Aperture-Priority Metered Waist Level Cameras (Rollie 600X vs Bronica EC-TL)
After doing alot of candids with my Nikon F4 and DW-20 waist level finder, I've came to really love this way of photographing people.
In the last year I've had the chance to work with a Mamiya C-330 and my Bronica ETRSi as waist-level candid setups, and I'm not entirely satisfied with either. The Mamiya is large and a bit clumsy and has no metering (though with a Beattie screen the viewfinder image is stunning). The Bronica is ideal for doing waist-level flash candid work, but also lacks any metering built into the body for availbale light. I am very comfortable with handheld metering for landscape work, but find it rather distracting when working with people.
SO I've been thinking about either a Bronica EC-TL or a Rollie 600X series as a possible ideal medium format candid setup.
Can anyone come up with other possibilites to consider?
Here are some pros and cons as I understand my options at this point:
The Bronica looks smaller, slightly less obtrusive, and possibly easier to handle than the Rolleis.
The Bronica would definitely be cheaper overall, though Rollei 600X prices seem pretty reasonable (as opposed to the Rollie SL's and the H-blad 200 series whose prices still seem to be in the Bladi-sphere).
Both lens systems seem great though Rollei must (by sure Tuetonic prowess) have an edge. I'd start out with a two lens kit: normal 75-80 and portrait 135-150.
The Rollei 600Xs seem to have more general availability and I could purchase one from KEH (preferred). An EC-TL would have to be bought from eBay.
Here's the a big minus for the Bronica: repair and maintenance would probably be less trouble and potentially problematic for the Rollies, being more recent cameras and not having a reputation for being difficult to repair like the EC-TL.
With a leaf-shutter lenses the Rolleis will definitely be better flash cameras, but that's not a deal breaker in my opinion. I prefer to shoot availbale light when I can and don't mind using fast film.
Well, that's all I can think of at the moment, any other thoughts or suggestions?
I'm particularly interesting in hearing from people with Rollei experience. I know the 6008 meets my specs. Does a 6006? I don't think the 6001 or 6003 have metering built into the body. Any good Rollei 600X internet recourses?
The Rollei 6008 and 6003 are really good models to get into. Both versions can use the grip, which makes hand held shots much easier. There was a 6001 version that took the grip, though the only metering on a 6001 is for TTL flash control. The 6006 is a model that is tougher to swap other parts, like backs, and has some other hindrances not found in a 6003 or 6008.
One issue buying a used Rollei 6000 series is that the battery might be dead or near dead. This is one expense to consider, since the recharge lifespan is limited after several years. Definitely should not get any of these without the charger, though buying a battery is no big deal. Outside of an old battery, these are very strong cameras and should hold up quite well to any uses.
Just going by the lenses, I would go more towards Rollei than Bronica. The Bronica gear is not bad at all, just that the Zeiss and Schneider lens choices on the Rollei are a different realm. The Rollei is also a bit quieter than the Bronica, if that makes any difference.
The hand grip is what mostly impressed me on the 6008i. I prefer shooting hand held (except for 4x5), and I found this to be the best medium format SLR I have ever used that way (my opinion). Anyway, best of luck whichever system you choose.
I own a 6006 ver 1 which has metering. It's bottom centerweighted and very good. The difference with this camera is that the aperture readout is on the lens which was manufactured for this series cameras. From what I understand, if you get the newer lenses they will not have the window on the lens and you won't know what aperture your shooting at unless in manual as there is no readout in the viewfinder. Outside that, the GG is very bright, the battery last forever, it is somewhat noisey with the motordrive, but the 80mm HFT Planar is amazing. The body has dof preview and mirror lockup. Right now they're pretty cheap, but extra lenses are still pretty expensive. The 6008Pro and newer models have 3 metering modes except for one model that has no metering. It may be the 6001? The 6003 has a fixed back unless you upgrade it.
Originally Posted by Jonathan Taylor
For the times you are willing to use flash add a TTL flash to your ETRSI and let that meter for you.
Rollei 6008 recommended
I think you'd be happy with the either a Rollei 6008 Integral or the newer 6008AF if you need auto focus. The main enticement of the Rollei system are the superb lenses from both Schneider and Carl Zeiss. Tamron lenses for Bronica are good lenses, but the bulid quality and the lens element mount integrity of the Schneider and Zeiss lenses are amongst the best in the business. Plus with the Rollei system, you have available very fast lenses such as the 80mm 2.0 Schneider Xenotar, the Zeiss 110mm 2.0 Planar, and the Schneider 180mm 2.8 Tele Xenar. The Rollei 6008 flash sync can be at any speed, and if you go with either the 6008AF or the 6008 Integral 2 and use the Metz 54MZ4 flash, you have complete TTL and aperture data communication between the lens, camera body, and Metz flash. With the Rollei 6008 film insert cartridges, one can change a roll of film in about 12 seconds.
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I have a Rollei 6003 and love it. The metering system is excellent; it offers spot and "matrix" metering, and both are quite accurate when used appropriately. The metering system offers auto exposure modes in aperture or shutter priority, or program, as well as manual. The grip makes the camera easy to hand-hold. It is not light, but not that much heavier than my 2.8F TLR, either. I don't really have a need for interchangeable magazines in my work, but if that is a requirement, the 6003 can be modified to accept them, or you could go with the 6008. And the Rollei film path gives better film flatness than the double reverse of the Hasselblad magazines. Highly recommended.
I have a 6003 professional, 6003 SRC, 6001 and 6008 on the desk next to me. All of them will take any of my interchangeable magazines (120/220/polaroid) directly without any modification. The non-interchangeable magazines (no darkslide, and I've never seen one in 220, just 120) can be a problem with the top latch. The adjustment is simply to loosen, not remove, the two silver screws on the body-directly behind the viewfinder, press the magazine into place until it clicks, then re-tighten the screws. Watch out for slx series inserts, the line-up triangle is on the inside and they don't give proper film flatness. You want inserts with the triangle on the outside. I'm near Springfield VT, send me a PM if you want to try out a Rollei. I suggest an APO-Symmar 90/4 as your normal lens-incredible versatility.