Pentax 67 lenses vs. Bronica PG's

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by wildbill, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I have been shooting with the 67II for a few years and it's a great system. The meter is incredible, The lenses are very sharp, resist flare, and many focal lengths are available. The problem is that I can't switch film types back and forth when the need arises. With my LF gear I can carry color, infrared, high and low speed b+w with me at all times, and i often shoot different films on the same setup. I'd love to have a spare 67II body for other films but they're so damn expensive, not to mention heavy.
    How are the lenses for the GS-1 compared to the Pentax 67's? How about the metered prism? Is it multi-segment or center weighted? Anyone out there used both and have opinions? I know there aren't as many focal lengths available for the gs-1 but I could buy an entire camera kit with several lenses for the price of another 67II body. I'm not interested in other cameras like the RB or Mamiya 7. I own a bronica sq system(which got me interested in their 6x7) and I'm considering changing to the GS-1.
    thanks
    vinny
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    C'mon!
     
  3. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Where Bronica's GS-1 tops the Pentax 6711

    1) superior optics- Zenzanon glass is second to none.

    2) The GS-1 with the optional Speed-Grip is easier to hand-hold than a clunky 6711 (although I rarely take pictures without a tripod).

    3) the option to shoot using the standard waist-level finder. Great for candids, sports, and street photography.

    4) As you noted- interchangeable film backs that not only let you change films but formats as well. 6x4.5, 6x6, and 6x7

    5) The AE prism is reliable and bright as is the standard prism. The rotary prism is terrific but more expensive.

    6) dedicated extension tubes and a wonderful bellows-like pro-shade that works with all focal length lenses.

    I have two GS-1 bodies and they have proven to be solid and reliable workhorses. These cameras were built to last forever.
     
  4. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    I think Bronica is more common in Europe and England than here. I don't see a lot of used Bronica GS gear out there. I am sure it is good but not so easy to find. I don't think they have a lens as wide as the Pentax 45mm which is an excellent lens.

    For the money, why not get a second regular Pentax body? That is what I do. I use the PII most of the time, but if I want to shoot color or a different film I just use the other body and either the PII or a light meter for determining exposure.
     
  5. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I've considered getting a 67 body with metered prism for b+w, infrared work. They're not that expensive compared to the 67II. The bronica gear isn't that common but it sells for cheap. The widest lens is the 50mm and it takes 95mm filters. I'd be curious to know if i could get away with using my 82mm filters on it like I do with my pentax 45mm without vignetting. The pentax 45 and 55mm lenses are great lenses.
    "5) The AE prism is reliable and bright as is the standard prism. The rotary prism is terrific but more expensive." Is it center weighted?
     
  6. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I second the idea of getting another Pentax 67 body.
     
  7. Nigel

    Nigel Member

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    1 - I think you are stretching if you are implying that the Pentax optics are inferior.

    2 - Hand holding is very much a matter of personal preference in terms of ergonomics. The P67II may be awkward for you, but feels natural to others. Some claim that the P67II is a tripod only camera due to mirror/shutter vibrations; my experience is that it works fine hand held.

    3 - WLF is also available for the P67II

    4 - Certainly a shortcoming for the P67II. But, you know that you get only 6x7 and since there are only 10 exposures on a 120, I see it as a limited problem.

    5 & 6 are not actually comparisons...

    The P67 (not II) bodies are cheap. If you want to carry more than one film type, I too would suggest getting more bodies; they are priced comparably to Hasselblad film backs...
     
  8. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    He isn't. All he says is that Zenzanon lenses are among the very very best. :wink:
     
  9. georgecp

    georgecp Member

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    Vinny,

    To answer your remaining question, the standard GS AE Prism finder is center weighted. The Rotary AE prism finder has a centerweighted and spot meter setting. You should consider the lenses to be of equal optical quality to the Pentax. They are both excellent. I rented/compared/used both systems 10 years ago and settled on the Bronica. For me is was (and is) the best 6x7 film-based choice.

    However, I can't help but feel that you would be better served by another 67 body given your situation. You already have the lenses and are comfortable with the 67 system. I don't think it would be a good idea to carry two sets of lenses, etc.........
     
  10. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    You forgot the leaf shutter lenses that flash sync at all speeds. That, by itself, would be enough reason for me to change.
     
  11. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    Well, yes there's the sync issue. I don't use flash that much but it would be handy. I shot a wedding* for a friend with the pentax a few weeks back with the pentax.
    Anyway, I've been shooting with the bronica Sq and I find myself switching films while on the same setup while the camera is on the tripod. I like having the option to change it up like I do when shooting large format. This would be a pain to do with two separate Pentax bodies.
    I also like the fact that I can do several hour exposures with the Bronica system and not have to worry about the shutter closing due to dead batteries.
    I may just sell the SQ system, get a small GS-1 kit and try it out.



    *I've shot a few and every time I swear it'll be my last.
     
  12. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    Between-cell leaf shutters usually increase the minimum focusing distance versus lenses without. Not sure if the GS lenses do but the Bronica ETRSi lenses were at a disadvantage versus Pentax ones especially on the wides. Which, for near-far perspective shots with a WA, I found to be a significant disadvantage.

    Re: the need for leaf shutters, the only time that I find slow outdoor fill-flash sync to be a problem is at midday. But I tend to shoot midday only when shooting scheduled events, for hire. Horses for courses. I no longer use film for much of this sort of shooting; even though I have an F5 that'll sync at 1/300s I nowadays tend to do events and PJ "filmlessly" and these cameras sync at any speed...

    I save film for better/lower light. Against a nice sunrise/sunset backdrop, 1/60s is not such an impediment.

    And if a change in formats appeals to the OP, particularly since he has a set of Pentax lenses he likes already, he might consider getting the adapter to use additional dirt-cheap 645 bodies or reasonably priced 645N ones. The 67>645 lens adapter with a 67 lens on a 645 meters wide open, supposedly retains all lens and metering functionality. (Also the P645's are now cheaper used than many MF backs alone, come with integrated motordrive, prism. The N version has CW, spot, and Matrix metering. Eminently handholdable.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2008
  13. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Thanks Robert-

    How could I have missed that one? About one third of my shooting with the GS-1 was in studio using a trusty 2403b Speedotron strobe set-up. The ability to change synch times opens up numerous creative possibilities.

    Which reminds me, there is a Bronica dedicated auto-flash unit available for the GS-1. Would be nice for candids or insurance work- or those times when that single-malt Scotch has made point-and-shoot photography an attractive alternative. :wink:
     
  14. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Thanks Ole-

    Well put! :smile: