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Thanks to everyone who wrote. Sorry I thought I could only fill the small box available. - Oops
The Zenza Bronica ETRS is a brilliant entry level into Medium Format photography in the 6cm x 4.5cm negative size, especially as it is now selling well on auction sites like Ebay. A decent condition outfit will change hands for £300 which is brill for medium format. The big advantage of medium format negative over the more usual 35mm is quite simply it's bigger with the 6 x 4.5 size being the smallest of the medium formats available. Bronica also produce cameras in 6 x 6 and 6 x 7 the other versions of this format but they are much more expensive. Because the negatives are much larger this allows for far greater enlargement without loss of quality.
With the ETRS you get 16 shots from a roll of 120 negative film.
On the down side, everything is manual ( no Autofocus or power advances etc. here) This can be a bit of a shock for new users but is great for teaching you the basics of how to use a camera. However it also means that there is little that can go wrong and it's far cheaper to fix mechanical faults in Bronicas than electronic fauts in modern SLR's. The accessories are expensive when bought new but are also appearing on Ebay at very reasonable prices. Again there is not a lot can go wrong so buying duff gear is unlikely. The ETRS with a 75mm lens also takes standard 62mm filters including systems like Cokin etc if you want to get really artistic.
I would advise starting off by buying a basic outfit, i.e. body, 75mm lens (the equivelant of a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera), a 120 film back (16 shots per roll) and Waist level finder. If you can get an AE or AE11 prism finder great as these have in built light meters. If not get a basic lightmeter and, bobs your uncle, your loose in medium format.
Yes the cameras are big, they are heavy and they can be tricky to use until you get used to them but the quality of results are superb and there is something magic about framing your first large scale enlargement and hanging it on your wall
Good luck and I hope you have as much fun as I did.
Much better :-) I've been lusting after one of these for years. I wonder how long it will take me to earn one on Ciao? Don't worry about being an eejit, you should have seen my early reviews! Hope it's warmer in Falkirk tonight than it is in Glasgow!!!
Bigbaz 11.12.2002 00:10
PhilS 02.12.2002 23:05
An intresting read, sounds like a good purchase. Good op. Phil :)