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Bronica RF645 vs Fuji GW690iii
Old 02-12-2020   #1
eddy1123
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Bronica RF645 vs Fuji GW690iii

Hello all,

I am newish to the forum (registered long ago when I was getting a Rolleiflex FX 2.8), and after almost 10 years I am back!

After I got the Rollei, I shot a roll or two for fun and got back to digital. Digital is still my main camera, but lately I have started to pick up the Rollei again and thought its so fun to shoot with -- that delay of gratitude and can't wait to get your photos back from the lab. I still haven't gotten it back, lets hope it turned out well!

Lets put picture quality aside, film provides a totally different experience. Since Rollei was so fun to shoot with, I have done something terrible -- looking all over the internet and man this gave me GAS!

I am thinking of picking up another film camera. Currently I own Minolta TC1 135, and the Rolleiflex FX -- that's it.

I am considering Bronica RF 645 or Fuji GW690III. I know they are not apple to apple but pls let me explain.

Frankly, film will never be my main camera, the main working horse will always be my digital camera. Film is more for fun and experience.

My logic of getting a film that I want:

- Its for family or street or scenery of a short trip 1-2 days. I will never bring it with me on an extended trip because my digital gear is already heavy enough.
- I do not consider 135, because to me only medium format or larger has the advantage over digital (format/detail etc). I do not consider large-format either cuz the size and ease of use. So you can sort of see why Fuji 690 because that is pretty much the largest medium format you can get while handheld operatable.
- I want to go as large as I can in terms of format, but at the same time, ergo and size and lens are also important. Then the RF645 Bronica caught my eye.

So here is my dilemma of the pros can cons -- this is where I need help as I have not handled these cameras before so if what I said is wrong please let me know:

- Obviously Bronica is much smaller and with better ergo, but of course, the format is much smaller. My question here is that I already have 6x6 Rollei, will 6x9 blew me away? or I do not need to chase the "format" and should go with portability and ease of use?
- Fuji is fully mechanical, I actually prefer this. My phone can easily act as a light meter. And it is my understanding that if Bronica e-circuit or anything that goes wrong, it turns to a brick and is not serviceable. Some people mention the winding lever on Bronica is flimsy, so my question is, am i being too paranoid about electronic dependant cameras? Like only a small percentage of e-dependent cameras turn into a brick. Or another perspective is that mechanical cameras aren't as robust as people say?
- Function wise Bronica wins hands down.
- Bronica is a interchangeable lens system and Fuji isn't but this plays a less of a role for me as this is a for fun camera I probably not going to buy more lenses but its good to have this option.
- Both lenses are said to be excellent but some people say Bronica's bokeh is better -- is this a general consensus?
- then pricing. Fuji is half of Bronica with a much larger format.. this is why its tempting.

To sum up:
Bronica wins in:
- Ergo & functions
- Size
-Interchangable lenses
- Maybe lens?

Fuji wins:
- Cheaper by half
- Fully mechanical
- Format

Sorry guys its getting long, any feedback is much appreciated Thanks
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Old 02-12-2020   #2
retinax
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Sorry I can't answer your questions, but I'll add another question. You already have a Rolleiflex which has a normal focal length, why not consider the wide angle lenses for the two cameras you're thinking about to better complement it? If you like wide angles...
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Old 02-12-2020   #3
aizan
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For trips, I recommend the smaller Bronica. IMO, a Fuji 6x9 is too big to carry around for casual photography, even if the negative is much bigger. Unless you need the extra size for prints. Do you want really nice 16x24" prints?

I chose the Fuji GS645 because it folds compact, has a mechanical shutter for future repairability, the lens makes great bokeh, it has a built-in meter, and it's relatively cheap.

Since you don't mind unmetered cameras, I would also consider classic folding 6x4.5 rangefinder cameras.

See this thread for more info on mechanical vs. electronic camera repair: https://www.photrio.com/forum/thread...utters.172715/
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Old 02-12-2020   #4
CharlesDAMorgan
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I had a Bronica RF645 and now shoot 6x9 with a folder, plus 6x6 with Rolleiflex and 6x7 with a Mamiya RB67, plus numerous 35mm.

