View Full Version : Bronica 645 RF
I have just bought a second hand Bronica 645 RF outfit with three lenses (45,65 and 100) and a dedicated flash. I am going to pick it up on Saterday and intend to try it out on the way home. Has anyone any advice on what to look for when I examine the camera and/or any tips on using it.
Jenny, nice package! I chose not to get the flash.
You'll just want to make sure it has fresh batteries, that the film pressure plate is set to the 120 or 220 position depending on your film, and that you don't accidentally move the exposure compensation dial away from where you want it.
When you load film, make sure the paper leader is well centered on the reel, and give the supply reel a little resistance as you get the film started on the takeup reel so that it winds tightly. That will promote a snug wind and no light leaks as you remove it later for processing.
The 45mm accessory finder is big and bright, but I've so far just coped by using the entire area of the built-in finder.
The lenses are excellent, shutters are nearly silent (the little post-exposure buzz-wheeze is the electronic shutter recocking itself), and the camera handles beautifully.
Most of my gallery pics are 645 format, with the earlier ones mostly the Bronica and the more recent ones with one of those automated Fujis. I had to see if I liked all the auto & motors. :-)
the camera and lenses have a good rep but the marketing plus changing from 135 to 100 lenses in mid stream killed this camera.
too bad, i think it would have found it's own niche market.
I have been trying for two days to answer your post Doug, anyway I have at last been able to log on so now I can.
Thank you Doug for your kind help and advice; I was looking at the Fuji zoom too but I have a problem guessing distances which means I would have problems with the Fuji on manual focus. Also I had read that the Fuji sometimes gives problems with loose spooling and hence fogged film.
As you have experience of both cameras what is your opinion?
By the way where can I see your photos taken with both cameras?
I suspect the loose spooling issue is fairly common among rollfilm cameras. Actually I have two Fujis... The GS645S (60mm f/4) was my first medium format RF, though I had a 6x7 Pentax for many years. This GS is a cute little all-manual rig that is very easy to carry, but needs to be kept from banging into things. :-(
Then I got the second Fuji later, after the Bronica. This is a GA645Wi with fixed 45mm f/4 wide angle lens. The zoom model Zi was offered later but mine has all the same auto/motor stuff.
This Fuji's features make it easier to just blast away without even looking in the viewfinder... it focuses itself! The slower response to the shutter button has been frustrating at times. And the auto-focus just picks whatever's in the center to focus on, not always what I want. So it has its own mix of "hey neato" and "doggone" attributes.
All three of these cameras can produce great images, and I find myself more and more reluctant to take out a camera with that puny 35mm film! Since at this point I haven't been making large enlargements, what I'm noticing most is a better tonal richness in the shadows.
I think the Bronica of the three has the greatest versatility, what with the interchangeable lenses. I like its user interface best as well. This is a wonderful camera, and if I had to pare down to one 645 rangefinder, this is the keeper. If it came to a battle between keeping the Bronica or my big Pentaxes, well, I don't want to face that one! They really have different uses, and I've been in a wide-angle RF mode for a while.
Galleries: See near the top of this window, there's a line of flat buttons, starting at the left with one called "Home" and on the far right is one called "Gallery". Each RFForum member has a personal gallery, and there are subject-oriented galleries as well. Have fun browsing!
Well I have now got my hands on the Bronica 645 RF outfit.......... So I had to have a bit of a do with it on the way home.
I find the camera very easy to use with a nice solid feel and yet not too heavy. I popped in a HP5 and was pleased with the results.
assuming that this is your first rangefinder...welcome to the world of rf cameras.
i hope you will feel right at home here and also that just maybe you'll share a shot or 2 taken with your new camera.
Thanks Joe. Actually I do have a number of rangefinder cameras but all are old cameras in my collection. The Bronica 645RF is the first modern rangefinder sysytem I have owned.
I do want to post some of my photos; could you tell me if it is possible to add a photo to a message in the forums (and if so how) or do all photos have to go in the gallery.
as to posting photos - do not use the messege box at the bottom of the page - instead - hit the 'next thread' button at the bottom of where the replies show.
you should be on a page that shows various headings located on the left of the page.
fill in a reply and then hit 'attach file', browse- this should take you to where you have your photos located on your computer.
i hope this makes some sense, it's after midnite here and i've been awake since about 5:30 this morning.
Thanks Joe I will give it a try.
This is one of the photos taken with the new camera on the way home. HP5 processed in ID11 at 1+3 and run through the Helicon noise filter to reduce the grain.
Jenny, nice photo.
Curious - how do you like Helicon? Have you also tried neatimage (www.neatimage.com) and if so what do you think about the two compared to each other?
We don't like Neatimage; we find it gives the photos a very "plastic look". Helicon is very easy to use, you can try various settings without loosing your orginal image and compare the results to see which is best. When you save the Helicon files the settings are on the file name so you can look back and see what settings you used.
Altogether we think Helicon is a very good program especially for a freebie.
By the way thank for saying the photo is nice, as it was the first time I had used the camera you have given me a little more cofidence.
Indeed a nice photo; all the technical details are well in hand, and it has a nice balance. The dog looks both wary and possessive. Perhaps an Irish dog? I see some Irish decocorations and the boat's name utilizes an Irish Uncial typestyle.
Thanks for the Helicon tip! Can you provide a URL? My search turned up a Helicon Software Development located in Austria but this doesn't seem to be their kind of product.
Thanks for the nice comments on the photo, I don't know where the dog came from but the photo was taken on the grand union canal.
As you can see lol I have put in the link to Helicon, I hope you like it as much as I do.
Hmm, thanks for the link. Too bad Helicon doesn't run on a Mac. :-(
I did find a free one written in Java, so is cross-platform, at http://absolutedenoiser.free.fr/
Interesting that they link to other competitor programs (including Helicon), and a site that has noise-reduction program comparatisons.
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