Tag Archives: medium format

Hasselblad HC Lenses + Portraits + YouTube

Hasselblad HC Lenses + Sample Photos + YouTube Review

Hasselblad HC lens portraits using a Hasslblad H2 camera plus Hasselblad H film back (645). Comparing images from the 4 Hasselblad HC lenses I use and why I use each of them. (Including full res images as featured on YouTube).

Hasselblad / Tri-X Portrait

Best Hasselblad HC lens?

So in this post I share the four lenses I use for my Hasselblad H2 medium format film camera. The best Hasselblad HC lens depends on what you are photographing and how you like to work. I use a Hasselblad HC 50mm, 80mm 100mm and 120mm lens and each have their strength.

Hasselblad H wide lens

The standard Hasselblad HC 80 kit lens is great but it is not wide enough to use for my film wedding photography. I wanted a Hasselblad H wide lens to capture both the subjects in the photo and also the fun happening around them. This is especially important for indoor photography when a wider lens is needed for tighter spaces. In portrait terms I wanted to create wider environmental portraits vs standard portraits of 1 to 2 people with the 80mm lens.


Hasselblad HC 50mm f3.5 lens

After enjoying using my Zeiss Distagon 50mm lens on the Hasselblad H2 in Portugal (via an adapter) I got on eBay when I got home. An auction was ending one lunch time with seemingly few bidders and a low price point. I bid slightly higher just in case to test my luck and to my astonishment I won the auction! So I’m now the lucky owner of an autofocus Hasselblad HC 50mm f4 lens in mint condition which will be perfect for Hasselblad wedding photography especially. Fast and accurate focusing for my moving subjects. Very pleased!

Portraits with Hasselblad HC 50mm f3.5

Hasselblad 645 Portrait - H2
Hasselblad H2 Fashion
Hasselblad 50mm Portrait
Hasselblad 50mm Portrait

Hasselblad H kit lens / Smallest Hasselblad HC lens!

The standard Hasselblad H kit lens is the trusty Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 glass. For many camera systems a kit lens is “average” at best but in this instance the 80mm lens is a great performer.

Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 lens

The biggest advantages of the Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 lens is the small size. The 80mm HC is the smallest lens available for the Hasselblad H system / series cameras. It makes the H2 setup almost portable and this is my preferred one lens setup for overseas travel if I need to pack as light as possible. The 80mm is a good all rounder but doesn’t offer any special look. It isn’t wide, it isn’t fast glass and it isn’t a macro lens, it’s just normal. I guess that’s why they call the 50mm equivalent focal length (in 35mm terms) a normal lens. Great performer for anyone looking for a Hasselblad H one lens setup.

Portraits with Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8

Digital camera that shoots film?
Hasselblad H3D Film
Hasselblad H3D-31 Film
Hasselblad H3D-31 Film

Hasselblad H macro lens / portrait lens

One feature of standard kit lenses is they normally can’t focus very close to a subject for detail photos. As an ex-macro photographer (before turning to portraits and weddings) I still appreciate the finer details. For this reason I think is it always nice to have a macro lens available for wedding photos. Many macro lenses also double as a great portrait lens which is helpful.

Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens

The best tool for this job for a Hasselblad H camera is the Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens. As the name suggests it offers macro photography but with a 120mm focal length it can be perfect for portraits too. Macro lenses are also crazy sharp (for any camera system) so they are a good lens to use if you enjoy high resolution images.

The seller that listed the Hasselblad 50mm lens also had a Hasselblad 120mm f4 macro lens for sale. The auction finished shortly after the 50mm lens mentioned above so I was able to bid on both items. Again I went in with a late and low yet slightly higher bid and won that lens too! I couldn’t believe it! What a crazy day that was. Two new Hasselblad HC lenses ready for my analogue wedding photography booking the following weekend. (Sadly the COVID-19 virus then swept the world so all the 2020 wedding bookings were pushed back to later dates. No Hasselblad H2 wedding photos yet but hopefully soon).

Hasselblad V to H lens adapter

The Zeiss 120mm f4 macro lens is also a real favourite of mine on the Hasselblad 500 system. I have shot many 6×6 portraits with the Zeiss 120mm f4 CF lens on Hasselblad 501c and Hasselblad 500cm cameras.

