Medium Format Cameras Gear Guide

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A proficiency test is required to check out this camera. Schedule a proficiency at the front desk of Media Loan or by calling 360-867-6253. Read this operating guide and complete the written portion of the Medium Format Cameras Proficiency Test prior to your scheduled proficiency. (You must already be proficient in the 35mm manual Camera before obtaining this proficiency.) Bring your answer sheet with you to the test, which should take approximately 30 - 45 minutes. <br /


General Camera Care

Do not drop this camera! Do not subject the camera to moisture or water! Do not leave this camera in excessive heat, such as a car! Do not store this camera in excessive cold! Do not use excessive physical force! Return to Media Loan for cleaning! Do not take the top off of the Pentax 6X7/67II, it will get dust inside! Media Loan currently carries six brands of Medium Format cameras. This guide will give you the general knowledge you’ll need to operate all of our Medium Format cameras. However, if there are any differences in operation between models, we have listed those differences within each section. As with all other Media Loan Equipment, the users assume full financial responsibilities when borrowing the cameras from Media Loan.When checking out a Medium Format camera, it is recommended that you also check out: •Light Meter •Sync Cable •Flash •Tripod Media Loan has a limited number of Medium Format Cameras. We appreciate your help in caring for this item to insure its long-term use at Evergreen.


Medium Format cameras usually use 120 film, which allows 12 exposures in 2 1/4 cameras and 10 exposures in the Pentax 6X7/67II. The Pentax 6X7/67II will also accept 220 film which will produce 20 images. 220 film is not recommended as the film is quite susceptible to damage.

2 1/4 Cameras

Loading Film

Place camera neck strap over your head. Hold camera body, bottom-side up with the back facing toward you, with a firm grip on both sides of camera. If you are using the Seagull or Kalimar, push safety lever in and turn locking disk till arrow points to “O”. If you are using the Mamiya, turn the dial with the red dot on the back of the camera so that it points up, then slide it in the direction of the arrow. Open the back cover. Move the empty spool to the top spool chamber. Put unexposed film in the lower chamber, pulling film towards empty spool. Make sure film paper is white side up. Fit tapered end into slot on empty spool. This will help hold the film. Rotate the film-winding knob until the arrow on the film leader is aligned with the dot on the frame. (The dots on the Seagull and Kalimar are hard to see, they are located nearest to the far corners of opening.) Close the camera back and turn locking disk till arrow points to “C”. (The Seagull and Kalimar knob will click when the back is fully shut.) Wind film until crank stops and “1” appears in the film exposure counter. Rotate the film advance crank in the opposite direction (counter-clockwise) one half turn until it stops (this step is unnecessary with the Mamiya). This will cock the shutter so that the camera is ready for taking the picture. Be aware that, while Photo Services at Evergreen will process 220 film, many places may not. Make sure the camera is stored uncocked. Always load the film in shade or subdued light!

Unloading Film

After twelve frames are exposed, continue to turn the winding crank until there’s no more tension on the advance crank. At this point, the protective paper of the film should be rolled up to the take-up spool. When unloading the film, keep the spool rolled and hold the film tightly to prevent light exposure. Lick or peel the tab and wrap it firmly around the exposed film. Close the camera back.

Viewing & Focusing

Lift the back of the lid to open the viewfinder. The magnifier will spring up by pushing the viewfinder cover in or by pushing the lever in the viewfinder to the side. Use the focusing knob on the left (right on the Yashica or, if it is the Mamiya, on both sides near the bottom front) of the camera body to focus. Look through the magnifier and rotate the focusing knob until the two split-images come into one or the main subject image on the focusing screen becomes sharp. Take special consideration when focusing the Mamiya: unlike the other 2 1/4 cameras, the C33 has a bellows which is fragile and prone to cracking. The sports finder is the little square window on the back of the viewfinder. It’s used to help you align the lens with a fast-moving subject. Unfortunately, you will not be able to focus the camera while you use this feature. To close the viewfinder press the sides and fold the lid down.

