Need Info Mamiya C220 TLR

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by William Levitt, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    A friend of mine asked me to look at his mamiya C220 for him.
    The shutter is in desperate need of a CLA, in fact the entire camera needs a good going over.
    Ok, I cleaned the exterior and the lenses, and the thing is starting to look presentable, but the question remains, what's the best way of dealing with this shutter. The B setting works, and the rest of the speeds all appear to be the same, somewhere around 1/20 sec.
    I do not know alot about this camera, so I went to the Net for info and found out that this particular model is the "bottom of the line" though it does have a 2.8 lens. And I must admit, after years of using a Rolleiflex, the bellows of the Mamiya, allowing shots as close as 35cm is intriguing.

    Question: Is this camera worth the cost of a CLA and maybe even more? Or should my buddy be looking for a replacement lens or even camera?

    What do you all think? I'm pretty sure there is no sentimental value attached to this camera.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions.
     
  2. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Asking about worth is a tricky thing with old cameras.

    To be honest, in many ways the old C series LENSES are worth more than the bodies! You can use the lenses on many bodies. Which is nice.

    Overall the lenses are pretty cheap to get though. Doing a quick search on E-Bay the average price seemed to be about $75.00 per lens. Even for the 180mm. Not bad. But at that price should you get a "new" lens or fix the old one?

    Fix the old one.

    If the glass is clean and clear, and everything else seems to work, get a CLA on the old lens.

    All of these lenses are OLD. Which means every time you buy one, you run the risk of getting one that is on it's last legs.

    By having a CLA done by a reputable shop, you will run less of a risk of anything breaking while you are shooting. You need to get a CLA done anyway every year or so (depending on use) anyway. Drop a few bucks on a decent CLA and you should be good to go.

    Then, if your friend likes the camera (I have two C3s...love them), he can always save up and drop $150.00 on a used body with lens and upgrade in quality while expanding.
     
  3. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    Thanks Robert, makes sense.

    BTW, I've never used a Mamiya 220 or 330 before. I have a 7 and love the mamiya lenses.
    How would you rate the TLR lenses? Remember, I'm a Rolleiflex 2.8 Planar user as well as a new 7....

    I just like the bellows and that close up ability without the need for close up attachments...
     
  4. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I'd rate them as very soft lenses. Comparing them to my Bronica MC lenses, I find them to be softer overall. They are sharp enough, but the colors seem to be a bit muted when compared to the MCs. Not that this is bad. These are GREAT portrait lenses, and very nice when you want to tone things down a bit. Honestly, the results seem similar to some of the LF lenses I have seen (which tend to be more "vintage&quot:wink:.

    The ability to get in close is great though (adjust for parallax though!) and there is nothing stopping you from taking a GREAT picture with theses lenses.
     
  5. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    Thanks again Robert.

    I just took some black and white headshots for some actors in my studio using my Mamiya 7 and FP4 film. The results are amazingly sharp which, in some cases, especially with women, can cause some problems. Not everyone want a "pore popping" headshot. The Mamiya TLR might just fit the bill in such cases.

    OH NO!!! Not another Camera [​IMG]
     
  6. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Give it a shot. You might also want to consider some of the softening filters on the market. I've had the same problem in the past myself.
    The great thing about cameras like the Mamiya TLRs and other old cameras is that they can give you another "look" and be pretty cheap too. I use mine as my only 6x6. That way I have a format option as well as a lens option.

    In fact outside of my N80 and Pronea 6i I don't have anything from the last two decades...hell, the last THREE decades that I use really.
     
  7. Steve Hamley

    Steve Hamley Member

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    Mamiya will service both the bodies and the lenses, and repair black lenses as long as parts are available. They are a little pricey of course, but how many manufacturers still support 30 year old cameras?

    http://www.mamiya.com/repair.asp?id=3&id2=107

    The price schedules are given on the right hand side.

    Thanks!

    Steve
     
  8. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    Thanks Steve!

    Pricey is right. Over $300 to replace a shutter on a TLR...you can buy a whole new 220 or even 330 camera outfit for that kind of money.
     
  9. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Check out the local guys first. I'm sure they can do you much better price-wise. Plus you don't need a new shutter (probably). So you might fall into the $40-60 CLA category at the local shop.

    Interesting that they still fix them though at the factory. I did not know that.
     
  10. Lemastre

    Lemastre Member

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    If you have or come across reasonably priced Mamiya C series gear that works, it's probaby a good buy and may last for years. But before fooling much with faulty gear, I'd invest in current equipment that's supported by the factory and local repairmen. If parts are needed for C cameras, you're likely out of luck unless there's another camera around to cannibalize. And some repairmen won't even accept C gear anymore because of the parts situation. However, various conditions of C bodies and lenses still reside in many used-equipment shops.
     
  11. jeff

    jeff Member

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    The C series TLR from Mamiya can be researched in the user forums at www.toyoview.com click on older mamiya cameras.I have a C330 that I enjoy using.Remember that verticals are out of the question with the 6x6 format.You can also find an instruction manual for the 330S(I believe) at www.propellerheads.com.....best wishes...
     
  12. fparnold

    fparnold Member

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    One thing to consider is whether it's a modern Black lens (Seiko shutter) or older Silver (Seikosha). You can get parts for the former, but not the latter. If it's a black lens, you should probably find a repairman, otherwise look for a replacement lens. The 80s are never that expensive, and you have the option of going slightly wider/narrower, depending on your shooting preferences.

    They're nice, tank-like cameras, and if you're careful, good for closeups as well.
     
  13. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    I just picked up a nice 105mm lens in a Seikosha-S shutter on Ebay. I'm going to fit this to the C220 and see what happens. I just hope I'm not too spoiled by my Rolleiflex 2.8F that it'll prevent me from enjoying this camera. I also hope this lens will work for portraits.

    BTW, this camera was owned by a friend of mine who asked me to look at it because it wasn't working properly. I told him the shutter was in need of repair, and he shruggeed and said, "well, you can have it then if you want...". (He's obviously not too into photography). I said, "are you sure?" response, "yeah, I have my digital cameras anyway..."

    Thank goodness for digital photography! [​IMG]
     
  14. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I'll second the thank goodness for digital photography. I got a sweet deal on a Yashica D ($20) over labor day weekend. People are practically giving the good stuff away these days!

    Brian