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  1. #11
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Craig I do believe the RF645s optics are great! BUT the Mamiya RF lenses are the sharpest lenses I have ever seen in MF. Just my personal experience.

  2. #12

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    I am probably the only one who has ever posted negative comments about this camera, but mine was in for repairs more than in my hands. For example, my first time out with the camera, the battery compartment self-opened, leaving me without batteries and so a dead camera. Bronica said there are no defects with the door (a cheap piece of plastic held closed by 2 prongs) leading to black tape over the battery compartment door. The exposure bias switch on the back was always moving around, as there was no detent to keep it on neutral, giving me mis-exposures when I thought it was on neutral. Soved with more tape on the body to hold this in place. The vertical adjustment of the rangefinder moved out of true if you breathed on the camera. But I kept with it until it died completely while I was on a major hiking trip leaving me with no camera. I then sold it and bought a Mamiya 6 which has been a reliable workhorse for me. You've been warned!

  3. #13

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    I don't use mine too often since I am more of an SLR guy, but I have to agree with those that say the lenses are great. I did tests using fine-grained Provia film and the results were astonishing. With a 25x loupe, minute details could still be made out.

    The only problem I had with my camera was with the film advance mechanism... this seems to be the achilles heel of the system. With the back closed and the film counter at 1 or more, the end of the throw for the film advance lever got very stiff. It took sending it in to Tamron three times before it was finally fixed correctly. It works great now.

  4. #14

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    I still own a RF645 (3) lens outfit bought about 2003. It compliments my Rollei TLR. I love the camera which is smaller than a Nikon F4. The ergonomics and design are first class. The image quality of the 45, 65, and 100 stunning. The bokeh is smooth with all optics. The 65mm is a great walking around focal length. The hard to find 100mm is fantastic.

    The trouble free 645RF has a Leica-like quality feel. The viewfinder is Leica MP clear and camera controls logical and not overdone. The vertical format is perfect for people & environmental photography. As a plus, I have grown to love the 645 format for its whole plate like dimensions. I am printing more 6x8s for high quality photo albums.

    The camera is a cult classic, the last frame-up MF rangefinder design.
    Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 02-01-2011 at 07:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    RJ

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Bronica RF 645 Experience

    Hi,
    I have used the camera for street shooting in NYC and now in the field in India. I can highly recommend it as long as you aware of a couple of things.

    First and foremost, it's native format is vertical. This may be exactly what you want but if not, then it may be frustrating in the beginning.
    Secondly, the rangefinder does go out of alignment by a bit. Mine was adjusted at the service center in Long Island but has gone off again. In practical use I don't find it to be an issue.

    The rest is mostly great news.
    1. The lenses are fantastic. Small, sharp and flare resistant.
    2. The body is exceptionally well designed. The controls are minimal (but complete) and well placed.
    3. The rangefinder patch is bright and snappy. Mine just does not flare.
    4. The body is surprisingly small and light and I prefer the weight and size to my Nikon F100. The negatives are far superior anything I have gotten in 35mm.
    5. I find the meter to accurate and consistent.

    Mine has been reliable in the field and I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

    - Santanu

  6. #16

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    On the meter: I used my RF645 extensively before replacing it with a Mamiya 7II partly due to wider equipment availability, but found the meter exhibits a tendency towards underexposure, so be careful when making judgements about appropriate exposure index and development time for black and white film.

    Tom

  7. #17

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    Tom, how much of a tendency?
    Steve.

  8. #18

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    maybe 1/2 a stop, more in high contrast situations.

    Tom

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    The camera underexposes, especially in low light. It's a tad too bulky for travel. Otherwise, it's excellent. The quiet shutter and the optics are perfect.

  10. #20

    Join Date
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    I've owned my RF645 for about 10 years. I've exposed 50 rolls in the camera. So far no malfunctions or rangefinder misalignments. The reported RF645 winder issues are less than the Mamiya 6. To avoid potential problems I always use 120 vs 220 and advance the film gently. No malfunctions. The metering is reported to be more accurate than other RFs. My meter is dead on.

    The optics are perfect. Sharp with smooth bokeh. The 100mm is really nice for portraits. The jar free lens shutter allows me to hand hold to one stop slower shutter speed. For indoor shots I use a small format rangefinder.

    The camera encourages the photographer to frame images vertically. Horizontals are not so ergonomic. Not enough of an issue to offset the positives.

    Like any medium format camera, MF film is a joy to view and print. The RF645 optics trump the best small format glass.
    Last edited by Richard Jepsen; 05-27-2011 at 10:44 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    RJ

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