Bronica SQ-A

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by martynas_kundrotas|1, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Hello, i'm thinking of getting a Bronica SQ-A with a 40mm lens. Anyone had any experience with this setup? I'm particularly interested in the sharpness of this lens and the viewfinder. What is the field of coverage? I'm very sensitive to precise cropping when shooting, i've read somewhere that it's only 94%, is that true, and if yes what other alternatives are there? I'm intending to use it for architecture and portrait mostly.
     
  2. I have an SQ-A and a 40 PS. I bought the lens a few years back when used prices were over 900 dollars...doh! I have used it quite a bit, mostly for landscapes. I would say that the edge to edge sharpness is good but not great. The 43mm lens on my Mamiya 7 blows it away. But...being able to get very close with the Bronica means I can do things i cannot with other wide angle medium format set-ups. I never bothered to put a filter on it due to the cost of buying a 95mm filter. You can look at two galleries on my website for some examples if you like. one is skateboarding shots, handheld at about 1/60 or 1/125th with a small fill flash. The other gallery is a mix of nature shots...all the "square" frames were from the Bronica 40mm. all the "rectangular" images were with the Mamiya 43mm.
    http://www.ronniepettit.com/?p=2019
    http://www.ronniepettit.com/?p=2191
    www.ronniepettit.com
     
  3. Well, it certainly shows where you've used the mamiya and the bronica in the landscape shots. I'd have to look up some samples, i'm kinda confused now :) Thanks for the info
     
  4. I used those for a long time, the S-40 is not as good as the PS and you really need to lock the mirror up to get a good comparison, the mirror slap at certain shutter speeds is noticeable. Ronnie I'm just curious, do those shots you have use the MLU because if so I think maybe there's other trouble because the 40 PS lenses I borrowed were really sharp, but again that's with the mirror up. I never liked the 40 anyway, I used mostly a 50 as I do now on the Ha$$elblad.
     
  5. Martynas, I've used an SQAi with a 40mm PS lens extensively and I can tell you that it's an excellent piece of glass that will produce crisp sharp transparencies. I have never taken a picture with this lens and been disappointed with the results.
    Very few viewfinders show 100% of the subject on the focussing screen, and the Bronica is no exception in this area. The percentage you mention of 94% is probably about right in my experience. I would say that the most inaccurate part of the screen is the top, where you have to make the biggest allowance if you are trying to crop the sky out of an image.
    There are a good number of images taken with this lens in my portfolio, if you are interested.
     
  6. to be fair, after thinking about it-and looking closer at the pics posted o my site currently, i will say that most of the shots on my website done with the Bronica 40PS were handheld and without MLU. I have used it with tripod and MLU many times, but i think there may only be one or two examples posted. I don't mean to put down that lens at all. i love it. I'd like to get my hands on the 35mm fisheye. maybe i am a little skewed since i started using the mamiya 7 with the 43mm, that thing is just magic. so please don't take what i said as any kind of test or, in retrospect, a fair comparison. the real reason i started using the mamiya in the woods was the horizontal format worked better for getting wide angles and not including toooo much sky in the mountains. i know i am not getting rid of my bronica 40 or 65 or 180 for that matter. with prices so nice i want to pick up a 80/f2.8
     
  7. Ronnie, like I said, I don't have these any more but the 110 PS macro is a hot lens, with your kit having the 65, which is my favorite SQa lens, I would forget the 80 and go for the 110. Just my thinking. Enjoy, Dave
     
  8. ya know? i've been eyeballin' the 110 macro for a long time. but...being an f/4.5 keeps me hesitant because i have been wanting a faster lens for more available light handheld people/documentary type work. and...at around 100 bucks for the 80 f/2.8 i keep telling myself it's a no brainer. esp since i have been looking at TLR's lately. ah...so much stuff so little time. i will say that aside from the 65, the 180mm lens is the best purchase of all. most people say the 150 is the portrait lens...but i say no way the 180 focuses closer than the 150 and is perfect for portraits. groups?...maybe not but sinlges and doubles and tight family shots...yes way. i also owned a 135 for a while before i let the pawn shop have it..and i liked it for groups too. anyhow...back to the topic, the 40ps is a keeper, amybe not the best architecture AND people lens but i like mine.
     
  9. Yes good deal, and I understand your position. Woo, when I think of what all my stuff cost over the years and what it's worth now, yikes. That's why I keep shootin black and white with my Hasselblads, I could have had a 25' fishing boat, lol.
     
  10. Oh, i didn't think there would be so many responses. And now that i think of it, i mixed this up a bit, i wanted to ask about the 50mm lens, it's the equivalent to 28mm on 35mm film right? And about the viewfinder being 94%, i didn't say i needed 100%, but at least closer to that, when i had a Nikon F100, it was 98%, and i really enjoyed that the images i took looked exactly the same when i shot them. I know everyone is telling me, that this is not important, but i simply can't get over it. There's something about it, a feeling of satisfaction when an image looks precisely composed and cropped in camera. I feel that i've done it right. Now i've got a Nikon FM2, while it's an excellent camera overall, i simply don't care for precise cropping and composition now, cause i know it still won't be as i exactly wanted to, the minute i felt when i took the picture. Anyone thinking the same way?
    David Smith> The quality of your pictures is amazing!
     
  11. Martynas, thank you for your kind comments (blush) on my portfolio. The 50mm lens you mention is about the equivalent of a 35mm lens on 35mm format, and the 40mm lens about the same as a 26mm lens. These equivalents are based on horizontal angles of view.
    The viewfinder inaccuracy, although slightly annoying, isn't too bad for me as I project my transparencies, and you lose a little of the film image in the slide mounts, so the final projected image isn't too far removed from the viewfinder image.
     
  12. Martynas,
    I own an F100 and an FM2 that I have been using since the mid-1980's. The difference in viewfinder coverage of between the two is in significant; the F100 has 96% and the FM2 93%. An an 8 X 10 print that difference is about 1/10 of an inch on the edges
     

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