Bronica GS-1 -vs- Pentax 67
If you were to choose a 6x7 camera for outdoor & indoor usage (landscape, cityscape, portrait, travel in a pinch ..) with lenses 45/50 - 200/300
It seems that there are many more Pentax users than Bronica users. Pentax offers wider and faster lenses, the Bronica has leaf shutters that eliminate the shutter vibration the Pentax does have - the main argument for the Bronica in my eyes. The weight is in the end very comparable so it dies not play a role (well, both are quite heavy).
Pentax offers (with the 67II) matrix metering, 45 mm lens. Bronica exchangeable film backs.
Where I am not sure are the lenses - it seems (just checking flickr samples and recalling some comments around here) that Bronica lenses do not have that level of micro contrast as Pentax lenses (I really do not want to start a war here ..) - does anybody dares to comment?
What about tele-converters?
So - what is your pick and why? What are your preferred lenses quality-wise?
I own the 67II and thought a while about switching to the bronica after using a bronica sq with interchangeable backs. Only because of the backs and reduced weight compared to carrying two bodies (which I do often). Many more lenses, and wider variety with the pentax and they'll all good, some great. Not that many bronica focal lengths were made and hard to find at that. The 50mm for the gs-1 takes a 95mm filter! The biggest I need for the pentax is 82mm which I have standardized on for all my cameras. The longest for the gs-1 is the 250mm and it's not an f4 like the pentax 300mm. The bronica uses center weighted metering or spot (only with the rotating prism finder). I don't like that. The pentax meter is the best I've used on any camera.
teleconverters for any camera=loss of quality that I'm not interested in.
I know what I want but I just don't know how to go about gettin' it.-Hendrix
I can only speak for my GS-1 which I adore for its form factor (I never liked the oversized-35mm-SLR-types), its lenses and relatively low weight. I assume I would have been just as happy with a Pentax, but I got the GS-1 cheap and I'm not complaining.
The Bronica for me because of the backs and shutters. My only complaint is the long mfd of their lenses so I bought the 36mm tube.
Having had and used Pentax6x7 and Bronica GS1 for many years, and allthough I like the both systems, this is what I learned: I have more bodies and lenses of Pentax by far. I also use it more extensively and enjoy it more for anything outdoors or travel.Bronicas are better suited for situations when you NEED an interchangeable back or high speed flash synchronization.
As far as quality of lenses is concerned they are pretty comparable, however for shallow depth of field photos Pentax lenses have much nicer Bokeh. Recently I shot a wedding that called for very large prints (30x40) and such, and I shot with Bronica and basically the 100 f 3.5 and the 50mm which are in my opinion tremendously underrated.I got excellent results. However I've been shooting old locomotives and done that with Pentax and anywhere from 200 to 35 F.E. with lovely photos. If you can afford it a PENTAX 67 II would be great, if not regular 67's are great, bunches of readily available inexpensive lenses and more accesories to back them up. BTW notice how I never mentioned mirror slap as an issue, that is because for me it has never been one. Tripods or 125/sec and up shutterspeeds have taken care of that.
I hope all this or any of this helps.Boris.
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The vibration issue of the Pentax is largely a non-issue. It only affects certain low shutter speeds (1/8, 1/15). For proof see the work of Nick Brandt, who uses a 3 lens 67 kit to shoot African wildlife handheld. The latest 55 and 200mm lenses from Pentax are superb and cheap. If you want longer, the 300/4 ED If is a great lens, though pricey. The 1.4x converter is of very high quality, although my use has only been with 300mm + lenses. I'm biased, as I've used the Pentax for more than 10 years, but IMHO it is one of the most versatile and extensive MF systems. It's only faults are Low flash synch speed and lack of interchangable backs, neither of which impacts my type of work.
Yes, I've never had any issues with vibration with my P67s. The Pentax 67
is one of the most successful medium format camera series of all time and
they have kept their value as well or better than many others too. I doubt
they would have been so successful if they produced blurry images, which,
of course, they don't. They are a fine choice for field work I think. I've even
used mine for street photos (though the P67 is not a quiet camera).
I would not judge the quality of the lenses, especially such subtle factors as micro contrast, by the examples seen on Flickr or any other image hosting site. It's just too damned unreliable. You have no way of knowing how the images were scanned and what sort of post processing was applied to the images before they got there. Worse, you have no way of knowing what sort of processing was applied to the images once they hit the site. Add in the variability of individual monitors, etc., and well do I need to go on?