Bronica S2 soft in the focus

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by tom_bowling|1, May 7, 2007.

  1. I recently bought a Bronica S2, barely used, cheap and beautifully made. I've dev'd a couple of films from
    it and they seem to be the tiniest bit soft in the focus. Now, my other cameras are a Rolleiflex T with a
    Ziess lens and a Mamiya 7II. I know both of these are particularily sharp. But if there was a problem with
    the Bronica, where do you think it might be?
  2. I had a Bronica S2A, most of whose optics were similar if not the same. The prime lens, a 75mm Nikkor, was the best feature of the entire system. But I felt that some other lenses were not quite up to it. I've just done a "Google (Images)" on: Bronica S2 75mm Nikkor . There is quite a lot to see.

    Because the focussing mount is part of the body, there could be a problem there, or maybe just an early body not having modern anti-glare coatings inside.

    Which lens do you have?

  3. Put it on a tripod and take a picture of a forest from 500 feet away (infinity). If it is soft I'd check the back and lens mount. If it is sharp, then I'd check the mirror & focusing screen to make sure that they are in alignment.

    If it needs repair send it to Koh's
  4. The Bronica S2 and S2A had an issue with the focusing screen and it's location in the body. Essentially the foam it's mounted in compresses and moves the screen a little bit. The distance between the lens and the focus screen and the lens and the film plane are no longer the same. You see perfect focus in the finder, but the focus at the film is slightly off. It's easy enough to reshim the focus screen and correct the problem. Check your shots carefully and see if everything is out of focus or if the plane of focus is other than where you intended it to be.

    Secondly, and you know this, the S2 and S2A have a great slamming mirror to compensate for so really good handholding techique or a tripod helps a lot.

    Assuming no issues with the lens (cloudy, scratched, damaged), this is where I've seen the most focus issues. The nikkors are good performers.

    Google for Bronica focus problems and you'll probably find a step by step to reshim your screen.


  5. First, congrats on the S2; it's a lovely camera and one of my favorites. Sadly as Karl points out one of the most common failings is that the spacing foam around the groundglass has a tendency to rot, throwing the focus off slightly. I would suspect this before I suspected the Nikkors. This is an easy fix; Robert Monaghan's web site has an article on the subject. If you're not confident about fixing it, then probably any repairperson can do it even if they won't touch the camera itself.
  6. Thank you very much gentlemen. I tried it on the tripod before posting so I'm pretty sure the
    problem is either in the camera or my head! The foam seems the best suspect.

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