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Zenza Bronica S2: Worth to buy for beginning medium format photography?


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Although the original camera posted here some 14 years ago, may well have rusted into dust by this time,

the scuttlebutt around my photo collective was that the Bronica was well-designed, but not robust in actual use.


Of course, someone who has a Pentacon 6TL and other products of the workers' and peasants' state is in no place to throw stones...:rolleyes:

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  • 2 months later...
Frankly, with such advice, and such prices.... I would not return at that shop. Many ebay shops have a return policy, just keep an eye open for seller reputation, and buying on eBay works well enough.


I don't have a truckload of experience with MF gear, but my only entry in this field is a nice starter camera: a Yashica D. Cheap, light, silent, discreet, and mine so far is perfectly reliable too. No metering, no thrills camera; optically probably not the best, but it doesn't disappoint either. And I paid less than a fifth of what that shop is trying to make you pay for a camera.

It is true that prices for TLRs on eBay are relatively high, but with patience you will find this model for less than $100.

Some Yashica Ds have the Yashinon 4 element Tessar-type lens that is a good performer. Some have the mediocre 3 element Yashikor. The cameras are surprisingly light and actually handle better than the crank wind TLRs. I learned photography on one in 1964.

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Bronica S2A was my first real MF camera. Bought it to use in wedding photography. Performed quite well, no problems. Unfortunately, somebody else wanted it too. Replaced it with a Bronica EC. It also has performed flawlessly for at least 20 years.

Had to have 6x7 so bought a GS-1 w/ AE prism. Another very good performer, easier for me to handle w/o grip. Also have a Rollei tlr, which I have not gotten along with ergonomically. My advice is to handle as many different types of MF as possible, and buy the one you feel most comfortable with. Price is a personal matter. As I said, the EC has gone a long time with no problems, in spite of its rather bazaar mirror system, You are the one who will have to balance everything out. Best of luck.


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Buy an old Rolleicord with a clean lens. You'll be much happier, and take better photographs. I used to shoot a Bronice S2. The camera is HUGE and HEAVY. They have the loudest shutter known to humankind.............. Ka POW! Sounded like a gun shot. Mine had a Nikkor lens that was wonderful, but the whole package was just too big and heavy,
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Just in case there's any doubt about the sharpness of the S2's Nikkor lens, here a shot taken handheld using Verichrome Pan exposed at ISO80 with the 75mm Nikkor-P (probably a 1/125 shutter speed):




I sold my S2 a little over a year ago and kinda miss it; it was fun to use (yes, it was loud and clunky) but I found any claim of camera vibration by the shutter to be overrated. My conclusion was most of the vibration occurred post-exposure.

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