Is this a good deal on a M645 Pro?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Shootar401, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    I'm currently on a business trip and a camera shop here has a NIB Mamiya M645 pro with a 80mm ƒ/2.8, back and metered prism for $700. From what I was told it was a unit that was never sold, and has only 3 rolls of film through it. I've seen and handled it, and it looks absolutely pristine, has all the boxes, paperwork, etc.

    Looking to replace my Nikon F4 & 50mm lens that I take on trips with something with a large negative size, depending on everyones thoughts I just might get it.
     
  2. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

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    Personally I'd say about $400, although its being NIB may count for something. I have a Mamiya 645 Pro and absolutely love it, more so than my Bronica ETRSi. The Mamiya just feels right to me, and the 645 format is like having giant 35mm negatives. You might want to look the camera up on KEH and see how much they're going for there in excellent+ condition.
     
  3. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Sounds a bit pricey to be honest. Also, you might want to get the 80mm f/1.9 instead, it's a great lens.
     
  4. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Is this the old heavy metal Mamiya M645 or the newer Super/Pro/ProTL style body?
     
  5. dehk

    dehk Member

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    I'll sell you my 645PRO kit for that price, with a lot more stuff, but obviously, used.
     
  6. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    It's the newest body style.

    I priced the kit from adorama and KEH and all the equipment comes out to be the same, or slightly less in used condition.
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Maybe. Check out "completed auctions" on the big site for a Mamiya 645 Pro kit and you might find yours is 150-200 bucks more. It's likely a demo or lightly used--not NOS--if it's had film through it. Mamiya made the Pro from 1993-1998. Frankly, these aren't appreciating, so don't get too antsy. They're nice handling cameras. Any chance it comes with a drive grip?
     
  8. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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  9. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Your $ but I'd not go over 600--more like 500-550 unless you get another lens like a 150/4 or older 150/3.5. Sorry but 700 is just too much in 2012 for that kit. Ask for 3-5 pro pacs of fresh film if you pop for the asking price--seriously.
     
  10. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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  11. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Really? They greatly improve the iffy ergonomics of the Super/Pro/ProTL bodies. Without one, there's nothing to hang onto other than the lens.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Are you sure it is a "Pro" and not a "Pro-Tl"? The photo you linked to makes it hard to tell.

    FWIW, looking at KEH right now and using either LN- or EX+ items as comparisons, the total there comes to about $620.

    They don't have any "packages" right now with a Pro or Pro-Tl body.
     
  13. amsp

    amsp Member

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    This. A 645 without grip makes no sense, unless of course you plan on shooting horizontal all the time. Also, without grip it's quite overpriced. These cameras are plentiful on the used market and you can easily find a kit in great condition for less than 500$
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Personally, I prefer the left hand grip for mine, but I am left handed.

    I'll agree however that the cameras are easier to use hand-held if you add some sort of grip.
     
  15. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    It is a bit overpriced. But if I didn't already have two, and I was on a business trip and I really wanted one, I would probably pay that and be happy. Buying used gear, you never know what you're getting, and it's a bit disappointing to receive crap, even if you can return it.
     
  16. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    haha.. that makes 2 of us! I have a Pro TL and the winder but never use it... I find I can hold the camera fine without it and it's just a lot more weight to lug around to me.
     
  17. agfarapid

    agfarapid Member

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    $700 seems way too high for that gear. I've had the older "heavy metal" 645 for years and have been quite satisfied with it. However, wanted to try the 645 Super for the different handling and body style. I first purchased a 645 Super body--no lens, back or viewfinder for $75 from a good seller on ebay (TMR Productions--they sell a lot of Mamiya equipment). It arrived in clean, perfectly functioning condition. I then went to KEH to purchase a back and prism finder both in bargain condition for a combined price of $80 plus shipping. The body already came with the crank winder but I really wanted the motor--although heavy, it made the camera much easier to work with. Back again to KEH, found a drive in bargain condition (functioned perfectly, cosmetically a 9+ except for the leather covering being a bit weak in spots) for $55. Altogether, the whole kit --body, prism meter finder and back plus drive for about $210. Remember, I wasn't buying any lenses since I had several from my older M645 body. I wouldn't recommend you follow my path if you're in a rush since the complete kit took about 3 months to complete, however as a frame of reference, you should be able to obtain an excellent 645 Super with 80 2.8 lens for well under $350. Also, regarding the motor drive vs hand crank, these are my observations. For waist level viewing, the hand crank is actually better and faster than the motor. That's how I use my older 645. With the eye level prism in place, it's just plain inconvenient with the hand crank. Good luck with your search.
     
  18. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    A fouteen year old camera that's had three rolls of film through it. As new perhaps, maybe a demo, but not new.
    Does it have a new warrantee? Or is it still repairable from the distributor? If not, will the dealer give you the same
    warrantee as new?
    You may want to find the answers to these questions. Or not!
     
  19. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    I just stopped by the camera shop again after my meeting, and it includes all the boxes, paperwork, and all original packaging. Plus since the camera was never sold, the original warranty is valid.

    They also have a RZ67 50mm, non ULD for $300, NIB. Scoping that one out too.

    And to answer some questions, I don't like the grips, its a personal preference I shoot an RZ67 without the left hand grip with a prism and I find it works perfectly for me. The camera is small enough where I can handhold it either horizontally or vertically with no issues.

    Sure it should be nice to get the same setup used, and save some some $, but with this camera I know what I'm getting. I plan on using this to replace my Nikon F4 that I travel with, and retire that to the shelf.

    And who really cares that it's 14 years old? I don't
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2012
  20. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Sounds like you've made up your mind, buy it and enjoy.
     
  21. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    You don't? That means the camera was sitting there not used for 14 years. That means grease did not circulate around the gears for 14 years. That means no one took care of it for 14 years. It's one thing to have a lightly used 14 years. It is quite another to have one that has been sitting, not used at all for 14 years.

    If the seller would at least give you 30 day guarantee, it's great. But if the deal is, you walk out the door, it's yours, then I wouldn't go for it.

    It would cost you some money to have someone open it up, clean old oil and re-lube it. Remember, you are talking about an equipment that's plentiful in used market....

    I would also suggest calling Mamiya and find out for sure, warranty is still good. It has been out of production for many many years. Just because it hasn't been sold doesn't necessary guarantee the warranty will be honored by the manufacturer.
     
  22. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    This is what I was referring to as whether the warantee is still valid.
    As I recall(?) in the US a distributor/manufacturer is only required to support an item for seven years after it's discontinued

    If it's not, will the shop warrant it for the full term?
     
  23. Shootar401

    Shootar401 Member

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    Well I did it, bought the camera. Mamiya wouldn't honour the warranty because of the age of the equipment, but the shop did give me a warranty of equal length free of charge.

    Even better, they took in my beater F4s and lens I travel with currently in on trade, so I ended up paying less than half. I was looking to sell off that F4 and lens anyway so it was a win-win situation. Really who needs 3 F4's?
     
  24. amsp

    amsp Member

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    That's a good trade, congrats. Fact is, after you see those nice big negatives you will probably sell off the rest of your F4s :D