the camera but there is this red line at the top of the viewfinder when i look at the prism finder and there is also a black line that moves up & down when i play with the focus thing. I dont know if the red line should be there, its my first medium format camera and im not really sure if it should be there. It kind of looks like a crooked line

    any ideas?

  9. #9
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Medium Format

    If it's new, you should have the manual with it.
    I googled the C330 and found something that seems like what you see:

    When the lens lock knob (11) is in the
    UNLOCK position, the portion to which
    the picture taking lens (lower lens) is
    attached is protected from the camera
    interior by a cover to shield the film from
    exposure to light and a red warning signal
    is visible
    on the focusing screen surface.


    By turning the parallax correcting dial (10), set the dial index to the
    focal length of the lens used. Subsequently, while the lens is being
    extended, the pointer will appear on the upper left portion of the
    focusing screen. The position of this pointer indicates parallax and the
    exposure factor.

    I suggest if the camera came without a manual, you check out http://www.propellerheads.com/techni...c330manual.pdf
    PAul

    Scroll down to the Sports Forum and post your sports pictures !

  10. #10
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    Re: Medium Format

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    If it's new, you should have the manual with it.
    I googled the C330 and found something that seems like what you see:

    When the lens lock knob (11) is in the
    UNLOCK position, the portion to which
    the picture taking lens (lower lens) is
    attached is protected from the camera
    interior by a cover to shield the film from
    exposure to light and a red warning signal
    is visible
    on the focusing screen surface.


    By turning the parallax correcting dial (10), set the dial index to the
    focal length of the lens used. Subsequently, while the lens is being
    extended, the pointer will appear on the upper left portion of the
    focusing screen. The position of this pointer indicates parallax and the
    exposure factor.

    I suggest if the camera came without a manual, you check out http://www.propellerheads.com/techni...c330manual.pdf
    thanks for replying back
    well i did read the manual (it didnt come with one) but i searched for it and found a copy online. It says that when its on locked the red line should disappear but i still see it at the top of the viewfinder. Its not in the middle anymore like when its unlocked but its still visible. I just want to make sure thats okay and there is nothing wrong with the camnera

  11. #11
    Senior Member jetrim's Avatar
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    Re: Medium Format

    Perhaps I'm off base here, but if you genuinely know *nothing* about the camera at all, and are this concerned over it's condition, why not search out a local repair shop that knows what they're looking at and have them give it an evaluation. Shouldn't cost more than $50 and you'll have the piece of mind that you didn't get ripped off. Seems like money well spent.

  12. #12
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    Re: Medium Format

    I read the manual and got some of the stuff but still some of the options donít make sense. First when I look at the prism finder there is a red line appearing at the top of the viewfinder (on lock). Like itís not right in the middle but I can see it at the top, its like this red crooked line. Is it supposed to be there even when its on locked mode? its not in the middle like when its on unlocked mode but its still at the top. Also there is a small screen beside ASA which you can change. Do you set that to 100? (im talking about the small screen on the left side of ASA). There is also another screen which you can change and there is 3 different options. One is like this red dot, the other one is like a bulb, and the other one looks like a black dot. Which one should my camera be set on? Also how do I make sure the shutter sounds correctly? I set the shutter to 1 and tried counting, and I hear the shutter sound for 2 seconds. I set it to 2 and I hear it for 1 second. Is this right? Also on the manual I read that the shutter wont be released when its on SINGLE and there is no film inside but mine does. Is there something wrong with the camera?

    Also when I look at the viewfinder on the prism finder I see some small black dots is that going to show on my pictures? The lens looks clean I donít know what the dots are though.

    The seller also told me that the camera got checked by his technician and he installed new light seals as well and he said everything should be working fine. Also im far from any camera shops and i have to drive 1-2 hours to find a good camera shop. And i did a search the charge about 100$.

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