Zenza Bronica or Bronica (ゼンザブロニカ; Zenza buronika) was a Japanese brand of professional medium-format roll-film cameras. Over a period of 47 years, the company produced a variety of SLR and rangefinder designs that proved popular with both amateur and professional photographers.
|ETR with 75mm lens|
image by inkyfingerz
Zenza Bronica cameras first appeared in 1958, when its founder, Zenzaburo Yoshino, introduced a camera of his own design, the Zenza Bronica Z, at the Philadelphia Camera Show. Because Yoshino had invested nearly all company resources into production of the camera body, he sourced the Bronica's lenses from an established Japanese optics and camera manufacturer - none other than Nikon (Nippon Kōgaku Kikai). With its superb, precision-ground Nikkor lenses, the first Bronica became an instant success.
Zenza Bronica SLR cameras employ a modular design: the major components of the camera — lens, body, film back, and viewfinder — are separate and interchangeable. Bronica cameras were mainstays of wedding and portrait photographers for many years, and their relative affordability made them popular with amateur photographers as well.
As the company expanded, Zenza Bronica would later introduce lenses of its own design, along with continued refinements and new models of the Zenza Bronica SLR, in different rollfilm formats. A rangefinder model, the RF645 in 4.5×6cm format, was also introduced in 2000. Tamron, a large Japanese lens manufacturer and a supplier of lens elements, eventually acquired Zenza Bronica Ltd. Zenzaburo Yoshino died in 1988.
The Zenza Bronica GS-1 was discontinued in 2002, and the last Zenza Bronica SLR cameras (SQ, ETR) were discontinued in October 2004. The last Bronica camera, the RF645, was dropped in October 2005. Secondhand Zenza Bronica cameras are still widely used by professional and serious amateur photographers, in no small part due to the superior image quality of medium format film over smaller film and digital sensor formats.
Focal plane shutter SLR (6×6)
- Zenza Bronica Z
- Zenza Bronica D
- Zenza Bronica C
- Zenza Bronica S
- Zenza Bronica S2
- Zenza Bronica S2A
- Zenza Bronica EC
- Zenza Bronica EC-TL
Leaf shutter SLR
- Bronica Users Group (BUG) at the Yahoo Groups site
- Summary of Bronica Models
- Tamron statement of termination of Bronica camera business and seven years of support (October 2005).
- PDF instruction manuals of many Bronica cameras, booklets and accessories: showing available lenses and viewfinders available.
- George Masters' review of the Bronica RF645 and 100mm lens
- Bronica Classic Medium Format Cameras
- Cameras at www.collection-appareils.fr