The Hasselblad V to H lens adapter let me use the Zeiss Macro-Planar 120mm f4 CF lens on my Hasselblad H3D-31 camera too. Check out the Hasselblad H3D-31 review for example photos. It was that setup that lead to me buying the autofocus Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro lens!

Portraits with Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 macro

Hasselblad HC 120mm Macro Portrait
Hasselblad 120mm Macro
Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 Portrait
Hasselblad HC 120 Portrait
Hasselblad H2 Film Back
Hasselblad HC 120 Portrait lens
Hasselblad HC 120mm Portrait
Hasselblad HC 120mm f4 Macro Portrait

Hasselblad fast lens / dreamy bokeh lens

Dreamy bokeh is a look many photographers enjoy but as a portrait and wedding photographer this is even more important. I use fast lenses on the Leica cameras such as the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1 but sadly it is less easy for medium format cameras. Unlike 35mm camera lenses where there are f1.0 lenses, f1.2, f1.4 and so on most medium format camera lenses start at f2.8. There are some exceptions including the Mamiya 645 80mm f1.9, the amazing Contax 645 Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 or the Pentax 67 105mm f2.4 lens.

Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9

The Mamiya 80mm f1.9 lens gives a nice shallow depth of field to portraits but as a manual focus lens it is easy to miss focus. I use mostly manual focus cameras and lenses and the Mamiya 645 misses more than average for me. When it nails a shot it is beautiful but I wanted an autofocus lens to have a much higher hit rate.

Mamiya 645 Super Portrait
Mamiya 645 + Mamiya Sekor 80mm f1.9 lens

Contax 645 Zeiss Planar 80mm f2

The autofocus Zeiss Planar 80mm f2 lens is amazing and it give a look like no other for dreamy portraits. Sadly I sold my Contax 645 some years ago and now the prices are so high I wouldn’t want to buy another. The SLR style autofocus camera appealed to me for wedding photography and I lusted after a lens like the 80mm Planar.

Stacy with Contax 645
The Dancer - Rodinal Stand Development
Zsaklin with Contax 645

Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 lens

I think I just found my dream lens! The Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 lens offers a look comparable to the Contax 80mm f2 lens but mounts on my H2. Like the Contax lens the 100mm HC Hasselblad lens is compact and fast. It will be the ideal lens for the Hasselblad H2 camera to create the Contax 645 look. I feel the shallow depth of field really suits wedding photography and this is the best lens in the Hasselblad line up for the task.

Used Hasselblad HC lenses on eBay

Ebay strikes again! After doing my research and due diligence I had been watching a Hasselblad 100mm f2.2 lens on eBay. More as a bookmark than anything else to be honest. The price of this lens is more the the 50mm and 120mm lenses so I didn’t really want to spend the money. After forgetting I had even looked at this lens one day I received an eBay. Hasselblad 100mm f2.2 lens – 25% off one day offer from seller! My eyes need popped out my head. That made the lens now almost too to good an opportunity to miss. If it makes the unique analogue wedding photography images I was lusting after it was priceless. Done and with a wedding booking a just a week away it was perfect timing! (I’m all set now for after the Coronavirus lockdown anyway!).

I enjoy offering different style of photos to the masses. Even though I don’t advertise my wedding photography other that listing it on my homepage I do really enjoy it. Yes wedding photography editing takes time but if the images are shot creatively it can be enjoyable post processing work. I guess compare it to editing photos of your favourite model or old car. If the photos look nice it is fun. If Hasselblad wedding photography images inspire me from using this 100mm lens I will be more likely to start chasing after wedding bookings. How good would it be to use this lens every month for a wedding!

Hasselblad H2 vs Contax 645 Selfie Test

When I had my Contax 645 camera I did a mirror selfie with the Zeiss 80mm f2 Planar lens. As a non-scientific comparison I decided to do a mirror selfie with the Hasselblad H2 and the 100mm f2.2 lens. Here are the results.

Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 Portrait
Hasselblad H2 + Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2 lens
Contax 645 Selfie
Contax 645 + Zeiss 80mm f2 lens

Portraits with Hasselblad HC 100mm f2.2

Hasselblad H2 100mm f2.2 Portrait
Hasselblad H2 100mm Portrait
Hasselblad 100mm Portrait
Hasselblad 100mm HC Bokeh

YouTube: Hasselblad HC Lenses + Sample Photos

You may also like

Hasselblad H wedding photography

Here is a link to a wedding a shot with my Hasselblad H3D-31 with 31MP digital back. All photos were shot with the Hasselblad HC 80mm f2.8 kit lens – Hasselblad Wedding – Sarah & Cris.

Hasselblad 645 Photos (A16 Hasselblad 645 Back)(V vs H System 6×4.5 Film)

Hasselblad 645 Photos (A16 Hasselblad 645 Back)(V vs H System 6×4.5 Film)

Here I share some Hasselblad 645 photos using the less common A16 Hasselblad 645 back. (This provides a more economical alternative to the classic 6×6 Hasselblad A12 film back). I also discuss the option of Hasselblad V vs H system for Hasselblad 6×4.5 film images.

Fomapan 100 Classic Portrait

Hasselblad classic 6×6 film back (A12 back)

The standard film back for Hasselblad V series or Hasselblad 500 series cameras is the 6×6 format Hasselblad A12 film back. The classic Hasselblad square format gives 12 photos per roll of 120 film. As much as I love the Hassy square format occasionally a subject or scene is better suited to a rectangular composition. Rather than just crop a square film negative scan to the desired more narrow final dimensions I rather see and compose the final image in camera.


A16 Hasselblad 645 film back

To be able to shoot rectangular format with the Hasselblad cameras I bought myself some A16 Hasselblad film backs. These are 6×4.5 format film backs that give an extra 4 photos per roll of 120 film. 16 photos not the usual 12. Not only does this make it more economical to shoot film but it means I can compose the final images in camera. The 645 film format often suits my portrait images better than a square (for my taste)(unless a Hasselblad headshot). The 6×4.5 crop also works nicely for some horizontal compositions.

Hasselblad Double Exposure

Hasselblad 645 Back + Hasselblad 500CM/501C

Here I show my usual Hasselblad 500 setup whether it is a Hasselblad 500CM or 501C camera. I usually prefer to use the 45 degree prism viewfinder as I find it easier to focus my images. In an ideal situation I would use a carbon monopod and a cable release as shown here. Often I don’t do this but it does help to keep the camera steady if using slower shutter speeds. On cloudy days in Europe I often shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 with the lens at it’s widest aperture. Again, where possible I use a lens hood but if I have to travel with minimal kit I will use the Hasselblad without it and with a waist lens finder instead. (For the smallest lightest setup).

My Hasselblad Rig! 📷😁 #hasselblad501c #hasselblad #zeiss #zeissplanar #hasselbladlove #6x6 #cameraporn #sirui #monopod #120 #mediumformat #film #lovefilm #ishootfilm #bellows #camera #filmcamera #filmforever #filmphotographer #cameragear www.M

645 Hasselblad SWC /M setup

Here I show my Hasselblad SWC/M camera setup. The SWC is a fixed lens Hasselblad so it looks the same most the time. What you see here is probably the same as most photos you will see of the Hasselblad Super Wide.

Hasselblad 645 Portraits

120 Ilford HP5 Portrait
Hasselblad A16 Back Portrait
Mamiya 7 Double Exposure
Hasselblad 100mm Portrait

More Hasselblad 645 Photos (Hasselblad 501C/500CM)

501c Hasselblad Portrait
Fomapan 100@800
Hasselblad 80mm Portrait
Hasselblad 645 Portrait
Hasselblad 645 Film Back Portrait
Hasselblad A16 Film Back Portrait

645 Hasselblad SWC Photos

In addition to using the A16 645 film back on the Hasselblad 500 cameras I also use it on my Hasselblad Super Wide (aka. Hasselblad SWC/M). With the SWC camera the composition is often a guestimate, as is the focusing. There is no mirror or coupled rangefinder for precision focusing. This makes the 645 format good for me as I just aim at the horizon for a horizontal image.