If you want something compact, with excellent optics the Bronica is very nice. I've never tried the Fuji, but while I shoot 6x9 it's an awful lot of film for no real qualitative difference except if printed large. I sold the Bronica because it gave me not a lot more than 35mm but I had to accept f4 and much longer minimum focus distance, so I took a 35mm 90% of the time.
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Leica M2, Nikon D700, Bronica RF645, Leica CL, Summicron 40mm, Rolleicord Va, Hasselblad 500 CM Zeiss Planar, Leica 50mm Summicron V3, Hasselblad PME51 metered prism, Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta 534/16 & Ensign 820 Special - all gone.
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Old 02-12-2020   #5
benm3
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I think the fuji 690 is easy to carry around. It doesn't weigh a lot, it's easy to shoot, and it makes 6x9 negatives. 6x9! The Bronica is a great camera too, but 6x9 is so much cooler than 6x4.5, and honestly the fuji is totally easy to hand hold even at very slow speeds.
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Old 02-12-2020   #6
Deardorff38
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Personally, i'd use your Rolleiflex, or go with the Fuji. As stated it's big but light. I love printing off 6x9 negatives. Everything Aizan says about the Bronica is true....but i love that big negative. In a pinch, i'd certainly choose the Mamiya 6 over the Bronica.
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Old 02-12-2020   #7
aizan
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If you're ok taking a camera bag with you while you're on a trip, the Fuji will be ok. It was too inconvenient for me so I stick to things I can carry in my regular canvas tote bag type thing along with my other stuff.
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Old 02-12-2020   #8
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I had the big Fuji some years ago. They're nice cameras and make great negatives. The usual problem with 6x9 is that you get only a small number (8, if I recall correctly) of exposures per roll, which is a bit of a pain when traveling. But eh? It's often enough.

I usually prefer 6x6 and have a lovely Voigtländer Perkeo II for when I want a compact camera (my usual 6x6 is a Hasselblad, I was a Rolleiflex guy for many years before that). Pocketable, 12 shots per roll with the Perk'. A little fragile, like all folders. I had it overhauled a few years back and it works like new. Not particularly expensive.

A Fuji GS645S Professional is my 645 ... an excellent camera. I picked one up for very little out of Japan and had it overhauled last year, makes beautiful photos. I like that it has a rangefinder and a wide-angle lens. All mechanical, has a meter, etc.

I've been intrigued by that Bronica RF645 for years, but they remain a bit pricier than I want to spend for, and if you want additional lenses, pricier still. Beautiful design however, I'd still like to have one .... but I have way too many cameras already.

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Old 02-12-2020   #9
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Fuji MF cameras remain a relative bargain. Many times I looked into the Bronica RF645 but the Fuji's were always way less money for same quality results.


The manual Fuji cameras are loud. The shutter release is a sharp 'clack!' This always annoyed me as RF's should be quiet. The 6x9 cameras are big. Many people dismiss 6x4.5 but I found it perfect: less cumbersome camera, more shots per roll, excellent quality. 6x4.5 also fits prints better, so I actually preferred it to 6x9.


Just to muddy the water: the GA series are excellent. MF point and shoots that deliver the goods.
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Old 02-12-2020   #10
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Thank you guys for the input, it's very helpful and interesting. Some of the cameras that you have mentioned got me thinking - maybe I should broaden my search, and probably there are some others options that would fit my needs.

I have to admit that I have limited knowledge on film camera. I started photograph more seriously in 2003 and I started digital, so comparing to you guys I am pretty new to what's available and what's good etc.

So if you guys don't mind, I would like to pick your brain on what I should look into. The following are the ranking of importance from high to low and would much appreciated if you could make some suggestions.

