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  1. #1

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    Aug 2006
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    Getting back into Bronica

    Hi,

    I just found this forum today, so a brief intro is maybe in order. I live in the bay area, California, and mostly do landscape stuff as an 'advanced amateur'. Or whatever that means. Amateur but not amateurish?

    From the mid 80s until about 1993 I had an SQ, only ever had the standard 80mm lens, but I loved it and got some great results. Eventually, as a poor student, I swapped it for a car. Worst swap I ever made -- the car conked out after a year, but I'm willing to bet that the SQ is still working fine even now.

    I spent about a decade not really doing any photography, but started to get back into it again about 3 years ago when I acquired a Fuji digital point-and-shoot. The bug bit again, so recently I've taken a moderately large step, and have put together a large format system (Cambo Legend, 47mm Super Angulon XL, 90mm f5.6 Super Angulon, 150mm Nikkor-W, 210mm Caltar, Better Light Super-6K 8000x6000 scan back), and am currenly putting together a Bronica system too (so far I have an ETRS, 40mm, 75mm, 100mm macro, 150mm and an AE-II finder, and am currently in the process of buying a 55mm Schneider Super Angulon PCS Pe shift/tilt lens, and a Megavision 16 megapixel monochrome digital back for it). I plan to shoot some 120 film as well as digital with the Bronica, hence turning up in these parts.

    The Cambo/Betterlight system is pretty awesome, but (as is typical enough with 4x5) quite challenging to use and to physically carry, and is also somewhat limited to scenes with plenty of light. When it works, though, the results are stunning, and it's neat to be able to shoot in IR just by swapping from an IR high pass to an IR low pass filter. But, alas, it's just too heavy to set up much more than a couple of hundred metres from the car, so I wanted a second, medium format system that delivers most of the image quality, but small and light enough to fit in a backpack, including tripod.

    I shoot mostly B&W, which the BetterLight does fine (no Bayer pattern sensor issues), and I wanted to retain as much of the Cambo/BetterLight image quality as possible. I'm currently having Megavision build me a monochrome version of their E-series back -- hopefully I should be able to pick it up in a couple of weeks, so it should be pretty interesting to see what it can do. I also recently found a second-hand Schneider shift/tilt lens with a Bronica mount (apparently these things were over $8000 new?), so I shouldn't need to give up camera movements either. I do intend to retain film as an option though, partly as backup, but also so I can shoot colour if I feel like it (and if I don't have the BetterLight with me).

    Anyway, so there it is. :-)

  2. #2
    roteague's Avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    Good to see you here, looks like you have a good system, except for the BetterLight back. Sorry, but this site is about film, so you won't get much positive feedback on the digi back.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  3. #3
    Zen
    Zen is offline
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    Ah lovely Bronica, it's such a shame they pulled out of the market! I really love using my SQ-A, before that I owned an ETR-Si.

    Enjoy your new gear!

  4. #4

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    Feb 2006
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    Bronica stuff is going for a song these days (see www.keh.com).
    I sounds like money is not a problem, so why not consider a Hasselblad, maybe the newer H2. The H2 is designed for digital and the leaf backs have a good reputation. Opps, this is a film forum! Get a hasseblad V!!

  5. #5
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genecrumpler View Post
    Bronica stuff is going for a song these days (see www.keh.com).
    I sounds like money is not a problem, so why not consider a Hasselblad, maybe the newer H2. The H2 is designed for digital and the leaf backs have a good reputation. Opps, this is a film forum! Get a hasseblad V!!
    You know, wouldn't it be the perfect storm kind of night.

    Here I am coming back from the ICP exhibit kind of "bummed
    that they don't even bother to ID whether the print was shot with film or digi ('cepting I can figure the b&w ones).

    Then I go onto eBay still looking for that super cheap perfect condition Hassey 503CW - all the while thinking that maybe film really is dead - after all I saw a part of the ICP exhibit that "told" be so.

    Then I come across this thread - ostensibly speaking about the Hassey alternative of getting a Bronica only to have some guy do one of these "oops...did I say digital?" posts!

    I really have to ask this: What, genecrumpler, was the intent of your post?



 

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