Hasselblad SWC/M Super Wide Camera
Hasselblad SWC Portrait Photos
Hasselblad SWC/M
Hasselblad SWC-M Fashion
Hasselblad SWC Landscapes – 645 Format
Hasselblad SWC / M 645
Budapest Market B&W
Hasselblad Super Wide 645
Hasselblad SWC/M 645
Close up images with the Hasselblad SWC/M

You may wonder how it is possible to focus so accurately when you can’t focus the SWC camera via a mirror or rangefinder? The answer is you can get a Hasselblad SWC/M adapter to clip on the rear of the camera to provide a ground glass. The camera then becomes a mini 4×5 camera where you focus on the back of the camera. (See the full Hasselblad SWC/M review to see this in practice).

Hasselblad SWC/M Focus Screen
Zeiss Biogon Bokeh
Hasselblad SWC 645

645 Hasselblad Photo – Camera Options

The two common options to shoot 645 Hasselblad photos are –

  1. Hasselblad V series camera + Hasselblad A16 film back
  2. Hasselblad H series camera + Hasselblad H film back

Option 1 is covered above in this review where I use my Hasselblad 500CM, Hasselblad 501C and Hasselblad SWC / M cameras.

Option 2 was covered in my Hasselblad H3D camera review using a 645 film back – Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back)

Hasselblad SWC-M Portrait

Hasselblad H3D-31 Camera

The Hasselblad H3D-31 is a brilliant camera as the platform lets you use either a standard Hasselblad H digital back or a Hasselblad H film back.

Here is an example photo using the Hasselblad H3D camera with it’s 645 format film back. You can find a full review of the Hasselblad H system together with example images at – Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back)

Hasselblad H3D Film Back

Best Hasselblad 645 camera setup

What is the best Hasselblad 645 camera setup if your love Hasselblad and want to shoot 645 film rather than the standard Hasselblad 6×6 format? You should check out the mentioned Hasselblad H3D film back article (Digital Camera That Shoots Film!? (Hasselblad H Film Back) to draw you own conclusions but for me the H3D camera gives better photos.

This might be purely down to the autofocus lens of the Hasselblad H3D or the fact that I use the 80mm f2.8 lens on the H system. On the V series cameras I tend to use other focal lengths whether shorter (say 60mm) or longer (100mm, 120mm, 150mm..). There should be enough example images from both cameras shared to let you decide what camera setup would suit your taste best. If you are in the market for a Hasselblad 645 system that is.

Hasselblad H vs V system – What is better?

So what does better mean? Hasselblad H vs V system. In my conclusion I am looking only at the final photos. I am not considering all the pros and cons of each camera. To me it is usually the image that is the most important aspect of a camera. You can have a cheap simple camera that takes amazing photos and likewise a beautiful expensive camera that takes average photos. (I will perhaps write a Hasselblad H vs V system camera comparison in a future article).


My preferred Hasselblad H3D camera setup

Hasselblad H3D camera body + 645 film back + Hasselblad HC 80mm f/2.8 kit lens.

Hasselblad 500 vs Hasselblad SWC – In more details

More Hasselblad Camera Specific Blog Posts

You may also like… What Gear I Use for Portraits!

  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit – HERE

Mamiya 6 Review & Guide (vs Mamiya 7, Hasselblad..) 

Mamiya 6 Review & Guide (vs Mamiya 7, Hasselblad..) + YouTube Review

Tempted by the Mamiya 6 folding camera?  A more portable version of a 6×6 Hasselblad (say for travel) . This Mamiya 6 review compares the camera to other popular 6×6/ 6×7 camera and includes –

  1. Hasselblad vs Mamiya 6
  2. Fuji GF670 vs Mamiya 6
  3. Mamiya 6 vs Mamiya 7
  4. Why to buy a Mamiya 6
  5. Mamiya 6 Portraits
  6. Wedding with a Mamiya 6
  7. 9 Useful Mamiya 6 facts / Specs
  8. Lenses for the Mamiya 6
  9. Mamiya 6 Mini User Guide & Common Problems

mamiya 6 review - film camera review

1. Mamiya 6 Folding Camera

This is my 1989 Mamiya 6 medium format analogue rangefinder camera, 6×6 film format. Some people call it a Mamiya 6 folding camera but in actual fact the lens mount collapses down flatter into the camera body rather than anything folding.  (A true folding camera is something like a  Fuji GF670).

