Professional Bronica Photographers

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by mporter012, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. mporter012

    mporter012 Subscriber

    Messages:
    290
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Were/are there any well regarded professionals that used any Bronica's? Or were they more designed as a price point mass market box camera?
     
  2. wildbill

    wildbill Member

    Messages:
    2,851
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    wedding photographers weren't/aren't well regarded:smile:
     
  3. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Member

    Messages:
    211
    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, F
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I bought mine as an alternative to buying Hassy equipment because it was far too expensive for me. I don't know anyone else that shoots Bronica. I'm a college student and there are other people that shoot film in the program I'm in, but none of them shoot medium format. The teacher for my current class, Marilyn Cook, has been shooting for years and used a Bronica setup apparently. She also apparently kept her system and uses one of her lenses on her Canon DSLR with an adapter.
     
  4. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,367
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well, there's me.

    Other than that, no. But what difference does it make if I shoot Bronica and Master Photographer X shoots Haaselblad? The brain makes the photograph not the camera.
     
  5. mporter012

    mporter012 Subscriber

    Messages:
    290
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Chicago
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Well, I'm just curious is all.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,818
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In most cases we know that certain professional photographers shoot with Hasselblad/Mamiya/Contax because Hasselblad/Mamiya/Contax advertised that fact.

    Bronica used to advertise, but not as much.
     
  7. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And having attended exactly one wedding in my life, I believe they should be afforded the highest respect. I offered to wrangle semi-drunk (and very drunk) people at the reception to help him, and he was most grateful. I could not be paid enough to deal with what they deal with.
     
  8. Stephen Frizza

    Stephen Frizza Member

    Messages:
    1,438
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  9. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,178
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Wayne,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Jerry Uelsmann used Bronica gear.
     
  10. Robert Oliver

    Robert Oliver Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I used Bronica GS1 gear to shoot bicycle racing and triathlon for a couple of different magazines... Not that i consider myself well regarded, except for by my mom.

    Legendary cycling photographer Graham Watson used to use Bronica 645 when shooting events.

    I chose the gs1 system because of leaf shutter lenses throughout the system. They weren't the toughest cameras ever built, but were great for shooting flash fill from the back of a motorcycle.
     
  11. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Bronicas were not as expensive as Hasselblad, but that doesn't mean they were inexpensive. Most amateurs used 35mm. Few were using medium format SLR's compared to professionals. The Bronicas were certainly not mass-market box cameras.
     
  12. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Member

    Messages:
    211
    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, F
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I want a Bronica 135W back, but they're very expensive compared to the rest of the system.
     
  13. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,468
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Bronicas were not cheap. When you could spend $1000-1200 to buy a top of line pro grade 135 SLR with TTL metering and a normal lens, a Bronica ETRSi 645 format body+lens+metering finder+film back was about $2500-2800.

    I was attending a wedding photography symposium in the 1990's and someone at my lunch table commented that he was from Florida, and most photographers in his part of the world shot with Bronica simply because they didn't want to tie up quite so much money in paying for Hassy bodies and lenses and accessories.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Member

    Messages:
    211
    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, F
    Shooter:
    35mm
    That still applies. I'm from Florida. I bought my Bronica system from another person here.
     
  16. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    B+H ad, Pop Photo, May 1996:

    Hasselblad 503CXI with 80mm f/2.8, A-12 back---------------$4141, W.L. Focusing Hood--$240.
    Bronica SQ_Ai with 80mm f/2.8, 120 or 220 back, W.L finder--$2369

    Hasselblad A-24 magazine--$795
    Bronica 220 back w/insert--$539.50

    Hasselblad PM-5 45 degree finder--$995
    Bronica 45D 45 degree finder------$699

    Hasselblad 40mm f/4 with hood--$3995
    Bronica 40mm f/4 PS------------$1799, lens hood--$39

    Hasselblad 150mm f/4--$2756
    Bronica 150mm f/4PS---$1569

    The totals of what I listed:
    Hasselblad--$12,922
    Bronica-----$7,014.50
    So this particular Bronica setup is about 55% the cost of the matching Hasselblad setup. Not to say Hasselblads aren't worth their cost- just that for a lot of professionals, it wasn't worth it for them or they just couldn't afford it.

    To illustrate some of the difference between either 6X6 setup and for example, Nikon-- in the 135 format equivalent focal length to the 150mm f/4 lenses, the Nikkor AFD 85mm f/1.8 was $389.95, the AIS 85mm f/1.4 was $829.95.
    The Nikkor AFD 24mm f/1.4 cost $1569.95, 95 cents more than the Bronica 150mm (though I bet they would have knocked off the difference if you pressed them :wink:).

    The medium format SLR's were used by people who needed what they could deliver, and could pay for it. They gave up numerous features which the smaller format camera systems offered.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2013
  17. Soeren

    Soeren Member

    Messages:
    2,436
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Location:
    Naestved, DK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  18. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My gosh, yes! Thanks for that, Soeren. I really enjoy her work.
     
  19. Hondenbrok

    Hondenbrok Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2013
    Location:
    The Netherla
    Shooter:
    35mm
    When photographing the Bones Brigade I believe Craig Stecyk used a Bronica. In "Bones Brigade: an Autobiography" a still shows him holding one with a motorwinder or a grip.
     
  20. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dan Wynn used a Bronica in the Sixties, Nigel Harper (Wedding photographer) used Bronicas, Cherie Steinberg-Coté (Boudoir and Wedding), Tommy Oshima (net pesonality uses a Bronica amongst other things), Robert and Suzanne Love (Portraits), Michael R. Williams (Celebs used them and switched to the bigger Mamiya), James Nader (Fashion went digital) and many more. Bronica never really used the big name advertisement that Hasselblad and Mamiya are famous for
     
  21. whlogan

    whlogan Subscriber

    Messages:
    551
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Hendersonvil
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    And there's me, too, of course!
    Logan
     
  22. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,468
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Location:
    SF Bay area
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    lxdude,
    I would LOVE to have a PDF or JPGs of the pages of that 1996 B&H ad for reference! If you can provide that, send me a PM and I will reply with my personal email address. Thanks, in advance!
     
  23. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was under the impression that any medium format SLR, regardless of brand, was the territory of Professional photographers before the mass exodus. The only reason mere mortals like myself can afford them now is that in reality they are dirt cheap.
     
  24. pasiasty

    pasiasty Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    Hamburg, Ger
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Bar Soviet- and GDR-made ones. They might have been even targeted to professionals, but photographers had no enough appreciation of their superiority to products of the rotten capitalists.
     
  25. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Even them I was witness to several pro photoshoots in Cuba that used a Pentacon Six, Bernhard Grzimek a famous german Zoo Director and Documentary Filmmaker used a Pentacon Six on his Safaris.
     
  26. pasiasty

    pasiasty Member

    Messages:
    66
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Location:
    Hamburg, Ger
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    That's why :smile:

    Well, plenty of photographer had no choice...

    And nowadays some art photographers use them (when they sell their pictures, they are professionals, aren't they?), but for a serious, commissioned work, you needed reliable tools, while Kievs, famous for 50% dead-on-arrival rate, were rather not.