When it comes to TLRs, the Rolleiflex quickly pops up into mind. Rollei TLRs are cemented in history as some of the most reliable cameras in that segment. Well, until you hear of its lesser-known counterpart, the Mamiya TLRs.
In this installment of Lomopedia, we visit the Mamiya C330 twin lens reflex camera. It's undoubtedly one of the most successful TLRs in Mamiya's line and is considered as a strong competitor against Rolleiflex TLRs. What made it a rival to the well known Rolleis is a mix of good build quality, useful features, and the ability to use interchangeable lenses for various photographic applications.
The C330 was made from 1969 until 1974 and was Mamiya's entry for the professional and advanced amateur photography market. It was a heavy camera to lug around but was praised by photographers for being sturdy. Some would say that the C330 was “built like a tank” as a way of admiring its good build quality. It can go through years of heavy use with relative ease. Although it was considered heavy, it was actually lighter than previous models like the C33.
One prime feature of the C330 was its built-in long bellows. Mamiya was quick to understand and pin down the needs of professional photographers and serious enthusiasts so they aptly worked on the long bellows to allow for different lens manipulations (specifically macro photography). Another good feature of the C330 was its ability to create 6x6 images on 120 and 220 roll film. This is a very much a pro for anyone who's looking to try their hand at some serious medium format photography. Some more notable features are its all-mechanical construction (no batteries needed), single action crack winding, and the capability to change backs for single exposure photography.
To top it all off, Mamiya decided to go full throttle with their solid entry for the professional/advanced amateur photography TLR market. They made a variety of lenses for their TLR series. That's right, the C330 is a TLR camera that features an interchangeable lens system. This lets users change focal lengths to match their style and creative approach to taking photographs. This feature also made the C330 easier to clean or repair when the need arises. Mamiya really put in work and time in the research and development of their TLR series so it's not difficult to see why photographers now still hold the C330 and its other TLR family members in high regard.
Photos Taken by Our Community with the Mamiya C330
Format: 6x6 cm (120, 220 film)
Lens: interchangeable, Mamiya Sekor from 55 mm to 250 mm
55 mm f/4.5 9 element, 7 group
65 mm f/3.5 6 element, 5 group
80 mm f/2.8 5 element, 3 group
105 mm f/3.5D 5 element, 3 group
135 mm f/4.5 4 element, 3 group
Super 180 mm f/4.5 5 element, 4 group
250 mm f/6.3 6 element, 4 group
Shutter: all lenses are fitted out with a Seiko (Seikosha for the oldest ones) central leaf-shutter giving speeds from 1/500 sec to 1 sec plus B pose, X and M flash sync at all speeds
Weight: 1,430 g (body only) 1,730 g (with 80 mm lens)