Okay, I'm a little behind on this topic, and the OP did say that he was probably just going to hang on to his Mamiya C330 and his 6 lenses, and Paramender 2, but I recently just forked over some dough for a nice little kit and I'll tell you why. As a caveat, I'm a former C22/C330 user, with Paramender. I apprenticed with a wedding/portrait photographer in the 90s who used an ETRS, so am familiar with Bronica basics.
I'm just returning to film after a decade sojourn into a mostly digital world, and decided after buying a couple old folders that I wanted something for more serious photography. I considered Mamiya 645 Pro, Hasselblad, Bronica ETR, Rolleiflex 6000 series and of course the Contax 645. In the end I decided to keep my older 'fun' cameras (TLRs and folders) and to go with the Bronica SQ-A system. I bought 2 bodies with standard 80/2.8 lenses, a 120 and two 220 backs, a metered prism, a Pro4 filter holder/lens shade and a couple other bits for just under $500. Did I mention that included in the price was a Zenzanon S 40mm lens with caps and pristine glass? For that price I would have been lucky to get a 500C Hasselblad with lens and back. Luckily for me I live in a city with a remarkable camera repair man (Roger from CamTech Photo) who repairs Hasselblads, Bronicas, Mamiya, folders and large format lenses as his bread and butter. needless to say I send everything I buy on the Bay for a checkout, and everything checked out except one 220 back, which I got a partial refund for.
With my basic setup I am able to do what I want for the most part. I suspect that I will spring for a portrait lens of some kind. Bronica lenses do not have the sharpness of the Hasselblad or Mamiya RZ offerings, however they are good enough for most purposes. Scanned properly, they can produce amazing images at 36" square and bigger.
Yes, the backs can be a problem, but I did cussed this with Roger and he said $45 would allow him to overhaul a back to give years of worryfree service.
So, what do I have? A pretty good system for general photography. I am able to eat and not have to worry about blowing my savings on Hassy lenses and gear. Having a sharper lens is no guarantee that your images will be superior. Edward Weston was nonchalant about the camera body and lenses he used for the most part, not being a devotee to technical image perfection like St. Ansel.
Also, one last thing, which I will post and hope I don't regret it. The kids today, from Filmwasters, FPP and elsewhere love the sprocket film look that goes over well on Holga blogs and sites. I found out what my 220 backs will be doing; I'm converting them for 35mm sprocket photography. Sure, I hope to do work with this gear, and get paid for it if I can, but I also want to have fun.
So you folks sitting on the fence, 220 backs sell for peanuts (until people read this article I suppose), and getting a basic SQ/SQ-A body with basic finder and 220 back can be had for very little. You can shoot 120 in a 220 back, but you can also shoot panorama style sprocket film.. which just seems like a whole bunch of fun to me.
Sorry for being so long winded, but as a former C330 user as well, I have to say it is a great camera in a great system, with sometimes better lenses, but the Bronica SQ series will hold its own any day of the week.
Bronica 220 back sprocket How-to
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8626584...7631972143051/ (not mine)
Last edited by dhosten; 08-26-2013 at 06:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.