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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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Fuji GS645S Woes
Old 12-16-2016   #1
fadedpastels
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Fuji GS645S Woes

after much research knowing the many problems that could occur with these cameras i went ahead and ordered one hoping for the best and of course it shows up with the rangefinder not even moving at all a very stiff focus and even a loose object clanking around on the inside which i want to guess might be the rangefinder cam? return is currently in process but i would like to know if i should try finding another was this really just a fluke i haven't even heard of this specific problem before or perhaps i should just listen to my gut from now on i had a similar situation not too long ago with a ricoh gr1s but i got to at least shoot 2 and 1/2 rolls before that gave out should i not even give these problematic cameras a shot? sorry for the rant
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Old 12-16-2016   #2
fdarnell
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I purchased one of these from here at RFF about a month ago. The RF patch tends to stick a little, then follows into position. Range determined seems to match the lens scale. Took it on a western trip and it was exacerbated by the cold. I just ended up scale focusing with hyperfocal on the lens scale, which I would do anyway for landscapes. I've 3 shots left on the roll in the camera which I will do close-up portrait with and see how it looks. Waiting for the film to get back, so the jury is out...

Other than that, it is a nice camera to use if you can get used to the portrait orientation.
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Old 12-19-2016   #3
fadedpastels
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so i ended up ordering a mamiya 6 instead sad that i still have yet to try out 6x4.5 but maybe well meet again someday wish me luck with this one
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Old 12-19-2016   #4
Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fadedpastels View Post
after much research knowing the many problems that could occur with these cameras i went ahead and ordered one hoping for the best and of course it shows up with the rangefinder not even moving at all a very stiff focus and even a loose object clanking around on the inside which i want to guess might be the rangefinder cam?...
Unfortunate experience! I bought one of these used at a used-camera fair in 2002, enticed by the light weight and compact size, etc. I didn't check it out carefully enough, as the RF was sometimes sticky... If I bumped it with the palm of my hand the RF would snap back.

I took it to a major repair shop in Seattle, where they said it was not feasible to lube or repair this annoyance, so I sucked it up and put it on the shelf. About a year later I heard of a Fuji repair specialist, Frank Marshman = Camera Wiz, and after a phone call I sent the camera to him. He cleaned out old sticky lube in the RF and replaced a broken plastic part of the lens mount at a very reasonable cost. "Not feasible" huh!

I've enjoyed using this fine little camera since, but have not used it for several years. I picked it off the shelf just now and tried the RF... smooth as can be with no hint of stickiness, so clearly Frank used good lube.

It seems that this stickiness is a result of the RF design where moving the focus one way tracks the RF patch positively on a cam, then relies on a spring to return the other way. Gooey lube can add too much resistance to this return movement, and we know what results!

At this point in time all samples of the RF645S are somewhat elderly, and it seems likely the original lube will have deteriorated. But with a little knowledgeable service, they can be in action for a long time to come. Just factor in the CLA cost with the purchase, and you might restore a bargain-priced shelf queen!
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