To start off, I was never a fan of TLRs. Needed a great deal of thinking and finally got one in my kit. A Mamiya C3, from a thrift shop in Mumbai. The camera had to undergo a good amount of servicing since there was a problem with the film advancing mechanism. After it had been serviced and some cleaning it was time to test it out.
For the test, I used a roll of Fujicolor Reala, that had been expired in 1999. This was my first time using this film and was eager to see the results.
Post 4PM, there’s beautiful dappled sunlight that creeps into my office front, lighting up the few blooming flowers that I have. I decided to use the flowers as my subject, therefore this way, I would get to test the Macro capabilities of the mamiya-Sekor 80mm lens.
I had one small task, now! The flowers were situated at a height. Using a ladder, I was somehow able to position myself as close to the flowers as possible for some really tight macro shots. Initially, I found it difficult to compose without a tripod, because I had to focus on balancing myself and at the same time frame the shot with a waist-level finder. It took me a good amount of time; however, I was able to finalise on a composition.
What I saw through the viewfinder, was simply stunning! The macro capabilities of the lens are outstanding. After adjusting my settings, taking into consideration the 20-year expiry of the film, I started shooting the planters and bloomers. I wanted to test the capabilities of the expired film. So I shot some frames where the sun is lighting up the flowers, a few against sunlight, and few with light leaks to check the capabilities of the lens as well.
Now I had to just wait and see how the images would turn out. Considering, I had already overexposed the film by 2-stops while shoot, I decided not push it while processing.
Love what this camera and what its lens could achieve! I will be honest, was a bit skeptical about how the expired film would behave. Apart from the additional grains (which are not evident), super stoked with the results!
- Vishal Kullarwar