Problem with Bronica ETR and Zenzanon lenses (blank frames)

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jani

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Any comments about this one?

Bronica ETR and Zenzanon 45-90/4-5.6 PE and Zenzanon 75/2.8 MC. Problem: blank unexposed frames in the roll. Both lenses operates pretty much the same: shutter doesn't open always when firing. Both lenses works "fine" until I touch the focal length and/or focus ring. That most likely kills them both. Zoom perfoms a little better than the prime. Battery is new silver oxide. Tested with three different backs. Zoom lens looks like a brand new. After four days of testing, at least the zoom lens works better and better every time.

So, are the lenses in a need of lubrication? Body? Flex cables? Solenoid magnets? Body works fine, mirror is rising etc.

Here's few videos about the problem:

Here I test the zoom lens mechanics with hands: https://www.dropbox.com/s/y2x9ds50jmzpws3/Zenzanon_45-90_mechanics_operated_by_hands.MOV?dl=0


Here I test the zoom lens and it is shown how it dies immediately after I change the focal length and focus: https://www.dropbox.com/s/juyx1fcz8rdnbbc/broniza_zoom_lens.mp4?dl=0


Similar video about 75mm lens, acting weird: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pl68chh4oehjxax/Zenzanon_75mm_acting_weird.MOV?dl=0


One more video, filmed from back: https://www.dropbox.com/s/24geo3uh721v8cv/From the back.MOV?dl=0
 

wiltw

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I had a problem once, with a used back, on a fairly new body (purchased new by me, used only a couple of years), a long time ago. It turned out to be an issue that the interlock pin in the back would sometime push a bit too far into the body, causing the reflex mirror to not be able to swing up fully, so the rotary mechanism at the back of the lens would not rotate to permit the shutter to fire! Very intermittant issue, which I finally linked to one of my multiple backs (the only one I had purchased used, at the time of the problem).

Bronica (distributor GMI Photographic, in the USA before Tamron purchase of Bronica) told me to send the body and the back to them for adjustment. They adjusted the pin in the back to fix the issue.

In your case, you experience the problem with multiple backs, so your issue is not identical to mine. But I surmise that an adjustment to the mechanicals within the body needs to be adjusted, which is why changing backs does not affect the issue for you. I fear that, as Bronica has not been sold new for some time, that the necessary expertise to do the adjustment may not be found. I view of that lack of expertise, and the incredibly low prices at which Bronica gear can be procured -- only about 10% of the price when new ! -- I would simply seek an ETRSi body to replace your ETR, and perhaps keep the ETR only 'for parts'.
 
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Johnkpap

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Well you have me stumped too... I have never seen a Etr behave like that and I have put 100's of rolls through mine my first port of call would be to borrow another body or buy one they are still very inexpensive. The going price is $50 for a body, if that does not fix the problem then all your lenses are bad and that is very very unusual as I have never had any lens fail. The other thing what is the history of your camera how log have you OWNED IT.? I have seen cases of "un-fixable cameras" being sold at local auctions, they are made up of " Repairman bits" where every thing is faulty but looks good unsuspecting buyers buy them and they don't work and can't be fixed.

Johnkpap
 

neilt3

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The only time I've had a problem like this is with an AE III prism that wasn't connecting proper and every shot was taken at 1/500 second .
The film wasn't blank though , just vastly under exposed .
Check the contacts on both the body and lens are clean , that could cause an issue.
Next put the multiple exposure lever down , and with the back box off , take a shot at each shutter speed .
Look through the back towards the lens and see if each shutter speed looks about right .

The take it from there .
 

hsandler

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I agree with neilt3 that you can at least eliminate the back as a variable by removing it and using the multiple exposure lever. Looking through the lens at a bright light when you trip the shutter can tell you if it's really not opening at all, or whether it's defaulting to the 1/500s max speed when it appears not to be opening. It defaults to 1/500s if there is no battery power, so if it's opening at that speed when set to a slow speed, it would tend to indicate an intermittent discontinuity somewhere or bad contacts. If it's affecting two lenses, it's almost certainly in the body. In this case, ETR bodies are cheap and plentiful, and it may not be worth having it fixed.
 
