While the XT was being serviced I decided to try some film photography out of curiosity. With a lesson in dark room development at RayKo Labs, I got myself a Bessa R3A, some TriX 400 and patience. That film photography could be so unhurried and a source of pure pleasure came as a large surprise. What the process (especially with a rangefinder) encourages is a deeper understanding of light, depth of field, aperture, shutter speed, and their interplay. Can’t quite say I’ve reached there, but it’s damn fun getting there. Compose, take a picture and then … wait. Wait till the roll is over, wait the light is good enough for ISO 400 film, wait till I’ve posted the film to the lab, wait for it to come back. And then wait with excitement as the scans open on the computer.

The waiting does encourage a more careful photo taking experience. I am looking forward to the quality of interstellar conversation constrained by the speed of light.

So what could a medium format be like? The film is substantially large than 24x36mm (full frame). One possible size of medium format is 6x4.5cm. I’m trying the Mamiya 645 Plus with the 80mm/2.8 mostly because I’ve heard the resolution is so fine. And using the waist level viewfinder is to the eyes what tasting pristine mountain spring water is to the lips. The view has a 3D pop to it.

The Mamiya is heavy (XT1 is nothing compared to it), and big. See image below for a size comparison

The Mamiya body can be separated. Most importantly you can change the ‘back’ , the portion that holds film, so that color, black and white, different ISO films can be all used without having to wait for one to finish. That said, I have new found appreciation for the XT1. Lighter, smaller. Much more than I thought it to be before.

Did I say you need to pull out a metal slide before you can take a picture? Like turning off the safety on a gun. The scans below are from a restorative trip to Dillon Beach. I’m not sure if the processing was up to mark (banding exists on some pictures) and the scans are rather average for the price commanded.

cavillation n. the raising of quibbles