A DIY Repair for my Bronica Cable Release Woes on the ETRSi
A DIY Repair for my Bronica Cable Release Woes on the ETRSi

A DIY Repair for my Bronica Cable Release Woes on the ETRSi

As photographers, we often find ourselves navigating through the challenges of capturing the perfect shot, and sometimes, unexpected obstacles can emerge. In this blog post, I’ll share a recent experience that left me scratching my head: my Bronica cable release malfunction. Join me on a journey of discovery as I troubleshooted and resolve an issue that seemed to have no precedent on the vast landscape of the internet.

NOTE: The following Cable Release ‘Fix’ is worth considering for other makes of camera that use a mechanical cable release system. The Cable Release was found to be the root cause for the issue and not the camera. See below for images of the cable release tapered thread damage.

Aldermaston Wharf Canal

Bronica Cable Release problem at Aldermaston Wharf

Embarking on a photography adventure along the picturesque Canal at Aldermaston Wharf, I was armed with my trusty Bronica ETRSi, a roll of Kentmere Pan 400 and a new addition – a ‘Hoya’ Red Filter, a gem from an eBay purchase yet to be explored and a blog post yet to be written. Little did I know that this outing would lead to an unexpected challenge, testing my problem-solving skills in the realm of camera repairs.

The Bronica Cable Release Problem

Initially, everything seemed fine. The cable release worked seamlessly, capturing the essence of the canal in each click. However, as fate would have it, the cable release suddenly ceased to cooperate. Panic set in as I feared a potentially hefty repair bill for my beloved camera.

Undeterred by the cable release problem, I was determined to salvage the day’s photographic potential. With the cable release out of commission, I faced the challenge of continuing my shoot without this essential tool. The picturesque Canal at Aldermaston Wharf beckoned, and I wasn’t willing to let a technical glitch stand in the way.

Setting up my Bronica ETRSi on the tripod, I embraced the limitations and adjusted my approach. Shutter speeds were dialed down to around the 1-second mark, demanding a heightened focus on stability and precision. Each shot became a deliberate act, requiring me to be as steady as possible to compensate for the absence of the cable release’s controlled trigger.

In the absence of a quick and convenient shutter release mechanism, the tripod became my steadfast companion. Composing shots became a mindful process, and every press of the shutter button echoed with the anticipation of whether the image would turn out as intended. Or could I claim ‘ICM’? (Intensional Camera Movement).

After returning Home I developed the film, placed the offending Bronica just out of reach from doing doing anything to hasty with it.

Undeterred, I scoured the internet for similar issues, only to find silence. There was a moment of solace in a YouTube video discussing the camera’s firing mechanism, but no direct solution to my Bronica Cable Release problem.

Taking Matters Into My Own Hands and The Bronica Repair Manual

Faced with the looming uncertainty of a malfunctioning cable release, I decided to delve deeper into the heart of the issue. D-Day arrived when I summoned the courage to remove the side panel (film wind handle side) and subsequently the base of the camera. This Repair Manual came in really useful.

Bronica ETRSi Open

Upon close inspection, relief washed over me as all levers appeared to move freely – no visible issues. However, the mystery persisted when I turned my attention to the cable release ‘hole.’ Something wasn’t right.

My keen eye spotted a small, brass-coloured insert that seemed out of place. Armed with a pointed blade, I delicately applied pressure and twisted counterclockwise. The insert unscrewed, revealing itself as the elusive culprit. With the obstacle removed, I reattached the cable release, and to my delight, success – the shutter fired seamlessly.

The Culprit Revealed

Further examination of the cable release tapered thread end unveiled the root cause. A small metal fragment had broken free, lodging itself inside the Bronica Cable Release hole. This tiny intruder had effectively blocked the cable from entering the case and activating the shutter mechanism.

Cable Release Tapered Thread Damage


In the world of photography, troubleshooting unexpected issues is part of the journey. This cable release repair saga taught me the importance of not only relying on online resources but also trusting my instincts and exploring the intricacies of my gear.

As we navigate the realm of film photography, let this story be a reminder that sometimes, the solutions to our problems are within our reach. With a keen eye, a steady hand, and a willingness to dive into the unknown, we can unveil the mysteries that hinder our creative pursuits.

Now, Ready for my next adventure with Ilford Pan F+, locked and loaded.

FAQ – Resolving Bronica Cable Release Issues

  1. What could be the reason my Bronica cable release suddenly stopped working?
    • The issue might be caused by a small metal fragment blocking the cable release’s entry into the camera body. This unexpected obstruction can disrupt the firing mechanism.
  2. How can I diagnose and fix the cable release problem on my Bronica ETRSi?
    • Begin by removing the side panel and base of the camera. Check for any visible obstructions or irregularities in the cable release hole. If you notice a brass-coloured insert or any foreign object, gently remove it with a pointed tool.
  3. What should I do if my cable release malfunctions during a photo shoot?
    • If your cable release fails, don’t panic. Adjust your approach by using longer shutter speeds and a tripod for stability. Embrace the challenge, and consider it an opportunity to explore different aspects of photography.
  4. Can I continue shooting without the cable release while the issue persists?
    • Absolutely. While the cable release is a convenient tool, you can adapt by relying on the camera’s built-in shutter button. Adjust your settings for longer exposures, ensuring stability to compensate for the absence of the cable release.
  5. Is it necessary to disassemble the camera to fix the cable release issue?
    • Disassembling the camera is recommended if you are comfortable doing so. However, if you prefer, consult with a professional camera technician for a thorough inspection and repair.
  6. Are there any preventive measures to avoid future cable release problems?
    • Regularly inspect your cable release for any signs of wear or damage. When using third-party accessories, ensure they are compatible with your camera model. Store your equipment in a safe and clean environment to minimise the risk of foreign objects causing malfunctions.
  7. How common is the issue of a metal fragment causing cable release problems on the Bronica ETRSi?
    • While not extremely common, issues with cable releases can occur due to various reasons. The presence of a metal fragment is one of the potential causes, emphasising the importance of thorough troubleshooting.
  8. Can I use a generic cable release with my Bronica ETRSi, or should I stick to the manufacturer’s brand?
    • Generic cable releases can be compatible, but ensure they are designed for your specific camera model. Always check reviews and compatibility information before purchasing third-party accessories.

Remember, if you encounter persistent issues or feel unsure about DIY repairs, seek professional assistance from a camera technician to ensure the longevity of your equipment.

A DIY Repair for my Bronica Cable Release Woes on the ETRSi



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