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C220 TLR Medium Format Camera


Mamiya

Categories: Reviews: Equipment : Cameras : Other Film Cameras : Medium Format

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The C220 TLR Medium Format Camera

6x6 medium format camera produced in 1968 using 120/220 film.

Features:

  • Manual focus
  • No light meter
  • Manual film loading and advance...
  • No interchangeable backs.

As you can see, it is about as hands-on as you can get. You can, however, use interchangable lenses: 55, 65, 80, 105, 135, 180, 250mm.
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5 Reviews  

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
 
John R. Keistler

member since: 3/12/2003
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I learned on a Yashica TLR in school in the late 60's, bought one of the last Rolleicords made in the mid-seventies, and have always had TLR's since then. There is just something about those twin lenses that still stirs me, though I am mainly Leica-R. I have the last model of the C220, the f model which is somewhat more modern than the one shown on site. However, it works basically the same. Mamiya TLR's were always somewhat clumsier in handling than the Rollei design, necessitated by the ability to switch lenses. I enjoy the extra weight unless I'm walking miles; plus, the Optitech type of spongy strap helps. I have the 55, 80, 105 and 135 lenses. I don't understand arguments I read on some other sites--these sets work and produce beautiful images. The ability to easily switch also between 120 and 220 is an asset. The 220 is a simpler model than the 330, and weighs less. I don't use this camera for speed photography, so taking a little extra time for correcting exposure and parallax isn't an issue. Until I make the jump to digital this remains the great alternative system for me. Plus, it's relatively inexpensive, especially compared to insanity like Hasselblad prices. Virtually unbreakable, battery independent, and a great learning experience.
11/21/2005 8:18:07 PM
 
John R. Keistler

member since: 3/12/2003
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I learned on a Yashica TLR in school in the late 60's, bought one of the last Rolleicords made in the mid-seventies, and have always had TLR's since then. There is just something about those twin lenses that still stirs me, though I am mainly Leica-R. I have the last model of the C220, the f model which is somewhat more modern than the one shown on site. However, it works basically the same. Mamiya TLR's were always somewhat clumsier in handling than the Rollei design, necessitated by the ability to switch lenses. I enjoy the extra weight unless I'm walking miles; plus, the Optitech type of spongy strap helps. I have the 55, 80, 105 and 135 lenses. I don't understand arguments I read on some other sites--these sets work and produce beautiful images. The ability to easily switch also between 120 and 220 is an asset. The 220 is a simpler model than the 330, and weighs less. I don't use this camera for speed photography, so taking a little extra time for correcting exposure and parallax isn't an issue. Until I make the jump to digital this remains the great alternative system for me. Plus, it's relatively inexpensive, especially compared to insanity like Hasselblad prices. Virtually unbreakable, battery independent, and a great learning experience.
11/21/2005 8:17:08 PM
 
Grant Campbell
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 11/5/2004
3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 3.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
THe Mamiya series TLR's are very basic but also very reliable camera's (built to last-you wont get one less than 15yrs old) and the optics available are excellent. They were used for years by pro's. I would recommend these cameras and lenses to anyone thinking about getting into Medium Format photography but are put off by the price tags on most new and decent second-hand kit. Apart from cost though these cameras have other advantages. Being fully mechanical they dont need batteries, but they do force the photographer to work more slowly and methodically. They also prove themselves adaptable to a range of genres: Landscape, architecture, portraiture, still-life and macro (in fact this is probably one of the cheapest high quality macro systems available due to the built in bellows on camera).
6/3/2005 5:47:07 AM
 
Todd Holden

member since: 10/29/2002
4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 4.5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Excellent classic camera to learn medium format. This camera has the added advantage of a rotating film plate so either 120 or 220 film can be shot. Getting used to issues of parallax compensation and the reversed waist level viewfinder takes a little use but once done this is an fine camera. Very good for portraiture with an 80mm lens and can be found for bargains all over.
12/27/2003 7:00:03 AM
 
Bob Fowler

member since: 4/24/2003
5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras 5 out of 5 BetterPhoto Golden Cameras
Rating: 5 out of 5
The C-220 is my all-time favorite TLR. After using a Yashica MAT-124G, a Minolta Autocord, and several Rollei TLR's, I settled on the Mamiya system.

The beauty of the Mamiya C-series cameras isn't just the interchangable lenses (though that's a big plus), but also the built in double extension bellows and a choice of several interchangable viewfinders. These features come with a price, all of the C-series cameras are a bit heavy compared to fixed lens TLR's.

The Mamiya C-series TLR's have long been a favorite among wedding photographers. With a leaf shutter in every taking lens, daylight fill flash could not be easier. My wedding kit consists of 2 bodies (a C-3 and a C-220) 2 80mm f/2.8 lenses, a 55mm f/4.5, and a 135mm f/4.5 lens. The 135mm lens is also great for head shots in the studio. My 180mm f/4.5 lens isn't a TLR lens anymore. Its old Seikosha shutter had died and there was a fungus issue developing. I canabalized the good lens cells, mounted them into a size "0" Prontor-S shutter, and now use it as a portrait lens on my Graflex Miniature Speed Graphic camera with a 6X9 roll film back.
9/4/2003 11:25:04 AM
 

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