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  1. #1
    hadeer's Avatar
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    I am considering to buy a motor winder for my Bronica 4.5x6 but am still a little bit doubtful whether this really would be a great way to speed up things when f.i. photographing in the street.
    I also saw that there are two models, motor drive e, and the eII. Is there a big difference? It seems that the eII is more recent but harder to find.
    Any comment appreciated very much.
    Have you seen the light..?

  2. #2
    lxdude's Avatar
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    There are three models. They are the Motor Drive E, the Motor Winder E (usually called Motor Winder E-I), and the Motor E-II, also called the Ei-II. Look here for descriptions:
    www.tamron-usa.com/bronica/etr_guide.asp


    The Motor Drive E was made from 1976 to 1988. It the biggest, heaviest and slowest. It can take remote control and external power, though finding the accessories is probably difficult. As they are bigger and heavier, and all very old now, I would not buy one.

    The Motor Winder E (E-I) was made from 1988 to 1998. It is shorter, lighter and faster, but does not take remote control or external power. It can be triggered by standard cable release, so it can be remote controlled in that sense. It is the one I have, as it is about half the price of the Motor Winder E-II and serves my needs well enough (mostly tripod mounted macro). I'm thinking of selling it, as I think I would rather not have its weight and bulk, and the wind crank is just as fast.

    The Motor Winder E-II was made from 1998 to 2004. It is much smaller and is lighter than the other two. It takes remote control and external power. It has the batteries and motor in the handle, so it is about the same size as the Speed Grip. It is worth the extra cost if you are hand holding the camera or need the extra features the E-I does not have. From what I've observed it costs about $100 more here in the US than the E-I and considering that it is newer and more advanced it is worth it. Its only drawback is it does not take AA batteries, as you won't find 2CR5 batteries everywhere, and they are more expensive. But it takes only one, so it's easy to carry a spare.

    As for Speed Grip vs. Motor Winder, I think it is usually better to use the Speed Grip. It is quiet (which the winders are not), less expensive, lighter, and of course needs no batteries. It requires two strokes, the first a full stroke and the second a little less, but I find it is fast enough for me. I can match the 8/10 second of my winder if I try, though I usually take about 1.5 to 2 seconds. If I were doing a lot of shooting in a short time like weddings I would use a motor winder, to keep my thumb from getting sore and to gain a little speed.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  3. #3
    hadeer's Avatar
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    Thanks very much for the speedy and extensive answer. It seems to me now that I could spend my spare euros better than on a motor drive.
    Have you seen the light..?

  4. #4
    dphphoto's Avatar
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    I've never had a motor on an ETRS, but I had one on my Mamiya 645. Too heavy and noisy, though it was pretty fast. I have a speed grip, but it sits in the closet. I prefer the conventional advance crank: lighter and smaller and fast enough.
    dphphoto

  5. #5

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    I have the motor winder E and its loud and not any faster than using the speedgrip for me. The added weight of all those batteries for the motor winder ads a noticeable bulk as well. I guess I prefer the speed grip most of the time!

  6. #6

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    I have the motor drive E and the speedgrip and for me it is not one is preferred over the other. The MDE is heavy but with it on the camera , the assembly is well balanced. I tried the motor winders and though lighter, I found the E to actually be the preferable for me. I also use the mdE more often on a tripod than the SG. The speed grip is a horse of another color. It converts the camera to feel and operate like a 35mm slr. I enjoy the mdE when shooting action and general photography such as parties, etc. while the SG sits on the camera almost all other times when I use a prism. The mdE feels better to use with the waist level finder then and SG. If I had to place %s of use, probalbly 60-70% with the SG and the balance with the mdE when using them. I find that maybe I use either about 40% of the time I shoot the camera. Bother were worth the investment, significantly more than they fo for today then when I bought them new way back when.

    As to whether to invest in one or the other, think if you would like the camera better if it had a 35mm layout for holding and using. Generally, only you use the prism; and if so how often and much use you'd get out of a motor drive on the 35mm slr.

    Oh, 1 last thing, the mdE will give more winds per set of batteries than either of the motor winders.

  7. #7

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    Motor Drice E

    I had a motor drive E but sold it -- then I missed the convenince of it & bought another.
    But; I soon sold that one too.
    The thing I didn't like about them was that they were VERY fiddley to mount.
    You have to have the MD drive yoke aligned with the bar on the camera in "just the right orientation".
    I wound up buying an SQAm & use it when I feel the urge to go "automatic".
    "If you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of seeing it for the first time." G.K.Chesterton

  8. #8

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    I can't say anything about the motor drives, having never used any of them. I will sya that the Speedgrip was very nice. As others have said, with a prism you have a 35mm SLR-type feel. It takes two quick strokes of the lever to wind and cock everything. The handling is smooth and winding is very comfortable- no super-long wind needed, and it will also ratchet, letting you do partial winds. Unless you really need to blow through a roll of film quickly, I'd say the Speedgrip will do all you need on the street.

  9. #9
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jime11 View Post
    I had a motor drive E but sold it -- then I missed the convenince of it & bought another.
    But; I soon sold that one too.
    The thing I didn't like about them was that they were VERY fiddley to mount.
    You have to have the MD drive yoke aligned with the bar on the camera in "just the right orientation".
    I wound up buying an SQAm & use it when I feel the urge to go "automatic".
    Interesting about the Motor Drive E.

    The Motor Winder E is not difficult to mount- it takes a little time because the battery pack comes off to reach the mounting screw (which has a folding crank sort of thing), but aligning was not difficult. It has a button to "bump" the drive as needed until the yoke engages the bar. And of course the bar on the camera can be rotated backwards by hand. The Speed Grip is a breeze to align-slide it on until the yoke contacts the bar, thumb the wind lever until the yoke engages the bar and the grip slides on, then lock.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  10. #10
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    I have the speed grip for mine. I don't think I would like a motor drive but I have not tried one.

    My grip was quite well used and is quite a loose fit on the camera. I have to wedge a piece of credit card in the gap to stop it sliding about when the shutter is pressed. I am going to remove the clamp mechanism and drill a hole in it so I can put a screw into the camera's tripod mount thread to hold it more securely.

    I'm sure the mounting mechanism works fine on a grip in good condition, but be aware that an old, well used one could have issues.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

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