RB67 v. Bronica SQ

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by thisismyname09, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    Recently I've been considering selling my RB67 and getting a Bronica SQ. My first experience with medium format was a yashicamat 124, and I enjoyed shooting in 6x6 quite a bit. One thing I couldn't stand about both the rb67 and the yashica was the waistlevel finder. The bulkiness of the rb made that problem worse. I'm actually fine with the weight of the RB, but the size is just obnoxious. (trying to shoot out of the passenger seat window of a small car with a waistlevel finder is not a good idea.) I've been looking into getting a metered prism for my RB, but they're all rather expensive, and are angled up slightly (whereas the bronica's prisms are eye-level). The RB prism could do spot and average metering, iirc. Will a bronica sq prism do spot metering? How does the size of the two compare? Will there be any differences in lenses (in terms of quality)?
     
  2. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If you look up any of the RZ vs. Hassy threads, you will learn most of what you need to know.

    What I usually say in those threads is basically: They are two different beasts due to the fact that they are different formats. For me, it is not one versus the other, as they are not really directly comparable. It is more like: which one for which job?

    Shooting out of a car presents difficulties with all cameras, though it would likely be just a bit easier with a 6x6 or 6x4.5 SLR like a Hassy, Bronica, Mamiya, Pentax, etc. than with the RB.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2009
  3. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    This was made from the passenger seat of a car I was travelling in in India. I used a Hassselblad with a 50mm wide angle lens Because of the waistlever finder, I could not compose the image (I could not get the camera low enough to look through the viewfinder, and neither could I rise enough in the cabin of the car to look through it). I told the driver to keep driving next to the motorcycle, I pointed the camera out of the window and used the hyperfocal setting of f/16 or f/22. I made a few exposures but only this one was to my liking.
     

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  4. SaulB

    SaulB Member

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    I used to have a Bronica SQ, but sold it as metering prisms weren't made for it (at least to my knowledge), you can get "plain" prisms though. Later versions of the SQ like the SQ-A have metering prisms designed for them.

    I ended up replacing it with a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, with metering prism and power winder.
     
  5. Krzys

    Krzys Member

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    I really, really like that picture - but I must say; why didn't you just flip the camera upside down and look up into the viewfinder? :smile:
     
  6. epavelin

    epavelin Member

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    I have the SQAi (the last model). The only metered prism that does spot metering is the AE-III prism (possibly also known as the SQ-i prism), which is rather rare and expensive. It is considerably more bulky than the plain unmetered prism. However, the SQ series cameras are substantially smaller than the RB due to the smaller film size and the lack of built-in bellows. I also have a Pentax 67II, and I find the SQAi noticeably lighter and quicker to handle.
     
  7. paul_c5x4

    paul_c5x4 Subscriber

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    I also have the SQ-Ai with a choice of viewfinders..

    WLF - Light, easy to use, and the magnifier is a boon.
    MF Finder S - Used once or twice. Not a practical every day job.
    ME Prism Finder S - Like the MFF-S, has a built in under/over exposure indicator. Fairly easy to use, but aperture and shutter is manual only.
    AE Prism Finder - Does spot and average metering and gives aperture priority metering as well as manual. Provides a +/- 2EV compensation. Easy to use, but is heavy in comparison to the WLF.

    There is also a plain prism finder and a 45 degree prism finder, both without any metering capabilities.

    Which one do I use - The WLF most of the time. It is light, small, easy to use, and discrete. Occasionally, I'll use the AE finder when a hand held light meter is inconvenient or working at full height of a tripod.
     
  8. AlanC

    AlanC Member

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    I have an SQ and an RB67. The SQ is much smaller, and a lot lighter.

    Alan Clark
     
  9. lionelpina

    lionelpina Member

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    "but I must say; why didn't you just flip the camera upside down and look up into the viewfinder"

    Or sideways with the viewfinder facing you, it's 6x6 format it is not going to affect the composition.
     
  10. Jay Decker

    Jay Decker Member

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    They are both great cameras. I choose the SQ-Ai for ease of handling and the square format. Have a couple SQ-Ai bodies, almost all the lenses, prisms, and accessories. I can comfortably shoot my SQ-Ai hand held and can not say that about the RB. I really like to use SQ-Ai with the 45D S Prism, particularly for hand held shooting, and one of the following lenses: 35mm, 40mm, 65mm, or 180mm. If you want to shoot people, you want to purchase the 135mm or 180mm since they are the only lenses that focus close enough without a extension ring. 150mm, 200mm, and 250mm lenses with an S-18 extension ring work great for portraits, but an extension ring is another piece of gear that you have to fiddle with. If portraits are important to you, buy a 180mm lens - you will not regret it. I have not been disappointed in the quality of the Bronica Zenza lenses, i.e., do not let the Blad and Mamiya guys create doubt in your mind.

    The metered prisms for the SQ are like the older analog 35mm camera meters, not truly spot meters, but are (heavily) "center weighted". They works well for me.
     
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  11. RPippin

    RPippin Subscriber

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    I use a Bronica SQA with a metered prism as well as a Mamiya RB with a metered prism. The Bronica is by far the easier to use and got some great shots hand held from a moving boat with it and the metered prism is easier to use than the RB's. The Mamiya does have some jaw dropping lenses and is great for macro stuff, but it is heavy to lug around the back woods. Keep in mind I'm 62 years old. I prefer the 6X6 format but the 6X7 aspect ratio is great for a lot of things. Bottom line? With the prices as low on outfits and components I'd keep the RB and put together an SQA outfit for when you want something lighter and more handy.
     
  12. Frank Bunnik

    Frank Bunnik Member

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    Thanks for the compliments. Sideways would have been possible come to think of it, but at the time, I didn't. Upside down was not possible. It was an Indian made Ambassador car, a replica of a 1950's Morris. It is a comfortable car but since I am 2.03 meters tall, the cabin is a bit small for me.
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I find the mamiya 6 to be a perfect alternative to my rb and rz, if I want portability (and considerably better performance at 50mm, actually). The 645 pro is also a good option, if you aren't averse to the aspect ratio. But in terms of MF ergonomics and bang per pound, the mamiya 6/6mf/7/7ii cameras are perhaps unbeatable. I mean, if I were stuck on an island with a supply of film and only one camera, that camera would be a mamiya 6, no question.

    Richard I need to loan you one of my 6es! Especially now that your back is out :wink:
     
  14. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    This is exactly what I was thinking, and get a sports finder for the RB.
     
  15. thisismyname09

    thisismyname09 Member

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    I would love to have both. However, getting everything I need for a darkroom has already destroyed by bank account, even with the ridiculously deflated prices of darkroom equipment. When you work one day a week on near-minimum wage, its pretty difficult to buy anything. The money I used to buy the RB67 actually came out of a savings account that I probably shouldn't have touched. :D

    As for a mamiya 6 or 7, I'd prefer to have an SLR over a rangefinder, mostly for the sake of DOF preview and macro photography.
     
  16. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    As a side note, when I went and got a 6x6 folder (Z-I Nettar), I was amazed when I processed the film how many times I turned the camera 90 degrees to take a shot. I have no excuse, I have owned a C220 TLR for 15 years.

    tim in san jose
     
  17. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If you already have an RB, i think there is no point in getting a 6x6 SLR as well.

    You'd do better either adding a much smaller camera (6x4.5 rangefinder or such), or replacing the RB with a 6x6 SLR (the thing you said you were considering).
    But both?