[q] good price or not for RB67 and Bronica ETRS

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by vlad_p, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Hi, probably too late but want to get into medium format film photography.
    Landscape, portrait are two primary interests (not wedding/professional/sports/etc)
    Color and BW, will print via a lab (do not have darkroom or time).
    Basically looking to spend money on something that I will enjoy and will allow my mind to relax
    from work/other stuff.
    Considering the following two options
    (and actually prefer to have both of them, but not sure if the prices are 'right' for todays (July 2010) time)
    First Kit:
    Mamiya RB67 with 50mm, 127mm 3.8, 250mm , regular viewfinder--
    Second Kit
    Bronica ETRS with
    50mm F 2.8 MC, 40mm F 2.8 MC ,100mm F4 PE , 150 3.5 MC , AE viewfinder
    -- 480$
    All the bronica lenses except the 100 macro are MC (which is the older design).
    What do you guys think about the the kits, the price and the lens selection?
    Also coming from 35mm film photography (using Nikon 50mm 1.8, Canon FD 24mm 2.8 for landscape (both hand held) ,
    Vivitar series 90mm macro + Nikon 100mm for portraits(also hand held) ),
    what should I expect as far color rendition , sharpness,
    for portrait and landscape prints. Also I am using Seikonic L558 (http://www.image-space.com/reviews/Sekonic_Spot_Meter/Sekonic_Spot_Meter.html) meter for my manual cameras.
    thank you in advance
  2. I myself would prefer the ETRS kit, the supplied lenses fit all the need for portrait and landscape use while the RB67 kit lacks the 180 which I think best suits for both portrait and landscape needs (I love the landscape look from either 180 C or K/L lens). Mamiya 250 K/L is a very sharp lens but I have no idea about the C lens this focal length is a bit difficult for me to control the depth of focus for portrait use unless you shoot with fast film or you have powerful light setup. I also feel that the ETRS set is lighter to carry than the RB67 set and much much easier to work without tripods not to mention that ETRS body feels stronger than RB67. The offered prices for both sets are very cheap I paid much higher a few years back. Just my two cents!!!!
  3. I agree, if you go), get the 180. Also get a 50 which will be similar to your Canon 24. I faced your choice about 5 years ago and went RB mostly because of the price differential. I might like the Bronica just as much or more, then again I like 6x7.
  4. Oh, by the way, yes the prices are good, assuming the stuff is in normal used 100% functional condition. If it's in mint condition, they're great.
    As far as color rendition, you should expect the same as 35mm film of the same brand. You may be able to convince yourself that you see greater tonality. Sharpness will look the same as 35mm when viewing the whole image, but if you look closer, and used a tripod or a high shutter speed, you'll see a lot more detail relative to the grain size. On a print, compared to a good 35mm neg, you'll start to see a difference at 5x7, it will be obvious by 8x10 and up. None of the optics on these lenses will ever give you anything to complain about, except maybe a little flare if the RB comes with just Sekor and not Sekor-C or newer lenses.
  5. For landscapes I would get the larger neg. and go with the RB......, but saying that I shoot Hasselblads, and have sense 1980.
  6. Dont go with a "RB", the "RB proS" is a big advantage, you cannot forget the darkslide or make double exposures accidently.
    About the lenses, the differences between C or nonC are not that big, all of them need to be shaded to avoid flare etc.
    The kit is alltogether not the best choice, the lenses are ok but:
    the 50 is very wide, not like a 24mm in 135 film, more like 20mm, the general purpose wide is the 65,
    the 127 is a good lense, came as kit lens, but the 90, came also mas kit lens, is more versatile.
    the 250 is a good lens too, but the 180 is better.
    So alltogether maybe its better to look for a RB proS with 65, 90 and 180mm lenses. I personally own 50, 65, 90, 127, 180, 250 and 360, but mostly use the 65, 90 and 180.
  7. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    The really important thing is whether it works. Medium format gear is ridiculously cheap to buy; it is not so cheap to repair. Prioritise the seller who will give you a little time to check the kit out and get a film or two through it on arrival. The Bronica body is between 22 and 30 years old, was designed to be regularly serviced and recently, probably hasn't been. The lenses are probably concurrent.
    Next considerarion is how much you'll be carrying it. Look up the weight of the Mamiya kit and lenses. If you're happy to carry that and of course a tripod, then fine. If you walk a lot, think hard.
    As an aside I do find it amusing how zillions of new dslrs are sold daily at prices way above what we're talking about here with very few people seeming to concern themselves with how much they are, whereas with these MF cameras, being sold for peanuts, people seem inordinately concerned about whether they are paying the "right" price. Reality is that you're paying probably 10% or what this equipment would have cost new when last available .
    Can't speak for Mamiya's colour rendition, though I have no reason to be concerned about it. Bronica is neutral . The lenses are no sharper than 35mm lenses and may be less sharp than the best of that format. However its the size of the neg/transparency that creates an advantage, and if you consider prints rather than a sq mm of neg/tranny, there is a smoothness and detail that I've never had from 35mm.
  8. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    You are definately getting your moeny's worth in lenses alone on both kits. Plan on spending some money on a CLA to have seals n lens cleaned just in case they need it, and generally do regardless.
  9. The Bronica kit seems reasonably priced, because of the AE finder and the number of lenses (all of which are good for your uses.) But what about other parts of the kit? Are there 120 backs? How many? Does the body include the hand crank (which is expensive and a pain to buy seperately, and are often lost because they get removed for speed grip use)? Is there a speed grip? What about a WLF? (Which I love for landscape.)
    The only lens I would really miss in that kit would be the standard 75mm. I simply love the look of my 75mm MC, but you could splash out a bit for a PE instead. Either are cheap, relatively speaking.
  10. The Mamiya RB kit is decent. I love my 50mm wide, and I'm looking to buy that 250mm lens, as a portrait lens. Wonderful camera, and the Mamiya lenses are really hard to beat. I don't know if they ever made an actual 'bad' lens.
    I've seen lower prices for the Bronica gear, in my local classifieds.
  11. thank you for all the responses. Bronica macro lens had a fungus but before I am getting it -- it will be CLAed
    I am getting both kits, and also another RB with 65 and 180 lens and again 127 (so now I will have pretty much all of the RB67 lenses.
    I have not been on ebay since late '06 (after I bought most of my 35mm lenses and gear) and just was amazed how much prices came down on the medium format.
    On the other hand, medium format was something that Pros used, they all switched to digital -- mostly because of much better workflow. So the medium format prices are now reflecting that the fact that they have no use for professionals.
    And instead are now going into the hands of people like me who just want to actually 'slow down' their picture taking process, anticipate the results and overall enjoy the prospective, sharpness, color redention that we just 'read about' in reviews and literature just a few years ago.
    I do not plan to 'hike' with the cameras -- just put them in a car, go to a park or a beach and put them on a tripod, take few pictures -- and then drive back, send for processing -- get just an index page. Then look at what I like and buy an enlargement.
    I do not anticipate more than a few trips every 3 month or so...
    I think I will use first Bronica more -- just get used it and the lens coverage is all I need.
    the Bronica kit also had a motor winder and 220 film back.
  12. Great !! Both sets are nice actually. If you can get both 65 and 180, perfect !!!!!
    The only advantage of Bronica is handhold ability but not much since the mirror slap on Bronica is much worse than Mamiya RB which has much much better mirror damper. Look carefully for the RB model as suggested by an expert, the RB pro and RBPro SD are the models that have several improvements, RB is too old.

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