Bronica ERTS Malfunction

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dynachrome, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Yesterday I picked up a roll of 120 Portra 400 which I shot with a Bronica ETRS and a 50/2.8 MC. The AEII finder and Speed Grip were attached. The first eight frames, shot in October are perfect. The ninth frame, also shot in October, shows obvious camera shake even though a slow shutter speed was not used. The last six frames were shot in December, all indoors and without using the AE-II's meter, hand-held at 1/60. The first five were at f/4 and the last at f/5.6. The tenth frame is fine. The 11th frame shows shake. The twelfth frame is mostly good but shows what looks like a reflection at the top of what's in the rest of the frame. The thirteenth frame shows shake and the last two frames are fine. The last six frames were shot with a day in between each frame. The red light flashed on in the finder for each of the last six frames so I assumed that the battery was OK. About ten weeks ago I shot two rolls of Portra 400 with the same lens, mostly with a Minolta 360PX flash in non-TTL Auto mode. All of those frames were fine.

    Here are some of my theories: 1) Oily magnets in the lens, 2) A problem with the mirror return on the shot with the reflection, 3) A bad battery, 4) Dust or oil on the lens mount electrical contacts or on the electrical contacts of the camera. The spacing between the frames is not perfectly even but is acceptable and there are no overlaps. Any ideas?
     
  2. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    Unless all shots were taken with camera mounted on tripod, my first inclination is to blame the photographer for camera motion :angel:
    (...except for frame 12 with 'what looks like a reflection at the top ' )

    Keep in mind that what is at the 'top' of the frame is really the bottom of the scene being photographed. A reflection of light 'going at the top of what's in the rest of the frame' is actually recorded at the bottom of the camera. There's not much reflective going on inside the mirror box of the ETR

    If you think that shutter timing issues are allowing for the capture of camera motion that are not occurring on the early frames, are you seeing any FILM DENSITY differences that would be indicative of longer shutter-open times? (after all, the same f/stop is used if the shutter timing is 'right' or inadvertantly 'too long'!)
     
  3. bestbefore1978

    bestbefore1978 Member

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    Can you post a picture of the negative? Mine has had the same problem, with shutter speed lag, causing it to stay open. The I thought it was an issue with the body, but the local repair shop traced the problem to BOTH my lenses (75 and 150) having intermittent shutter failure
     
  4. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    Lets see the pix?
    First suspect dirty contacts both in the lens and the prism. I use a pencil eraser to clean them.
    Remove the battery and clean the contacts, if the battery is old, replace it.
    With the back open, dry fire the camera at your suspected speeds and watch for inconsistencies?

    If all the cleaning and visuals show nothing, run a test roll, camera mounted on a tripod, then reassess your problem.

    Shutters do wear out.

    Where are you located?
     
  5. OP
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    dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Paul, I will try to show the shots. I had the roll scanned when it was developed/printed. I don't know whether the file size of the scans will be too high and whether I should just scan the prints. I am across the river from you in the Garden State. I examined the camera and lens carefully before using it a few months ago and saw no problems. My instinct is to think that if the battery is weak, the shutter speed will be faster, not slower.
     
  6. OP
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    dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Here's my first try at uploading the images. The first file size was too large so I will try some other things.
     
  7. OP
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    dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Let's try it again a different way. I scanned the 4.5X6" prints two at a time except for #15 at 300dpi.
     

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  8. OP
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    dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    Wow! I did it.
     
  9. hsandler

    hsandler Subscriber

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    For frames 11 and 12, it looks like the shutter was stuck open for a long time; much more than mere camera shake. Look at the long light trails from the candles. I had an intermittent problem on my SQA with one lens in which the shutter stuck open between frames after a long shutter speed, like 0.5s or more. I never did track down the source, and it cleared up on its own. Do you see any fogging of the negative in what is supposed to be the space between the frames? That would tend to indicate the shutter was open while the film was being wound on and while the mirror was on its way back down. Also, you could try engaging the multiple exposure lever and you can look at the shutter blades while dry firing at slow speeds; maybe you will see an occurrence of sticking.

    Happy belated Chanukah by the way.
     
  10. OP
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    dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    The spaces between the frames do not show any fog. I wonder whether it would help to remove the back if I haven't used the camera for a while and try firing with the multiple exposure lever engaged just to limber things up. My test roll will be b&w so I can see the results sooner. I tried calling Frank Marshman at 540-434-8133 and I just get a fast beep tone. Does anyone have a better number for him or know whether he is still doing repairs? Thanks for the Holiday wishes.
     
  11. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    I had exactly this same problem with a Etrs many years ago when they were still made and I had it repaired under warrenty by the British importers, Introphoto, it was a ring inside the camera that controlled the shutter in some way, it needed to be replaced ans, according to Introphoto it was a known problem with them, once replaced with an improved part it is still working fine, getting it repaired maybe be a problem unless you can find a repairman who is a bronica specialist as I doubt spares are no longer made,
     
  12. paul ron

    paul ron Subscriber

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    oh i can see you waving now.

    mmmmm looks like a sticky shutter.

    did you dry fire it in multi mode with the back open? take the prism off as well? those metered prisms can cause weird problems. a shutter sticking like that should be easy to see, and hear.

    do you have another lens to try so you can illiminate the body?

    btw i do have a spare mc shutter in my parts box.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    FWIW, if you want to download files in the future, first resize them to a maximum dimension of (approx) 800 pixels on the longest size.
     
  14. moto-uno

    moto-uno Subscriber

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    ^ +1 and maybe not in a pdf., it takes quite a while to load them ( yeah I stopped after the first ). I'm a Bronica Etr(si) fan. Peter
     
  15. bestbefore1978

    bestbefore1978 Member

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    Frames 11 & 12 look exactly like the problem with mine! I’m hoping that it is the lenses as I currently getting them stripped and rebuilt by the local repair shop!