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  1. #1
    eubielicious's Avatar
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    Medium Format SLR: Bronica or Pentacon?

    Hi all,

    Having bought a 4x5 camera and sold my Rolleicord (as well as a Zeiss Ikon folder), I now find myself wishing for something a bit more portable on a day-to-day basis.

    I don't want to go back to 35mm, and don't want to spend a lot of money either (with a wedding and house move coming up, I need to be tight), so have been looking at Bronica ETRS systems and Pentacon SLR's on ebay.

    I'd love to know if anyone has any thoughts on either of these...

    Euan

  2. #2

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    Bronica ETRSI from KEH not Ebay.

    1) Prices will be cheaper then Ebay usually. Plus a warranty

    2) All the features you can want.


    The Pentacon will give you 6x6.

    OTOH the Bronica will give you swapable backs. TTL flash and normal metering if you want. Leaf shutters. Winder. Or you can go just basic with a WLF and crank.

  3. #3

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    I used to have 2 Pentacon six bodies but was rather disappointed at the end. Many problems like film counters breaking down, focusing screens misalignement.. and sold them. Now I am very happy with my Bronica EC TL with 80mm and a few backs. Fantastic camera: light meter in the body .. but rather heavy (2kg). Although I did get fantastic pictures with my Pentacon.

  4. #4
    Neil Souch's Avatar
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    [QUOTE I don't want to go back to 35mm, and don't want to spend a lot of money either (with a wedding and house move coming up, I need to be tight), so have been looking at Bronica ETRS systems and Pentacon SLR's on ebay.

    I'd love to know if anyone has any thoughts on either of these...

    Euan[/QUOTE]

    Hi Euan,
    I have used both of these sysyems and TBH I would go for the Bronica any day. The ETRS system is extensive and on the SH market they are a real bargain at the moment as people and pros unload them to go DI. If funds are tight buy the slightly older lenses and look for an ETRS rather than a ETRSi. The Pentacon is OK and capable of excellent restults but the film transport system can cause problems (overlapping frames etc). The build quality is not as good as Bronica but the lenses are as good. If you go for the ETRS try to find cherished amateur equipment rather than stuff that has been thrashed at weddings etc by pros.

    I hope this helps?

    Neil.

  5. #5
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I'd also recommend the Bronica. I use an S2a and used to own a Pentacon. Some of the lenses for the Pentacon were nice, but the body is notorious for film advance problems.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  6. #6
    Ole
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    Euan, are you going to Mobberley?

    I'm bringing my trusty old ETRS over, so you can have a look at it there.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #7
    eubielicious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    Euan, are you going to Mobberley?

    I'm bringing my trusty old ETRS over, so you can have a look at it there.
    Thanks Ole,

    Yes, I'll be there and am looking forward to it.

    Euan

  8. #8

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    Unless the Pentacon is virtually free, go for the Bronica.

    I have a Pentacon 6 TL...

    Cheers,

    Roger

  9. #9

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    Euan,

    skip the Pentacon (unless it's for free or almost), I've had it for some time and it's unreliable as hell, particularly with the film advance. But if you like it, you could also try the Arax overhaul of Pentacon (www.araxfoto.com). Some users here are rather content, I myself haven't tried... The lenses for this system are usualy cheap and good...

    Jiri

  10. #10

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    Euan,

    I used a Pentacon for a while. It had a broken film counter when I got it, and it got 10 pictures per roll. I used it quite a bit, put it through rather extreme environments, and the shutter froze.

    I got the pentacon for the price, and (keeping in mind that it broke) I think it was an ok buy. I really liked the Biometar I had.

    Now I use a Bronica S, and although I liked the P6, the Bronica puts it to shame. The focusing screen is brighter and bigger, and the 75mm Nikkor lens is A LOT sharper than my Biometar was. Having a few backs (with correct spacing and functioning counters, by the way) is a huge improvement as well, and I never felt that I needed them with the pentacon. Its just that going from one roll to the other while shooting is much quicker.

    If I were in your place, and my budget allowed, I'd go with a Bronica S or S2, or S2a.

    BTW, I use a waist level finder, not a prism. I did have a prism for the P6, but found it too dark. I prefer waist level finders anyway, though.

    hope this helps,

    André

    P.S. look at my website for photos taken with the Pentacon (Sertão '04) and Bronica (Japan '06)

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