Bronica Product Guide
AD-180B5m Dated 5/74
Bronica Deluxe (“D”)
The Bronica Deluxe or “D” model camera was introduced in 1960 by Zenza Bronica. As the forerunner of an unbroken series of 2 1/4 square SLR cameras, it incorporated many design features still not found on competitive equipment after more than 16 years.
The Deluxe is easily recognized by the following key features:
- Focusing mount integral part of the body
- No advance crank on right side
- The focusing scale on the upper part of the advance/focus knob
- Speed dial on the outside face of advance/focus knob
- Self-timer scale on the left side of the body
- Double exposure dial on right side of the body
- 3 stud male bayonet fitting on the bottom of the camera body
- Focus lock lever on the right front of the body
The Deluxe has double exposure capability, shutter speeds to 1/1250th second, a 2-10 second self-timer which also allowed timed long exposures of 2-10 seconds, and a locking lever to lock the camera’s focusing mount at any desired point.
All small bayonet mount Auto-Nikkor and Zenzanon lenses fit the Deluxe, as well as all five “S” series prisms and hoods. The S2A grips, however, will not fit due to the bayonet fitting on the camera base, and a special tripod adapter #81502 was required to use either of these grips.
The Bronica S was a major upgrade of the model D or Deluxe camera introduced by Zenza Bronica in 1961. It was available in chrome only and can be identified as follows:
- Fixed, non-removable chrome focusing mount
- PC contact on the front of the body
- Mirror lock with a switch below the shutter release
- Distance scale and focus control on the ring around the advance crank
- Speed dial on the left side of the body
The S model was introduced while the Deluxe was still in production and represented a simplified version of that camera. Top speed was lowered to 1/1000 second and the self-timer / long exposure control, double exposure control, and focus lock were eliminated.
LENSES AND ACCESSORIES
All small bayonet mount Bronica Nikkor lenses fit the S body. The 105mm F3.5 Nikkor and 300mm F4.5 Zenzanon will not fit. A special focusing adapter for tele-Nikkor lenses was made for the S fixed mount, but was not sold in the U.S. The present focusing tube will not fit the S camera. This model also requires a special extension tube set and bellows. The current tubes and bellows do not fit the S mount.
All prisms, hoods, and grips, as well as the sports finder for the present S2A, will fit the S.
The Bronica C was introduced in 1964-5 while the “S” was still being produced, and is the only model made by Bronica without interchangeable backs. Intended as an economy version of the “S” it incorporated several features of the “D” and the new focusing mount soon to appear on the S2.
Identifying features are:
- Does not have interchangeable backs
- Shutter speeds to 1/500 or 1/1000 second (see note below)
- Double exposure control on the dial on the right side near frame counter setting switch
- Removable focusing unit with distance scales for 50, 75, 135 and 200mm lenses.
Inserts for the S2/S2A will fit the “C” as will all lenses, hoods, prisms and grips. The original extension tubes and bellows were replaced with new ones to fit the changed focusing system. A special adapter allowed the use of the original S type bellows on the C and later models.
NOTE: Bronica “C” Models sold in the Japan Domestic Market had a top speed of 1/500 second. Export models had a 1/1000 second top speed. There is no other difference in the cameras and both may be available on the used market.
The Bronica S2 followed the S in 1965-6 and incorporated a number of new features. The primary change was the switch to a removable helical type focusing mount. Identifying points are:
- Removable helical (rotating focusing mount has a black knurled knob for focusing on the front of the camera body
- No distance scale or focus control on advance knob
- Small release button for focus ring on the front of the body
- No mirror lock switch on the bottom of the body
- The body now available in black or chrome
- PC contact now on the left side of the body
LENSES And ACCESSORIES
With the change in design to a front helical focusing mount, the accessory systems for Bronica were also changed.
Lenses – All Bronica Nikkor and Zenzanon lenses fit the S2, including the large bayonet 105mm and 300mm. The focusing tube for the Tele-Nikkors is the current #81505 unit.
Accessories – All prisms, hoods, grips, etc. that fit the current S2A will fit the S2. For differences between the older Deluxe and “S” accessories and the current versions, see the separate section on accessories.
In 1969, the S2 was replaced with an internally modified version, identified as S2A. Since there were almost no external changes, this model is identified by the designation S2A following the serial number.
In 1973, a minor change was made in the neckstrap studs, altering them so that they would accept the same neckstrap as the EC model. At that time, the S2A marking after the serial number was dropped. New series S2A cameras without the S2A marking start with body number 150037.
This model is now current (as of 5/74) and accepts all Auto-Nikkor lenses, Zenzanon lenses, and Tele-Nikkors with #81505 focusing tube. All current accessories (as of 5/74) fit the S2A except those specifically limited to the Deluxe, “S”, or EC.
The Bronica EC was introduced in March of 1972 and represents a new generation of Bronica design.
The primary innovation of this model is stepped electronically-controlled shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 1/1000 second. The external evidence of this unique feature is the oblong battery compartment in the base of the camera, and the button and battery check light on the top left side of the body.
In addition, the EC offers double exposure control (on the film back on the right side), mirror lock-up (lever on the left side), locking PC terminal, dark slide storage pocket, split mirror, interchangeable focusing screens and many other features.
All lenses of the Bronica system fit the EC, as does the extension tube set. A new series of grips, #82041 L grip and #82042 pistol grip fit both the EC and the S2A. The EC has its own bellows, which due to the longer mirror has a different mounting plate than the S2A version, and its own series of prisms, finders, and backs.
