My Yashica Mat 124G has been broken since the day I got it. I admit not having read the ebay description correctly, but it still worked to a certain degree. The lighting meter has failed me over the last six months quite a lot, and some of the camera’s pieces would need some repair beyond my skills. So I looked for an alternative.
Sure, there’s Rolleiflex cameras, and they’re awesome and really good-looking and all that, but they can be (read: they are) quite expensive, and the cost didn’t really justify the means. The cheapest one I could find in a shop started at 300 EUR. Out of the question for me since I like to keep my camera collection on the cheap.
The other alternative seemed to be Mamiya’s range of TLR cameras. Jen Sophik shoots with a Mamiya C3, and that was good enough to convince me to look for either a C3, a C33 or a C330. They only have minor differences. Obviously the C330 is the king of the crop, as it seems to be able to use 220 film, and it’s a whopping 340 grams lighter then the C33. Did I mention they’re the only TLR cameras with interchangeable lenses? I know, right? What it doesn’t have is a built-in lighting meter, but I can live with that. Its awesomeness definitely outweighs the loss.
Still, on Germany’s election night I scored a C33 in excellent condition for a great price. It’s a real beast, and with two kilos quite a heavy one, but I can live with that. It uses bellows instead of just pushing the lenses out from the body like other TLRs do, so you can get up close, really close.
I stuffed a roll of Efke 100 black and white film in it to give it a go. While that’s arguably not a great film for shooting indoors, it gave me an idea how the camera works. Turns out, it works like a charm.
In other news, The Impossible Project just announced that Polaroid decided to start making cameras again, reviving some of their classic models. Awesome news to wake up to, no doubt.