Go ahead...talk me out of it - old Mamiya 645

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by terri, May 5, 2006.

  1. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    So, I've been playing with a Mamiya 645 1000S system that I have a chance to buy. As far as style, ease of use, etc - I believe I am smitten. :blushing: The body and lenses look to be immaculate. The standard lens is apparently *the* one to have with this camera: the 80mm 1.9. It also comes with a wide angle lens (55mm 2.8), 2 film loaders (120/220), a complete close-up filter set, a Hoya circular polarizer and a couple other filters. There is also a prism viewfinder attachment, a camera grip, and an older but functional Sunpak pro flash with associated bracket and cables. Plus, the very groovy steel case. Total package: $660.

    The catch is this: after playing with it all and running a couple test rolls, I discovered the prism viewfinder isn't connecting well to the body (waist level viewfinder works fine) and it locks the mirror with every snap. I really prefer using the prism viewfinder, so while it's not quite a dealbreaker for me..... I'm not sure what to do. The prism's meter was functional, bright viewing screen, just mirror lockup, regardless of the settings. Brad talked to his Mamiya rep who said it sounded like to be a short in the prism viewfinder.

    The seller is a guy Brad works with in the aerial photo dept (which is why they have Mamiya reps to chat with). So, there’s no pressure or hard sell involved here – he just wants what he paid for it (although he didn’t know the prism was non-functional).

    When we informed him what it was doing, he immediately took it in to get looked at, so it's at a camera repair shop (that we're familiar with) right now for an evaluation and estimate.

    I've been chatting it up with the guys over at APUG and have been given a thumb's down pretty much across the board. The general consensus is it's too much $. I've been checking around, places like KEH and also ebay, and I'm not so sure.

    Some more opinions? It's (sniffle) so purdy.....
     
  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I am not familiar with the camera itself but looked up some of the prices. In completed auctions not including the filters, you could get the same for about $400! Body, inserts, lenses, non-metering finder. I think he is a couple hundred overpriced. But if I was selling I would want the best price. Keh seems to have a reputation for bieng a bit high. But they are a business. From Keh it seems that you could again without the filters replace what he has for about $550 or so. With items marked EX+. Quite a bit less for scratch and dent items.


    I have been buying items for my Bronica SQ for the last year on ebay. Prices have come way down on medium format in the last year. I ended up buying a better body and lens for 1/3 I paid for my first SQ body. I have since then picked up 3 more lenses and 3 more backs. All for less than the first used outfit I bought.
     
  3. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    If it was me, I would offer less. If there's no pressure to sell the seller may say no, then come back to you after a bit if there hasn't been a better offer.

    That said, if you really love the camera go for it. Sometimes it doesn't matter that you paid a little bit too much for something if you truly enjoy it. It's not the same as buying a D70 where you know that you're getting the exact same camera and have a lot of places to choose from. If the camera speaks to you it's worth it in the end.
     
  4. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    The person that said that you can't buy love never looked a beautiful MF camera in the lens before. You've already given it a test drive and know it's good and bad points, If it's what you really want, are smitten with it and you're comfortable with the price, I say go for it. :thumbsup:
     
  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Add a 150mm and a second strobe, and you've described EXACTLY my old wedding gear.

    It MIGHT be the battery. Mine acted that way when be battery went. Nice little camera. You'll enjoy it.

    Pete

    And, oh.... I think the price is a bit high, but not a bad trade-off for having a chance to see it and the savings on shipping.
     
  6. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    The bad news: mamiya is out of the camera buisness soon like KM.
    The good news: there will be no shortage of items for these cameras.

    I think that backs, and other accessories will be available for some time to come, and service is just fine for them.
    Mamiya I think will take care of thier people and customers.....
    Anyway, you can also get a dig. back for the thing, and if you decide that the camera you are looking at is not the right one, the same thing is available as mentioned above for a relative song and dance...
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I love my sister wise chicks. :love:

    Thanks for the input! It's at the repair shop, we want an estimate for the prism, plus Brad wants new seals. The seller is going halves for the prism repair; he had no clue when he bought the system that it was faulty. (He likes the waist viewfinder and just tested the camera/lenses with that; I happen to prefer the prism and was the first person to try it).

    It *might* be a little much, but yeah, there will be no shipping costs and this thing is just immaculate. Leatherette on the body looks like new. Lenses perfect. Plus all the other extras and the flash.

    And yeah....I'm just smitten. :blushing: I didn't even want it when Brad said he was bringing it home to play with; I've been babbling about auto-focus. But I had no idea how easy this would be. I knew I was doomed after thirty minutes.

    Mine mine mine. :lol: I'm 90% there; only negative reports from the repair shop would make the deal to go south.
     
  8. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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    That's our girl! :hugs:
     
  9. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you're sold on it! Congrats ahead of time... We all know Auntie Terri, when she wants something really bad, she gets it no matter what!:wink:
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I am SO not showing this thread to my husband..... :lol:

    We'll wait to see what the shop says about it next week..... (with baited breath) :mrgreen:
     
  11. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Why a 1000s? I know it's cute and slightly "old" looking, for for $600 you could get a used 645 Pro TL outfit.
     
  12. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    More to the point is: why not? ;) Seriously, I had the chance to use it for a couple of days, a very nice "try it before you buy it" opportunity. If it were in less pristine shape, I wouldn't be interested. I appreciate that it's got some age. If it were coming with the 80mm 2.8 lens as opposed to the 1.9, I doubt I'd be as enthusiastic. I've not yet seen the 1.9 on ebay, and KEH lists their "Ex+" ones for $265. I'm also pleased with the extras that are coming with the package. The only remaining question mark for me is the prism viewfinder.

    Have you shot with the 1000S? Its simplicity is the best part, IMO. Acts with near the simplicity of a box camera, only much better built and with awesome glass. :lol: Believe me, I didn't expect it to win me over like it did.

    We'll see what happens when I hear back from the repair shop on that prism. :)
     

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