Mamiya C220


The Mamiya C series TLRs were in production from 1956 until 1995. This one is a C220, produced between 1968 and 1982. The C2xx cameras were the ‘enthusiast’ range and C3xx were the professional range, similar to the relationship between Rolleicords and Rolleiflexes. For tripod work, I prefer this camera to my C330f; the big rewind crank on the C3xx (which also cocks the shutter) has a very heavy action and can shift on the tripod unless everything is really clamped down. The small, separate crank on the C220 is much lighter and it is not that difficult to remember to cock the shutter.

The big selling point with the Mamiya TLRs is the interchangeable lenses (almost unique among TLRs), achieved by pairing taking and viewing lenses on interchangeable lens boards. The camera body has an internal baffle that is raised to protect the film while changing lenses. There is a range of focal lengths, from 55mm wide-angle to 250mm telephoto and everything is truly interchangeable; any of the lenses can be used with any of the bodies.

The added complication does make the camera big and heavy (1150g, body only) and my Rolleicord is distinctly svelte by comparison.

Although displaced as my front-line medium format camera by the RB67 the C220 still gets used when I get the urge (quite often) to shoot infra-red film.  In general, TLRs are the way to go because you can keep the filter on the taking lens while composing and focusing with the viewing lens.

HWWalltown RolleiIR 334-007

The C220, with Rollei IR400 film, was “Miss May” in my 12 months 12 cameras project.


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