Join Douglas Kirkland for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting to know the Mamiya RZ67, part of Douglas Kirkland on Photography: Shooting with a Medium-Format Camera.
So here we are in our studio, and today I want to show you something about…medium format, something that's been very important to me through my career.…And today we are going to start with the RZ Mamiya, or some people call it the…R Zed, and this is the basic camera.…A camera like this is a little different than what you are accustomed to seeing.…For one thing, we are looking straight down like that, and you might have a…little trouble at first with it because things tend to move the opposite way,…because there is a mirror inside here that you're looking at.…However, we can use a pentaprism and make it the same as what you are accustomed…to seeing with your 35 millimeters or similar digital camera.…
The way I do it is I have focus here and my finger is over here on this button.…That's where I take the pictures from. And with this version of the camera, you…do that and that moves the film forward and cocks the shutter each time. But this…is the really cool thing, look at this.…This is a bellows, and this is how we can shoot and focus, and we can get very close.…
This installment follows Douglas as he creates a portrait for Kodak's On Film series, which features portraits of directors, cinematographers, and other major players in the film industry. Douglas has shot nearly 250 portraits for this series over the past 20 years.
The course begins with a discussion of the unique qualities of film—its clarity, definition, and tonal range—and of film's enduring importance in today's digital world. Next, Douglas tours the Mamiya RZ67 medium-format camera, demonstrating its components and comparing its format to 35mm film. He then demonstrates a variety of lighting, posing, and styling techniques while photographing Owen Roizman, an award-winning cinematographer, in the Kirkland studio in Los Angeles, California.
The course concludes with a critique of the resulting photographs. Douglas also shows how he resized and cropped the image to fit a print advertisement.