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.
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.
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