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  #1  
Old 5th May 2020, 04:03 PM
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CanonJane CanonJane is offline
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Default Bronica SQ

Hi all,

Iím contemplating and upgrade on my Nettar, I love the 6x6 format, Iíve looked at a neighbour Mamiya 645 and nice chap in my local camera shop let me have a play with his Mamiya RB67, my god! That weighed a tonne, I would need a Sherpa to carry that! So Iím leaning towards the Bronica SQ, the weight is better for me to lug about 😁 I have found one with an 80mm PS lens...... any Bronica owners thoughts would be gratefully appreciated 🤓


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Old 5th May 2020, 05:21 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
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Hello Jane,
I have been using a Bronica SQ with an 80mm PS lens for about twelve years and find it excellent. Very simple and straightforward to use. No mirror lock-up, but delivers very crisp negatives.

Alan
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Old 5th May 2020, 05:28 PM
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Thank you Alan, what is the weight like? Will I need a Sherpa aka husband!


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Old 5th May 2020, 05:40 PM
Tony Marlow Tony Marlow is offline
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I have had a SQAi for 14 years and very happy with it. With 80mm lens and waist level finder it weighs 1.58KG it is a bit heavy compared with 35mm but managable. The PS lenses are the newest ones. I use it on a tripod but many people do use it hand held; I know one petite lady never uses a tripod. A good in between option is a monod. I find the controls are easy to use but there are several connected controls which prevent firing the shutter if you haven't got it right, eg No film loaded, darkslide not removed, back can't be removed if dark slide not inserted etc. Some people think the mirror flipping up can cause slight vibration at low shutter speeds below 1/60 sec but maybe not when hand held but this applies to all medium format SLR cameras. When using a tripod just flip up the mirror before firing the shutter. It uses 4 SR44 batteries which are small and I get at least 25 films out of a set. They are cheap and widely available. I think the SQA or B use different batteries. The only issue I have found with the SRR44 is that at temperatures around freezing they tend to die unless kept warm. There are many accessaries I use a chimney finder instead of a waist level finder which incorporates a meter. The lenses are bit heavy and I find the 50mm and 150 mm with the 80mm cover most of my needs. There is a 40mm lens but the filter size is 90+ mm and these can cost as much as the lens. The other option is to go for a Lee type filter system. The interchangerble backs are useful. There are pentaprism viewfinders available and hand grips which makes handling like a 35mm SLR but this does add to the weight. I call it a poor man's (or woman's) Hassleblad. Yes I find it easy and comfortable to to use and 6x6 gives a lot of flexibility if you want to crop and you don't need to turn the camera on its side.

I hope this helps.
Tony
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Old 5th May 2020, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Marlow View Post
I have had a SQAi for 14 years and very happy with it. With 80mm lens and waist level finder it weighs 1.58KG it is a bit heavy compared with 35mm but managable. The PS lenses are the newest ones. I use it on a tripod but many people do use it hand held; I know one petite lady never uses a tripod. A good in between option is a monod. I find the controls are easy to use but there are several connected controls which prevent firing the shutter if you haven't got it right, eg No film loaded, darkslide not removed, back can't be removed if dark slide not inserted etc. Some people think the mirror flipping up can cause slight vibration at low shutter speeds below 1/60 sec but maybe not when hand held but this applies to all medium format SLR cameras. When using a tripod just flip up the mirror before firing the shutter. It uses 4 SR44 batteries which are small and I get at least 25 films out of a set. They are cheap and widely available. I think the SQA or B use different batteries. The only issue I have found with the SRR44 is that at temperatures around freezing they tend to die unless kept warm. There are many accessaries I use a chimney finder instead of a waist level finder which incorporates a meter. The lenses are bit heavy and I find the 50mm and 150 mm with the 80mm cover most of my needs. There is a 40mm lens but the filter size is 90+ mm and these can cost as much as the lens. The other option is to go for a Lee type filter system. The interchangerble backs are useful. There are pentaprism viewfinders available and hand grips which makes handling like a 35mm SLR but this does add to the weight. I call it a poor man's (or woman's) Hassleblad. Yes I find easy and comfortable to to use and 6x6 gives a lot of flexibility if you want to crop and you don't need to turn the camera on its side.

