Film Building a Medium Format SLR System


Sep 4, 2013
James Olivari
The past few weeks have been spent cleaning out old storage areas and accumulated photography items from the past 40 or so years. I sold off some 4X5 systems, some duplicate lenses, and some stuff that I didn't think anyone wanted - but somebody did!

I've invested the proceeds in building a reasonably complete Mamiya 645 pro tl system. In addition to the camera with 80 mm lens ($200), I've added a 45mm lens, a 55mm lens, and a 210 mm lens. I've also added a set of extension tubes and a 2X teleconverter. These should give me a pretty wide range of lens coverage. All the lenses are the "N" version.

I've also added some macro accessories for my DSLR, extension tubes, macro lenses, and flashes. I have always been interested in macro - and might even try some with the Mamiya system since I have a reversal ring for the 55 mm lens.

I dusted off my old Jobo system and begun processing black & white. (Some of those images are posted in my gallery. I'll be starting the processing of E-6 film next week.

I hope to shoot E-6 on the 645, and scan the resulting images to electronic format, replacing my printing darkroom which was dismantled years ago.

My first project is documenting some old buildings for the local historical society. They have images taken in 1917, 1957, and eventually, 2017. It's interesting to see how the buildings have evolved.

Hopefully, I'll have some interesting images to show over the coming weeks. It's been exciting researching the various lenses and looking at the posts on here. I'm grateful to all who have shared their knowledge and expertise.

Ken Lee

New Member
May 28, 2017
My desire to return to medium format film resulted in me buying a "kit" off eBay that consisted of a Bronica ETRSi 645 camera with the normal 75mm lens plus a 50mm, a 150mm and a 250mm lens, the AE ii finder and 2 additional 120 backs and a Poloroid back.
I had a similar set up back in the day so I knew that that setup was awkward to use, so a trip to the local camera store resulted in me picking up a waist level finder and a rapid advance handle.
A few more trips resulted in me finding a developing tank and reels and some film , so today I'm shooting my first roll. The first 5 or 6 exposures are no good because the AE finder was set to manual and I thought it was on automatic so the shutter speed was 1/30 instead of the 1/250 the meter was recommending.
Oh well, it's a process
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Sep 4, 2013
James Olivari
Yeah - it's kind of fun re-learning how to use a "manual" camera. At least at 1/30 exposure, the shadows will have lots of detail. the highlights, tho.........

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