First Roll with: Mamiya 645 Pro by Surya Urs
Gear: Mamiya 645 Pro w/ Sekor C 80mm f2.8 lens
Film: Cinestill 800T
Dev & Scan: Rewind Photo Lab
Shot at: Haymarket / Town Hall, Sydney

Hi! My name is Surya, I'm a film student and have been in Sydney for about half a year now. I started shooting film back in Hong Kong in 2017 but fell out of it after the camera didn't come back from repair. I picked it up again in May/June 2019 after a good friend bought me a Minolta Maxxum 7000. I was inspired by some friends around the same time and fell in love with analog again. My instagram is here and my website is here !!!

Up until recently, I was using the Minolta x-700 (which I recently let go of) and Canon MC and I love both to bits. Eventually though, I would see photographers online using medium-format - in particular the Mamiya 645 series and it didn't take me long to begin searching for my own, there was a different quality about it that I really wanted to explore and I couldn't stop looking and searching up images taken on MF cameras. I eventually found a seller from the UK on Reddit and got myself a little Christmas present! I spent like the first night of getting it reading up the manual and making sure I understood the camera since yeah I was pretty terrified.

I loaded up the Cinestill 800T which honestly took me a minute to figure out how to load 120mm, I had to rewatch this video on Youtube a couple times and finally got it. I decided to go to Haymarket area because at night, there are a lot of bright lights around and I knew I would be able to get a couple decent shots for a "test" shoot. 
The first thing to get used to was definitely the weight change - it's not necessarily a heavy camera but coming from 35mm, it definitely slowed me down haha. I found myself not really having to but wanting to take my time to compose a shot. I also had a bit of a problem with the shutter, where it would be stuck for a little while before releasing again (which I think I fixed but that remains to be seen). 
The second thing was something I've seen others have to come to terms with when switching from 35mm which is having 15 shots rather than 36 which I honestly forgot until I got to around shot 10, and I almost slapped myself. It's scary having fewer shots just because it feels like additional pressure to nail whatever you shoot! Hopefully that goes away with time but I have no idea haha I would like to think it's getting better? It's also different bringing it through a street and trying to capture fleeting moments just because it's a little bit more obvious now that I'm taking a photo, so there's some work to be done with feeling comfortable and natural with it. 
Some of the photos in the roll were blurry/shaky which happened as a result of treating it as a 35mm camera (and the fact that I used a p&s for a while and had to get used to manual focus again) but I'm happy with the ones that did come out clear. I'm looking to get my own scanner soon so I can get even more detail out of the negatives. It's a slow process of getting used to it but definitely not going to stop anytime soon!

Connect with Surya!

Instagram: @suryavu_


All images and text shown in this post is provided to us by Surya Urs.


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"First Roll With" is a blog series dedicated to those initial moments spent with your camera or lens. "First Roll With" is open to all levels of photographers, whether it's your first film camera or your 100th, we welcome you to share with us your own unique perspectives and experiences!

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