Bronica 645 ETRS dying. Should I trade up to 6x7?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by mel_unruh, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. Greetings,

    My old and faithful friend (Bronica ETRS 645) has about had it. THis is making
    me think of trading up to a 6X7. So I'm wondering about a Pentax 67 or a
    Mamiya RB67 or RZ67 as a replacement. In case you're wondering, I'm not
    interested in trading DOWN to digital (How I love saying that!). Anyway, I
    shoot in a small studio setting where I do portraits (color and B&W). Any
    thoughts or comments that might help would be appreciated.

    Mel Unruh
  2. Mel, would a larger negative be an advantage to you in some way? If so, then that might compensate for the bulkier 6x7 gear. You might also consider whether a leaf shutter would be an advantage or not. And whether you prefer waist-level reversed viewing or eye-level.

    I chose a P67 because I wanted a hand-held field camera, and it's wonderful in that setting, but it might or might not suit you in the studio. The slow flash sync speed would probably not be an issue there.
  3. What part of your etrs has "had it"? With prices at rock bottom I would think you could replace the body quite cheaply. Unless your lenses are scratched/ have fungus etc this would be the cheapest way to go. If, however, you like the idea of going to the larger image you will find 6x7 has advantages over the 6x4.5. I have had both and if my Pentax had been more (to me) user friendly ( - weight, 30th second flash sync etc), I would have stayed with it. I enjoy projected images and with 6x4.5 it is easier and cheaper to acquire a projector.This influenced my decision to go to 6x 4.5 Even on a light box 6x7 images are far more impressive however.

  4. Studio? Skip the Pentax and stay with leaf shutters. Mamiya RZ is excellent, but so is the Bronica GS-1.
  5. "With prices at rock bottom I would think you could replace the body quite cheaply". Great advice.

    At moderate print sizes, 6x7 is not an obvious winner over 645. While a Pentax 67 is a wonderful camera with great lenses, I find myself using 645 more and more.
  6. Ray,

    The registration of the film is radically off. I'll get a couple of frames where the spacing is correct (roughly 1/8") and then frames where the spacing is 1/2 -3/4 or more and then back to 1/8th and then more that are way off etc, etc, on the same roll of film. You are correct in that I could just replace the body (maybe that a CLA will fix it as well - repair tech not so sure). So, this got me thinkin' ALL MF is pretty cheap so maybe I should step up.

  7. This is exactly the situation I found myself in a few years ago. I traded up to a Pentax 67. Its a great camera but....(a) I didnt really see the benefits of the 67 neg at 12x16" prints, which are normal for me (b) the 67 has some handling quirks (I found film loading when cold a PITA) also when flipped to vertical on the tripod it was all a bit much. After 18 months I decided to down-size and rather than return the the Bronica, decided on 6x6 Hasselblad. This was my choice primarily to solve the handling problems I had on the Pentax.

    Having many dozens of 12x16 and 12x12 size prints from all cameras I can say that there is a small quality jump from 645 Bronica to Hasselblad and then an even smaller one from Hasselblad to 6x7. I cant tell the difference between 4x5 originated prints on 12x16 paper and those from Pentax 67. Materials are all E6 and Ciba.

    Get the camera which you think will be the most practical in the field , or the one you like the look of best.
  8. Mel,

    If you do decide to get rid of your bronica 645 gear, would you be willing to sell any of it? I'm
    looking for a new lens for my ETR since mine hasn't been working properly. Let me know if
    you're interested.
  9. Matthew,

    I will. It depends on what the tech says when he's done with it. If it turns out that a CLA is all it needs, then the pressure is off. Otherwise, it will be sooner than later. If I do decide to make the switch, I'll definately contact you.

  10. That sounds good Mel, Thanks.
  11. Have you checked out the magazine (film holder) ?

  12. I have ETR, SQ and GS seried Bronica cameras. Until about a year ago the ETR series equipment was much less expensive than the SQ equipment. Now the lenses in the 50-150 range are just about as cheap in SQ as in ETR format. I would agree with Raymond that you should check the back first. This week I bought an ETRS body without a crank or focusing screen for $15.50. A few months ago I bought another ETRS body without a crank or battery cover for $20. I've used that one already and it's fine. KOH's has many Bronica parts and Tamron can also order parts for you. I am waiting for a 75mm/2.8 EII lens which I bought for about $24.50. When it gets here I will have five 75/2.8 lenses: MC, three EIIs and a PE. There are two versions of the EII. The later model has a plastic aperture ring. Oddly enough only the PE isn't quite right. The shutter is fine and the glass is nice but focusing is stiff.

    Yesterday I got a 150mm f/4 Zenzanon PS for the SQ cameras. It is in good condition and came with 4 rolls of 120 Astia and 1 roll of
    CN400 120 for $125. If you make rectangular prints then you will not gain much in image quality by going to 6X6. The 6X6 format is nice if you like square images or if you like using a lighter waist level finder because tilting for verticals isn't necessary. What about 6X7? The GS-1 bodies and backs sell for very little even if they are not as plentiful as ETR or SQ cameras. Even the plan non-meter prism is reasonable. What are harder to find and more expensive are the lenses. There also aren't as many lens choices for the GS-1. I have one working GS-1 body with three backs, a plain prism finder, a 100/3.5 lens, a Speed Grip, a G-36 extension tube and a spare GS-1 body which needs some work. I expect to pick up lenses for the GS-1 cameras slowly. Making an 11X14 with the 6X7 format is a breeze. If you make prints this size and use medium speed r faster films then you will see some improvement in quality over the 6X45 format.
  13. Sounds like a magazine problem just as likely as a bottom problem. I would replace the magazine and/or body (if the CLA doesn't fix it) and stick with what you have. Even if the CLA does take care of it, I would pick up another body and magazine anyhow. Are you shooting for fun or are you shooting paying jobs? If you're getting paid you really should have backup equipment so you don't get in a situation where the gear doesn't work and you have to turn money down.
  14. If the frames are not overlapping then I don't see a problem. The way you wind can make a difference in the frame spacing as can how tight you start the film when first windingon a new roll. Is it doing this with multiple backs or just one?
  15. Thank you everyone. You've given me alot to think about. I'm pretty sure this is a CLA thing. Craig, you are right. If it turns out that a good cleaning takes care of this, I really should be looking for a backup body. Although I'm not a working pro yet, I am working on moving that direction. I do portraiture as a hobby for now and as a diversion from my real job (I develop software). These problems surfaced as I was getting some shots for a local competition. So if I would have had a spare body, life would have been a little easier.



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