Bronica AE Prism Finder SQ-i
Bronica announced the new AE Prism Finder SQ-i, for the Bronica SQ-A, SQ-Am, and SQ-Ai cameras. The finder is the much awaited update of the original AE finder S, introduced at PMA in '83. The new AE finder mirrors the update for the ETRSi, the AE lll, and has nearly identical features.
The AE Prism Finder SQ-i is improved from top to bottom, with both cosmetic and performance enhancements. As with the original, it is a metered finder capable of manual or aperture priority automatic operation. But the updated finder has both center-weighted averaging metering cells, and a separate silicon photo cell for spot measurements. The spot meter measures a 12mm circle in the center of the finder for more select accuracy when desired. The EV range of the finder has been improved 4 stops, now providing EV 1-18. The AE accuracy has been enhanced to 12th stop increments in automatic.
The finder has replaced the LED style array with an easy to read LCD. The numerals can be seen comfortably in any working environment; when ambient light falls too low to illuminate the display, an automatic backlight renders the display legible. In addition, the LCD array uses a fraction of the battery power that the LED's use; not only will this conserve power, but will allow the finder to operate with marginal batteries longer.
Perhaps the greatest comfort feature of the new finder is the Variable Diopter, with a built in range of correction of -2.5 to +0.5, a three diopter range which will handle 90% of the eyes that view through this finder. For the exceptions, there are two optional "helper diopters", increasing the range from -5 to -2, and 0 to +3.
Other added bonuses include an auto exposure memory lock; which in auto holds a desired shutter speed for up to 60 seconds. A "clear" button is provided to cancel the memory, if desired. For long exposures in auto, an eyepiece shutter, or blind, can be engaged to block any stray light from skewing the exposure.
In addition to the compensation dials on the SQ style backs, there is a + or - 2 EV correction in 1/3 stop increments. This will allow for a consistent correction without regard to a film back change.
Two types of rubber eyecups are available; one low profile version for eyeglass wearers; and a large "shield" type for reducing extraneous light at the eyepiece. This was a request made often by pros.
In addition to all of the substantial technical improvements, the AE Prism Finder SQ-i exterior has been improved, providing a sleek, streamlined and rugged professional look.