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Konica Hexar RF Experiences?
Old 07-05-2018   #1
Kumachrome
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Konica Hexar RF Experiences?

Hello all, I'm considering getting a Hexar RF. I've heard some great things about it and some not so great. I wanted to know how its reliability is and how your experience was.
How long did you have it? Do you still have it? Did it give you any major issues? Assuming I treat it nicely, and don't abuse it too much, do you think it should last me a long time?
I read that if the serial number is over 144xxx or something like that, it should be fine. My main concern is that I don't want it to become a paperweight and give me an error code just because I looked at it funny after a month.

I know it's not a Leica and I'm not looking for Leica qualities in it. I own an M4-P and am not looking for a second Leica body. The main things that are selling me on the Hexar are:
- Great match for my Hexanon 50mm f2 lens
- Looks nice
- motor drive
- 1/4000 shutter speed
- AE mode
- rangefinder

Thanks for sharing your experiences!
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Old 07-05-2018   #2
Phil_F_NM
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I loved my Hexar RF. I had it for a few years between 2008 and 2011. It was as reliable as a Nikon F4 which is to say it never failed. I sold it, like all the other gear I've owned, because I needed the money. It felt like the camera that the M7 wanted to be, modern. I wouldn't hesitate to use another one again.

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Old 07-05-2018   #3
Larry H-L
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Mine still works well, though it hasn't seen heavy use. The viewfinder is a wider view, .60 magnification if I recall correctly, and that works really well with wider and normal lenses or if you wear glasses.

The batteries are a bit of a pain, but you do get the built-in motor drive and AE. The motor drive allows you to easily keep your eye up to the viewfinder between shots.
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Old 07-05-2018   #4
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No issues, had mine a while, still looks new. Have had 2 or 3 over the years...
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Old 07-05-2018   #5
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The build quality is, at least to me, up to Leica quality. Feels a tad lighter than a M7, but that's the titanium. Mechanically it's easy to maintain. The top plate comes off nicely for rangefinder adjustment.

If you decide to use it, then just enjoy it and stop worrying about the electronics. The chance of one of the dreaded error codes (i.e. 11, 13 and 20) developing seems to be random. It can be the next day or never.

I have a friend who had an irreparable Hexar RF (error code 20) but loved it so much to the point that, he's currently on his second one. That's what I'd call a love affair...
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Old 07-05-2018   #6
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And you can buy 3+ Hexar RF for every M7
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Old 07-05-2018   #7
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I had one for about seven years. I got the rangefinder calibrated at Precision Camera right when I bought it, and never had any problems afterwards. I loved that camera but sold it to fund a Leica MP because it became impossible to repair. I still want it back for the lower magnification viewfinder (I wear glasses and like 28mm more than 35mm), beautiful design and great build quality, metal shutter, AE, and easy film loading.
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Old 07-05-2018   #8
Larry Cloetta
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Based on my experience over 5 years or so, I would recommend one without reservation. Have had no issues using Leica lenses on it either, tales of the Hexanon RF mount to film plane apocalypse notwithstanding. YMMV.
Some likes it, some don't. Put me in the like it, no worries column. Relative to my M2, it, for me, falls short nowhere, and excels in several known areas. Oh, forgot, it's not a Leica, there's that, and that bothers some people. That gnawing feeling deep down inside you when you hold it to your eye, that knowledge that you are not holding that thing in your hands that somebody who opinionates for a living says is "iconic". The Konica Hexanon RF, it's not iconic. Superb camera though, maybe that can compensate.
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Old 07-05-2018   #9
lawrence
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I bought one off eBay a few years ago and had to return it because occasionally a frame would come out completely blank. A nice machine but, given my previous experience with a Hexar AF, which had a similar issue, I went instead for a Zeiss Ikon which I still have. If you buy one, make sure you can send it back if issues arise on testing.
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Old 07-05-2018   #10
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I had one years ago that had many issues with the RF alignment that nobody in the US seemed able to fix, something about needing to have the proper 50/2.0 Konica lens to do an alignment? Sold that one after sinking a bunch of money into it trying to have it sorted. I can't seem to find the thread about alignments on the Hexar now. This was back in '08 or so.

Got another one four or so years ago for a particular project that needed the high shutter speeds, and wasn't able to get along with the lack of the hand wind, so sold that, but have another one now for a few years. It doesn't get a ton of use, but both these have been without any issue. Sturdy and robust, much better in the very cold than the M7. I tend to bring it when I'm going to be working with only one body away from home. I can load it up with some 400 and even work in sunlight.
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Old 07-05-2018   #11
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I used two bodies and a few Konica lenses for over a decade. Never had any issues with them. Traded the bodies for an M9 a couple of years ago but that's another story. I still have the lenses and use them on my Bessa T.

