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David Amos

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« on: October 07, 2008, 09:41:37 am »

Hi all, first posted question.

Right I have a Bronica ETRSi, ok ok I know itís old, but I like the way it works and feels.  It doesnít have any special bells and whistles itís even got twisty rings on the lenses for altering the aperture and focusing.  

I meter either using a Minolta Flash Meter IV or using an AE-III prism which has full-area average metering, spot metering and manual.  It does have TTL flash metering though.  So none of the latest multi this or that.

Lenses range from 40mm to 500mm (about the size and weight of a bazooka).  I also use a Metz 50 MZ-5.  At present I scan my film using a Nikon Coolscan 8000 ED.

Would I part with any of it?  No.

Would I like to be able to shoot digital with it?  Yes, at moment finances are stretched and Iím just an amateur user in the UK but would love to know more about digital medium format.

Iíve seen so many different backs been used here, some on brand new camera systems, some on older systems and the imagery just blows you away, then when you look at the list of supported systems it just gets confusing.  Bronica is mentioned rarely if at all.  Then you hear adapter plates been mentioned either by the back maker themselves or third party.  Silvestri have one listed here in the UK for the Bronica, but thatís it, nothing about any cabling or triggering methods needed.  It seems different backs need different methods to work.

http://www.silvestricamera.it/eng/prodotti...ers.htm#bronica

What it seems to do is act as a Hasselblad type attachment, would this be the V fitting?  I take it itís trying to make the fittings on the back think itís attaching to a nice Hasselblad instead of a small ETRSi.  So I take it the back would have to be a V fitting type back to fit?  But wouldnít this affect the focusing?  If the back thinks itís going on the back of a Hasselblad then the plane of focus would be for a Hasselblad, if you introduce an adapter plate into the equation wouldnít that shift the plane of focus out because of the thickness of the plate?  So what youíre focusing on in the viewfinder will be slightly different at the actual sensor location?  Does this make sense?

Then comes the question of how the back knows you actually want to take a photo, in the film days it was remove dark slide shoot wind on next frame ready to be exposed, shoot wind on and so on.  On the Bronica it is all done with pins and wind on gears going into the film back so the film back knew what was happening.  With a digital back these pins and gears will be useless because everything is electronic so some sort of cable must be used.  This is where it gets confusing again, Iíve heard of duel cable releases and wake up cables, cables that attach to the flash synch socket and so on.

Would it be possible to take a P20 or whatever Refurbished and put it on the back of a Bronica?  If so what would it need in the way of cabling to actually work?  Or any other make of back for that matter.

Then it comes to software???  It seems that some of the software for these backs want to know so much about the camera and lens system they are attached to you can almost hear wedding bells.  I doubt some of this software has even heard the name Bronica let alone knows what to do with it.  Do I mind that an EXIF file isnít filled with the amount of data that these things can produce?  No because the data can be edited in Lightroom or whatever if I really need it, as long as it can show me the date taken then Iíll be happy.  Lens used aperture used metering pattern used shutter speed used wind speed and direction donít really matter because itís the photo that counts.
So, can a modern digital back be fitted onto something as old and manual as an ETRSi?  If so what type and how?  What sort of results would I obtain from such an old system?  Bare in mind that Iím in the UK.

David Amos
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Dustbak

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 09:58:00 am »

I have never used a Bronica with Digital Back but a friend of mine has one and has the same plan though he never seems to get around trying to do so.

Kapturegroup used to have a Bronica ETRSi adapter as well ( Kapturegroup). Indeed it is an adapter to mount a V back onto a Bronica. The adapterplate is made thus that focussing is unaffected. This is theory and in practice this can vary sometimes which means you might have to shim (thin plates or alu foil between the back/adapter/body. I have had to do this with various other systems, it sounds harder than it is in reality. It can be no more than tightening or loosening some screws.

You would trigger the back by means of the flash sync (out from your body/lens, in the back).

This way of working is really basic. Don't expect to get anything into the exif data. The results can be excellent. The Kapturegroup adapters price was something like 800USD I believe (I see them on Ebay very rarely).

