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Bronica GS-1 Medium Format

4.85 star rating
                      4.85 / 5 (26 Reviews)
MSRP : $2319.00

  • Camera TypeSLR (Single Lens Reflex)
    Interchangeable LensesInterchangeable Lenses
    Shutter Speed16 - 500 sec
    Light Metering ModesTTL
    Interchangeable Film BackWith Interchangeable Film Back
    Depth7.74 in.
    Height4.63 in.
    Width7.74 in.
    Weight16 oz.
    Product ID20296301

Product Description

6x7cm format lens shutter single lens reflex camera, w/interchangeable lens, film back, finder and focusing screen system.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rick Jack a Professional

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2013

Strengths:    Image quality is hard to beat. Useful selection of lenses. Prices as of 2013 make it affordable. Well built and takes a beating. Bright viewfinder, controls are easy to reach and the camera is fast to use for it's size.

Weaknesses:    Film and processing are not as easy to find as years back. Since it's discontinued their are no new products being designed for it and Tamron/Bronica are no longer repairing them. Parts are limited.
No longer better image quality than digital.

Bottom Line:   
If you've always wanted one buy one. If you still have your own darkroom and process B&W, buy one. If you don't mind carrying around a very heavy camera bag and a tripod buy one.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Hassy, Rollieflex, other Bronica models.

Type of photography:   Fine Art

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Studley a Professional

Date Reviewed: December 19, 2010

Strengths:    6x7 film and the option to go smaller.
Good build quality but not heavy.
Lenses are very good optically and mechanically, much sharper than Mamiya lenses. CA's are non exsistant on my lenses.
Overall image quality surpasses digital by miles

Weaknesses:    Ergonomics not great when vertical composing.

Bottom Line:   
This year was the first year that I completly stopped using film at wedding. It's a shame, but as photography is constantly being devalued all the time, running a 6x6 camera I was pricing myself out the middle wedding market.
I found the Brionica SQ-Ai was not an ideal format for studio work. So I sold the kit and have brought a mint condition GS-1 with rotary finder, 3 lenses, 65mm, 110mm & 150mm, all for under £700.

Not the easiest camera to use, especially using it in portrait work. The lenses/ focus screen are dim, but most time I have good lighting in the studio. I might get myself a Bettie screen to over come the focus problems that I sometimes get. Most times I will use the camera on a tripod when critical focus is important, but with most other work, the camera is fine being hand held.

Of course, the ultimate goal of the camera is to produce results that non of my full frame digital cameras are able to do. And believe me, this camera does not fail in this department. Along with using professional scanning equipment like Imacons, the results are breath taking. I can't see how people can say full frame digital is as good a MF. especially when photographing people. Interestingly, just a 10MP scan from a positive out resolves my Canon 5D MKII with L glass. I can't explain that but it does. However, if you want to be part of the present crowd of photographers who murder their images in photoshop with skin smoothing and blowing out highlights, then this camera is probabley not right for you.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $660.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Bronica SQ-Ai

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by _lou_ a Expert

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2009

Strengths:    Versatile system
Very sharp lenses across the field, even wide open
Flash sync at all speeds (leaf shutter lenses)
Light and compact for a 6x7 SLR
Reliability and solid build
Bargain prices on the used market
Accessories sold at decent prices
Good metering with AE prism
Selection of formats (645 to 6x7)

Weaknesses:    No fast lens (but DoF is thin enough at f/3.5 on 100mm), making focusing difficult in low light.
Sort of bulky as a camera (but stilll compact as a 6x7 SLR)
No character in bokeh (the lenses don't have a personality like Rolleiflex's)
Some CA in the longer lenses (200mm)
TTL flash are scarce and I know not of a compatibility with Metz flash (might exist though)
Mirror lock-up could have been a bit better designed, but you get used to it eventually
Separate backs for 120 and 220
No self timer (Bronica's RF645 has it)
No revolving back (Mamiyas have this)

Bottom Line:   
Lots of good reviews for this camera are very positive. I can only approve them, since the Bronica GS-1 really is a wonderfull camera. I have been using it for three years, it has been my first medium format, and probably will remain my prefered.

This is a very serious camera. First of all it is an entire system, and the camera can be made fit for different purposes : from a minimalist WLF+100mm configuration to a larger prism finder + extension tubes + lens hood + grip + flash setup where it looks monstruous. Given the proper accessories, this camera can shoot anything from candids to macro, portraits, landscape, whatever.

Second, this camera is pretty straightforward, very little nonsense in its design, it really is down to the essential.

Third, this camera's quality is very good. The build is very solid (although there is plastic covering over the body). Electronically controlled shutter seems very reliable. Mirror shake is very moderate. Optics are superbly sharp. In fact it is more likely for you to miss the focusing or have motion blur than for the lenses to show their weaknesses.

All in all, probably the best 6x7 SLR out there if you have budget limits. Light enough to carry around on hikes, very good in the studio, no major design flaws or quality issues, a very recommended camera.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Rolleiflex & other TLRs
Agfa isolette 6x6 rangefinder

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nikon_junkie a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: March 26, 2006

Strengths:    Ergonomic. Battery is not an issue. Multiple Exposure. Mirror lockup. Flash sync. 6X7 negative. A 645, 6X6, and ^x& in on system. Fairly easy to use handheld. CHEAP!!!!

Weaknesses:    Slow glass and no specialty glass. No motor. No digital back capability. All of these weaknesses make the SQ or ETR series viable. For this reason I hate to do it but I rate it 4 overall, but a 5 in terms of $$$xalue.

Bottom Line:   
I've been sucked in by the big negative. The GS1 is a wonderful camera. With the speedgrip it is handholdable for a fair anount of time. Used witth a monopod and /when I add the waist level viewfinder it is every bit as versatile and suprisingly mobile.as any 35mm manual camera. Works nicely with a tripod. Mamiya rotating back may be really nice but a pan tilt head does just the same. I have yet to break it in at a wedding but plan to use it for formals and B+W. The GS1 is a wonderful portrait camera whether handheld or on a tripod. One must really slow down and think, I don't use a metered prism so I can't speak to the TTL abilities. It takes time to learn some of the quirks, but overall a really nice camera. The lense selection are SLOW, so if available light is your thing then the SQ might be a viable choice with its motor and f/2.8 glass. I have probably overpaid by $1000 buying minty like new from Keh, but my 3 lense/3 back setup is a suprisingly versatile. I've shot a motorcycle rally, sports, portraits, and landscape on and off the tripod/monopod. My next venture will be architecture and high end B+W portaiture. Weddings once I feel more comfortable. It can add something special to your photography and when entire systems like mine can be had for $1000, even the Canon/Nikon super digicams have a hard time competing in image quality.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Rollei 6008 Pro

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by western-exposure a Professional

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2003

Strengths:    Durability, relitively small, excellent lenses, simple to use.

Weaknesses:    No revolving back, thus harder to use for verticle composition.

Bottom Line:   
I have used Bronica's for 30+ years and the GS-1 for at least 10 years and it is the best of all Bronicas used by me. It really is not heavier then the 6x6's and has the advantages of a bigger negative. I actually have two bodies, the second bought used recently as a back up, as my first one is getting a bit old. However, in reality, I have no reason to believe I will have a mechinical problem. Buy used for the bargins and believe you will get good quality lenses too. I was worried when I sold my ECTL and Nikkor lenses but GS-1 lenses are equil in my opinion.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   camera store

Similar Products Used:   Earlier Bronicas and Mamiya twin lens,Graflex 120's.

Type of photography:   Fine Art

Reviews 1 - 5 (26 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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