Camera Review: Mamiya C330

Today I bring my thoughts on the Mamiya C330.

When I started using and collecting film cameras I never thought I’d get something like a Mamiya C330.

A real professional camera with beautiful glass.

I’ll struggle to describe how amazing this camera is compared to everything I’ve used before it. It simply takes the most beautiful looking photos, that I’ve ever made, even when I screw up.

This model was released from around 1969 and has a Mamiya – Sekor 80mm ƒ2.8 lens that, to me, is just stunning. When used properly you can get some seriously sharp images.

Another cool thing is that you can also swap out the lens pieces and add other cool things like grips and flash bars etc. A proper ‘system’.

I don’t see it like a press camera though I have seen folk using TLRs as press cameras in old news footage but I doubt I’ll be running about trying to take street photos with it.

I’ve tried chasing my daughter about with it and that’s as far as I’ll go.

A multiple exposure switch is nice.

On the side is a coldshoe with a PC socket above the top lens. I’ve used a flash gun on the side with a Cold-hotshoe adapter plus off camera flash using my iShoot unit.

I bought this camera for £60 from our graphic design department who had been selling off or giving away old unused/broken camera gear.

They had apparently sold off a couple of Leica’s (!!).

The reason I got this guy so cheap was down to a slightly problematic shutter that has actually become less of a problem these days and has only occurred maybe two or three times since.

As a side-note: I did manage to get a Bronica Zenza S2 with 2 lenses and 2 backs for nothing because the shutter system wasn’t working. I almost got it running properly but gave it away to Internet buddy Iain Kendall who turned fixing it into a fairly successful project.

I got it for nothing so I passed it on for nothing, especially since it wasn’t even 0.05% working at the time.

The focussing on this camera is very smooth and clean (the blur on my Dad below was down to him moving last minute).

Having had a Mamiya Universal for a year or so prior to getting this camera I recognised the shutter and aperture mechanism; very similar.

The viewfinder is quite bright especially in comparison to my only other TLR, a Halina Viceroy, and there’s a pop-out magnifier to aid focussing which I do use a lot.

I see on eBay that these cameras can go for anything between £100 to £300 depending on condition so I think I’ve struck it very lucky here.

I really like it for portraits and hope to start a portrait project soon, I’m not sure how or of whom but this camera will be first my choice tool.

Until next time.

le fin

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8 thoughts on “Camera Review: Mamiya C330

  1. There is a great variety to your images in this one, I know it is over a long period but the camera has helped you get a consistency to them. Have you ever considered that you might be a natural landscape photographer the images always feel very comfortable.

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    1. Cheers Brendan. I think it’s down to the mirrored VF, it sort of removes you from being caught up in the moment or distracted and makes you more aware about getting ‘that bit’, or ‘this shape’ in the frame.

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      1. I know what you mean, when I go to the trouble of dragging a tripod out with me it has a similar effect. I am slowly catching up with your blogs so bear with me as I dig through the archive….it has been a busy couple of months.

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