Buying a used Mamyia 7II tips

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by andrew_gardiner, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Hi I am considering buying a used Mamyia 7II with a 50ml lens (primarily due to the high cost of new). I am buying it from a reputable dealer but would like to hear if anyone has any particular things I should look out for as to the condition of the camera and lens. Is it only a matter of looking at its general outward appearance (dents,scratches etc) or there any other signs I should be wary of or investigate? What are the faults that could cause me trouble in a second hand Mamyia and lens. I understand calibration can be an issue with the rangefinder- can I determine this simply on inspection for example?
    Any advice or experience would be greatly appreciated.
  2. If the dealer is reputable he should take time with you too inspect the rangefinder (measure different distances 4 feet, 8 or 10 feet, 30 feet, whichever comply with the lens distance markings), focus, and check the distance reading on the lens. Take it outside (front door of store) with the dealer and focus on a very distant object. You should have infinity focus. Check that the RF images align (overlap) exactly or you could need an adjustment.
    Check the meter against another handheld or camera reflected light meter of about 20 to 30 degrees angle of acceptance and on various lit subjects. Listen to the shutter speeds. They should be consistently spaced in sound, regular sounding and consistent in progressiion aas determined by the appearance of the diaphragm when the back is open and you look through uncapped lens at f4 (or f4.5?) and change the speeds. The lower ones (longer times) are also electronically timed and are usually very accurate. Check smoothness of focussing and movement of all controls.
    Check the appearance of the glass at the B setting (with back open). Very important that there is no haze (unlikely), scratches or cleaning marks. Check the film gate and whether everything looks clean. The VF-RF should be perfectly clear. Check the shutter cocking, lever action and winding. If you can, shoot an E-6 film (transparency) and have the store process it or a one hour lab. Check on a light table the result for evenness of exposure, light leaks, sharpness of closely focussed subject matter, or anything that appears unusual.
    The camera is as good as others if well cared for. Lots of dings or serious marks could be a deal breaker. That is more important than frequency of repair data, unles you are a pro with a high rate of utilisation. The selling prices on completed eBay sales (not the asking or start prices) will give you some idea of what you might pay.
    Good luck and I hope you will stay a member of Photo.Net.
  3. @Arthur Plumpton
    Thank you very much for such a comprehensive answer. My only problem is I"m buying both the body and the lens from separate (reputable) dealers online, so will have to wait to get both together and test.
    Regards A

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