Bronica ETRSi and Grip E

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cooltouch

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I've just bought a nice ETRSi outfit that includes the standard prism finder. First time ever I've owned a 645 camera. In the past, I owned a Bronica EC-TL (6x6), which is considerably larger. So anyway, I'm thinking about getting the Speed Grip E for it and possibly a winder/motor option for it sometime later. I think that, given this camera has the prism finder only, it will be easier to operate with the grip in situations outside a studio, which is where this camera will spend probably 80% or better of its time.

So if you have used an ETR-series Bronica with the Speed Grip E, I'd be interested in any comments you might be willing to share regarding its usefulness. I'm especially intrigued by the wind crank on the grip and am curious as to how well it works.

Also, I ran across a comment about some compatibility issues with the ETRSi and the motor and winder options. It is my understanding that Bronica produced a Motor Drive E, a Winder Ei and a Winder Ei-II. I'm guessing that the "i" in the latter two names indicates they will work with the ETRSi, but my question is, is it in fact true that the MD-E will not work, or at least won't without having to drill holes in the camera body?
 

Shaggysk8

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Hello, well I have the E on my Bronica ETR and I find it much easier to use when out and about, you do have to wind the handle twice to get to the next frame but its not much of an issue.

I have never used the motor winders but I guess if you don't need speed I would not waste your money.

If not already check this link: http://www.tamron.com/bronica/prod/etrsi_acc.asp If might have other information for you.
 

Barry06GT

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I use the Speed Grip E on my ETRS and find it perfect for portrait orientation shooting. The winder is just like a 35mm, a quick stroke of the thumb.

The winder will add a small additional amount of weight.

I have never found the power winder all that much helpful, even with models who change their pose after every strobe flash. I always say a few words anyway, compose the shot, and there is plenty of time to wind to the next frame.
.
 

c.w.

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The grip is great, especially with a prism - two quick flicks of the thumb is all it takes to wind, and it's a whole lot easier to hold on to. With the WLF, it's more questionable, although it's nice as a handle to hold onto when not shooting. Just never combine the hot shoe on the grip with bounce flash and the WLF - it can lead to... issues.
 

wiltw

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The Motor Drive E, the Motor Winder Ei, and the Motor Winder Ei II all will work with your ETRSi body. The Speed Grip is fantastic to use, and the only real reason to get a motor winder is simply for the camera to be ready for the next shot more rapidly, the Speed Grip is just fine for casual shooting but might be more delay than you might want to deal with in covering events like weddings. I find the speed is often nice for portraiture, since I can snap another shot after the subject has relaxed after hearing the first shutter snap! I have all of the above except for the Ei II winder. I have the Motor Drive because I can trigger it remotely with a radio slave, while the Winders cannot do that, but the MD is also much heavier and more bulky, so better suited for fixed position on tripod.
 
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cooltouch

cooltouch

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Thanks for the feedback, guys. This was just the sort of info I was looking for. Appreciate the link too. The info there was helpful.

After looking at the specs on the meter prisms, I reckon I'll save up for the AE-III. I like having the increased EV sensitivity and the spot option. I haven't started looking around yet, but I imagine it goes for a fair chunk of change.
 

Barry06GT

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After looking at the specs on the meter prisms, I reckon I'll save up for the AE-III. I like having the increased EV sensitivity and the spot option. I haven't started looking around yet, but I imagine it goes for a fair chunk of change.

About 3 times the cost of an ERTSi body. :surprised:
 

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I have the Motor Winder Ei and use it mostly for shots on a tripod with a cable release. It's not much faster than advancing with the speed grip-it takes about a second. But if you're shooting a lot, especially quickly, like a wedding photographer might, it's easier on the ol' thumb. The downside? It adds weight and bulk, and the tripod socket is not well centered. I like it for use with macro and longer telephotos. It makes things easier.

I go back and forth on the Speed Grip. The camera is lighter and less bulky without it. I like the way the camera handles with the crank. I use it that way when I'm in a minimalist mood.

With the Speed Grip (the Motor Winder too) the camera's really well balanced and easy to use for verticals. Speed Grips are not expensive, so I would recommend them to anyone. It also has another benefit. Because of the the way it attaches, it works well as a quick release if you have a tripod head without one. Leave it attached to the tripod and the camera can be quickly attached and detached. Handy for hiking and such.
 

wiltw

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. It also has another benefit. Because of the the way it attaches, it works well as a quick release if you have a tripod head without one. Leave it attached to the tripod and the camera can be quickly attached and detached. Handy for hiking and such.

