No I’ve not turned into an ABBA fan…..(Thank Heavens).

You may remember some time ago I told you I had a hankering to go all medium format and filmy. I’d been really enjoying using my 1950’s East German Werra rangefinder camera and trying some BIG negative film seemed the way to go..


Before she could get wind of my plan, I dashed into the labyrinthine halls of Ebay with plastic temporarily purloined from Mrs Shpics, deftly clicked a few buttons and swiftly exited with a medium format camera the size of a small house. A rather battered, but gorgeous nevertheless, Mamiya RB67 complete with a few different film-backs and a 90mm lens….Result !!

These were serious money when they were new but now cost me less than a packet of crisps..(Honestly darling, it wasn’t even a pound).


Anyway… Subterfuge aside, this was all some time ago, and it’s taken me a good few weeks to get around to developing my first film.

I shot these on a very blustery day on the Welsh coast and at a waterfall a few miles inland, and, considering it was not only the first time I’d ever used the camera but the first time I’d ever shot medium format, I’m really quite pleased with the results… Next time out I’m going to try some slower shutter speeds with a tripod and cable release, but the slight blur and chunky grain of these shots is enough to make me happy for now.

I used TMAX 100 asa roll film, with a 6×7 film back and metered using an antiquated ‘Leningrad’ light meter.

All Images Copyright Stuart Allan Hyde

    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Thanks VV Much!
      Though she might well argue when she gets the credit card bill…
      Even though it was, of course, less than a pound…
      (When you’ve got a story stick to it, that’s what I say)..


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      You’re right…..I’m so ‘street’ and ‘indie’ that I get all queasy just thinking about those harmonizing popstrels….. Give me Val Doonican anyday

      And yes…The Mamiya really is Soooooooper, but BLOODY HELL it’s heavy!!


      1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

        2.7 kilos with lens and film-back !!
        2.7 kilos !!!!!!!!!!!

        If I carry the only suitable tripod I’ve got, (an old solid Gitzo), I’m up past 9 kilos……
        Don’t need weight training as well, photography is ticking the box all on its own.

      2. suej

        2.7 kilos…not so much, I’ve been carting around D300 and lens weighing 2 kilos for yonks….. and don’t often carry tripod and extra lenses for that reason

  1. OdesIsPro

    These are amazing. Then take into account it being the first time. I can’w wait to see more. I still gotta say you are my fav photog blog … Post more! 🙂


      1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

        I LOVE digital photography…Virtually free (once you’re geared up), and so fast…Immediate results you can evaluate on the fly….I wouldn’t like to go back to film only…
        You’re so right…Old cameras along with film, really can do beautiful things, and the process slows you down and makes you consider everything you do very carefully…
        It’s just a pity it is SO SO expensive…Even ignoring camera/scanning gear these shots, (and the four from the roll that I didn’t use), had a materials cost over £1.50 each.
        If I carry on I might have to sell a kidney.

      2. Mike Bizeau

        I agree I would never use film cameras again for wildlife photography but I love playing with film when I have a chance. I guess we all decide where to spend our money on our vices and playing with film is one of mine.

      3. Stuart Hyde - shpics

        I’ve just been looking at Zero image pinhole cameras on ebay and thought I’d pick your brains (given your expertise :-))…
        Do you actually meter for an exposure or is it experience/trial and error?
        I do rather fancy having a go, your images are so lovely.

  2. Emilio Pasquale

    Not to be overly dramatic but I think my heart dropped. Or stopped, when I saw these photos. You failed to mention to click on them to see them at their original size. Unbelievably gorgeous. If I buy one of these cameras will you come visit and carry it around for me?


    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      Emilio, I’m already ruptured from carrying my own….
      However I have since designed a special camera harness manufactured from items found in my wifes underwear drawer…
      I will send you the plans.


      1. Emilio Pasquale

        Sorry but I dare not go through my own wife’s underwear drawer, Let alone yours!

    1. Stuart Hyde - shpics

      I haven’t researched the serial numbers but I think this is from the 90’s, so not quite so old as my other film camera, but it definitely doesn’t incorporate any lightweight modern materials…Carrying it makes me feel like an antique. 🙂

      I like that shot too.
      I thought the waves looked a bit like shovelled up snow.


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