View Full Version : Best results from Bronica or Rollex back?

31-Mar-2008, 14:23
I've been looking at a 6x6 camera recently, Hasselblads are out of my budget right now so I was looking at a Bronica SQA. Then I got to thinking a Rollex 6x6 back for my LF camera might be an option - after all, I'm not likely to carry all my LF stuff around and a big medium format camera.

So I decided on that.

Then... I seem to remember reading somewhere (here somewhere I'd imagine) that LF lens can't resolve as much detail as MF lenses, I seem to remember they don't need to as the overall size of LF images are bigger (please stop me if this is is nonsense!).

So, would I notice the difference between images using a MF camera - a Bronica - and a Linhof 6x6 back? How would the lenses compare?

David A. Goldfarb
31-Mar-2008, 14:28
Film flatness on the Linhof backs is outstanding. My Bronica S2a backs are also quite good, and I'd assume the newer SQ backs are at least as good.

If you go with Linhof, get Super-Rollex backs with the lever wind, not the older Rollex backs with the knob wind, because the older ones can have frame spacing problems with some modern films that are thinner or have a thinner backing than the older films had. The Super-Rollex backs actually meter the film distance traveled, so they are not affected by this issue, and they have other improvements over the older backs.

Gordon Moat
31-Mar-2008, 14:43
Another positive voice for the Linhof Super Rollex back; I use a 56mm by 72mm. Excellent film flatness, and nicely even frame spacing.

As far as resolution is concerned, it really depends upon which lenss you are using. Some large format lenses are quite good at f8.0 and f11.0, or even wide open. Remember that you will only be using your loupe and the ground glass to judge focus, so I think some image softness could be likely to slight focus error; at least compared to a medium format SLR, which technically could be easier to focus. A stronger loupe when using a rollfilm back on large format might help quite a bit in this regard.

The other downside is handheld photography. Probably easier with many medium format SLRs than some 4x5 cameras, though there are notable exceptions. This is something that might get easier with practice, depending upon the camera.


Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

David A. Goldfarb
31-Mar-2008, 14:47
Gordon makes a good point. The Bronica SQ series has really good ergonomics, compared to other 6x6 SLRs. They're light weight, and if you use the lever wind grip and a prism, it feels more like a 35mm SLR than, say, a Pentax 67, which looks more like a 35mm SLR. I think this is why the Bronicas were particularly popular among wedding shooters, who are likely to be doing a lot of handheld medium format work.

31-Mar-2008, 15:06
Thanks for the quick replies.

I hadn't thought about film spacing, I should have done as I've had that problem before with MF cameras. The one I've seen for sale isn't a Super Rollex so I'll give that one a miss for now.

Sorry, I should have mentioned what I'd be using it for – I wouldn't be using either the Bronica or LF with Rollex back hand held. Lens wise I'd probably be using a Nikkor 90mm f/4.5, Nikkor 135mm or Fujinon 180mm A. I'd be using either exclusively for landscape work.

Gordon Moat
31-Mar-2008, 15:17
Just for example, given that I also have a 135mm and 180mm lens, I use a Toyo 3.6x loupe. So in focusing for the Linhof 56x72, the best enlargement would be close to 4 times bigger, or good enough for an 8" by 10" (roughly) print. I could obviously make even larger prints later, though if I wanted to be more certain I should use an 8x loupe. That would make sure I could get a nice 16" by 20" (roughly), or maybe larger print from 120 rollfilm. Obviously people have printed larger than that successfully from similar combinations of lens and back, but I think it is better to be more certain and leave less to chance.


Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

31-Mar-2008, 15:24
Thanks Gordon, I see what you mean. I have a 6x loupe so I'm somewhere in between. I'd be disappointed if I could only get good results up to 8 x 10"

Does anyone know how the Bronica waist level finder brightness compares to a Mamiya 645 (I've own those before)?

Gary Beasley
31-Mar-2008, 15:36
They are comparable, though I think the 645 viewfinder looks sharper than the Bronica focus screens. May have something to do with how the screen is made. I have a prism finder on my Bronica and it works quite well but not quite a bright as my Mamiya.

Glenn Thoreson
31-Mar-2008, 16:03
I have an SQA and I think the waist level finder is plenty bright. If it was me doing this, I would opt for the Bronica. Excellent quality for very little money. Look at ebay seller shutterblade. They usually have a lot of Bronica stuff at good prices, and you get a warranty. I've been very happy with them.