Bronica S2a Information

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jazzmechanic, May 13, 2005.

  1. jazzmechanic

    jazzmechanic Member

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    Looking for advice on the Bronica S2a. A friend is going to let me have one for $50 with a Nikkor 2.8 75mm lens. Any infomation or examples of your photos made with this camera are appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. MattCarey

    MattCarey Member

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    I have never owned one, but I was seriously looking at them a few years back. $50 sounds like a no-brainer.

    S2a's, as I recall, are a bit noisy but very nice. The Nikkor is a good piece of glass. The cameras can need maintanence, though.

    Matt
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's really cheap. I have a pretty extensive collection of S2A stuff. For more info than you ever wanted, go to-

    http://medfmt.8k.com/bronica.html

    All the shots on this page were taken with the S2A and the Nikkor 50/3.5--

    http://www.echonyc.com/~goldfarb/temp/mta.html

    Here's one with the 40/4.0--

    [​IMG]

    I forget now whether I used the 75/2.8 or the 50 on this. Probably the 75--

    [​IMG]

    Here's the 135/3.5 plus a short extension tube (c-a)--

    [​IMG]

    Here a 210/4.5 Heliar I adapted to the Bronica--

    [​IMG]
     
  4. jazzmechanic

    jazzmechanic Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the advice! Those photos are great! I am a six month med format uesr and both cameras are Mamiyas.
     
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    The S2a was my first medium format camera, and in a lot of ways it's still my favorite. The pages that David references were what convinced me to try the S2a. Be aware that the camera has quite a kick to it, but the vast majority of the noise and movement happens after the picture is taken; don't let the sound and the vibration scare you away from the camera.

    I've been shooting one with the 75 and 135mm lenses for years, and I still love the camera every time I pick it up.

    Be well.
    Dave
     
  6. brent8927

    brent8927 Member

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    The S2A was also my first medium format camera. I think $50 is a ridiculously low price; I believe most kits catch about $200-$300 on ebay, depending on their condition. Since your friend is selling it to you, I'd imagine everything would be working fine with it.

    What's nice about the S2A is you can get some really good lenses for pretty low prices, at least compared to Hasselblad lenses. Both of the Nikkor 50mm lenses were great, I don't believe I was ever impressed by the 135mm, but the 200 (or is it 210?... it's been a long time...) performed very well. Personally I never tried the Zenzanon or Komura optics, the only reason I bought an S2A was because I wanted the Nikkor lenses.

    I was a bit sad to see my S2A go... I sold my entire kit, with a 50mm F2.8, 200mm, a couple extra backs, prism, grips, etc, for about $800 and that only paid for about half of the Hasselblad I bough (with only one lens!). I can honestly say I questioned that move a lot, but I do have to admit the Hasselblad was a bit lighter and as weird as it might sound, I really liked having the shutter-speed dial on the lens; it just felt better for me.

    I've since moved up to 4x5 and sold my Hasselblad and am trying to decide when I get enough money if I want to buy another Hasselblad or buy an S2A instead... it's a tough choice... I really liked them both...

    Honestly, the only medium format brands I personally would consider are the Bronica S2A line, and Hasselblad, I didn't like any others.

    Of course, at that price, assuming everyone works fine, I wouldn't even hesitate a moment to buy that S2A... That's such a good price. If I knew your friend I'd buy it off him in a second!
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I really like the Nikkor 135/3.5. It's a Tessar-type. I have the Nikkor 200 as well, but I don't use it as much as the 135. The 105/3.5 LS leaf shutter lens is also a Tessar-type. The 200 is a 5-element design, but I'm guessing it's a telephoto of some sort, unlike the 75/2.8, which is a 5-element Planar-type.

    The only Komura lens I have is the 300/5. It's okay. I bought it mainly for the helical, and I've had S.K. Grimes make me a tube to mount a Schneider 500/5.5 Tele-Xenar on it, which is a really nice thing and wasn't terribly costly compared to what you would pay for a 500mm lens on a Hassy, Contax or Rollei. The ability to adapt lenses is a big attraction of the Bronica S-series for me.
     
  8. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    I like the 135mm a lot for portraits, especially wide-open. I've been extremely happy both with the sharpness at the plane of focus and with the smooth transition to the background. I'm still on the hunt for a 40mm lens, but haven't yet found one that was both in good shape and at a price I'd consider paying. I'm sure it'll happen eventually...although S-series prices seem to have headed north a bit over the last six to nine months.

    I also have to agree with David about the joy of adapting other lenses to the Bronica. Given the three ways you can mount a lens, you can almost always find some way to get the lens you want to try out in front of the camera. (Assuming, of course, that the lens doesn't need to be closer to the film than the front of the mirror is.)
     
  9. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    No brainer,

    I have an extensive S2 system and S2A system, and you could'nt pry it from my cold dead hands, great glass that rivals the best of anything made for medium format, low cost assesories and other than it being a tank, just a great system to shoot for 6x6 negs.

    $50, no question in my mind, I would give him a Franklin and feel like I got the steal of the Decade.

    If you don't buy it, please forward my name and email address to him and I will take it!

    Dave
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is another attraction of the S-series and EC-series Bronicas--the lenses can protrude into the mirror box, because of the falling mirror design on the S-series and the split mirror on the EC-series. That's why the 40mm is such an outstanding lens. It's still a retrofocus, but not as much of a retrofocus as the comparable Distagon.
     
  11. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    True...I should have said "assuming the lens doesn't have to go in so far that it hits the mirror." Even the 75mm extends into the body pretty well.
     
  12. jazzmechanic

    jazzmechanic Member

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    Thanks for all your comments. I have been friends with this person for 30 yrs and so after reading all the replys, as a friend I will offer him 100-150 for it. He really doesn't need the money but I value his friendship. We are both drummers and I gave him a electronic drum kit to practice in his apartment. So now in addition to the Mamiyas, I will also have a Bronica. Glad I train daily...I love the medium formats!!!!
     
  13. gchpaco

    gchpaco Member

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    Heavy. Loud. Wonderful lenses, wonderful body, tricky to repair. No way am I selling mine. My one complaint is that my 135/3.5 flares like crazy shooting near the sun. $50 is, as mentioned above, a steal.
     
  14. johnfalky

    johnfalky Member

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    I just bought a "like new" S2A a couple of weeks ago. It took a bit of time to realize that the film advance process does not stop until the wind mechanism has made a rather strange crunching noise. After shooting with 35mm the shutter mechanism on this unit sounds like a small gunshot...Mine came complete with Bronica 80mm lens.
     
  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, that final lurch scares everyone the first time until you realize it's normal.
     
  16. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Anyone who has one of the S series Bronica cameras (S, S2, S2A, EC, EC-TL, C) PM David Goldfarb here on Apug because he is setting up a deal with SK Grimes to have adaptors made so we can easily homebrew our own lenses--one of the benefits of this system
    See his post here:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=17474
     
  17. michaelsalomon

    michaelsalomon Member

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    bought mine on ebay, but found that the lens slightly rotated a bit when the shutter is fired, sent it out to Frank Marshman who I was told was the go to guy for the s2a...Frank did a CLA, and replaced some foam. Lens still rotates when the shutter is fired though...anyone have this happen to their s2a?
     
  18. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Did you mention this problem to Frank when you sent him the camera? If so, I would send it back.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've heard of that happening. Frank is good about taking a second look, if you think he missed something. It might be that the helical is just worn, but he may be able to do something to tighten it up.