View Full Version : Using a Bronica rf645 with a Nikon flash
I've just acquired a Bronica rf645 with a 65mm lens. Unfortunately, I didn't get the dedicated Bronica Flash. Because of its vertical format, the Nikon SB-15 looks like a cheap solution, so I went and bought one on the bay. It hasn't arrived yet, so I was wondering if any of the Bronica users out there have any experience using non-bronica flash units and what caveats, if any, I should be aware of before I proceed.
Congratulations, Nick! I'm sure you'll be very fond of the RF645, a great little camera. I won't be much help with flash, but it looks like the SB-15 pivots in two planes, so should allow coverage for the 645's vertical format. Is its hot shoe configuration compatible?
I was thinking of getting a Mamiya 6, but I was worried about its age and the availability of parts. The Bronica feels great in my hands and seems like a no-brainer for medium format --more advanced than the Fujis and way cheaper than the Mamiya 7's. They are hard to find, though.
The SB-15 uses a standard hot shoe, not the special Nikon shoe, if that's what you're referring to. Is there something I should be concerned about with the electronics?
The Bronica feels great in my hands and seems like a no-brainer for medium format --Yeah, excellent in design and build. I really like mine, but I sure do wish the viewfinder was a tad wider with framelines for 45mm. Really, that's my only complaint.
The SB-15 uses a standard hot shoe, not the special Nikon shoe, if that's what you're referring to. Is there something I should be concerned about with the electronics?I don't know nuttin' :) I'm not a flash user; I was just thinking if the flash could communicate with the camera that would be slick. I have dedicated flash units for my Pentax Auto110, Minolta CLE, and Fuji GA645, yet I cannot recall ever using them. I did try the Fuji's pop-up flash once and didn't like the results. Oh well! :rolleyes: And better luck to you!
The RF20 Flash has dedicated contacts for communication with the RF645.
You can use any "single contact" flash on auto or manual mode. As long as the flash can cover the same angle as the film format you should be absolutely fine.
I often use a large Metz on a hand grip flash shoe with no problems of flash coverage.
Is there something I should be concerned about with the electronics?
Only if the flash unit you connect to the RF645 has its own set of "communication" contacts. They may not be compatible with the Bronica's "communication" contacts.
A single centre spot connector is universal.
Looks like you have the same affiliction as me, the "Buy first ask questions later" bug. Haha :). Good luck I don't know about the flash but I have a bronica sqai on the way now.
I go away for a couple of days and come back to find a whole new Bronica RF section.
The Nikon flash fired all right on the camera --nothing fried. When I get my shots back from the developer tomorrow, I'll see how it worked. If the coverage is good, it will be a real inexpensive alternative to the dedicated Bronica flash.
I'm not very good at using flash on my RF645. This is my second RF645. I bought one in 2001 and sold it last year to finance the purchase of an Olympus E-1. I soon regretted it, missing the anticipation of MF quality. So I sold my Contax G2 kit to finance the purchase of a new RF645 with second-hand 45 and 135 lenses. I had to have the camera re-jigged by Intro2020 (UK importers) for the 135.
My flash problem is this: I take photos in light that is too low and I get the "2nd curtain flash effect" where everything is nicely exposed but all movement is blurred. It must be because the shutter stays open too long which must be because I set too small an aperture. With Olympus SLRs I always expect the flash to freeze any motion, but I must have adopted a different modus operandi with my RF645.
Anyway, it is a darling camera. I don't mind the lack of brightlines for the 45mm as the viewfinder size is about right for the 45 (if I'm in a rush). My only complaint is the short time that the viewfinder information remains available after part-pressing the shutter release.
I used the Bronica for a few days a few years ago, and it's quite fun to use. Congrats. Well, what I'm about to say is not a "cost-effective" solution short-term, but you may thank me later: if you have the money, get a Metz 54 flash.
I got one over a year ago, with the Canon module, but also got the standard module soon thereafter. It's a beauty. I can use it with any camera that has X-synch and I couldn't be happier. I hardly use flash, but it was a justified cost because I did two wedding jobs last year (I'm not a professional photographer, but the gigs came up, and can't say no to that). Metz flashes are an absolute beauty. And you could buy dedicated modules later if you want to; the head can be adjusted for the focal length, and it can automatically compensate for the format you're using (35mm, APS-C, 6x6); it has its own "automatic" exposure setting, so if you use X-sync with it, you don't even have to worry about manual settings much. It's not "cheap", but in the long term you will see that it may be your only flash for all your cameras.
Just a thought.
threeshoes, I find that in low light it's best to set the camera on manual and use the recommended settings specified by the flash. I usually use the slowest shutter speed that I can comfortably handhold. I've lost a bunch of shots due to secondary curtain effects on my hexar trying to use aperture priority with flash in low to medium light. It's a better look because then the flash is more of a fill but it's too risky.
Gabrielma, I think the concern with using other than the Bronica dedicated flash is that most other flashes are geared to a horizontal format. The SB-15 is one of the few modern flashes that fits the 6x4.5 format of the Bronica rf. The fact that it sells so cheap (~$30) makes it an attractive alternative. I don't know much about the Metz. Perhaps the notion of differentialing between vertical and horizontal flash is overblown. Years ago, the standard 35mm flash was vertical regardless of the formatting.
I'm considering a flash for my RF645. How dod the Nikon SB-15 work out? Any tips?
It's been a little over a year since I started this thread and I'm still experimenting with flashes. The Nikon SB-15 worked fine but like most flashes set on auto it gave that snapshot look to my photos. Not bad but not great either, and it only had two settings, high and low. So I went and bought a dedicated Bronica RF 20 flash. It allowed me to have greater control over intensity and daylight fill and by using the 160 films by Kodak and Fuji was further able to control highlight burnout. Since it's dedicated to the Bronica, you can shoot in P mode or auto or totally manual. All usefull features, if you really get into it. A nice unit but kind of low on power and no bounce. So I went and bought a Nikon SB25 to use for bounce flash. It's a really nice flash I also use on my Leica. It has a great range of settings and is powerful (and large). Of course, it is not dedicated to the Bron so you're stuck with auto or manual again. Of the three flashes, I normally use the Bronica flash unless I plan on doing bounce.
On camera flash is always a compromise between convenience and quality but it's at least worth trying.
One last note, I've recently been experimenting with high-speed color films as a way to get away from indoor flash. So far, my results have been pretty good with the Leica but the Bronica lenses are pretty slow. In any event, I let the processing lab correct for color balance since I'm partly color blind and then I scan the prints.
the sb27 was not as well advertised but does the same vertical thing as the sb15
You could use something like this:
You could use something like this:
Perfect! I want that hardhat/umbrella combo!
May want to try a Nikon SB-30
I used one with my Mamiya 6 with great results for fill flash
I have a Metz 54 that I'll try before buying anything new. It will be a tight fit in my bag, though. And the coverage from the shoe is landscape and not portrait (may not be a problem, I just haven't tested it yet). I also have a older small Metz that may work, too.
I prefer to use a bracket for flash. But the brackets that I have are bulky (Stroboframe flip and Mamiya 645 bracket). Anyone here ever tried the collapsible Stroboframe flip bracket?
If you are looking for the flash, there is a sore here who has it!
I've been using a Vivitar 283 with my 65mm lens and that seems to work fine. I haven't tried it with the 45mm yet.
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