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Roll film cameras

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Showing 126-150 of 297 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012, 21:14:01 BST
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2012, 21:26:48 BST
Thanks TJ,
I thought that might be the case. I think the seller is too clueless to do that but he did say that a camera shop checked it out and said it worked.
I just checked out the Butkus site and can see that there is a manual switch. This would make the lens useful for bellows mounting on a dslr.
As for the £25 - it should be up to at least £100 by now.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012, 21:31:02 BST
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A.

Is this the one?



In reply to an earlier post on 30 Apr 2012, 21:37:33 BST
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2012, 21:38:46 BST
Yes that's it.
He may have operated the manual button when taking the lens off for the 3rd pic.

Posted on 6 May 2012, 08:14:09 BST
Oh Joy,
The films I put through my bargain Yashica Mat 124G and Mamiya Press have come out well. The light seals are OK and the film spacing is good. It is a bit variable but there is no overlap. Were they always like that TJ and Ed?
Todays camera is a Zeiss Ikon quarter plate job with an f4.5 Tessar and roll film back. I'll see what I can find at Shelsley Walsh.

Posted on 6 May 2012, 10:21:26 BST
X says:
Hi there Doc! I've never seen a spacing problem on a 24 or 124 running 120 film. I'll ask the ubiquitous Darron...

In reply to an earlier post on 6 May 2012, 10:27:00 BST
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A, I don't ever recall thinking there was a spacing issue with my 'Mat. Negs were relatively evenly spaced. If you are having an issue, remember I bought my 'Mat new, so in view of the age of these cameras now, and depending upon the past usage yours has had, maybe there could be a little wear in the gearing, perhaps? Later today, I'll dig out my 120 negs shot with the 'Mat and measure the rebate to see what I was getting so you can compare with yours.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 May 2012, 10:35:37 BST
Hi Ed and TJ,
I don't think there is a major problem because I have heard of overlap occurring. The gap varies from about 3mm to 5mm. That could be down to not getting the leader wound tightly, maybe. The serrated wheel could be skidding a bit if it isn't running totally freely of course.
In the Case of the Mamiya the film path is very long and it needs two strokes of the winder - a bit of backlash there would not be too surprising.
My greater concern is that the Mamiya shots were not as sharp as I would have expected. The rangefinder seems OK. The only other thing would be the lens registration, maybe?
The HP5 is a bit more grainy as well. I shall have to check the focus.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 May 2012, 11:36:27 BST
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A, the variable spacing you are getting is nothing to worry about with a 3mm minimum. I do recall that the serrated wheel, which as you know, is the drive coupling for the spacing, was connected to a fairly strong spring, so it is possible that you may be getting some slippage if the spring tension has decreased. But, from your last shots, this doesn't really appear to be an issue.

When I loaded my 'Mat, once the leader was on the take up spool, I applied pressure to the backing paper with my left thumb over the left hand film guide to ensure it was wound firmly. But this was done to ensure no light leaking in through sloppy winding, not that I thought it improved with frame spacing.

I have no experience of the Press, but what you describe could be a mismatch between the rangefinder coupling cam and the actual point of focus of the lens. There are some practical tests you could try especially if you can get hold of a sheet of ground glass to place in the film plane. One used to be able to buy these ready cut to size in nearly all photo dealers shops, but with the decline in film photography, all the little gadgets we took for granted are now either difficult to source or simply not available.

If you can get a piece of ground glass to fit in and rest on the film guides, it then becomes a simple matter of focusing via the r/f and with a loupe checking if the image is focused at the film plane. If you can achieve better focus by a small manual adjustment, then the rangefinder/lens registration could be out. For better assessment, do this at maximum aperture.

If you focus by manual inspection and view with a loupe, you should be able to get an idea if it is the lens that is at fault. You should be able to determine whether it was producing a sharp image or not. This test is good because one is not relying on the r/f or the distance scale on the lens.

I don't know with the Press if you can focus by the distance scale on the lens alone. If you can, then you will be able to cross check focus using the r/f and the distance scale. Focus on a set distance, say 10 ft, remembering to measure from the focal plane mark on the body, and if both are on song, as it were, then focusing by either should give a sharp image.

I understand that the Press can take interchangeable lenses. How do the different focal lengths couple with the rangefinder? I ask this question because with my MPP Mk VIII Technical camera, r/f version, coupling for different focal length lenses was achieved by changing a cam which had been machined for a specific lens. All these cams were stamped with the serial number of the lens to which they had been matched. Even swapping with an identical lens would not necessarily result in proper registration, and it definitely wouldn't work if another manufacturer's lens of equal focal length was used.