-the output has to be beautiful hence the lens needs to be great. I guess this is always the first. I like around 40-45mm 135 equivalent focal length. And don't mind if it's fixed lens. Interchangeable lens is a plus but not a must.
-should be a rangefinder so it's more portable. I actually don't like waist level like the Rollei. I got it only cuz it's classy and with good optic. I am glad that I did. Not long after I got it they went out of business.
-it needs to be reliable. I should clarify from my previous post that I actually do value very much a built in meter, but it should be a completely separate module, meaning if it breaks I can still take photos just like my Rolleiflex FX. So the shutter and the rest should be mechanical.
-format. I totally agree that I probably don't need a 6x9 as I won't make big prints. But just the size of the film makes me ecstatic. Like literally the film itself is a photo. But 645 is totally acceptable too for what I need. Just that when not compromising much on anything else, bigger the better. Agree that 120 roll can only take 8 but I actually don't mind. Honestly for 135, sometimes I feel it takes too long to finish the roll and I can't wait to get it developed. And I am not a heavy film shooter so the film wastage isn't really a big concern.
-value retention. This isn't that important but would be good if it can hold its value or even appreciate due to a bit of rarity. I find Rollei FX that I got went up in price. Got lucky apparently not that many FX on market. When it was introduced, lot of people have gone digital.

Thanks so much guys.
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Old 02-12-2020   #11
keytarjunkie
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The camera you are looking for is a Plaubel Makina 670, if you can afford it. It has a Nikkor 80/2.8, which is around 43mm 135 equivalent. It has a light meter, but is still fully mechanical in operation. I wouldn't call the Makina super reliable, because it has a bellows, but they are serviceable.

You could also consider the Fujica GS645 Pro, which has a 75mm lens (50mm 135 equivalent), folds to a compact size, and has a light meter but is still fully mechanical. Or the GS645S, which has a wider 60mm lens but doesn't fold. Bear in mind these cameras (and the Bronica) have vertical framing when held upright.

You could also consider the Fuji GF670/Bessa III, although it is battery-dependent. It can shoot 6x6 or 6x7 format with a 80/3.5 lens, foldable, and aperture priority shooting too. Unlike the other Fuji/Fujica rangefinders, this one has a near-silent shutter.

I have a GW690III on my desk right now. It is not portable - it takes up nearly as much space as my Linhof 4x5. No light meter. Probably not the right choice for you. It's a great camera though.
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Travel medium format
Old 02-12-2020   #12
randy stewart
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Travel medium format

From your description of needs, you do not want a Bronica 645RF. It was rushed in development and manufacture to get into the market to save Bronica before the company failed. It did not save Bronica. It hit the market with flaws, some you describe, which might have been corrected over time, making in the event a great camera. If you want a compact 645 fixed lens camera for light travel, look at the series of Fuji GA645 cameras, or if manual the GS645 series. The Fuji GW series comes in 95mm and 65mm. The lenses in all of the Fuji cameras I mention here are outstanding. My personal choice would be my GA645Zi (limited zoom lens). I have also and can recommend the earlier GS645 (75mm folder) or GS645W (45mm, equ of 28mm in 135 format). I do not like the GS645S for unfamiliar folks because they are highly breakable, and many used ones in the market are terminally broken.
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Old 02-12-2020   #13
eddy1123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keytarjunkie View Post
The camera you are looking for is a Plaubel Makina 670, if you can afford it. It has a Nikkor 80/2.8, which is around 43mm 135 equivalent. It has a light meter, but is still fully mechanical in operation. I wouldn't call the Makina super reliable, because it has a bellows, but they are serviceable.

You could also consider the Fujica GS645 Pro, which has a 75mm lens (50mm 135 equivalent), folds to a compact size, and has a light meter but is still fully mechanical. Or the GS645S, which has a wider 60mm lens but doesn't fold. Bear in mind these cameras (and the Bronica) have vertical framing when held upright.

You could also consider the Fuji GF670/Bessa III, although it is battery-dependent. It can shoot 6x6 or 6x7 format with a 80/3.5 lens, foldable, and aperture priority shooting too. Unlike the other Fuji/Fujica rangefinders, this one has a near-silent shutter.

