Bronica shutter vibration.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by emtor, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. emtor

    emtor Member

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    I've got a Bronica ETRSi and a SQ-Am.
    Try placing a small glass of water on top of these cameras when mounted
    on a cheap tripod and fire the shutter.
    This will make ripples in the surface of the water, so they obviously vibrate
    when shooting. Has anyone experienced blurred images when shooting in low
    light situations with shutter speeds ranging from 1/30 to 1 sec?
    If yes,-what do you do to dampen / eliminate camera shake?

    I always shoot with mirror lock-up using the electromagnetic cable trigger,
    so I guess a decent tripod comes next. Last night I tested with my old and
    cheap tripod and the movement of the shutter opening created easily visible
    ripples in the glass of water. Today I went to the local hardware store and
    picked up a tripod intented for the use of contractors when they level out roads
    and similar things. This tripod is huge, but who cares, I want camera shake to
    go away, simple as that. I haven't got a head for it yet, but placing the Bronicas
    on top of the tripod seems to have helped. I can barely notice vibration in
    the water when the shutter trips. Pressing the cameras lightly down on the tripod
    with my hand makes any vibration disappear altogether.
    Mounting a head on this beast may change things for the worse, so if anyone has
    good ideas for obtaining minimum camerashake I'm all ears.
     
  2. CGW

    CGW Member

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    My advice is to start drinking heavily from that shot glass--not water, either. Are you aware these are leaf shutter lenses? Any clunking around is the mirror which, if locked up, isn't in play. Never any issues with my Bronica SQ-B at slowish speeds, or my Mamiya RB 67. Any vibrations you're fretting about are likely post-exposure. At any rate, do you have any images to confirm vibration-related softness? It's never been an issue for me, especially with mirror lock-up.
     
  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Hmmm! I have an SQ-A, but I'm not in the habit of placing glasses of water on (or even near!) my cameras. I use mirror lock-up and a tripod rated to hold 17 pounds and I can't say I've ever noticed any problems. Of course, the SQ-A has a strictly mechanical shutter release. I guess I wouldn't be all that surprised if I learned the electronic release in the later gear bangs stuff with a hefty solenoid, that would fit with the last few decade's use of technology "because it's there."
     
  4. Hikari

    Hikari Member

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    Me thinks you are being a little over sensitive to the problem. I feel sorry that you are going have to lug that surveyor's tripod around with you. First, I would put a roll of film in the camera and determine if there is actually a problem. So far all you have proved is that it will cause water to ripple. I use my medium format equipment on a 3.5lbs carbon-fiber tripod with a load rating of 13lbs.
     
  5. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    As others have alluded, that thunk is the mirror moving out of the way. That happens before the shutter is actually tripped.

    Personally, I haven't seen issues yet shooting hand held around 1/30th. Or no more than the shaking that comes from me, though I think the weight of the Bronica helps compensate a bit.

    If you are shooting in MLU, you shouldn't have any shaking of note.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I haven't seen any problems handheld or tripod mounted. I have an ETRS (not I) so I don't have mirror lockup.

    It has been stated that the noise is the mirror moving out of the way, however, there is also a light trap in front of the film which needs to move away as well so this may well be contributing to the noise.

    Yes. It was designed to take pictures either handheld or on a 'normal' tripod. Try it that way and see if it works.


    Steve.
     
  7. emtor

    emtor Member

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    I shoot with MLU, and the test were done at 1/2 sec. shutter speed so it is easy to hear what is the shutter and what is the cocking of the next shot. (SQ-Am).
    I can easily see a tiny shockwave going through the water from the shutter alone, and maybe it's no problem, but I shoot mostly in winter, and where I live the sun never shows during the day so shutter speeds are always in the "danger zone" (1/4 sec. and longer).
    I'm almost posessed with camera shake since I'm shooting a bit of HDR (yes, with color neg film), and the overexposed frames are too often less sharp than the ones shot at faster shutter speeds. That's why I'm trying to pin down the source or sources for the lack of sharpness I some times experience.
    As for the heavy tripod,-it's not a bit more heavy than the monster Gitzo I borrowed a couple of weeks ago, and I do need a hog of a tripod when shooting out by the coast since windspeed can be nasty there on some days. Besides my old tripod cracked in the cold last night (35 centigrades below freezing) so I needed a new one made from aluminium.
    BTW my old tripod is fluid dampened and when I pan the head it moves the legs of the tripod as well as the camera due to the low temps here.
    Not good.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2010
  8. Josh Harmon

    Josh Harmon Member

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    I have an ETRS that doesnt have MLU and I shoot all though its shutter range. Never had a blurry shot that was caused by the shutter. I only get blurry shots through human error :smile: . That being said, I use a sturdy Giottos tripod with ball head and a cable release when I do any type of serious work with it.
     
  9. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Another consideration - the water in the glass is a relatively undamped (no pun intended) system and once set in motion could slosh around as a sort of resonance. The actual driving impulse from the shutter could be a very short and quickly damped pulse within the camera mechanism. As such, the internal camera vibrations could be settled out during a large percentage of the actual exposure; e.g., a half millisecond wiggle during a 1/2 second exposure won't even register, even though the water sloshes a bit. I also seem to recall some discussions about shutter vibration being a bigger problem at 1/25 or so than really slow speeds for that reason, but it may have been with regard to a very specific camera and tripod.
     
  10. emtor

    emtor Member

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    You are probably right. The visible pulse through the water is perhaps just an indication of the actual vibration due to the very different properties of the water and the camera internals. What one sees in the water may be more alarming than what it is really is.
     
  11. pnance

    pnance Member

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    Whimsically speaking: why don't you mount the Bronica on a seismograph and see if the the camera vibrates or is merely transmitting the force to the (undampened as noted before) water which is only showing its own long term instability.

    Anyone got a spare seismograph? LOL :whistling:
     
  12. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    First of all, the vibration is neither restrained, as it would be with a good tripod, nor damped as it would be held in the hands. Like the way a cell phone set to vibrate will jump around on a table but not in your hand.
    An empty glass struck with a hard object will certainly vibrate, but you can't see it. Put water in it and strike it exactly the same way with the same force, and you will clearly see a strong disturbance in the water.
    Your water test is useful as a comparative measurement but not much as an actual measurement.
     
  13. BrianL

    BrianL Member

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    I dunno but I've had a ETRS for a few decades as my main camera and NEVER seen any evidence of mirror slap or vibration even when doing macro with lens wide open. I have heard this fairy tale before about the Bronica but on challenge never had anyone who claimed it is an issue actually provide proof and I've loaned mine to them to test. I know a number of professional photographers who used the SQ and ETRS as their main tools of trade and and while some lusted over the likes of a Hassey (even I do from time to time), none ever though the camera was a limiting factor in their work.

    I also had an Exacta system with the same mirror slap and even with 35mm, there was no evidence of a problem b/c of the design.
     
  14. NJS

    NJS Member

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    My SQ-A brutally slaps compared to P6 or M645 1000s or RB67. That matters only for 1/30 and below for 80mm and longer focal lengths. when mirror is locked up I really haven't fell any sort of vibration with lens shutter.
    I didn't quite understand the OP but if he seems to have the same problem with all lenses he owns then perhaps it's time to switch to Hassleblad.