Photoset: On business in NYC with my Mamiya 645 1000s and Kodak Portra 400 – by Aivaras Sidla

Written by and published on .

I wrote this text at the end of spring in 2018, but for some reason, I postponed publishing it anywhere. Some things in my photo journey have changed since that time – like, I don’t own this Mamiya 645 1000S set anymore but anyway, I thought it was finally worth sharing…

Welcome to another short story about the craziness of luging medium format film camera to short non-photo trips.

This time from a trip to New York. Had to visit a trade fair, and because of flight arrangements, I won a few free days afterwards to explore this amazing city. Did I mention that NY is amazing? Did I? 🙂

At the time when I wrote this article, my head was still full of sensations, and my back and shoulders were hurting from the weight of my camera bag, even though I had been back home in Lithuania for two weeks already.

Equipment used: Mamiya 645 1000S camera, waist level finder, standard Sekor 80mm f/1.9 lens, wide Sekor 45mm f/2.8 lens, travel tripod, Kodak Porta 400 film, CPL and ND filters, other small bits and pieces. All this was fitted into a good old Incase Designs Ari Marcopolous camera bag.

First things first – if I carry on with this idea of travel further, I will need a backpack. The Ari bag is extremely comfortable but with 25 km per day on foot and about 4kg of photo equipment, lugging it on one shoulder creates too much strain. It would be better if the weight was evenly distributed across the back.

Few words on the second lens I took with me, my Mamiya Sekor 45mm 2.8 N. This lens has an equivalent Filed of View of 28mm on 35mm film but due fact that the 6×4.5 format has a bit of a different aspect ratio than “full frame” – 6×4.5 is a 4×3 aspect ratio, 35mm is 2×3 – and due to medium format’s wider FoW, this lens gives very interesting perspective. It covers more scene compared to the standard 80mm lens, but at the same time doesn’t seem as wide as 28mm lens on 35mm format.

Its somehow more of a “standard” FoW than a wide Fow. My intention was to take this wider lens as a special “weapon of choice” to cover some scenery, but at the end of the day I used it as a bit of a wider standard lens and I used it even more than 80mm.

As for the city, it’s magnificent, especially for photographers. It seems like everywhere you look, around every corner there is a story, a scene and an opportunity to make a photo. There is a vibe and a soul in the city and it seems to me that it should be a good place to settle down. Except for one factor – the evident fast pace of everyday life.

I was taking pictures two ways at the same time; fast snaps with iPhone (could be seen in my Instagram feed that I use only for iPhonography: @beautifulgrain) and more contemplative ones with MF camera.

Some shots were made handheld, but this time I had more serious travel tripod with me and could make low light pictures or even long exposure ones, using same Kodak Portra 400 film.

I suppose that it is possible to read between the lines that I enjoy these opportunities to get my camera exercised more and more and will definitely get back with a similar story from another place.

Thanks for reading!

~ Aivaras

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