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Old 4th August 2009, 09:19 PM
Rob Archer's Avatar
Rob Archer Rob Archer is offline
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Location: Kings Lynn, Norfolk - flatlands and big skies.
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Default Bronica RF645

I'm seriously thinking about investing in a Medium format rangefinder, for travel etc. I've looked at several options and narrowed it down to either a Mamiya 7 or a Bronica RF645. I can't afford a really decent Mamiya 7, and I may find only 10 on a roll a bit limiting. I like the 'vertical' orientation of the Bronica rangefinder and I use an ETRSi most of the time and like the quality of Bronica lenses.

Han anyone here any experience of the Bronica RF645? what are it advantages/disadvantages etc.?

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Old 4th August 2009, 11:27 PM
Tom Kershaw Tom Kershaw is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 536

Hello Rob,

I use a Bronica RF645. The lenses are excellent, however one issue is the lack of focusing flexibility, - not less than 1 meter, along with a a limited range of lenses. The standard is 65mm, with the 45mm lens plus viewfinder reasonably priced. However, the longer lenses, 100mm or 135mm are rather more expensive and rarer. Ffordes often has RF645 cameras in stock.


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Old 5th August 2009, 09:08 AM
hugh hugh is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Dublin
Posts: 32

I had one for a while and I thought it was a super camera, especially for travel. It handles really well, it's very well built, controls are simple and well laid out. The lenses are great (I had the 65mm and the 100mm). The only problem I had with it was that the rangefinder went out of alignment after a few years.

I eventually sold it because I decided that, in the end, I didn't like the vertical orientation. Also, I was attracted by the idea of the larger negative that a Mamiya 7 would give me.
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Old 5th August 2009, 02:01 PM
Paul Mitchell's Avatar
Paul Mitchell Paul Mitchell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Bucks
Posts: 259

I used to have the Fuji GW670, an excellent rangefinder and totally mechanical making it ideal for traveling. There's also the Fuji GA645 and Mamiya 645AF to look out for. My Agfa Super Isolette now goes everywhere with me, just pops in my pocket!

When people ask what equipment I use - I tell them my eyes.

Arena Photographers
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Old 5th August 2009, 06:19 PM
Sandeha Lynch's Avatar
Sandeha Lynch Sandeha Lynch is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wales (UK)
Posts: 398

My Fujica GS645 has just gone back in for a service under guarantee, (you know, folding camera problems) but I love the format and the verticality. Even with one fixed lens, it's a cracker.

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Old 6th August 2009, 06:03 AM
Tony Marlow Tony Marlow is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,268

I have a Bronica 645 and I am very pleased with it. I use it when I want to carry less bulk than my SQAi. It is just like a big 35mm SLR. There are some obvious differences to an SLR which take some getting used to particularly focusing. The view finder is always sharp and the split image focussing square is in the centre and you need to find some suitable lines to focus on, you can forget to focus. Some people find the vertical format difficult but I do not find it a problem. There are several differences between all range finders and SLRs such as close up use, lens speed, and availability of accessories etc.
Solid well made and robust
Controls well placed and easy to use
Easy to change lenses
16 frames on a 120 roll
can take 220 films by changing a switch
Lens quality is excellent
Metering system excellent
Exposure control manual, aperture priority or programme

Limited range of lenses, 65mm standard, 45mm and 100mm. There is a 135mm lens but there were problems with this and not many were made before Bronica changed to the 100mm. You need to check if the camera is calibrated for 100mm or 135mm. I think you can tell by the serial number, those ending in 0 are 100mm and those ending in 1 are 135mm.
There is no stop when you on the wind on when you reach the end of the film and can go on clicking the shutter after frame 16.
You need a separate view finder with the 45mm lens which usually comes with it but I find the full area of the camera view finder is pretty close to the field of view so I usually don't bother with the separate finder.

Overall I think it is excellent and gives the convenience of 35mm with 120 format but with all things in life there is no perfect solution.

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