Help with Bronica ETRS?
A friend of my who is a professional photographer recently gave me a Bronica ETRS (120mm). His intent was to encourage me to get "back to the basics" and familiarize myself w/ a classic camera. I am extremely excited to get it up and going but have a few questions maybe you can help me with. Any best practices on where to buy film and process it? Also does anyone use the Speed Grip? It doesn't have batteries in it and it looks to hold some kind of battery pack. ? Can anyone shed light on what batteries it takes and where to get them?
I'm so happy to see that this group exists so I can get some addtl assistance while I explore my new friend. Thank you in advance for your help!!!
A speed grip greatly improves the ergonomics of this camera. If it has a eye-level prism finder, you'll be able to easily flip it between landscape and portrait, ie., horizontal and vertical framing, and advance the film without breaking eye contact. The grip uses a thumb crank instead of the lever crank on the body.
Film and processing are where you find them but you left out your location.
Welcome to the world of Medium format.
The ETRS/ETRSi is a great camera, it is lighter than most other cameras of this type, there is a Extensive range of lenses
avaliable, there are also a number of finders avaliable, including both Metered and non metered. There is a manual winder/Grip and a Motor drive avaliable for this camera.
I find the best lens for portrature to be the 150mm 3.5 lens, mine is the newer PE one, the 40mm F4 is great for lanscapes.
Shoot some film and enjoy!!
I have an ETRS too, great camera!
The Speed Grip is a simple mechanical coupling, allowing thumb wind instead of crank. As long as you use 120 fil, I have a bit of a problem seeing the need for a motor winder? :-D
75mm is normal focal length, 150mm a common second lens. There are also 40mm and 50mm wide-angle lenses, 100mm macro lens, and a few zoom lenses and longish teles. To me, MF isn't about convenience - so I have the "standard" lenses (40/75/150, and 100mm).
There are also extension tubes and a teleconverter available.
And finders - get a prism finder, if you want to shoot in vertical orientation. Simple prism or the AEII meter prism, which incidentally also gives you aperture-priority auto-exposure.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I have an ETRSi and have the motor drive for it. It takes regular AA batteries. However, I hate the motor drive with a passion because it is so easy to hit the button accidentally. (If anyone reading this wants a motor drive and would like to trade a non-motorized grip for one, PM me.)
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
The Speed Grip is entirely manual, no batteries
The Motor Drive uses eight AA batteries.
The Motor Winder uses six AA batteries
I've used the ETRS for about 25 years and it is an amazing system. Just about anything you could want for a camera was available for it. I tend to like a wider angle field of vision than offered with standard lenses and use the 40 and 50mm lenses mostly but, have the 75, 105, and 250mm plus the 2x extender plus all the extension tubes, motor winder, speed grip, waist level finder, non-metered prism and AEII metered prism. I also use it as my 35mm system, having the 35mm back.
I tend to use it most recently sans the spedgrip, with waist level finder so it is as light as I can get it. I have a handheld meter so I tend to use the non-metered prism unless I'm just out and about and carry the camera just in case I see something interesting.
I used to use the metered prism and motor drive a lot but finally found the speedgrip just as good if not using a remote shutter release. Also, the speedgrip is much lighter. Mounted in this configuration it handles just like a large 35mm slr.
The camera uses a PX-28 that is inserted in the base of the camera body. The battery cover is a might tricky to get off so do not muscle it or it can snap the tabs. On the plus side, the cover will not fall off or strip threads. This is the only battery used unless you have the motor drive or motor winder, there are no batteries for the speedgrip as it is a manual advance grip.
As for film, any 120 will do. Just what your preference is as to brand and type. I tend to like b&w but the easy of C-41 processing for general shooting so the Kodak CN400 and Ilford types are a favorite but they do look a bit odd if you do not have a decent lab that knows how to print them. Next favortie is transparency; a 6x4.5 projected makes a 35mm projection look so yesterday. I do keep a back loaded with color; generally whatever I can find on sale as I do not shoot it often. I'd suggest getting some color negative film and giving the camera a try; unless you have a drakroom, the least expensive way to see how to handle the camera and shoot it for best results.
Right ow is a great time to et the ETRS as prices are deflated as to lenses and acc'ys. However, I seem to be seeing that they are bottoming out that may indicate the prices may start rising. The key with the system is to plan out what you really think you want and need and not just decide to get 1 of everything. When I got my kit, it was a 6-month old trade-in that a father with more money than brains bought for his kid. The kid had no interest and returned it taking a big hit as the warranties had been registered. The dealer knew I had been interested in a MF system and called offering the complete kit to me on a take it or leave it as he did not want bits and pieces left. The deal was so good, I could not say no.
I prefer the waist level finder and a handheld meter
" A loving and caring heart is the beginning of all knowledge " ~ Thomas Carlyle ~
Welcome to the 645 world. I am on my second round of ETRS's.the first being in '82. Currently i own three ETRS/ETRSi bodies... price was too good to pass up.
I currently use the 40-90 and 100-220 zooms for my main shooters, though the 95mm size makes filters expensive. In back up are my 75mm and 150mm, with plans of a 40mm, and 200mm.I also just started with a 2x teleconverter,to give me what I can not get with my larger zoom. Prime lenses are coming down to the point where getting a kit together will not kill the bank, as long as you don't do it at once. As for speed grips, I would not know how to shoot without one. Even when I use the large zoom, on a monopod,the speed grip is to me, a continuation of the camera body. I do use the winding crank when on a tripod, as I am using a cable release.
For film development, I was turned onto Sharp Photo (Sharpphoto.net) by the gang at Film Photography Project Podcast. For C-41. They machine process, at about $1.50 per roll, scanning for $6.50, and shipping for $3.00 for first roll, and rest ship for free. B&W is about $7 a roll for development This is one of the best prices I have seen. This way I figure until I start scanning and developing my B&W at home,it cost about $1.25 per shot (film, developing and scanning)
As for getting film, I live in Salt Lake so when I am home film is not that hard to get, though the selection is limited. If you check out the web, you can find just about what you want for film stock.
A couple of years ago I was given this ETRs by an owner of a camera shop that has closed for business but is still full of old inventory. It was brand new, still in the box. He gave me four lenses and I've added a few along with other accessories. It is a sweet camera and if you can get the latest version of the AE-prism finder it is really nice! Of course, I also enjoy going old school with the WLF and crank winder too. This camera is distinctly smaller than the SQ-A or GS-1 and is a joy to work with! Enjoy!