ETRS-i WLF or Prism or AEii or AEiii

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by iamSteveRoberts, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. iamSteveRoberts

    iamSteveRoberts Member

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    I used to use an AE ii prism on both by ETRS-i's in the past but sold them along with all by other Bronica items. Now that I have bought my ETRS-i back what would you recommend?

    WLF - Its on the camera but a nightmare if you turn to portrait
    Plain Prism - Cheap and does not drain battery
    AE-ii - Will cost a little extra but does have a light meter (and I have used before)
    AE-iii - The one I could never afford in the past, may have found a deal with one, but I have read they can make the viewfinder image darker

    Remember I am buying this camera back for 95% to look at and 5% to use, but for that 5% I want to enjoy and not fight with it!
     
  2. Dan Daniel

    Dan Daniel Subscriber

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    I can't answer this. You are the one who will be looking at it- do you like the plain prism, the bumpy one with knobs, or the WLF? Sounds like a darker screen is not that important.

    The only concrete advice i can give is that WLFs on thier own tend to be uncommon and expensive.
     
  3. iamSteveRoberts

    iamSteveRoberts Member

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    Guess you are right.

    The Waist Level Finder in my comparison comes with the camera normally, I was not referring to and forgot about the ROTARY VIEWFINDER E.
     
  4. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I think it depends on what you will be using the camera to shoot and where. I have the WL, non-metered prism and AEII for mine and find each is better than the others in certain conditions. I am not sure what you mean by fighting with it. The camera is so versitile, I'd be ill pressed to find any configuration, except maybe when using the wl finder for portrait.

    I enjoy the wl view and it is the finder I use the most. I actually have learned with practice to use it with portrait though for persons looking at me, I seem contorted a bit. I have a pair of hand held meters that I always carry in my kit and hence the non-metered prism is a good choice except when I want to get lazy and simply go AE metering for "snapshots" which is when I dump on the AEII. Considering the lifespan of the battery, using it is not a problem for me; after 20+ years, never been let down.

    I've not had a chane to use the AEII or rotary finder. Of the 2, the rotary finder is the more interesting as I do enjoy working close to the ground at times and it could sub for the view of the WL finder in bright sunlight when it can wash out the view from the light. The AEIII has the spot metering and hold function but, it duplicates my handhelds (each is a quasi-spot) and I do not see getting more use out of it than the AEII.

    Considering you're only planning on using it 5%, it seems more of a shelf queen; if you have a handheld meter, just go for the non-metered prism or rotary if more useful for your type of shooting and, put the difference in accessories such as a speedgrip or lens or, even a 35mm back that may make the % of use go up.
     
  5. iamSteveRoberts

    iamSteveRoberts Member

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    Many thanks for sharing your views.
    Another 5% may be with my recent AE1P and the other 90% will be with my D200 and D3s.

    Think I may look for a nice AEii or plain prism and grip. Maybe I should just run a few films through and see how things go before spending any more cash.

    Reminds me I must check the battery in my hand held light meter.....
     
  6. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    I never noticed a change in brightness by use of the AE-III prism vs. the AE-II prism...the focusing screen is the same (in the body), the magnification of the viewfinder is the same, both use pentaprisms, not mirrors...should not have an effect.
     
  7. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    The screen change is between the ETR series and the ETRS-i, not the finders. Not sure if the ETRS-i viewfinder is dimmer but, that might be the issue raised.
     
  8. iamSteveRoberts

    iamSteveRoberts Member

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    Ah right, I may have misread what someone was saying?
     
  9. hsandler

    hsandler Member

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    I just bought an etrsi with the plain prism and then bought an ae-ii prism separately. they both seem to be identically bright. i have the screen with the diagonal split image spot and etched 35mm frame lines installed.
     
  10. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    I like my AE II. Feels like a giant 35mm to me. Easy to use in portrait mode with the grip, too.
     
  11. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    If you are using a hand held meter, go for the plain prism. I love mine n would never go to a WLF ever again... too much stray light n just doesn't feel right with a grip on it.

    I like using the quick focus levers on my lenses, so the prism, grip winder, lever combo makes a really nice hand feel for quick shooting.
     
  12. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    HS, I use the same screen as I have 35mm back as well as 120 and also have the original screen. While with the 120 attached I have to remember to frame for the 120 back and vice versa, the screens are the same in use and brightness. I only very occaisionally switch the screens and only when for some reason I know I'll not be slapping on the 35mm back which is seldom as I do not have a 35mm system, preferring to use the Bronica as both.

    I too have the focus ring for the lenses but, never got the hang of it, probably the least used acc'y I have but it came with the system when I bought it. But, then again, I seldom use the tab that is on my Leica Sumicron-C either.
     
  13. delphine

    delphine Member

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    I have the AEIII and would not look back. It makes the ETRSi feel like a big SLR. The hold function is very handy for adjusting exposure on the fly.
    As pointed out by others, it depends on what you will use the camera for. I have the WLF but I never used it.
    If you want to be mobile and versatile with your camera, I would recommend investing in the AEII or III, may be who knows, your bronica would become your main camera then?
     
  14. iamSteveRoberts

    iamSteveRoberts Member

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    I managed to get hold of an almost mint AEIII so I have this on the camera with a speed grip now. Must take it out and put some film through it now!

    Can't see the Bronica replacing my D3s as the main camera, however I am looking forward to putting film through it again after all these years.

    My ETRSi 2012.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2012