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Author Topic: MFDB on a Bronica  (Read 27022 times)
A.K.
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« on: April 21, 2008, 04:30:05 PM »
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Hello,
Does anybody have an effort of using Bronica SQ system with a digital back? I have been using Bronica gear for some time now, but I don't really know how this system will perform with a DB.. And thus i can't make a decision: to continue using SQ, or to go to Hasselblad or other system. 645 format is too small for me and 6x7's are too big and inconvenient in mountain trips... Plus there are some serious advantages of Bronica due to which the choice becomes more complicated:
-An automatic exposure option - the alternatives are Rollei 600x and Hy6/AFi, but the price range is quite different, making bronica unique
-True macro lens with 1:1 scale - it seems that there is no alternative in other 6x6 systems
There are some back vendors that support bronica (Leaf, Sinar) and some adapter solutions also, the way of shooting with a DB is not so different from the Hassy, so the main question is how the optics perform in digital field? I would be grateful for any advice regarding Bronica and Hassy comparisons and would highly appreciate if somebody could show digital files from bronica, if there are any...
Thank you in advance
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Andrey Kulpin
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BJNY
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 04:40:09 PM »
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KaptureGroup's plate allows Hasselblad V-mount backs to fit the Bronica:
http://www.kapturegroup.com/bronica/bronica.html

It would be interesting to know if any of the single focal length Bronica lenses are Schneiders "under the hood" ,
aside from the obvious Schneider Variogon zoom lenses.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 06:13:36 PM by BJNY » Logged

Guillermo
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 05:32:20 PM »
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The Bronica is an excellent and very affordable system.
However,as far as I know,nowbody makes an adapter for that camera,not even Sinar.
Otherwise the Bronica would be great.

Unless you can get a custom made adapter made,I can see no options.

Cheers,
Willem.
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Willem Rethmeier
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2008, 05:33:08 PM »
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kapture group makes one, its around $900.
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James R Russell
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 06:56:13 PM »
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kapture group makes one, its around $900.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191075\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


For a long time Leaf and Phase made backs for the Bronica though I think it was the etrs.

Great lenses, seiko shutters, somewhat goofy build quality but for the price it was a very good system.

It, like a lot of others should have stayed around, but even prior to digital, it went through multiple owners who really just gave the product lip service and never really updated anything.

JR
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 08:02:32 PM »
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The Sinar 54 S & H (both now discontinued) provided direct Sinar to Bronica SQA adapter kits. However, the 54MC and eMotion/eVolution backs do not offer this. So, for today's products, the only way on is for V series interface to mount to the KG adapter. This can work, but there can be issues, generally with the focus tolerances in mounting a digital back on an older body and not one, but two interfaces which have to be within tolerance and in combination with each other.

If you're heavily invested, might be worth a try, if not, then perhaps more pain than gain, and starting over with a more supported camera system might be the better way to go.

Steve Hendrix
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 09:46:56 PM »
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I picked up a bronica to Hasselblad V back adapter a while ago. I don't use it, if you want it, it's for sale if you want it.

from the pictures that I compared to on the net, I believe it is a silvestri adapter.

cheers
rgs
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James R Russell
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 12:31:38 AM »
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The Sinar 54 S & H (both now discontinued) provided direct Sinar to Bronica SQA adapter kits. However, the 54MC and eMotion/eVolution backs do not offer this. So, for today's products, the only way on is for V series interface to mount to the KG adapter. This can work, but there can be issues, generally with the focus tolerances in mounting a digital back on an older body and not one, but two interfaces which have to be within tolerance and in combination with each other.

If you're heavily invested, might be worth a try, if not, then perhaps more pain than gain, and starting over with a more supported camera system might be the better way to go.

Steve Hendrix
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191104\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Steve is right, regardless of your investment in the Bronica it doesn't have a digital interface and you'll spend more time messing with cords, etc. than you probably will spend taking photos.

if you want to go the square route even a v system would be better as the lenses are plentiful and the bodies and not expensive.

Personally I think a Mamiya or a Contax is probably the most cost effective option if you can live without leaf shutters, but if square is your thing, the I'd look at the V.

Personally I don't understand square cameras but the number of v systems in use, even today is surprising.

JR
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2008, 01:13:42 AM »
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Personally I don't understand square cameras but the number of v systems in use, even today is surprising.