Taking the Picture

Hold the camera at waist level. After cocking the shutter, don’t change the shutter speed! Press the shutter release button to take a picture. Wind the crank for the next exposure. Make sure the frame number in the window lines up. (With the Yashica, you must manually cock the shutter each time you wish to make an exposure.)

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed controls the duration of the exposure. The following table will help you determine the proper shutter speed: Camera may be Hand Held Use a Tripod or Brace Average Pictures Action Pictures Time Exposure Slow Speeds 1/60 1/125 1/250 1/500 ‘B’ 1 sec 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/15 1/30


The Lens Aperture controls the amount of light that will pass through the lens onto the light sensitive film. The following examples will help you determine the appropriate setting.

Using a Flash

To synchronize the flash with the Yashica switch the Synchro Selector MX Switch to “X”. You will need to check out a Vivitar flash and a flash sync cable. Because the Vivitar flash was not designed to be used with the Yashica, it will not properly mount on the hot shoe. Therefore, you’ll need to hold it while taking your picture. The Seagull and the Kalimar should not require a sync cable as they can mount onto the hot shoe. Caution: Avoid moving the self-timer while the flash sync is set at “M”. It may cause damage to the self-timer.

Setting the ASA

The ASA rating indicates the film’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ASA number, the less light required for proper exposure. Most of Media Loan’s Medium Format cameras do not have a built-in light meter. The Yashica has a reminder dial to help you remember the ASA rating, but this dial serves no other purpose. Therefore, when checking out a camera, it is recommended that you also check out a light meter. Handout for the light meter is also available from Media Loan.

Pentax 6X7/67II

The light meter and other features do not work on the Pentax 6X7/67II unless there is film in the camera.* This camera is not useful for shooting with flash in the daylight, as its fastest sync speed is 1/30 of a second.

Loading Film

Note: Make sure that the pressure plate and the film-winding knob are set to the correct film length. Placing the neck strap over your head and hold the camera body with the bottom and back facing toward you, have a firm grip on the camera. Now pull out the small metal tab on the bottom left-hand side of the camera to release and open the back cover. Turn both metal levers on the bottom of the camera to the left to unlock them (toward the white dot). Make sure the empty spool is on the right side. Put the unexposed film into the left chamber then lock the metal levers on the bottom of the camera. Pull the film toward the empty spool and fit tapered end into the slot; this will help hold the film. Rotate the film advance lever until the arrow on the film leader is aligned with the inside dot according to the size of film you are using. Close the camera back.

Unloading the Film

After the frames are exposed continue to turn the winding crank a few extra times until there’s no more tension on the advance crank. At this point the protective paper of the film should be rolled up to the take-up spool. When unloading the film keep the spool rolled and hold the film tightly to prevent light exposure. Lick or peel the tab and wrap it firmly around the exposed film. Close the camera back.

Using a Flash

Plug the flash with a flash cord into the X sync terminal. This will sync with 1/30th of a second and slower. Do not use Media Loan flashes in the FP sync terminal. This requires a special flash bulb.

Checking the Battery

To check the battery, press the white “Batt. Check” button on the back upper left of the camera. Above the button a red light will light up if the battery is good. If the battery is dead then bring it to Media Loan to be changed.


While looking through the viewfinder turn the focus ring until your subject comes into focus. An alternative way of setting the focus is to measure or estimate the distance from the camera to the subject and turn to that number of feet or meters on the focus ring.

Light Meter

Some of the Pentax 6x7’s have a built in light meter. To turn on the light meter remove the lens cap. Set the exposure by rotating the aperture ring (f stop) of the lens until the needle is in the center position of the meter. It is always a good idea to have a separate light meter from the one in the camera as well.

Setting the ISO (Also called ASA) and shutter speed

Lift the outer ring on the shutter speed dial (left of the camera), and rotate it until the ASA/ISO number of your film is on the orange arrow. Set the shutter speed by turning the shutter speed dial. Generally you should use a tripod if the shutter speed is slower than 1/30th of a second, but it is recommended to use a tripod for 1/60th of a second and below due to mirror slap and shutter vibration.