The fact that the Bronica is old is no reason why it cannot be used with a DB.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2008, 10:14:01 am by Dustbak »
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lance_schad

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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 10:55:08 am »

Quote from: Dustbak
I have never used a Bronica with Digital Back but a friend of mine has one and has the same plan though he never seems to get around trying to do so.

Kapturegroup used to have a Bronica ETRSi adapter as well ( Kapturegroup). Indeed it is an adapter to mount a V back onto a Bronica. The adapterplate is made thus that focussing is unaffected. This is theory and in practice this can vary sometimes which means you might have to shim (thin plates or alu foil between the back/adapter/body. I have had to do this with various other systems, it sounds harder than it is in reality. It can be no more than tightening or loosening some screws.

You would trigger the back by means of the flash sync (out from your body/lens, in the back).

This way of working is really basic. Don't expect to get anything into the exif data. The results can be excellent. The Kapturegroup adapters price was something like 800USD I believe (I see them on Ebay very rarely).

The fact that the Bronica is old is no reason why it cannot be used with a DB.

On the Phase One digital backs used with the flashsync set up they will pass the shutter speed info in the exif data.


Lance Schad
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shutay

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 12:24:31 pm »

David, you must have missed my post then! Please read what I wrote in that thread on using MFDBs on Bronica cameras. In this case, I am using SQ-Ai and SQ-B bodies, S and PS series lenses and an Hasselblad Ixpress V96C digital back, same square 16mp sensor that's in the P20.

Read my mini-HOWTO about using MFDBs on a Bronica, plus unboxing photos of the Silvestri adapter for Bronica!

A few things:
1. I am using an SQ body, not ETRS series, but if you get the Silvestri adapter, it will work in the same way.

2. Note that Leaf Aptus backs still support DIRECT attachment to Bronicas, and if you read the rest of the thread above, you will find that Sinar also still has adapter plates available for direct attachment to Bronica SQ and ETRS cameras for some models of their digital backs. For details, especially availability, compatibility with your particular model, please do check with a Leaf and/or Sinar distributor. You can also get a response from yaya or thsinar on this forum for those 2 respective companies.

3. My Zenzanon S 50mm f/3.5 lens is really not too good a lens...  But the PS 80mm f/2.8 and S 150mm f/3.5 and Auto Bellows S work well with the digital back.

4. You must use the sync chord. I do not have experience with Phase One backs, but it is my understanding that using a Phase One back like the P20 will require 2 releases of the shutter release for 1 exposure, unless you buy Kapture Group's One Shot cable release product. This is not necessary with the Hasselblad back I am using.

5. I use mine for studio, table top and walkabout photography, and I shoot almost exclusively with my Bronica on the MFDB, I don't shoot anything else (oh alright, I do still shoot some 4x5 sheet film!), and using the smaller battery, I haven't run out of juice in 1 day yet...
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shutay

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 12:36:50 pm »

Quote from: David Amos
What it seems to do is act as a Hasselblad type attachment, would this be the V fitting?  I take it itís trying to make the fittings on the back think itís attaching to a nice Hasselblad instead of a small ETRSi.  So I take it the back would have to be a V fitting type back to fit?  But wouldnít this affect the focusing?  If the back thinks itís going on the back of a Hasselblad then the plane of focus would be for a Hasselblad, if you introduce an adapter plate into the equation wouldnít that shift the plane of focus out because of the thickness of the plate?  So what youíre focusing on in the viewfinder will be slightly different at the actual sensor location?  Does this make sense?

David, with the Silvestri adapter plate, I did not lose infinity focus, i.e., focus was not affected at all. Even so, with some backs like the Ixpress, Hasselblad CF, and Sinar digital backs, you can adjust the focus calibration using shims which you can attach yourself, and there's a simple test to see if your focus is out and by how much.

