Back in love with my Bronica ETRSi setup

There are many reasons why I am back in love with my Bronica ETRSi setup which I share here in hoping you to will show some love for this little beast in medium format photography.

And when I say little I mean little.

Compared to the EC and GS-1 that I owned, sold now, and other medium format cameras, this “little” beast packs a real medium format punch even though it weighs in as a feather weight in comparison.

The EC with a back, lens and viewfinder weighs in at 1980 g or 4lb 6oz

The GS-1 with back, lens and viewfinder weighs in at 1830 g or 4lbs

The ETRSi with back, lens and viewfinder weighs in at 1280 g or 2lbs 13oz

You can see from the weights above that the ETRSi in “standard” format is more than a 1/3 lighter than either of the other two I owned, making this a true “walk about town” medium format camera.

I have kept my Yashica 124g for 6×6, a fab frame size & light camera, for todays internet age, but I absolutely love 6×4.5 format for everything.

Both of my Medium format cameras, Yashica 124g and Bronica ETRSi, give me everything I need from Medium format in light and easy to use formats.

Both giving stunning results in my favourite 120 film namely Kodak’s Ektachrome 100.

I took the Bronica ETRSi out for a walk yesterday to see if I am still enamoured buy this great camera and I think you can guess I am.

4 hours we spent together exploring the park, the church and down the local canal.

Initially I had the AE-II Finder E installed but quickly swapped that out for the “standard” waist level finder E, which incidentally was the first time it had ever been used since its manufacture.

I bought it a new / old stock from a shop and it was mint.

Popping the Waist level finder on meant I could get low down and even down on the grass shots which has made some interesting compositions.

The viewing screen on all Bronica’s and especially the ETR range is crystal clear. Making for easy focusing and lining up the shots.

Mirror Lock up.

The ETRSi gives you the ability to lock up the mirror to reduce mirror shake in your pictures which the ETR and ETRS do not.

I used this a lot in our 4 hour stroll together.

By the end of our walk I became quite adept at using this function handheld getting a little mantra going in my head to make sure I did not advance the film before putting the lockup lever down.

Compose, lift, shoot, drop, crank.

I was blessed in our walk together that the sun was out and using the Sunny 16 rule was more than adequate for shooting. But I did use my phone to double check the exposures to be sure.

When I bought the camera, old / new shop stock, basically brand new and boxed, I was a jammy so and so that in the bundle was the much sort after, and very expensive,135W back.

My First try with the Bronica ETR 135W back

This allows you to use 35mm film and the “W” version gives you 35mm panoramic shots. About 50% wider than normal 35mm size making for some great art pictures.

In my kit I have 4 x 120 back and a 220, which I was going to sell, but now CineStillFilm are making a 220 rolls of their film available, I have decided to keep that and have some fun with it when it is available.

Having 4 backs allows them to be loaded with different films to be able to quickly swap out and use a different film for a shot or just take a B&W version of the same shot I took in colour for comparison after developing on my new Jobo CPE3.

I was also very lucky to get a set of 40mm f4 PE, 50mm f2.8 PE, 75mm f2.8 MC & 75mm f2.8 EII (late version) & 150mm f3.5 MC lenses.

So I have all bases covered that I might want to when using my Bronica ETRSi.

On my walk I used the 50mm exclusively, which I think corresponds to a 35mm lens on a 35mm camera, please correct me If I am wrong.

I found this not restricting at all, but on the canal when taking shots of the barges I did feel that maybe the 40mm might of given me an easier time framing up the longer barges.

Something to try out on my next walk.

I also have the handgrip which slides on over the battery, 1 x 4LR44 6volt, the same that is used in my Canon A1’s which is really handy.

After removing the winder, the handgrip takes over the winding on of the film and shooting via a thumb wind on and a button for shooting the picture. Makes carrying the Bronica ETRSi a breeze also.

A great add-on for your Bronica.


The ability to walk for hours and the weight of camera not becoming a hindrance. The luck I had in the deal I struck for basically a brand new setup. The 645 format giving 15 shots per roll, 30 when the 220 is available. The mirror lock up to reduce shake caused buy the mirror flapping up and down makes for a camera that I feel guilty leaving to one side.

But be assured, this beauty will be by my side to capture slices of time that interest me and I hope interest you also.

In the UK a “Standard” setup of Body, Waist level finder, 1 x 120 back and a 75mm lens is achievable for a budget of around £650 to £850. But do make sure you get assurance from the seller that it is a fully tested and working model.

Below I will add a gallery of shots I took on our walk together once I have developed 7 scanned them and thank you for taking the time to read my post.


I wish you well

dave x

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