Bronica S2a focusing helicoids?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by John Henry, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. John Henry

    John Henry Member

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    Which S2a focusing helicoid?
    The helicoid on my S2a is obviously an early one as its only marked for 75mm and 100mm lenses. I know I need a different one for long telephoto lenses. I also know that there is another helicoid marked from 50-75-135-200. My question is will my current helicoid function with 50mm and 135mm lenses, or do I need to try to find a 50-200 helicoid?
     
  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The one you have is fine, as long as you are focusing through the viewfinder and don’t require the focusing scale for the 50 or 135mm lenses.
     
  3. OP
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    John Henry

    John Henry Member

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    Many thanks David, my next job then - find a nice 50!
     
  4. RichardJack

    RichardJack Subscriber

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    I think there was 4 versions available besides the Japanese metric versions. The latest versions has 80mm marked. I bought an old 50/75/135/200 to play with but I found I really didn't have a need to use the DOF scale. All lenses from 40-200 will work with your helicoid. You mentioned your looking for a 50, I own all and have tested and compared them. Avoid the 50mm f3.5 Nikkor. Both the 50mm f2.8 Nikkor O.C. and 50mm f2.8 Zenzanon are the best. IMO it is worth it to go for the latest coated lenses, they were produced after 1974 and perform the best. They are all marked with a "C".
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The 40mm Nikkor is also an outstanding lens, if you can find one. It justifies the whole complicated shutter mechanism and drop mirror design of the early Bronicas, which makes it possible for lenses to be recessed into the body, reducing the amount of retrofocus correction needed for wide lenses while still having an SLR viewfinder.
     
  6. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    I bought a Zenzanon MC for a 50. I'd put that as probably better than the Nikkor, but I'm sure anyone with a Nikkor would say the opposite. Lol. I got lucky on mine and didn't pay too much for it. They are hard to find. A lot of the early Bronica stuff is hard to find now.

    I do have a Bellows II if you are interested....
     
  7. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Subscriber

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    I have 2 versions of the Bronica helicoids, the 75/100 and the 50/75/135/200. My 200mm will not focus to infinity with the 75/100.

    Am I correct in that this Bellows II will only work for macro purposes? I've been wanting to get one to play with some portraiture stuff and IIRC I read somewhere that it won't provide much in the way of movements for standards shot because of the lack of extension.
     
  8. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

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    The Bellows II replaces the helical so it will focus to infinity.

    I haven't used it on my camera because i have an EC-TL and it doesn't fit... You should be able to get a little movement even with the bellows compressed. At portrait distances you could probably use all of the movement you would want. And of course if you keep racking it out, you can get macro too.
     
  9. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I’ve owned the bellows II, and you won’t get any significant movement with the bellows compressed, so it’s not a substitute for a view camera with wide-to-normal lenses closer than macro distances. It will focus to infinity with lenses that fit the helical. Aside from the bellows compression, the lenses protrude into the camera housing, obstructing movement. It’s great for tabletop and macro use, though.
     
  10. OP
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    John Henry

    John Henry Member

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    Many thanks for the info, I was just about to buy a f3.5, but now I'll wait for f2.8 to appear!
     
  11. Xia_Ke

    Xia_Ke Subscriber

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    FWIW, I have the 3.5 and have been very happy with the results. By all accounts the newer versions are a hair sharper and have better coatings, but if you are on a budget and can find a 3.5 for cheap, it's a plenty capable lens.
     
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