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From Bronica to Mamiya, to Bronica again

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Well, the Mamiya was sold and its replacement arrived, waiting for me as I reached the Funding Circle San Francisco office a couple of weeks ago in a mix of parts from KEH and eBay. So what did I choose as my new medium format film beast camera?

“The Mamiya brings a load of modern perks over the Bronica but what I've realised is that I'd get a square (or square-ish) format camera with waist-level finder if I bought another film camera.”
Me, comparing the Bronica S2 and Mamiya 645 AFD late last year

As I covered back in November, if I had my camera-buying time again I'd go for a square(-ish) format camera with a waist-level finder (WLF). The Bronica S2 had been such a different shooting experience, and looking that beautiful big finder: wow!

With my Mamiya up for sale, I spent a good few days going back and forth between a number of cameras and ended settling on the Bronica GS-1.

The GS-1 is a 6x7 camera first launched in the early 80s, so it is electronic and can have auto-exposure with the prism finder but not with the WLF. There's also no auto-focus. Just how I wanted things for this camera.

With another weekend drive up the California coast, I got some good opportunities to shoot some scenery and just got the first three rolls of film developed this week, finally scanning the first two frames tonight.

6x7 is obviously a huge frame and I've been starting to play with 'dSLR scanning' (albeit with the mirrorless Fuji X-T1) so this frame took 15 shots on the Fuji stitched together for 'scanning', leaving a colossal 82.6MP image after cropping out the empty film. I'm going to do a write-up of the scanning techniques I've been trying since getting into medium format in the not-too-distant future, but using the Fuji is giving some great results and much better colour rendition than my flatbed Canon 9000F II.

Anyway, this was just a simple picture, taken at Mendocino after a very tasty burger for lunch.

Written by Adam on

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