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Author Topic: Bronica ETR system & its demise  (Read 1267 times)
Raymond Bleesz
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« on: March 19, 2013, 10:52:30 AM »
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Out of curiosity, what has become of Bronica, the camera company (I still cherish my ETR system). Yes the digital age caught up to Bronica yet Mamiya, a contemporary, went digital. Bronica lenses were working with Nikon or vice vera---what has become of the Japanese man behind Bronica as he was viewed as top notch cameraman by his peers, and of course Jerry Ulsemann was a devoted to the Bronica format. Is there any talk of reincarnation or such?? Out of curiosity.

Raymond
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 12:53:55 PM »
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Last I heard they made a 645 rangefinder and then pulled the plug.

I had Bronica 6x7 (GS1 or something) and it sucked.

Rob C
« Last Edit: March 20, 2013, 03:54:31 AM by Rob C » Logged

bcooter
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 02:50:08 PM »
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When I started my career the first cameras I bought were Bronica etrs, 645, because I had a small amount of money saved and that's what I could afford.

Through the years I bought fuji 680s, RZ's (3 flavors), Hasselblad (4 flavors) and the Contax 645.

Regardless I shot 75% of my work with the Bronicas and ended up with 4 bodies, 12 lenses, 5 finders, 25 film backs.

I had the lens lubrication changed so they would focus very fast, just with a touch of a finger.

The only mechanical issue I had was the return spring on some lenses and the fix was a shot of graphite.

They had Seiko shutters, beautiful lens roll off and served me very well.

When digital came in I knew I'd probably have to switch to a camera with a digital interface, so I rented an h1, a Contax and shot every session with all three cameras.

It was a lingerie production on transparency film and the sharpness of the Bronicas was equal to the Contax and H1, the contrast less abrupt and across the range every lens I compared the Contax was 5/8's of a stop faster than the Contax and H series.

If they had a digital interface and didn't require a wakeup cable I'd still use them today.

I was sorry to see them go, but through the years Bronica was bought and sold multiple times and horribly mis managed.

The build quality seemed suspect as the cameras made a lot of noise, but for me they were amazingly reliable and I put them thorough brutal conditions around the world.

IMO

BC

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JohnCox123
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 08:22:45 PM »
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They (bronica)were bought out by Tamron just after they release the RF 645. Tamron pulled the plug and is still servicing the RF 645 for the next little bit.
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k bennett
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 09:01:38 PM »
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Dang, BC, that's a nice shot, and reminds me what I'm still missing in terms of holding highlight detail.

My first MF system was the SQ-A, had several of them over the years. Excellent lenses, and the whole system was easy to use and reliable. Ran a lot of film through them over a fifteen year period.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
ACH DIGITAL
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 09:19:14 PM »
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I had 2 SQ-A bodies a 4 lenses. They all served me well for 13 years without a single mechanical or electronic failure. Never went to the shop.
I would admit though that some lenses weren't that sharp, like the 40mm and the 65mm.
Petty they never went digital.

ACH
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Antonio Chagin
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 04:12:13 AM »
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As I remember it, I had 50mm, 100mm and 250mm lenses for the 6x7; the wide was the worst (by far) and I got one excellent shot out of the 250mm.

The thing was bought new in Scotland on a trip home, its intended use out here in Spain for holiday brochure covers and landscape and stock, but from the very first day I could not get the MU to function. A brand, effin' new camera! I had to await the next trip back to Scotland to get shot of it.

Others have sung the praises of the SQ versions - including the BJP of the day - and I rather suspect that the increase in size over 6x6 has something to do with the mechanical problems associated with scale, inertia and kinetic energy of all those flying (or not!) parts. With my Pentax 6x7 it was the bounce from the shutter that could never be damped down enough - and it was always on a huge Gitzo tripod.

Let's be realistic: Hasselblad started out with focal plane shutters and finally went to the Compur-style ones, even though much later on they did make a brief return (on special models) to focal plane shutters. As with lenses for small cameras, so with bodies: everything does not always scale upwards satisfactorily, and what works on 135 format doesn't always on 120 format. (Remember 135 and 120?)

Rob C

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artobest
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 06:17:06 AM »
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As with lenses for small cameras, so with bodies: everything does not always scale upwards satisfactorily, and what works on 135 format doesn't always on 120 format. (Remember 135 and 120?)



Nothing wrong with the focal-plane shutter on my Rollei SL66SE.

(touch wood)

Peter
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