Mamiya 6 150mm G

2. 9 Useful facts about the Mamiya 6 camera

  1. Built in camera light meter (Centre weighted)
  2. Maximum flash sync speed 1/500 (Leaf shutter lenses)
  3. Hotshoe that works with standard speedlights and triggers
  4. Viewfinder gives 83% coverage + parallax correction
  5. 3 Lenses – 50mm / 75mm / 150mm (see below for details)
  6. Shutter speeds 1/500-4Sec (+Bulb)
  7. Weight – 900g (without lens)
  8. Battery operated – requires 2x LR44 or SR44 batteries
  9. Self timer (10sec) + cable release socket (+tripod socket)

Mamiya 6 People

3. Mamiya 6 vs Mamiya 7/ 7ii – Pros & Cons

When considering the purchase of a Mamiya rangefinder camera you may look at both the Mamiya 6 and Mamiya 7.  If you prefer 6×7 film format you would probably opt for a Mamiya 7 and likewise the Mamiya 6 for square format.

Mamiya 6 advantages

If you have no preference with regards to 6×6 vs 6×7 then the Mamiya 6 might be more attractive. The 6 is cheaper and the lens mount retracts into the camera making it less bulky.  Also all lenses operate with the built in camera viewfinder.  (For the Mamiya 7 system the wider and telephoto lenses all require an additional external hotshoe viewfinder which adds both bulk and cost).

Mamiya 7 / 7ii advantages

The Mamiya 7 / 7ii does however offers a wider range of lenses – 43mm though to 210mm (see Mamiya 7 Lens Review).  This gives both wider and more telephoto options vs the Mamiya 6.

4. Mamiya 6 vs Fuji GF670 (Voigtlander Bessa III)

It is worth quickly mentioning the lesser know Fuji GF670.  The Fuji GF670 vs Mamiya 6 offers the advantages that (1) it is a true folder camera so folds flatter than the Mamiya 6 and (2)  gives the option of both 6×6 and 6×7 film formats (in camera).  The Fuji GF670 Pro is not a cheap camera and is harder to find these days unless you live in Japan.  The Fujinon lens is fantastic though (as good as I have seen for any camera system).  Perhaps a good investment if you can find one.  If not the Mamiya 6 offers excellent value for money.

Fujifilm Neopan Acros 100

5. Hasselblad 501C vs Mamiya 6

Why I use both cameras

For me personally, and with my eyesight, I love to use a Hasselblad 500 series camera for portraits.  To be specific, working usually within around  1m distance from the models for tight crop head shots to half body depending on the lens.  For photos at a distance greater I prefer rangefinder cameras like the Mamiya 6 (or a Leica) to aid focusing.

Rangefinder cameras have the disadvantage that they cannot focus very close to a subject.  The Mamiya 6 has the same issue as most rangefinder cameras in that it can’t focus super close (1m-infinity on the 75mm lens).

The world just looks amazing..

The world just looks so amazing through a Hasselblad (or a Mamiya RZ!) viewfinder.  A Mamiya 6 can often take a similar looking photo (at a distance) but the process of making that photo is completely different.  With a Hasselblad or the Mamiya RZ you see the final image through the lens (with all the shallow depth of field and all).  With a Mamiya 6 rangefinder camera you are merely fitting the images into the square viewfinder frame lines. It looks the same as it does with the naked eye so you have to imagine it will look amazing before pressing the shutter.

Both cameras have there advantages but for fun factor the Hasselblad (or Mamiya RZ) will win every time I think.

Non-emotional benefits of a Hasselblad 500!

The Hasselblad V series or 500 system offers a wide range of lenses from 40mm to 250mm (and beyond!).  The Hasselblad is a modular camera so you can use prism finders (holding the camera to the eye like an SLR/DSLR) or the classic WLF (waist level finder).  Modular design also brings interchangeable film backs.  This means you can load multiple film backs with different film stocks (say 1 colour film and 1 black and white film) and swap between the two.  The Hasselblad has leaf shutter lenses the same as the Mamiya 6 but is fully mechanical so operates without needing batteries.

