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Thread: Kowa Six

  1. #11
    outwest's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that, Bruce, but, it has been over 40 years since they were first marketed. Do you have any actual experience with them? I started with a 6 about 25 years ago, then a 6MM, and for more than the last 15 years, a Super 66 with 55, 85, 150, and 250 lenses and various accessories. I have often traveled with the Kowa in preference to my Hasselblad because it is easier to shoot from the hand and the lenses are superb. The lenses and accessories alone in Christopher's deal are worth $550.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by outwest View Post
    Sorry to hear that, Bruce, but, it has been over 40 years since they were first marketed. Do you have any actual experience with them? I started with a 6 about 25 years ago, then a 6MM, and for more than the last 15 years, a Super 66 with 55, 85, 150, and 250 lenses and various accessories. I have often traveled with the Kowa in preference to my Hasselblad because it is easier to shoot from the hand and the lenses are superb. The lenses and accessories alone in Christopher's deal are worth $550.
    I had experience with the 35mm equipment as I was doing camera repair in the 70's. Otherwise as I said, "IMHO". My advice is worth everything you paid for.
    As far as buying it to resell, that's another story, and you're right on that.
    Bruce

    Moma don't take my Kodachrome away!
    Oops, Kodak just did!
    For all practical purposes, they've taken Kodak away.


    BruceCSdunekPhotography.zenfolio.com

  3. #13

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    I have a Kowa Six with 55, 85 and 150 lenses and absolutely love it. It got the set for almost 400$ and the camera already had some dents and scratches, so 550 for a decent camera with all the accessories seems more than fair to me.
    It is a quirky camera, it's something to get used to and it's everything but small and light... but the mechanical quality is quite good (not HaBla or Leica quality, but probably good for a few more decades) and the lenses are all superb. I especially love the 55mm/3,5. Only the loading of film is a little difficult and slow, but since I don't really need to be fast with this kind of camera, it's ok. If there was a complete Hasselblad set for that price, I'd probably get that, but with the Kowa you really get way more than you pay for. There are too many people who don't know it or never used it, that's why it's one of the cheapest (working) 6x6 SLRs you can get.

  4. #14

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    I thought I had to move up to a Hassy system; so sold my Super 66 and lens (including a 40mm). I don't print above 11X14; no one has been able to pick the Hassy photos from the Kowa shots.

    Are the Kowa bodies as robust as Hasselblads, no. But, I had my body serviced by Ross Yerkes before ever using it and it never gave me even a single problem. I think the Kowa lens are just as robust as the Hassy stuff I use now.

    I don't know if this is a good price or not, I haven't looked at Kowa pricing in years.

    I wouldn't have sold my Kowa gear if I had had a chance to use the Hassy outfit for a month before committing.

    Mike

  5. #15
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    My two working Kowa SIX bodies, and about five lenses (two sets of the 85 and 150, plus a 250), with two grips, cords, a bunch of filters, and a really sturdy box ran me $200.
    I'm not usually one who runs across great deals, but this was one of 'em. The seller tells me that one of the bodies has a minor light leak, which only seems to happen in bright sunlight, but that he just kept a roll of electrical tape handy and kept on truckin'. They seem pretty darned stout to me, save for the bail on the back release, and the crank lever, which I don't use anyway.

    I like the setup, but I am aware of the age issues... more about the lack of repair shops nearby... Sure I'd swap it for something that circumvents that issue, but they are kinda fun anyway.

  6. #16
    nsurit's Avatar
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    My 2 cents worth. If you think you would use it, make him an offer at a number you feel like you could get out with your skin if it didn't work out for you. There is not a huge market for old film cameras and chances are this guy is not using it and wouldn't know where or how to get rid of it. You were not out looking for an old medium format camera. Were it me, I'd probably offer somewhere in the $350 t0 $400 range. If you decide not to use it and sell it, you are going to have a few hours of your time tied up in selling it, so I would assume that when making my offer. I do buy and sell a fair amount of gear . . . I also keep and use a bunch of it. Bill Barber

  7. #17
    CGW
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    It's a relic. No parts+very little service=headaches. Couldn't cheap enough unless I was criticaly short of doorstops and paperweights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    It's a relic. No parts+very little service=headaches. Couldn't cheap enough unless I was criticaly short of doorstops and paperweights.
    ?? I like relics, that's one reason I shoot film. I have a Six and a couple of Super 66, a bunch of lenses. They can make fine pictures and I very much like the way they feel and handle. The Six is particularly small, and the side handgrip makes it very easy to use. I don't think there is anything inherently poor about them. I suppose it's like anything, some people like 'em, some don't. When I have needed service or repair, Ross Yerkes has taken care of things with no delays. In general the 55, 150 and 250 go for about $150-200 ea on the 'bay, the Six body with 80mm about $200. The teleconverter and tubes are worth some money as they are a little more rare. I have had to have several of the leaf shutters in the lenses serviced- not unusual for a something 40 yrs ol-, this runs about $125 per lens.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    It's a relic. No parts+very little service=headaches. Couldn't cheap enough unless I was criticaly short of doorstops and paperweights.
    Perhaps, but many would say the same about nearly any film camera.

  10. #20
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by spacer View Post
    Perhaps, but many would say the same about nearly any film camera.
    It's a matter of being realistic. Considering the Kowa didn't sell particularly well relative to other system 6x6 SLRs and vanished from the market years ago, it's a poor candidate for a working system. Accessible repair/replacement options in the event of a breakdown are what influence my purchases and something like the Kowa just doesn't cut it.

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