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  1. #1
    wildbill's Avatar
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    Pentax 67 lenses vs. Bronica PG's

    I have been shooting with the 67II for a few years and it's a great system. The meter is incredible, The lenses are very sharp, resist flare, and many focal lengths are available. The problem is that I can't switch film types back and forth when the need arises. With my LF gear I can carry color, infrared, high and low speed b+w with me at all times, and i often shoot different films on the same setup. I'd love to have a spare 67II body for other films but they're so damn expensive, not to mention heavy.
    How are the lenses for the GS-1 compared to the Pentax 67's? How about the metered prism? Is it multi-segment or center weighted? Anyone out there used both and have opinions? I know there aren't as many focal lengths available for the gs-1 but I could buy an entire camera kit with several lenses for the price of another 67II body. I'm not interested in other cameras like the RB or Mamiya 7. I own a bronica sq system(which got me interested in their 6x7) and I'm considering changing to the GS-1.
    thanks
    vinny
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  2. #2
    wildbill's Avatar
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    C'mon!
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  3. #3

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    Where Bronica's GS-1 tops the Pentax 6711

    1) superior optics- Zenzanon glass is second to none.

    2) The GS-1 with the optional Speed-Grip is easier to hand-hold than a clunky 6711 (although I rarely take pictures without a tripod).

    3) the option to shoot using the standard waist-level finder. Great for candids, sports, and street photography.

    4) As you noted- interchangeable film backs that not only let you change films but formats as well. 6x4.5, 6x6, and 6x7

    5) The AE prism is reliable and bright as is the standard prism. The rotary prism is terrific but more expensive.

    6) dedicated extension tubes and a wonderful bellows-like pro-shade that works with all focal length lenses.

    I have two GS-1 bodies and they have proven to be solid and reliable workhorses. These cameras were built to last forever.
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  4. #4
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    I think Bronica is more common in Europe and England than here. I don't see a lot of used Bronica GS gear out there. I am sure it is good but not so easy to find. I don't think they have a lens as wide as the Pentax 45mm which is an excellent lens.

    For the money, why not get a second regular Pentax body? That is what I do. I use the PII most of the time, but if I want to shoot color or a different film I just use the other body and either the PII or a light meter for determining exposure.
    Jerold Harter MD

  5. #5
    wildbill's Avatar
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    I've considered getting a 67 body with metered prism for b+w, infrared work. They're not that expensive compared to the 67II. The bronica gear isn't that common but it sells for cheap. The widest lens is the 50mm and it takes 95mm filters. I'd be curious to know if i could get away with using my 82mm filters on it like I do with my pentax 45mm without vignetting. The pentax 45 and 55mm lenses are great lenses.
    "5) The AE prism is reliable and bright as is the standard prism. The rotary prism is terrific but more expensive." Is it center weighted?
    www.vinnywalsh.com

    I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix

  6. #6

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    I second the idea of getting another Pentax 67 body.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  7. #7
    Nigel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changeling1 View Post
    Where Bronica's GS-1 tops the Pentax 6711

    1) superior optics- Zenzanon glass is second to none.

    2) The GS-1 with the optional Speed-Grip is easier to hand-hold than a clunky 6711 (although I rarely take pictures without a tripod).

    3) the option to shoot using the standard waist-level finder. Great for candids, sports, and street photography.

    4) As you noted- interchangeable film backs that not only let you change films but formats as well. 6x4.5, 6x6, and 6x7

    5) The AE prism is reliable and bright as is the standard prism. The rotary prism is terrific but more expensive.

    6) dedicated extension tubes and a wonderful bellows-like pro-shade that works with all focal length lenses.

    I have two GS-1 bodies and they have proven to be solid and reliable workhorses. These cameras were built to last forever.
    1 - I think you are stretching if you are implying that the Pentax optics are inferior.

    2 - Hand holding is very much a matter of personal preference in terms of ergonomics. The P67II may be awkward for you, but feels natural to others. Some claim that the P67II is a tripod only camera due to mirror/shutter vibrations; my experience is that it works fine hand held.

    3 - WLF is also available for the P67II

    4 - Certainly a shortcoming for the P67II. But, you know that you get only 6x7 and since there are only 10 exposures on a 120, I see it as a limited problem.

    5 & 6 are not actually comparisons...

    The P67 (not II) bodies are cheap. If you want to carry more than one film type, I too would suggest getting more bodies; they are priced comparably to Hasselblad film backs...

  8. #8
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
    1 - I think you are stretching if you are implying that the Pentax optics are inferior. ...
    He isn't. All he says is that Zenzanon lenses are among the very very best.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  9. #9

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    Vinny,

    To answer your remaining question, the standard GS AE Prism finder is center weighted. The Rotary AE prism finder has a centerweighted and spot meter setting. You should consider the lenses to be of equal optical quality to the Pentax. They are both excellent. I rented/compared/used both systems 10 years ago and settled on the Bronica. For me is was (and is) the best 6x7 film-based choice.

    However, I can't help but feel that you would be better served by another 67 body given your situation. You already have the lenses and are comfortable with the 67 system. I don't think it would be a good idea to carry two sets of lenses, etc.........

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Changeling1 View Post
    Where Bronica's GS-1 tops the Pentax 6711

    1) superior optics- Zenzanon glass is second to none.

    2) The GS-1 with the optional Speed-Grip is easier to hand-hold than a clunky 6711 (although I rarely take pictures without a tripod).

    3) the option to shoot using the standard waist-level finder. Great for candids, sports, and street photography.

    4) As you noted- interchangeable film backs that not only let you change films but formats as well. 6x4.5, 6x6, and 6x7

    5) The AE prism is reliable and bright as is the standard prism. The rotary prism is terrific but more expensive.

    6) dedicated extension tubes and a wonderful bellows-like pro-shade that works with all focal length lenses.

    I have two GS-1 bodies and they have proven to be solid and reliable workhorses. These cameras were built to last forever.

    You forgot the leaf shutter lenses that flash sync at all speeds. That, by itself, would be enough reason for me to change.

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