Bronica ETRS LENSES

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Frank Teodosio, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Frank Teodosio

    Frank Teodosio Member

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    Does anyone have experience with the 75mm PE lens or the 50mm PE,lens as far as sharpness goes on the ETRS.
    I recently shot a roll of portra 160 NC and the negatives seem less than tack sharp.

    Thanks
     
  2. cknapp1961

    cknapp1961 Member

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    I bought my first Bronica ETRS in about 1981, the lenses at that time were the MC series. I remember the first time I put a B&W negative from my first roll in the enlarger and used the 10x magnifier to focus. I was disappointed as the negatives seemed less sharp than those of my 1960s era Nikkor 105mm F2.5 lens (which was razor sharp). But as I made 11x14 and 16x20 prints, I came to appreciate the benefits of the larger negative. Sold the ETRS system during a divorce in the late 80s.

    In the last 6 months I have purchased ETRS equipment from evilb@y, and do have the 50, 75, and 150 PE lenses. Subjectively I would say they are a bit sharper than the MC, but not worth the difference if I had to pay "new" prices. I still do not think they are as sharp as some of my old Nikkor lenses, but I still get great enlargements, I like the shallower Depth of Field (compared to 35mm) and am glad to be back in the darkroom again. I have also recently purchased some 6x9 "folders", like the Franka Rolfix with Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar lens, and though they are only around $50-75 evilb@y, the negatives are 2x larger than the Bronica's 6x4.5, and I love the 11x14 prints from the Rolfix, I think they rival prints from Bronica, though lens choices are non-existent. I like the soft edges when shot wide open, and stopped down to F8 or F11 images are sharp all over. Now I always keep a "folder" in my camera bag and take it wherever I go.
     
  3. Marcus S

    Marcus S Member

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    You should no problems with the 75 or 50 mm PE lenses as far as sharpness is concerned.
    Have you tested with a tripod?
    If you prefer handheld photography, the culprit is most likely camera shake if the shutter speed is slow.
    A handheld camera is only as good as the human tripod.
    Working without a lenshood can also degrade image quality considerably. I never work without it.
    I have used both lenses professionally for many years with excellent results.

    Marcus
     
  4. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    One other thing to check is that your focusing screen is securely in place.

    Jon
     
  5. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    For the record, the primary benefit of the PE over the earlier E series was improved flare resistance / contrast at or near wide open apertures.
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Yup the 75mm should be fine. If you focused it well.
    Even the 50mm shouldn't be an issue.

    Which finder did you use? F/stop?
     
  7. Cropline

    Cropline Member

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    I have the 45-90 f/4-5.6.Its pretty sharp,but not a prime as you have listed.Use it on a tripod only.If I may ask,how is viewfinder brightness w/an f/2.8 or f/3.5 lens? Am considering the PE 50 and PE 150 purchase.
     
  8. Uncle Goose

    Uncle Goose Member

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    I got the 75mm PE and the 50mm MC. Both are wonderfully sharp and I have no problems with them. Focus screen issue is an important factor to check, I had the problem once before that my focus screen was not well seated, I check it regularly now. Second thing is that it's not always easy to focus with these lenses, especially if you are shooting an object that is near infinity for your lens and you are using a low f-number. you think it's in infinity but it's just not making it less sharp. Check the distance on your lens and on your object.
     
  9. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have the full set of prime lenses from 40mm to 250mm, and they are all amazingly sharp.
     
  10. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Set up the camera on a tripod, with the back opened and a GG on the film plane. Focus the camera on a well lit target via the focusing screen, then using a loupe check the GG on the gilm plane. If it's not tack sharp, your screen needs to be calibrated. Some people change the screens without considering the film plane to screen focusing. Not all screens are the same ands shouldn't be swapped out at random.
     
  11. cknapp1961

    cknapp1961 Member

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    I frequently use a tripod, still not as satisfied with the sharpness of the negatives compared to some of my old Prime Nikkors for 35mm. I will however check the seating of my focusing screen as suggested here.
     
  12. aldevo

    aldevo Member

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    Let's not forget that sample-to-sample variation in the performance of lenses of the same make and model tends can be considerable. Photographic lenses are complex devices requiring precision manufacture. Critical tolerances between lens elements are often down to a couple tens of micron. Mistakes are inevitable. Wear and tear over time can also affect performance.

    I recall an old-timer who used to work for Draper Labes as a photographer telling me that whenever they needed to purchase a new Mamiya RB lens they "bought three to keep one". Sample-to-sample variation tended to be extreme in that system, even through the 1980s.

    So Ole might have been lucky where you were not. One unfortunate aspect of Bronica systems is that, at least in the USA, they are all but invisible in the rental departments of major camera stores. Therefore it is not always easy to casually acquire an additional sample of your lens with which to verify performance.
     
  13. djorourke

    djorourke Member

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    I've got a set of MC primes. I find the sharpness to be excellent.

    I played with the idea of picking up a PE 75mm to replace my 75mm MC. But my current lens performs so well that it's a hard sell.
     
  14. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    My only PE lens is a 75/2.8. All the other ETR series lenses I have are MC types. They are all good. In the SQ series I have a 50/3.5 PS, an 80/2.8 PS, an 80/2.8 S and a 150/4 PS. I can't see a difference between the two 80mm lenses.
     
  15. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have two ETRSi bodies and a whole case of lenses of all types. My desktop background is a shot taken with the Zenza Bronica 500 mm lens with a 2x telextender on Portra 120 and using a tripod.

    It is sharp as a tack and is one of my favorites. It is the waterfall across the road from the Formulary in Montana taken there during one of our visits. I have another shot of a friend's home across Conesus Lake outside Rochester taken the same way. The house was miles away.

    These are wonderful lenses regardless of the version.

    PE
     
  16. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    Cropline: I have the 45-90 as well and find it's not as sharp as my 150 PE. It's a very nice lens though and the primary lens on that camera for me. It's macro focus range is wonderful. I would certainly recommend some primes to go alongside it, however, as it's not the sharpest lens I've used and, for me, typically is used for its versatility and would probably not be put to use in a studio situation.
     
  17. laziminx

    laziminx Member

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    Could anyone tell me what a good/fair second hand price would be for a ETRS 50mm MC lens?

    I'm on the lookout for one and don't want to get scammed as I'm still a noob when it comes to medium format.
     
  18. NJS

    NJS Member

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    tripod. right thing to do.

    I don't know for 645 bronicas but I think the mirror slap on my SQ-A is less dampened than on other MF cameras I use.
     
  19. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I have both lenses plus the 200mm, all are very sharp indeed, wide open or stopped down, I suggest you try F11, which seems to be the best aperture with both 75 and 50 lenses,Richard