Bronica ETR-Si or Mamiya RB67?

Discussion in 'Medium Format & Large Format' started by viridari, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. viridari

    viridari TPF Noob!

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    I'm getting more serious about making the necessary investment in having professional quality medium format gear to work with. I'd like to invest in a medium format SLR system.

    The local camera shop has a Bronica ETR-Si with 75mm lens, waist level finder, and 120 film back for a very affordable price. It's tempting.

    But with another couple of weeks of saving I think I could get into an RB67 kit.

    Is there a big difference between the two? Is the Mamiya worth the extra money?

    I expect this camera will be used primarily for fine art nudes, portraiture, and candid public/street photography.
     
  2. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The RB67 will give better quality as the negative is larger (6x7 cm versus 4.5x6 cm for the the ETRSi). To shoot in the studio the RB67 is a better choice IMO. I am not sure either camera is really suited for candid/street photography (even less so the RB67) as they are fairly big and not that quick to operate. If you don't mind the extra bulk and weight go for the RB67 to use in the studio (nudes and portraiture) and buy a cheap TLR later if you want to shoot medium format candid/street photography.
     
  3. viridari

    viridari TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I already have a Mamiya C330 for street use. It wouldn't bother me to have something that is heavy and less hand-holdable. The studio type work is definitely the more important application for this system.
     
  4. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would definitely go for the RB67 then.
     
  5. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    I have both the ETRS n the RBs. Using the RB handheld is a bit of chore compared to the ETRS. I prefer my RB but that is my preference. I like the big negative n the big camera. I have been using it since the 70s, it's an extension of my arm now. The double cocking of the RB will drive you nuts for the first few weeks. Looking into the WLF is not easy if you've never done it before. A Prism is a ton of glass to top an already heavy camera with. It's a camera you'll have to learn to live with.

    The Bronica is definately a jewel n a lady of a camera. It's very comfortable n easy to handel with much less effort n learning curve as you will notice when using an RB tank.

    But... either will give you great results. Just when you point an RB at a person, they tend to duck thinking you are shooting em with a ray gun. I do get alot of comments with my RB like "what TV show are you filming?"

    As for studio... go with the RB. It's been my bread n butter camera for that. Although the Bronica will give you a good second to it. I don't think you'll notice much of a idfference untill you start doing mural size enlargements and then you'll want to shoot a LF 8x10 or 11x14.
     
  6. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had a Bronica SQ-A (6x6) ... which would fit in the middle between the two.
    One thing I loved about the square format was that I did not need to turn the camera to go vertical.
    I looked at the ETRS and the GS-1 (6x7) before setting on the middle ground ... even though I thought a square negative would have no use for me (I was used to 35mm neg format).

    I found that the smaller body and lenses of the SQ-A vs the GS-1 was handy for me as I did a lot of shots while traveling.
    Strangely enough I began shooting and printing everything square ... and I liked it.

    If you can afford it and don't mind the physical size ... the larger negative is better.
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've moved this thread to the Medium/Large Format forum where you might get more views. :)
     
  8. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    The is a world of difference between the 330 and the RB. Believe me! I've used both. Besides being heavier, the RB is clunky, and really belongs on a sturdy tripod.

    PS You can also look into the Mamiya 6 or 7. Both excellent systems and easily hand holdable.
     
  9. viridari

    viridari TPF Noob!

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    It's been nearly a year since I started this thread. I realized at the time I was getting ready to throw money at more equipment before I had really mastered the equipment that I already had (the C330). The C330 has, since this thread, become my primary camera.

    Not only am I in love with this camera, but I've had it tattooed prominently on my left arm.
    [​IMG]

    I really should have spent the time becoming better with what I had, and understanding the ramifications of choosing the next camera I add to the herd. With that said, now that I'm at a point where a ringflash will really help with my model & portraiture work, the C330 workhorse isn't really going to work well with a ringflash.

    After the holidays, I'm picking up an RB67. Thank you all for your advice. Hopefully it's not too annoying that I let it stew for so long before coming back to this.
     
  10. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    WOW good thing you didn't get the RB, you would have had to tatoo it on your back.

    Nice camera. If you ever want to trim the weight down a bit, go to a Yashicamat for the fun of it.
     

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