I snagged a great deal on a Bronica RF645 - $550 new with the 65mm lens. That price was net of the $450 rebate offered through Dec 2005. And I stumbled across an amazing price. Great camera and worth looking about for a good deal. OR buy used for about $600.
I, too, considered a Fuji 645. But I really prefer the Bronica for it's quietness and great build quality.
You ask about a Fuji 645 rangefinder so I don't know if my remarks count since my Fuji 645 is a point and shoot. It is the Fuji GA645Zi and it has become one my favorite camera of all time. The GA645Zi is basically a 645 point and shoot camera with an extremely sharp zoom lens. The range of the zoom is somewhat limited (55mm -90mm) but I find it an outstanding camera for just walking around doing hand-held shots, either in urban settings or with outdoor scenes. I considered all of the other Fuji 645 cameras, as well as the Bronica 645 rangefiner, but felt that the Zi filled a niche that none of the others did in terms of fast action and zoom feature.
BTW, I also have two Fuji 6X9 rangefinders, the GSW690-III (65mm lens) and the GW690-III (90mm lens) and they are also niche kind of cameras. These cameras, because of the large 6X9 format and the outstanding EBC lenses, give the best image quality you can expect to see in medium format. I like to use them hand-held like big Leicas with high speed film. However, if you put them on a tripod with a film like TMAX-100 or Fuji Velvia 100 the image performance is almost at the 4X5 level for prints up to 14X20 size.
Originally Posted by andrewmoodie
We've got a 645Zi and a 645Ga. My brother got a Zi on our recommendation.
Autofocus, autoexposure, motor-wind, zoom, and even a pop-up flash! Think of them as the greatest compact camera ever built. They're so cheap, you really can't fault them. I'd agree you really don't want to be manually focusing them, and the manual exposure is a bit fiddly (as are some of the config options fidly to set), but either fully auto, or Av you can throw them around like no other MF cameras.
The individual cameras aren't a system as such, but the price is so cheap you can just buy another one with a different lens or format. We generally keep colour in one and bw in the other.
The Zi zoom is a bit limiting, but look on it as a bonus. It goes from slightly wide to not very long, but you wouldn't get a zoom lens for any other equivalent camera anywhere near the Zi price.
Obviously if you need Macro or some other specialist function, then look elsewhere, but for something to tote around they're great.