Camera of week 37 – Bronica GS-1

Sorry for being absent for some time. But now, I am back and will try to keep writing about new articles 🙂

So this week we have Bronica GS-1. GS-1 was largest SLR produced by Bronica as it’s their only 6×7 camera.  Introduced in 1983 and faced death sentence at 2002.

Camera was designed to be as small and light as possible. Plastics are used everywhere they can, so result it that this camera is much lighter and smaller than Mamiya RB67/RZ67 and also lighter than some of smaller format SLR cameras.  Body alone weights just over 600 grams.  Similar to most of MF (Medium Format not Manual Focus) SLR’s GS-1 also features modular design. It means that apart from usual 35mm SLR’s where you can only change lenses and finder glass, this camera also allows changing prisms and backs. Interchangeable backs are very useful feature as they allows to take various films each in its own back, so you can change back with film in mid roll. Also it allows usage of different film formats and types. Like 220 back instead of 120 back. Lastly but not least camera sync’s at all available shutter speeds (up to 1/500 sec.).

There are numerous lens available for this camera ranging from 50mm ultra wide (uses rare 95mm size filter ring) to 500mm telephoto lens ( full list is – 50, 65, 80, 100, 110, 150, 200, 250, 500 mm lenses). On top of it there are two teleconverters (1.4x and 2x). Like most of MF lenses these aren’t particularly close focusing (except 110mm Macro lens) so one will need extension rings for macro work. Standard lens for this camera is 100mm f/3.5, together with 80mm lens it’s also fastest from whole bunch.

There are various backs available for GS-1 – 6×7, 6×6 6×4,5 and Polaroid, thank god 35mm back was not made for this beast. Smaller size backs are waste in my opinion, if one wants to shoot smaller format it easier just to get camera for needed format. GS-1 also has dedicated speedlight flash G-1 and speed grip,  these two make GS-1 only 6×7 camera that has TTL flash metering. Camera uses one silver 6V silver oxide battery ( PX28 also called 4SR44 or 4G13).

Price: About 400$ for kit (includes body, 100mm lens, 120 film back and prism), less if you buy one that has been battered. And more if you “lucky” enough to live in Europe.

Info from here: http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Bronica_GS-1

Bronica GS-1 with Prism Finder from http://www.chemicalcameras.files.wordpress.com

Bronica GS-1 with Speed Grip from http://chemicalcameras.files.wordpress.com

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