JR
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191149\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What's that?  
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JerryReed
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2008, 06:16:46 AM »
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Steve:

Are you sure about the discontinuation of the SINAR 54 H?  It is still showing in the SINAR site.  At this time the 16-shot capability is limited to the 54 H, and that makes it quite suitable for fine art reproduction.

Jerry Reed
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 06:17:14 AM by JerryReed » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2008, 06:26:24 AM »
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Jerry,
The Sinarback 54H is indeed discontinued.
-Chris
Quote
Steve:

Are you sure about the discontinuation of the SINAR 54 H? 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191183\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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shutay
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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2008, 06:48:45 AM »
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The Bronica is an excellent and very affordable system.
However,as far as I know,nowbody makes an adapter for that camera,not even Sinar.
Otherwise the Bronica would be great.

Unless you can get a custom made adapter made,I can see no options.

Cheers,
Willem.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This reply is completely and categorically incorrect. Sorry Willem! I think it's necessary to properly counter incorrect replies because otherwise people will be grossly misled (I've been inspired by Thierry!). Leaf and Sinar have, as far as I know, offered Bronica mounts for their digital backs "since the very beginning".

I believe I am the LL's (as far as I can tell) one and only resident, full time user of Bronica + MFDB. I am shooting with Bronica SQ-Ai and Bronica SQ-B bodies, waistlevel viewfinder, Silvestri Hasselblad V adapter for Bronica SQ and the Hasselblad Ixpress V96C digital back.

Your choices:
Direct attachment:
- Leaf Valeo, Leaf Aptus, Leaf Aptus S series all still advertise Bronica SQ mount. You must order it as such.
- [edited] Some older Sinarback models apparently supported direct attachment, as already mentioned, but in the used market, I have never seen so far any used Sinarbacks turning up with Bronica mount and I do not know if the adapter kits are still available.

Via an adapter:
- There are 2 adapters, one from [a href=\"http://www.kapturegroup.com/bronica/bronica.html]Kapture Group[/url]
- ...and the other from Silvestri Camera from Italy. I am using this adapter for SQ. I ordered it through Shriro which is the Hasselblad distributor in Asia.

If you go through the adapter route, then you can use any MFDB from any manufacturer that has the Hasselblad V mount. If you use a PhaseOne MFDB, I am led to believe you will need to fire the shutter twice - once to wake up the DB and the 2nd time to shoot. You can avoid this by buying the one shot cable from Kapture Group.

I will post again with my experiences in using this adapter as well as pictures.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 07:35:46 AM by shutay » Logged
yaya
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2008, 07:17:03 AM »
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Hello,
Does anybody have an effort of using Bronica SQ system with a digital back? I have been using Bronica gear for some time now, but I don't really know how this system will perform with a DB.. And thus i can't make a decision: to continue using SQ, or to go to Hasselblad or other system. 645 format is too small for me and 6x7's are too big and inconvenient in mountain trips... Plus there are some serious advantages of Bronica due to which the choice becomes more complicated:
-An automatic exposure option - the alternatives are Rollei 600x and Hy6/AFi, but the price range is quite different, making bronica unique
-True macro lens with 1:1 scale - it seems that there is no alternative in other 6x6 systems
There are some back vendors that support bronica (Leaf, Sinar) and some adapter solutions also, the way of shooting with a DB is not so different from the Hassy, so the main question is how the optics perform in digital field? I would be grateful for any advice regarding Bronica and Hassy comparisons and would highly appreciate if somebody could show digital files from bronica, if there are any...
Thank you in advance
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191060\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hello A.K,

Both Silvestri and KaptureGroup provide an adapter for the SQ that works with all V-Series type Leaf backs (Valeo 17/22, Aptus and Aptus S). The KG adapter can also be ordered from Leaf.

In my experience the solution works well however not all lenses are up-to scratch compared to more modern designs, especially with the higher resolution backs.

I hope this helps

Yair
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shutay
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2008, 08:47:24 AM »
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I'm writing up a longer article about my experiences of using a digital back on my Bronica system, but for now, I'll do an abbreviated version for this forum.

First of all, the disclaimer - I do not work for Kapture Group, Silvestri, Hasselblad or any of the companies that either manufactures or supplies any of the products mentioned in this post. I am just a Bronica user.