Quote from: David Amos
Then it comes to software???  It seems that some of the software for these backs want to know so much about the camera and lens system they are attached to you can almost hear wedding bells.  I doubt some of this software has even heard the name Bronica let alone knows what to do with it.  Do I mind that an EXIF file isnít filled with the amount of data that these things can produce?  No because the data can be edited in Lightroom or whatever if I really need it, as long as it can show me the date taken then Iíll be happy.  Lens used aperture used metering pattern used shutter speed used wind speed and direction donít really matter because itís the photo that counts.

I just use the software that came with the back - in my case, Hasselblad FlexColor, now in version 4.8.6. I don't think this is a problem really. True, my EXIF information is always wrong - the only thing that is right is the ISO and White Balance settings. The shutter speed and aperture values are always incorrect due to lack of body/back sync communication.

Quote from: David Amos
So, can a modern digital back be fitted onto something as old and manual as an ETRSi?  If so what type and how?  What sort of results would I obtain from such an old system?  Bare in mind that Iím in the UK.

A definite "yes", but as in my case:
1. I lost wide angle - since my 50mm doesn't yield such great results, that seriously curtails the sort of wide angle shots I can shoot. For those purposes where wide angle is absolutely necessary, I am renting a Kapture Group Truewide and using my Nikon lenses - not ideal, but the rental is cheap and it's available, and it can be made to work for me. Your mileage may vary.

2. As far as I know, you will lose metering capability. This is because the ISO setting was on the film back, and the digital back does not communicate the selected ISO back to the meter, which uses 2 gold plated prongs. It does not bother me at all, and I expose and focus manually all the time, every day. Of course, it limits the sort of shooting you can do.

3. In the past, I prepared DNG RAW samples using my setup which I am willing to share with interested parties. PM or e-mail me if you are interested.
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chamaruco

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 04:29:43 am »

Quote from: shutay
David, with the Silvestri adapter plate, I did not lose infinity focus, i.e., focus was not affected at all. Even so, with some backs like the Ixpress, Hasselblad CF, and Sinar digital backs, you can adjust the focus calibration using shims which you can attach yourself, and there's a simple test to see if your focus is out and by how much.



I just use the software that came with the back - in my case, Hasselblad FlexColor, now in version 4.8.6. I don't think this is a problem really. True, my EXIF information is always wrong - the only thing that is right is the ISO and White Balance settings. The shutter speed and aperture values are always incorrect due to lack of body/back sync communication.



A definite "yes", but as in my case:
1. I lost wide angle - since my 50mm doesn't yield such great results, that seriously curtails the sort of wide angle shots I can shoot. For those purposes where wide angle is absolutely necessary, I am renting a Kapture Group Truewide and using my Nikon lenses - not ideal, but the rental is cheap and it's available, and it can be made to work for me. Your mileage may vary.

2. As far as I know, you will lose metering capability. This is because the ISO setting was on the film back, and the digital back does not communicate the selected ISO back to the meter, which uses 2 gold plated prongs. It does not bother me at all, and I expose and focus manually all the time, every day. Of course, it limits the sort of shooting you can do.

3. In the past, I prepared DNG RAW samples using my setup which I am willing to share with interested parties. PM or e-mail me if you are interested.

Hi everyone, this is my first post here.

I have been interested in this theme for many years, since I am a happy owner of a ETRSi system with PE lenses.

I cannot say anything about the use of other backs than those of Leaf. Leaf yet listed their backs as "compatible" with Bronica in all models, and my local dealer confirmed me this point a couple of days ago.

But, in the past, the Valeo's cannot be used in the ETRS with pentaprism viewfinders... Now they asure me I can use an Aptus with any viewfinder including the AEIII I own... but I cannot be sure of that point.

Anyway I can say at least two things:

-In the case you can mount any viewfinder with mettering capabilities in combination with a digital back you, for sure, do not lose the mettering because in the ETRSi iso is selected in the viewfinder, not in the back. In the ETRS system there is no electric contact betwen the camera body and the back... all the contacts are mechanicall.

-If you use PE lenses you can use wideangles without much trouble... The 50mm f:2.8 PE is better than the MC by far (I owned both in the past).

I hope you can forgive my horrible english. I am Spanish and it have past many years since the last time I wrote on english.

