Mamiya C3 - what to look for?
The local auction sale has a Mamiya C3 with 80mm and 180mm lenses and a few bits and pieces for sale tomorrow. I might bid for it - it's in reasonable condition. I'm not familiar with Mamiya TLRs so are there any points I should particularly look out for with this camera? Just out of interest, can it do multiple exposures?
Yes, it can do multiple exposures. When you are behind the camera, on the right side above the winding crank is a control that allows the choice of single exposure or multiple exposure.
Be aware that any camera that has not been used for a long period of time may have a stuck or slow shutter. If so, do not stress it by forcing it; send it for a CLA.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
Originally Posted by RH Designs
I bought one of these on ebay a few months ago. I did a little bit of research before I committed myself. Launched in 1962. Interchangable lenses(as you know)also takes a 5 x 4 back(yeh,try and find one!) And yes, it is possible to do multiple exposures. Check the shutter speeds on both lenses. They are 1 sec to 500th sec + bulb. But my 1 sec exposure sounds more like two.
Apparently, the later and better lenses are chrome, as apposed to just being black. That I am affraid is where my knowledge ends, So, I will sit back and look and learn.
One thing I will say. I took it to the lakes last week, and i could not wind it on past the first frame. In the instructions it talks of a little routine you go through when loading film. If you do not follow this routine, the film does not wind on. I am yet to suss it out!
Originally Posted by Stoo Batchelor
Other way around. The chrome lenses are the older of the two versions. They can still be quite good, but the shutters in them are quite old, and can be difficult to get repaired, due to a shortage of available parts.
Thanks for the correction Matt, and there was me all chuffed that I got the latest lenses...Bummer!
Originally Posted by MattKing
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Well, as others said: try to sort-of check the shutter speeds on both lenses. And if it has not been used for a LONG time, check the bellows as well. Other than that, I can't think of anything that would go bad just from the passage of time.
Originally Posted by RH Designs
Good luck. It's a very nice camera!
-- A sinister little midget with a bucket and a mop / Where the blood goes down the drain --
I used a C3 for some years and really liked it. I had the chrome 105s, and they were great for portraits---not overwhelmingly sharp. I am pretty sure they took a single frame 2 1/4x3 1/4 back, not a 4x5.
The C3 requires manual shutter cocking. The automatic shutter cock thingy did not appear until the C33.
Thanks for all the responses. I'll have another look at it, if I can get it at a decent price it will be something to play with - I've never had a TLR. The lenses are black and the 180mm certainly seems to work OK. The kit has obviously seen a fair bit of use.
There's another lot comprising a Contax RTS with 50/1.7 and a Weston Master III but I think I'll leave that alone!
Bellows, state of the mirror (look through the lens throat as the screen is not intended for casual removal), front standard true to the back, back latches working, waistlevel finder opens and closes (unless there is something else on it), focusing rack moves evenly, the double exposure stop is functioning (a roll of old film or just backing paper helps here), the frame counter advances, the shutter release is smooth. Check that putting the camera in 'Unlock' releases the catch for the lens retaining wire (with the lens board fully retracted), and that the internal baffle comes up and is light tight.
On the lenses: shutter works reasonably at all speeds on X. I do not recommend testing M as it often binds. Glass is clear. The lens pair serial numbers are usually close numerically, but they are unlikely to be in sequence.
has more or less everything else I know about these things.
I feel, therefore I photograph.
I used a C3 for 20 years on weddings. This kind of work is pretty hard on cameras and it stood up to it very well. The only service issue was the film wind - had it repaired twice in 20 years. Winding a scrap roll of film through it should give you an idea. A very good camera if the price is right.
"I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.