Which Bronica to buy?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jim Chinn, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    My C220 has gone to the great swap meet in the sky. My daughter is keen on working with a larger format (she is 9) but I don't have the budget to have her shoot lots of 4x5 or 8x10 film. Also time is a factor. When we have time to shoot together I spend a lot of time helping her with her 4x5 and I would rather have her learning composition and have more negatives for her to evaluate in the darkroom. Also my 5 year old want to get into the act more so she will get the AF camera my older daughter was using.

    This brings me to the idea of buying a MF camera to replace the C220. browsing Ebay it seems that Bronicas are the most versatile and most affordable. Most of what she likes to shoot is from a tripod so weight is not an issue (daddy usually carries the gear around). I guess I am looking for ideas about which Bronica might be the best for us. I see ERTSi and SQ?
    and maybe a couple of other models.

    We are working on a $600 budget. That would need to include body and lens, which seems to be doable from the amounts I see in the "buy it now" listings. We can always add a lens(es) and other goodies later.

    Also, any sites out there that would have technical info such as features of all the different used models and available lenses and accessories?

    As always, thanks for any and all responses.
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    At the age of 9, the SQ-series cameras might be easiest to handle. I've been using the S2A for a long time, but I picked up Bob Fowler's SQ-Ai, and I was really impressed at how light it was and easy to focus. He has a prism and a lever wind handle that made it feel more like a 35mm camera than a Pentax 6x7 or Pentacon 6, which look more like 35mm cameras. For $600 you should be able to get quite a decent setup at current prices.
     
  3. eric

    eric Member

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    I've seen shots with the Bronica 40mm lens. Nice. Its cheaper to get a 40mm Zenzanon/SQA/back combo than it is to get a 40mm Hasselblad :sad:
     
  4. dschneller

    dschneller Member

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  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Also, for more than you ever wanted to know about Bronicas, go to

    http://medfmt.8k.com/bronica.html

    And check out the Bronica and Bronica Pro lists on Yahoo!Groups. Sales come up there occasionally.

    Dave Parker was selling an S2 setup recently. You might see if he still has it.
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    IMHO forget Ebay.

    Go to KEH.

    ETRSI WITH 75 F2.8 EII (62), 220 EI BACK, PRISM, SPEEDGRIP E, MEDIUM FORMAT SLR MANUAL FOCUS CAMERA OUTFIT
    Bargain N/A $249.00


    50 F2.8 MC (62) WITH CAPS MEDIUM FORMAT SLR MANUAL FOCUS WIDE ANGLE LENS
    Excellent N/A WAS
    $172.00
    NOW
    $149.00

    150 F4 MC (62) MEDIUM FORMAT SLR MANUAL FOCUS TELEPHOTO LENS
    Bargain N/A WAS
    $69.00
    NOW
    $59.00

    120 LATE BACK
    Bargain N/A WAS
    $39.00
    NOW
    $33.00

    That's about $500 if my math isn't too screwed up. It's not the newest lenses. But it's less then $600.
     
  7. Baxter Bradford

    Baxter Bradford Member

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    I let my daughter shoot a roll of film when she was 6 on my SQA for a show and tell project. She handled it really well with 80mm lens, no tripod, but I had preset exposure. Without prompting, horizons were level and pictures were great. I cannot find the scans now, not just because the standard of her images would show me up!

    The square format with WLF might be better than an ETRSi with prism and grip especially from tripod where fipping between portrait and landscape would be another job for Dad I suspect. The SQA has horizontal and vertical 6x4.5 crop lines etched in the screen. I would expect that she would find these helpful for composition. I do.
     
  8. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    I had (before it was stolen) an SQ-Ai that I really loved. The square format was great to work with, and I loved not having to flip the camera for verticals.

    Post-theft, I found a deal I couldn't pass up on an ETRS with three lenses and three backs. It's lighter and slightly smaller than the SQ series, which is nice for smaller hands. The only thing I dislike is that verticals are a little awkward -- but no more so than hasseys.

    My Bronicas have stood up well to lots of use, and (I'll admit it) some not-so-gentle handling. For the price, you can't beat 'em.

    - CJ
     
  9. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    I am selling my Bronica SQ-Am with 80mm lens, 120 back, and a metered prism. PM me if you're interested. I really liked working with this camera a lot, but I need to fund my new LF addiction.
    -Grant
     
  10. haris

    haris Guest

    Mamiya RB or RZ revolving back...

    But, not for children (weight at first place, and for separately winding film and cocking shutter)...
     
  11. cao

    cao Member

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    Another c220?

    At the risk of being branded a heretic, I'll ask "why not a C220F?" I have an RB67 which is a nice camera if I know exactly what I'm going to shoot and can determine my entire kit in advance. For a street photo project, which is likely to involve carrying my gear for long periods, I'm getting together a C220F kit. Carrying the RB for hours in my pack especially with some recently surfaced back problems is unlikely. I've played with the C220F a bit, and I like the pictures I got with the 80/2.8S, but my first body had a film transport issue. It's not the lightest, but it's not an SLR which is useful for handholding, and the weight is similar to the lightest MF SLRs. Also, the lack of collector interest keeps the price of a kit with the normal lens reasonable; I had originally considered a Rollei 2.8(C,D,E,or F), but there were way too many sharks in those waters. If your daughter likes MF, maybe you can get her an SLR down the road. I think the ability to carry the camera and shoot handheld is a significant consideration, but that probably reflects my interests which are in the main documentary.

    While I'm blathering, let me agree with the previous suggestion to go with KEH. My first C220F had a problem with the wind-on, but Art Zebrak from KEH gave me no hassle at all when I described the trouble in seeking an exchange. But now I wait for the replacement to go through the Christmas rush.

    Last of all, good luck with your search!
     
  12. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    You could buy a (good user grade) Bronica GS-1 with back, prism finder, and normal Zenza lens for about $400 or less at the auction site. The GS-1 is fine camera that produces superb 645, 6x6,6x7 negatives and transparencies.
     
  13. jonw

    jonw Subscriber

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    First, I love the Bronica System. David is correct about the Bronica medium format link. EXCELLENT! My MF systems include the S, S2, S2A with lens from 40mm through 500mm and Bronica's ETRSi with AEIII prism and an assortment of lens. This older Bronica system is the real work horse and I believe the S2A is the strongest of the series of bodies.

    If the system would be for your daughter. I would recommend the Bronica ETRSi. This is the 645 format and Nick's description of items for sale are good prices. The ETRSi is the newest version of the 645 Bronica format and will enable her to use a flash easier than with the older systems. It can be upgraded to include a prism which has a meter. I find the 150mm would be more a portrait size lens with the 50mm being the wide angle. I typically use my 75mm even though I have the 50mm, 75mm, 100mm, 150mm and 250mm lens for my ETRsi system.
     
  14. katcall

    katcall Member

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    I recently purchased some Bronica equipment from a photographer in Canada who is going digital and getting rid of all his medium format equipment.

    For $800 Canadian dollars I purchased:

    Body ETRS-I with Beatie Intenscreen bright viewing screen.
    3 x120 film backs.
    Motor winder EI.
    Prism finder AE-II.
    Zenzanon-PE lens 150 mm f 3.5
    Zenzanon-PE lens 105 mm f 4.5

    Not sure what kind of a deal this would be in America considering the large amount of secondhand equipment you can get your hands on over there but it was a good deal for me, especially with the two lenses (even with shipping costs to Australia). Unless I haven't been looking in the right places over here and somebody is about to tell me that.

    He has the equipment along with photos of the equipment listed on his site at:

    www.photomarcbailey.com/equipement.php

    Regards


    Kathy