Saludos.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 12:53:23 pm by chamaruco »
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Martin Kristiansen

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 04:42:58 am »

I used a Kodak Proback and when that died a Leaf Valeo 22 on the Bronika. No problems other than a cumbersome linkage between the camera and the back.
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stewarthemley

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 05:27:53 am »

Hi David
Couldn't resist chipping in: my first MF was an ETRS then later an i version. Looking back at old slides, most of my Bronica lenses outperformed or matched my later Rollei, Hassie, Mamiya RB and RZ lenses and Fuji 6x8 setup. Ok, all on film but I'd love to hear/see how they stack up against modern glass on a digi back. I loved my ETRSi system because it performed so well, was great to use and for me was totally reliable. Wish I still had it! Good luck with your search.
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Olympian

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2008, 01:30:28 pm »

   This discussion is most interesting. I have a Bronica ETRS and a brand new virginal ETRSi + a tremendous battery of ETRS lenses. I love the system and nothing would part me from it but I certainly would be interested in a digital back for it at some stage. I think I'll wait until we have a sensor closer to the film dimensions as I really need my wide angle capability for architectural work, also until I have a lot more money than I do at the moment! Speaking of $$$ I can't get over the price of those adapters. I wonder if perhaps we might do better with a bulk order? I also fear that Kapture and Silvestri might forget about us Bronica types if we leave it too long - what do others think?

Incidentally, 'Olympian' is not an indication of physical stature - at 60 y.o. and with an ever increasing complement of spare parts I don't think so! No, Olympian is a reference to my loyalty to the Olympus E-System (Four Thirds format). I look forward to participating in future forum discussions. Cheers.
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shutay

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2008, 09:19:25 am »

Quote from: chamaruco
-In the case you can mount any viewfinder with metering capabilities in combination with a digital back you, for sure, do not lose the metering because in the ETRSi iso is selected in the viewfinder, not in the back. In the ETRS system there is no electric contact between the camera body and the back... all the contacts are mechanical.

OK, thanks for updating this thread about this, it seems that in this sense, you're better off with an ETRSi than the SQ-Ai.

Quote from: chamaruco
I hope you can forgive my horrible english. I am Spanish and it have past many years since the last time I wrote on english.

Saludos.

Chamaruco, no te apures - has escrito muy bien.

shutay
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shutay

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 09:39:23 am »

Quote from: Olympian
  This discussion is most interesting. I have a Bronica ETRS and a brand new virginal ETRSi + a tremendous battery of ETRS lenses. I love the system and nothing would part me from it but I certainly would be interested in a digital back for it at some stage. I think I'll wait until we have a sensor closer to the film dimensions as I really need my wide angle capability for architectural work, also until I have a lot more money than I do at the moment! Speaking of $$$ I can't get over the price of those adapters. I wonder if perhaps we might do better with a bulk order? I also fear that Kapture and Silvestri might forget about us Bronica types if we leave it too long - what do others think?

Incidentally, 'Olympian' is not an indication of physical stature - at 60 y.o. and with an ever increasing complement of spare parts I don't think so! No, Olympian is a reference to my loyalty to the Olympus E-System (Four Thirds format). I look forward to participating in future forum discussions. Cheers.

Olympian, aside from the cost of these backs at the moment, the newest sensors in digital backs from PhaseOne (P65+) and the Leaf Aptus-II 10 - it would seem that the wait is over and these sensors come very very close to filling the whole 645 frame, although the pedantic among us will point out that they are still missing a few millimeters here and there.

ETRSi 6x4.5 frame: 56mm x 42mm
Leaf Aptus-II 10: 56mm x 36mm (so you lose a little at the top and bottom of the frame) - 85.7% of 645
PhaseOne P65+: 53.9mm x 40.4mm - 92.6% of 645

In fact, if you're thing is wide angles, then eventho the Leaf Aptus-II 10 provides lower 645 frame area coverage, it does provide a slightly wider capture. But who's counting millimeters?

