Bronica Medium Format Owners Thread

Messages
6,480
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
No
I apologise as I have a feeling I've asked this before and maybe didn't follow through with it at the time.

I have an SQAI. I'd really like to play around with a Polaroid back mainly for a bit of fun flash photography with the kids and stick the results on the fridge. That sort of thing. Likely something I'll buy, use a few times and then sell on.

I did naively pick up a polaroid kit some time ago but didn't manage to work out what I actually needed in order to use it and ended up selling it on without trying it.

Anyway, is there a particular back that I can scour ebay for where I can still get hold of film for at an acceptable cost or is this idea dead in the water these days?
 
OP
OP
skysh4rk
Messages
3,016
Name
RJ
Edit My Images
No
I apologise as I have a feeling I've asked this before and maybe didn't follow through with it at the time.

I have an SQAI. I'd really like to play around with a Polaroid back mainly for a bit of fun flash photography with the kids and stick the results on the fridge. That sort of thing. Likely something I'll buy, use a few times and then sell on.

I did naively pick up a polaroid kit some time ago but didn't manage to work out what I actually needed in order to use it and ended up selling it on without trying it.

Anyway, is there a particular back that I can scour ebay for where I can still get hold of film for at an acceptable cost or is this idea dead in the water these days?
You are aware that a Polaroid back for the SQ-Ai would only use a portion of the polaroid film, right? This means that there is a lot of unused space on the film, which just shows as black around the 6x6cm exposed part. I never found that particularly appealing and it seemed a waste of film, although others may be less bothered by this.

The other big issue is that I believe the back requires Fuji FP100 B/C film, which isn't made anymore and, when you do find it, it is very expensive. Perhaps there are other alternatives for this film now though, I'm not sure.
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,480
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
No
You are aware that a Polaroid back for the SQ-Ai would only use a portion of the polaroid film, right? This means that there is a lot of unused space on the film, which just shows as black around the 6x6cm exposed part. I never found that particularly appealing and it seemed a waste of film, although others may be less bothered by this.

The other big issue is that I believe the back requires Fuji FP100 B/C film, which isn't made anymore and, when you do find it, it is very expensive. Perhaps there are other alternatives for this film now though, I'm not sure.
Cheers. Starting to sound familiar now. Doesn't necessarily sound like a great idea!
 
Messages
2,356
Name
thomas
Edit My Images
Yes
I just sold all my polaroid film because they were worth a bit of money, sold some 3000FP for 50£ a pack! and all the colour for 25-30£ a pack.
So playing with polaroidback seems like a very expensive idea nowadays!
 
Messages
6,480
Name
Graham
Edit My Images
No
I just sold all my polaroid film because they were worth a bit of money, sold some 3000FP for 50£ a pack! and all the colour for 25-30£ a pack.
So playing with polaroidback seems like a very expensive idea nowadays!
Looks that way. Have a freezer full of 120 though so not all lost.
 
Messages
4,229
Name
Richard
Edit My Images
No
I have both the 40mm an MC and the 50mm is PE. Both great performers and very little difference,maybe the PE handles flare better when shooting into the sun.
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
HI Guys,

I'm looking to buy a Bronica lens for my ETRSI for landscape shooting and trying to decide between the 50 and 40mm. Does anyone have any thoughts views and which is best?
If you are interested in low light shots there's about a stop and a bit difference.
 

Asha

Blithering Idiot
Messages
8,591
Name
Asha
Edit My Images
Yes
I have both to .(in fact I will be selling them soon;)) and liked the results from both.

Tbh imo it's just a matter of wether you want wide or wider:p
 
Messages
8,560
Name
John
Edit My Images
No
Distortion ????

its a thing

You've just got to expect it with the 50 so it seems unlikely the 40 will be any better corrected, but it could be a right wonk in comparison


wonk...

its a thing..:)


on the other hand, you might not give a stuff
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
Distortion ????

its a thing

You've just got to expect it with the 50 so it seems unlikely the 40 will be any better corrected, but it could be a right wonk in comparison


wonk...

its a thing..:)


on the other hand, you might not give a stuff
Well there is only one way to compare the 40mm and 50mm and is both to take a shot of the same scene with same settings and compare sharpness to the corners. Same test separates the top 24mms from others in the 35mm film format.
 
