Why Not Many Use Bronica GS-1
This is one of the best 6x7 roll film cameras made. It is one of the lightest, modernly designed and it offers a large set of accessories.
And it is a 6x7, large film...
I have wondered this myself...I think (and I am not 100% sure about this...) is the fact that it doesn't have a rotating back like the Mamiya RB67/RZ67, so using a wlf is a bit hard ,having to turning it on it's side and all. This can be "solved" by using a prism finder....but a lot (if not most) prefer using a wlf.
There might be other reasons...
I considered both systems and decided on RB.
I decided on RB because parts and modules are widely (much more so than GS-1) available. Rotating back feature was attractive but not the deal breaker. I wanted a lighter system but when I have to carry a few lens and other "stuff" anyway, it wasn't going to make that much difference. Weight was an issue but going to something like Mamiya 7 was prohibitive (money wise). So balancing the benefit and issues, I went on RB.
If you like the GS-1, go for it. There is never going to be "the best" choice that everyone will agree on.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
I used to shoot an RZ67. I bought it used and it came with both finders. I loved the waist level finder and hated the metered prism finder so the rotating back was really important to me. The rotating backs on the RB/RZ's are so fast and convenient for portraiture.
So in my case, R.C. is entirely right.
i have a bronica sqa. when i was looking into getting a medium format slr system i considered the gs-1 but its just so rare. getting new lenses and backs would have been costly and difficult. shame really because it looks like a great camera.
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not that many lenses available compared to any other system.
95mm filter required for the 50mm.
those were the two top reasons I decided not to go with it.
I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix
Cost must play a part. ETR kit is much cheaper on the used market and 645 is still a noticeable jump in quality over 35mm.
A bit of hunting will find an ETR (or more likely ETRS, if you're lucky ETRSi) with WLF, 75mm lens, 120 back and crank for £150 or so. That gives you a camera which produces negatives twice the size of 35mm but in a relatively compact lightweight package.
Having used a 1930s 6x9 camera a week ago I found it very difficult to use in portrait orientation. Luckily I can just turn the "brilliant finder" sideways and shoot it landscape instead, which would be very tricky with a WLF.
When I was considering my MF camera choice, I gave the GS-1 serious consideration. However, the lack of a uniform filter size across the focal lengths I use (three different filter sizes from 50mm to 250mm) and the relative scarcity of system components (for example, KEH currently only has one PG lens available) ultimately put me off and ended up with an ETRSi instead (only one filter size from 40mm to 250mm). Given my experience with the ETRSi, I'm sure the GS-1 would be a fantastic camera if you could live with these limitations (and the lack of a revolving back).
Last edited by andrew.roos; 11-12-2012 at 11:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Got the GS-1 and will not ever part with it. I have a near complete set, including all backs, AE Finder and all but the 80mm and 500mm lenses. It is super for carrying in the backcountry here in the Rockies.
And here's the trick for the 'very tricky', if the camera is on a tripod. Put the camera in vertical orientation, stand to the side of the camera facing it, on the same side as the WLF. Hold a small mirror under the ground glass, tilting it at a 45 degree angle. Look down at the mirror, and you will see a right side up image, corrected left to right.
Originally Posted by PentaxBronica
It can be done while handholding, but awkwardly. I've been thinking of rigging up something to hold the mirror to make it easier.
This is really nice if vertical orientation is only done periodically, which makes having to carry a heavy viewfinder less important.
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.