Although I use my setup a lot indoors on a tripod, I do walk around a fair bit with it and do street photography handheld. The whole lot, including 2 batteries, one lens and waistlevel viewfinder fits into a fairly small LowePro Nova 1 AW bag.


Anyway, superfluous introductions aside, when I started my survey to find out what solutions were available to my Bronica system I found 2 - the ones from Kapture Group and Silvestri. They both appears to be very similar, they both cost US$895, and they both take several weeks for delivery. Presumably, they machine it up when they get your order. I ordered mine through Shriro, from whom I also purchased my Ixpress back. I understand from the local Phase One dealer here that they will be happy to order the Bronica SQ or ETR adapter for you if you want to attach a Phase One back in Hassy V mount to a Bronica SQ or ETR series camera if you're buying a back from them.



Inside the box, is the adapter wrapped in bubble wrap and a plastic sleeve; the release pin on a string and the instruction sheet printed in colour. The fact that this pin is needed to attach or remove the adapter from the body means that in the field, it will not be a small matter to use one body with both MFDB and a film back since switching involves removing the MFDB, storing that safely, getting out the pin, removing the adapter, attaching the film back, remove the dark slide, etc., etc. Easier to get a 2nd body from KEH.com and dedicate one body to film use and the other to digital.



Upon removing the adapter from the packaging, you will wonder at how this must be the single most expensive sliver of metal that you have ever bought, but hope that it will be well worth the expense.



You will need the pin in order to attach the adapter to the camera body and to remove it from the camera body. With my unit, the adapter itself went very nicely onto the camera body, fitting exactly without any play or gap.



Here's a comparison between the Bronica 120 rollfilm back and an Ixpress V96C.



The adapter is intended to be used to mount only digital backs with a Hasselblad V mount and will not enable the use of Hasselblad V rollfilm backs like the A12 since there is no film advance gearing slot in the adapter.

For what I want, it works well. The Ixpress backs normally come fitted factory default with 250 microns of shims between the back itself and the mount. I found that infinity focus was maintained with the factory default shims and no focus shimming was required to achieve correct focus.

If you're wondering how the back fares with a prism viewfinder attached, here's what it looks like, but you might get nose smudge on the LCD...



Note that in this photo, the sync cord has not been attached. In actual use, you will need to use the flash sync cord to synchronise the back with the cameras shutter. You can also see the adapter plate clearly in this shot in between the camera body and the digital back. In the case of the Ixpress, it will only report ISO and White balance correctly in the EXIF header in the images. No aperture or shutter speed information is recorded and defaults always to f/90.5 @ 30 seconds.

The standard SQ focusing screen is all I need to focus and compose since it already comes scored for horizontal and vertical 6x4.5 compositions, it shows a central 42.5mm x 42.5mm square in the middle, which I used for composition for the square 36.9mm x 36.9mm sensor on the Ixpress without any difficulties at all, but I guess that's just me. I also never use the metering capabilities, and manage to estimate exposures very successfully.

Lenses:
1. There are 2 types of lenses available for the SQ series - the older "S" series and the newer "PS" series. The quick answer is that the newer PS lenses are better of course, with better control of contrast, flare, colour, etc. In terms of sharpness, my "S" lenses are OK for my needs, but PS lenses are preferred.
2. Supposedly, there was a 35mm fisheye and a 40mm ultrawide available for the Bronica SQ system, but so far, I have never found them on the used market, which means that your wide angle options are practically non-existent. For all intents and purposes, the widest easily found lens is the 50mm PS. So if you're a wide angle junkie, you will find this restrictive.

Hope this helps.
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A.K.
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2008, 09:31:27 AM »
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shutay, thank you very much!
Regarding adapters etc. -- you are right, Leaf supports Bronica SQ and ETRS, I have even seen a ETRS plate by myself at a Leaf distributor in London. I am not completely sure about Sinar, but the older backs, as you said, are also compatible (information from an official dealer). I know about 2 universal V adapters also. BTW, the adapter that comes with a Leafback is also a V system plate, so the back itself has a V-mount, and an any V-mount back can be used with Bronica.
  I wish you good luck with your article - as far as I understand, it is going to be the first one covering a digital Bronica experience
  BTW, I have sent you an eMail, please check your So  inbox...

