Make a lowball offer to the seller. A basic clean/lube/adjust will run close to $200, and you obviously will need some parts. Do some research to find out how much a lens/shutter overhaul will cost, and subtract that from the price too. Same for the film magazine if it has one.
Unless the camera shows signs of a lot of wear, you probably can talk your way into a decent bargain. Once it's all spiffed up and tuned, it will last you for years.
I already had quotes for a rebuild anyway.
However you may be interested to know that in the UK, a reliable camera repairer/restorer (there are a few and I asked three I have used before for quotes) will charge in the region of £300-£400 (say $450-$600) to ensure that lens, body and back are in perfect order, assuming no major problems are found.
Wow ! That's a bit steep although these days, not totally out of line. For example check out David Odess's flat rates.
http://www.david-odess.com/ Also in the states, KEH.com. They warranty their used equipment and now I think it's six months. Could be wrong about that. But their bargain grade equipment is better than everyone elses "good to very good". IMO their prices are fair too.
The UK is a very expensive country. The repair costs I quote are from eminently trustworthy and well-known specialist repairers/restorers, but they are by no means the most expensive.
And yes Mark, I have cast a gloating eye many times over KEH's stocklists for all sorts of things, but unfortunately there isn't even a close equivalent in the UK, either for range of stock or - for most things, especially 35mm bodies - price.
Just for interest's sake, I had a quick look at KEH and picked the first three BGN grade items to make up a 500CM kit - 80/2.8, 500cm body with WLF, A12.
Together they come to a little over $750 / £500
Now add shipping + insurance -that's about $95 / £65
SubTotal so far: About $850 / £570
When it arrives at the UK border, there will be import duty and VAT payable. Together those will add about 25% - so we're up to roughly $1060 / £710
In the UK a decent (but perhaps needing a little work) 500CM kit can be had for ~£500
It's interesting that the price of the Hasselblad in the basket at KEH is roughly the same as the cost in the UK - I'm guessing Hasselblad was a less common brand in the US and thus the supply isn't as good, and so the supply/demand curves keep prices up a bit.
But even for all those lovely BGN Nikon F2s and whatnot - of which they seem to have bucketloads, shipping from KEH to the UK will never cost less than about $90 and then we have to add another 25% for import charges. Plus of course there's several thousand miles of water in between should anything go wrong ...
The seller, btw, has agreed to pay for a full service on the body, leaving me to cough only for lens and back to be checked over and tidied up if needed.
I should mention that you can actually haggle with KEH over price/shipping overseas if you call them. It depends on their current level of stock like the buckets full of F2s.
I never really understood this VAT stuff other than it was like an import/export duty tax. But I see your point. Between shipping and taxes it's a lot. The fact that the seller is willing to pay for full service on the body is certainly fair and if the lens is working well already and just requires a check, even better. Not much goes wrong with the backs other than perhaps a light trap here and there or maybe a gearing adjust for spacing. Yeah, I think if you like the way it handles, it's a very good deal.
I know you already have an appreciation for what a great piece of equipment it is. If you get this one, I'm sure you'll really enjoy it. They're truly great cameras.
And if you'd like, at some point I'd be glad to keep an eye open for Zeiss lenses for you. Just let me know. I might also be off loading some accessories of my own like a stove pipe viewfinder, couple of A-12 backs in good order, an older A-16 back to do 35mm slides with and I think an A-24 for 220 film.
Hasselblads were/are common and very popular here in the U.S. They were used by commercial, wedding, and industrial photographers. A lot of rich amateurs bought them as well. The really rich amateurs owned a Rollei SL66.
Mark, VAT is more like a sales tax. It's levied on most goods and services in the UK (and EU as a whole) so anything you buy over here will include an element of VAT in the price. UK VAT rate is 20% at the moment, although certain categories of goods are exempt (food for instance).
So if something is bought from somewhere where the goods were not originally subject to VAT, an assessment of the value of the goods is made and VAT levied at the prevailing rate. Items under £15 value aren't subject.
This also goes for services such as camera repairs - so if I sent a Hasselblad off to Mr Odess, for instance, I could expect to pay another 25% on top of his bill when my camera arrived back.
It can be a bit of a lottery. I've had plenty of stuff over £15 (but way under £100) come through OK from all over the world. So one could get lucky even with a costly item, but the potential extra cost has to be allowed for.
pgomena - Perhaps it's about the volume of cameras available? Presumably 35mm cameras sold in much much larger volumes than MF cameras.
Why not just shoot it and see what you get? You'd only be out the cost of a roll of film and the chemicals to develop it. Many people become enamored of these cameras at first, then sell them because of the noise, size and weight. You can go to flickr or other photo sites and get a good idea of what your lens is going to do, but to get a feel for the camera you need to shoot it. Myself, I decided it was just too big, heavy, and loud (see above). The negs were nice, but the 80 Planar I had wasn't as sharp as my Rolleiflex lenses, so away it went. These are good studio cameras in my mind, not something to tote around.
I've already handled enough of them, by the way, to know that I'll be happy with one, it's just a question of finding the right one at the right price.
As it happens, in shooting, I've found a significant problem with the lens mechanism that means I won't be keeping this one
Thanks, by the way, Mark for the generous offer; If I ever find one I'm satisfied with, I'll shoot you a PM if that's OK.