Lomopedia: Zenza Bronica S2A


The Zenza Bronica S2A is the successor to Bronica's previous medium format SLR camera, the S2. It was introduced in 1969 with a few improvements to the renowned medium format SLR line. One of its notable upgrades was its gear advance mechanism — the S2A had an improved system that fixed the jamming issue that the S and S2 were known for.

Zenza Bronica S2A © Sergio Bernardino via Flickr, Image used under Creative Commons license

The S2A looks deceivingly simple with its metal body, leather wrap, and understated design. Clearly, Bronica paid more attention to performance-related aspects of the camera instead of adding more style points. The S2A boasted great image quality with its ability to use different deep-seated lenses, unlike other medium format SLRs. Its mirror used a forward-and-down motion in contrast to the usual upward action of most SLRs. This also gave a brighter image in the viewing screen and made the overall profile of the camera more compact. When you’re shooting with a big and hefty camera setup like with the S2A, every inch shaved off adds to the overall stability of your shots.

Another notable feature of the S2A is its ability to change film backs without having to change shutter settings. Users can simply switch backs with different films for whatever shooting condition they find themselves in. This feature is particularly helpful for on-the-go photographers — changing film types and speeds was a breeze. The S2A also accepted both 120 and 220 film formats like the S2, making it even more versatile for different shooting styles.

Zenza Bronica S2A © Sergio Bernardino via Flickr, Images used under Creative Commons license

Lastly, the S2A accepted quite a wide range of good lenses. From wide angle 40 mm lenses to colossal 600 mm lenses, the S2A was able to cover a variety of focal lengths with these types of lenses. Pair that with medium format film and you’ve got yourself a mammoth of a shooter (both in size and image quality.) Sample photos taken with the Bronica S2A reveal that you can get great detail and outstanding quality with the lenses at your disposal.

All in all, the Bronica S2A is value for money. This ‘poor man’s Hasselblad’ ticks off all the correct boxes in the medium format segment — good build quality, impressive images, neat features, and high level of craftsmanship. It’s just a shame that Bronica doesn’t make cameras anymore. If you’re the type of photographer who doesn’t mind lugging a heavy camera with a loud shutter all day, then you might want to consider getting a Bronica S2A.

Photos Taken by Our Community with the Zenza Bronica S2A

Credits: mpflawer, ricoinbrooklyn, wym_____, jahwil, jean_louis_pujol & trilliana

Technical Specifications

Type: 2-¼” × 2-1/4 “ (6 cm × 6 cm) single lens reflex camera
Film: 120 film, 12 exposures and 220 film, 24 exposures
Interchanging Films: Interchangeable film back fully coupled with the camera body, dark slide with safety lock system
Standard Lens: Nikkor 75 mm f/2.8 fully automatic preset diaphragm, 4 groups 5 elements
Lens Mount: Bayonet type (Bronica mount), also equipped with screw mount (57 mm × 1 mm pitch), Large bayonet mount for long telephoto lenses
Finder: Fresnel lens and large magnifier
Focusing Hood: Interchangeable with prism finder or magnifying hood
Focusing: Helicoid type, stroke 14mm, rotating the angle of focusing ring 250 degrees
Distance Scale: For 75 mm lens
Mirror: Flip-down, instant return, an automatic mirror system
Diaphragm: Fully automatic diaphragm — 75 mm, 40 mm, 50 mm, 100 mm, 105 mm, 150 mm, 200 mm, 300 mm, 400 mm, and 600 mm lenses
Depth-of-Field: DOF can be checked by pressing the preview button
Shutter: Vertically operating focal plane shutter, non-rotating single shutter selector B, 1, ½, ¼, ⅛, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, and “X” (1/40), “T” (Time) Shutter release lock device, Intermediate shutter speeds
Synchro: Automatic switch-over synchronization system
Film Loading: Separate film holder, automatic film winding system by matching with film start mark
Film Winding: Winding crank or knob
Exposure Counter: Automatically returns to “0”
Construction: Camera body made of 18-8 stainless steel, bright polished finish
Dimensions: 100 mm × 100 mm × 140 mm
Weight: 1,780 grams

Information used in this article was sourced from Emulsive, Sheldon Brown blog, and Butkus Camera Manuals.

written by cheeo on 2018-09-04 #gear #medium-format #slr #mechanical #zenza #bronica-s2a #lomopedia

One Comment

  1. trad69
    trad69 ·

    I have used one of these for years, it fits in the hand nicely and the mirror means I am not afraid to handhold it.

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