bronica opinions

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ader

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Hi,

just interested in people opinions of the bronica medium formats...i'm a student and hopefully going pro in the near future and was wondering what other photographers thought of them as there appear to be quite a few for sale at the moment in the
US $2000 range....

thanks for your time,

ade

xo
 

Donald Miller

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I do own and have used a Bronica ETRS system. I like the system a lot even though I don't use it currently. The 6X4.5 format readily prints on conventional paper dimensions. The only thing that has ever been problematic on my my camera body is the cable release connection. It was replaced under warranty.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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They're good cameras. I have an older S2A system.

However, if you're thinking of going pro and you live near a large city where equipment rental is a possibility, you might do better with a Hasselblad or RB or RZ-67 system, so you can rent the exotic high-end lens or four extra backs or extra body when you need them. Hassy and RB/RZ will also offer a clearer path to digital. I don't know that any of the digital medium format backs are made with adapters for Bronica.
 

Ole

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I bought my ETRS second-hand in 1990, and I've never had any kind of problem with it. I've carried and used it everywhere from Eritrea to northern Norway, inside pyramids and outside ships, up mountains and down to the Dead Sea.

It works. All the time.

What more could I ask for?
 

glbeas

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I have two SQA and one SQAi body and a collection of lenses, backs, extension tubes, a teleconverter and a bellows and I quite pleased with the performance of the whole system.
 

paul owen

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I've been using a SQA, together with an 80mm and a 50mm (both earlier "S" versions) for the last 2 weeks! I bought the complete outfit, together with a 120 back,a plain prism and correct lens hoods on THAT auction site (in the UK). The outfit is in lovely condition and I only paid £650 UK Pounds for the lot. I have just developed 3 rolls of black and white film - Ilford Delta 100. I AM IMPRESSED!! The quality of the lenses FAR exceeds what I was expecting. The camera handles well both on and off the tripod and is well built. I'm sure I'll find some "quirks" as I use it more, but at the moment I'm very pleased. As for going pro? I would be inclined to invest in a used Hasselblad if funds allow. I was looking for a MF set up to run alongside a 5x4 system, the SQA fitted the bill. But if I was turning pro then I would opt for the hasselblad. BUT - the camera won't make you a better photographer! If you find a good used Bronica then give it a try and see how you get on. If you decide on one then look for the SQAi.
 

JohnArs

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Hi

I'm an owner of the Bronica GS 1 since 15 years and I like it very much it is a workhorse.
Jerry Uelsmann works also with one if he still works!
But there is only one company wich makes an adaptor for there digiback.
For thad reason you should buy an Hassi, Rollei, Mamya.
 

Nige

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Interesting topic since I'm debating what to replace my Mamiya 645 with. I've had my eye on a GS1 and SQAi but have been wanting to ask someone a fairly dopey question and this looks like a good place! (I don't know anything about these cameras) Do these cameras have instant return mirrors? How does the leaf shutter work in relation to the viewfinder, mirror and exposure? I'm used to my Mamiya acting like a clunky SLR and want a camera with the same 'convienience' I think I want a bigger neg than 645 based on the 6x9 negs that I've been getting from using a Box Brownie :smile: I'd probably be considering a Mamiya 645 Pro (whatever the interchangeable back one is) but they are rare here and always advertised for premium prices (not sure if they actually sell for those though). The Bronica's are much more affordable. I could swing a Hassy with std and small tele lenses but the moment you want to go wide the prices sky rocket!

Any advice/thoughts?
 

fingel

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I would second David's advice of going with the Hassy or Mamiya RZ/RB. The only medium format lenses that my local camera store rents are for the Hasselblad system. (CF/CFi lenses) If I wanted to drive the 1 hour or so into San Francisco I could probably rent other brands also, but usually I don't want to.
For $2000 you could get a very good condition used body and a great lens from KEH.
 
OP
OP

ader

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thanks for your answers, I only started this topic about 10 hours ago...I seem to be undecided as to weather I should go Mamiya or Bronica for pro stuff. I was once told that if enlargements aren't more than 10 x 12 it is hard to tell the difference between the two cameras/lenses...


ta for your time

ade...
 

David A. Goldfarb

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I think that's true. All the modern lenses are pretty good these days.

