Week 2: 50mm – What Sharp?

I have a Mamiya RB67 which I am especially fond of. The camera weighs a ton and has the aesthetics of a brick but for some reason every time I haul it out I enjoy the process immensely. When I acquired it from a family member it had a 90mm f/3.8 lens and light seals that had seen better days. Replacing the seals was fairly simple if tedious. I put the 90mm to work taking photos of things that couldn’t move away from me rapidly but found myself wishing for something a little wider.

Enter the Mamiya 50mm f/4.5 lens which I recently acquired. I lashed it up to the body and loaded some trusty Ilford HP5 for week 2 of the project. There’s a park a short drive away from me occupying some land that was formerly owned by the Rockefeller family. As I often go on walks there anyway and there are many trees – a favorite of mine as they are especially slow to move out of my way – I opted to lug the RB67 down there for a few “test” shots. Test goes in quotes because that’s photographer speak for making excuses ahead of time if nothing comes out. It was only a test shot! I SWEAR!

On the other hand if things go well you can be smug about how awesome you are – “See this? Test shot. No effort. I’m kind of a big deal!”

I’m not a big deal. Several of my shots were very overexposed and desired focus paired with appropriate depth of field remains a challenge. I did manage to get a few I feel are worth sharing.

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An often photographed tree.

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Mill House – 2 Second Exposure

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Mill House – 1 Second Exposure

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The “Cabin”

For those interested here are the technical details:

Mamiya RB67 with 50mm f/4.5 Lens

Ilford HP5+

Developed with Xtol 1:1 for 10 minutes at 68C.

Scanned with an Epson V800

Cropped and tweaked in Adobe Lightroom.

7 thoughts on “Week 2: 50mm – What Sharp?

    • I have a set of imitation Cokin filters that I keep meaning to try. The next time I use the RB67 I’ll try the yellow/orange/red set to see how it does with the contrast and tones.

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  1. Nice exposures. The long exposure of mill shot especially. As for filters go straight to the orange and if shooting vegetation again try a green filter if you have one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very nice!, and I will join the chorus of approval for the mill shots. Those worked really well.

    I have a Mamiya M645 which I love, it came with a 90/2.8. I recently got a 55/2.8 for it and shot my first roll with it last week. Turned out I loaded the film backwards, so that was a huge and embarrassing fail and thus I still don’t know how it looks yet. If your 50 is anything to go by, I am going to be really pleased.

    Liked by 1 person

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