Obviously, all lenses could be used when focusing on the ground glass screen, so this was only an issue with r/f focusing. And the reason is our 50/80/135mm or whatever focal length lenses, are not exactly 50/80/135 mm in focal length, not even from the same manutfacturer. And this is why rangefinder coupling of lenses can sometimes be a bit iffy. People complain about the cost of Leica lenses but don't take into account that every Leica M r/f lens cam has been factory machined for that lens so it couples with the r/f on any M series camera. Indeed, on modern Leitz lenses, there is even a little figure near the infinity focus mark, denoting the actual focal length of that specific lens. This is of little import to the likes of us, but for scientific work, the actual magnification of the lens could be very important.

Posted on 6 May 2012, 13:18:05 BST
X says:
TJ: That serrated wheel on a stick arrangement is pretty Heath Robinson. The same goes for the arrangement which keeps the viewfinder hood sprung, and a lot of what is hidden by the front and right hand plates. Don't think about the technology, just enjoy the results.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 May 2012, 19:50:24 BST
Funnily enough TJ,
I was speaking to a chap at Shelsley Walsh today about this. He used to be a product photographer and said he bought a Mamiya Press. He found the sharpness disappointing too and sold it. He said it didn't compare with his Rolleicord or mor eexotic cameras.
I have done some tests on the rangefinder and it didn't seem too bad. Using f11 and above the focus should not be so bad. I struggle to find anything in proper focus. I shall stick a roll of Delta 400 through and take some picks which will indicate the point of focus clearly to see whether it is focussing somewhere else.

Posted on 7 May 2012, 12:13:57 BST
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, everyone.

Whilst doodling my thumbs and checking out the internet, on the Halina 35X, would you believe (!) I latched on to this fantastique (deliberate spelling) site of Sylvain Halgand.


I've never come across anything as comprehensive. You will note the rather odd A to Z index on the left of the page.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 May 2012, 12:53:22 BST
Remarkable site. I shall save it for a rainy evening.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 May 2012, 12:54:57 BST
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A, it's raining here now, and I am still exploring the site. Found some I've owned. Fascinating stuff.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 May 2012, 13:11:26 BST
Hi TJ,
I'm scanning negs.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 May 2012, 13:23:25 BST
T.J.Byford says:
That's being creative. I'm being lazy!

Posted on 9 May 2012, 23:42:15 BST
Hi Ed,
Here's a genuine query: Bronica ETRS or Mamiya 645?
TJ, Any thoughts

Posted on 10 May 2012, 10:01:09 BST
Last edited by the author on 10 May 2012, 10:02:41 BST
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A.

This one has me beaten. I've never used any 6x4.5 gear, but a quick check on wikipedia reveals a variety of models from each. The main difference is the Mamiya has a focal plane shutter and the Bronica a leaf shutter in each lens and not to be confused by their larger 6x6 models which used a focal plane shutter. This should mean that, other things being equal, additional lenses for the Mamiya could be cheaper. But with the Bronica lenses incorporating a shutter, might this prove a more reliable camera in the long term? I suppose it depends upon whether it is cheaper to buy another Mamiya body, or a Bronica lens. I also noticed that if you wish to change film mid-roll you will need to get at least the Mamiya 645 Pro.

An acquaintance bought into the Mamiya system many years ago (and he later moved up to their digital model) for his wedding business and I saw some of his work, which was always professionally developed, and I was impressed, although this was colour, never as sharp as b/w. I'm sure my Rolleiflex 3.5f had it beat for out and out sharpness, and I could flash sync at all speeds, but the versatility of interchangeable lenses was very apparent. And raising the issue of flash sync, with leaf shutter lenses the Bronica has an advantage in this area.

I think you are really going to have to hope someone can post who has used either make and can give you an honest appraisal. If it is of any relevance, Bronica is no more, and Mamiya continues, although making digital models. This may or may not impact on parts/spares availability.

Posted on 10 May 2012, 10:13:53 BST
Alex MacPhee says:
I recently acquired a Mamiya 645 Pro to play with, as my brother has one and I found its handling pleasing. (He has the Super so I got the Pro. It's a sibling rivalry thing.) If flash synch at higher speeds is a requirement, it's worth knowing that, although the Mamiya has a focal plane shutter, there are several lenses for it that have leaf shutters (there's a setting on the camera body when one of these is attached), with focal lengths of 55mm, 70mm, 80mm, and 150mm. I'm afraid I've no experience of Bronica so can't offer comparative comments.