I have a GW690III on my desk right now. It is not portable - it takes up nearly as much space as my Linhof 4x5. No light meter. Probably not the right choice for you. It's a great camera though.
Thanks. This is very interesting especially the GF670. It looks so sexy and pretty recent too. I have this ability that whatever I find nice is usually not cheap lol. It's an electronic shutter right ? So if it stops working it turns into a brick? If it's mechanical shutter than I think I have found the one!

On a side note. I was checking the Linhof 612 panorama that is so nice. You have an experience with that ? It's very costly but you probably can tell I like film not only for shooting but I like a bit of rarity and as collectibles.

Thanks for the insight.
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Old 02-12-2020   #14
eddy1123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy stewart View Post
From your description of needs, you do not want a Bronica 645RF. It was rushed in development and manufacture to get into the market to save Bronica before the company failed. It did not save Bronica. It hit the market with flaws, some you describe, which might have been corrected over time, making in the event a great camera. If you want a compact 645 fixed lens camera for light travel, look at the series of Fuji GA645 cameras, or if manual the GS645 series. The Fuji GW series comes in 95mm and 65mm. The lenses in all of the Fuji cameras I mention here are outstanding. My personal choice would be my GA645Zi (limited zoom lens). I have also and can recommend the earlier GS645 (75mm folder) or GS645W (45mm, equ of 28mm in 135 format). I do not like the GS645S for unfamiliar folks because they are highly breakable, and many used ones in the market are terminally broken.
Thanks for the feedback. I did a quick search, and yes I agree these are practical choices. I suppose those are electronic shutters but since they are quite recent I guess they should be reliable for some time. The form factor of 645 is definitely an advantage. Thanks.
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Old 02-12-2020   #15
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Electronic shutters:
- Fujifilm GF670
- Fujifilm GA645, etc.
- Bronica RF645
- Mamiya 6 and 7

Mechanical shutters:
- Fuji GS645, etc.
- Fuji 6x9 cameras
- Plaubel Makina 67, etc.
- Mamiya Press, etc.
- Classic folders, Kodak Medalist, Koni-Omega, technical cameras, etc.
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Old 02-12-2020   #16
Doug
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The Bronica RF645 is one of my all-time favorite cameras, very nice to use. The earliest models included viewfinder framelines for a 135mm lens. It mostly worked fine though it turned out that some didn't focus well due to small variations in manufacturing tolerances. So Bronica took it on the chin and re-issued the camera with 100mm framelines, attempted to recall all 135mm lenses in exchange for new 100mm lenses, and tried to recall all bodies for a free frameline change to match the 100mm lens. Well, not 100% got exchanged or upgraded so you may find some 135mm frameline cameras on the market (I have one of each) and a very few 135mm lenses (I haven't found one).

Otherwise the camera is a gem, sort of reminiscent of the Minolta CLE. Compact and capable. If you place an RF645 back to back with a Leica M and view them from above, they appear very nearly the same size. The Bronica is taller though. One other shortcoming is that the viewfinder doesn't include framelines for the 45mm wide lens, which comes with an external finder, which I've not used since the whole viewfinder window can do the job.

Other choices mentioned above are attractive as well. I have a Fuji GS670III that is a fine camera, though a bit bulky, and somehow I've never become fond of it. It's not the bulk, actually... I also have several Pentax 6x7 cameras, very fond of them despite the size!

The Fuji GS645S is very lightweight being mostly plastic, but it's likeable... for instance its viewfinder framelines not only move for parallax compensation as you focus, they also contract and expand to correct for the field-frame-size change. Slightly wide 60mm lens.

If you'd prefer auto-focus, there's the Fuji GA645 with 60mm lens, but I have the 645W with 45mm lens. It can imprint exposure data on the film as you shoot. When I get tired of RF focusing, this is a good option, and when I get annoyed with AF I'm back to the Bronicas!

The Fuji GS670 shoots 10 photos on a 120 roll so I preferred 220 film, now not so available. Same with the 645 cameras, usually 15 or 16 shots on 120, and 30, 32, or 33 on 220 depending on the model. Really too bad that 220 has faded on the market.
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Old 02-12-2020   #17
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Thanks all for the valuable input and listing out what's mechanical or electronic shutter cameras.