I hope this helps.
Tony

Tony thank you for that, the thought of not having to take the complaining Sherpa out for a shoot is making the Bronica a strong contender!

As far as I am aware the SQ doesnít have the mirror lock that the SQA has is this the only difference?


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Old 5th May 2020, 06:17 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
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Jane, just to be clear, Tony is talking about the SQa which does have mirror lock. The earlier SQ doesn't. And the SQ uses only one battery, an S28PX, which lasts a long time. It is only used to fire the shutter.
Does the lack of mirror lock make a difference? All I can say is that when I got mine I put it on a tripod in the kitchen and photographed a packet of cornflakes at all speeds down to 1 sec. Then I set the shutter to 8 seconds, covered the lens and did a one second "lens cap" exposure after about six seconds. Any possible mirror vibration would have died down by then, but the result was no sharper than the straight one second exposure. Not very scientific, I know. Would the results have been different if I had gone on to photograph a box of Rice Crispies? Who knows?
You ask about weight. At just over 3 pounds with 80mm lens (and waist level finder) it doesn't feel like a heavy camera, I also have an RB67 and that is twice as heavy ( but not twice as good...)

Alan
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Old 5th May 2020, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Clark View Post
Jane, just to be clear, Tony is talking about the SQa which does have mirror lock. The earlier SQ doesn't. And the SQ uses only one battery, an S28PX, which lasts a long time. It is only used to fire the shutter.
Does the lack of mirror lock make a difference? All I can say is that when I got mine I put it on a tripod in the kitchen and photographed a packet of cornflakes at all speeds down to 1 sec. Then I set the shutter to 8 seconds, covered the lens and did a one second "lens cap" exposure after about six seconds. Any possible mirror vibration would have died down by then, but the result was no sharper than the straight one second exposure. Not very scientific, I know. Would the results have been different if I had gone on to photograph a box of Rice Crispies? Who knows?
You ask about weight. At just over 3 pounds with 80mm lens (and waist level finder) it doesn't feel like a heavy camera, I also have an RB67 and that is twice as heavy ( but not twice as good...)

Alan

Thanks Alan, the RB67 was the other option but the weight put me off. You have also answered my other concern as to the mirror lock and how much difference it would make, I love the testing method, although rice crispiest in this house would need a very fast shutter speed!


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Old 5th May 2020, 06:42 PM
Alan Clark Alan Clark is offline
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One correction; my camera has the 80mm f2.8 S lens. Not the PS as I said earlier. Does this mean my lens isn't as sharp as the later PS lens? I don't know. But I don't do big enlargements. At 7 or 8 inches square my prints look nice and sharp, without being in any way "harsh-sharp". It's a lovely lens.
I had a reason for testing the camera by photographing a corn flakes packet rather than a landscape. As I already had a 6x6 twin lens reflex camera I knew that I wouldn't be using the Bronica to photograph the landscape. I have always admired Fay Godwin's ability to portray the landscape with a square format, but I can't seem to manage it myself. I need a rectangle! But I have always found the square format ideal for photographing small details in the landscape, and this is how I use the Bronica. One advantage of this is that I don't need a variety of lenses for the Bronica. I do everything with the 80mm.

Alan
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Old 5th May 2020, 06:55 PM
Tony Marlow Tony Marlow is offline
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I think that the issue of mirror slap causing unsharp images is more theoretical than practical. The PS lenses are the latest ones but with regard to sharpness and quality all the reports and comments I have heard from people using the earlier lenses say the earlier lenses are equal to the PS lenses. The SQAi I have may well be heavier than the other models, SQB etc.

Tony
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Old 5th May 2020, 07:13 PM
big paul big paul is offline
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I will second what tony about the monopod ,all my cameras are heavy ,and because of my disability I cannot hold the camera to my eye for very long ,so I use a monopod ,and indoors a tripod ,I have 645 and 66 and love using 120 film I am shooting more of this than 35mm ,at the moment .if you have a look on my albums ,you will see why I love 120 for portraits Ö.
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