Good luck,
Lou
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Old 07-05-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
. I can't seem to find the thread about alignments on the Hexar now.

.
Maybe one of these:

http://www.edtse.com/konica-hexar-rf...iy-adjustment/

https://www.photo.net/discuss/thread...res-how.40990/

https://www.rangefinderforum.com/for...&threadid=1937
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Konica Hexar RF Problem
Old 07-25-2018   #13
DennisM
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Konica Hexar RF Problem

Found this thread after just experiencing a problem with my Hexar RF. While exposing a roll of B&W a few weeks ago (after a long period of non-use), the camera behaved very erratically; as I recall, display number in frame counter window jumped ahead - don't know if new number was displayed - then film rewound. When processed, lots of blank frames resulted. Inserted an old expired roll to test the camera. I fired several shots a day for several days; film counter advanced normally. Then today, after firing several frames, the frame counter in window reverted to zero, and the film rewound before end of the roll. I'm afraid I have an expensive paperweight. From what I've seen on the web, I don't believe they're repairable; parts supply is nonexistent I've read. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestion? Does anyone repair this camera? I'm reverting to my trusty M6 and Minolta SR T's. Thanks for any inputs.
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Old 07-25-2018   #14
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I’m among the No Problem cohort here. I bought mine at a fabulous price here 5 or 6 years ago, in part because it had a -3 diopter. Hexar diopters of all strengths are nigh impossible to find, so even if I were inclined to sell it, I’d have to find an equally blind beggar who likes to shoot without his glasses. But I have had a great run with mine. It doesn’t have the ZI VF, but 1/4000 is a delightful option for fast lenses in daylight, and not having to wind on and recompose your horizontals /verticals is neato. Why, it’s almost like a Contax G—without the awful VF or the missed focus at f2...!
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Old 07-25-2018   #15
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I bought one about 10 years ago and ever since it has been the camera that I use the most. Never had a problem with it and it has been hammered. Before I got it I had read about all the "issues" with it including the rf going out of alignment. I popped the top and put a drop of canada balsam on the wheel thingy and it has stayed in alignment all these years. The paint is worn off of all the corners and is completely gone from the on off switch. Still works perfectly. Gotta love Titanium covers... Masked over the 75 and 135mm framelines too so the finder is niiiiiice and uncluttered. Only issue I have with it is the slight shutter lag. All cameras have a bit of shutter lag, but for some reason small electronic cameras of this type have more and the Hexar is no exception. No idea why.

I think a lot of the early naysayers were just Leica freaks snobbing out. Or was it Leica snobs freaking out? Lol.
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Old 07-25-2018   #16
Steve M.
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I owned one for a while and never had any problems, but then as I said, I didn't have it for long. The viewfinder is a little dimmer than a Leica (what isn't), but it's fine, and eyeglass wearers will like the .60X factor.

It's not that anything was wrong with mine, but it felt sort of "dead" in my hands. I know that may sound odd, but it's an all electronic camera, and the knobs and such don't have the same tactile feel of a non electronic camera. My Bessa R2A and R3A cameras provided more feedback to the user, probably because those cameras had a manual film advance.

Sorry if this is not a lot of help to you. I suggest trying one before buying if at all possible, or buying one at a good price and reselling it if it doesn't work out for you. It may be exactly what you're looking for. I had the same complaints about my old Hexar AF too, along with not wanting to have that much money invested in an all electronic camera with a fixed lens, especially one that was wider than I normally shoot.
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Old 07-25-2018   #17
Larry H-L
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Dennis M.,
Have you tried cleaning the battery contacts and new batteries? Sounds as if it might be temporarily losing power.
You could keep running that junk roll through repeatedly to see if things loosen up.
Good luck.
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Old 07-25-2018   #18
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Hi everyone, so I ended up getting the Hexar RF and I'm loving it! As many of you stated, the rangefinder was out of alignment when it came. It was super easy to adjust. Just had to remove 4 screws and the ISO dial rentention screw and the top place came off easily. Then, adjusted the rangefinder and secured it with non-permanent lock-tite. While the top plate was off, I dusted the viewfinder and all that too and made sure the electronics were clean, blowing off any dust that may have been on them.

