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120 / 220 film RF's 120 / 220 format rangefinders including Fuji, Koni-Omega, Mamiya Press, Linhof 6x7/6x9 cameras, Mamiya 6/7 among others, but excluding the 120 folders and the Voigtlander 667 cameras that have their own forums.

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"New" RF645 arrived - Sweet....
Old 04-10-2009   #1
picker77
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"New" RF645 arrived - Sweet....

UPS delivered my one-owner RF645 this evening, and wow, what a nice solid-feeling piece of machinery. I can't tell it from new by looking at it, and everything seems to work perfectly. Now to get some film in it and see what happens. I love the way this camera handles, it feels about the same size and weight as my D200/F100 in the hand, and the controls are located right where my fingers expect them to be. All I have to do now is get used to 6x4.5, a format I've never owned before. I liked shooting with my 6-pound 6x6 SQ-Am SLR behemoth a lot--and it was a fine camera--but it was so danged heavy and bulky it didn't get hauled out and used often enough. This one obviously wants to go places with me and even feels like I can hang it around my neck without having to visit a chiropractor afterward. I think this is going to be fun.
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Old 04-10-2009   #2
Doug
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Dittos all-round, congrats on the acquisition. As you say, very ergonomic and easy to carry around with you.
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Old 04-10-2009   #3
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Congratulations and good luck with the RF!

I regard mine very highly have come to regard it as one of the few genuinely indespensable cameras I have ... I would hate to be without it.
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Old 04-10-2009   #4
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Welcome in the club!!
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Old 04-11-2009   #5
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a warm welcome to the club!
easy to carry around, not to heavy or large, superb lenses, exact meter!
Have fun!

regards
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Old 05-07-2009   #6
Parkes Owen
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Nice to hear such positive comments about this camera, as I just bought one myself and am eagerly waiting for it to arrive!
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Old 05-07-2009   #7
CK Dexter Haven
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Congrats. You're going to like it.

I've only had mine for a few months, but i'm quite fond of it. If i can just get it fixed.... I think i have a problem with battery drain. Twice (once while traveling with it), the new batteries were completely exhausted and the camera didn't function at all, and both times while the camera was switched off and unused. It's in the shop now, and i hope that can be resolved.

It's amazing how compact it is. Really is the size of an F100 with 50mm lens. I need to shoot some slide film with it, to really see if the meter is that accurate.
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Old 05-07-2009   #8
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[quote=Keith;1049082]And those CR2 batteries aren't cheap either! I walked into the local Kodak 1hr the other day to get a couple for the Bronica and they wanted fifteen dollars each for them/QUOTE]

Mine died while i was in Brazil. I felt lucky to quickly find an actual 1-hour photo processor shop that carried them, but yeah- i did pay about the same price you paid.

Has anyone ever tried this site?

BatteryJunction.com :

http://search.store.yahoo.net/cgi-bi...horelinemarket
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Old 05-07-2009   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CK Dexter Haven View Post
Congrats. You're going to like it.

I've only had mine for a few months, but i'm quite fond of it. If i can just get it fixed.... I think i have a problem with battery drain. Twice (once while traveling with it), the new batteries were completely exhausted and the camera didn't function at all, and both times while the camera was switched off and unused. It's in the shop now, and i hope that can be resolved.

It's amazing how compact it is. Really is the size of an F100 with 50mm lens. I need to shoot some slide film with it, to really see if the meter is that accurate.

And those CR2 batteries aren't cheap either! I walked into the local Kodak 1hr the other day to get a couple for the Bronica and they wanted fifteen dollars each for them (genuine Kodak .. packaging) ... so I passed and tracked down a dedicated battery seller where they were eight dollars each for Sanyo Lithiums.

Kodak can put theirs where the sun never shines as far as I'm concerned!


One thing that did impress me with my RF is that the battery warning has been flashing at me for the last three rolls of film ... but it kept shooting!
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Last edited by Keith : 05-07-2009 at 15:24.
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Old 05-07-2009   #10
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I really like mine. MF is a lot of fun, many congratulations!