When having GAS it's never good to visit the forum, because now I can't stop thinking about GF670 from Fuji.

On Fuji gw680, I actually drew the dimension out on a paper actually it's not that bad and ! It's less than 1/3 of the price of gf670! While it's not compact and without light meter, it's hell of a bargain in my opinion!

There are many other very fine cameras like xpan, mamiya 6/7, if the shutter fails it turns into a brick and this is something I don't want to deal with.

I don't mind to spend a little more on a fine camera as I like the exquisite and as a collectible, but I would expect it to last ...
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Old 02-12-2020   #18
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A bit of an crazy idea... how about I up a notch and get the Linhof 612 panorama... it's current and 6x12! Possible to handheld, size isn't too bad and mechanical I would guess. Exquisite for sure just expensive.

Anyone has real life experience on this? A near mint mamiya 7ii with 2 lenses would cost similar where I live which is pretty crazy.
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Old 02-12-2020   #19
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I have the Bronica RF and love it. Great lenses, ergonomics, meter. Much easier to hike with than my Hasselblad. Smaller neg, but very capable machine. Mine has worked fine but I dread the day the weak-link film advance starts to slip. Considering a second body as backup because I would hate to be without it.
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Old 02-12-2020   #20
keytarjunkie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddy1123 View Post
Thanks. This is very interesting especially the GF670. It looks so sexy and pretty recent too. I have this ability that whatever I find nice is usually not cheap lol. It's an electronic shutter right ? So if it stops working it turns into a brick? If it's mechanical shutter than I think I have found the one!

On a side note. I was checking the Linhof 612 panorama that is so nice. You have an experience with that ? It's very costly but you probably can tell I like film not only for shooting but I like a bit of rarity and as collectibles.

Thanks for the insight.
Linhofs can be good collectibles. I don’t have experience with the 612 but I think it’s pretty big, and I think also scale-focus but I can’t remember. Personally I would look into the Linhof Press 70 with a planar 80/2.8, quite hard to come across though. Or the Linhof 220, which is a crazy looking camera. The Press 70 (and also Technika 70) are some of the only medium format cameras that match Rollei in construction.

Unfortunately the GF670 has an electronic shutter. The Makina 670 is fully mechanical though...
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Old 02-13-2020   #21
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My enlarger (Omega B-22) accommodates max size 6x6 negative. I leave the Chromega color head on all the time as the filters work with variable contrast black and white paper.

That leaves 6x9 out for me.

6x4.5 is kind of like 35mm format as you can turn the camera depending on what kind of photograph you want to make. With 6x6 no need to think about turning the camera.

Depends what you want to photograph.

I like 6x6 anyway. I can make square prints, such as 8x8, or 11x11 for a different look, using the entire 6x6 negative.
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Old 02-13-2020   #22
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Originally Posted by randy stewart View Post
From your description of needs, you do not want a Bronica 645RF. It was rushed in development and manufacture to get into the market to save Bronica before the company failed. It did not save Bronica. It hit the market with flaws, some you describe, which might have been corrected over time, making in the event a great camera. If you want a compact 645 fixed lens camera for light travel, look at the series of Fuji GA645 cameras, or if manual the GS645 series. The Fuji GW series comes in 95mm and 65mm. The lenses in all of the Fuji cameras I mention here are outstanding. My personal choice would be my GA645Zi (limited zoom lens). I have also and can recommend the earlier GS645 (75mm folder) or GS645W (45mm, equ of 28mm in 135 format). I do not like the GS645S for unfamiliar folks because they are highly breakable, and many used ones in the market are terminally broken.
I second that.
Years ago when the Bronica RF645 was new I handled one in the store with a mis-aligned rangefinder and didn’t feel confident buying it.
Last month I ordered a “mint” RF645 from Japan with a 45mm lens and a flash. With the shipping, taxes and fees I payed almost $2,000. The camera looked good, but didn’t work The rangefinder was mis-aligned(fixable), the film advance mechanism didn’t work (if fixable, expensive and with a questionable long term reliability) and the electronics didn’t work (non-fixable).
I think I am done playing roulette trying to find a working Bronica RF645.
As a side note, it occurred to me why the prices of the camera have gone up - it’s a fragile camera and there are fewer working cameras left, so the scarceness drives the prices up.
Some of the other posters above gave good information on alternative choices. For travel I would explore the Fuji GS cameras as Randy Stewart suggests or if you need bigger negatives, the more expensive Plaubel Makina cameras(like the Fuji they come with a normal and wide angle fixed lenses).
I will stick with mechanical camera. I have Fuji GS645 Pro and Plaubel Makina 67 with the 80mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens. They both have bellows and require caution when handling, however if something goes wrong they can potentially be fixed.
Good luck finding the right camera for you and let us know how the camera(s) you chose work(s) for you.

