What issues could arise if a camera has been sitting untouched for 9 years?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by J Rollinger, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Im in negotiations with a seller about a Mamiya 7ii that is brand new but has been sitting untouched for 9 years. According to the serial number the camera was manufactured in 2002. The camera has never seen a roll of film in its life but im concerned about what to expect. Could the shutter and apt be dried up and need a cla?
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Has a battery been left in the camera? Check for corrosion.
     
  3. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Ditto on the battery check. I'd budget for a checkover/clean lube and check...there might be no issues or there could be issues. Much depends on how and where it was stored.
     
  4. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Matt... according to the seller there has never been a battery installed.
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    IMHO, idleness is the absolute worst thing you can inflict on a piece of quality machinery. Any piece of equiptment will sieze up with disuse. Just let an auto engine sit without running for a few years and then crank it over--usually the rings are stuck to the cylander walls and torn to shreds. Rubber dryrots, lubricants dry up, and the list goes on. Bellows left folded in one position could crack on first use. Electronics could be dead. I recently purchased a flash, brand new un-opened in box. It went up in smoke first time I switched it on.

    In other words, I don't think it is worth half price. But that is just one mans opinion.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Nine years isn't a particularly long time, when it comes to cameras.

    My concern would be that if I was considering it, I would be tempted to test it myself, whereas it would probably be more prudent to have it first looked at by an experienced camera repair technician.

    I'd be willing to bet that there are still a significant number of unused cameras that have been sitting in camera store storage areas since 2002.
     
  7. domaz

    domaz Member

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    A Mamiya 7ii probably has pretty modern lubricants. I doubt you will have any problems with lubricants drying up. I wouldn't worry about it too much- the less use the camera had the better.
     
  8. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    HUH? cameras like anything else need to stored properly. If it were stored in a damp cellar or a hot attic for 9yrs I would have a problem with that. Fine cigars or even a fine wine need to stored properly the same is true with camera if they are going to sit idle for an extended period of time.

    The camera needs to be checked out by a tech or a very knowledgeable photographer.
     
  9. trexx

    trexx Member

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    The shutter and aperture are in the lens. Does it have one with the kit? You will want at some point to add lenses, so even if the lens needs a cla they are easy to find. The shutters are electronic and likely to be OK.
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Agree. Silicone-based lubricants won't be gummy or dry after a decade. The penchant for pre-emptive CLAs without ever running a roll thru a NOS 2002-vintage camera is a bit of an urban legend. Maybe on a 70s Minolta but on a new Mamiya 7 II? Metering glitches or lens shutter abnormailities are possible but unlikely issues.
     
  11. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    A few months ago, I was given a Ricoh KR-10x which we had at work. It was bought to use on our microscope at least 15 years ago (possibly 20) but was never used as we bought a dedicated Olympus system instead.

    The Ricoh had never had a roll of film put through it or a cell installed. It now works perfectly.

    I'm sure there are many cameras like this which will still work properly.... but I'm equally sure that there are many similarly treated which do not work and will require some servicing.

    The only way to be sure is to try it out.


    Steve.
     
  12. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    I bought an F3 recently, it has sat for about a decade in a drawer, works like a brand new camera, and looks like it too. :smile:
     
  13. dorigatti

    dorigatti Member

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    My Hasselblad 500CM sat from 1991, other bodies, 503CXi and 503CW since 1994. Many lenses, 40 FLE, 50 FLE, 80, 120 Makro, 150, 180 and 250 also sat on the shelf for +- 8 years in dry temperate conditions. No problems whatsoever.
     
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    how about chatting with a service tech from mamiya
    or a repair guy you trust, and ask them ... then
    find out worst case scenario what it would cost to fix ...
    and deduct the price of a full overhaul from the asking price ...
     
  15. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    THings to expect form a camera stored for 9 years...
    Rotten seals, leaving gook to seap into vital places
    gummed up lube causing camera not to function
    battery leakage (if cama has one)
    fungus n mould
    insect infestation
    water damage
    rusted springs and internal parts
    lens separation if left in a hot area
    mirror n beam splitter silver deteriorated
    prism silver deterioration n separation

    There is also the reason a camaa was left unused that long...
    it was broken to begin with.

    And of course there are the lucky few.. nothing wrong with it at all since it was a well maintained camera and properly stored.

    .
     
  16. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    It's not so much important the time elapsed but possibly the storage conditions: heat, humidity, dust, and who knows, vibrations.

    If you can inspect the camera before purchase, check fungus on lens, dust, clean viewfinder, working rangefinder if the camera has got one, make some shots without film, check if the shutter noise has something anomalous, check battery contacts, put battery, etc.

    If you cannot inspect the camera before purchase, look for seller attitude. If he can describe the camera in detail, if he is ready to show it to you personally (regardless of whether you really have the intention to go and see it), if he's ready to let you take a roll with it, and is prepared to take it back in case of problems, you might probably trust him.

    If he says he doesn't know anything about camera, he has no idea about its state, he gives no guarantee, then I'd rather make a very low offer (means less than $50) because you have to factor in the price of some maintenance for sure. Don't be lured by good-looking aspect in any case. Test the seller.

    Sometimes the seller really doesn't know about cameras, he knows the camera doesn't work, dishonestly plays the inexpert guy, and actually ignores that the problem can be solved with $40 or so. Surprises are often not that expensive to repair. And if the camera is not repairable, you have plenty of spare pieces in almost new condition. You can also sell it as camera for parts and recover your expense.
     
  17. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    Some thoughts from a Mamiya 7II owner:

    The shutter is in the lens and is electronically/magnetically controlled. The curtain is a simple geared mechanism, and so is the winder.

    With that in mind, I wouldn't be terribly concerned. To put things in perspective, my camera was built in 2001 and hadn't been actuated in literally a decade until the owner decided to sell it to me. I put on a lens, threw in a new battery, some film and haven't had a single issue. It's a surprisingly simple camera...its the lenses that are so extraordinary.


    --oh and another thought on that: my old Mamiya Press camera was in storage for 30 odd years and after going through the motions on the lens and body a few times, everything came back to life quite easily. I think we sometimes underestimate the robustness of some of our equipment.
     
  18. J Rollinger

    J Rollinger Member

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    Im geting a bit worried about the deal now because the seller avoids me when i ask him for his phone number, he will meet me half way in my city to sell it to me but avoids me when i ask him for his number. To be on the safe side i will pass on the deal. Thanks for all the advice, i appreciate it!
     
  19. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    Looks like you ducked an axe murederer.
     
  20. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Well some say that virginity is regained after a long enough period of celibacy...
     
  21. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

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    One who knows how to properly bait photographers.
     
  22. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    On the sife side get a CLA.

    Jeff