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Old 05-07-2009   #11
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Congrats! I've had mine for a few years and with the 45mm lens it rocks. An amazing combo that I debate selling from time to time but always talk myself out of it.
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Old 05-07-2009   #12
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I don't have the Bronica, but I do have the Fuji auto-everything GA645zi. The lens is truly diamond-sharp on this camera, and it is not really much larger than a 35mm RF. Amazingly, with 220 film you get 32 exposures. Almost as many as with a film RF. Super lens, lots of shots per roll, MF negative, why ever shoot 35mm again, I ask myself? Main answer, slow lens, but ASA800 film still looks great on this camera. So why shoot 35mm? I'm thinking, I'm thinking.

/T
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Old 05-07-2009   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
And those CR2 batteries aren't cheap either! I walked into the local Kodak 1hr the other day to get a couple for the Bronica and they wanted fifteen dollars each for them
The going rate for Panasonic CR2's and CR123's in a display box of 25 double packs breaks down to around 2€ each if you buy off a wholesale distributor. But 50 batteries aren't that easy to sell nowadays - the average small photo store buys expensive, in tiny quantities. Nowadays, gun&ammo shops are a better source for reasonably priced still fresh CR2/123's - the majority of them seem to power tactical LED flashlights rather than cameras these days.

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Old 05-07-2009   #14
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I got a good deal on ten name-brand CR2 batteries for my RF645 on eBay.

Chris
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Old 05-12-2009   #15
Parkes Owen
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Talking

I just recieved mine a couple of hours ago, and all of the comments I`ve read here about build quality, nice viewfinder and ergonomics are all true!

I havn`t shot 120 for a while (since my bronica etsri) so it should be fun, now to decide, velvia or B&W ?
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Service Info:
Old 05-12-2009   #16
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Service Info:

It is a beautiful MF system, and I've had mine for some time now.

My Rangefinder was out of alignment and I sent it to Tamron in NJ. They did a CLA for $95, and the service was prompt and professional, with a 4 week turnaround. I am very happy with the outcome.
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Old 07-15-2009   #17
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I did the same thing (CLA) and just got it back a couple of days ago, wish I could say the results were as good. They adjusted the horizontal alignment on the RF, which was a little off at infinity and the main reason I sent it in, and it's perfect now. But the vertical RF alignment, which was fine before, is now off. Crap. It also took me 7 weeks and three phone calls to the shop to get it finished and shipped--lots of promises, little action. This was the main Tamron head shed shop in Commack, NY. Price was the same, $95 including shipping back to me, which is actually very reasonable (if the work is done right) and the camera is silky smooth and works well, but I was a little ticked off about the sloppy attention to detail on the rangefinder adjustment. I presume adjusting the horizontal probably affects the vertical, and the adjustments have to be done back and forth until they coincide correctly. It appears he adjusted the horizontal and considered the job done without verifying the vertical, a simple step which would seem to me elementary and mandatory by a camera tech.

I guess I could live with the vertical being a little out of adjustment, since the real focusing work is done with the horizontal, but I'd really like to send it back and make them fix it right. Unfortunately, that means another 6-7 weeks without the camera. Sigh. I'm pretty disappointed in Tamron service at this point.
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Old 07-15-2009   #18
Doug
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Sorry to hear of your service trouble, picker. Not a good story. But this is one good reason to have a spare/second body. Pretty inexpensive nowadays; I got one from KEH.
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Old 07-16-2009   #19
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A spare body is a great idea, Doug, unfortunately I spent my "spare body" cash on a Zeiss Ikon and a 35/1.7 for it.

Next week when I've finished the test roll of Tri-X Pan that's currently in it I'll send the RF645 back to Tamron and give them another go at it under their 90-day repair warranty. Maybe the tech was just having a bad day or something.

