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.


An often photographed tree.


Mill House – 2 Second Exposure


Mill House – 1 Second Exposure


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.


  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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