Bronica s2(a) focus screen options

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Luseboy, May 4, 2011.

  1. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    Hello,
    So i'm wondering what options i have for replacing my focusing screen on my bronica. I know i can get one custom made (is this even being done anymore?) but i can't find out who will do that, or pricing. I had also read that i can take a focus screen from a kiev 88 and use it, but i'd also read that i can't due to the whole fresnel lens thing. Anyways, i would like something with split focus (rangefinder) in the center, as i've grown to used to this with my nikon f2. So what are my options, and will it cost a bunch?
    Thanks!
    -Austin
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would call Frank Marshman (aka "Camerawiz")--I don't have his 800 number handy, but I've posted it before, so try searching--and ask him about it. He's worked on all my S2a stuff and he once overhauled a Voigtlander Superb TLR for me, replacing the original focusing screen with a bright screen that had a split image prism and recalibrated the viewing lens to work with it. I suspect he just cannibalized some other defunct camera for the screen and cut it to size, and since it was part of an overhaul, I can't really say what the cost would have been just for that part of the job.

    The native S2a configuration is a fresnel that sits in a depression with the groundglass screen above it face down and in some cases shimmed, and there is a frame pressing down on it. If you are having focus problems, then the first thing you need to do is to replace the foam on the underside of that frame, because it deteriorates, gets sticky, and shrinks, pulling up on the groundglass, so that it is no longer in register. You can replace it with new foam, like the foam used in light seals in camera backs, but Sam Sherman, who used to post on the Bronica Yahoo!Group, recommended using Moleskin (the stuff you put on foot blisters), because it doesn't deteriorate like neoprene foam. I've done that, and it works.
     
  3. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    Thanks so much for the reply David! i wanted to wait to process another roll of film before i responded to you. I was very careful with my focusing while shooting, and when i processed the roll, the focus was exactly where i had remembered shooting it, so i do not believe the foam is a problem (i believe this camera has been well taken care of, i did get it off of a very nice guy off here). I simply would like a RF circle in the middle, and perhaps a brighter screen. I am going to hold off on seriously pursuing this until i use my chimney finder some (it's coming this coming monday, so it will not be a long wait!). I will go from there. Hopefully if i just put on the chimney finder (which as i'm sure you are aware, is a 5x magnifier as well), it will be perfect for me. We can only hope!
    Thanks for the reply!
    -Austin
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Do a careful focus test with a wide aperture and marked targets. Even if the camera is generally well cared for, if the foam hasn't been replaced recently, it's a very common problem.
     
  5. SFC

    SFC Member

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    Maxwell will make a custom screen. I believe he charges around $300.