Exposure variations

A few days with a Mamiya RZ67

I spent this past weekend shooting with a Mamiya RZ67 medium format film camera and the RZ 90mm f/3.5 lens. Using Ilford HP5+ and Delta 400, I tried a number of different subjects and shooting styles.

One thing I didn’t do was to shoot handheld. The camera is a beast.  It was on a tripod all of the time.

I also brought along my Fuji GW690 III to shoot some Fall colour.

The RZ67 turned out to be great for long exposures. With the mirror locked up, I triggered the leaf shutter with a simple cable release. For exposures longer than 1 minute, you use the Time mode, which is activated by a switch on the lens. Framing with this camera is something special. Looking through the viewfinder has a cinematic quality about it. All of these exposures were approximately 3 minutes.

Finally, I convinced a few work colleagues to let me try the RZ67 for portraits. The rotating back on the camera is brilliant and necessary to shoot in portrait orientation. With the leaf shutter on the 90mm lens, I was able to shoot at the maximum shutter speed of 1/400 sec. I would love to shoot some portraits with a longer lens. Next time perhaps.

Images scanned with an Epson V600 using VueScan software.


  1. Don take a look at the Pentax 645, it was my work camera and I loved it. I still have it and will have to dust it off one day. Did you process the film yourself?

    1. Thanks, I have considering a 645 camera as it is smaller but still MF. Perhaps a Mamiya 645…
      No, I didn’t process the film myself. Fortunately, I have Prism Imaging, who are the only local place to get BW film developed. They do a great job.

    1. Thanks Kevin. I really enjoyed shooting with the RZ67. However, it’s size makes it a very specialized camera. I rented it, but have my eye on a Mamiya M645 camera, which is a more manageable size and I’ll get 15 frames per roll, instead of just 10 (6 x 7) or 8 (6 x 9). Hope that you are well…

      1. Nice work Don.

        I have a Mamiya 645 1000s and two lens, which I picked up for $400. I typically use a tripod with it, but do get sharp images handheld at 250th of a second or faster. I love the quality of negatives I get from it.

      2. Hey Clive, thanks for the comment. Those are the prices I am seeing too. Seems like a reasonable price for MF. I guess I’ll have to try some colour film too. Especially for those Fall colour shots!

      3. Hi Craig, yes, very well here. Haven’t shot much as of late as I am restoring an old (’83) BMW motorcycle and am spending most of my waking hours spending money on that getting further and further away from a finished project. All kidding aside, I finally have the whole thing in 1,000’s of pieces and have parts outstanding from 6 or so places to refurb this or that. I’m sure it will all fit together one of these days :-)

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