Bronica s2. Still looks amazing some 50 years later!
I picked up a new camera last week from Ebay. After being stung at customs for Duty and taxes (2 days from Japan to NZ and 11 days stuck in customs), I then had an issue of the front cap being threaded on the lens. I could not get it off at all! Looking at the sellers images, not a single one had the lens cap off, so I guess it was on issue prior to having it my eager hands.
A hacksaw and pliers moment later (scary!), I was ready to test it. First results were disappointing with everything being slightly off focus and soft. I don’t mind this aesthetic to be honest, but I’m looking for focussed images from this setup… it’s the whole point of using good glass vs plastic lens/ point and shoot.
Self portrait with the Bronco s2. Initial images were all soft and off focus.
After some online research I came across similar experiences of Bronica s2 owners, and out of focus images. With more black spots appearing within the viewfinder (signalling perished seals) and 2 rolls completely out of focus garbage, I settled on the problem being “the fact that the sealing foam loses its properties over time, turning into a sticky mess.” I’ve repaired a selection of 35mm cameras with perished seals but this is all new to me on a medium format camera.
With simple to follow (rubbish! it was a nightmare!) instructions at http://goroshilov.com/en/bronica-s2a-focusing-problems/ I went ahead and replaced the seals and tested again. I was happy to see both low aperture and infinity (high aperture) worked well and both now in focus. With the focus glass being flat once again, I now have a working Bronica s2, and look forward to capturing some portraits in the coming weeks. Hoorah.
Infinity test. Pegasus Bay on Bronica s2.
Bronica s2. f2.8 and bang on focus. New Monstera leaf.
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