My first roll… on the most cost effective (in all probability) Mamiya RB67 Professional S ever…and the Fuji Professional 400h – Santiago Alvarez


Let me begin this text with a confession… I by no means deliberate to make movie pictures part of my life. I used to be by no means excited about movie and wished a digital digicam so I may take as many photographs as I wished, whereas with the ability to shortly choose what I used to be doing.

It began in 2017; I used to be in my junior 12 months of highschool and was wanting ahead to taking over pictures as a topic. In our first-class, the trainer informed us that it was greatest if every of us had a digicam to progress on the similar tempo.

I lastly had an excuse to ask my mother and father to purchase me a shiny new digital digicam; I used to be salivating on the time for the Nikon D7200 for some time.

Once I requested my dad for it, and with out skipping a beat, he went to the storage and handed me a brown field with “Digital camera” written on it. I used to be dumbfounded, I assumed possibly he knew I used to be doing pictures this 12 months and purchased a digicam for me.

Oh how naive I’m

I opened the field and located myself perusing the Pentax K1000 lens, its authentic case, a tripod, and as many filters and equipment as you possibly can ever want. It seems that he was into pictures as early as 30 years in the past.

Dad checked out me with an expression that would solely imply “onerous luck” and left me alone with an historical software I did not know the right way to use.

After a steep one-year studying curve and some brief assignments, I had fallen in love with movie pictures and my new-fangled digicam. There was digital pictures within the rear-view mirror.

One night in mid-2018, whereas checking eBay for a 35mm lens for Pentax, I got here throughout a minty Mamiya RB67 for the “modest” worth of $400. At the moment, the medium format was a type of fantasy for me, which was solely seen on video by very proficient and profitable people.

I knew I had no enterprise proudly owning a digicam like this, particularly since I had no approach of justifying its worth. However after watching just a few movies concerning the digicam and format, the wheels got here into movement.

It’s possible you’ll have an interest…

I spent the following two weeks listings for medium format cameras. I used to be about to surrender that I discovered a Mamiya RB67 Professional S physique that price 120… $40? Clearly there should have been one thing improper with this; It was listed as “as is” and offered by somebody in Japan. There have been no apparent indicators of misuse or breaking something, so I made a decision to benefit from this and after cautious consideration purchased it.

It took about three months to reach in Argentina, but it surely occurred in common Japanese vogue: in an outsized field and coated in bubble wrap. I examined the physique and the whole lot appeared to work as supposed, even with the again. The one downside was that it got here with out the rotating adapter that ties the 2 components collectively, so I purchased one other one from the identical man (bizarre, proper?) for $40.

That is the place the story went by means of a plateau, it was the start of 2019 and I used to be solely lacking a lens. I assumed I would simply wait just a few months, get some cash and purchase a less expensive 90mm or 127mm; It seems that the market had totally different plans for me.
Round that point, the “comeback” of movie pictures was in full swing, and its affect started to seep into the costs of medium format movie pictures; 90mm lenses had been upwards of $100. My solely possibility was to attempt as much as 127mm.

Days became weeks and weeks into months. I had a working medium format digicam designed to shoot and the one factor stopping it from doing this was that I did not have the cash. Understand that it’s practically unimaginable to give you $100 for an unemployed 18-year-old residing in Argentina, a rustic the place greater than 40% of the inhabitants lives in poverty.

2020 rolled round and so did the pandemic. By the way, the nation had the longest lockdown in your entire world, which meant I had no likelihood to purchase lenses.

I had excessive hopes for 2021. With restrictions lifted and other people promoting something to get just a few additional bucks, I turned my search to the home market.

A couple of weeks handed and I struck gold. I obtained a mint 90mm f/3.8 with its authentic cap and aluminum lens hood for $130, with the additional advantage of it being simply half-hour from my home. I purchased it in a jiffy and it arrived a day later.

About three years later I did this. The most affordable (in all probability) Mamiya RB67 Professional S I’ve assembled thus far. Nicely, I grabbed a roll of the Fuji Professional 400h and took it for a spin that very same weekend.

It made all of the wait value it.

~ Santiago

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