Bronica s2a help - light leak?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Dave Morrow, May 9, 2006.

  1. Dave Morrow

    Dave Morrow Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Aberdeen, Sc
    Multi Format

    I just ran a test roll through a Bronica s2a I got secondhand. And it isn't looking good! Is this simply a dodgy back and lightleaks -

    I'm not familiar with bronica's (or other 6X6 SLRs) but I'm assuming there should be foam protecting the seal. There isn't any on my camera back but it looks like there may have been some once!

    This is really gut wrenching as it is otherwise in mint condition. And gorgeous. Really gorgeous! :smile:

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Sep 7, 2002
    Honolulu, Ha
    Large Format
    That doesn't look good at all. The leak is coming from the top.

    There is no foam between the back and the camera, but there is foam in the seal on the door. The back should not work properly if it's not firmly attached to the camera and if the insert isn't clicked in place, so I'm guessing that mechanically it's okay, but the seals on the door need to be cleaned out and replaced. If it hasn't been done in the last 10 years, it's a fair bet that they have deteriorated. It's an easy fix.

    But looking at your examples, even if the foam needs replacement, I don't think that's your problem, because the leak is entirely inside the image area, and not in the film rebate. If you had a leak from the door, it wouldn't stay inside the frame.

    The Bronica has a complicated falling mirror mechanism to allow for the design of better wideangle lenses. Instead of flipping up, the mirror slides down into a metal sheath which prevents light from being reflected from the mirror onto the film. A curtain shutter covers the groundglass, so that light doesn't enter through the viewfinder. Then the focal plane shutter opens to make the exposure.

    I suspect that the viewfinder shutter isn't working properly. Either the curtain has holes in it, or it's not closing completely. Remove the helical and lens and the back, set the shutter on "B", fire, and look inside to see if it looks like the viewfinder shutter is closing properly. If this doesn't reveal some obvious problem, then you can test with film by taking a test shot while shining a light into the viewfinder, then making another test shot with the waist level finder closed.

    If this is indeed the problem, you need to send it to a real Bronica specialist. Anyone can probably fix the foam problem, but for a shutter problem, in the US I'd recommend or Frank Marshman at