My Medium Format Journey Part 2

Today was the first full day of my journey into film photography with the recently acquired Mamiya 645. Although I was out just after Christmas that was more of a test drive than a serious photography trip. A few days in the lake district presented an ideal opportunity for some more serious work. So, armed with a roll of Velvia 100 and one of Provia 100, I set off with Julie in tow for a wander around the Manstey area at the southern end of Derwentwater. I’d deliberately taken two different types of film so I could see the difference in the same conditions.

One of the reasons for buying the 645 was to slow my image making down. It has certainly done that. No more quick ‘grab shots’ for me. I reckon at the moment it is taking me around 10 minutes as a minimum to set up for a shot. Once the camera is on the tripod, my steps are:

1 Check the composition;
2 Change the lens if necessary (no zooms remember);
3 Set the focus;
4 Check the aperture and depth of field, adjusting if necessary;
5 Plug in the cable release if not done earlier;
6 Switch on (2 Switches);
7 Meter image:
8 Attach filter (if required);
9 Remove dark slide;
10 Lock up mirror;
11 Trip shutter.
Of course, if while all this is going on the light changes, I may have to go back to step 7 and repeat.
Now I won’t know the results until the film is back from the processors later this week, but things I’ve learnt so far:

1 The gear is heavy;
2 Changing rolls of film in cold weather isn’t easy;
3 At the precise monument the light is spot on I’ll have left the dark slide in;
4 Other photographers give you a strange look!
5 The clunk.of the shutter has a certain air of finality about it.