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  1. #1

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    Bronica mirror position for shooting

    Have just acquired a Bronica SQ-Ai second hand; everything makes sense to me except one aspect.

    Is it the case that, whatever mirror lock-up setting you have, the mirror will always fold away (fold up) when you turn the film advance sufficiently so that the shutter is cocked? (to use the term in the manual)

    In other words: Do you have to make your composition thru the finder with the film not quite advanced fully (while the mirror is still down), then advance the film crank to fully cock the shutter (at which point mirror lifts and you can no longer see the viewfinder image) before shooting? Or should the mirror stay down and only lift and return when you depress the shutter?

    Just curious if there is any fault with the model I have or if this is the standard behaviour.

    Or is there some way I'm handling the camera wrongly?? It seems curious to me that, if you cock the shutter fully, there is then no way to 'reverse out' of this position and look through the viewfinder again to make a (perhaps different) composition. This would suggest you must only ever cock the shutter 'at the last minute' before you shoot??

    NB Have been experimenting with new acquisition with no film loaded. Perhaps it operates differently with film loaded??

    Many thanks for all help!

    Rationale: I often like to take landscape shots, waiting and watching until some travelling clouds are in the position that makes the composition 'just so' - or cast ground shadow to make it just so. It occurs to me that if I have understood correctly that 'shutter cocked = finder view disappears', then either I have to watch through the viewfinder, then quickly cock the shutter and shoot at the moment the cloud/shadow is correct. OR I have to cock the shutter fully and just judge the cloud/shadow effect on the composition in real life, _without the benefit of the exact crop through the viewfinder.

    Many thanks for all help!

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    The mirror should only swing up when you fire the shutter and then return when advancing the film. You may have the mirror lockup switch on but I've never seen one act like this.
    Gary Beasley

  3. #3

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    Bronica mirror position for shooting

    Can I ask another question then?
    Should the mirror lock-up lever - the one with the markings N, S and C - move the mirror physically as you turn it? (effectively pushing the mirror). On the article I have acquired, the mirror lock-up lever moves relatively freely, with no accompanying movement of the mirror as the lever is switched between positions.

    (Or does the mirror lock-up lever only affect the mirror as you wind forward or something??)

  4. #4
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    From the manual: N,S & C relate to Normal, Single & Continuous, the latter 2 being with the mirror locked up. You MUST wind the camera on with the lever at N before setting the switch to S or C, and I can confirm that the mirror locks up immediately you switch to S or C. If you are shooting with the AE prism finder S, it must be set to Manual exposure mode.

    If you set the switch to S, the lever will return to N when you wind on after taking the shot. If you set it to C, the lever will not return to N and the mirror will stay locked up. To stop this you should set the lever to S or N before winding on and the mirror will come down as you wind on. This should also be done when you take your final shot and before winding on the film to the end.

    If you have left the camera with the lever in the S or C position, rotating it to N will result in either the shutter being released or the shutter & button not operating. In that situation, cover the lens and take a blank exposure as follows: Set switch to N then use the multiple exposure lever and expose the frame. After exposing the frame, reverse the multiple exposure lever and the camera should now work normally. (pages 31-33 of my manual)

    Let us know how you get on!

  5. #5

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    Gary, Peter: Many thanks for your help so far!
    Re:
    >I can confirm that the mirror locks up immediately you switch to S or C.<
    For me, the mirror doesn't move when I turn the switch (whatever position the mirror is in, whether up or down, and however I move the switch).

    Re:
    >If you set the switch to S, the lever will return to N when you wind on after taking the shot.<
    This doesn't happen. The lever does not return to N. It just stays wherever it was.

    Re:
    >If you set it to C, the lever will not return to N and the mirror will stay locked up. To stop this you should set the lever to S or N before winding on and the mirror will come down as you wind on.<
    The mirror comes down as I wind on - but then jumps up again immediately the shutter gets to cocked position.
    The complete sequence I am experiencing is that with the shutter cocked, the mirror is permanently up (so I cannot compose a shot with the shutter cocked; is that how it should be?). After shooting, as I wind forward, the mirror returns to position, and I get what is (what I _assume is) a faithful 6x6 view through the viewfinder and the lens... *but*, the mirror stays in this position only while the shutter is not quite cocked. At this stage the shutter will not fire. As soon as I wind on that last bit such that the shutter is cocked - such that the shutter will fire - the mirror jumps up with a loud clap and I have no viewfinder view. This happens whatever position I set the mirror lock-up lever to - N, S or C. And winding on does not cause the lever to reset from S to N.

    Is the above behaviour normal, or does it sound like the camera has a fault? Or could I still be doing something wrong? (I would be really pleased if it were my mistake rather than the camera's, but I am finding the behaviour v hard to reconcile with expectations / with the instructions!)

    _Many, many thanks for all help.

  6. #6
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like a defective camera. You need to talk to whoever you bought the camera from and see about returning it or some kind of compensation for having to have it repaired.
    Gary Beasley

  7. #7
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    T
    he mirror comes down as I wind on - but then jumps up again immediately the shutter gets to cocked position.
    It sounds like the camera is permanently stuck in Continuous mirror-lock mode. This is the behavior the camera performs when in the "C" mode.

    Is it doing this with a film in the camera? My SQA can behave oddly if there is no film in the back depending on if the darkslide is in or out (and, I suspect, the phase of the moon etc)... It then works fine once there is film in it.

    Cheers, Bob.

  8. #8

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    Gary, Peter, Bob: Many thanks to you all.
    This is the conclusion I have come to, as well.
    I have come to the conclusion that the mirror lock-up lever is no longer connected to any mirror action, and that the camera is stuck permanently in the "C" mode.

    It does this with or without film in the camera.

  9. #9
    glbeas's Avatar
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    If you don't plan on returning it find a good repair shop for it. Most repairs can be made without needing new parts. Usually it's just something worked loose that can be put back. A Clean, Lube and Adjust will make your camera last much longer.
    Gary Beasley

  10. #10
    Peter Black's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dreisenberger View Post
    Gary, Peter, Bob: Many thanks to you all.
    This is the conclusion I have come to, as well.
    I have come to the conclusion that the mirror lock-up lever is no longer connected to any mirror action, and that the camera is stuck permanently in the "C" mode.

    It does this with or without film in the camera.
    I think it is probably time to get it looked at professionaly and it may be something relatively minor with a bit of luck. The SQ series has a few other quirks you may wish to know for future reference, so see the link below.

    http://www.camerahobby.com/Photo-Bronica_Tips.htm



 

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