Drawbacks of a Hasselblad 500

The Hasselblad 500 camera system is bulkier than the Mamiya 6 so is less ideal for travel.  Hasselblad cameras are usually more expensive than a Mamiya 6 (regardless of which Hasselblad camera model you buy).  The Carl Zeiss lenses made for the Hasselblad 500 series are also much more expensive than Mamiya 6 lenses.  A complete Hasselblad camera setup with multiple film backs, a prism viewfinder and a few lenses is both costly and heavy!

Mamiya 6 Wedding

Mamiya 6 Wedding!

When using medium format film cameras some cameras are better than others.  The Hasselblad and Mamiya 6 lenses are of a similar speed with f3.5/f4 aperture being quite common.  The Mamiya 6 has the advantage of being a rangefinder so can be used at a slower shutter speed handheld. (Without the mirror slap vibration of the Hasselblad). Compared to a Hasselblad the Mamiya 6 is faster to use and more portable too.  I have used both cameras for multiple weddings but currently my first choice would be the Mamiya 6.  You need fast cameras at a wedding!

Fomapan 100@800

6. Reasons for a Mamiya 6 purchase

6.1 Leaf shutter lenses 

Leaf shutter lenses give a fast maximum flash sync speed for strobist work. The Mamiya 6 like the Hasselblad will sync at 1/500 vs the Leica M6 that is only 1/50. This is a deal breaker as to which camera to use if using strobes in daylight.

6.2 Well built camera

Like the Leica cameras the Mamiya 6 seems well-built camera (if more plastic!) and pretty reliable (no problems so far). A Hasselblad 500CM is a good example of a well built camera but then the old Nikon F cameras can be dropped down a flight of concrete steps and they still work! Sadly i’m talking from experience ha. Leica M cameras are super solid but if knocked the rangefinder goes out of alignment and it will need re-calibrating.

6.3 Small and compact design

For travel the Mamiya 6 folding design (recessed lens mount) makes it perfect for overseas photoshoots.  I have flown with my Hasselblads and a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II camera they take up most of the carry on luggage allowance.  The smaller more compact Mamiya 6 will fit into a Billingham Hadley Digital camera bag (used normally for Leica cameras).  All the Fuji film cameras I use (Fuji GA645, Fuji GS645, Fuji GF670) also fit in the bag with the GA645 being the smallest/ lightest option.

6.4 Decent rangefinder (can nail focus wide open on portraits)

An accurate (and hopefully big) rangefinder is a must if you shoot portraits at wide apertures.  The best rangefinder cameras I have used are a Leica M3 (x0.91 magnification) or Voigtlander Bessa R3A (x1.0).  Both cameras offer a big bright rangefinder patch for focusing. The polar opposite is something like the Olympus 35RC with a tiny rangefinder.  The Mamiya 6 rangefinder feels reasonably big and bright and is better than the Fuji GF670.  Even when using the 150mm lens for portraits it is possible to focus on the subject with confidence.

120 Fuji Provia Portrait

7. Mamiya 6 Lenses / 6×6 Cameras

Unlike many 6×6 camera systems such as a Hasselblad 500CM or Mamiya RZ (which I use with a 6×6 film back – Mamiya RZ 6×6 Film Back), the Mamiya 6 lenses are simple to choose as there are only 3!  I usually carry the 50mm and 150mm pair of lenses and that covers me for most situations.  The 75mm is the smallest lens though so for a compact one lens setup that would probably be the best choice, as the normal lens. For the Hasselblad I use 50mm, 60mm, 80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 150mm and 180mm.  Yes it is nice to have options but you wouldn’t want to carry them all!

3 Mamiya 6 lenses –
  1. Mamiya 6 50mm f/4 G (58mm filter thread) (hood reverse mounts onto lens)
  2. Mamiya 75mm f/3.5 G (58mm filter thread) (smallest / most compact)
  3. Mamiya 150mm f/4.5 G (67mm filter thread) (largest esp. with metal hood on)

Mamiya 6 Fashion

8. Mamiya 6 Sample Photos

When I bought the Mamiya 6 I shot a quick test roll before taking it overseas. Here is a photo I scanned in the earlier hours ahead of my departure to check the camera was calibrated and functioning correctly.

