Fuji GS645 S pro (60mm f/4) rangefinder repair?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by walter23, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Have any of you got experience with repairing the rangefinder mechanism in a fuji GSW 645 (the 60mm lens, non-folder)? I've got the option to get one with a rangefinder that "sort of works" (it is very sluggish but eventually the split images reach the proper registration which appears to match the focus distance). If the rangefinder is sluggish like this, is it likely that all the components are functional but just require lubrication or a reseating or something? I've heard that parts are difficult to find for this camera, and I would like to get the rangefinder working. The rest of the camera is in great shape, so it would be a fine portable landscape camera for hyperfocal / scale focusing.
     
  2. bennoj

    bennoj Member

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    The rangefinder in mine is totally shot, but I've had plenty of success with the camera using hyperfocal focusing or by estimating the distance and making sure I have enough DOF to cover. Then again, most of my shooting is landscape, so I'm not often looking for isolated focus in my shots.
     
  3. dbseney

    dbseney Member

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    Hello: I had the very same problems with the very same camera. Frank Marshman at Camera Wiz fixed it at a reasonable price (about $140 with CLA) and returned it within four weeks.

    Based on my experience, I recommend him highly.

    By the way, it is a great camera. The lens is outstanding and it is light and easy to use. If you do not get the manual with yours, let me know and I will send you a copy of mine; no charge.

    His address and phone number are below.

    Donald

    Frank Marshman at Camera Wiz
    169B Pleasant Hill Road
    Harrisonburg VA 22801
    800/471-8133; 540/434-8133
     
  4. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Alright, I think I will buy it. At the price I'm paying it will make a great portable (compared to my 4x5 or even my complete SLR setup) landscape camera even if the rangefinder remains busted.
     
  5. Maine-iac

    Maine-iac Member

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    For the ten years I lived in France, the Fuji was my constant companion. It went everywhere, including biking in Brittany, where, dangling from my shoulder, it slipped off, banged into the front spokes, and had the front lens cell (containing aperture and shutter speed ring) ripped violently off. I looked inside the remaining bit of the lens, discovered that the three tiny screws that held it on were still intact, took it to our rented cottage, and on the dining room table with my jewler's screwdrivers and a pair of tweezers, managed to get it together again. I had got the position of the thingy's that move the shutter and aperture wrong the first try, disassembled and reassembled it, and it's worked fine ever since. A little loose, but it works just fine. That was about 8 years ago. The rangefinder sticks a bit, but you can loosen it yourself. The little frame around the window pops off, and the window glass lifts up on a tape hinge. Handle it carefully, but you can get the rangefinder unstuck. Now, when it sticks occasionally, I just give the camera a good thump with the heel of my hand, and the rangefinder works again. When this camera finally dies, it won't owe me a cent of the $600 (new price) I paid for it about 15 years ago.

    It has now entered semi-retirement, serving as a backup to my Mamiya 7, but it will always have the distinction of having given me some of my best travel photos. I also have its whiz-bang sibling the GA645Zi which I use almost always for color and love as well.

    Camera Wiz should be able to do the repair for you as long as it doesn't need parts that they don't have or can't be had. They're getting scarce.

    Larry
     
  6. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    I'll see if I can figure out how to pop that front off. Do you mean that it pops off without loosening any screws? I've ran a couple of rolls through it now and they're great - the metering is very good, and the shots are nice and sharp.
     
  7. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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