ZENZA BRONICA (five dollar thrift store find)

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Christopher Walrath, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Yesterday I was out running around with Pop when he wanted to stop at a local thrift store. We walk in. He spies a pair of swimming frogman's flippers and he's trying them on. He then says, 'What's that camera, there, Chris?" I spin around and instantly grab it up. A Zenza Bronica S2. I check the shutter speeds, sound good, at least the slow ones from 30 on down where you can truly tell the difference. Aperture moves smoothly. Waist level viewfinder good. Lens clean. Focusing adapter good. It has a three lug bayonet focusing adapter that accepts Zenzanon lenses. This one is a 150mm. Opened the film back and removed the charger, SHINY AND IMMACULATE. Even the light seals were soft and pliable. (I tried not to ply too much).

    FIVE DOLLARS!

    Works like a charm. This 6x6 will fit nicely between my Nikon N65 and my Mamiya RB67. Now to find a cheap old 6x9 or have an 8x10 fall on my lap without causing a trip to the hospital.

    Oh, and don't mind my being shunned to memberdom, omly a temporary glitch (I hope).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2009
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Chris W.
    I hope you sleep well at night. If dark shadows of guilt bestir your sleep, I shall give you an opportunity to purge yourself--and......double your money!! by taking that beast off your hands.(vbg)
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member
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    Nice find; great price!


    (p.s. I'm a bit jealous too)
     
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    Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Hey, John. Lemme think abou . . . uh, nope. I'll live with the guilt thingies. ;p
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    Good find. Don't force the wind knob, and you'll be okay. Generally, the most desirable lenses for the classic Bronicas are the Nikkors. The 40/4.0 is particularly one to look for, if you like wideangles. The complicated mirror mechanism of the camera is essentially to allow lenses like this to protrude into the mirror box.
     
  6. randerson07

    randerson07 Member

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    brilliant.

    Best Ive done at the thrift store is $5 for a Canonet QL19 with a stuck shutter(which I was able to fix), a black Olympus trip 35, and a Petri TTL which is just a display piece. Pretty good pull for $5, but Ill trade all 3 for your $5 pull.
     
  7. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    Damn, best I have done was an Oly OM10 with a "jammed" mirror - which of course I didn't tell them a new battery would fix :smile:

    Total cost: $2. Including never-ready case...
     
  8. Joe Grodis

    Joe Grodis Member

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    I had a similar find with a Bronica-S. KEH had it listed as inoperative. I paid $9.95 + shipping. To my surprise is was fully operational and I have been using it now for 6 months...
     
  9. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    You just couldn't help yourself, could you. Coming on here and bragging about how lucky you were. I suppose you thought it'd make us jealous? :tongue:

    Me? I've got enough cameras.......:surprised:
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member
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    So have I but I'm still jealous!


    Steve.
     
  11. 2F/2F

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    Niiice. I was seriously considering the S2A kit that was recently listed here, but it is in the Netherlands. Congratulations on another APUG thrift shop score! Chalk this one up next to my near-mint thrift shop Rolleiwide (though it was nowhere close to FIVE DOLLARS!!! Wow! That is a deal. Go out and celebrate by taking some pix!)
     
  12. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    That's just so nice of you John. Always thinking of others...:tongue:

    Bob H
     
  13. Kino

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    Ah, the stuff dreams are made of!
     
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    Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Question, David. I find I have to force it one last little click to reset the shutter to make the next photograph. Other than that it moves freely and works like a gem. Is this something that will cause damage in the long run?
     
  16. jamesgignac

    jamesgignac Member

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    Very, VERY nice find. Trying to stave off the jealousy...I'd be more jealous if we lived in the same city or frequented the same thrifty stores...just promise us all you'll treat it like a queen :smile:

    All the best with your new square lifestyle!
     
  17. Trond

    Trond Subscriber
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    That's normal. It does sound like something is being crunched inside, and I was a bit worried the first time I heard it too...

    Trond
     
  18. OP
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    Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    That is it. That is what is happening and what I wanted to know. Thank you.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    Yeah, that's the overwind clutch, designed to prevent overwinding, but some people have been known to force it beyond that last little lurch and strip the gears. The S2 and earlier models had brass gearing, which was upgraded to steel in the S2a. As long as you don't handle the camera like a 200 lb chimpanzee suddenly reverting to its animal instincts, it's an easy enough problem to avoid, but something to be aware of.
     
  20. OP
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    Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Thank you, David. Oh, and by the way. I have since found out it is the Zenza Bronica C. Still a beaut. I love this camera. My Nikon is called Nicky. My 4x5 is called Ally. My Mamiya is called Mammy. I think I'll call this one Xena (Zenza).
     
  21. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    The C is an interesting camera. It's essentially an S2 without interchangeable backs, which is a disadvantage in one sense, but an advantage in that they are less prone to mechanical problems with the back linkage.
     
  22. OP
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    Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Well, I had a couple of M645j's so I can work around the back thing. Besides, that's what my RB67 is for. ;p
     
  23. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council
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    Nice find! :D How about some pics of this beauty?

    gene
     
  24. OP
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    Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    There's a link on my primary remarks. I have never been able to figure out how to do anything other than post a link to a picture that is already online.
     
  25. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator
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    To post an attachment, click on "go advanced" and then go down to "manage attachments" to upload your attachment.

    To post an inline image, post the URL of the image surrounded by the IMG tag /IMG with square brackets around each tag (I'm not sure how to do that without having the demonstration render as a broken image). The image URL has to be the image file itself, not a page containing the image. I fixed your link in the initial post.
     
  26. OP
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    Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Thanks, David.

    Here goes.
     

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