First off, thanks for all the sleuthing on my behalf.
I'm not certain it's 1/500 of a sec but from my *ears* it sounds like it's opening/closing as fast as possible. I agree that if 4 seconds should work, why not eight? I think the AE1 prism finder is drawing more load from the batteries (at once) that they can handle. Really the only logical explanation...Yes there are several leds in the viewfinder of the prism finder including shutter speeds and < arrows (if the exposure it outside of the capacity of the prism finder). Again, if I remove the prism finder, 8S works fine. It's not *really* a big deal to me especially considering I am generally shooting night shots at f11 or >, simply dropping it back to f8 to get 4s isn't a big deal to me. Finally, I can use a cable release
Interesting anecdote to my Bronica issue is that there is a current trend "online" to shoot square images (e.g. Instagram of whom *forces* you go crop your images square before posting). When I post these images my "digital" friends invariably ask me to add them as a "friend" on Instagram I've been confused more than once when I see this 25 year old barista/club girl post pictures on Facebook with "rvp100" apparently listed on the "film" edge markers. Turns out that Instagram spits out borders for photographs that look like they were scanned film. I was fairly certain she wasn't shooting Velvia 100 in square format in a dark club
Thanks again Dave.