At least I'll have the ZI to play with while I'm waiting on the Bronica.
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Old 07-16-2009   #20
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Well, there you go; a spare camera and lens! Certainly if you want to have Tamron fix it properly, getting it back to them under that limited warranty is a good idea.

I'm currently thrashing over a similar situation with a Konica Hexar RF, sent to Precision (the official US repair station) after having dropped it, knocking the RF alignment way out. Today it's arriving on its fourth return trip; first they fixed the RF just fine but the film winding that was fine before arrived messed up. Two more times back to the shop to fix the film winding unsuccessfully, the last time also messing up the RF (loose and drifting alignment with rattles). Fortunately they've emailed me UPS labels for free return shipment each time, but the process began back in January...

I wish you far better results from Tamron. UPS tracking shows my Hexar was delivered 16 minutes ago so I'm going to rush over to UPS and hope it's fixed properly this time...
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Old 07-16-2009   #21
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Congratulations! Post some nice MF images in Keith's thread.
I am tempted to get RF645 for portability alone (have ETRSI/75mm/40mm, nice cam&great optics). I've seen more than once 65mm Zenzanon-RF standard lens for RF645 going for less then 100$ on ebay, anybody has an idea why? As kit RF645 always costs ~600$, at least.
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Old 07-25-2009   #22
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One possibility to account for the many low cost 65mm's might be Tamron cranking out a boatload of the standard "kit" focal length lenses early on in the program, in anticipation of stockpiling them for later when the RF645 body production line caught up. But then the bean counters killed the camera early in its life cycle, leaving them with a bunch of 65mm lenses and no bodies to put them on. I'd like a 45m for my RF645 but the prices are a bit much, and forget about the 100mm, I haven't seen one of those under $900 US. As you said, 65mm's are a dime a dozen, though, even though they are the same outstanding quality build as the "accessory" lenses.

My RF645 is at Tamron again, I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed this time. I'm having fun playing with this ZI in the meantime--it's certainly a beautiful camera and the viewfinder is stunning to look though. I've also added a really nice old user M2 to the 35mm mix in the past week, so the Zeiss has a German brother to share lenses with. Both are very nice cameras, but it's hard to get used to those teeny tiny little negatives again. My scanner thinks I'm feeding it postage stamps!
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Old 07-25-2009   #23
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Put some film through your RF645 when you get it back and we'll have a RF645 Photo Fest Thread.

Received a 45mm lens the other day, it is fun to shoot, and I'm looking forward to developing some of the film shot with the 45mm.


Quote:
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My RF645 is at Tamron again, I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed this time. I'm having fun playing with this ZI in the meantime--it's certainly a beautiful camera and the viewfinder is stunning to look though. I've also added a really nice old user M2 to the 35mm mix in the past week, so the Zeiss has a German brother to share lenses with. Both are very nice cameras, but it's hard to get used to those teeny tiny little negatives again. My scanner thinks I'm feeding it postage stamps!
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Old 08-05-2009   #24
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Does anyone have any shots with the 100mm f/4.5?
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Old 08-05-2009   #25
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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)?
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Old 08-05-2009   #26
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Quote:
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Does anyone have any shots with the 100mm f/4.5?
Duncan, suggest you search the RFF Gallery for "100mm Bronica" and you'll get several pages of results, including some of mine and some of ShutterFlower's. Here's one... (House mover takes a break on a very hot day as he prepares this century-old house to be moved. Said it's not worth moving but the owner is paying...)


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Last edited by Doug : 08-05-2009 at 13:54.
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Old 08-05-2009   #27
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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).
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Old 08-06-2009   #28
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Quote:
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Duncan, suggest you search the RFF Gallery for "100mm Bronica" and you'll get several pages of results, including some of mine and some of ShutterFlower's. Here's one... (House mover takes a break on a very hot day as he prepares this century-old house to be moved. Said it's not worth moving but the owner is paying...)


Doug that looks awesome, as always.
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