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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
    I hear that the bellows give issues, especially if stock.
    Who did you hear that from?
    Well, a few examples:
    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=115432
    New bellows for fuji gs645
    Hello, I have a rather good deal on this folder and it looks to me as the perfect camera for my needs. However, in the future it will need some service and new bellows. As I read the original ones are doomed and some circuits need to be looked at also. Do you know a good spot in Europe that deals with this Fuji problems? Thanks
    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...hread.php?t=35
    GS645 Bellows Repair
    I just acquired a GS645 that needed a new bellows. I sent it out a couple days ago to a highly recommended repair shop - Camera Wiz in Virginia - and was told it would be approximately 3 weeks to get back. Anyone who knows anything about these cameras know that the original bellows did not last long at all. What I am interested in, is finding out how long replacement bellows have been lasting. Hopefully longer than the original. Anyone care to comment?
    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=31538
    bellows repair kit for fuji GS645 folder?
    Hello folks... straight up, I love this place! Here's a quick one... anybody know of any bellows repair kits for the fuji folder?
    http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=130096
    I've been using the Fuji GS645 for over 25 years and it's one of my favorite cameras. Focus is sharp and bright, lens is excellent with good contrast and sharpness and metering is pretty much on target. Shooting landscapes is not difficult, you just have to get adjusted to it. A great carry around camera. The flip side: bellows is the weak spot on this camera and it can develop pinholes and has to be replaced. I purchased a nylon bellows from Hong Kong on ebay for $65 and had it installed by Essex Camera in NJ and works perfectly. That's the primary issue.

    That is not meant to bash that excellent camera. Just need to be aware of the issue when buying.

  2. #12
    Bob Marvin's Avatar
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    I don't think any medium format camera can be thrown around without needing repairs; maybe once, if you're VERY lucky. My Rolleiflex 2.8E once got picked up in a shovel and tossed aside, while stowed in a corner, by someone enthusiastically cleaning up. That was almost 50 years ago and it's still working fine (with a few CLAs over the years, none of them necessitated by that unfortunate incident. A small 6 X 4.5 folder, like a Super Ikonta A might survive some abuse while folded but these are all precision metal instruments that can be bent, dented, and knocked out of alignment if dropped and repairs aren't cheap.

  3. #13
    msbarnes's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice.

    -I read about the Fuji GS645S bellow issues all over the internet.
    -By folder, I was referring to the old 120 folders. The more modern ones by Fuji, Cosina, and Plaubel are probably Okay..atleast ergonomically.
    -Toss around was a bit of an overstatement. I wouldn't deliberately throw my camera around but I want to find the balance between functionanality and durability. I figured that there are some photojournalist out there that need/needed reliable 120 cameras.

    For the time present, I might stick with my Rolleiflex MX-EVS as it isn't too expensive if it breaks -- hopefully never. I have some 2.8E cameras but I don't need that aperture ALL of the time and so the lesser expensive MX-EVS is a maybe a better candidate.

    I am still interested in this discussion though!
    Michael | tumblr

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by msbarnes View Post
    Jeff, Do you think that TLR's are as durable as RF's/folders?

    I just felt that the above RF's/Folders are more-orientated towards documentary/photojournalist/travel photographers and so maybe they are more durable. I threw the 'blad in there because I have this notion that they are indestructible, for some reason.
    You could be right. I'm not a pro so most of my cameras last a long time.

    Jeff

  5. #15
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Folder-wise, I enjoy the ergonomics of the Bessa II - the way the shutter release unfolds to reach your finger and the single window rangefinder. Ergonomically superior to the Ikonta that requires three unfoldings before you can use two windows to focus and compose...

    But maybe a "lighter" or "earlier" model Rolleiflex would fit your needs for a kick-around camera.

  6. #16

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    Fuji GA645Zi- kind of like a folder without bellows :-)

  7. #17
    Bob Marvin's Avatar
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    Your Rolleiflex MX-EVS is probably as durable as anthing else you could find,

  8. #18
    Bob Marvin's Avatar
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    But FWIW the Super Ikonta struts are a lot stronger than a Bessa and an "A" model is a lot smaller. The ergonomics do take some getting used to and the frame lines in the viewfinder, while pretty bright. aren't usable when wearing glasses. For me the small size trumps everything else.

  9. #19
    pstake's Avatar
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    If you have 2k to drop, then there's no question what I'd get for a durable, quality, compact medium format. Plaubel Makina. The W version if you're doing a documentary project; it has the wide-angle lens.

  10. #20
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Stick with your Rolleiflexes.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

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