Another Bronica Question
Should I or not get this SQ-Ai
I have found very usefull info regardeing the quality of these cameras here and on other sites. Now that it have been discontinued the Hassy seem a better long time deal when it comes to accessories and lens purchase.
The problem is that the Hassys are still unaffordable and those I can afford are very old.
This SQ-Ai I have coming my way is as new, really. No dust on screen, no chips or scratches and no sign of use on tripod, even the back shows no sign of use. I find the price low in relation to the normal prices here in Denmark,
533 € for the kit. The cheapest very old H 500 is 800€ as a kit I don't know the age but it might be 20+ years or so.
Bronica is not very common in Denmark but shows up on the used market from time to time. Hassy lenses and accessories are still very expensive even if they are common. I can propably get a 150mm with the kit but I would like to ad a 50mm later.
Should I or not ?
Seems a little expensive. You can get an SQ-A kit for half that from a U.S. seller on eBay, or even from KEH.com. I chose the A over the Ai since it has a more metallic feel and styling and seems to have less mirror slap.
Last year I got an Bronica SQ, two 220 backs and an 80mm and have been very happy with the operation and optics. If price for performance is the prime motivating factor than it sounds like a good deal to me. However, if you have any concerns about finding lenses and accessories then you are stuck with the used market.
a happy Bronica user
"...slow down and start using photography to create an image, not just capture one." b.e.wilson
"Speed kills, Del" Johnny Fever
Probably very satisfactory
I believe from my own experience having owned a Bronica SQ with the older style lens..I forget the designation but not the PS series was a sfactory lens. It was not in my opinion the equal of an 80mm Planar. I did not own but had occasion to use and to see prints made with the other Bronica lenses for the SQ that were again not of the PS series. They were not in my opinion satisfactory. A friend of mine later owned 40mm. 50mm, 65mm, 80mm, 110, 150mm, 200mm, 250mm PS series lenses that he used extensively for professional wedding photography and portraiture. While he had previously owned non PS wide angles and telephotos with which he was less than totally satisfied, he did feel that the PS lenses were up to snuff. I guess that anyone who has been to Copenhagen knows better than do I what up to snuff means.
For a like new Bronica SQA approximately 600+ USD seems reasonable. It should also be noted that I have not followed whatsoever what like new Broicas are selling for on Ebay...or anywhere else as far as that goes. Since you are buying locally, I would reccommend buying it with a 10 or 15 day return priviledge and see if the handling of the camera and the quality of its negative or transparencies are completely satisfactory to you.
I have (and still do) consider a Pentax 645 my next buy, and still have to save some dough for it!
But I was looking at a Bronica ETRS at the used camera shope yesterday.
Nifty camera, nice feeling and handling, lens seemed nice (75mm MC) and for less than $500 for the kit is hard to beat....
Kit had the camera body, metering AE-II prism, 75mm lens, 3 120 backs, 1 35mm back, and everything seems to be functional.
Mama took my APX away.....
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
I've got an ETRS, with 75mm, 150mm, 40mm, two 120 backs, 135W back, and a prism finder (not metering).
What can I say? The camera is great, the lenses unsurpassed, and everything keeps on working. We did a comparison once with a friend and his new Nikon something-or-other with the latest, greatest 100mm lens. Kodak GOLD film from a souvenir shop, developed in main street lab, negatives examined with Leitz microscope: The 75mm MC had the best resolution by far; details were clearly visible which The Nikon lens didn't even hint might be there.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I have pretty fair sized Bronica system consisting of 2 SQ-A and 1 SQ-Ai bodies, 3 - 80mm PS, 1 50mm PS, 1 150mm PS, 8 120 backs, a 135N back, a Polaroid back, 3 WLF's, a metered prism, an AE prism, 2 speed grips, an S-18, and an S-36 extension tube, plus a few more odds and ends. I can't say enough good things about these cameras, they're that wonderful to use. The lenses are damn nice, the electronic shutters are super accurate - the whole package gives me a warm fuzzy feeling everytime I shoot with it.
There is one drawback though, when using the metered finders you will find battery life is shorter than you may like. I keep a few spare batteries in my bag at all times.
I learned the battery issue the hard way early on. An SQ-A body stopped synching flash - at a wedding - because of battery level. The battery check light indicated all was well, but nothing short of a new battery would get the camera to work right. It wasn't a big deal as I had a backup body ready to go, but it took a few minutes that I could have better used to choke down dinner to figure out the problem.
One helpful tip I can offer: the SQ-Ai uses four 76 cells whereas the SQ-A uses a PX-28. I only buy alkaline PX-28 batteries and dissect them for the four 76 cells needed for the SQ-Ai - it's a LOT cheaper than buying four 76 cells and it's less for my aging brain to have to remember to buy. A PX-28 comes apart real easy with a pocket knife or small screwdriver.
In spite of the battery issue, I love my Bronica gear!
Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.