Bronica Dark Slides
There are four different dark slides for Bronica backs. These four slides fit the eight versions of backs as follows:
- Deluxe – fits only Deluxe backs (photo)
- S and early S2 – fits all 120 only S backs and 120/220 S2 backs with curtain (photo)
- S2 (late model) and S2A – fits 120/220 S2 backs without the curtain and all S2A backs (photo)
- EC – fits EC backs only (photo)
Deluxe – fits all Deluxe backs (2 types). These are only backed with the opening latch on the left side instead of the top.
Discontinued – no product number available
NOTE: There was a second Deluxe dark slide with the same dimensions but with a short, square handle. This could be folded flat against the slide to prevent it being accidentally pushed in and releasing the back.
S and early S2 – early S backs are 120 only – have a no 12/24 exposure switch. Later S and early S2 backs (CM81500 or lower serial number) have an extra curtain in front of the film plane, as well as 120/220 capability.
Product number 83023
S2 (later models) and S2A – later model S2 backs do not have the extra safety curtain (serial number CM81501 and up) – except for very minor differences, S2 backs above serial 81501 and S2A backs are identical.
Product number 83024
EC – fits EC backs only. EC backs have double button release on top and A/D switch on the right side.
Product number 82029
Film back curtain – the only way the safety curtain is visible on early Bronica backs is when a slide is in the back. If the slide is partially withdrawn while the back is off the camera, the metal edge of the curtain is visible on the front edge of the slide. If the slide is fully inserted, open the back and remove the insert and the curtain will be visible.
Bronica Medium Format Camera Roll Film Backs
All Bronica film backs since the very first model have several features in common. These are listed below, with specific identification of each type in the sections following:
- Can be removed from the camera only by full insertion of the dark slide
- Darkslide must be fully removed from focal plane opening for the shutter to operate
- Darkslide cannot be accidentally removed from back when the back is off the camera*
- No exposed/unexposed indicator is needed for each frame. When loaded back is put on camera, the advance knob will advance film only, cock shutter only, or do both, as needed.
*To remove dark slide when the back is off-camera, hold back so focal plane is facing you. Take a pointed object and depress the silver button at the top right of back and slide will release.
120 only with the opening latch on the left side of the back. Insert was not latched into place when in the back. Film path was unusually complicated and insert had a fold-out sheet metal guide.
Identical in outside appearance to Type 1, but the insert loading and film path were similar to current types. The fold-out guide was eliminated – still no latching of the insert in the back.
Both types of back use the same dark slide.
120 only back now has a latch for opening on top and incorporates cover that acts as a holder for end of film box. The back incorporates an additional cloth curtain at the focal plane, opened and closed by inserting the dark slide. Insert does not have a latching mechanism.
120/220 capability. Switch on the right side to change counter from 12 to 24 exposures. Insert now has a latch on sides to hold it in the back and two levers to release latch. Auxiliary safety curtains retained, operated by dark slide.
Both S type backs use the same dark slide, Product # 83023.
The first film back provided the S2 was identical to the Type 2 “S” back. The serial number of this type back wen up to CM 81500.
A 120/220 back identical in features to the Type 1 back but without the auxiliary curtain. Serial numbers start at CM81501 and up.
Type 1 backs use dark slide #83023
Type 2 backs use dark slide #83024
Current Model (as of 5/74 publication date)
There is no identifiable difference between the current S2A backs and the Type 2 – S2 film back. The film reminder clip is identified by S2A after the serial number and 6×6 at the bottom. However, these can be changed easily.
Darkslide for all S2A backs is product #83024.
This camera did not have interchangeable back but did use inserts. Any of the 120/220 inserts for the Bronica S type 2 or later S models will fit the C.
EC film backs are a separate series and will not fit any other models. They are easily identified by the double cover release on top and the A/D double exposure control on the right side.
E Type Backs
E Backs are those which take 16 or 32 frames in 2 1 / 4″ x 1 5 / 8″ format. There is only one type, the current version (as of 5/74) which is identical to the current (5/74) S2a back except for the counter (which goes to 32) and the frame selector which is marked “F” and “S” instead of 12/24. This back takes the #83024 dark slide and any 120/220 insert.
Bronica Special Accessories
- Deluxe flash adapter (photo)
- chrome bayonet mount unit fits female mount on the left side of the camera and makes contact with PC terminal on the body – PC contact on an adapter for flash and both standard shoes and clip for mounting flash. Will fit later models but not recommended due to pressure on speed dial. #81501
- Deluxe tripod adapter
- fit male bayonet mount on the base of Deluxe – twist-lock round unit provided flat base on the tripod and quick release from the camera. #81502
- Deluxe camera stabilizer plate
- similar to tripod adapter but with a larger base and without quick release. #81510
- Nikon adapter (photo)
- often confused item. This adapter fits the Deluxe and “S” models only and allowed direct mounting of the short mount Nikkor telephoto lenses made for the RF camera – 180mm, 250mm, 350mm, and 500mm. No other lens/body combinations apply to this adapter. #81503
- Bellows adapter (photo)
- used to adapt the original “S” bellows to fit the large body mount of later models. Can also be used to fit the CA ring of the first extension tube set to S2 and later cameras. #81428
- Blank mount adapter
- For the Deluxe and “S”
- . Fits over the camera focusing tube and had a large aluminium tube on the front, which could be machined to take screw mount press type lenses. Of no value for adapting 35mm format lenses. #81504
- Bronica “B” Prism
- a compact unit which is mounted on top of the normal focusing hood when opened. #81520
- Extension Tube set Series 1
- A 3-ring set with an A ring which fit the Deluxe and “S” body. The thread of the C ring was 57mm and the B ring had a set screw to rotate and lock the lens with aperture scale up. #81304