The issue I was pointing to is really a more practical one. If you need, say, an ultrawide lens or a 500mm lens or a digital back, this is a pretty expensive proposition in general for most medium format systems in current production, but in most major US cities, you can rent those lenses for Hassy or Mamiya RB/RZ, but not for Bronica. Worldwide, it's probably easier to rent equipment for Hassy than Mamiya.

For me the attraction of the older Bronica S2A system is that I can own a complete system with a full range of lenses from 40mm to 500mm, accessories, backs, and an extra body for about the cost of a new Hassy and two lenses, but I'm not depending on this for my income, and I'm not interested in acquiring a digital back.
 

glbeas

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paul owen said:
I've been using a SQA, together with an 80mm and a 50mm (both earlier "S" versions) for the last 2 weeks! I bought the complete outfit, together with a 120 back,a plain prism and correct lens hoods on THAT auction site (in the UK). The outfit is in lovely condition and I only paid £650 UK Pounds for the lot. I have just developed 3 rolls of black and white film - Ilford Delta 100. I AM IMPRESSED!! The quality of the lenses FAR exceeds what I was expecting. The camera handles well both on and off the tripod and is well built. I'm sure I'll find some "quirks" as I use it more, but at the moment I'm very pleased. As for going pro? I would be inclined to invest in a used Hasselblad if funds allow. I was looking for a MF set up to run alongside a 5x4 system, the SQA fitted the bill. But if I was turning pro then I would opt for the hasselblad. BUT - the camera won't make you a better photographer! If you find a good used Bronica then give it a try and see how you get on. If you decide on one then look for the SQAi.

You might want to look at a Speed Grip for it, makes it handle more like a 35mm SLR with the thumb advance film winder. It also has a hot shoe on it for small flash units and couples the flash directly to the camera.
As far as pro work, plenty of wedding photogs use Bronicas with no problems.
 

Nige

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Nige said:
Do these cameras have instant return mirrors? How does the leaf shutter work in relation to the viewfinder, mirror and exposure? I'm used to my Mamiya acting like a clunky SLR and want a camera with the same 'convienience'

anyone?
 

glbeas

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Mirrors do not instant return, the reset as the film is wound. Shutter operation is pretty seamless, recocks with film wind. Shutter closes, mirror flips up, shutter fires, wind film and everything resets. The blackout is not very inconvenient as the film winding is about second nature after shooting, I hardly notice it.
 

Nige

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thanks Gary.. I can live with that!
 
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I use the ETRsi, and before that the ETR.

I HIGHLY recommend it.

First off, it is cheap. If you are willing to do some shopping, you can get Bronica stuff cheap. Also, the ETR system has been stable since it was introduced. There isn't much that doesn't work on one body that doesn't work on another.
 

David A. Goldfarb

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paul owen

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My SQA does not have an instant return mirror. The mirror lowers once the shutter is cocked. I use the SQA tripod mounted and also use the mirror lock-up - speed is not important to me! The lenses for the SQ have the shutter mounted in them, but the shutter speed is set on the camera body. I think you are probably referring to the Mamiya where the shutter is in the camera body. In this case, if you were using a leaf-shutter lens then the focal plane shutter would be opened on B/T and then the exposure made using the lens shutter. Hope this helps?
 

JohnArs

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Yes the Bronicas are mirror "clack" cameras and on my GS1 I can if I like pre shot the mirror so I get no fibration from it when I use a long lens or for macro work!
They are really fine cameras and much less in a repair center then the Hassis!
 

Eric Rose

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I had an S2A and loved it. However the lack of parts and repairabililty finally made me switch over to Blads.

I have put many years, miles, tons of film and abuse on my Blads and have NEVER had to take them in for repair. I only CLA them about once every 4 years on top of that. I just don't have time for equipment that fails. If they were as unreliable as some people try and make it sound they would not have been adopted by the vast majority of professional shooters.
 

Cheryl Jacobs

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I use my Bronica SQ-Ai exclusively, and it's a fabulous camera. It's comfortable for me, and I've never had any problems with it. I bought it used -- seven years old -- for $900 for the body, 80mm lens, 220 back, waist-level viewfinder, speedgrip, and a few extras. You can get them for less now on e-bay. I know Mamiyas are great cameras, but the lenses and repairs made it cost prohibitive for me. I seriously doubt most humans could tell the difference between a large Mamiya print vs. a large Bronica print.
 
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