Although in using it in this mode as a 'quick release' you still have the time spent attaching the winding crank and detaching it before remounting the camera on the speed grip on the tripod -- unless you have a second speed grip
 

lxdude

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Although in using it in this mode as a 'quick release' you still have the time spent attaching the winding crank and detaching it before remounting the camera on the speed grip on the tripod -- unless you have a second speed grip

Well, I'm more referring to taking it off the tripod while moving between shots.
Carrying everything on your shoulder while can get rather uncomfortable after a while, and affects your balance. You're also less able to recover easily from a slip or stumble. The camera and lens are more likely to accidentally get a whack being carried up on the tripod, and the camera can loosen or rotate from its own weight. The Grip won't loosen or rotate on the head without the weight of the camera on it, so no need to worry about that or spend time retightening.
My preferred head is the Bogen 3028. It's light, stable, quick to adjust and can hold the camera almost directly over the tripod centerline in vertical orientation. But it doesn't have a quick release. QR's can be bought separately but they can still rotate on the head if I carry the camera attached. My 250mm and 105mm 1:1 Macro are heavy lenses and the problem really shows up with them.
 
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cooltouch

cooltouch

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The ETRSi outfit should be arriving later this week. I plan to make sure everything on it works as advertised before buying anything else for it. At least the grip is priced reasonably nowadays.

I'm also a member of the Texas Photo Forum, and some local members got together for an informal model shoot yesterday. One of the guys brought an ETRSi with the 75mm lens, and I got to play around with it for a bit. As I mentioned above, I used to own an EC-TL, which is considerably larger, and this is the first time I've had a chance to handle a 645 in a long time. While it seems to be easy enough to use just as-is, I can see how the grip would make things even easier. Can't wait till it gets here.
 
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cooltouch

cooltouch

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After checking this thread, I realize it needs updating. The ETRSi outfit arrived last week.

bronica1.jpg


The body, finder and lens are in great shape. Both backs have issues, however. The 120 back is the early style with the single release catch. It took me a while to puzzle out how to open it. There is a collar that surrounds the back release pin, which is broken off, making the 120 back tedious to remove. And the 220 back, which at least is an Ei back, is missing its wind crank.

I've been tracking ETR stuff on eBay since I won this outfit, and after discovering the issues with the 120 back, I found a later Ei-style back (w/o insert) on eBay for a cheap BIN price, so I bought it. It arrived today, and so the old 120 back is now retired -- permanently.

I've got my eyes on a few items that are current on eBay right now. One is the 45-90 Aspherical zoom. Another is the ETR sport finder. I've got questions about both.

First, about the zoom -- if you've had any experience with it, what are your impressions? I'm thinking specifically about the 45mm focal length at f/4 versus the 40mm f/4 and wondering, if I can pick one up for a better price than a 40mm f/4, if I should.

And about the sport-finder: if you've had a chance to use one, do you find it particularly useful, or is it one of those accessories that rarely gets removed from the bag, except on the rare occasion when you feel like playing around with it just cuz you have one? I have a sport finder for both my Canon F-1 and my Nikon F2, and I do use them on occasion, finding them to be rather comfortable because I wear glasses, so it's easy to see the entire frame. But mostly, they don't get used much, except of course when I pull one out and mount it and play around with it just cuz I have it. :cool:
 

wiltw

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The 45-90mm is a wonderful lens to use for wedding coverage. I have a 40mm as well, for the extra wide scene-setting shots.

The sport finder is a metal wire frame, I have one, but never used it. But then again I never tried to shoot sports with an ETRSi !
It almost sounds like you are referring to the Action Prism finder, which I never seen except in photos...very large square 'eye piece' attached to a quite tall and boxy pentaprism housing.
 

Steve Smith

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I have the grip and the non-metered prism on my ETRS which makes it very easy to use.

I like waist level finders and that is all I use on my RB67 but with the ETRS, the prism is essential when turning the camera ninety degrees.

Look out for cracks in the bottom plate of the grip. Mine has one and the plate bows out a bit causing it not to grip the bottom of the camera properly. Sometimes if you press the shutter, it just pushes the camera along the grip a bit.

My solution was to jam half of a credit card in the gap. Not ideal but it works!


Steve.
 

Uncle Goose

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I have both the E-grip as the auto winder, both are great to use since they make handling a lot easier. There are a few quirks however with the Auto Winder. First of all, if you have the habit to release the shutter with release on the body you must refrain of it as it can damage the body if you release it when the winder is active (so says the manual). Second thing is that the tripod hole is not deep enough for Manfrotto tripod plates, you need a metal O-ring to make a good connection to the Winder (E-Grip has no problem with this). Also, it has a weird position (off centre) concerning the tripod hole, making it somewhat unusual at first to use it but you become used to it after a while.

