When I used to daydream about visiting Australia, I imagined myself traveling with someone special (done) and photographing with a Mamyia 7ii — And here’s why. Since this was a real vacation(and not a ploy to shoot anything portfolio or work related) my pre-travel mindset was this: I wanted rest & relaxation and quality time with my lady. SO, months before the trip I made it simple and played “1-camera 1-lens” scenario. I settled on taking my Mamiya 7ii and 80mm f/4 lens. It made my trip that much more enjoyable.
Shooting only medium format films provided the type of intimate, localized travel experience I wanted from an international trip without feeling like I was missing great pictures in the process. I wanted to physically and mentally “be there” for everything. All the moments, not messing with gears, settings, data, workflows, battery charging, etc.
Imagine traveling to another country, for 15 days, with 200 total photos… Never charging a battery, hooking up cords, no hard drives/memory cards, never looking at a camera LCD, computer screen, and most importantly, no editing.
The 80mm f,4 lens or in 35mm terms, a 40mm angle of view To me, this is a great focal length and all around travel lens. The shutter in the lens is practically silent, which I love having when being a tourist.
It was a hot tail-end to Australia’s bright and sunny summer. I had to be conscious of the shutter speed limitations, 1/500th being the fastest Mamiya 7ii offers. I didn’t want to be limited during the day with 400iso nor did I want to feel limited after dusk, so I packed lots of 220 Kodak Portra 160iso.
There are few cameras that feel as good in the hand as Mamyia 7ii. The portability is surprising, especially when comparing with the alternatives: Pentax’s 67 format or Hasselblad’s smaller 6x6. Focusing is also a dream if you like rangefinders.
The Mamiya 7ii lived up to my expectations for my first Australia trip.