It’s been two months since my last post, which is mainly due to just not finding the time to sit and write. However, despite being busy I have been acquiring new bits and pieces, trying a few experiments, planning new ones and of course taking photographs. The best acquisition was a Bronica collection I spotted and despite not really needing to buy another camera just had to snap up.
The full list of what I got goes like this:
- Bronica EC-TL camera with 6×6 back, waist level finder and manual
- 6×4.5 film back
- Zenzanon MC 40mm 1:4
- Zenzanon MC 50mm 1:2.8
- Zenzanon 100mm 1:2.8
- Zenzanon 150mm 1:3.5
- Bronica extension tube C-A
- Prism viewfinder ‘A’
- Several 67mm UV filters
- 67mm Circular polarizer
- 67mm Red 25A filter
- Jessops lightmeter
- locking cable release
Phew! All that cost a fair bit, but not nearly as much as if I’d bought all those bits separately, or even half of them come to that. The chief reason is that the EC-TL has the same lens mount as the S2A and I was really more interested in the lenses than anything else. The same is not true for the film backs, which is a shame, particularly with that 6×4.5 back in there, as I’ve been thinking for some time that a third back for the S2A would be useful. The prism finder is also incompatible, sadly, which again is a pity, since there are times when an open waist level finder is not comfortable or convenient to use.
To be honest I bought this whole lot because of the 40mm, which is an uncommon lens – I haven’t seen one for sale for more than a year – and one that therefore usually commands a premium. The other lenses are therefore increasing the value of the bundle while the camera and accessories I considered just an added bonus.
As ever when buying on e-bay there’s a certain doubt as to the actual quality of the items, but in this case I had no cause for complaint at all. Aside from missing a couple of caps the lenses are in fabulous condition – almost mint. And everything else appears in working order. The EC-TL conveniently takes the same battery as my Canon A-1 and AE-1, and appears to be in working order. I haven’t given it a proper test yet, but a run through the different shutter speeds sounds right, and the meter seems consistent with my others. Oddly, although I was expecting it to be lighter than the S2A because of the move from fully mechanical to electronically controlled shutter, in fact it is both bigger and heavier.
Although I haven’t tried the camera, I have tried out the lenses, and they are all very fine. The 40mm is as wide as it gets on a Bronica without going into conversion territory with third party lenses, and it’s just what I’ve been hoping it would be. The 50mm is interesting, because I already have the earlier Nikkor-O.C 50mm 1:2.8. Side-by-side the two look very different; the Nikkor is huge in comparison and takes a 77mm filter, while the Zenzanon takes the same 67mm filter as all the other lenses I have for the Bronicas, and is about half the length. More relevantly I’m doing a few test rolls to see how they compare optically.
The 100mm is a lens I had only seen rarely, and not really thought about getting as it didn’t seem that useful a focal length for my kind of photography, but it turns out I really quite like it. If I ever shoot any portraits I think I’ll reach for it first. The 150mm is another odd case which I really like the results from, but the focal length seems too close to the Nikkor 200mm to want to carry both around.
I’ll go into more details on some of these lenses in later posts, particularly the 40mm and 50mm, and hopefully provide a proper write up of the new camera too.