Messages
9,079
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
Well there is only one way to compare the 40mm and 50mm and is both to take a shot of the same scene with same settings and compare sharpness to the corners. Same test separates the top 24mms from others in the 35mm film format.
Well... I was with you up until the word "compare", Brian. But after that, I'd replace all that stuff about sharpness with just the words "the images". I know there are weirdnesses that can happen with wider lenses that would perhaps fall under the general notion of sharpness, but there are other qualities as well that sometimes over-rule the sharpness issue. IMHO, anyway. That said, I'm pretty terrible at comparing lenses!
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
Well... I was with you up until the word "compare", Brian. But after that, I'd replace all that stuff about sharpness with just the words "the images". I know there are weirdnesses that can happen with wider lenses that would perhaps fall under the general notion of sharpness, but there are other qualities as well that sometimes over-rule the sharpness issue. IMHO, anyway. That said, I'm pretty terrible at comparing lenses!
Well Chris if Bronica made the 40mm and 50mm with the same glass and didn't sub contract the two lenses to different companies then what difference can there be other than test for sharpness out to the corners?
 
Messages
2,253
Edit My Images
Yes
Well Chris if Bronica made the 40mm and 50mm with the same glass and didn't sub contract the two lenses to different companies then what difference can there be other than test for sharpness out to the corners?
Different amounts of barrel/pin cushion distortion. Different amounts of chromatic aberration. Just to name the two most obvious. These are down to the design of the lens elements and are bound to vary between 40 mm and 50 mm designs.
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
Different amounts of barrel/pin cushion distortion. Different amounts of chromatic aberration. Just to name the two most obvious. These are down to the design of the lens elements and are bound to vary between 40 mm and 50 mm designs.
Good points but would have thought the 40mm and 50mm would both show distortions anyway and I suppose it comes down what annoys you the most ;) but if you use the lenses for general greenery landscapes you probably wouldn't notice the difference.
I only have the 50mm and yet to try it inside and outside e.g. church and if the distortion is acceptable would still like to see the result sharp to the frame edges otherwise I might as well use a Nikon 24mm (35mm format) and accept the loss in quality.
 
Messages
8,560
Name
John
Edit My Images
No
I don't find softness at the edges anything like as annoying as distortion, but each to their own.
My point is that across the 120 market there isn't a manufacturer then or now specializing in heavy correction of WA's like there is/was in 35mm.
Mebbe they corrected on the baseboard or used bellows/movements attachments, or maybe it just wasn't an issue I dunno.
But a 40 ?....well if they didn't go the extra mile with a 50...:/
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
Well for the Rollei TLR guys who are probably bored with this thread about Bronica then drool over this with either 55mm or 50mm lens:-
Interesting to know how good it was.
Rollei WA.jpg
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
I don't find softness at the edges anything like as annoying as distortion, but each to their own.
My point is that across the 120 market there isn't a manufacturer then or now specializing in heavy correction of WA's like there is/was in 35mm.
Mebbe they corrected on the baseboard or used bellows/movements attachments, or maybe it just wasn't an issue I dunno.
But a 40 ?....well if they didn't go the extra mile with a 50...:/
Well the only MF wide angle lens shots I did in the darkroom (for prints) was with the RB67 65mm and I didn't notice any distortion...well it couldn't have been a perfect lens, but then I was into shooting brick walls ;)
 
Messages
3,053
Name
Fraser White
Edit My Images
Yes
Last edited:
Messages
489
Name
Mathew
Edit My Images
Yes
It's been said time and time again but I'll repeat it parrot fashion. All of these MF system cameras were professional tools and commanded very premium prices so the lenses should be pretty damn good. For us mere mortals I doubt that we will find cause for complaint.
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
It's been said time and time again but I'll repeat it parrot fashion. All of these MF system cameras were professional tools and commanded very premium prices so the lenses should be pretty damn good. For us mere mortals I doubt that we will find cause for complaint.
...but we not acting like a professional forum in that most of us are assuming\and guessing when Matt wants to know about 40mm and 50mm lenses. h'mm when two members have the answers who own the 40mm and 50mm and would have stopped us rambling on, so all it need is shots showing the difference on say buildings (interiors and external) and greenery landscape....... and end of story.
 
Messages
489
Name
Mathew
Edit My Images
Yes
...but we not acting like a professional forum in that most of us are assuming\and guessing when Matt wants to know about 40mm and 50mm lenses. h'mm when two members have the answers who own the 40mm and 50mm and would have stopped us rambling on, so all it need is shots showing the difference on say buildings (interiors and external) and greenery landscape....... and end of story.
I didn't mean any offence with that last post, and I'm certainly not putting anyone down for debating the 2 lenses. I only meant that whichever lens was chosen would/ should be a very good lens regardless.
 

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
I didn't mean any offence with that last post, and I'm certainly not putting anyone down for debating the 2 lenses. I only meant that whichever lens was chosen would/ should be a very good lens regardless.
There was no offence in your post as I include myself in the assuming\guessing game as I only have a small selection on MF lenses and have no idea when comparing different MF lenses between different makes which are better or whatever. But as you said "All of these MF system cameras were professional tools and commanded very premium prices so the lenses should be pretty damn good." and who am I to disagree.
 
