Bronica RF645 Medium Format

RF645

The new Bronica RF645 is a camera that offers accurate, high fidelity image quality. It combines the classic handling of manually operated features with highly sophisticated electronics for an optimum balance of superior image quality, ease of operation and maximum user control.

User Reviews (20)

Showing 1-10 of 20  
Dismayed   Expert [Jul 13, 2010]
Strength:

Lenses.
Ergonomics.
Metering.
Format.

Weakness:

Film transport is under-engineered.
Service. Parts will become difficult to find as Bronica is out of business.
APoor availability of 100mm lens.

I loved my RF645. It's light, compact, and the lenses were superb. And the camera was wonderful to use because of the ergonomics. But I sold it because I lost faith in the film transport. I had it replaced once under warranty, but the transport felt rough after less than another year of light use.

Customer Service

Good while it lasted. Good luck now!

Similar Products Used: Mamiya 7II
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Bob_Budding   Expert [Dec 13, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent lenses. Great build quality. Small and compact for medium format - great for travel or street shooting. Leaf shutter lenses are very quiet with flash sync at all speeds. Large negative is much better than 35mm.

Weakness:

Discontinued. Faster lenses would be nice. Limited lens choices (45mm, 65mm, and 100mm). The 100mm lens is hard to find, but it is possible. Typical rangefinder limitations.

This is a stunningly good camera and an incredible value. I snagged a body with 65mm lens, new, from KEH for less than $1,000. THe $450 rebate brought the price to less than $550.

Customer Service

Fast and excellent. Converted to 100mm framelines and adjusted rangefinder verticle alignment (all under warranty).

Similar Products Used: Contax IIIa.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Daniel Hershman   Expert [Feb 19, 2005]
Strength:

Tough, easy to use, great images on big film. Leaf shutter makes hand held images easier to pull off in low light.

Weakness:

Its too easy to shoot film with the lens cap on.

I purchased this camera with the 45, 65 and 100mm lenses for a bike trip through Europe in 2003. Its quick and easy to use, especially for people who are used to 35mm cameras. I lugged it in my panniers for six weeks and it worked well without a hitch. I dropped it in a hotel the last week and the focus went out, but was able to use the focusing scale on the lenses to make up for this. I take it skiing, and the one major problem I had was that the shutter advance mechanism died while loading film in 15 degree weather. (Coincidence?). Bronica repaired it no charge even though it as past the warranty date. I especially like the 45mm lens and I find that the extra viewfinder isn't really needed. The little moan the shutter makes is kind of endearing after awhile, much better than the slap of an slr.

Customer Service

Good fast work, repaired camera for free even after the warranty had recently expired.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
bobinarabia   Professional [Sep 30, 2003]
Strength:

Standard lens is outstanding for sharpness and bokeh. Focusing is deadly accurate. Easily handheld at slow shutter speeds. Since it has a leaf shutter one can use flash at any speed. Using it with a Sunpak 383 Super Flash is like having a portable studio. Than standard lens is excellent for environmental portrail, i.e., not a head shoulders only. The quality of the negatives and the scans I had made from them are outstanding.

Weakness:

None. It does exactly what its specifications say it is going to do.

I just received and test this camera. The praise it has received from many of the other reviewers is correct. I was worried about shutter noise, but it is hardly noticeable. It accomplishes everything described in its feature set extremely well and it is a pleasure to use. This camera was a bargain. I was using 100 ISO film and several shots were at full aperture and 1/40th of a second in dim light. No problems. A joy to use. Get one while you can.

Customer Service

Do not know.

Similar Products Used: Sony DSC-707, Contax RTS II, Kiev 60, and many more.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ben Schofield   Intermediate [Sep 08, 2003]
Strength:

Lenses Ergonomics Price

Weakness:

No case I'd love an ultra wide lens

I bought this camera to compliment my work writing and designing company annual reports and the like. Then I took the RF 645 round India and sold so many images that a holiday paid for itself. Ergonomics are wonderful with everything in the right place. The bright lines are as accurate as you could expect and the lenses (I have the 45,65 and 135) are sharp and contrasty. The 65 mm lens is great for the street and for landscapes, I use it about 80% of the time. Metering is spot on. The current price makes this a real bargain. Most importantly, the results fantastic. It's like I went on holiday an amateur and came back semi-professional. The difference was this camera.

Customer Service

The 135 brightframe jammed when I dropped the camera. The UK distributors Intro2020 had it fixed and returned in four days. It could have been quicker, I turned down their offer to take it Maidenhead to have it repaired whilst I waited.

