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  1. #1
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Bronica ETRS vs Mamiya 645 Super/Pro

    How do the cameras compare in terms of ergonomics, mirror slap, etc.

    I'm looking for a compactish 645 camera to use with a hanheld. I care about interchangeable backs (no Pentax) but I'm most concerned about slow shutter speeds. Is there a discenerable difference between shooting these two cameras, besides the selection of lenses? I don't care about any auto-features.

    The main difference I can see between these two is that the Bronica lenses all leaf shutters and that Mamiya has faster lenses.

  2. #2

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    I doubt whether either of these would perform satisfactoraly handheld (unless you go for the Bronica rangefinder 645)....For any reflex 645 camera at slow speeds, you need a tripod. You should also be aware that both of these have been discontinued for some time, so the availability of spares (if needed) becomes an issue.

  3. #3
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    I doubt whether either of these would perform satisfactoraly handheld
    What??! I use my pro handheld all the time as do many people. It's great, with or without the grip. I can't recall ever using my pro on a tripod or monopod.

    And incidentally I've had no issues shooting the pro or AFD at 1/30 or so. Let's see... this one was at 1/20 in low light with the afd handheld.

    These are great handheld cameras. The best of the 645 bunch for ergonomics is probably the pentax 645 nii, especially if you like shooting vertical format, but I like the ability to swap backs on the mamiya 645 pro and the modularity of it is great. You can go with it as a little box with waist level or slap on a finder and grip and have something like a heavyish 35mm body. The overall price for kit and lenses is also outstanding for the mamiyas and the bronnies too.

    The Mamiya 80/1.9 is especially fun for 645 but let's be clear that it's not the standout in the mamiya 645 line, it's just a fun lens for b&w, especially portrait stuff. If you want super performance the more modern manual 80/2.8 is the way to go.

    My best advice is to get these cameras in your hands and see for yourself.
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  4. #4

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    [QUOTE=keithwms;1270699]What??! I use my pro handheld all the time as do many people. It's great, with or without the grip. I can't recall ever using my pro on a tripod or monopod.

    And incidentally I've had no issues shooting the pro or AFD at 1/30 or so. Let's see... this one was at 1/20 in low light with the afd handheld. QUOTE]


    It depends what you mean by "slow speeds". I had assumed that "slow" meant 1/8th of a second or slower, possible with a rangefinder, but I wouldn't like to try it on any SLR without a tripod.

  5. #5
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Nah there is very little difference at any speed, most modern SLRs have very good damping. Certainly the mamiyas do, I can't comment on the bronnies. The biggest issue is not mirror slap, it is finger impulse, which can be easily overcome by setting the timer or using a cable release

    User technique is far more important than the mirror slap, that is for sure. If mirror slap is truly a concern then just use MLU or use a leaf shutter lens (there are a few LS lenses available for the mamiya 645 systems too). ... big deal. Non-issue though.

    And by the way I am an avid RF user.
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  6. #6

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    A cable release, or self-timer without a tripod??....I'm quite sure I would not be able to sell a landscape picture for calendar or book cover use unless it was taken using a tripod at slow speeds for maximum sharpness.....Even an indoor portrait at a moderately slow speed will always give you a better result if you take the trouble to tripod mount the camera.

  7. #7
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Oh come one you just keep changing the subject every time. Now you're selling a book cover so you recommend using a tripod

    Of course it is prudent to use a tripod whenever possible, if the highest quality results are desired, and whether you're shooitng an SLR or RF or pinhole soupcan. But you just said above that you "doubt whether either [the Mamiya or Bronnie] would perform satisfactoraly handheld" and that was the statement that I challenged.

    Perhaps we should find out what the OP means by "slow speeds" ? And then continue.

    And yes, a cable release or timer is very helpful even when shooting handheld. Again, it's all about finger impulse, many people don't realize that.
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  8. #8

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    Changing the subject?.....I thought the subject was concerned with quality results using slow shutter speeds, which is what I have referred to all along whether the result is scheduled for a book cover or not. I'm afraid my picture agency is not concerned with "finger impulse"....only maximum quality, and that means; at slow shutter speeds; a tripod, whatever medium format camera you use.

  9. #9
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Sorry I was unclear.

    I meant at 1/30 - 1/60 shutter speeds with standard and wide angle lenses. I'd be happy to hit 1/60 almost all the time and 1/30 sometimes. I figured that this is generally attainable with any decent 35mm SLR but I've heard different things with 645 SLR's. I'm interested in something "acceptable" because I'm sure that a sturdy tripod + mirror lockup + cable release/timer is unbeatable.

    I know that TLR's and rangefinders are better at these speeds, in general, but I don't plan on shooting at these speeds all the time; I'm trying to assess how versatile these cameras can be for me.

  10. #10

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    With the shutter speeds you mention then hand holding with care should be OK, but I wonder, have you considered the Bronica rangefinder 645 model? (I think it's called the RF.)...This is less common than the reflex, and has limited extra lenses. I've not handled this model, but it's very compact, and I imagine it would perform something like a medium format Leica, and would be particularly good at slow speeds.

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