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photo:bronicarf

Bronica RF 645 medium format rangefinder film system

Introduction

  • the Bronica RF645 is an interchangeable lens 6×4.5 medium format film camera introduced in 2000 but discontinued in 2005 when digital essentially resulted in the demise of the film cameras and Bronica was taken over by Tamron.
  • tend to be much cheaper than second hand Mamiya rangefinders
  • AE mode gives it a big advantage over the Fuji 645
  • it is a nice ergonomic camera well suited to rangefinder portraiture and airplane travel (for a medium format film camera with interchangeable lenses)
  • issues
    • Tamron discontinued support and repairs in 2016
    • some have a film advance issue causing it to freeze or jump frames
    • best used with the right eye at the viewfinder
    • 135mm lens is not useful and not generally available
    • 100mm lenses are hard to find on the market
    • older cameras with serial numbers starting with 0 don't have the 100mm lens framing
    • portrait orientation of viewfinder and shots may be an issue for landscape photographers

Bronica RF645 camera

  • manual focus 645 film camera that takes either 120 or 220 roll film
  • vertical (“portrait”) framing due to horizontal film movement
  • nice viewfinder with crisply defined edges to the rangefinder focusing patch but it is designed to be used with the right eye in a precise position to allow visibility of the viewfinder information at the left side
  • leaf shutter lenses with no mechanical cocking by the body (a motor built into the lens does this instead)
  • automatic cloth curtain unfolds as a “dark slide” when changing lenses (unike the Mamiyas which require manual management)
  • center weighted non-TTL average metering, adjusting to the focal length mounted on the body
  • requires 2x CR2 batteries to operate
  • parallax-compensated viewfinders with framing for 65mm and 100mm lenses (135mm on early bodies with serial numbers starting with a “0” but the 135mm lens was too difficult to focus and thus replaced by the 100mm lens)
    • when shooting at close focus, recommended aperture s f/11 given the narrow DOF and rangefinder focusing
    • there is an external finder option for framing when using the 45mm lens
  • self-timer
  • multi-exposure possible
  • standard cable-release socket on shutter release
  • half press shutter to confirm exposure
  • AE priority or Program exposure modes with +/- 2 EV exposure compensation and 25-1600 ISO settings
  • shutter speed Bulb plus 1sec to 1/500th sec (8 sec to 1/500th in AE mode and 8sec to 1/750th in Program mode)
  • hotshoe with dedicated protocol which sends aperture and ISO to the flash and thus requires Bronica Speedlight RF20 flash
  • flash sync socket under the lens
  • 810g

Lenses

  • all have leaf shutter with a self-cocking mechanism within the lens
  • Bronica Zenzanon RF 45mm/4
    • close focus 1m
  • Bronica Zenzanon RF 65mm/4
    • most popular lens
    • close focus 1m
    • 300g
  • Bronica Zenzanon RF 100mm/4.5
    • close focus 1.2m
    • fairly hard to find second hand but it is a useful portrait lens
  • Bronica Zenzanon RF 135mm/4.5
    • too difficult to focus and thus replaced by the 100mm lens
    • rarely available

Reviews

photo/bronicarf.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/18 12:55 by gary1