Bronica GS-1 Film Advance Issue

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by noah_smith|1, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm having an issue with a Bronica GS-1 I just purchased off ebay. The seller assured me everything worked properly but after testing out the camera, there is definitely a film advance issue happening.

    I've uploaded a video explaining the issue which was originally intended for the seller to view ( Sorry if I seem a little annoyed - it has just been very frustrating trying to figure out what's happening.

    Basically, everytime I load the camera and try to advance the film, the counter on the film back is not moving correctly and it also feels like there is too much tension in the film when im moving it forward. I've tried advancing the film with the manual knob on top of the back, i've tried with the film winding crank, and with the speed grip and none of them have fixed the issue.

    Any help is much appreciated!
  2. Garret

    Garret amateur wannabe

    I can't help you directly but I CAN commiserate about ebay sellers advertising that 'everything works' and a camera is in 'excellent++++ condition", i.e. most any camera from Japan. All's it takes is one disappointment and the very sight of those claims is a red flag.

    There is this thread from 2015 that might provide something to use?
  3. Just a thought. My SQAi had a mirror lock up problem that I traced to a hairline crack in the plastic lever for the mirror modes. While the lever was moving, it was not tight enough on the shaft that operates the mechanism - it was slipping, so although the lever was moving to various positions, the mechanism was actually stuck in one of the mirror lock modes. I know this isn't what you are experiencing but if your multiple exposure lever was failing the same way my mirror lock lever was failing, could this be the cause of the problem?
  4. You have probably found the culprit by now since this post dates! But I remember having had some issues when I began using the GS1, that was a long time ago. The GS1 camera feels a little fiddly, but it is stronger than you would think and I never had to send it out for a repair in the years I used it. But one thing that can happen when mounting the back, if one is not careful, and especially when switching backs in a hurry, is that one of the two bottom (or top?) hooks can stay out, while the other is hooked. This can go unnoticed until you forward the film with the camera. Then the small dented wheels are not synchronized and you get problems such as you describe. If this is what happened when you got the bad behaviour, you would have noticed that it was difficult to detach the back. I never used the grip but only the rotating handle, and I don't have the camera any more so I cannot provide a step by step, but there should be a way to fool the camera to check if the dented wheel is turning, maybe by mounting the back and leaving it open if that is possible. I think there needs to by a film in to drive the mechanism. Also, if you don't have a manual with the camera, find one and read how to load the film properly, for there is a special manipulation with the double exposure lever while advancing the film, if I remember right. Bottom line, if it doesn't work, don't throw the baby out but take time to go through all the procedures until you master it. Be gentle with the camera and it should serve you well. PG lenses are great optics.
    Last edited: May 9, 2017

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