Bronica GS-1 lens/shutter help

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dgphoto, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. dgphoto

    dgphoto Member

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    Hello.

    I am new to medium format and recently purchased a used Bronica GS-1 with a 110 mm Macro lens. It came with a waist-level view finder.

    I seem to be having a problem with the shutter and was wondering if anyone might be able to tell me what is going on.

    With film loaded and the camera turned on, I hit the shutter button. Two things happen:

    1. the shutter leaflets close and remain closed. (I can see them looking down thru the lens.)

    2. the view finder goes gray and remains that way.

    To release the leaflets I have to turn the film advance arm to the next frame. Then everything resets itself.

    This occurs no matter what shutter speed I select.

    Any thoughts on what the problem might be and what I can do about it (and about how expensive)?

    Thank you so much. I'm very excited to get going in the world of medium format, all the more so since we are headed to Zion National Park in Utah in 7 weeks.

    I appreciate any and all input.

    Thank you.

    David
     
  2. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Assuming it behaves like its smaller brother, the SQ series, what you describe sounds normal, as long as the shutter actually makes an exposure. Unlike a typical 35mm SLR, the reflex mirror does not auto-return. (Assuming it's working) when you press the shutter button, the shutter closes, the mirror flips up and the internal film shutter opens. Then the shutter opens, and controlled by electronics in the body, remains open until the set time, then closes. As you describe, the system is mechanically reset by winding the film to the next frame.

    So I guess the $64 question is -- does the shutter make an exposure? You might waste a frame at a 1 or two second shutter speed so you can actually see the shutter operation (if it works). In the SQ and SQ-A, a dead battery results in the maximum shutter speed (1/500) which is not very easy to see. There should be a button somewhere to do a battery test.

    That's my 2ยข at this late hour ...
     
  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Hmm, just re-read your post, you did try a bunch of shutter speeds. According to the manual at the Butkus site, the GS-1 shutter does not work at all without a battery, so that's probably a hint (it's more like the SQ-Ai). There should be some LED activity at the viewfinder if the camera is getting battery power.

    Wiping off the contacts on the body and the lens with a cloth dampened with alcohol might be in order. (I highly dis-recommend the old bit of using an eraser, it abrades the rather delicate plating.)
     
  4. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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  5. dgphoto

    dgphoto Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    Here's an update: The battery is new from about ~3 weeks ago with no use since then. I did some experiments looking down the lens while firing the shutter button at increasingly slower shutter speeds.

    I found that the lens leaflets would quickly close and then pop open for longer and longer periods of time as I increased the exposure time. At the end of the exposure, the leaflets closed and remained that way until I manually advanced the film.

    My conclusion is that the mirror stays down and the leaflets stay closed after each exposure until I manually advance the film.

    Will try it with a real roll of film on Wednesday when I have the morning off.

    Thanks to all.

    David
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    You have it exactly right. Except that the mirror stays up, not down.
     
  7. haplo602

    haplo602 Member

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    This is the correct way it should operate. My ETRSi (the 6x4.5 brother or rather sister) operates the same.

    Since there is no instant return mirror in these cameras, there is no light shield between the shutter and film when you take a photo. So the shutter stays closed to protect the exposed frame until you advance the film. Film advance does 3 things:

    1. lower the light baffle behind the mirror to shield the film from light
    2. lower the mirror into the viewing position
    3. cocks and opens the lens shutter.

    Exposure is almost the reverse:

    1. shutter closes (to shield the film)
    2. mirror swings up
    3. light baffle swings up
    4. shutter opens and closes (the actual exposure)

    You can have a look at this if you pop open the back while it is still on camera, remove the insert, remove the darkslide and set camera to multi-exposure operation. This way you can see what happens during the exposure and film winding from the film side of things :smile:
     
  8. funkpilz

    funkpilz Member

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    It took me a while to find the right battery type, the one that worked in the end was the V28PX / 4SR44.