Fixing a Broken Film Transport on a Bronica SQ-A Film Back

Picture of Fixing a Broken Film Transport on a Bronica SQ-A Film Back
I had a film jam in my Bronica SQ-A (6x6). This is the first time it's happened, so I didn't know what was happening before it was too late. :(

The symptoms were:

Prior to the jam the film advance was slightly stiffer than usual.
Once jammed, the film advance crank would turn as freely as when there is no film in the camera.
The shutter would never prime nor the film transport lock - you could keep turning the crank as the film would never advance.
Brass swarf in the film chamber(!)
Once the film was removed, holding the film take up spool whilst advancing the film you could feel very little torque being transferred to the spool.

Film backs for this camera are still pretty expensive, so I was keen to try to fix this one rather than just buying a new one. It turned out to be a pretty straight forward fix and didn't require any replacement parts or special tools.
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Step 1: Disassembly

Picture of Disassembly
You will need the following tools:

A small Phillips screwdriver,
A small to medium flat blade screwdriver,
Two pairs of needle nose pliers or small general pliers and
A knife.

Remove the film back from the camera and then remove the film insert (see photo) from the back, as this is the only part we will be working on.

Step 2: Disassembly - Leatherette

Picture of Disassembly - Leatherette
Remove the leatherette from the side of the insert. Use the knife to lift the corner and carefully peel it back (photo 2). The leatherette is sticky so be careful where you place it down as we are going to re use it without putting extra glue on. Be careful taking the leatherette off around the rewind crank as you don't want to tear or stretch it.

There is a little rectangular bit of thin metal attached to the underside of the leatherette. In the 2nd photo I have shown where it goes, but there is no need to detach this from the leatherette.
jrfrank3 years ago
Lucky you could fix that, the SQ-A is a fine camera.