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  1. #1
    BAB
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    MF for travel: GA645?

    Hi,

    I'm new to this forum but not photography. Started with a Retina II given me by my grandfather over 50 years ago. I retired recently and want to do more MF work. I've used a Rollei E 3.5 Planar for 20 years, but I've developed a travel addiction, so would like something more travel friendly. For this purpose, I've gravitated to the Fuji GA645 series. But there are a few questions I have.

    First, how easy is it to use the viewfinder on the GA645s if one wears glasses? I hate having to push a viewfinder up against my spectacles as it scratches the lens and soils the inside of the lens with skin oil and perspiration. A corollary question might be where the hell does one go to actually handle a camera nowadays before buying it?

    Second, which lens 45 or 60mm? I've found the 35mm (equivalent) to be a decent compromise one-lens only, and it's about the shortest lens one can take portraits with. But I don't take a lot of portraits, and I suspect I'd kick myself for not buying the 45mm in the cathedral in Seville or the narrow streets of most European old towns.

    Third, are the improvements in the "i" models really worth another C-note or two in price? The second exposure button might be useful, but I usually rotate a camera clockwise, keeping my hand under the camera and pushing the button with my thumb.

    If I really get back into MF (a likely possibility) I'll have some questions about Hassies. Which have become quite reasonable comparatively. Most seem to be pro cameras that got a lot of use and were traded in for one of the later models. But still, I'm thinking of trading in my venerable Rollei for a camera that has interchangeable lenses.

    Thanks much for taking the time to respond,
    BAB

  2. #2
    Tony-S's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums.

    I had a GA645i with 60mm f/4 lens for a while. A great point-and-shoot MF camera. The biggest downer was the autofocus was a bit spotty. Optics are superb, images are superb. I may pick another one up one day.

  3. #3
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum! Oddly enough, there was a discussion about this quite literally 2-3 weeks ago. I'd do a quicky search since I think most things were hashed out pretty well there. Other than that, consider the 645zi since you can have multiple focal lengths.
    K.S. Klain

  4. #4
    segedi's Avatar
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    The Bronica RF645 is quite formidable for travel. I took that and 45 and 65mm lenses and uses it much more than the 35mm camera I also brought on a 3 week trip. It is a rangefinder, so you would have to like those. As much as I love it, I might be selling soon to cure some of my gearitis.
    -----------------------

    Segedi.com

  5. #5
    BAB
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    Thanks, I'll see if I can find that post.

  6. #6
    BAB
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    Quote Originally Posted by segedi View Post
    The Bronica RF645 is quite formidable for travel. I took that and 45 and 65mm lenses and uses it much more than the 35mm camera I also brought on a 3 week trip. It is a rangefinder, so you would have to like those. As much as I love it, I might be selling soon to cure some of my gearitis.
    The Bronica RF645 is, indeed, highly regarded. As are the Mamiya 6 and 7. Rangefinders are no problem and I've used them before. I appreciate the portability. Confidentially, what might you ask for the RF645 if you were wanting to rid yourself of said device?

    Thanks,
    BAB

  7. #7
    BAB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klainmeister View Post
    Welcome to the forum! Oddly enough, there was a discussion about this quite literally 2-3 weeks ago. I'd do a quicky search since I think most things were hashed out pretty well there. Other than that, consider the 645zi since you can have multiple focal lengths.
    Thanks for the reference, but I noted that particular thread previously. Unfortunately, it doesn't answer any of my questions. Most important to me is the one about using the rangefinder with spectacles, since there isn't anywhere locally I can actually handle a GA645 in person.

    Anyone use a GA645 that wears those awful specs?

    Thanks

  8. #8
    segedi's Avatar
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    PM sent.
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  9. #9
    Klainmeister's Avatar
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    I've used the lot of RF's with spectacles: Ikontas, Fuji GW690III, Mamiya 7II, just to name a handful and never have had issues. I held, but didn't use, a GA645 and found it quite appealing, and if it wasn't for my current ownership, I'd gladly use one myself. It seems to be an ideal size and "handles" well, meaning it feel natural to use. Can you possibly find one locally and lease play with it?
    K.S. Klain

  10. #10
    rince's Avatar
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    I do own a Mamiya 7II and even though I would never call myself very versatile in the MF world, but I can tell you that I love how light and small it is and how naturally it handles. I currently carry it everywhere, every day. Something I have not done with any of my other cameras. The lenses are amazing. I can only recommend giving it a try.
    ---
    There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.
    ~ Ansel Adams

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