Sure I guess if you could convince a whole bunch of Bronica owners to go digital with their Bronicas... but when I ordered mine, there was a 3 week lead time on my adapter, which makes me wonder if they might sometimes manufacture it on demand, unless they still have stock to get rid of. But in the realm of adapter plates for medium format and large format cameras, it seems par for the course, really. These are thin and strong pieces of metal, you have to try making and designing one and you can appreciate the effort that goes into a simple looking plate.

shutay
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RobPerry

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2009, 06:54:44 pm »

So to get a general gist of what is being said here............ there are many ways to mount a digital back on a ETRSi, but only the Leaf Aptus II offers a direct attachment to the camera. Is this correct?

Has anyone seen or used this combination? I am particularly excited about (near) full frame 645 digital backs (so in my fantasy a Leaf Aptus II 10 would be the back of choice), and stubbornly retain my fairly extensive ETRSi kit although I have stopped using it in favour of my RB67 for film and Nikon D70/D200/Sony a900 for digital.

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shutay

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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2009, 04:18:44 am »

Quote from: RobPerry
So to get a general gist of what is being said here............ there are many ways to mount a digital back on a ETRSi, but only the Leaf Aptus II offers a direct attachment to the camera. Is this correct?
Correct, the Leaf Aptus, Aptus S and Aptus II backs now are available for the ETRSi and SQ-Ai bodies, as well as a few models of Sinar eMotion backs. However, most Aptus and Aptus S backs will now be available only used or ex-demo, and the availability of a mount change for older backs is not known. However if you were buying a new Aptus II, looks like you will be able to request an ETRSi mount.

However, if I understand it correctly, you will still have to use a Flashsync cable to synchronise your shutter with the back, meaning a flashsync cable. Someone know if I am wrong about this?

Quote from: RobPerry
Has anyone seen or used this combination? I am particularly excited about (near) full frame 645 digital backs (so in my fantasy a Leaf Aptus II 10 would be the back of choice), and stubbornly retain my fairly extensive ETRSi kit although I have stopped using it in favour of my RB67 for film and Nikon D70/D200/Sony a900 for digital.
Sorry, I have not seen any of these configurations myself. There seems to be very good deals on refurb or ex-Demo Leaf backs out there now.
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RobPerry

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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2009, 07:30:22 am »

Quote from: shutay
Correct, the Leaf Aptus, Aptus S and Aptus II backs now are available for the ETRSi and SQ-Ai bodies, as well as a few models of Sinar eMotion backs. However, most Aptus and Aptus S backs will now be available only used or ex-demo, and the availability of a mount change for older backs is not known. However if you were buying a new Aptus II, looks like you will be able to request an ETRSi mount.

However, if I understand it correctly, you will still have to use a Flashsync cable to synchronise your shutter with the back, meaning a flashsync cable. Someone know if I am wrong about this?


Sorry, I have not seen any of these configurations myself. There seems to be very good deals on refurb or ex-Demo Leaf backs out there now.

I think a cable running from the front of the body to the digital back is a small price to pay. At least one could still use the winder to cock. The solution for the Phase one with it's splitting release cable seems like you wouldn't be able to use the camera hand held unless you shouted "shot" and an assistant squeezed the cable!
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Peartree

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2009, 10:44:29 am »


"2. Note that Leaf Aptus backs still support DIRECT attachment to Bronicas, and if you read the rest of the thread above, you will find that Sinar also still has adapter plates available for direct attachment to Bronica SQ and ETRS cameras for some models of their digital backs. For details, especially availability, compatibility with your particular model, please do check with a Leaf and/or Sinar distributor. You can also get a response from yaya or thsinar on this forum for those 2 respective companies."

Hi There,
Just to correct you, there is no direct mount to the ETRsi for the Leaf Digital backs. You need a universal mount hasselblad back and the Kapture Group adaptor. Then just a sync cord from the back.

Good luck
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shutay

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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2009, 11:06:05 am »

OK, in that case, the connectivity note for the Aptus backs means that it can be connected to a Bronica ETRSi or SQ-Ai, but not directly, only via an adapter. Funny, in the past, I always got the impression that mounts were available for these Bronica systems. I stand corrected. I believe in the past Thierry did confirm that Bronica mounts are still available for certain Sinarbacks.

