Bronica EC light meter 6 volt or 3 volt or were both made?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jonw, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. jonw

    jonw Member

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    This was posted on photo.net, but no response. Anyone here have any idea? Thanks.

    I acquired a Bronica EC light meter that has a battery cavity that will take either 2 3 volt batteries, or 4 1.5 volt batteries, or one 6 volt lithium battery. It has a serial number 127xx. I have also come across another Bronica EC light meter with a serial number of 129xx that also uses a 6 volt battery.
    The Bronica EC light meter instructions I have seen describe the EC light meter using a 3 volt battery or 2 1.5 volt batteries and those battery compartments only accept batteries totaling 3 volts. I have been advised that that battery compartment also has what appears to be a "grey plastic" insert which limits the compartment to a total of 3 volts of battery. That EC light meter had a serial number of 114xx.
    Has anyone else seen this anomaly? Is it just another example of the Bronica company making another change in their system years ago and not telling anyone? I definitely do not want to "fry" my electrical system in either my EC body or the EC light meter. Is there anyway to confirm mine EC light meter was in fact made to use 6 volts of battery in it?
    Thanks. Jon
     
  2. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    The Bronica EC did not have a light meter. It did take a battery for the electronic shutter.

    The Bronica ECTL did have a light meter and took a 6 volt Eveready 544 Silver Oxide Battery.
     
  3. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Give Jimmy Koh a call at Koh's Cameras in New York if you want an expert's opinion. He is the expert on early Bronica cameras and a really nice guy!
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    The EC took a meter finder, which is what the OP is referring to.
     
  5. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    A great suggestion!
     
  6. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    If you can't find an answer then I'd try sticking a 3v battery in (you can easily make an insert from a small block of wood or plastic with a bit of copper tape or wire as a conductor). If you don't see any life then it's probably intended for a 6v battery.

    Using too low a voltage shouldn't harm anything, designers have to plan for a dying battery delivering too low a voltage. Usually you get dim LEDs, a meter that reads oddly, or similar.
     
  7. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Does your metering finder look like this one on p.34 ?... http://www.cameramanuals.org/bronica/bronica_ec-2.pdf

    That metering finder seems to be powered from the battery in the EC body...Bronica mentions nothing about battery for that accessory in the user manual. The body took 4SR44 type 6V.

    [edit: I found a photo of that meter finder, and it does show what seems to be a battery cover...I would assume that Bronica chose to use the same battery as used in the body, 4SR44 type 6V ]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2012
  8. jonw

    jonw Member

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    I appreciate everyone's posts.

    Yes, the TTL Exposure Meter described in the EC Manual is the meter I am referring to. The EC camera body also uses a battery inserted in the bottom of the body. That battery is required to operate the EC's shutter.

    I now have acquired two of these meters, but they have slightly different designs. The older of the two (serial #TL114xx) has a "gray plastic" insert in the side of the meter where the battery cover is located above the "on/off" switch. It takes one 3 volt battery (Duracell DL1/3NB) or two 1.5 volt batteries (LR44 or AG18 1.5 volt batteries). This older version EC TTL Exposure Meter does NOT have a view window on the top of the left side of the meter "on/off". The newer version EC TTL Exposure Meter (serial # TL127xx) does not have a "gray plastic" insert in the meter's battery chamber so that it will accept two 3 volt batteries or four 1.5 volt batteries. There is also a "view window" on the top of the left side of the meter which shows at a glance whether or not the meter is "on."
    Matt, thanks for your suggestion.

    I used one 3 volt meter with a metal spring to make the contact and compared the reading against my Pentax Zone VI meter and confirmed it was accurate. I don't believe this means the "newer" EC TTL light meter wouldn't work properly with 6 volts, but until I can confirm it was made for 6 volts of batteries, I am not going to risk it.

    As Wiltw wrote, "I found a photo of that meter finder, and it does show what seems to be a battery cover...I would assume that Bronica chose to use the same battery as used in the body, 4SR44 type 6V" The newer EC light meter may in fact use the 6 volt 4SR44 type battery to make it consistent with the one used in the EC body. I am going to try and check with Frank Marshman and Jimmy Koh to get their expert insight. I will keep everyone posted.

    It is amazing Bronica made 2 similar EC light meters, did not advertising them very much nor produced any documentation that is readily available to describe them, developed 4 different 75mm lens, developed a great system which has lens that range from a prototype 30mm one of a kind lens through 1200mm lens, and makes a wonderful "clunk" when the camera is fired.

    Jon
     
  9. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Thanks! I didn't know they made a metered finder for the EC.
     
  10. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

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    There doesn't seem to be a single Bronica information site (like the wonderful "K Mount Site" for Pentax), Tamron still have manuals online but that doesn't help much if (for example) you're trying to figure out when details were changed or indeed whether they were changed for the entire lifespan. For example, a lot of ETR accessories appear to have been marked "ETR" even when the camera body had changed to the ETRS or ETRSi so you've no idea how old something is. Not that it makes a lot of difference (as all backs, viewfinders, speed grips and lenses will fit all bodies) but it'd still be interesting to collectors.
     
  11. jonw

    jonw Member

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    Matt, there use to be a wonderful Bronica website set up by Sam Sherman, but alas it apparently is no longer.
    Maybe someone would have the ability to resurrect it.

    Jon
     
  12. jonw

    jonw Member

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    Well, although I have not heard back from Jimmy Koh (which is not surprise given the terrible effect of Sandy), I have obtained Tony Hilton's Bronica book, The early history of Bronica, and his book states that the EC light meter takes a 6 volt battery, e.g., PX28LB 6V Lithium Battery, so apparently the early models of the EC light meter use only 3 volts (as stated in Bronica's EC light meter manual and other sources), the "newer" versions take 6 volts. Hope this helps future users of the Bronica system. Jon
     
  13. jonw

    jonw Member

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    Just received the expert's response, i.e., Jimmy Koh, "Bronica made two types TTL light meter, older type using two 1.5 volt battery, newer type using one 6 volt px28 battery same as camera body battery." I am amazed at is FAST reply to my email, especially given Hurricane Sandy and its continuing aftermath.
    Jimmy Koh definitely has my future business on my Bronica Cameras. Jon
     
  14. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    Koh's Camera is great.
     
  15. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    That's good to hear, Jon. Jimmy is a great guy!