Bonica ETRSi: Motor winder or speed grip

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by hadeer, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    I am considering to buy a motor winder for my Bronica 4.5x6 but am still a little bit doubtful whether this really would be a great way to speed up things when f.i. photographing in the street.
    I also saw that there are two models, motor drive e, and the eII. Is there a big difference? It seems that the eII is more recent but harder to find.
    Any comment appreciated very much.
     
  2. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    There are three models. They are the Motor Drive E, the Motor Winder E (usually called Motor Winder E-I), and the Motor E-II, also called the Ei-II. Look here for descriptions:
    www.tamron-usa.com/bronica/etr_guide.asp


    The Motor Drive E was made from 1976 to 1988. It the biggest, heaviest and slowest. It can take remote control and external power, though finding the accessories is probably difficult. As they are bigger and heavier, and all very old now, I would not buy one.

    The Motor Winder E (E-I) was made from 1988 to 1998. It is shorter, lighter and faster, but does not take remote control or external power. It can be triggered by standard cable release, so it can be remote controlled in that sense. It is the one I have, as it is about half the price of the Motor Winder E-II and serves my needs well enough (mostly tripod mounted macro). I'm thinking of selling it, as I think I would rather not have its weight and bulk, and the wind crank is just as fast.

    The Motor Winder E-II was made from 1998 to 2004. It is much smaller and is lighter than the other two. It takes remote control and external power. It has the batteries and motor in the handle, so it is about the same size as the Speed Grip. It is worth the extra cost if you are hand holding the camera or need the extra features the E-I does not have. From what I've observed it costs about $100 more here in the US than the E-I and considering that it is newer and more advanced it is worth it. Its only drawback is it does not take AA batteries, as you won't find 2CR5 batteries everywhere, and they are more expensive. But it takes only one, so it's easy to carry a spare.

    As for Speed Grip vs. Motor Winder, I think it is usually better to use the Speed Grip. It is quiet (which the winders are not), less expensive, lighter, and of course needs no batteries. It requires two strokes, the first a full stroke and the second a little less, but I find it is fast enough for me. I can match the 8/10 second of my winder if I try, though I usually take about 1.5 to 2 seconds. If I were doing a lot of shooting in a short time like weddings I would use a motor winder, to keep my thumb from getting sore and to gain a little speed.
     
  3. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    Thanks very much for the speedy and extensive answer. It seems to me now that I could spend my spare euros better than on a motor drive.
     
  4. dphphoto

    dphphoto Member

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    I've never had a motor on an ETRS, but I had one on my Mamiya 645. Too heavy and noisy, though it was pretty fast. I have a speed grip, but it sits in the closet. I prefer the conventional advance crank: lighter and smaller and fast enough.
     
  5. jsouther

    jsouther Subscriber

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    I have the motor winder E and its loud and not any faster than using the speedgrip for me. The added weight of all those batteries for the motor winder ads a noticeable bulk as well. I guess I prefer the speed grip most of the time!
     
  6. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I have the motor drive E and the speedgrip and for me it is not one is preferred over the other. The MDE is heavy but with it on the camera , the assembly is well balanced. I tried the motor winders and though lighter, I found the E to actually be the preferable for me. I also use the mdE more often on a tripod than the SG. The speed grip is a horse of another color. It converts the camera to feel and operate like a 35mm slr. I enjoy the mdE when shooting action and general photography such as parties, etc. while the SG sits on the camera almost all other times when I use a prism. The mdE feels better to use with the waist level finder then and SG. If I had to place %s of use, probalbly 60-70% with the SG and the balance with the mdE when using them. I find that maybe I use either about 40% of the time I shoot the camera. Bother were worth the investment, significantly more than they fo for today then when I bought them new way back when.

    As to whether to invest in one or the other, think if you would like the camera better if it had a 35mm layout for holding and using. Generally, only you use the prism; and if so how often and much use you'd get out of a motor drive on the 35mm slr.

    Oh, 1 last thing, the mdE will give more winds per set of batteries than either of the motor winders.
     
  7. jime11

    jime11 Member

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    Motor Drice E

    I had a motor drive E but sold it -- then I missed the convenince of it & bought another.
    But; I soon sold that one too.
    The thing I didn't like about them was that they were VERY fiddley to mount.
    You have to have the MD drive yoke aligned with the bar on the camera in "just the right orientation".
    I wound up buying an SQAm & use it when I feel the urge to go "automatic".
     
  8. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    I can't say anything about the motor drives, having never used any of them. I will sya that the Speedgrip was very nice. As others have said, with a prism you have a 35mm SLR-type feel. It takes two quick strokes of the lever to wind and cock everything. The handling is smooth and winding is very comfortable- no super-long wind needed, and it will also ratchet, letting you do partial winds. Unless you really need to blow through a roll of film quickly, I'd say the Speedgrip will do all you need on the street.
     
  9. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Interesting about the Motor Drive E.

    The Motor Winder E is not difficult to mount- it takes a little time because the battery pack comes off to reach the mounting screw (which has a folding crank sort of thing), but aligning was not difficult. It has a button to "bump" the drive as needed until the yoke engages the bar. And of course the bar on the camera can be rotated backwards by hand. The Speed Grip is a breeze to align-slide it on until the yoke contacts the bar, thumb the wind lever until the yoke engages the bar and the grip slides on, then lock.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I have the speed grip for mine. I don't think I would like a motor drive but I have not tried one.

    My grip was quite well used and is quite a loose fit on the camera. I have to wedge a piece of credit card in the gap to stop it sliding about when the shutter is pressed. I am going to remove the clamp mechanism and drill a hole in it so I can put a screw into the camera's tripod mount thread to hold it more securely.

    I'm sure the mounting mechanism works fine on a grip in good condition, but be aware that an old, well used one could have issues.


    Steve.
     
  11. hadeer

    hadeer Member

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    I should have mentioned that I have a speed grip and use it most of the time. It is indeed not fiddly to mount and gives me more control. I think I'll stick to it considering all the comments. Thanks everyone.
    Hans
     
  12. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    My mdE is no more difficult than my speedgrip to mount. I wonder why you have an issue. I'll ask a friend who also has one if he finds it more difficult to mount.
     
  13. jime11

    jime11 Member

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    BrianL: you can physicaly mount the mdE just like a speed grip - the pain for me (mentally) was because you have to have the yoke in the right part of it's cycle or it won't work properly.
     
  14. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I've never had any issue mounting the unit. Maybe after 20+ years I am just so used to mounting it, it just goes smoothly. I cock the camera, slide the drive on and back the camera winder bar back to match the yoke and slide it on to the final position. I do the same the speedgrip.
     
  15. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    The ETRS motor drive is more finicky in terms of procedural adherence to mounting instruction than either motor winder or the speed grip (which have no special procedures to follow at all).