Peartree or yaya, in that case would you be able to tell us if shutter speed or rather, exposure time is recorded in each Leaf RAW file? For example, in the case of my Ixpress, exposure time is not recorded. I can understand not having the aperture setting, for which there is no way to communicate to the back, but surely the back knows how long the exposure was thanks to the flash sync cable? Thanks for the update.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2009, 11:07:15 am by shutay »
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ThierryH

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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2009, 11:07:53 am »

hi Shutay,

and here my correction:

Sinar used to have adapters for their digital backs to fit the Bronica SQ/ETRS(si),but not longer available.

There are no eMotion adapters for those Bronica bodies however.

Best regards,
Thierry

Quote from: Peartree
"2. Note that Leaf Aptus backs still support DIRECT attachment to Bronicas, and if you read the rest of the thread above, you will find that Sinar also still has adapter plates available for direct attachment to Bronica SQ and ETRS cameras for some models of their digital backs. For details, especially availability, compatibility with your particular model, please do check with a Leaf and/or Sinar distributor. You can also get a response from yaya or thsinar on this forum for those 2 respective companies."

Hi There,
Just to correct you, there is no direct mount to the ETRsi for the Leaf Digital backs. You need a universal mount hasselblad back and the Kapture Group adaptor. Then just a sync cord from the back.

Good luck
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shutay

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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2009, 11:14:31 am »

Thank you Thierry. I think there seems to be a clear message to Bronica owners in this thread...  If somehow the message wasn't yet clear when Tamron terminated the Bronica product line! Ha ha... Time to look for good deals to switch into a more up-to-date platform, I think.
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yaya

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2009, 12:15:29 pm »

Quote from: shutay
OK, in that case, the connectivity note for the Aptus backs means that it can be connected to a Bronica ETRSi or SQ-Ai, but not directly, only via an adapter. Funny, in the past, I always got the impression that mounts were available for these Bronica systems. I stand corrected. I believe in the past Thierry did confirm that Bronica mounts are still available for certain Sinarbacks.

Peartree or yaya, in that case would you be able to tell us if shutter speed or rather, exposure time is recorded in each Leaf RAW file? For example, in the case of my Ixpress, exposure time is not recorded. I can understand not having the aperture setting, for which there is no way to communicate to the back, but surely the back knows how long the exposure was thanks to the flash sync cable? Thanks for the update.

Hello Shutay,

At the moment there is no aperture/ exposure data being recorded by the back, much like on any other mechanical camera e.g 500CM, RB, Copal etc.

Hope this helps

Yair
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Olympian

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Digital Bronica ETRSi?
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 12:09:26 am »

Quote from: shutay
Olympian, aside from the cost of these backs at the moment, the newest sensors in digital backs from PhaseOne (P65+) and the Leaf Aptus-II 10 - it would seem that the wait is over and these sensors come very very close to filling the whole 645 frame, although the pedantic among us will point out that they are still missing a few millimeters here and there.

ETRSi 6x4.5 frame: 56mm x 42mm
Leaf Aptus-II 10: 56mm x 36mm (so you lose a little at the top and bottom of the frame) - 85.7% of 645
PhaseOne P65+: 53.9mm x 40.4mm - 92.6% of 645

In fact, if you're thing is wide angles, then eventho the Leaf Aptus-II 10 provides lower 645 frame area coverage, it does provide a slightly wider capture. But who's counting millimeters?

Sure I guess if you could convince a whole bunch of Bronica owners to go digital with their Bronicas... but when I ordered mine, there was a 3 week lead time on my adapter, which makes me wonder if they might sometimes manufacture it on demand, unless they still have stock to get rid of. But in the realm of adapter plates for medium format and large format cameras, it seems par for the course, really. These are thin and strong pieces of metal, you have to try making and designing one and you can appreciate the effort that goes into a simple looking plate.

shutay
Thanks for all the information Shutay. Yes, I should have realised the criticality of machining the adapter plate to very high standards of strength and accuracy. I'll buy one when I can afford it.
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