James R Russell, dealing with cables is not a problem for me. Besides, it is absolutely identical in case of a Hassy.

 So what about the comparison of Bronica and Hassy V optics when dealing with digital backs?

P.S. All of Bronica lenses are made by Bronica, except S/PS 180mm F/4.5 and PS 50-100mm F/4-5.6, that are actually Schneider ones. But I am not sure about 500mm lens.
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Andrey Kulpin
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digitalcameraman
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2008, 10:53:24 AM »
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Hello,
Does anybody have an effort of using Bronica SQ system with a digital back? I have been using Bronica gear for some time now, but I don't really know how this system will perform with a DB.. And thus i can't make a decision: to continue using SQ, or to go to Hasselblad or other system. 645 format is too small for me and 6x7's are too big and inconvenient in mountain trips... Plus there are some serious advantages of Bronica due to which the choice becomes more complicated:
-An automatic exposure option - the alternatives are Rollei 600x and Hy6/AFi, but the price range is quite different, making bronica unique
-True macro lens with 1:1 scale - it seems that there is no alternative in other 6x6 systems
There are some back vendors that support bronica (Leaf, Sinar) and some adapter solutions also, the way of shooting with a DB is not so different from the Hassy, so the main question is how the optics perform in digital field? I would be grateful for any advice regarding Bronica and Hassy comparisons and would highly appreciate if somebody could show digital files from bronica, if there are any...
Thank you in advance
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191060\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I have some experience with Kapture Group adapter for the Bronica solutions. I currently have 3 customers using this setup with Phase One H25 and P25 backs. When you use the Phase One backs you will need a wake up call because the Bronica body does not do that like the Hasselblad and Mamiya bodies do. So you will need the adapter plate and one shot cable release to make it work properly.

If you shoot fast it gets a little tricky with the cables but just keep in mind you will be using a cable release to fire the shutter as opposed to the Bronica release button. This is because the Kapture Group One shot is screwed into the Bronica release.

Shooting products, landscapes,and people slowly is very possible. James is right , shooting on the fly and moving around a set I also feel that you may feel a little restricted to the cable release. My customers got good results and they are still using everyday.


Chris Snipes
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Image Productions, Inc
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St Petersburg, FL 33712

727-823-8909 Studio
813-335-2473 Cell

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chris@imageproduction.com

Phase One Test Studio Florida
New and Used Phase One Backs
Phase One Digital Command Center
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Chris Snipes
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yyapp
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2008, 04:24:29 PM »
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shutay,
I was wondering what batteries are you using with your Ixpress back. I see in one of your photos a really tall battery. What kind of long duration battery is that? What's the model number?
I'm using a IXpress v90c and I'm finding that the standard battery lasts for about an hour of continuous operation and I was looking for batteries that would last longer.

Thanks,
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2008, 04:52:44 PM »
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Sorry Guys and especially Shutay!
Your post is extremely informative.
Time to go shopping on the Bay for Bronica and the same thing will happen to that as with the Contax 645 prices.

Cheers,
Willem.
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2008, 05:08:39 PM »
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Dear Steve,

I don't know where from you have this information, but the Sinarback 54 H IS NOT discontinued.

And there are still adapter kits for this SB 54 H available:

- Sinarback FW/Bronica SQ-A Adapter Kit (552.65.048)

and

- Sinarback FW/Bronica ETR-Si Adapter Kit (552.65.049)

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote
The Sinar 54 S & H (both now discontinued) provided direct Sinar to Bronica SQA adapter kits. However, the 54MC and eMotion/eVolution backs do not offer this. So, for today's products, the only way on is for V series interface to mount to the KG adapter. This can work, but there can be issues, generally with the focus tolerances in mounting a digital back on an older body and not one, but two interfaces which have to be within tolerance and in combination with each other.

If you're heavily invested, might be worth a try, if not, then perhaps more pain than gain, and starting over with a more supported camera system might be the better way to go.

Steve Hendrix
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191104\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: April 22, 2008, 05:17:20 PM by thsinar » Logged

Thierry Hagenauer
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2008, 05:10:52 PM »
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NO, Chris, the SB 54 H is DEFINITIVELY NOT discontinued:

Actually the price has been reduced very recently.

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote
Jerry,
The Sinarback 54H is indeed discontinued.
-Chris
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=191184\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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