The next day, I began shooting it but ran into an issue, which I believe some of you have reported as well. Here's how I fixed it:
1. remove the film, clean out any dust in the film chamber.
2. With a Q-tip or something thin, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the Q-tip and clean the electronic contacts inside. The DX sensor, and the 3 contacts located right under the film curtain.
3. Now, open the battery chamber. Clean the battery chamber cover with rubbing alcohol. Make sure there isn't any dirt or corosion on it. Clean it even if it looks clean.
4. Clean your batteries if they're old.
5. Dust out the battery chamber, make sure it's clean obviously.
6. This is the big one, and I think it's the primary culprit: Ensure that your batteries are actually making proper contact. I believe the issue comes from the camera being jostled about as you walk around and such. If it is jiggled the wrong way, the batteries may lose proper contact because they may move inside the battery chamber. In my camera, it came with 2 batteries from 2 different brands. Therefore, the little nibs at the positive ends were slightly shaped differently. I flipped the order of the batteries and this fixed the issue. By this, I mean the batteries were ordered like "duracell first, then energizer." So, I put the energizer battery first, then the duracell battery.
I now have no issues with the camera! Hope this helps!
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Konica Experience
Old 07-26-2018   #19
lawrence
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Konica Experience

Konica made some impressive cameras. I owned and used quite extensively an Auto S3 (back in the 1970s) and an AF (in the 1990s). I also briefly used an RF (see post above). The issue I had with them is that they could be unreliable.

The Auto S3 was a terrific little camera with a superb lens and interesting fill-flash capabilities but unfortunately the frames started to overlap, so I had to move on. I wish I'd known at the time that this was relatively easy to fix and was the result of the rewind crank requiring lubrication.

The AF also had a wonderful lens and was very quiet and reasonably compact, for which it was worth putting up with the strange little buttons on the top plate. However, like the RF I tried, it started to produce blank frames so it had to go.

It seems that some users have been lucky and I envy them. If these cameras had worked reliably I would still be using them because they provided a combination of features not found elsewhere. In any case, if purchasing an AF or RF today I would urge caution unless you're good with electronics. The Auto S3 is probably more easily repairable and I wish I'd kept mine.
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Old 07-26-2018   #20
lawrence
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Seems I should open a bottle of something, I finally made 2,000 posts
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Old 07-26-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawrence View Post
Seems I should open a bottle of something, I finally made 2,000 posts
Demijohn of Rodinal? Unless you prefer jereboam or methuselah sizes.

My son makes a well regarded Oregon Chardonnay, and someone (donít know who) carries it in London.

http://www.morgenlong.com
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Old 07-26-2018   #22
lawrence
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Originally Posted by rhl-oregon View Post
Demijohn of Rodinal? Unless you prefer jereboam or methuselah sizes.

My son makes a well regarded Oregon Chardonnay, and someone (donít know who) carries it in London.

http://www.morgenlong.com
Just tried the Rodinal but it tasted corked, probably something to do with the hot summer here, some Chardonnay would do nicely.
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Old 07-26-2018   #23
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@lawrence: thanks for countenancing the snark. I no longer drink anything but fizz water and diet tonic, but I do admire my son’s winemaking savvy, and support his wine whenever anyone offers the slightest opening.
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Old 08-08-2018   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisM View Post
Found this thread after just experiencing a problem with my Hexar RF. While exposing a roll of B&W a few weeks ago (after a long period of non-use), the camera behaved very erratically; as I recall, display number in frame counter window jumped ahead - don't know if new number was displayed - then film rewound. When processed, lots of blank frames resulted. Inserted an old expired roll to test the camera. I fired several shots a day for several days; film counter advanced normally. Then today, after firing several frames, the frame counter in window reverted to zero, and the film rewound before end of the roll. I'm afraid I have an expensive paperweight. From what I've seen on the web, I don't believe they're repairable; parts supply is nonexistent I've read. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestion? Does anyone repair this camera? I'm reverting to my trusty M6 and Minolta SR T's. Thanks for any inputs.
A big thank-you to Kumachrome. I followed his advice to fix my Hexar RF erratic behavior, i.e., cleaning the inside of the battery cover with rubbing alcohol. I also cleaned both battery terminals and the inside contact with rubbing alcohol. It seemed to have done the trick. Over a period of five days, I "exposed" a roll of old expired 20 exp film, several exposures a day. I turned the camera upside down and around and shook it while switched on each day - no issues. After exposure 22, the camera rewound the film. Next step is to run a roll of Tri-X or HP5 through it. So again, a big thanks to Kumachrome and Larry H-L as well.
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Old 08-08-2018   #25
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DennisM,
Great news! Happy that your camera is working well.
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Old 08-08-2018   #26
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congrats, the Hexar RF was one of my favourite camera to shoot with, only off-putting for me was the loud shutter/film advancing sound that it would make but it was so convenient letting the camera decide what shutter speed to use.
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Hexar RF Update
Old 10-01-2018   #27
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Hexar RF Update

