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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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Bronica RF645 serial numbers and the 100 vs 135 questionq
Old 01-22-2020   #1
kaiyen
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Bronica RF645 serial numbers and the 100 vs 135 questionq

Hi all,
Long time member. Loooong time silent. Haven't been on very much as I have fallen away from photography the last few years. Anyway.

I have been looking at the RF645. Am I correct in that ALL serial numbers on bodies that start with 00 are the 135 variant, with 135 brightlines? That seems to be what I'm reading.

Meaning if I want to get 100 brightlines I need something that starts with 10?

thanks.
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Old 01-22-2020   #2
Doug
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Correct, except... Many, perhaps most, of the original 00 bodies were sent in on a call-back program for frameline change, and the 135 lenses were recalled and exchanged for new 100mm lenses. As a result of the turmoil, 135mm lenses are scarce as hens' teeth, the 100mm is not very common either and went for very high prices for a while. And you can't know which framelines are present in any given 00 camera without inspection.

But y'know, it doesn't matter which framelines the body has if you don't have one of the longer lenses! I bought a new 10 camera and all three later lenses, then got a used original 00 body in hopes of finding a 135mm lens... but never have.

The Bronica RF645 is one of my all-time favorite cameras, somehow akin to the Minolta CLE to my mind.

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Old 01-22-2020   #3
Emile de Leon
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I remember being able to get that camera brand spankin new back in the day...
But I didnt because I didnt trust the electronics..as in..if it broke 10 years down the road..who would fix it..

If memory serves..the 135 was not particularly well matched to the rangefinder..and there was trouble focusing it..
I wish I had got that camera today...with all the lenses..
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Old 01-22-2020   #4
CharlesDAMorgan
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I had the 135mm model (sadly I didn't keep the serial number) with lens, never had any issues with focus. On the other hand the 45mm viewfinder was miles out of alignment.

Nice thing, but I found it too modern.
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Old 01-22-2020   #5
shawn
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You can see the different 100 or 135mm framelines in this thread:

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...645+framelines

The 135mm framelines only have an L in the top right corner, the 100mm have it top right and bottom left.

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Old 01-23-2020   #6
kaiyen
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thanks everyone. Is the 135 even worth considering? Or is the risk of the focus issue just too great?

I have done my best to consolidate my knowledge of the RF645 from multiple threads. Just trying to confirm my thinking. Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2020   #7
Michiel Fokkema
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiyen View Post
thanks everyone. Is the 135 even worth considering? Or is the risk of the focus issue just too great?
If I remember correctly, the 135mm was dropped because it indeed didn't focus reliably.
I had a 135mm camera and had it changed to 100mm. I did have the 100mm lens and the 45mm, which needed an external vf, but later sold all of it because Bronica went out of business.
But it certainly is still one of the cameras I liked most. Used it a lot with Fuji Sensia for magazine work.
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