RB67 v. Bronica SQ
Recently I've been considering selling my RB67 and getting a Bronica SQ. My first experience with medium format was a yashicamat 124, and I enjoyed shooting in 6x6 quite a bit. One thing I couldn't stand about both the rb67 and the yashica was the waistlevel finder. The bulkiness of the rb made that problem worse. I'm actually fine with the weight of the RB, but the size is just obnoxious. (trying to shoot out of the passenger seat window of a small car with a waistlevel finder is not a good idea.) I've been looking into getting a metered prism for my RB, but they're all rather expensive, and are angled up slightly (whereas the bronica's prisms are eye-level). The RB prism could do spot and average metering, iirc. Will a bronica sq prism do spot metering? How does the size of the two compare? Will there be any differences in lenses (in terms of quality)?
If you look up any of the RZ vs. Hassy threads, you will learn most of what you need to know.
What I usually say in those threads is basically: They are two different beasts due to the fact that they are different formats. For me, it is not one versus the other, as they are not really directly comparable. It is more like: which one for which job?
Shooting out of a car presents difficulties with all cameras, though it would likely be just a bit easier with a 6x6 or 6x4.5 SLR like a Hassy, Bronica, Mamiya, Pentax, etc. than with the RB.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-13-2009 at 02:03 AM. Click to view previous post history.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
This was made from the passenger seat of a car I was travelling in in India. I used a Hassselblad with a 50mm wide angle lens Because of the waistlever finder, I could not compose the image (I could not get the camera low enough to look through the viewfinder, and neither could I rise enough in the cabin of the car to look through it). I told the driver to keep driving next to the motorcycle, I pointed the camera out of the window and used the hyperfocal setting of f/16 or f/22. I made a few exposures but only this one was to my liking.
I used to have a Bronica SQ, but sold it as metering prisms weren't made for it (at least to my knowledge), you can get "plain" prisms though. Later versions of the SQ like the SQ-A have metering prisms designed for them.
I ended up replacing it with a Mamiya 645 Pro TL, with metering prism and power winder.
I really, really like that picture - but I must say; why didn't you just flip the camera upside down and look up into the viewfinder?
Originally Posted by Frank Bunnik
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I have the SQAi (the last model). The only metered prism that does spot metering is the AE-III prism (possibly also known as the SQ-i prism), which is rather rare and expensive. It is considerably more bulky than the plain unmetered prism. However, the SQ series cameras are substantially smaller than the RB due to the smaller film size and the lack of built-in bellows. I also have a Pentax 67II, and I find the SQAi noticeably lighter and quicker to handle.
I also have the SQ-Ai with a choice of viewfinders..
Originally Posted by epavelin
WLF - Light, easy to use, and the magnifier is a boon.
MF Finder S - Used once or twice. Not a practical every day job.
ME Prism Finder S - Like the MFF-S, has a built in under/over exposure indicator. Fairly easy to use, but aperture and shutter is manual only.
AE Prism Finder - Does spot and average metering and gives aperture priority metering as well as manual. Provides a +/- 2EV compensation. Easy to use, but is heavy in comparison to the WLF.
There is also a plain prism finder and a 45 degree prism finder, both without any metering capabilities.
Which one do I use - The WLF most of the time. It is light, small, easy to use, and discrete. Occasionally, I'll use the AE finder when a hand held light meter is inconvenient or working at full height of a tripod.
I have an SQ and an RB67. The SQ is much smaller, and a lot lighter.
"but I must say; why didn't you just flip the camera upside down and look up into the viewfinder"
Or sideways with the viewfinder facing you, it's 6x6 format it is not going to affect the composition.
They are both great cameras. I choose the SQ-Ai for ease of handling and the square format. Have a couple SQ-Ai bodies, almost all the lenses, prisms, and accessories. I can comfortably shoot my SQ-Ai hand held and can not say that about the RB. I really like to use SQ-Ai with the 45D S Prism, particularly for hand held shooting, and one of the following lenses: 35mm, 40mm, 65mm, or 180mm. If you want to shoot people, you want to purchase the 135mm or 180mm since they are the only lenses that focus close enough without a extension ring. 150mm, 200mm, and 250mm lenses with an S-18 extension ring work great for portraits, but an extension ring is another piece of gear that you have to fiddle with. If portraits are important to you, buy a 180mm lens - you will not regret it. I have not been disappointed in the quality of the Bronica Zenza lenses, i.e., do not let the Blad and Mamiya guys create doubt in your mind.
The metered prisms for the SQ are like the older analog 35mm camera meters, not truly spot meters, but are (heavily) "center weighted". They works well for me.
Last edited by Jay Decker; 06-13-2009 at 11:03 AM. Click to view previous post history.