Bought a Mamiya C220

I recently bought and began refurbishing a Mamiya C220 TLR. I had been looking for a Mamiya TLR for quite some time and was happy to find this one at an affordable price and in pretty good shape.


Why, you might ask, would I buy a film camera? First off, the thing looks awesome. It’s also built like a tank and is a joy to use. It is fully mechanical so it requires that I use it completely differently than a modern digital camera. I like that and, I know this might sound cheesy, I feel closer to the craft when using it. I can go on and on about how it operates, how it is a great example of engineering, but the bottom line is that it looks awesome. Just being honest.

Related to the look of the camera is the look of film. I miss the smooth tones and range of film. Kodak Portra, Ilford, Tri-X – all that money spent on VSCO presets when you can have the real deal.

I also enjoy slide film, despite its compressed range, because the big chromes on a light table are something to behold. The two-day wait to get the chromes back adds to the anticipation. Then, after getting them back, you slide them onto the light table at the lab and – boom – you’re blown away. They just have to be seen to be appreciated.

Lastly, a fully manual camera (not even a light meter in the thing) coupled with film is something my kids should experience. Thus far they have enjoyed the experience and the anticipation of seeing the photos days later. They look forward to the surprise.

With all that said, these awesome medium format cameras can be had for amazing prices and film is still being manufactured and processed today. Get out and experience film.

Mamiya C220 in action