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Old 02-13-2020   #23
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Originally Posted by View~Finder View Post
I second that.
Years ago when the Bronica RF645 was new I handled one in the store with a mis-aligned rangefinder and didn’t feel confident buying it.
Last month I ordered a “mint” RF645 from Japan with a 45mm lens and a flash. With the shipping, taxes and fees I payed almost $2,000. The camera looked good, but didn’t work The rangefinder was mis-aligned(fixable), the film advance mechanism didn’t work (if fixable, expensive and with a questionable long term reliability) and the electronics didn’t work (non-fixable).
I think I am done playing roulette trying to find a working Bronica RF645.
As a side note, it occurred to me why the prices of the camera have gone up - it’s a fragile camera and there are fewer working cameras left, so the scarceness drives the prices up.
Some of the other posters above gave good information on alternative choices. For travel I would explore the Fuji GS cameras as Randy Stewart suggests or if you need bigger negatives, the more expensive Plaubel Makina cameras(like the Fuji they come with a normal and wide angle fixed lenses).
I will stick with mechanical camera. I have Fuji GS645 Pro and Plaubel Makina 67 with the 80mm f/2.8 Nikkor lens. They both have bellows and require caution when handling, however if something goes wrong they can potentially be fixed.
Good luck finding the right camera for you and let us know how the camera(s) you chose work(s) for you.
Thanks. Yes I have taken a better look at the Fuji GS 645 and it's sweet, and probably given its popularity the price has gone up. At where I live, it would cost around 500 USD for a good copy. But it's still relatively affordable when comparing with other options.

Now on my list are:
- Fuji GS 645
- Fuji GW 690iii : can't let it pass for what you pay for. About 1k USD.

Fuji GF670 is another that I really like, but it has electronic shutter but it's quite recent. Another option is that I add a bit more for a good copy of Makina 67. But honestly speaking, Makina has this toy camera looking, makes me think of Lomo type of cameras. Sexy wise GF670 is very sexy in my opinion.

Funny that I end up all Fuji.
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Old 02-13-2020   #24
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I absolutely love my Linhof 612 PCll, brilliant camera.

It's the true "texas leica." lol



Quote:
Originally Posted by eddy1123 View Post
A bit of an crazy idea... how about I up a notch and get the Linhof 612 panorama... it's current and 6x12! Possible to handheld, size isn't too bad and mechanical I would guess. Exquisite for sure just expensive.

Anyone has real life experience on this? A near mint mamiya 7ii with 2 lenses would cost similar where I live which is pretty crazy.
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Old 02-13-2020   #25
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I absolutely love my Linhof 612 PCll, brilliant camera.

It's the true "texas leica." lol
Mind to share your experience? Is it zone focus? And possible to handheld and shoot like Xpan? Not many people have it so I get very little info from my search.
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Old 02-13-2020   #26
fad gadget
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Yes, zone focus is very easy.
I do shoot it handheld, it's heavy, but very well balanced and the spirit level is viewable in the finder.

The leaf shutter certainly helps shooting at lower shutter speeds as well.
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Old 02-13-2020   #27
Emile de Leon
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Always wanted the Linhof 6x12 since back in the 80's..when I briefly looked one over..

