Is this a good deal for this Koni Rapid omega
I am completely unaware of the quality of this camera and I'm not sure it is worth the risk in my wife finding out I am buying yet another camera. But, I do not have a medium format other than TLR cameras. Though I love them it would be nice to have a rangefinder type with interchangeable backs and lenses.
"Medium format camera and accesories. Koni rapid omega, 90 mm hexanon lens, 120 back, 220 back, sport grip, owners manual, and Gossen light meter. Leaf shutter syncs flash at all speeds. Ideal format 6x8 (proportional to 8x10) The same model I used in the military to document accidents and emergencies for its dependability. $100 obo."
For $100 with a light meter it's definitely worth buying, as long as it's fully working you'd have a bargain. You'd easily sell it for more later.
And if you're wondering, the 90mm lens is tres sharp. The format is 6x7 not 6x8 as stated by the seller. Yep, $100 with 2 backs is a deal. 220 film in B&W is not easy to find. Lots of 220 color films around.
As noted, $100 is a good price. The grip may be removable, but it is an integral part of the camera (i.e. really not an option). Some versions allowed you to change lenses in mid roll, others did not. If you do have the version that do, there should be 2 darkslides IIRC. One behind the lens and one on the film back.
2 things to watch out for:
It uses a Seikosha leaf shutter. In addition to the fact that these shutters do need a CLA every so often, parts - if needed - are not available and have to be scrounged from other shutters (the earlier Mamiya TLR lenses used the same shutter). So check out the shutter. As you may know, leaf shutters may stick (especially at slow speeds) if they haven't been used for a while, so exercise it a bit. I believe that if it's just slow, it needs a CLA. If if doesn't open, or if it stays open, parts might be needed. Not a hard and fast rule, but a guide.
Also, over time the gears in film advance may wear, causes overlaping frames in the film. The pull/push advance can be operated too enthusiastically. You won't be able to tell if this is an issue until you do a film test. I don't know if this is realistically repairable.
BTW, this guy seems to be the acknowledged expert in vintage Koni repairs: http://www.webercamera.com/
It's worth the risk of your wife finding out.
Absolutely the Wizard.
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There is only one small caveat in my mind: if this is the Koni Omega Rapid, it is the first model of the Koni Omegas, and it takes different backs from the later Koni Omegas and Rapid Omegas. It is harder to find the backs for the Koni Omega Rapid on eBay. But, if the camera is working and the two backs are enough for you, maybe you don't need any more backs.
As with any older camera, depending on how it has been maintained, the light seals might need to be replaced and the backs might need to be serviced. The Koni Omega service guru is Greg Weber, and his web page is at http://www.webercamera.com/
The 90mm lens is a Tessar formula lens and very sharp, particularly when stopped down. The other lenses are the 58mm, which is sometimes marked 60mm and takes a separate viewfinder which goes in the center accessory shoe, the 135mm and the 180mm. These are very reasonably priced on eBay, with the possible exception of the 135mm, which is more rare (depends on what you call reasonable). All the lenses are good and have been favorably compared to much more expensive lenses.
The camera itself was made for professional use and is very rugged. There isn't much to go wrong, unless the rangefinder needs to be realigned.
As I recall, the Koni Omega Rapid was made before the 135mm lens was produced, and therefore there is no marking in the viewfinder to indicate what you are getting with that lens, and the distance scale on the focusing knob doesn't include the distances for that lens.
All in all, if everything is working, this sounds like a very good deal. If you decide that you like the handling of the camera and don't mind the weight (you'll probably get used to it quickly), you could always upgrade to one of the later models later on and sell this camera for what you paid for it.
Advantages of the Koni Omega include: rugged construction, bright rangefinder, great lenses and fast film advance (which simultaneously cocks the shutter). It is a very fast camera to work with, hence the name Rapid.
I'm a little biased, as a very happy Koni Omega user. It is my most preferred camera (I have a Koni Omega M). After you get used to 6x7, those 35mm negatives are going to seem tiny.
Are you interested in macro? If so, I will tell you about the options, but I think that this post is already long enough.
I like my Koni Omegas, but one caution.
If you think your wife won't notice the new camera, you are going to be disappointed.
They are quite large.
My favourite lens is the 58mm - it is very sharp, and very reasonable, but you need to make sure you can get the auxiliary viewfinder for it.
Konis are ok the deal is good. The backs tend to get gummed up and can cause frame advance problems though so definetly buget in a CLA.
Last edited by domaz; 02-25-2009 at 02:05 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I have one with 3 lenses and a couple of backs. Haven't used it in a while, but the lenses have a unique quality to them that I can't quite describe. They're very sharp, (once I got the hang of the non-reflex focusing!!!) but there's a muted smoothness to the images. Can't describe it any better than that. They are large though - so I'd tell the wife it's a replacement satellite dish !!
"Why is there always a better way?"
Thank for all the info. The seller will be sending me some pictures later tonight, but so far it seems to be in good working condition.
This is his description:
"The lens is in good shape, no fungus, no scratches, nogrime or
oil. The shutter is clean and works great without testing
equipment I cant tell you if the 500th of a second is precisely
500th of a second but it sounds shorter than 250th and 125th, the
slower speeds seem appropriate.
The body has brassing where the dark slide goes in (just behind
the lens) both the 120 back and the 220 back have dark slides for
chnging them out mid roll. the 120 back is beat up a bit but teh
220 back is pristine.
The Rangefinder external glass is cracked on the frosted section
(see front upper photo) it doesnt affect focusing or operation. Im
not sure how to judge the brightness of the rangefinder. The split
image is apparent when focusing but compared to a slr viewfinder
its not as bright. In the USair Force we carried penlights for
focusing in low light situations.
Ill forward these fuzzy pics and if you want to see the others
shoot me another email and ill get the nice pics from my home
computer later tonight and send them to you.
thnks for your interest"
He did send a couple of blurry pics but all I can really tell is that the crack seems to be off in the corner and that it is a Omega Rapid M