Is this a good deal for this Koni Rapid omega

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by JMC1969, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    I am completely unaware of the quality of this camera and I'm not sure it is worth the risk in my wife finding out I am buying yet another camera. But, I do not have a medium format other than TLR cameras. Though I love them it would be nice to have a rangefinder type with interchangeable backs and lenses.

    Thank You


    "Medium format camera and accesories. Koni rapid omega, 90 mm hexanon lens, 120 back, 220 back, sport grip, owners manual, and Gossen light meter. Leaf shutter syncs flash at all speeds. Ideal format 6x8 (proportional to 8x10) The same model I used in the military to document accidents and emergencies for its dependability. $100 obo."
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    For $100 with a light meter it's definitely worth buying, as long as it's fully working you'd have a bargain. You'd easily sell it for more later.

    Ian
     
  3. Venchka

    Venchka Member

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    And if you're wondering, the 90mm lens is tres sharp. The format is 6x7 not 6x8 as stated by the seller. Yep, $100 with 2 backs is a deal. 220 film in B&W is not easy to find. Lots of 220 color films around.
     
  4. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    As noted, $100 is a good price. The grip may be removable, but it is an integral part of the camera (i.e. really not an option). Some versions allowed you to change lenses in mid roll, others did not. If you do have the version that do, there should be 2 darkslides IIRC. One behind the lens and one on the film back.

    2 things to watch out for:

    It uses a Seikosha leaf shutter. In addition to the fact that these shutters do need a CLA every so often, parts - if needed - are not available and have to be scrounged from other shutters (the earlier Mamiya TLR lenses used the same shutter). So check out the shutter. As you may know, leaf shutters may stick (especially at slow speeds) if they haven't been used for a while, so exercise it a bit. I believe that if it's just slow, it needs a CLA. If if doesn't open, or if it stays open, parts might be needed. Not a hard and fast rule, but a guide.

    Also, over time the gears in film advance may wear, causes overlaping frames in the film. The pull/push advance can be operated too enthusiastically. You won't be able to tell if this is an issue until you do a film test. I don't know if this is realistically repairable.

    BTW, this guy seems to be the acknowledged expert in vintage Koni repairs: http://www.webercamera.com/

    It's worth the risk of your wife finding out.
     
  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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  6. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    There is only one small caveat in my mind: if this is the Koni Omega Rapid, it is the first model of the Koni Omegas, and it takes different backs from the later Koni Omegas and Rapid Omegas. It is harder to find the backs for the Koni Omega Rapid on eBay. But, if the camera is working and the two backs are enough for you, maybe you don't need any more backs.

    As with any older camera, depending on how it has been maintained, the light seals might need to be replaced and the backs might need to be serviced. The Koni Omega service guru is Greg Weber, and his web page is at http://www.webercamera.com/

    The 90mm lens is a Tessar formula lens and very sharp, particularly when stopped down. The other lenses are the 58mm, which is sometimes marked 60mm and takes a separate viewfinder which goes in the center accessory shoe, the 135mm and the 180mm. These are very reasonably priced on eBay, with the possible exception of the 135mm, which is more rare (depends on what you call reasonable). All the lenses are good and have been favorably compared to much more expensive lenses.

    The camera itself was made for professional use and is very rugged. There isn't much to go wrong, unless the rangefinder needs to be realigned.

    As I recall, the Koni Omega Rapid was made before the 135mm lens was produced, and therefore there is no marking in the viewfinder to indicate what you are getting with that lens, and the distance scale on the focusing knob doesn't include the distances for that lens.

    All in all, if everything is working, this sounds like a very good deal. If you decide that you like the handling of the camera and don't mind the weight (you'll probably get used to it quickly), you could always upgrade to one of the later models later on and sell this camera for what you paid for it.

    Advantages of the Koni Omega include: rugged construction, bright rangefinder, great lenses and fast film advance (which simultaneously cocks the shutter). It is a very fast camera to work with, hence the name Rapid.

    I'm a little biased, as a very happy Koni Omega user. It is my most preferred camera (I have a Koni Omega M). After you get used to 6x7, those 35mm negatives are going to seem tiny.

    Are you interested in macro? If so, I will tell you about the options, but I think that this post is already long enough.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I like my Koni Omegas, but one caution.

    If you think your wife won't notice the new camera, you are going to be disappointed.

    They are quite large.

    My favourite lens is the 58mm - it is very sharp, and very reasonable, but you need to make sure you can get the auxiliary viewfinder for it.

    Matt
     
  8. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Konis are ok the deal is good. The backs tend to get gummed up and can cause frame advance problems though so definetly buget in a CLA.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2009
  9. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I have one with 3 lenses and a couple of backs. Haven't used it in a while, but the lenses have a unique quality to them that I can't quite describe. They're very sharp, (once I got the hang of the non-reflex focusing!!!) but there's a muted smoothness to the images. Can't describe it any better than that. They are large though - so I'd tell the wife it's a replacement satellite dish !!
     
  10. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Thank for all the info. The seller will be sending me some pictures later tonight, but so far it seems to be in good working condition.

