Bronica SQ-A

After many years and many models of modular medium format SLR cameras based on focal plane shutters, the last three SLR models made by Bronica were all based on lens shutters, with several versions of each one. This is the SQ-A, the second of five versions of the 6×6 camera that takes square photos and was released in 1982. The first model of this line, the SQ, was released in 1980. It’s bigger than the ETR but not all that much different in practical use. I mostly use this one handheld, and absolutely love taking square photos; probably largely under the influence of my Dad, who shot 6×6 almost exclusively from 1956 to 1963 and left behind a treasure of well preserved and well organized black and white negatives. You can also shoot 6×4.5 photos with this body if you use the appropriate film back. And speaking of film backs, there are a couple of different designs. The original SQ back had the ISO dial on the top, like you can see in the photo of the 645 back below. But when the SQ-Ai was released it came with an improved back that has the ISO dial on the back where it is easily accessible, and it also includes an EV comp dial. This new placement of the dial is especially helpful when using the prism VF because it renders the dial on the original back almost completely inaccessible.

For photos taken with this camera look here.

The original lenses for the SQ are called the S series. Later on Bronica introduced an improved line and called it the PS series. All of my lenses are of the original series.

11 Responses to Bronica SQ-A

  1. revdocjim says:

    Added lens info

  2. Predrag says:

    105S is an excellent lens, enjoy it!

    I thought I got a bargain when I got an SQA with 2 PS lenses (50&150) and 105S + 2×120 backs for 450$ – now you’ve ruined it for me! ;)

  3. revdocjim says:

    Hey, if you enjoy using it then it was a great deal!

  4. Rob Oresteen says:

    Jim – thanks for the info and cool site. I have an SQ and am looking for the 645 J back. When you use it, what do you do to mask the focusing screen? By default, are the 645 images horizontal or vertical?

    Thanks – Rob

  5. revdocjim says:

    Hi Rob. I’m not at home right now and can’t remember the details of how that back works but will check it out when I get home and let you know.Here is a link to a roll I shot with the 645 back. http://www.pbase.com/revdocjim/sq645

  6. revdocjim says:

    OK. I checked it out and my focusing screen has feint lines along the edges both vertical and horizontal. The default orientation is horizontal since the film runs up and down in the film back, just like the 6×6 back. I’m glad I checked since I’m planning to sell all of my bronica stuff in the very near future and have already taken it out of my closet. Too much stuff so I’m going to sell a bunch and focus on the stuff that I like best.

  7. revdocjim says:

    Actually it was just last week that I sold all of my Bronica items. Sorry.

  8. Pingback: HP5 on Bronica SQ-A | Chemical Cameras

  9. Mike Jankowski says:

    Jim,
    I was just looking at your SQ-A monochrome portraits. Image 8 is particularly nice with the diagonal lines and the balanced OOF background with nice bokeh. An excellent example of effective square format application.

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