I recently added a Mamiya 7ii to my camera collection. It’s a medium format system. The sensor size increase over 35mm/full frame is astounding.
There are a few reasons why I wasn’t sure about this camera. The lenses are slow compared to my Leica M glass. It’s much bigger than my Leica M. The shutter makes almost toy like click when pressed and way too sensitive. And it only takes 10 exposures per roll of film.
But none of those things end up mattering that much (to me). The Mamiya 7ii is a joy to use and feels great in your hands. It is portable enough and I can carry it with ease. It is a rangefinder system which has become second nature to me. And there is something so magical about film that is hard for me to put into words.
I will likely still mostly make digital photographs, if nothing but the ease and the instant feedback to determine if I made my exposure correctly.
But there are times when I just want to shoot film and on those days I will happily pick up this Mamiya 7ii.
(The above photographs were taken on a Mamiya 7ii + Kodak Portra 400 film along a recent photo walk with my friend Aaron Durand in Lands End, San Francisco. Processed and scanned at Light Waves Imaging in San Francisco)