Bronica SQAi still not sharp enough

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by ruvy, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Hi

    Its very frustrating. I see images shot by other forum membes and they
    are very sharp - mine aren't sharp at all even though I seem to focus
    accuratly on the screen, stop down the lens to a point that every
    thing should be in sharp focus and in . As a result I find myself
    avoiding using my Bronica as much as I can.
    Lenses seems fine and the body I bought new 2-3 years ago so its fine
    too. I always shoot iton a good tripod. The only things I can think
    that coulkdbe wrong is the film pain and the Beattie ground glass
    focusing screen are not at same distance from the lens. Questions:
    1. is there any adjustment on distance of film pain relative to lens
    2. what side should be the rough (frosted) side of the viewing glass.

    Your reply to these questions may be very helpful. Any other thoughtor
    idea will be welcome too
  2. The frosted (ground) side of the GG should face the lens. If you put it in wrong side up, there's your problem.
  3. Have you tried a Bronica screen first? How did that turn out?

    Yes, there are shims that they set at the factory to calibrate ground glass and focal plane. I had a used SQA-i that was off that I adjusted myself with help from service manual which I ordered from Tamron.

    If Bronica screen does not work, send your camera into KOH's camera for repair - they are the #1 authorized Bronica repairers in USA ,and my guess is thay do jusy as good a job as Tamron at 1/2 price. The repair, if necessary, will run you about ...(see Koh's Camera web site) my guess is about $95 - half what tamron will charge you.
  4. Ruvy<p>

    Whenever I use my Hasselblad I use a loupe to fine focus. I'm 56 and my close vision isn't so good. Can you post a photo or negative ?
  5. Draw a horizontal line on a peice of paper. At one place draw a vertical line and label it "o". Then every 2mm on either side, draw another vertical line (only 1cm tall) and label it 1mm. Then stick the paper to a wall and photograph it from 45degrees on a tripos as close as you can (110 macro the best). Focus very carefully on the zero line and don't stop down. ie shoot wide open. Develop and see if you are focusing on the same plane as your film plane.

    If this doesn't help then try another film back, as sometimes the springs have gone in your film back so the film isn't quite flat.

    Also don't stop down too much, as below f16, things get less sharp due to refraction.
  6. The focus at focal plane can be more quickly tested by placing a ground glass across the film rails in the film back as it's attached to camera, back open, film insert removed (obviously).
  7. U could shoot by setting the focus to the hyperfocal distance, if you still have focus issues, send it for repair.
  8. Andre, as soon as you remove the film insert, you are only testing half the system. As a check to see if it's the focus or the pressure plate that is at fault though this can be very helpful. Ruvy just needs to know first that he's taking out of focus pictures, then to discover why.
  9. Thanks

    Thank you all for those helpful notes.
    Dan, I have found out there is ponly one way the GG can be placed

    Andre, Yes, I bought the Beattie screen because I thoughtthe problem was with my eyes not seeing so well. I have had same issue with former glass. I'll look Koh site and may go thereif they are anywhere near LA where I'll be visiting in two days

    Gene, I ma ahead of you and yes, my eyes are not whatthey have been

    Ivan. I have done what yuo have suggested but in stead of doing it on film I have taken Andre advice and place the original GG at the film plain - it seems like there is a discreptancy but I'll double check on film

    Manoj, you are right, that's what I have done last film which prompted this thread.

    Thanks ou all very very much. It always so meaningful the help I can trust to get here even if my visits are so far appart
  10. Just a thought.

    Could the problem not be focus related? It does sound as if you have given yourself enough depth of field to at least give some sharp images. I have been disappointed with sharpness from my ETR which I believe to be caused by the mirror slap causing vibration - even on a tripod. Does the SQAi have mirror lock up? (mine doesn't) if so try it to see if the sharpness improves.
  11. One other quick (rough) check - take camera out at night, focus very carefully on moon (infinity). (Or during daytime, at any thing really far away in clear sky). Check to see if your lens barrel center focus marking is now also points to (or very close to) the center of the infinity mark on your lens barrel.

    If not, problem very likely the shims under the ground glass need to be adjusted (or possibly mirror needs alignment??)

    Finally, check to make sure that on your film back is fitting snuggly. Also see that none of the tiny black set screw on the rear - (film side) of the back are protruding. A single protruding set on the film back will affect negatively focus plain in a manner that Ivan suggests.

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