The S2a is much preferred of those three because the gears in it are made of bronze instead of plastic and are much more reliable and robust.
Originally Posted by Andre R. de Avillez
Sort of. The S2a has steel gearing, and the earlier models have brass gearing.
Originally Posted by glbeas
I've got a Bronica SQ with Waist Level Finder, hand crank, and standard PS 80mm lens. Nothing fancy but I enjoy using it. I do a lot of 35mm with a Pentax ME super, so I'm not worried about bells and whistles. In its simple form I find the Bronica slows me down and makes me think about what I want; Its also quite light to carry around even with a tripod. The Broni looks a good bet to me. ( mine cost £200 including 2 backs )
Right, I knew it was something along those line. I've never seen one of those mythical creatures so I had to draw on fading memory of web info I've encountered. Kinda funny it took them so long to get it right.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
I have owned a number of medium format SLRs, including Bronica S, S2 and S2A, Pentacon 6, and several Kievs, including the Kiev 66 and the Kiev 88 CM.
Originally Posted by eubielicious
My personal opinion is that the Kiev 88 CM is the best of these cameras, plus there are lots of very good inexpensive lenses out there for it. At the same price I would take an 88 CM over a Bronica S2A any day, both because of the wide range of inexpensive lenses and the modern TTL prism. And age. Bronica S2As go back to the early 70s, and many were used professionally and have a lot of wear internally, even if they don't show it outside.
But, to be fair, the Nikkor lenses for the Bronica were really excellent, certaily on a par with the better Zeiss lenses you can buy for the Kiev 88 CM.
Whatever you decide, it is hard to lose at today's prices for this equipment since some of it is dirt cheap, especially the Kiev stuff, so with the big negative and quality you can get a lot of bang for the buck.
BTW, just for clarification, the Kiev 88 CM is the most modern version of the Kiev 88. In contrast to earlier Kiev 88 cameras, it has a cloth focal plane shutter and a lens mount that takes Pentacon 6 type lenses, including lots of great Zeiss optics. It is a much superior camera to older Kiev 88s.
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The Pentacon might give you more than you bargained for - lots of repair bills. Stick with Bronica for a safer choice. Why not the SQA.
I'll second that. The SQA(-i) is a great camera. I had one with which I parted due to stupidity.
Originally Posted by Sandeep
Never had a Bronica. I have used a Pentacon 6tl for about ten years and have had NO trouble with it whatsoever. (Oops, shouldn't have said that -now it will probably self-destruct) Load the film properly and there won't be any film transport problems. It's a little quirky, and won't take abuse, but there are lots of wonderful CHEAP lenses for it.
"I'm still developing"
If you get an older camera, whether Pentacon 6, Bronica S2/S2A or even a Hassy, you should bank on getting a CLA. Maybe with a more modern Bronica SQ-A/B it isn't so necessary.
I had a full CLA on my P6, including a new brighter focusing screen with microprism collar from a Kiev 6 and a film wind indicator (a precautionary measure since I had not had any frame spacing problems). According to the guy that did the CLA, many frame spacing problems are through incorrect film loading, but he did also say that some film brands are more prone to cause problems than others.
The big advantage of a Pentacon 6 is the large range of affordable lenses (especially wides) and other accessories. This was the main reason for me going with the Pentacon as opposed to the Bronica.
Originally Posted by P C Headland
In today's market the difference between Bronica ETR lenses and P6 lenses is very small. Some times the Bronica lenses are even cheaper.