Similar Products Used: Bronica Ertsi
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jeffascough   Professional [Aug 13, 2003]
Strength:

Price, build quality, viewfinder brightness, size, ergonomics, good sync speed.

Weakness:

Viewfinder accuracy at infinity, SLOOOWWW lenses, slow max shutter speed in manual, poor meter accuracy in dim light.

I bought this camera as a medium format alternative to my M6's. Sometimes I needed that little extra quality that MF gives you. Overall I am very pleased with the camera, the quality of the results shot with it are very good. The camera is reasonably light, well built, with a really good feel and balance to it. The upright viewfinder is not a problem even for a seasoned Leica user. The viewfinder magnification is very similar to my 0.85 M6's which is great for accurate focussing but does mean that a separate viewfinder is required fo the 45mm lens. The camera viewfinder is very bright and easy to see and the rangefinder patch is very good. Mine has got a problem when focussing at distance as the rangefinder accuracy does start to waver somewhat. The shutter is quiet but does make a very strange noise, and because of the lack of mirror, it can be handheld to very slow shutter speeds. The camera's achilles heel is its woefully slow lenses and its 1/500 sec fastest shutter speed. The lenses are too slow in dim light and the max shutter speed is too slow in really bright light! The other major problem I have had with the camera is the inaccurate metering in low light levels. Any sort of metering inside has to be done with a separate meter otherwise the camera will underexpose the film quite badly. The camera is not an alternative to a Leica M camera, it is not in the same league, but as a cheap MF camera which is quiet and simple to use, and ultimately gives very good results, it is hard to beat.

Customer Service

Fast turnaround in the UK, but still have the focussing problem at infinity evne though it was supposed to be fixed!

Similar Products Used: Leica M6, Hasselblad Xpan
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill Harrison   Professional [Jan 08, 2003]
Strength:

Light weight. Quick handling/shooting. Very accurate meter. Compact system.

Weakness:

Lens choices. Wish it were 6x6. Would rather it used AA batteries.

The Bronica RF645 is an easy camera to use . . . almost like a 35mm. The meter is accurate and the lenses are qiute sharp. I have the 45mm, 65mm and 100mm lenses. The 45mm is a little awkard with the separate viewfinder. The 100mm lens works well if you take the time to check the field of view. My camera body is set up for the 135mm bright frame. I shot some tests with an 18% gray copy board and found the field of view for the lens. Once you allow for the difference, it shouldn't be a problem. The camera, overall, seems a bit lightweight compared to other medium format cameras and the fully electronic shutter makes a really peculiar little noise . . . but, once one gets use to these little idiosyncracies, it's a really manageable medium format camera. It's great on location because it doesn't take up a huge camera bag!

Customer Service

Don't know yet!

Similar Products Used: Mamiya, Fuji, Pentax medium format.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Jeffery Smith   Intermediate [Oct 06, 2002]
Strength:

Build quality, small size, optical quality, bright viewfinder, automation if you want it, reasonable price.

Weakness:

I wish it were 6x6.

A very easy to use and handle medium format rangefinder with a very bright viewfinder. Solidly built with excellent optics. A bargain compared to its only competition, the Mamiya 6/7.

Customer Service

Haven't needed it.

Similar Products Used: Fuji 6x7
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob   Expert [May 31, 2002]
Strength:

Quality of the results. (That's all that matters!)

Weakness:

none

The RF645 is the perfect companion for quick unobtrusive photography. The quality of the optics is first rate and the camera is a joy to use. It's no more of a burden than a modern 35mm SLR but the results from the medium format negatives will beat 35mm hands down. I don't think the supposied limitation of not having a "long" lens is a problem.

Customer Service

No problems with the camera. Sent them an email with a question and received a prompt and courtious reply!

Similar Products Used: Konica Hexar, Fuji GS645S
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ksrowin   Intermediate [May 05, 2002]
Strength:

The viewfinder and the lenses are superb.

Weakness:

The vertical format of the viewfinder and negs, which took all of 15 seconds to get accustomed to.

Excellent camera, well thought out and well executed with a sturdy feel to it, yet not particularly heavy. The RF645 handles well, with a bright viewfinder that has an easy to see rangefinder spot and easy to read meter readings with plenty of other information just outside the field of view. The lenses are very sharp and yield very crisp results.

Customer Service

No need.

Similar Products Used: Mamiya C330, Haselblad 500CM and the Mamiya 7 - all of which seem out of date and cumbersome compared with the RF645.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 20  

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