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Thread: Bronica SQ-AM

  1. #1

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    Bronica SQ-AM

    Hi
    This is my first post over here. I have visited several times, though. I started shooting 35mm a long time ago and then went digital. There have been many times that I miss film. So, recently, I purchased a Bronica SQ-AM body off of Ebay and picked up a lens and back at KEH. I got the camera for a song and a dance, so I figured I had very little to lose. I found the manual on line, so that has been helpful in figuring out how to put this camera together.
    The motor seems to work fine. Everything looks to be in good condition.
    I loaded the film into the film back according to the manual. When I pressed the motor drive, the film does not advance from S to 1. Does anyone have any suggestions or pointers they can share with me.
    Thanks so much!
    Nancy

  2. #2
    dschneller's Avatar
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    Sorry Nancy, I'm not familiar with the -AM but I use the manual advance version an SQ. After loading the film you need to advance a number of frames to go from S to 1 since 120/220 film has a long paper leader. The motor drive may only advance one frame at a time and may not automatically go to the first frame of the film.

    Dave
    "...slow down and start using photography to create an image, not just capture one." b.e.wilson

    "Speed kills, Del" Johnny Fever

  3. #3
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Like Dave I only have the manual wind version of the SQ-A, but obvious possible culprits are the batteries. There is a manual here: (http://www.butkus.org/chinon/bronica...onica_sq-a.htm) which is probably the one you found already but I list it just in case... There is says:
    G. Upon loading the film, set the mode selector switch to Sm or Cm and depress the drive button, which will place the first frame into position for taking the picture.
    It also says you can wind the film to the 1st frame manually (obviously it is better to use the motor):
    H. When the film back is detached from the camera main body for film loading, the manual film winder is used for advancing the film. The film will stop when it is in place for the first exposure, with the exposure counter also changing to "1 ". However, it will be possible to rotate the manual film winder and, therefore, it should be rotated 2 or 3 times more, in order to take up any slack in the loaded film.
    Other possibilities are to play with the camera settings: try it with the darkslide inserted and again when removed. Try with and without a lens attached. Also check that you don't have the mirror-up lever engaged; ditto the multi-exposure lever: the SQ-A can be temperamental about such things...

    Sorry if you have already tried all this....

    Good luck, Bob.

  4. #4

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    Dave and Bob
    Thanks so much! I will try the suggestions. The shutter seems awfully loud when I trip it.
    Is that normal?
    Thanks again
    Nancy

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    I only have a SQA but the mirror ”slap” is distinctive. Try locking the mirror up (if this is possible on the SQAM) and listening to just the shutter.

  6. #6
    dschneller's Avatar
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    Yes, the mirror does make quite a distinctive sound, I found it quite loud myself the first time I tested the camera. I soon got used to it, and as bon-jip suggests you can use mirror-lock-up if you are worried about mirror vibration.

    If you want to get used to the camera, run a roll through the camera and keep the spools and paper backing. You can then use this 'test' spool to become experienced with the operation of the camera without wasting any film.
    "...slow down and start using photography to create an image, not just capture one." b.e.wilson

    "Speed kills, Del" Johnny Fever

  7. #7

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    I appreciate your help!
    dschneller.... I already wasted a roll of film trying to figure this monstor out. LOL
    As I was shooting frames, a red light was going off at the top of my viewing screen. The manual says that this means somthing is not right. Now, I have to figure out what that is.
    The film appeared to be loaded properly according to the manual. I believe I put the lens on correctly, but if the film window is telling me that the film is not advancing, and I am seeing this red light, something must be wrong. I was able to advance the film with the crank, but the red light went off every time I tripped the shutter. The manual is a bit difficult to follow and not all that descriptive. I'll keep plugging away, just thought I should mention I am seeing this red warning light.
    Thanks
    Nancy

  8. #8
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    The light is dual purpose: It is only a warning light if it stays on. At other times, it flashes every time the shutter closes (at least, it does on my SQ-A) - useful when you are doing an 8 second exposure and you are not sure how long that is or using the mirror-lockup feature (the shutter itself, being a leaf shutter, is very quiet) - the flash lets you know you can wind on.

    Can you wind the film on when the back is off the camera using the little manual crank (fiddly, I know). If so then this implies the film is loaded into the back correctly, iliminating that possible cause.

    Although the film advance indicator does not move, is the film actually being advanced by the motor drive? The indicator may be broken but film is being advanced correctly. In which case return the film back to where you bought it.

    Are you sure you have a 120 back and not a 220 version?

    It may be worth searching out someone locally to you that has experience of this type of camera and see what they think if you still don't get anywhere...


    Good luck, Bob.
    Last edited by Bob F.; 02-28-2005 at 05:13 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: schpellin mistayk

  9. #9
    dschneller's Avatar
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    Bob is correct, the light blinks when the shutter closes. Check the small finger crank on the film back to see if it moves when the camera advances to the next frame. Just like on a 35mm camera when you racket the film lever you will see the film rewind knob move. Develop the roll you have already taken, it may lead you to discovering what the problem is. And who knows, you may find you took a complete roll of usable pictures. If not return the back to KEH.
    "...slow down and start using photography to create an image, not just capture one." b.e.wilson

    "Speed kills, Del" Johnny Fever

  10. #10

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    Ok...you guys have been extremely helpful. I will follow all of your suggestions and see what happens. I definetly have an SQ 120 back. The red light goes off after each trip of the shutter, so that's good news. I'm going to put another roll of film through and watch the crank. I can manually crank it and the number does move, it just doesn't move with the shutter or when I press the motor drive, although I can hear the motor drive and it sounds like it's working properly.
    I truly appreciate your help!
    Nancy

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