A bit big..but like the format...
They are pretty expensive now used..
Most come with the 65mm..but I would probably want something wider..
Maybe some day..
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Old 02-14-2020   #28
eddy1123
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Originally Posted by fad gadget View Post
Yes, zone focus is very easy.
I do shoot it handheld, it's heavy, but very well balanced and the spirit level is viewable in the finder.

The leaf shutter certainly helps shooting at lower shutter speeds as well.
I mean for focusing you can only guess like there is no like rangefinder type of split or any other sort of focus confirmation?
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Old 02-14-2020   #29
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No, just a VF. I guess you could always use some type of RF if you wanted to know the exact distance.

With the modest lens aperture, generally you're shooting at f8+, there's no problem zone focusing.

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I mean for focusing you can only guess like there is no like rangefinder type of split or any other sort of focus confirmation?
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Old 02-14-2020   #30
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Looked into Makina 670, very interesting, I didn't pay attention about this camera as I have never heard about this brand but apparently some people claim it's the best mechanical rangefinder there is.

Looked into it more, it does check all the boxes. Good lens, mechanical and with meter! This is a huge plus! Not sure why Fuji 690 didn't add one, and it's quite portable, best of all it's still serviceable. The con about this camera is that some people say it's not as durable. But so long it's serviceable it's a huge plus!

Came across this seller that wants 2400 usd for a mint one. Very good condition fully functional and comes with all papers and boxes and the hood. What do you guys think? Definitely not cheap but my rationale is that there are less and less 670 in good condition so probably a good idea to snatch one up? For Fuji 690 I feel there are many out there if I want to switch there is always a chance. Does it make sense?
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Old 02-14-2020   #31
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Originally Posted by fad gadget View Post
No, just a VF. I guess you could always use some type of RF if you wanted to know the exact distance.

With the modest lens aperture, generally you're shooting at f8+, there's no problem zone focusing.
Thanks. Then it's not really for me cuz I won't be just doing landscape.
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Old 02-14-2020   #32
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Eddy, I'm a fan of the Plaubel. I've owned 3. When they're closed up, they're a brick and would be a good weapon in a bar fight. The lens is fabulous. As with any folder you have to be careful opening & closing it. On mine, the meters always worked but because of the folding nature apparently the meter wiring can break. $2400 is pretty much average for a 670...which i prefer. They're not as ergonomic as say the Mamiya 6, but you get a lot in a small portable package. I'm about to buy another one as I think it's a perfect pair for mountain travel, paired with a Leica M with a 35. Love printing off the big negs. BTW my favourite Fuji was the rangefinder 680....love that format.
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Old 02-14-2020   #33
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Eddy, I'm a fan of the Plaubel. I've owned 3. When they're closed up, they're a brick and would be a good weapon in a bar fight. The lens is fabulous. As with any folder you have to be careful opening & closing it. On mine, the meters always worked but because of the folding nature apparently the meter wiring can break. $2400 is pretty much average for a 670...which i prefer. They're not as ergonomic as say the Mamiya 6, but you get a lot in a small portable package. I'm about to buy another one as I think it's a perfect pair for mountain travel, paired with a Leica M with a 35. Love printing off the big negs
Thanks for the heads up.

Do you agree the Nikkor lens is stunning like what people claim? I have to admit, film cameras to me is not just for photo it's also a collectible hobby. I won't shoot intensively so it should hold up fine and I assume they didn't sell that many back then comparing to big brands so probably a good idea to snatch one up in good condition for occasional shooting and as collectible.
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Old 02-14-2020   #34
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The lens is great although I never used it much at 2.8. I was once in a store in Toyko that had a cabinet with 10 or 15 of them. I would have loved to buy both a 670 W and the 670, but just got the 670. They are a very finely built camera.
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Old 02-14-2020   #35
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If money is no object, I think you'd be happiest with a Mamiya 7. Otherwise I can recommend the Fuji GW690 II or III. Add the Voigtländer VC Meter on top and you have a nice setup. Skip the Bronica.

