Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Bronica ETSRi and Fomapan 100 Classic


Wow, it's been a month since I posted!  That is way too long!

But, this is sort of a special occasion, so I hope you think it's been worth the wait!

For ages now I have been wanting to get another Medium Format film camera.  Nothing in particular, just a Medium Format film camera.  2 posts ago, in June, I introduced a couple of new additions to my film camera collection.

Here are the results from the Bronica ETRSi.  The Bronica ETRSi shoots in 6 x 4.5 format (which gives an actual frame size of 56mm x 42mm).  I get 15-16 exposures from the one roll.  This is great because my other Medium Format camera (Voigtlander Bessa 1) shoots in 6 x 9 format only gives me 8 exposures which is more expensive per exposure to develop and scan.

I took me a while to get used to this camera as I was shooting; the waist level finder can be difficult to compose a shot if you have never used one before.  The image through the waist level view finder is correct in the vertical plane but everything on the horizontal plane is reversed.  This is because there is only one mirror in the camera (unlike a 'normal' camera that has a 2nd mirror in a pentaprism viewfinder).  You have to move and tilt the camera along its axis to compose the shot and get it straight.  Apart from that, it is the same to operate this camera as it is any other camera; use the light meter (or sunny 16 rule if you are familiar with that) and change settings for each shot.

The lens is a standard size for this type of camera - 75mm Zenza Bronica EII f2.8.  This aperture may not seem as wide as some 35mm lenses but DOF in a medium format camera is much shallower because of the size of the negative.  It is a lovely sharp lens but I now have to pick up a new set of  filters to fit!

Winding the film onto the film back was a new experience too.  Read the instructions a few times and then found a great video on You Tube that showed it being done.

Not remembering to remove the dark slide from the film back also caused me some slight angst when taking a photo; I'd wrack my brain trying to troubleshoot the problem and them smack myself in the forehead once I saw the dark slide that was still in place!  I have 2 things from this camera to put into my pocket now; the lens cover and the dark slide.

For my first film I wanted to use a black & white.  I had some Fomapan 100 Classic sitting in the fridge that I had never used before.  I had purchased this film because it had been announced that my favourite black and white film, Fuji Acros 100, was to be discontinued and I wanted to start looking around for a replacement.

The Fomapan 100 Classic is billed as a fine grain, sharp film and, because it is a Panchromatic film, it has a wide range of halftones.  I wanted to see if it would fit the bill and, actually, I think I like it better!  Usually with the Fuji Acros 100, I would still have to digitally adjust the contrast because it seems a bit flat out of the scan.  These photos needed no adjustment in that regard.  It has great contrast and a wide exposure latitude (which means if I screw up the settings, I can still get a decent photo out of it!)

So, I'll let the photos speak for themselves.  Needless to say, I am loving the new Bronica; I look forward to acquiring new lenses, the hand grip and flash, a pentaprism viewfinder and an array of filters so I can expand its usefulness.  I still have quite a few rolls of Fomapan 100 Classic (in 120mm and 35mm) still in the fridge also so keep posted!

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