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Thread: 645 choice

  1. #11

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    Greg,

    Many thanks for your good advice. Actually, I've not had the Bronica SQ long, but I took to it like a duck to water. It hardly seems able to take a duff picture! The waist-level viewfinder has a lot to do with this, I think. So maybe it would be best to forget a prism finder for the moment, try the camera hand-held, and crop if needed.

    The picture is getting clearer!

    Alan Clark

  2. #12

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    Well, if you want to shoot hand held at eye level, then you will need the prism and grip (OK maybe not grip). I actually had the prism on one of my cameras the other day, and was trying to frame a subject... Had to pull the prism off and switch to the waist level because I was panning the wrong way. That and I can use the waist level perfectly with my glasses on, even with the magnifier in place it still works.

    So yes, try the mask on the focus screen, just draw a square in each corner and maybe some dotted lines for the sides. That way you can frame the 645 size in both horizontal and verticle at the same time and never need to rotate the camera. And if you just draw on the screen, you can still see the general composition for the square image. And if you don't like the screen all marked up, use rubbing alcohol to clean the Sharpie away, or splurge on the nice new focus screen that you probably already want.

    To me this just seems the most practical way to do it... And if you really want to shoot 35mm, do they make a 135 back for that body? I have one for my 645 stuff, normally use it when I'm trying new things so I can drop the film off at the 1 hour lab.

  3. #13
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Alan, since we met I've been using a 5x4 Crown Graphic hand held, so there's no excuses get out there with the Bronica. . .

    Ian

  4. #14

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    Ian,

    I'll be out at first light tomorrow! Thanks again for the support.

    Greg,

    Many thanks for your good advice.

    Alan

  5. #15

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    Easiest, lightest 645 i've used is the Pentax 645. No film backs, just inserts which aren't swappable mid roll. Only one finder. Great lenses, cheap prices on lenses, fantastic meter. It's not much of a 'system camera' but it is extremely convenient, easy to carry around and not much to go wrong with them. Takes 6 AA batteries which I get at least 50 to 75 rolls through if not more.

    But if you like the sq and use a spot meter or handheld, i'd get the 645 back and a prism or angled finder, maybe some sort of grip or even flash bracket makes things easier too.

  6. #16

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    Thanks Philip.

    I'd considered a pentax 645. The question is would it be easier to use hand held than the SQ with prism and grip?

    Alan

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_E View Post
    That said I have many Mamiya 645 systems. From the tank of a 1000s with prism and motor drive to the Super and Pro bodies with the same. I also really like using the waist level finders on each of those, harder for verticle, but not impossible. I've used all of them hand held and the tank of a 1000s gives the best slow shutter speed results because of the mass of the system (it's very heavy)....
    The 1000s is slightly heavier than the plastic body later models, but "very heavy" is relative. A stripped down 1000s, w/o prism (w/WLF), hand grip and motor winder, is light compared to my RB tank. It weighs half as much!

    For hiking uphill, I just bought a 1000s because I liked the feel (and look) of the metal body. I found that hand holding for vertical (portrait) shots are more difficult with the waist level finder but the camera is noticeably lighter with it, instead of the prism. I would have preferred a square format but they were all more weight.

    I should admit that it also looked like the little brother to the RB - the other reason I liked it.
    "Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing." Stephen J. Gould

  8. #18

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    Eveything is light compared to an RB. Even my 5 x 4!
    Alan

  9. #19
    Ole
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    Some of my best pictures were shot with a Bronica ETRS with waist-level finder. I do have the prism finder - and even a metering prism finder, but I still feel that the combination of a simple waist-level finder and a hand-held incident meter is what gives me the occasional great picture. The metering prism finder may give more good pictures, but so far no "greats".
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  10. #20

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    Pardon the interruption but have you considered a folder for some of the hand held work?

    Medium format and they mostly fit in a pocket.

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