Would you buy a camera that you know hasnt been used for a long time?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BennyK, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. BennyK

    BennyK Member

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    Hi Guys , I'm still shopping for a Mamiya 645E.

    I have found one that I have been told hasn't been used for at least 4 years. This guy got sick and died and the son found the camera and is selling the estate.

    He does offer 7 day return.

    What do you think? It looks mint in box with all accessories manuals and papers etc.

    How bad would non-use affect this camera?
     
  2. amsp

    amsp Member

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    Why are you looking for the E model? It doesn't have interchangeable backs you know.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Assuming non-hostile storage conditions, I'd say buy it if it's what amounts to NOS. The only plausible issues would be a fungus-ridden lens or a crapped-up battery compartment if the cell ruptured. If it's busted, ship it back within the 7 day return window.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 29, 2012
  4. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    If the camera is in mint condition, it most likely was well cared for. BUT... do expect to do the basic routine CLA on it anyway. The seals are probably ready to be changed anyway n a going over will only di it good. So if the price reasonable n in your budget, it may be one of those lurker great deals I only dream of.


    .
     
  5. CGW

    CGW Restricted Access

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    Got a boxed NOS Mamiya RB67 Pro S body kit a 3 years back that I assume was an unused back-up that sat for 20+ years. DIY seal job on the RB adapter and back was all it needed. All for $120 and I'm still smilin'.
     
  6. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I bought a 1946 Leica III C with Elmar 5 cms from a family which has not used for past 60 years. It was working like new. It all depends on the quality of craftmanship of the camera.
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Better than a used and abused camera.

    The 645E is of relatively recent vintage, so it wouldn't be as bad as a 40+ year old camera that had sat unused for a long time.

    Does it have the standard hand crank, or the thumb operated "rapid" winder, or both?

    Check the camera and lens for signs of excessive dirt, visible migrating lubricant, excessive wear, mould or battery leakage/corrosion. If you don't see any of these problems, and the camera appears to function well with film in it, as long as you budget for a CLA, it should end up to be a good choice.

    For the purposes of comparison, KEH is currently offering an EX graded 645E with lens and standard hand crank for $354: http://www.keh.com/camera/Mamiya-645-Manual-Focus-Camera-Outfits/1/sku-MS019990628700?r=FE
     
  8. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Personally I would not unless it was a screaming good deal and the return policy was rock solid. I learned the hard way when I bought an SL66 kits from a guy in the UK (I'm in the US) who similarly to this situation was selling off his late father's kit he found in storage and was not sure how long since it was last used. He said it looked and seemed to work fine, and photos of the camera looked alright. When I got it the musty/moldy smell as I opening the shipping box was my first clue. The camera leather had mildew, the lens had spider-webs of fungus and while the shutter fired it needed some serious work and had pinholes in the curtains. Was not worth the $200 less I paid than if I bought such off a photographer or from a shop with a return policy. Jurgen Kushnik did a decent job on it before he went back to Germany from LA but in the end it was not worth all the trouble as I really go less for more...
     
  9. jscott

    jscott Member

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    4 years with a 7 day return sounds like a slam-dunk (if its really what you want).

    It's the 40+ year ones "as is" that are very risky.
     
  10. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    If the deal is good enough and 7 day return privilege will actually be honored, it is perhaps a worth-while risk to take.

    Just remember, you are talking about a camera that is plentiful in used market. If, at any point, you feel uneasy, don't. There are many more of those available.

    4 years in an air-conditioned room is nothing to worry about. 4 weeks in a humid basement or a really hot attic can be problematic. You are also dealing with someone who wasn't a direct owner of the piece. So any history you may get of the piece is merely an observation.
     
  11. amsp

    amsp Member

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    The Hasselblad 501cm I bought recently was made in 1998 and never used, works like a champ.
     
  12. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    If it is really inexpensivalbe go fo it.

    JEFF
     
  13. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Im always wary from buying from estate sales and such, most of the time the people selling it do not know what they are talking about. Other times I think about how attached people could have been to objects in their former lives, kinda creepy if it came with a ghost as well.
     
  14. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    I don't think that model uses the foam light seals, so not a problem.

    Jon
     
  15. BennyK

    BennyK Member

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    Thanks for all the replies and opinions greatly appreciate them.