Thanks much. I do have ac330 w/6 lenses & a Paramender 2, so maybe I'll stay put.
Another note on Jimmy Koh, he did excellent work on two of my bodies over the years.
Unfortunately though for us, if you'll check his website, kohscamera.com, you'll see he has retired from the repair business.
You sure have that right, our loss.
Originally Posted by JoeA
I sincerely wish Jimmy the best and a long, long, long retirement!
OK, I'm not going to pull any punches - I have been using a SQAi for the last few years and I have had my fair share of issues:
- 80mm lens - variable shutter speeds/sticking shutter when set to 1/500
- 150mm lens - short on the flash circuit. Started out as firing the flash out of sync, ended up not firing flash at all
- Intermittent Scratches on the film
Now here is the cruncher - The SQ series were used by professionals and I would say that the majority have had a decent, if not hard, life. They are working cameras, not shelf queens.
And now here is the best bit - the camera's are totally serviceable. Yes, there are experts such as Jim Koh, but there are also many other camera technicians who can adequately service these camera's. Yes, I do have issues, but I also acknowledge that a good CLA will probably resolve the lot.
My biggest concern is that the second hand market has all but dried up - KEH have a fraction of the stock they did a few years ago. The Evil Auction site seems to only have ridiculous 'Buy It Now' listings.
The main comparison that I have is obviously with the 'blad range - Value for money, the SQ series beats these hands down.
The Bronica lenses are great. The 80, shot open, does something lovely (not talking to the scientific lens-test crowd, here) and almost magical.
There are a lot of junk cameras out there now from old wedding shops, etc. I've bought 6 or 8 used SQs over the last 12 or 15 years, keeping my main cameras for tripod work and carrying the others when I'm hiking or whatever. Often the film mags are loose or worn down from years on the motor drive. One way to limit your exposure is to stick to SQ-Ais, which weren't made very long, and make sure you get a really tight camera.
"To a photographer the world consists of an infinite number of vantage points -- places to stand -- of which very few are altogether satisfactory." (John Szarkowski, Atget
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I got my extra SQ-Am body from a dealer in good condition for the price of 10 Films. No need for CLAs with this prices... Since I have this body I use it most of the time (have 2 SQ-A also). also found a mint S 8/500 for 200 Euro recently, the advantage of the SQ sytem is that you can find a lot of cheap acessories (bellows,mhand grip, prism finder, Screens) and lenses...
I ended up selling my 503cx to go with an etrsi outfit. I would have gone with an sq but I don't print square, and while I enjoy composing on a square screen it's just a waste when I end up cropping it down to 6x4.5 anyhow. I'm sort of backwards, I hated my hassy. I found a million reasons to just hate the system. Now that I have a bronica, i'm finding that I hate it just as much.. Buyer/Seller remorse. Try unlearning how to use a hasselblad, it's freaking impossible. Nothing else feels the same.
I don't know if the SQ back system is like the ETRS system, but the etrs system sucks. The backs have things sticking out that I know i'm going to break at some point. They don't fit into the body well at all, at least not on mine. With a hasselblad, you don't force anything. You don't need to. With this etrsi, I have to smack the back into the body. People whine about loading film into a hasselblad back? This bronica insert is so freaking fiddly..
Don't let all of my negative comments turn you off from what you want, my perfect camera doesn't exist.
Heck, in the end one of the major reasons was that bronica has 'normal strap lugs with a hole in them'. $50 for a camera strap?! With this I can tie some rope on two d-rings from home depot and be on my way.
My experiences exactly with the PS lenses. The high resolution I prefer and fine microdetail just isn't there. The most recent Mamiya RB and RZ lenses are in another league than the Bronica PS series. (That extra 20 to 30 lp/ml of resolution with the mamiya lenses over the Bronica PS series is noticeable when you do your own printing.)
Originally Posted by sveamarcus
I swithched and haven't looked back.
You may agree with sveamarcus, but personally I think there is a world of difference between 'testing' a lens and actually using a lens. I wouldn't dream of recommending, or criticising, something I hadn't used over a period of time. 'Testing' in my book is contrived comment, it doesn't relate to the world outside the camera shop window in most cases. He may have used a lab, or a sharp brick wall, but I'd take seriously the person that had lugged it up a mountain and had a genuine feeling for if it was worth the effort.
Originally Posted by Andre Noble