Bronica S2/S2A

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moto-uno

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And for those that hesitate to play with their Kowas , there's Ross Yerkes in L.A , no spring chicken , and not cheap , but
then they are somewhat labour intensive to repair ( from personal experience , that's one heck of an understatement ). Peter
And "cramej" those are drop dead gorgeous examples !
 

cramej

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@moto-uno I sure wish they were on my shelf! The C is affordable so I might acquire one in the next year or so.
 

aoresteen

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Back in the day (ie mid/late 1970s) my repairman in Madison WI had lots of S & S2 in his shop all with gear issues. The EC was a much better camera.

If I were to get into a Bronica system it would be an ETR or SQ system. The question is which lenses do you need? ETR lenses are easier to find, SQ lenses can be harder & more expensive. You will need an extra film back so add that to your budget.
 

mcrokkorx

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@moto-uno The C is affordable so I might acquire one in the next year or so.

The C is really really nice: lacks the interchangeable film backs but otherwise identical to the S2. Uses the same pre-loadable film inserts as the removable S2 backs, sometimes you can find these fairly cheap and gain some loading speed for the C. The lack of removable back of course eliminates any chance of light leaks from common wear points like dark slide slot, etc, which can be a plus. Check the shutter speed dial of any example you're considering: early production C topped out at 1/500th and was limited to 120 film, later production C had 1/1000th and a switchable counter for 120/220 film.

The only thing that kinda bugged me with the C vs the S2/S2A was the handling/weight balance. The C is noticeably lighter weight, which is nice, but also noticeably front heavy, which feels a bit weird when alternating between S2 and C. All the extra hardware required for the removable back adds just enough weight to the rear of the S2/S2A body to make it balance perfectly in the hand with all lenses between 50mm and 150mm. The C has a tendency to dive forward instead: probably not an issue if the C is your only Bronica, but a little confusing to muscle memory of you also own an S2/S2A.
 

reddesert

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Jimmy Koh was the last active Bronica S specialist on the East Coast (if not the entire USA), he retired ten years ago when it became an unsustainable business. Perhaps he should un-retire: demand for all types of Bronica repair has escalated tremendously in the past couple years!

FWIW, I don't think Jimmy Koh retired. He may have stopped servicing Bronica S's because he was too busy (and maybe lack of parts), not because he didn't have enough work. His shop is still open and I bought something from him on ebay this year.

https://www.thecrankycamera.com/blog/who-is-jimmy-koh
 

mcrokkorx

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FWIW, I don't think Jimmy Koh retired. He may have stopped servicing Bronica S's because he was too busy (and maybe lack of parts), not because he didn't have enough work. His shop is still open and I bought something from him on ebay this year.

https://www.thecrankycamera.com/blog/who-is-jimmy-koh

Thanks for the update! :smile:

Mr Koh long ago morphed into a quasi-urban-legend. One kept hearing different accounts of how engaged he was or wasn't in his storefront, whether or not he was quietly still doing the occasional repair work for preferred customers, etc. Last I heard pre-pandemic, his retail shop had effectively shut down and he was only dealing on eBay. Glad to hear first-hand from you that he's still chugging along with retail, even if he isn't officially accepting repair work.
 

reddesert

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To be clear, I meant he does some retail business and isn't 100% retired; I haven't visited his shop, although the blogger quoted above has. His website says he's only open by appointment, although that's true for a lot of small operations during the pandemic anyway.

The problem with repair is that it's labor intensive and in this world that makes it expensive, so effectively the repair business only remained viable for pricey cameras/brands. Whether this will remain true with (somewhat) increased demand for film cameras, we all wonder.
 

grat

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Jimmy appears to still be rebuilding Bronicas and putting them on his eBay storefront. But he's not accepting repairs for customers as far as I know. He did, however, answer emails asking for advice, and provided some very helpful information when I was troubleshooting my SQ-A last year.
 
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