The Auto Winder is also quite heavy with it six AA batteries. But it's so much easier to shoot that all those quirks are easily forgotten.
 
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cooltouch

cooltouch

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The 45-90mm is a wonderful lens to use for wedding coverage. I have a 40mm as well, for the extra wide scene-setting shots.

The sport finder is a metal wire frame, I have one, but never used it. But then again I never tried to shoot sports with an ETRSi !
It almost sounds like you are referring to the Action Prism finder, which I never seen except in photos...very large square 'eye piece' attached to a quite tall and boxy pentaprism housing.

I haven't seen one of the wire-frame jobs yet, but yeah, I was referring to the Action Prism finder. I'm inclined to think it isn't all that common either, but faced with limited funds, I'm leaning more toward a lens or lenses and a grip rather than the finder. Thanks for the feedback on the zoom.

Steve, thanks for the tip about the grip. I'll be sure to keep an eye open for this when I get mine.

Uncle Goose, I think the folks here have pretty much talked me into the Grip. It's cheap, light, and works well enough for what I'll need. Thanks for the info, though.
 

lxdude

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I have the Action Finder. It is very similar in appearance to the action finder for the Nikon F3, except of course, much larger. It's about the same height and length as the body with film back, and is about the same width as other finders.
Its viewing opening is square, so it's adaptable to SQ series cameras with an adapter called the A.P. Adapter S.

Here are some specs from the manual:

Magnification: .65X with 75mm lens @infinity
(To compare, the AEIII finder's is .75).
Eyepoint: 120mm from the eyepiece lens (4.72 inches. I can use it up to about six inches away; I don't know why; maybe because I wear glasses for nearsightedness).
Weight: 690 grams (about 24 ounces).


It is very nice for certain situations where it's helpful to keep your eye several inches from the finder and still be able to see the whole frame; for me, that's portraits, especially young children, and macro or longer telephoto shots on a tripod. Actually it's handy for any tripod shots. The drawbacks are its greater bulk and weight, smaller magnification, and for some, its lack of metering capability.
To me, it doesn't adversely affect balance, so the camera remains handholdable. With the winder and a lens like the 250mm or the 105mm 1:1 macro, it helps if if your arm strength is good. :wink: It has some pincushion distortion, not objectionable, much less than the strong distortion of the Rotary Finder E.

I don't think it's the kind of thing to have on the camera all the time, and I could do without it, but it's great for maintaining eye contact with little kids or dogs, two of my favorite subjects with it. A quick glance confirms their position within the frame, and keeping my face in full view seems to help keep them involved.
 
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hmurmur

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Bronica ETR 135 help needed

to all
I recently purchased a 135N film back for my bronica etr. I do not have access to the manual. I loaded 24 exposures but the camera only allowed me to shoot 12 before requiring rewind. Is this typical?
 

wiltw

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I have the instructions for 135N. It is supposed to take standard 24x36mm frames, so a 24 exp roll should have 24 frames. Mine has always done the right number of shots.

The 135W back has a 24x54mm frame, so it would get fewer frames (12 exp from 24 exp roll)
 
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cooltouch

cooltouch

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Well, I found a Grip E on the bay for reasonable and picked one up a couple weeks ago. It's in great shape, except for where the leatherette is peeling back in a couple of spots. No biggie. Finally had a chance to shoot with the camera and grip installed this past weekend. Wow, it's nice. Both horizontals and verticals, it works well. Nice to have a flash shoe too!
 

lxdude

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Well, I found a Grip E on the bay for reasonable and picked one up a couple weeks ago. It's in great shape, except for where the leatherette is peeling back in a couple of spots. No biggie. Finally had a chance to shoot with the camera and grip installed this past weekend. Wow, it's nice. Both horizontals and verticals, it works well. Nice to have a flash shoe too!

The Bronica repair manual recommends Pliobond to reattach leatherette. Be careful with it. It can remove paint.
 

Steve Smith

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I have the grip and the non-metered prism on my ETRS which makes it very easy to use.

Despite saying this, earlier this month I removed the left hand grip and put the winding crank back on mine to make it easier to carry and took it out handheld with the prism fitted. I quite like using it like this and I didn't miss having the grip at all.


Steve.
 

BrianL

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I find when using the AE finder it is more comfortable with the speedgrip and when using the waist level finder using it is uncomfortable.
 
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