A friend of mine asked me to look at his mamiya C220 for him.
The shutter is in desperate need of a CLA, in fact the entire camera needs a good going over.
Ok, I cleaned the exterior and the lenses, and the thing is starting to look presentable, but the question remains, what's the best way of dealing with this shutter. The B setting works, and the rest of the speeds all appear to be the same, somewhere around 1/20 sec.
I do not know alot about this camera, so I went to the Net for info and found out that this particular model is the "bottom of the line" though it does have a 2.8 lens. And I must admit, after years of using a Rolleiflex, the bellows of the Mamiya, allowing shots as close as 35cm is intriguing.
Question: Is this camera worth the cost of a CLA and maybe even more? Or should my buddy be looking for a replacement lens or even camera?
What do you all think? I'm pretty sure there is no sentimental value attached to this camera.
Thanks for any and all suggestions.
Asking about worth is a tricky thing with old cameras.
To be honest, in many ways the old C series LENSES are worth more than the bodies! You can use the lenses on many bodies. Which is nice.
Overall the lenses are pretty cheap to get though. Doing a quick search on E-Bay the average price seemed to be about $75.00 per lens. Even for the 180mm. Not bad. But at that price should you get a "new" lens or fix the old one?
Fix the old one.
If the glass is clean and clear, and everything else seems to work, get a CLA on the old lens.
All of these lenses are OLD. Which means every time you buy one, you run the risk of getting one that is on it's last legs.
By having a CLA done by a reputable shop, you will run less of a risk of anything breaking while you are shooting. You need to get a CLA done anyway every year or so (depending on use) anyway. Drop a few bucks on a decent CLA and you should be good to go.
Then, if your friend likes the camera (I have two C3s...love them), he can always save up and drop $150.00 on a used body with lens and upgrade in quality while expanding.
Thanks Robert, makes sense.
BTW, I've never used a Mamiya 220 or 330 before. I have a 7 and love the mamiya lenses.
How would you rate the TLR lenses? Remember, I'm a Rolleiflex 2.8 Planar user as well as a new 7....
I just like the bellows and that close up ability without the need for close up attachments...
I'd rate them as very soft lenses. Comparing them to my Bronica MC lenses, I find them to be softer overall. They are sharp enough, but the colors seem to be a bit muted when compared to the MCs. Not that this is bad. These are GREAT portrait lenses, and very nice when you want to tone things down a bit. Honestly, the results seem similar to some of the LF lenses I have seen (which tend to be more "vintage").
The ability to get in close is great though (adjust for parallax though!) and there is nothing stopping you from taking a GREAT picture with theses lenses.
Thanks again Robert.
I just took some black and white headshots for some actors in my studio using my Mamiya 7 and FP4 film. The results are amazingly sharp which, in some cases, especially with women, can cause some problems. Not everyone want a "pore popping" headshot. The Mamiya TLR might just fit the bill in such cases.
OH NO!!! Not another Camera http://apug.org/forum/html/emoticons/laugh.gif
Give it a shot. You might also want to consider some of the softening filters on the market. I've had the same problem in the past myself.
The great thing about cameras like the Mamiya TLRs and other old cameras is that they can give you another "look" and be pretty cheap too. I use mine as my only 6x6. That way I have a format option as well as a lens option.
In fact outside of my N80 and Pronea 6i I don't have anything from the last two decades...hell, the last THREE decades that I use really.
Mamiya will service both the bodies and the lenses, and repair black lenses as long as parts are available. They are a little pricey of course, but how many manufacturers still support 30 year old cameras?
The price schedules are given on the right hand side.
Pricey is right. Over $300 to replace a shutter on a TLR...you can buy a whole new 220 or even 330 camera outfit for that kind of money.
Check out the local guys first. I'm sure they can do you much better price-wise. Plus you don't need a new shutter (probably). So you might fall into the $40-60 CLA category at the local shop.
Interesting that they still fix them though at the factory. I did not know that.
If you have or come across reasonably priced Mamiya C series gear that works, it's probaby a good buy and may last for years. But before fooling much with faulty gear, I'd invest in current equipment that's supported by the factory and local repairmen. If parts are needed for C cameras, you're likely out of luck unless there's another camera around to cannibalize. And some repairmen won't even accept C gear anymore because of the parts situation. However, various conditions of C bodies and lenses still reside in many used-equipment shops.