Here's the thing about the Fuji (I have a GW690II): *If* you like the format, it's a great camera. The lens renders very nicely and the ergonomics are also quite good. That being said, it's not necessarily a camera you will fall in love with. The rangefinder patch could be better and the shutter sounds a bit tinny. I have one and wouldn't let it go, even though I rarely use it (I use a Mamiya RZ67 or Hasselblad 503cw most of the time). I got it for $250 at a flea market, though, and I don't know how I'd feel if I had paid more.

As for the GF670: I had one (actually a Bessa III) which I bought when it came out but I sold it after a little more than a year. The lens is very sharp, although I found that it's a bit harsh in the way it renders the out of focus parts. Also, the camera doesn't feel very solid and I didn't feel comfortable walking around with the lens extended for too long so I constantly was folding and unfolding the camera. The viewfinder is very nice, though, and the shutter is near silent.
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Old 02-14-2020   #36
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Jamie, It's always hard to tell what someone will bond with. I loved the Mamiya 6 and expected i'd like the 7 as well but i did not. I missed the collapsing lens feature which made the 6 so small and sleek. I don't love the Fuji's but i love the results & i prefer the 6x8 (especially) or 6x9 to the more boxy 6x7 aspect ratio. The portability and mechanics of the Plaubel is what's lead me back to the 670. I've travelled a lot with the Fujis on skiis and climbing and in general travel in Europe and they're unquestionably bulky. As with all choices....there is no free lunch.
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Old 02-14-2020   #37
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The Plaubel was on my shopping list while I was shopping for a travel medium format camera. I ended up crossing it off because the bokeh can be harsh wide open. The rangefinder patch has fuzzy edges, too, if you have a preference.

It was a solid feeling brick, though. I liked the focusing dial around the shutter button.
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Old 02-14-2020   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie123 View Post
If money is no object, I think you'd be happiest with a Mamiya 7. Otherwise I can recommend the Fuji GW690 II or III. Add the Voigtländer VC Meter on top and you have a nice setup. Skip the Bronica.

Here's the thing about the Fuji (I have a GW690II): *If* you like the format, it's a great camera. The lens renders very nicely and the ergonomics are also quite good. That being said, it's not necessarily a camera you will fall in love with. The rangefinder patch could be better and the shutter sounds a bit tinny. I have one and wouldn't let it go, even though I rarely use it (I use a Mamiya RZ67 or Hasselblad 503cw most of the time). I got it for $250 at a flea market, though, and I don't know how I'd feel if I had paid more.

As for the GF670: I had one (actually a Bessa III) which I bought when it came out but I sold it after a little more than a year. The lens is very sharp, although I found that it's a bit harsh in the way it renders the out of focus parts. Also, the camera doesn't feel very solid and I didn't feel comfortable walking around with the lens extended for too long so I constantly was folding and unfolding the camera. The viewfinder is very nice, though, and the shutter is near silent.
Thanks for your input Jaime. I like Mamiya for sure (I like 6 more than 7) but the fact that it's electronic shutter and it's pretty much not serviceable makes me can't justify the price. I can get lucky with a good copy that would last for long or I can get unlucky that it just turns into a brick that's why when it comes to vintage camera I always go for mechanical ones.
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Old 02-15-2020   #39
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Thank you all for your advice.

Funny that I ended up buying a makina 67. When I started this thread I didn't even know this camera.

Was eyeing a 670 but I found 67 is way cheaper. Now waiting for it to arrive.

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Old 02-15-2020   #40
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I had a Mamiya 7ii and sold it because I literally could see no difference in quality between it and my Bronica RF 645 from a resolution standpoint and the Bronica has far better ergonomics, a much better meter, fantastic program mode, and in the 3 years I have had it has been 100% reliable, while I had to repair my Mamiya 7ii twice.

Don’t believe the bull crap people say about 645 not offering much more than 35mm. A 645 negative is nearly 3x the size of 35mm and makes a huge difference in resolution.

I will keep my Bronica RF 645 until either it or I die.
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