Originally Posted by Matus
Somewhat OT, but what actually happened to the RF645 - why was the production ceased? It indeed looks like a nice and well done camera without any obvious problems. Was it solely the problem with the long lenses (focusing issues)?
I think it was several factors, as is usual with bad results coming from more than one cause (pilot tired/distracted + ice on wings = crash).
The RF645 was introduced about the time medium format film camera sales took a nosedive. Especially ones with no possible digital future. The 135mm lens issue was embarrassing and expensive, and caused customer hesitation and bad PR. Bronica was taken over by Tamron, I think in the latter stages of development, probably some company upset from that. The camera never really had a chance to prove itself and build a solid customer base.
There are only two serial number ranges, the early bodies with 135mm framelines (most recalled for a change to 100mm mask) start with serial 000xxxx. And the later ones shipping with 100mm framelines had serial numbers with 110xxxx. My older one is numbered a bit below 0005000, so that initial batch may have been 5000 or 10000 units, perhaps the same for the second production batch. My later one is below 1100100. These were being cleared out of the warehouse with sales rebates for a couple years, for the later part of which the 100mm was sold out. ($450 rebate on body+65mm kit, $50 on the other lenses).