In part V of the series Manny Santiago looks at Modern Japan via the Bronica Zenza (ゼンザブロニカ?), a Japanese brand of medium format roll-film cameras, a single-lens reflex model first appearing in 1958. Partially named after the company’s founder, Zenzaburo Yoshino, and reputedly derived from Zenzaburo Brownie Camera. The Bronica Z and successor Bronicas, using Nikkor lenses, are all cult classics. Bronicas are workhorse cameras for wedding and portrait photographers and secondhand Bronica cameras are still widely used by professional and serious amateur photographers, due to superior image quality over smaller film and digital sensor formats as well as affordability.
After the death of Zenzaburo Yoshino in 1988, Bronica was acquired by the lens manufacturer Tamron which discontinued the brand’s single-lens reflex models (SQ, ETR and GS) in October 2004. Bronica’s last model, the RF645 rangefinder camera, was discontinued in October 2005.
Modern Japan with Bronica Zenza
The Modern Japan Gallery
- Part I – Modern Japan with a Lomo LC-A
- Part II – Modern Japan with a Holga 120S
- Part III – Modern Japan with a Nikon N80 Film Camera
- Part IV – Modern Japan with a Horizon S3 Panoramic Camera
- Part V – Modern Japan with a Zenza Bronica
- Part VI – Modern Japan with a Makina
- Part VII – Modern Japan with a Pinhole Holga
- Toy Cameras