As a passionate climber and long distance hiker in the mountains i was in search of a medium format camera reasonably light, affordable and simple to use in every conditions. So when I found this Bronica RF 645 in “like new” condition for no more than 500€ I decided to buy it and see if it worked for my needs.

My first trip with the Bronica was in the mountains near my home, the Dolomites in South Tyrol! For this kind of backpacking, I tend to reduce my gear to a minimum. With so many creative and mechanical things to think about in photography, and with the weather sometimes creating a distraction, the last thing you need is too much camera gear. So I choose the Bronica RF (16 exposures per 120 roll) with just the standard lens, the Zenzanon RF 65mm f/4, one tripod (Gitzo Mountaineer) and a set of filters: the medium yellow K2, the orange and the red 25A.

I understand that this kind of minimalistic approach probably doesn’t work for anyone but for my style of shooting it is very helpful. The first time with this camera was also my first time with the ILFORD Delta 100 Professional. I exposed the film at EI 80 and developed at home in ILFORD Perceptol 1+3 for 20 minutes at 20°C.

The results of the first attempt with this film are quite nice. The film dried very clean and flat, the base is almost transparent, a good point for scanning too. The contrast probably is a bit on the high side for my taste. There’s nothing wrong with that if you use a scanner but just tricky if you print in darkroom. In fact, now I prefer to expose the film at EI 50 and develop in accordance to that.

The grain is good the sharpness also and the film show a pleasant tonal transition especially in the low and middle tones. And the response to the filter is very predictable too.

No need to say that for the moment Delta 100 + Perceptol is one of the more solid option for my kind of photography.

~ Massimo

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About the author

Avatar - Massimo Ruggera

Massimo Ruggera

I am 51 years old, and I live in South Tyrol Italy.I love mountains, cycling and photography.


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  1. Great stuff Massimo – I love my rf645 – it never lets me down. You got a very good price there though!!

  2. Very nice. And I like the contrast.

    It has been a long time since I was climbing in the Dolomites (Marmolada area), 1993 I think…