Mamiya 6 + 75mm Lens

(Photo taken with the Mamiya 6 camera + 75mm + Off camera flash)

9. Mamiya 6 vs Mamiya 6 MF?

You might want to know the difference between the standard Mamiya 6 vs Mamiya MF (“multi-format” variant).  The camera I use is the original Mamiya 6.  The later MF version is a bit like the Mamiya 7 camera in that you are able to fit a 35mm film mask.  The multi-format camera also lets you shot 6×4.5 format film rather than the standard 6×6.  The MF finder is slightly different to accommodate these changes but otherwise the cameras are basically the same.

Mamiya 6 35mm photography

It is worth noting that you can still shoot 35mm film in a standard Mamiya 6 camera.  I use the same approach as I explain in the Mamiya 7 35mm Photography article.

10. Mamiya 6 – User Guide, Problems & Getting Started

If you have just got yourself a Mamiya 6 camera here are a few answers to questions I had when I first got my Mamiya 6.

  1. How to load film in a Mamiya 6 camera?
  2. Why can’t I remove the lens to swap to a different lens?
  3. Why won’t the camera let me take a photo.  It has film in ready to go?
  4. What battery do I need for a Mamiya 6?
  5. Can I use the Mamiya 6 without a battery?
  1. Mamiya 6 how to load film – See short YouTube video below which provides a good visual. (It will be easier to watch how than me try to explain it!).  You don’t need to load the film exactly as shown.
    • My personal tips are:
    • Remove the tape surrounding the new film before loading into the camera
    • Be more gentle with the film advance lever (I like to look after my cameras)
    • Do close the dark slide (“dark cloth”) when loading film as it prevents dust landing on the inside of the lens (twist the dial on the base of the camera to close the dark slide)
    • Do make sure you push in the 2 black buttons on the base of the camera to hold the film spools securely (the ones that pop out when you press the tiny red buttons to release the film spools
    • Do line up the arrow on the film backing paper with the middle of the film back before closing the camera (shown in video)
    • Remember to release the dark slide before planning to take your first photo
    • Take off the lens cap!  The Mamiya 6 is a rangefinder camera so you will not notice if the cap is left on as you view through the optical viewfinder / rangefinder “window” in the camera body, not through the lens as with an SLR camera
  2. Mamiya 6 lens stuck – You cannot change lenses/ remove a lens from a Mamiya 6 camera unless the dark slide is across (in place). (This is a safety measure to prevent light leaking into the camera wrecking/ exposing the roll of film that is inside).
  3. Mamiya 6 shutter won’t fire – One possible cause is the dark slide is still in place (it happened to me!) Release the dark slide (as in the video) and try again
  4. Mamiya 6 battery – the camera takes 2x SR44 batteries
  5. Mamiya 6 without battery – the camera has an electronic shutter so needs batteries to operate.  Once the battery LED is blinking it shows low battery so it is a good time to replace soon.
How to load film in a Mamiya 6 or Mamiya 7 video

YouTube: Mamiya 6 Review (vs Mamiya 7 & Hasselblad)

Wait! Do you have film?

After reading this article hopefully you are now ready to get out and start shooting!  Have you got film to load?  Here are some of my favourite films that I use in the Mamiya 6 camera.

400 speed film is better suited to medium format cameras as the lenses let in less light that many 35mm prime lenses. For example a 35mm camera 28mm f2 lens @ISO 100 = 50mm f4 @ISO 400 on a Mamiya 6 camera.

Colour film:

Black and white film:

Finally I reveal how I make my Portrait Images!

If you want to know the exact photography equipment I use to make my Mamiya 6 portraits, other than the Mamiya 6 camera (or other cameras I use) see the links below.  I used to avoid writing about my non-camera gear but I thought it was time to reveal all!  I detail the specific speedlights and wireless triggers I use together with the other photography gear needed for my portrait photography.

  • See full details of my portrait photography lighting kit – HERE
  • See full details of my portrait photography equipment kit – HERE

Through this post I added  Mamiya 6 portraits taken on later photo shoots.  See the links below for lots more Mamiya 6 photos with models in different countries –

More Mamiya Blog Posts

More Film Photography Articles (Cameras/Lenses/Films) –