Bronica Prism Help

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by cherryrig, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    Just got a Bronica Prism S (the non metered one) and something I have found, is that it's a little bit harder to get the focus just right.

    So I was wondering if there is any way to improve focusing when using the prism? Buy a higher dipoter (+1.5) so that it gets my closer to the focus screen (or is that incorrect, as I thought the higher the diopter the more it magnifies whats on the screen?)

    Or is there any other tips you guys would suggest

    Thanks
     
  2. wobsy

    wobsy Member

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    A dioptre correction allows correct focus for your eye if you wear spectacles or your eyesight is not quite 20/20. That may be the problem you are experiencing but if so you will need to know whether you require a '+' or '-' correction - and indeed how much correction. Good Luck.
     
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    cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    My eyes are fine it just seems hard as there doesn't seem enough light, even though it's like bright and using the 80mm lens??

    Just how the prisms are made?
     
  4. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I own one but haven't done much with it, it does seem a bit on the dull side. I've wondered if it might use mirrors instead of a prism, but don't really know. So far I use the waist level finder about 99.7% of the time. The one time I wished I had the prism and didn't have it with me was when I found myself raising the camera so high my short fat little body couldn't get my eye up to the WLF! Necessity succeeding as the mother of invention, I flipped the camera 90º -- what the heck -- it's a square format.

    DaveT
     
  5. evilhomer78

    evilhomer78 Member

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    I have a metered prism for my SQ-a and with the bronica focus screen its hard to focus because of the lack of brightness and contrast. With a bright screen or interscreen its much much easier to use. If the prism didn't have the meter in it I would sell it off and stick with the waist level only.
     
  6. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    As intimated, Bronica viewing screens aren't the brightest and the best solution IMO is to change the standard screen for a brighter, third party version. Although they are simply user exchangable it is not a low cost solution. I have used screens by Maxwell and Beattie, and found the former much easier to compose and focus with. The configuration of focus aids also matters. For me I like a split prism feature, find a microprism collar a waste of time, and actually like to be able to focus well on the plain glass. The Maxwell does all this, the Beattie doesn't do the latter.
     
  7. Changeling1

    Changeling1 Member

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    Hmmm.... I have three prisms that I use with my GS-1s (metered, non-metered, and rotary/meter) and they all are quite bright and allow for quick and sharp-tack focus. The w/l finder is great for street shooting and candids.
     
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    cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    So basically it's get a screen then. There is one on eBay at the moment by Beattie, it's a grid pattern one. £75, is that a good buy and does it make much difference. Anyone have a comparaison between the two, normal and Beattie screen??
     
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    cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    Well I looked at some info about the Beattie screens and some people have like them, some dislike them. I'm just wondering would it make much difference to focusing in the prism at all?

    Cheers
     
  10. mbsmith

    mbsmith Member

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    I had the same problem, focusing with the non-metered prism. I found that a speed grip helped me hold the camera more steady when using a prism finder and I could nail the focus.

    I would also recommend a waist-level finder. Without changing screens I was blown away by how much brighter the wlf was then the prism. The image seems to jump out at you, making focusing much easier. It also has a flip-up magnifier that helps.
     
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    cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    I already have a WLF, I bought a prism as I have a 120J, so it's just to help with that really
     
  12. Edwardv

    Edwardv Member

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  13. jime11

    jime11 Member

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    Hi: I had the same trouble until a couple of years ago. I was thinking of selling my Bronica & getting a Mamiya auto focus camera. On the site Photo dot net some posters recommended the Maxwell screens. I called Maxwell (a likeabele guy) and had him do a "HI Lux" process on the screen I already had. It greatly improved my ability to focus even with zoom lenses indoors. The price was about half that of a new screen. I would guess that one of his new screens would be even better but for the price this worked well for me.
     
  14. evilhomer78

    evilhomer78 Member

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    I bought my camera with a brighter screen than bronica, not sure what brand it is. I bought a bronica screen because the one that came with the body had some scratches, and the difference is about 1 stop. It really makes a big diiference especially when you stop down the lens for depth of field preview. I would recomend any 3rd party screen as long as it's brighter than the bronicas.
     
  15. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    I once did a test with a Brightscreen in my Bronica ETRSi with metering prism. I found that the viewfinder was brighter, but focus accuracy remain unaltered...a dozen focus attempts with both stock and Brightscreen yield no difference in accuracy of focus. I did not try to quantify speed of focus. I did assess the Brightscreen's effect on metering and found that the meter could not be compensated with the compensation control...it had to be done via ISO adjustment. Since I was doing weddings at the time, using multiple speed films during a wedding via the interchangeable film backs, I decided it was too much asking for problems dealing with adjusted ISOs for multiple films at the same shoot, particularly in the fast pace and pressure of weddings.

    I have a Maxwell for my large format camera, and love its brightness improvement over the standard ground glass with Fresnel lens for my Horseman. But then again I am not metering thru it.

    No Bronica finders use mirrors...all the Bronica finders (except WL) use pentaprism. Mamiya used pentamirror in the 645E.
     
  16. jolynned

    jolynned Member

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    Another recommendation for the Maxwell treatment here. I had mine done last year and it made a huge difference in my ability to focus in low-light situations.
     
  17. wobsy

    wobsy Member

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    cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    I wish you never had shown me that!!! :sad::mad::sad:

    As I couldn't see any others and took that one on eBay!!
     
  19. wobsy

    wobsy Member

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    Ooops -- Sorry for being late; I hope it solves the problem then.
     
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    cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    We shall see tomorrow haha

    Bring on tomorrow
     
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    cherryrig

    cherryrig Member

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    Well I got the Beattie screen today. I does make a big difference really, much easier and clearer to focus. Only issues I'm having at the moment is the fact it's a plain screen, takes some getting used to really.

    Any tips for plain focus screens???

    Cheers