Messages
451
Edit My Images
Yes
I've got both, and they're both excellent based on my subjective impressions of the straight horizontal part of the Forth Bridge near the Hawes Inn, when said section of bridge positioned near the top edge of the frame. I pixel-peeped, and was sufficiently pleasantly surprised to decide that further pixel peeping was a pointless nerdist endeavour that I couldn't be bothered with - they are easily good enough for me.

Anyone that needs something that will make perfect copies of test charts really needs to buy both lenses and evaluate them accordingly - forum opinion short of scientific analysis is unlikely to satisfy. For the rest of us, buy the focal length that gives you the field of view that you want.
 
Messages
64
Name
Matt
Edit My Images
Yes
Thanks guys for your thoughts, I'm not too worried about distortion, i guess we.i was more interested in how the lens compare in sharpness. But as I'm mainly planning to shoot landscapes on a tripod and not people. The shallow depth of field may not be a big issue for me either.

So am I correct in thinking there's not much difference between the two lens apart from fstop and fov?
 
Messages
328
Name
Alan
Edit My Images
Yes
Last edited:

excalibur2

My F4's Broken...
Messages
10,019
Name
Brian
Edit My Images
Yes
The standard eye piece is -1.5. If your prescription is +2 you need +0.5 diopter.
Well I'll have to look the prescription up because all I'm going by is the glasses you see in the shops and it's got a "+2" sticker on the glass.
 
Messages
2,740
Edit My Images
No
Ok so after many years of foolishly getting rid of my old sq-b , I'm buying an sq-a, however where can you get sensibly priced backs? I used to buy them for 20-30 quid , you can't find one on the bay for under 100 now!
 
Messages
3,053
Name
Fraser White
Edit My Images
Yes
Ok so after many years of foolishly getting rid of my old sq-b , I'm buying an sq-a, however where can you get sensibly priced backs? I used to buy them for 20-30 quid , you can't find one on the bay for under 100 now!
Usually ffordes are very good but they have none in stock at the moment.
 
Messages
4,392
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
Yes
Ok so after many years of foolishly getting rid of my old sq-b , I'm buying an sq-a, however where can you get sensibly priced backs? I used to buy them for 20-30 quid , you can't find one on the bay for under 100 now!
There's a thread on Photorio about using 120 film in a 220 back, but I've never tried it. Maybe someone here has experience they could give you though, since the 220 backs are way cheaper than the 120 backs. https://www.photrio.com/forum/threads/can-i-use-120-film-in-a-220-back-for-bronica-sq-a.63355/
 
Messages
19
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
No
New joiner here, just bought an SQ-Ai with 40mm, 65mm, 80mm and 150mm. Test rolls (2 Backs) in the process of being shot so will know in about 10 days the condition of all this kit. It looks fine (first 65mm I got wasn't working but the seller refunded without hesitation, (second one arrives today)). Looking forward to getting back into MF film, I had a similar setup before I sold it to go digital.
 

Andysnap

<span class="poty">POTY (Film) 2015</span>
Messages
15,565
Name
Andy Grant
Edit My Images
Yes
Welcome back and welcome to the fusty and crusty section, a happy place filled with happy, slightly eccentric film shooters.
 
Messages
82
Edit My Images
No
New joiner here, just bought an SQ-Ai with 40mm, 65mm, 80mm and 150mm. Test rolls (2 Backs) in the process of being shot so will know in about 10 days the condition of all this kit. It looks fine (first 65mm I got wasn't working but the seller refunded without hesitation, (second one arrives today)). Looking forward to getting back into MF film, I had a similar setup before I sold it to go digital.

Been there done it, SQAi, Pentax 6x45, whilst I may look back and think should I again....... it is always NEVER, as a lover of photography, there were only "the good old days" because we had not yet had anything else, when Digital came out it was the best thing to happen to photography, I have re bought, my first cameras, Nikon F Photomic FTn, Nikkormat and re sold them wondering "Why did I bother"

Enjoy your kit, sincerely, I hope it gives you many many hours of enjoyment but I am looking forward
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,253
Edit My Images
Yes
Enjoy your kit, sincerely, I hope it gives you many many hours of enjoyment but I am looking forward
But how much fun do you have? I have three digital cameras and use two of them most weeks. I also have 52 film cameras and use most of them as well (but not every week!). The pictures resulting from all 55 cameras are different - none are 'better' but each is different - and allow me to express myself in different ways. Your Digital camera - regardless of model - cannot reproduce the pictures from my Bronica ETRs. I am not talking about resolution or "sharpness" but the feel and atmosphere of the resulting picture. My Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex does that differently again, thanks to the excellent Tessar lens. Digital is excellent at cold, precise pictures but film is better for art. Vinyl audio recordings surpass digital for much the same set of reasons.
 
Top