Bronica

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Bronica or Zenza 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.

Contents

History

Bronica cameras first appeared in 1958, when its founder, Zenzaburo Yoshino, introduced a camera of his own design, the 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.

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, Bronica would later introduce lenses of its own design, along with continued refinements and new models of the 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 Bronica GS-1 was discontinued in 2002, and the last Bronica SLR cameras (SQ, ETR) were discontinued in October 2004. The last Bronica camera, the RF645, was dropped in October 2005. Secondhand 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)

Leaf shutter SLR

4.5×6

6×6

6×7

Rangefinder (4.5×6)

Lenses

For available lenses see Bronica lenses.

Links

In English:

In Japanese:

In French:

  • Cameras at www.collection-appareils.fr
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