Mamiya 6
Medium format film; 2005

Mamiya 6.  I had money in those days.  I took this shot with what they called the Big Leica – or the Texas Rangefinder a few other things.  The first and most popular version was the 6 x 6 version.  It took three lenses.  Widish, normal, and long.  The long was difficult to use with the viewfinder.  It was one of those lenses that was just perfect, and I couldn’t use at all.  Usually I shot with the 50mm.

Altho it had an electronic shutter, it was still possible to shoot at 1/60? of a sec. even without the battery.  Or do I remember that wrongly.  It doesn’t matter.  There were two Medium Format cameras that I loved and used a lot, the Rollei TLR (I had several of them) and the Mamiya 6.

You’ll notice that they’re both light compared to other Medium Format cameras.  I used the Hass for 1/2 a day (rental) and it just didn’t suit me.  I don’t know why.  Maybe the clunk it made?  Yes, that was it.  The two medium format cameras I loved were QUIET.  They didn’t have focal plane shutters.

So that was a big thing with whatever street camera you were using – NOISE.  Not digital noise.  Real noise.  Today all those hurdles have been crossed.

First off just about anybody you photographed is in their own audio tunnel.  Your camera doesn’t make any noise at all now.  If it does, there’s something wrong with it.  And won’t people make you feel uncomfortable taking their picture – only if they’re doing something they might be arrested for.

If they notice you at all – they’ll consider themselves to have been worth a shot.

Published by dave

I've been photographing New York, mostly in black and white, for the last 35 years. In other words, I began in the age of Tri-x and D-76 and eventually moved into the world of pigment ink. Enjoy your stay - Dave

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