    This is his description:
    "The lens is in good shape, no fungus, no scratches, nogrime or
    oil. The shutter is clean and works great without testing
    equipment I cant tell you if the 500th of a second is precisely
    500th of a second but it sounds shorter than 250th and 125th, the
    slower speeds seem appropriate.
    The body has brassing where the dark slide goes in (just behind
    the lens) both the 120 back and the 220 back have dark slides for
    chnging them out mid roll. the 120 back is beat up a bit but teh
    220 back is pristine.
    The Rangefinder external glass is cracked on the frosted section
    (see front upper photo) it doesnt affect focusing or operation. Im
    not sure how to judge the brightness of the rangefinder. The split
    image is apparent when focusing but compared to a slr viewfinder
    its not as bright. In the USair Force we carried penlights for
    focusing in low light situations.
    Ill forward these fuzzy pics and if you want to see the others
    shoot me another email and ill get the nice pics from my home
    computer later tonight and send them to you.
    thnks for your interest"


    He did send a couple of blurry pics but all I can really tell is that the crack seems to be off in the corner and that it is a Omega Rapid M
     
  11. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    If the description's right, (and I've no reason to suppose otherwise) looks like a good deal.............now to deal with the missus!!!!!!
     
  12. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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  13. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    100$ is a killer deal. My dad works with a Rapid 100, and has the whole lineup of lenses. The 90 was definitely made for sharpness, and will stay sharp even when stopped down a lot before reaching diffraction.

    All the other lenses are good, and can be easily found on the used market at KEH or the bay. Their design follows the lines of classic Zeiss lenses (cf: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum65/57459-rapid-omega-lens-design-roundup.html for a chart), and compare seductively with Hasselblad lenses.

    Some Gossen light meters still go for about 100$ alone!
     
  14. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I once tested a Koni 180mm side by side with a Pentax 67 165mm knowing all the time the MC Pentax would of course be sharper. Not so. The Koni won that round. These must be languishing in the trough of least value. The image quality will be the worlds biggest bargain for a hundred bucks.
     
  15. Jon King

    Jon King Member

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    I have a Koni Omega. The reason I bought it was at the time it was the least expensive camera system when you bought a body, back, normal lens and wide angle lens. Even with the drop in prices of Mamiya RB gear, I think that is still true.

    As others have said, the lenses are amazing, and $100 is a steal. The operation is a bit different than many cameras and it did take me several rolls to get the hang of it, but it was worth it. If you decide the camera isn't for you, you should be able to get your money back in a sale, and then some.
     
  16. glaiben

    glaiben Member

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    I love the KO's - have had 3 of them at one point. Other caveats: because of the rapid nature of film advance/shutter cocking (and they were aimed at wedding shooters), some folks got heavy handed which can bend some of the teeth on the gearing mechanism. Would be nice to check with the seller if the spacing between film frames is equal.

    Also, the KO's have a front resting post just below the lens which is afixed to a flat piece of metal - I have never seen one where this flat peice wasn't bent to some degree; have never had a problem resulting from it though.

    The other thing to check is the shooting grip. There were 2 types - the Rapid M should have the anatomic style grip, which is much easier to hold than the old flatter version.

    The issue of the wife - not only will she notice, but other folks will want to know if it's a Hasselblad!! It is a VERY prominent appearing camera - I think it's because it's big and you're always bringing it to eye level. Attach the dedicated strobe holder, a Strobomatic 500 or an AscorLight and the accompanying battery back and you'll look ready for battle.
     
  17. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Well I think it has been pretty obivious that this will be a good deal and I will probably like the camera enough to take the verbal spousal abuse that may come along with it. However, I got the pictures yesterday, so I thought I would post them to make sure no one else was able to pick out something I have not seen.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    And a manual
     
  18. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    As older Koni's go, this one is barely broken in. :smile:

    The little red tab on the bottom of the 120 back is the dark slide (it pulls out of the storage slot on the back).

    I can't make out the model of the Gossen meter. If it's a Luna Pro, there may be battery availability/compatibility issues that can be resolved. Plenty of info online; do a search.
     
  19. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    You have to suffer for your art! We all do!!!

    Bob H
     
  20. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    So much the better. I believe that that camera takes the later and more common backs. So you would have less trouble getting another back for it, if you would like one. I like to keep two 120 and one 220 back loaded up at all times.
     
  21. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    The 180s sometimes go for under a hundred dollars on eBay. Probably the principle reason is the 12 foot minimum focusing distance. Great for distance shots, but a little less practical for people photography.
     
  22. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    I'm drooling over that Rapid Omega 220 back. :smile: It looks to be in very nice shape.
     
  23. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    Well, I bought it and received it over the weekend. It seems a little more worn than you could tell in the photos, but mostly just the 120 back. However, I was under the impression that it was ready to go. I emailed the seller because the rangefinder is a little out of wack. He said it had be quite sometime since he used it, but all was good when he put it down. Whatever, I'm still excited about it and the adjustments seems to be pretty easy to get to, but I am reluctant to start turning on it until I see some sort of break down on the camera.

    Does anyone have a location on a repair manual for this camera? (Omega Rapid M) Apparently the M came before the 100 and 200. I have a manual for the 100 and 200 but there is no mention of the M in it and it is a users manual. I would like to see an exploded drawing of sorts if possible.

    Thank You,
    Jody
     
  24. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Jody,

    Some years ago, I purchased a manual on E-Bay. I can't recall the seller or the location. There's very little difference between the M and the 200.

    Konical