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  1. #1

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    First time holding an MF

    I had the opportunity to check out a medium format camera today. one of the second hand shops here in town had a Bronica ETRs sitting in a display case, and let me check it out.

    I tell you, holding the thing in my hands, if I'd had the $1500 bucks they were asking for it, I probably would have bought it. It just seemed to fit so nicely in these huge things I call hands. the whole left-right reversal thing felt a bit weird to deal with, but I imagine I'd get used to that in time.

    So, now more than ever, I wanna get my hands on an MF camera! Hopefully before the summer is out I'll be able to order one from KEH

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I have an older Bronica S2a, but the modern Bronicas are really well designed, from the point of view of ergonomics. If I were in the market for one, I'd be looking at an SQ series camera myself. You can find them used for a lot less than $1500.
    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

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    I have an older Bronica S2a, but the modern Bronicas are really well designed, from the point of view of ergonomics. If I were in the market for one, I'd be looking at an SQ series camera myself. You can find them used for a lot less than $1500.

    OH, I know, at KEH for example, I can get an ETR series camera for about 3-400, and I've been seriously looking at the Mamiya RB67 (which they have listed for even less), so 1500 bucks seemed like a bit much to me, especially for used. Sure, I may have to pay 100 bucks for shipping, and/or wait a month for it to actually get to me, but I'll wait and save the money lol. Being able to hold such a camera for the first time was really nice though, let me see how it would feel in my hands. Confused the hell out of me that I wasn't seeing anything through the viewfinder at first, made me think it was broken. Then I cocked the shutter and there was the image on the ground glass.

    I have to say, as someone who is damned near blind without his glasses, using the waist level finder is a really nice change from putting the camera up to my eye and worrying about smudging/scratching my glasses. It was SOOO much more natural feeling

  4. #4
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Just in case you don't know, the RB67 is much larger and heavier than the Bronicas - in the order of x2. If you are thinking along those lines, you may want to handle one of those before making up your mind. 6x7 is a nice format though.

    I have an SQA and find much as you did that the waist level finder means I do not really need my reading glasses. Somewhat surprisingly, I do not need them with the magnifying lens flipped up although it is the standard lens and not one of the different diopter replacements you can buy.

    If you do go MF you will not regret it as the quality improvement those large negatives give over 35mm is very noticeable. Of course, once down that slippery slope it's only a matter of time before the siren call of LF beckons...

    Cheers, Bob.

  5. #5

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    Did it have the grip or winder? I find the ETRS to be a little unbalanced on it's own. It's front heavy I guess. But adding the winder grip makes hand holding very easy.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
    Did it have the grip or winder? I find the ETRS to be a little unbalanced on it's own. It's front heavy I guess. But adding the winder grip makes hand holding very easy.
    no, it didn't have a grip. It felt pretty balanced to me, but I have pretty big hands, so *shrugs*

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob F.
    Just in case you don't know, the RB67 is much larger and heavier than the Bronicas - in the order of x2. If you are thinking along those lines, you may want to handle one of those before making up your mind. 6x7 is a nice format though.

    I have an SQA and find much as you did that the waist level finder means I do not really need my reading glasses. Somewhat surprisingly, I do not need them with the magnifying lens flipped up although it is the standard lens and not one of the different diopter replacements you can buy.

    If you do go MF you will not regret it as the quality improvement those large negatives give over 35mm is very noticeable. Of course, once down that slippery slope it's only a matter of time before the siren call of LF beckons...

    Cheers, Bob.
    Oh, I'm aware the RB67 is heavier, but I'm not overly worried. Like I've said before, I'm a big guy, with pretty big hands. I find so many camears just feel so fragile to me. Something with some decent weight will likely be a refreshing change

    LoL, I've actually already been kind of reading up on LF, mostly out of curiousity. The cameras just seem so huge for getting out and about with. Would be great for studio work though (if I ever get myself a studio lol). When I get to that stage though, I think I'll likely try making one. I'm one of those people that loves building things, and it looks like LF camera building isn't all that difficult.

  8. #8

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    AeisLugh,
    If you want to try LF cobble together a 5X4 or 10X8 pinhole & make some contact prints.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by AeisLugh
    no, it didn't have a grip. It felt pretty balanced to me, but I have pretty big hands, so *shrugs*
    Actually the grip makes it bigger and heavier-) But it also moves the centre of gravity back.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AeisLugh
    Oh, I'm aware the RB67 is heavier, but I'm not overly worried. Like I've said before, I'm a big guy, with pretty big hands. I find so many camears just feel so fragile to me. Something with some decent weight will likely be a refreshing change

    LoL, I've actually already been kind of reading up on LF, mostly out of curiousity. The cameras just seem so huge for getting out and about with. Would be great for studio work though (if I ever get myself a studio lol). When I get to that stage though, I think I'll likely try making one. I'm one of those people that loves building things, and it looks like LF camera building isn't all that difficult.
    The RZ and RB67s aren't much if any lighter then many field 4x5s.

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