Rapid shift to digital SLRs by Bronica’s core customer base prompts move to terminate Bronica medium-format business
October 14, 2005, Commack, New York — Tamron USA, Inc. announced today that it has discontinued the production of the Bronica RF645 6x4.5 range finder camera model along with its relevant interchangeable lenses and accessories. The discontinuation of this last Bronica model marks the termination of the Bronica brand business. Bronica withdraws from the medium format camera business after 47 years since its first model, the Zenza Bronica D, was introduced in 1959.
Due to the drastic worldwide shift to digital over the past few years, medium format business has suffered, particularly in the portrait and wedding photography segment, the core customer base for Bronica cameras. “I believe we all understand the issues at hand when it comes to the business of medium format,” stated Kenji Nakagawa, Sales Manager of Tamron headquarters’ Overseas Sales & Marketing Department in Japan. “We have been struggling to find the best possible solution for the medium format camera business under the Bronica brand, but after careful study and the comprehensive consideration of the market situation, we have concluded that there is no other choice but to end this business.”
Bronica sales have drastically dropped as age of digital photography rapidly eclipses the film era. The quick adoption and shift to digital technology by the core Bronica customer, professional portrait and wedding photographers, accelerated the decline in Bronica business faster than other brands of medium format equipment. “For many years, Bronica cameras have been the workhorses used to photograph hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of weddings around the world,” stated Stacie Errera, Chief Marketing Officer for Tamron USA, Inc. “However, for these photographers, who collectively made up a huge percentage of our installed customer base, digital SLRs produce satisfactory image results, higher creativity options and increased profits (after the initial issues of workflow and printing were worked out by most), which made the switch to digital almost unanimous among this group of professional photographers.”
Tamron USA, Inc. is fully prepared to carry on servicing Bronica equipment for seven years from the official date of discontinuation of each model. “While I understand the market situation and the need to discontinue the Bronica line, I must admit that I was a little disappointed,” stated Pat Simonetti, Technical & Customer Service Manager of Tamron USA, Inc. “We are well prepared to continue servicing our users and thank them all for their support over the years.”
Customers with service questions may contact Tamron USA, Inc. at 631-858-8400.