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Hassy 500c/m or a Bronica SQAi

2 Jun 2011 12:04PM
Hi Folks, Iíve just sold my Mamiya 645 because I want to move towards 6x6 format. My dilemma is over going down the Hassy route or the Bronica route. My thoughts at the moment are:

Hassy body slightly more expensive, lens much more expensive and complex with inbuilt shutters (lots to go wrong), build quality fantastic but probably been well used by pros but then probably well serviced

Bronica body slightly less expensive but lenses appear half the price of the Hassy and much less complex. Overall build quality prob not up to the Hassy, I guess most likely to have been owned enthusiast.

If I bought a Hassy, Iíd only really be able to afford just the 80mm lens, if I went Bronica I might be able to afford the 80mm plus say a 40 or 50mm too. Iím only interested in the WLF and not a prism

Uses, well it wonít be my main workhorse camera thatís a Nikon D300 etc. The Medium Format is really just a very pleasurable indulgence and the 6x6 format the WLF will give me a new slant on composition.

So the big Q Hassy or Bronny? Your thoughts please.



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Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
2 Jun 2011 12:15PM
I have owned both. Optically there's nothing in it, build wise similar story. Handling the Hasselblad has lovely rounded edges and a shiny metal feel whereas the Bronica is a but sharper with plastic bits, but again not much there.

What the real difference is is prestige. Owning a Hasselblad is way up their in photo world compared with the lesser known Bronica. If that is important it's the only way to go.

I'd say forget that and enjoy a second lens. Your thoughts about amateur/pro usage is partly true, but you can get workhorse Bronicas and shelf polished Hasselblads.

Edit just had another though ..what about a lovely Mamiya RB67. They're cheap on ebay these days and give you the 6x6 format (with the correct back) or the advantageous 6x7 format. Only problem with these is bulk and weight. I nearly killed myself climbing Helvellyn with one of these, three lenses and a Benbo tripod! Superb results though from a 6x7 transparency.
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
2 Jun 2011 1:16PM
Why not go the whole hog and move up to 6x7?

Unless you have a particular fetish for square prints, you will always be wasting part of your 6x6 negative.

Choose between the various Mamiya 6x7 models or, alternatively the Pentax. Both will give you better quality than the Bronica at a much lower cost than the Hassle-blad. (and with only a very slight increase in bulk and weight).
Thanks guys, interesting comments. I had thought about and RB67 but really want to be able to shoot hand held and my impression is that given its bulk and weight this is not really an option for that camera whereas the Hassy and Bronica can be easily shoot hand held. Not sure i want to be tied down to a bemdo!

Thoughts appreciated

joolsb 13 27.1k 38 Switzerland
2 Jun 2011 6:19PM
Have you considered a Mamiya 7? OK, it's a rangefinder but the quality is superb, it's light and it's designed for handholding.
Hi Jules i did think about one of those but I feel i want the challenge of a flipped image in the WLF i think that will be so different to the digital SLRs i'm currently using to give me a totally different perspective and composition. But then again ive never ever shot with a rangefinder. Any more ideas folks
Consulo 13 840 10 Scotland
2 Jun 2011 7:09PM
Another vote here for the Mamiya RB67.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
2 Jun 2011 7:39PM
I still have my Hasselbald kit with most of the lenses and can use either film or digital backs. I'm not sure whether digibacks fit Bronica. Some, but not all, the Zeiss lenses are fantastic like the Planar or the 38mm Biogon. The Bronica wide-angles have a good reputation.
keith selmes 14 7.3k 1 United Kingdom
2 Jun 2011 10:22PM
There was, so presumably still is somewhere, an adapter so SQ series could take the same digital backs as Hasselblad. Probably costs more than an SQAI though. Oh here it is http://www.silvestricamera.it/eng/prodotti_eng/digital%20accessories/digital_accessories.htm

(scroll down)
Snapper Plus
13 4.3k 3 United States Outlying Islands
2 Jun 2011 11:17PM

Hassy body slightly more expensive, lens much more expensive and complex with inbuilt shutters (lots to go wrong),

The Bronica lenses also have their Seiko shutters built into them, so that may not be a difference between them.
indemnity 9 334
3 Jun 2011 1:42AM
RB 67 Pro SD. Like a fool I sold my kit for coppers and for all the wrong reasons (with a Phd in hindsight). Could have put my P30+ digi back on and used it in the studio with leaf shutter lenses which cost peanuts compared to the new 645 D LS range. Muppet. It's still the weapon of choice for many top fashion photographers. Sad
filmforever 10 749
3 Jun 2011 6:03PM
The Hasselblad.....expensive to service...needs to be used regularly, otherwise lenses have a habit of "sticking".
The Bronica has been discontinued for a while now, but similar quallity for a much cheaper price. If you're only going to be using it occasionally as you imply, this could be the best bet.
I've also owned a Mamiya RB 6x7, lovely quality, but a hell of a beast to cart around, particularly with extra lenses.
Intrigued to hear Pete carted it all the way up Hellvelyn...I'd be tempted to make that climb myself..but with a much lighter Rolleiflex!...Which route did you take?
Hi Folks, thanks for all your advice, i think ive made my mind up and will go down the Bronica route. However, i shall also keep an eye out for an RB67.

Thanks again

13 Jun 2011 10:57PM
Hey Folks thanks for all your comments. I ended up buying a Bronika SQAi, 50mm PS and 80mm PS all in fantastic condition - really pleased.


User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
13 Jun 2011 11:45PM
You'll certainly not go wrong with that. (Apart from the missing centimetre of a 6x7 Smile )

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