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Originally Posted by DennisM View Post
A big thank-you to Kumachrome. I followed his advice to fix my Hexar RF erratic behavior, i.e., cleaning the inside of the battery cover with rubbing alcohol. I also cleaned both battery terminals and the inside contact with rubbing alcohol. It seemed to have done the trick. Over a period of five days, I "exposed" a roll of old expired 20 exp film, several exposures a day. I turned the camera upside down and around and shook it while switched on each day - no issues. After exposure 22, the camera rewound the film. Next step is to run a roll of Tri-X or HP5 through it. So again, a big thanks to Kumachrome and Larry H-L as well.
My euphoria was short-lived. My Hexar RF erratic behavior has returned. I cleaned the battery terminals and battery compartment cover with rubbing alcohol yesterday before loading a roll of Tri-X. Exposed several frames; camera turned off & on several times; fine until frame 13; then after camera turned on after frame 13, "zero" appeared in frame window. I may have it looked at by a repairman who has done a great job for me on a variety of cameras; if he throws up his hands and says that he can't "fix" it, I'll move it to knicknack status on a bookshelf.
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Old 10-01-2018   #28
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I had the hexar RF, having loved the regular Hexar, and had the usual problems; rangefinder drifting. Found it a bit noisy. Not keen on RF patch. Then mine sat for a year with waiting for new parts.

If you need a repair expert, Greg Weber is the one, although his big stash of parts has dwindled to nothing, I fear.
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Old 12-20-2018   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisM View Post
My euphoria was short-lived. My Hexar RF erratic behavior has returned. I cleaned the battery terminals and battery compartment cover with rubbing alcohol yesterday before loading a roll of Tri-X. Exposed several frames; camera turned off & on several times; fine until frame 13; then after camera turned on after frame 13, "zero" appeared in frame window. I may have it looked at by a repairman who has done a great job for me on a variety of cameras; if he throws up his hands and says that he can't "fix" it, I'll move it to knicknack status on a bookshelf.
There is a switch located in a hole in the light block along the bottom that tells the camera when the back has been closed. The contacts get dirty and it gets intermittent. Some careful DeOxit in the switch will fix this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCqh6mtnvQ4


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Old 04-24-2019   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisM View Post
My euphoria was short-lived. My Hexar RF erratic behavior has returned. I cleaned the battery terminals and battery compartment cover with rubbing alcohol yesterday before loading a roll of Tri-X. Exposed several frames; camera turned off & on several times; fine until frame 13; then after camera turned on after frame 13, "zero" appeared in frame window. I may have it looked at by a repairman who has done a great job for me on a variety of cameras; if he throws up his hands and says that he can't "fix" it, I'll move it to knicknack status on a bookshelf.
An update: Had my Konica Hexar RF recently CLA'd after cleaning battery contacts did not restore camera to "normal" function; I pointed out to the repairman the comments in another RFF post re: cleaning internal door contacts. CLA was not inexpensive, but whatever the repairman did (assume he cleaned door contacts plus ??) my Hexar RF now performs as it did when initially purchased. No erratic counter behavior; rewind when end of roll reached etc. This camera is a joy to use.
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Old 04-24-2019   #31
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Quote:
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An update: Had my Konica Hexar RF recently CLA'd after cleaning battery contacts did not restore camera to "normal" function; I pointed out to the repairman the comments in another RFF post re: cleaning internal door contacts. CLA was not inexpensive, but whatever the repairman did (assume he cleaned door contacts plus ??) my Hexar RF now performs as it did when initially purchased. No erratic counter behavior; rewind when end of roll reached etc. This camera is a joy to use.
excellent! who fixed it?
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Old 07-04-2019   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisM View Post
An update: Had my Konica Hexar RF recently CLA'd after cleaning battery contacts did not restore camera to "normal" function; I pointed out to the repairman the comments in another RFF post re: cleaning internal door contacts. CLA was not inexpensive, but whatever the repairman did (assume he cleaned door contacts plus ??) my Hexar RF now performs as it did when initially purchased. No erratic counter behavior; rewind when end of roll reached etc. This camera is a joy to use.

Great, but who fixed it? Not that I have that problem now, but better to be prepared in case I do someday.
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Hexar RF CLA
Old 1 Week Ago   #33
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Hexar RF CLA

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Great, but who fixed it? Not that I have that problem now, but better to be prepared in case I do someday.
Repaired through Bergen County Camera in Westwood, NJ. Their repairman who did CLA's on several of my cameras (I understand they employ two separate repair agencies) does superb work. Shot a roll in the RF a few days ago with no issues whatsoever.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #34
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I had one a few years back.

It was a great RF camera for $500 (used), but it was mildly noisy (combo of the automatic film movement and shutter) and didn't have th heft of my M7, so I eventually sold it.
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Old 3 Days Ago   #35
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I just bought one. Was looking for a M mount film body to compliment my M240 and this seemed to fit the bill. The 28mm (and really 35mm) frame lines are nicer than the Leicas.

Serial #145xxxx and it passed all the initial tests so far and it came with a six month warranty. Shooting my first roll of film now. Kinda feels like a RF F4 to me.

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