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Friday, 12 October 2012


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"a little-known fact...Bronica photographers seldom photograph cats!"

That's almost enough right there to convince me to buy a Bronica... but I like my Hasselblad. Fortunately, I haven't come across too many Hasselblad shots of cats, either.

I really miss my Mamiya 7. Dying for a Mamiya 6.

It seems everyone looking to buy a Hasselblad V must first answer the "Do I dive in for a Hasselblad, or save some money (or get extra lenses) and stick with a Bronica SQ?". Personally I went diving, and have been happy, but know a few people who've gone the other way and been equally happy.

Most Hasselblad owners will refer to the Bronica as the "gateway drug" leading inexorably to the harder (and better) Hasselblad. I can't say I agree, and am convinced my photos would be indistinguishable had I chosen the "lesser" pathway.


Yes, I frequently go to Flickr Hive Mind and stick in 6x6 as a tag search. The results are often very pleasing.


I think your last sentence above (not the update) is spot on.

"from this I'd intuit that Kondioz is a young man—this woman is looking at someone whose regard she approves, I think"

What makes you think it wasn't the camera ?

Interesting photos... I really like 6x6. But no love for Hasselblad on this site? Once one learns to know it, it comes across as a solid, down to earth (or moon) system.

Although I admit that the pentagon-shaped aperture in many German lenses renders a somewhat funky bokeh, but I consider it a feature :-)

Of all the cameras I've owned over the years, my Hasselblads are the ones I most regret selling (unfortunately, as a professional I needed to trade equipment in to buy the replacement gear, I couldn't afford to keep them as well). Even worse, the Hasselblads funded my necessary move into digital equipment, which was very expensive then. While not to everyone's liking, I loved the symmetry of the 6x6 format, particularly when using the amazing SWC (Superwide) - a camera that did take some getting used to! I also miss the solid precision of the cameras & Zeiss lenses, even though they were very heavy (I carried my gear around the world on assignments).

Dang it, Mike! I love the look of these pictures and others I was looking at online today. Great bokeh and great contrast in black and white plus I love square format. It just seems more pleasing to me. I also like manual focus. I haven't found a drawback to the SQ cameras yet but I also haven't seen how big they are in person. Now I'll have to start saving my money!

Dang it Mike, I'm trying to find an SQ-Ai at a reasonable price at the moment... I guess that's gone by the wayside now due to the Johnston Effect.


"Dang it Mike, I'm trying to find an SQ-Ai at a reasonable price at the moment... I guess that's gone by the wayside now due to the Johnston Effect. :)"

Well, like I say, I've gone one in my closet I'll sell you. I've been using a different medium format camera lately.


I have fond memories of the Bronica SQ-Ai. Not from a photographic point of view (although I did use one for several years and liked the results from it), but from all the money I made back in the day, buying complete outfits on eBay, breaking them up, and reselling them for a tidy profit a few weeks later. For a while, I was averaging two outfits a month and made from $250 to as much as $500 each reselling them, but the sellers eventually got wise and started doing the same thing themselves, so my source of supply dried up and I returned to losing money on my equipment purchases, as was the norm prior to that (and since then, unfortunately.)

The profits from that venture paid for my photography (and then some!) in the late 1990s, as my finances were limited at the time (due to an extended bout of unemployment) and I could not have justified it otherwise.

The lenses for the SL66 (Zeiss) are superb. I shot with the SL66 for quite awhile. I actually had two bodies, plus several backs. I never had a problem with the shutter (other than the noise ... the shutter and mirror are LOUD!) but the backs sometimes got jammed. But the real weak point was ... my back! Those dudes are heavy!

I never regretted them, however, as the tilting lens stage and the fact that all the lenses were reversible for close work made them unique.

Did I mention the Zeiss glass?

Mike, you have to tell us about your experience with your particular model of the Rollei...

I've known quite a few photographers to buy into early permutations of that particular model (6000? 6006?, I forget), and they were all a disaster and needed constant repair and tweaking. I knew someone who was so hot for that series Rollei, that he recommended those to his corporation studio when they were upgrading their 120 stuff, and they were so problematic, he almost lost his job over it, and they eventually traded it all for practically nothing to get into a more robust and proven system.

I think by the time the 6008 came along, the handwriting was on the wall, I knew of nobody that would touch the stuff, even tho people were saying the lenses were great.

So what was/is your experience with the stuff?

Lots of good photos, but the first one is tremendous. A fantastic portrait.

Mike, a little late for this question but is that lens on your Rollei the 6008 version of the one you loved on the Exacta 6? I remember you saying it was one of your favorite lenses and that you were searching for another since you regretted selling your first.

Have been really enjoying the Bronica SQ-x posts. I too took advantage of the current low prices and got myself an all but new SQ-B system a couple of years ago. Now this and the last post are reminding me that it's about time I load another film and have some more fun with it.

By the way, I find that my compact camera (an LX3) makes a super light meter, with just a bit of mental arithmetic to get from the LX3's exposure at f/4 to an exposure at f/11 or f/16 on the Bronica. It's a bit worse when using Portra 160, since the LX3 doesn't have an ISO 160, so an extra step involved there. If I were really modern I would probably try out one of those light meter apps for smartphones.

"is that lens on your Rollei the 6008 version of the one you loved on the Exacta 6?"

It was the Exakta 66, Mod. II to be precise, and yes, more or less--both are 80mm f/2.8 Planar-types from Schneider-Kreutznach. I can't say if they're optically identical, though. But they're at least "brothers."


Hey, glad you bagged a Xenotar, finally! Some of my favorite exposures have been made with the non-AF version.

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