Today the world is as globalized as it could be - - yet we struggle to find meaning in our daily existence.

30 November 2012

Mamiya M645

My great friend and brother was kind enough to send me his Mamiya M645 from Japan to use, instead of it collecting dust around his apartment. One of the first things I noticed was that using a medium format film camera, such as the 645, exponentially slowed down my film game. Furthermore, without a metering system, I had to whip out my iPhone every time I wanted to take a shot. Sometimes, I would visualize a frame, pull out my iPhone, turn all the dials to their correct position, then simply not take the photograph. It's weird. I felt as if there was no justification for wasting a frame. As a street photographer, it's even harder to capture moments that are fleeting with such a rugged camera. Furthermore, the format (length by width), while not completely square-shaped, yet comparable to an enlarged 35mm size, was still difficult to get used to right off the bat. It is also noticeably much more heavier than my M6. On top of that, I'm not a big fan of carrying around too much gear. I'd rather devote all my attention to one camera. To each his or her own, I suppose.

The first thing I did was find a waist-level finder. Luckily, I found one after visiting a few shops around Chungmuro. As I peered into the waist-level finder, it was as if I had entered another world. Words could not explain how I felt at that exact moment, but it seemed almost fantastical. Like an illusion, I was sent to an altered universe, paralleling my surrounding reality, but distant and intangible. Like a story that could not be understood by all, but only to those that have peered through it's mysterious glass.

Or something like that.

I never thought it would take me this long to expose 16 frames. But as they say, "slow and steady wins the race."
Thanks Keny for letting me borrow the camera! (You can check out his work here:

Camera: Mamiya 645
Roll: Kodak Portra 400


m645r1-1 If you've ever roamed around Chungmuro, this should be a familiar face. He actually had/has an M3 that the man himself, Henri Cartier-Bresson used back in the day. I actually contemplated selling my M6 that day. I'm glad that I didn't. Too bad this portrait came out of focus.

m645r1-2 Some random tourists asking for directions. I hope it doesn't take me too long to get adjusted to the 645 framing.

m645r1-7 Dang, missed the focus here too! This was along the Cheonggyecheon during the Lantern Festival.

m645r1-3 Sometimes you just have to stand in one place and wait.

m645r1-4 This certainly looked a lot cooler in person. I wasn't sure what I was framing here, lol.

m645r1-5 As this is a busy intersection, I had to wait a while to make sure no cars would enter the frame. I'm glad this turned out alright. Gyeongbukgung Palace.

m645r1-8 I think I metered this frame incorrectly. Or, the lens is not as sharp as I expected at infinity. Please advise!

m645r1-10 By far one of my favorite frames from this set. I love how the oof background isn't too wild.

m645r1-12 I met a Hong-Kong couple as I was leaving Samcheongdong. They were kind enough to let me take their photograph. Good thing I got his email!

m645r1-6 Then I bumped into Miyoshi at Myeongdong. She's always so fashionable.

I need new photographing locations.
Please help!



haserad said...

Glad you got a roll in! How much did the top down cost and did you try both lenses? I think a 80 1.9 exists, too, thats supposed to be sharp. Try not compare the sharpness with your leica :) haha. Cool to see some portraits with the camera, since I didn't take any!

Stella M. Lee said...

new photography location = USA :)

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