Posted on 10 May 2012, 13:58:45 BST
Last edited by the author on 10 May 2012, 16:20:04 BST
X says:
Doc: Naturally I would love to pose a killing comment about Mamiya, (never used one...), and a page of sweet hyperbole about Bronica. BUT, of course, it's a big end versus small end question. As TJ noted, mid-roll change pleads for Bronica, but how many Bronica ETRSi owners make the most of it.

An amateur who simply wants to get some top results with an interchangeable lens medium format will buy either and encounter no rational cause for regret. Above that level, read the specifications and buy the most appropriate for your needs.

(The yolk is nearer the big end of an egg than the small end. Fingers of crisp wholemeal toast will dunk further into the yolk of an egg opened at the big end. People who want to save the yolk till last should open the small end. So there!)

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2012, 16:07:49 BST
Hi TJ, Alex and Ed,
Thanks for that. I imagine they are fairly equal, having been built for the same market but had read that Mamiya is more reliable. Personally I favour the leaf shutters for less camera shake because I want to hand hold much of the time. I seldom, if ever, use flash. I like the look of the Bronica lever wind too. However, and Ed will know this: what is the sequence of events when the Bronica is fired? Presumable the mirror goes up just before the shutter fires and then returns? Is there any appreciable lag? Given that the mirror is going up and down does the leaf shutter still have an advantage in terms of shake? The focal plane shutter is pretty big so is that a weak point do you suppose?
The reason I ask is because I'm not really getting on with my Mamiya Press - mainly due to weight - approximately 4lb. I do love the rangefinder though. It's one of the best I've used and is certainly better than the Fuji GS645S which I tried out. I do like the 645 format though but most I've used are naturally in protrait configuration - I like the idea of a naturally horizontal negative which isn't laterally inverted. I need to sell a couple of cameras first though or I shall be in the dog house.
I'm obliged to Ed for services to effective egg consumption.
I believe Palm are on Rea St. B'ham so maybe post is unnecessary.

Posted on 10 May 2012, 16:48:26 BST
X says:
Hi Doc: Before I bought my first ETR I researched so hard my eyes bled. Then I went down to my local photo-shop, (back then web-buying was for refurbishing ducks' feet), and my friendly supplier stuck a battered ETR in my hand, told me to go forth and multiply the photographs and show him the results. Result: I wanted one, which took a few weeks to find. Never looked back from there on, apart from selling a camera to get the money for another, which accounted for three or four ETRs over the years. My last one was an ETRSi, which is the best to buy. I cannot remember what the first one was, so "ETR" above is generic, not advice.

The Bronica might seem a little crude, but the winding and the crashing and banging never bothered me. True, you need a tripod or a very firm hold. Consequently the metered prism finder, so eye-level, only became an advantage when I turned into an instant dropper of anything breakable. Otherwise the waist level finder and an exposure meter are the right equipment, with or without a tripod. Secondary effect: stick a big black thing with a large front glass on a tripod and people who feel they may be in the frame scuttle away, but hold the same big black thing with a large front glass into your belly and few people will care.

I would suggest investing a few £ in instructions from Butkuss. If not, don't try to advance the film/cock the shutter with the mirror locked up, and be sure to remove the dark slide before trying to release the shutter...

(I prefer omelettes. That allows me to be an indecisive wimp and break the eggs in the middle...)

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2012, 20:35:24 BST
Thanks Ed,
I shall see if I can find one to look at and of course I shall be using the services of Mr Butkus (I've even paid him)
I knew you'd had one though and TJ seems to have a lot of experience of all kinds of stuff.
I'm at the stage of watching prices for a few weeks so I know what to look for.

Posted on 10 May 2012, 20:46:50 BST
G. Sharples says:
My four penn'orth - the mirror does not return until film is advanced, and the mass of the thing does help to minimise shake. I also believe the chronology to be ETR-C, ETR-S and ETR-Si. The ideal combination for me was the S, a non metering prism, a speed winder (not the motor drive) and a 220 back - akin to a huge 35mm but with decent images. Such a shame that 220 is now as common as hens teeth and what little is about is at silly money

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2012, 20:54:46 BST
T.J.Byford says:
Dr. A, thanks for the vote of confidence.

I can't see that it has been mentioned so far, but with 6x4.5 you really need a pentaprism. Both cameras shoot in landscape, but if you want it in portrait and only have a waist level finder or magnifier - well, just try it and you'll soon find out!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 May 2012, 21:48:03 BST
Thanks GS and yes TJ, I would need a Pentaprism - it would stop the image being laterally inverted too.
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