Questions regarding film backs for Bronica ETRS

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Necator, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Necator

    Necator Member

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    I just got my Bronica ETRS kit, and was browsing KEH and Ffordes to see which accessories I could put on my wish list. I noticed that you can get both 120E and 120EI backs. What is the difference between these?

    Also, you can get backs for 35mm film? I can understand why someone wants to toy around with the 135W, as the format is wider than normal 35mm, but why would you use the 135N? Why not just bring your 35mm slr?

    Henrik
     
  2. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    I have a 135N back .. been trying to locate a 135W ... simple answer is, if you have this back you only have to carry one camera :smile: Honestly I don't use it much, except if I'm hiking or something and want to limit the load. But yea, when I shoot 35mm I do prefer my Contax. Also of course, you could have a couple of them and have them loaded with different films, something you can't do with a single 35mm SLR.

    I think the "EI" backs have a locking darkslide. You can use them on the ETRS. There are the first backs, with a single release, newer models with a double release lever, and the EI's had double release and locking darkslide. I don't have any EI backs myself.

    Hope this helped.
     
  3. Necator

    Necator Member

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    That makes sense. By the way, I just found out that my ETRS is equipped with the focus screen for 135 film backs (microprism/split image). Nice to know, if I should come across a 135W back.

    My 120 backs are with double release handles, and no locking darkslide.
     
  4. c.w.

    c.w. Member

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    Bronica backs are confusing since everything came in different versions and i think most everything works in every version, so it's quite possible to get the back, slide and insert all mixed up and then sold to you.

    As far as i can tell, there's the single latch backs, then the double latch backs. There's earlier inserts, with a kind of gear thing to get the film loaded, and later inserts where they've put on a little lever like on 35mm camera rewind cranks - i think the later one are supposed to have better film flatness, but i can't tell the difference. The dark slides have either a black or a gray handle, the gray ones are the ones that lock. I don't have any gray handle ones so i can't tell you exactly how they work, but i think it's only with the later backs.

    I have the 135W back, and it's pretty great - 22 shots on a roll, panoramic pictures, being able to use any ol' 35mm film. I think the 135N back would make more sense if there were lenses past 40mm. I guess if you've got a macro setup or a big telephoto it would be nice though.
     
  5. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    The Ei backs use two latches to hold the back closed, which supposedly is more secure than a single latch.
    The Ei backs have an interlock which prevents the dark slide from being removed if the back is not mounted on a body.

    The reason for the 135N back is that more emulsion types are available in 135 than in 120/220.
     
  6. 5stringdeath

    5stringdeath Member

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    I guess I do have ei backs :smile:
     
  7. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Actually, the two latch type came in 1982, while the locking dark slide came with the Ei backs for the ETR-Si, in 1989.

    This is a good source of info. For ETR series history, click on ETR Guide.

    www.tamron-usa.com/bronica/slr_archives.asp
     
  8. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The locking darkslides have a slot cut into them near the handle. The later backs have a spring loaded button that comes out when the back is removed. When it comes out it locks the slide. When the back is mounted, the button is depressed by the body mounting surface. A black handle slide can be converted to a locking type by carefully cutting that slot into it. It will only lock on a locking type back, naturally.
     
  9. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Look at it this way:

    You want to take portraits? A 135mm back using the existing lens (80mm?) makes a great format/lens combination for portraiture (or just passport photos:tongue:). :smile:
     
  10. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    ^75mm^
     
  11. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I have a combination of all 3 back versions for 120 that work on my ETRS so I'd not lose sleep on which to get. I've never screwed up anything using the older backs. They changed from the single to dual latch backs supposively because from time to time someone complained they inadvertantly opened the back if it had a single release. I'm not sure how as thye are not easy to open.

    I have a pair of 35 backs and with them have eliminated the need for a 35mm slr system. Using the lenses that cover the 645 area means no light falloff and sharp as the center of the lens is all that is used. I also only need to know the charactor of the Bronica lenses. And, the Bronica controls. I do keep the screen with the 35mm lines in the camera all the time. Only downside is the AE II meter is metering outside the film area so some care needed when metering but as I use a handheld most of the time, it is a lesser concern for me. With the waist level finder only, the assembly is no heavier than an average SLR and with the metered prism and speed grip not more than many of the totl SLRs. When I load the 35mm backs, I usually carry the 40mm and either 75 or 105mm lenses. The 105 also is a macro so I have the bases pretty much covered. For portraits, I use a doubler on the 75 and the non-metered prism.

    Why carry 2 kits when 1 will do?