Zenza Bronica SQ-A vs SQ-Am Impressions
Today i got my "new" SQ-Am body (70 Euro, tested, from a well known dealer in Austria) to accompany my two SQ-A bodys.
As I always use the hand grip S with the SQ-A, I took the SQ-Am as a cheap Backup. Its better to have some more SQ bodys these days...
I was especially interested in the differences in ergonomy. See also the pictures!
The SQAm is about 200g heavier than the SQA with speed grip.
My basic configurations are (80, WLF, Mag120, Speed grip, Gitzo Plate) 1985g SQA vs 2150g SQAm.
Tripod screw: SQAm in optical axis , to the right of he body with Speed grip S. Little advantage speed grip for me, as with attached gitzo plate, only the SQa does not fall to the right side. Without a tripod adapter, the SQAm has a really big bottom plate.
The SQAm has a nice (artificial) leather hand grip (Handschlaufe in german), see pictures. Gives secure grip and is not possible to attach at the speed grip S.
Cable release: SQA mechanical cable release at the left camera side, SQAm electric (my el release for the Pentax K5 is fitting, standard 2,5mm plug) on the lower right side of the hand grip. So SQAm would allow a remote control unit availible for this plug)
Hand Grip: Speed grip S has a more roundes sahpe and solid material, feels like a Mercedes S-Klasse part. Has Ideal rest position for thumb...
SQAm: more edgy, more plastic feeling,but looks more eighties than the S, Rest for the thum is smaller and the material of the grip is rough for a good grip, but not as comfortable as the speed grip.
Film advance with the SQAm works well, sound is not to bad, Speed grip S needs 2 strikes with your thumb.
Release button a softer (electronic button) with the SQAm. Both Ok
Release lock possible with both, lever at the bottom of the speed Grip vs on/off wheel on to of the SQAm Grip.
So I think a SQAm body is a suitable alternative to a SQA with speed grip, as the latter one (because of the grip) might bemore expensive and harder to find... On ebay a speed grip is usually more expensive than a SQAm body...
In the square format I have three SQ-As. I keep a waist level finder and crank on one of them all the time. With an 80/2.8 is makes a nice compact set-up and doesn't weigh too much. The speed grip is really necessary if you are shooting at eye level with prism finder. I use the waist level finder more with the SQ-As than with the ETR series or GS-1s because it's less awkward with the square format. I normally shoot medium format at a slower pace. Motorized advance would be better for me if 220 b&w films were still being made.
The SQAm works well, sound is OK, mirror clack is louder than the moto whining, and the motor is nice not because of the motor itself, but it gives you a return mirror, screen blackout Time ist about half a second then...
Electric cable release is also a bit more flexible than the manual one of the SQA.
Frame rate by the way (with Alkalines) ist 5 pictures in 5 seconds, tested with a filmless 120 back paper of course...
I just got the S 8/500, when using this lens on a tripod (4 kg Camera monster then) the motor drive is quite convenient.