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  1. #1

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    Brand new to MF - Bronica S2

    Hello everyone,

    I am completely new to MF photography, definitely looking forward to reading a lot here to learn more.

    I recently borrowed a Bronica S2 from my uncle who is generously allowing me to have it on permanently loan if I choose However, I'm reading that the Bronica S2 may have some gear problems. I am wondering, would the Bronica S2 be worth investing into more (i.e. buying more accessories and lenses) despite this potential problem, or perhaps it might be a good idea to switch to another brand if I decide that I really want to invest into MF? I hear such fantastic things about the Hasselblad, and I admit sometimes I like owning something because of it's legendary name as well as great performance (I'm an addict of Zeiss lenses for my Nikon SLR). Would it be wise to hold off spending anything on the Bronica S2, which already has a 120/220 back, two lenses, and a waist level finder, to spend into Hasselblad later on - maybe something like a 500C or CM?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The S2 only has gear problems if you force it, but otherwise, if the camera works, there's no reason not to use it. The S2a replaced brass gears with steel and improved the overwind clutch. Classic Bronica lenses and accessories are fairly cheap, so even if you did damage the camera, you could swap the body for an S2a for not much money.

    Nikkor lenses made for Bronica were excellent lenses in their day. Of course, so were Zeiss lenses for Hasselblad, and medium format gear has really come down in price in recent years. Depending on how deep your pockets are, you could get a nice two or three lens Hassy kit for not too much money, but that next somewhat unusual wide or long lens is going to be expensive. If you like something more versatile, like a 7 or 8 lens kit, those more exotic lenses aren't going to be stratospheric in price from Bronica, with the exception of a few rare long Nikkor teles.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Depending on how deep your pockets are, you could get a nice two or three lens Hassy kit for not too much money.
    Thanks for the reply, David. Can you be a bit more specific as to how much money is "not too much?"

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Take a look at keh.com, which usually has pretty good dealer prices. If you're willing to buy on eBay, subtract about 25%, which leaves a little room to have items serviced, if they need to be.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I occasionally used a colleagues S2 & S2a's back in the 70's and the cameras were reliable and lenses were outstanding, extremely sharp, certainly as good as Mamiya Sekor's and even the Zeiss lenses on Hasselblad's.

    There were 4 lens manufacturers making lenses for the S2/S2a's, Bronica's own Zenzanon's, Komura, Zeiss Jena and Nikkor (Nikon), all were excellent performers.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    Not much risk in investing in Bronica S2 lenses. There's no shutter (at least in most) to require service and I assume they've deprectiated as much as they're going to (until there are no more S2 bodies to use them with).

    You didn't say what 2 Bronica lenses you already have. But few people with Hasselblads go beyond the typical 50mm, 80mm, 150mm combination (and many with less). Not to say you wouldn't want a lens wider that 50mm and longer than 150mm, but not very likely that you'd be investing in more than 1 S2 lens.

    So enjoy the Bronica for now, don't worry about investing in another lens, and see if the 6x6 SLR is for you.

    Or send me the contact info for my new long-lost uncle.

  7. #7

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    I'm happy with my S2. Although I keep my eyes open for a good deal on a 50mm, I get along fine with just the nikkor 75mm. The gear problem is fairly minor on mine -- you have to be careful with the winder. I got the feel for mine by shooting a few roles, and haven't had any gear/winder problems since then. I got mine on ebay and I doubt that it's ever had a CLA. It could use one, but it's still working fine. I probably don't need to tell you that the S2 is heavy camera. It also has, by far, the loudest shutter and mirror slap of any camera I've ever used. Good luck with yours.

    MB

  8. #8
    Adrian Twiss's Avatar
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    I believe that the EC is also compatible with S2 lenses. However the S2 backs are not compatible with the EC bodies so you would have to search ab out. The EC is a little younger than the S2 but still pretty old now.

  9. #9
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The EC, EC-TL, S, S2, S2a, C, and D all can share lenses. The EC and EC-TL uses different backs and finders from the earlier cameras. As I understand it, the large bayonet/small bayonet arrangement isn't quite the same on all the early models, so the bellows aren't all interchangeable, or they may require adapters in some cases.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com



 

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