Bronica S2 Bulb Issues

RxForB3

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I just purchased a Bronica S2 (my first film camera). I loaded it with film and got set to take my first shot (of our Christmas tree), which needed a 16 second exposure. I did not have a shutter release cable, so I set the time to B and pressed and held down the shutter. It made a fairly fast and complete "thunk." When I released, the shutter button, it made no sound.

I got a cable release and did some experimenting with the back off. The shutter opens and shuts quicker than it does with the 1 second shutter selection. Am I doing something wrong or is it a camera issue?
 

Derrel

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It sounds like there is a camera problem. On a properly functioning shutter, when the speed dial is set to B, the shutter should stay open as long as the shutter release is held down.

Your test with the cable release and the shutter opening and closing quicker than it does at the one second setting would seem to be proof that the bulb setting is not working right, or that you are doing something wrong.
 
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RxForB3

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Any idea how the bulb setting physically works that might lead me to a solution? How does holding the shutter button keep the shutter open during bulb mode?
 

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Holding the shutter button open is the way bulb Shutter Speed Works. As long as the bulb setting is working properly as long as the shutter release button is fully depressed either by a finger or by a locking cable release, the shutter is supposed to stay open. Different shutters use different mechanisms but the bulb setting is a direct connection to the shutter release plunger on almost every camera that I've ever seen. When you press the shutter release button, the lens stops down, and the mirror swings up, and the shutter opens and is supposed to stay open until you release the button.

I really would not worry too much if that setting does not work properly unless you are intent upon doing timed exposures.

I would be much more concerned with the slow speeds, such as 1 second, 1/2 seconds, 1/4 second... these speeds are often quite sluggish on older shutters. Speeds from 60 to 500 usually work reasonably well.
 
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RxForB3

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I was hoping to be able to use the bulb exposure for some experimenting. With my digital photography, I enjoy night photography. I'm sure I'll survive without it. It just means I'm getting less than what I thought I was paying for. I paid about $280 total once you consider shipping and tax. It will still be fun, but a bit frustrating.
 

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Have a look at the manual. I had a crusty S model and recall the shutter button had to be rotated for B. Noisy old suckers but tank-like. Liked the 75mm Nikkor on mine. Just take it easy on the shutter cock/film advance crank since it's likely a high-mileage camera.The old S had a largely brass gear train notorious for wearing prematurely. Later models used steel. Still, they're complex mechanical cameras that are now tough to get serviced. Shoot it till it breaks.

https://www.cameramanuals.org/bronica/bronica_s2.pdf
 

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The S2 and earlier S are well known to have shutter issues. The S2A and later models have a much better reputation in that area.
 

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The first thing to do is once all checks you have done, and if you want the camera badly enough, take it to a repair shop to have the shutter checked for timing issues and lubrication.
DO NOT DO THIS YOURSELF!!!

The lube in the cameras are specific and needs to be carefully applied because too much will screw up everything.
The S models and noted had the issue with the shutter but alot of it was either the old gear or the lube. Especially in the cold!

They did not like the cold much and even when in a warm house the ambient temp can gum up the lube.

Once set and clean and working, its like an old Soviet T-34 tank. Slow as hell but nearly kill proof.
 
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RxForB3

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The person I bought the camera from said that the bulb mode had been tested and also suggested the lube might be the issue. I'm sure it did travel in the cold to get here. Maybe I'll set it near-ish to our fireplace, or by the vent in our car if we go sledding somewhere today.

Any suggestions for a camera repair shop near Yakima, WA these days?

Thanks for the manual link, CGW.
 
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RxForB3

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CGW, the manual does refer to pushing the button in and turning it to lock in place, but that doesn't seem to solve my issue. The shutter closes in about 1/4 second regardless of whether the button is held with either a finger or cable release.
 

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