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jani

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Thanks everyone for pointing out things! It's probably nothing to do with film backs because the problem is occurring when I'm testing the camera, as you already pointed out, with multi exposure mode and without backs and accessories.

Weird part is that I can shoot tens of frames normally but as soon as I change the focus (or focal length with the zoom) the shutter suddenly dies and doesn't open.

The other thing what is the history of your camera how log have you OWNED IT.?

Johnkpap

I just bought this from a hobbyist who said that blank frames occurs and he said that the issue is probably with in body. However, I was planning anyways to ditch the body and buy a new one, probably etrsi, BUT someone is suspecting both lenses now.

I also want to point out that the zoom lens is working better everyday. 75mm doesn't seem to refresh in use. It's probably suffering some kind of shutter stuck.

I keep up on testing
 

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jani

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Thanks!
Screenshot_Drive_20180727-232726.png
 

abruzzi

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Just a dumb question: is the lens tight on the mount or is there any play?

The reason I ask is I believe the six pins on the lens are electrical contacts for the shutter release. If the lens mount was loose, turning the focus or zoom ring, if stiff, could potentially break those contacts.
 

wiltw

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Just pointing out the fact that the troubleshooting flowchart for shutter function would NOT FIND the cause of my ETRSi having issues with the interlock pin of a film magazine which I had purchased used, which I described in Post 2. Just sayin'

That fact illustrates how tricky it can be diagnosing issues!
 
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jani

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Update: Recently I have noticed that if I point the zoom lens up to the sky, it works but in horizontal it doesn't. I read elsewhere about similar problem. Someone had shutter problems when shooting down to the ground, but it worked when shooting up (or vice versa).
 

choiliefan

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If it's anything like other ETR lenses it will have a ribbon cable and tiny soldering points. Perhaps you have a bad solder joint or kinked cable inside?
Why else would it stop working when you focus or zoom the lens?
 
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jani

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Body: some small jingle, nothing worrying. Zoom lens: some rattling noise at least from flex cables.

I also noticed that flex cable is living pretty freely and it's quite long. It looks like it may be blocking the moving leaf shutter mechanics when zooming. Maybe this is topic for a new video.
 
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jani

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If it's anything like other ETR lenses it will have a ribbon cable and tiny soldering points. Perhaps you have a bad solder joint or kinked cable inside?
Why else would it stop working when you focus or zoom the lens?

Yes, this is the one I'm after.
 

moto-uno

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Hopefully this will give you an idea of what you might find, should you pursue looking into whether or not the wiring might be the cause of your problems . Cheers Peter
 

wiltw

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I just found this PDF describing the function of the Seiko shutter in the Bronica lens...very interesting to read. While it details how the shutter operates, it does not (unfortunately) tell you how the linkages and mechanisms within the camera BODY may contribute to the 'shutter not functioning' (so to speak)...as it failed to actuate in my ETRSi body due to the film back advance interlock pin.

http://www.buonaluce.com/Anatomy.pdf

In view of the fact that more than one lens exhibits the issue (and with more than one film back), I seriously doubt the problem lies within the lens, but more likely within the body.

If OP can find another photographer with ETR kit in/around Helsinki, it would be good to get together one day to try different body with the 45-90mm and 75mm that OP owns...to prove the lenses are OK with a different body. And to try another (known good) lens on the questionable body.
 
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jani

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This seems to be the best camera forum with best contributors, thanks!

Update: I went to another camera shop today and tested one of their zenzanon lens with my ETR body. Surprise, that lens worked normally without issues and I couldn't get shutter jams. So I probably send my two lenses to London for CLA and consider this case as solved.
 
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moto-uno

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I know a long time has passed since this post , but did you get these lenses attended to and did it correct the
problem ? Peter
 
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