Bronica SQAi with AE Prism not metering

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by rduraoc, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. rduraoc

    rduraoc Member

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    Hello all,

    I recently jumped to medium format with a SQAi+120 back+PS80 f2.8+AE Prism Finder S. I ran a first roll of film through the camera and everything went fine: sharp images, no light leaks, nothing. And on the second roll the problems began, and I need your help to figure this out.

    - The AE Prism is not metering properly. When in "Auto" it only displays the extreme right arrow. There is no combination of shutter/aperture/ISO that will make it show something else;

    - When in "Manual", the only response is the blinking right arrow, same as above;

    - Another problem, and I'm guessing they're related, I'm able to detach the film back without the dark slide in. I thought this was not possible;

    - I was also able to trip the shutter with the darkslide in while I had film in the back. Now with no film, and setting the lever for multiple exposure, I cannot.

    The batteries are new (two rolls old) and the battery test is OK. All the contacts are clean.

    Help?

    TIA, Rui.
     
  2. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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    If you go to the Bronica Tips page at the link below you will find out information on problems with the SQ backs and how to test them. If you go from that page to his Film Equipment page you will get his full thoughts on the SQA system, including a few issues he has found. Beyond that, hopefully someone else will stop by with a prism solution.

    Peter http://www.camerahobby.com/Photo-Bronica_Tips.htm
     
  3. rduraoc

    rduraoc Member

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    Thank you for the link, it was quite useful. I checked the pin that prevents the shutter from being fired when the dark slide is in, and it is all working correctly now (maybe it was a temporary problem). Now, can someone tell me if I should be able to detach the back without the dark slide in?
     
  4. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    Normally you should not be able to detach the back without first sliding the dark slide in, but I am not aware of any "tricks" that will let you do it (for whatever reason).

    On another note: I have a faulty back that lets me trip the shutter without pulling the dark slide out first. When you acquire another back, it would be a good idea to ensure this does not happen. I've heard other users with the same experience. Fortunately for me I found out about the problem without loosing any shots.
     
  5. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    You cannot detach the film back without the dark slide in, but you CAN open the film back while it is attached to the camera for reloading purposes.
     
  6. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    You can't take the back off with the ark slide out as everyone says. Since all the symptoms you described seem to relate to this fact, I can only imagine that there is something faulty with back and that the contacts are not working properly. Is it possible that someone has opened (taken apart) the back and that the locking mechanism is in the wrong place/position? I have 5 backs and have not come accross the problem, so you should at least be reassured it is not a common problem...leaks...now that is common!K
     
  7. rduraoc

    rduraoc Member

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    Ok, first of all thank you for everyone that helped. I'm starting to think this can be a problem in the body, and not in the back (I didn't say, but it is a 120i).

    Could someone please tell me if you can press the button on the body to detach the back, when the back is not there? And if you can, do you see the latches on the bottom moving when you press this button?

    I'm trying to find out the mechanism that should be preventing the back from being detached when the dark slide is not in.

    And I'm also looking for another back (I was going to, anyway... :wink:)
     
  8. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The interlock should be in the back because it's dependent on the darkslide to unlock it.
    The Hasselblad is designed this way & I would imagine the Bronicas also.
     
  9. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    At the lower left corner of the back of the body is a round opening with a silvery pin in the center -- that when pressed in should allow the back release button to move the latches. In the matching corner of the back is a protruding black cylinder with a silvery pin in the middle. That pin appears to be actuated by a small tab at the bottom of the dark slide.

    (All info empirically determined looking at my SQ-A.)

    DaveT
     
  10. rduraoc

    rduraoc Member

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    I think the lower left corner pin in the body only prevents the shutter from being fired when the dark slide is not inserted. I say this because either pressing or not pressing the pin (with the tip of a pencil) without the back attached, it is always possible to move the latches that release the back. This is why I asked if anyone could press the release button (thus moving the latches) without the back attached.

    I'm also discovering that it is not that easy to find a 120i back for sale at a normal (not BIN) price...
     
  11. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    Well, on my SQ-A, I cannot release the back catches** unless the dark slide is in (or the condition is faked by pressing the pin I described). It probably also interlocks the shutter, I didn't check that function. It would make sense that both would be conditioned on that pin, since they're looking for the same condition. It can get a bit frustrating learning this stuff the hard way -- the manuals are little more than a quick start pamphlet.

    Good luck with it,

    DaveT

    ** Just occurred to me -- I'm talking about releasing the entire back from the body via the catches at the bottom of the frame -- not opening the back as in getting at the film insert. I don't think there's any interlock on that; having to operate two buttons is apparently considered sufficient protection.