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Mamiya Press Universal "The Beast"

I gave my new MF camera a nickname.  I called it The Beast! :P Because its huge!!  Its really the largest camera body I have worked with (maybe except the Mamiya RB67).  Just click on the images and you can see a blown up photo. The lens is a 75mm Sekor.  All was not smooth when I got it from ebay in Japan.  The 100mm lens that came with it was severely damaged when it was shipped here.  The seller was honest and tried to look for another copy of the lens for me as a replacement.  I then saw he listed another lens that I planned to get (but not so soon actually because of the price..... )  One of the best lenses Mamiya made during that era.  The 75mm f/5.6 Sekor.  I made some calculations and decided to buy this lens instead of waiting for the 100mm.  Since the latter is frequently seen in ebay while this is quite rare.

The seller was honest and gave me a discounted price! I recieved the lens since last Friday and I could finally shoot with the beast!  I tested the Polaroid back and a roll of Tmax 4 and so far so good.  It looks promising but its definitely a camera that needs to get used to.

Firstly, as you can see from the pictures, the grip is actually on the left so if you are left handed, this camera is built for you!  I had a tough time getting used to hold the camera steady while I focus with my right hand.  Its very akward in the beginning and my first roll of Tmax could tell as most of the shots are a bit blur..  Sharp but not razor sharp like my Hassy.  I think one of the reason is it has been raining for the pass week and I am spoilt with fast lenses in my 35mm arsenal :P  This lens max aperture is only 5.6... :P  So some shots was actually taken at 1/8 seconds indoor... Still, sharpness is acceptable.  And for those who think why I could shoot at 1/8 handheld with such a monster. 

2 reasons.  1st one, it's a RF!  So no mirror slap like the Hassy!  2nd, its shutter is on the lens and its a copal shutter! Soft sweet and almost quiet shutter!  So its actually much quieter to shoot with this camera.  (another reason why its a press camera)  

The camera was first produced in the 1967s.  As it names implies, it is for press photographers during that era where 35mm was still not the main work horse in press industries.  The reason is if they need to print big in newspaper (like a full page), they need bigger negatives at that time as printing technology is still at its infancy stages.  Nowadays, we dun really need such huge negatives.

Overall, I am very impressed with this little investment.  I paid about a thousand SGD and a bit more for the body, 2 backs and the 75mm lens with hood , finder plus shipping (twice).  Will write more once I shoot more with it :) And here's a last photo of me holding the camera to my face as a comparison.  The huge lens mount and open back... hehehe.. Just a big metal box...

1 comment:

ndroo said...

OMG! This beast is sexy! Someday ... I wannna get one to play. :D