June 9th, 2004


Camera Shopping

After all, what is a shutterbug without a camera, other than frustrated. My Old Faithful Mamiya C330 has been acting a bit flaky of late; it will lock up and not advance film periodically. It's unpredictable (thought it was related to temperature and humidity for a bit). The maintenance shop hasn't been able to duplicate it. The only sure way to let them get it when it's in that condition is to bring it in when it's locked up... unfortunately it's also got film in it them, and the fix so far is to open the back (In a Dark Place, obviously), which reset's the film counter and everything else. Then I re-roll the film, re-load it, and advance through the last frame upon which it locked up.

If it weren't for some small personal significance, I'd be quite comfortable retiring it. After all, there's the Even Older Faithful Mamiyaflex (first camera body model put out in this series) which is so severely simple mechanically it would be hard to kill it. Put film in Here. Advance film here. Now, if you want to make a photograph you must also remember to cock the shutter here, and then make the photograph. Now, if you don't want to make a double exposure, you must advance film here...

The leatherette covering is long since worn off, leaving the metal body itself. All my lenses for this body system work on all the bodies. So I can still make medium format photos. Looks ugly, works great. Who's worried?

But getting back to the C330. It was my dads. There's a slew of added features; it can be set for multiple exposures (could do double, triple, etc), or it can advance the film and cock the shutter at the same time. Bit of a complicated business considering the design, but it does work. Mostly, it was my dads.

So when I do replace it, it will go into the show cabinet. The biggest question is what to replace it with. Another C330 (nice fancy features) or one of the earlier style bodies in the series, simpler mechanically (and therefor probably more robust over all). This capitolizes on my lens investment.

Or, make a switch into a slightly different medium format area, a single lens reflex. Would need to make a complete investment; lenses, body (preferably two, one for backup), and other accessories depending on type of camera. Big Bucks, even buying used.

But, overall, cameras that are still being manufactured. Mamiya doesn't make the C series TLR's any more.

There's the rub.