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Zenza Bronica ETR




120/220 film,  polaroid and 35mm back available


The Zenza Bronica ETRS is a remarkable medium format 4.5×6 SLR film camera series manufactured by Bronica. It was initially introduced in 1976 and remained in production until 1986. Representing Bronica’s first venture into leaf shutter technology, the ETRS marked a departure from their previous models, which utilized focal plane shutters and relied on Nikon-manufactured optics.

One notable feature of the ETRS is its Seiko-manufactured electronic shutter, offering a versatile range of speeds from 8 seconds to 1/500 seconds, including a T (time) setting. Additionally, a mechanical shutter option at 1/500 seconds is available, functioning independently of battery power. As a leaf shutter camera, the ETRS allows for flash synchronization at all shutter speeds, which is a significant advantage for photographers who frequently utilize artificial lighting.

The ETRS incorporates an interchangeable back system, enhancing its versatility by accommodating both 120 and 220 (15/30) exposure film holders. This interchangeable feature provides photographers with greater flexibility compared to the original M645 model. After capturing an image and firing the shutter, a single rotation of the film advance lever resets the mirror, advances the film, and cocks the shutter for the subsequent shot. It’s worth noting that the shutter cannot be released if the dark slide is still inserted.

One improvement in the ETRS compared to previous Bronica models is the ability to remove the dark slide from the film holder even when the back is detached from the camera body. This feature allows for greater convenience and efficiency in the field, as photographers can quickly switch between film holders without having to reattach the back.

It is important to mention that the ETRS shutter cannot be cocked without film; however, the camera does offer a multi-exposure mode that enables users to cock and test-fire the shutter even when no film is present, facilitating experimentation with multiple exposures.

One of the key highlights of the Zenza Bronica ETRS is its modular system, which further enhances its versatility and adaptability to different shooting requirements. The camera features a modular design that allows photographers to interchange various components to suit their specific needs. This includes interchangeable lenses, viewfinders, focusing screens, and film backs.

The interchangeable lens system provides photographers with a wide range of options to choose from, allowing them to select the ideal focal length and lens type for their desired shot. This flexibility enables photographers to explore different perspectives and creative possibilities.

Moreover, the ETRS offers interchangeable viewfinders, which can be easily switched depending on the shooting situation. Different viewfinder options, such as waist-level finders or prism finders, provide photographers with alternative ways to compose their images, catering to individual preferences and shooting styles.

In addition to lenses and viewfinders, the focusing screens on the ETRS are also interchangeable. This feature allows photographers to customize the camera’s focusing capabilities to suit their specific needs, whether it’s achieving precise manual focus or utilizing different focusing aids.

The modular system of the Bronica ETRS extends to the film backs as well. The camera supports interchangeable backs that can accommodate both 120 and 220 roll films. This versatility allows photographers to easily switch between different film types or even change film mid-roll, offering convenience and flexibility in various shooting scenarios.

Overall, the modular design of the Zenza Bronica ETRS provides photographers with the freedom to customize and adapt the camera to their specific requirements. This system enhances the camera’s versatility, making it a powerful tool for creative expression in medium format photography. 

Fun fact: The ETR is sometimes referred to as the “Hasselblad poor man’s” camera due to its similarities in design and functionality to the renowned Hasselblad medium format cameras. The Bronica was introduced as a more affordable alternative to the high-end Hasselblad systems, offering photographers a medium format SLR camera with interchangeable components at a relatively lower price point.

While it does share some similarities with Hasselblad cameras, such as a modular system, leaf shutter mechanism, and interchangeable lenses, it is important to note that the Bronica is a distinct camera system in its own right. It has its own unique features, capabilities, and characteristics that set it apart from Hasselblad cameras.

The “Hasselblad poor man’s” label is not intended to diminish the quality or capabilities of the Bronica ETR but rather to highlight its affordability in comparison to the higher-priced Hasselblad cameras. The ETR provided photographers with a more accessible entry point into the world of medium format photography, offering excellent image quality and a versatile system without the premium price associated with Hasselblad cameras.

Ultimately, the Bronica ETR stands on its own merits as a reliable and capable medium format camera system, and it has garnered a loyal following of photographers who appreciate its performance and value proposition.

Note: This post was made researching information based on different websites like camerapedia, wikipedia, camera-wiki, emulsive, lomography, xataka, pintandoconluz, camaras sin fronteras and many more. On the other hand, all the photographers allowed us to post their photos on Instagram. All the illustrations are made by us and we don’t allow the use of any illustrations without permission. Finally, if you have more information or you think we made a mistake, please send us a mail.



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Una publicación compartida por Camxatca | Film Camera Community (@camxatca)