Now I was pretty pleased with the results I got from the Zenith 80 before it broke down on me, but its habit of mangling films, dodgy shutter and general flakiness put off spending a load of cash trying to get it fixed. So, having been saving for a while, I’ve been on the lookout for a new medium format camera to replace it.
I thought long and hard about a Hasselblad, but the sheer expense has put me off. There was a close call with a Mamiya RB67 which seemed to be going for a bargain in an actual shop where I could have a good look at it. But by the time I was able to get back there to take a look, they had of course sold it.
Off to e-bay then, where I picked up the answer – a Zenza Bronica S2A, complete with the standard Nikkor 75mm f/2.8 lens and a spare back. It was a bit grubby externally, and reeked of cigarette smoke, but appears mechanically sound. It wasn’t a bargain exactly, but wasn’t overpriced either, so I was pretty happy.
Then I shot some rolls of film off, and went from happy to euphoric. The lens is razor sharp corner-to-corner with beautifully dreamy out-of-focus areas. It’s a joy to handle, if a bit on the heavy side. I’m currently waiting on a bunch of colour rolls I put through it to get back from the lab, but the B&W I’ve run through looks great.

St Peter St