Not Large, Not Small, Medium!

I have been toying with the idea of trying Medium Format photography for a while now. I enjoy the 35 mm analogue experience but am curious as to what else I can gain from Medium Format.

The cameras are much larger and appear more rudimentary. The scale also appears to ensure you have to slow down, to compose more and not waste shots through speed or costs (a 120 roll will get me about 16 shots).

I did try a waist-level viewfinder camera when I visited the Photography Museum last year and am interested to see how this differs my photographic experiences and development.

I’ve also been avidly following the exploits of Natalie Smart who is achieving some great results with her Hasselblad 500c/m which has made me curious.

All of this had my interest but I didn’t do anything until the final push which was an article in a recent edition of Amateur Photographer which covered lots of insights about analogue cameras.

My “new” Bronica ETRS

Typically I completed lots of research, read lots of articles and watched many videos before I came to a decision and decided to try and get my hands on a Bronica ETRS.

The rise in interest in analogue photography has driven the prices up and the bidding on eBay can be a bit frustrating – I lost out twice in the final seconds of an auction which was damn annoying.

Anyway, I have now been successful and took ownership of a Bronica ETRS which is in great condition, came with a leather case, extra film back, instructions and a light meter πŸ™‚

It appears to be working well and the glass seems very clear. I need to give it a clean but I think it’s good to go.

I have taken it apart. Removed the resident spider from the mirror box, cleaned off many years of dirt and it’s good as new.

There’s a film already loaded and I have two films from Analogue Wonderland to test. Having the two film backs is great as it means I can chop and change when I want to.

I am not sure I will develop these roles myself as I want to ensure the camera is working so would rather have them professionally developed and scanned so I can check the quality.

The camera is quite a beast though – quite a significant weight and size difference from my normal 35 mm and Micro Four Thirds cameras. A tripod will be necessary when I use it I think!

I am looking forwarding to giving the Bronica a test run – what this space for photos!

Using Snoopy as a test subject

I have to say thank you to Medium Format Shop for featuring the photo above. I had some criticism but overwhelming the support was great. At the latest count 586 people liked this photo on the Medium Format Shop profile and I’ve picked up a few new followers.

The photographic community is a diverse and friendly bunch (with a few exceptions!). Thanks for all the likes and hello to new followers and readers.

My post as feature on the Medium Format Shop account on Instagram


  1. Thanks for the kind words Keith 😊 It’s great you were able to clean the camera yourself. I think I would have been too scared to take it apart. I really hope you like the photos you get from this camera. Although it’s a heavy camera to carry around, I do think the photo quality and detail is worth it πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re more than welcome.

      To be honest I’m not sure I know what I was doing but was careful. I tried the mirror with my lens cleaner and saw it was dirty so I decided to give it a go.

      I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with it.

      Next step is to see if my usage and cleaning paid off!

      I’m really looking forward to seeing how the photos turn out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You will love it. I still mostly shoot 35mm with my Contax 139 Quartz, which I love, but I bought a sixty year old Zeiss Ikon Ikoflex about a year ago, and have loved the images it makes. If my most popular on Flickr can be trusted, the Ikoflex images really punch above their weight. More recently I was given a Mamiya RZ67, which I have put two rolls through with very satisfying results, and a Rolleiflex 6002, for which I have just acquired a replacement battery. It is going to be interesting to see which of these gets the most use, but I love the fine detail the larger format provides….


    1. πŸ™‚ I want to experiment and try as much as I can but I am conscious of the cost of development which is why I need to get on with home developing.

      What’s your Flickr account?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Keith, I am headed in that direction as well, however there is a bit of cost and effort in setting up a good darkroom….work in progress. In the meantime I am very frugal with Medium Format exposures….which might be why I get a high hit rate!!! You can find me at smitchellbluff on flickr. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have the darkroom kit I just need to get everything set up. I managed developing last year but didn’t crack photo printing so that’s the bit I have to work on! I am still undecided as to whether I want to print or scan… I will look out for your profile

        Liked by 1 person

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