Last week I bought a Mamiya 7 II and took it for a rest run. I don't get that excited by cameras, they are just tools after all, but it’s hard not deny the rush of excitement when you have a new one in your hands and the creative possibilities appear endless.
To test it out I took the camera to the South East London emporium Khan's Bargains. Housed in a fading but fine art deco building, Khan’s offers a mind boggling range of things for your money. It's run by Akbar Khan and his disparate band of Afghani cousins. Having shot the range of products (from sewing kits to a special type fennel powder only produced in Afghanistan) for the Peckham Peculiar newspaper I’ve been meaning to go back to take some portraits ever since.
Here’s my idiosyncratic unscientific take on Mamiya 7 - The downsides are that it’s built like a tank, comically big. It is slow to use. It shoots medium format 6x7 negatives and so is expensive to use. The upsides are that it is slow to use. Ironically because it’s unusual looking its appears to intimidate less than your typical pro camera. I like that that it only covers one side of your face when your taking a portrait because it's a rangefinder. I like the colours from the Kodka Portra and the aspect ratio and perspective from 6x7 is just plain nice.