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Thread: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

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    Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    I have the opportunity to pickup a dm33, mamiya 645df and 80mm LS lens for what I think is the low price of 6.5k usd. I was ready to jump on this until I read about problems with shutters jamming and the like. I used to shoot a hasty 500cm and got pretty handy unjamming those lenses with a flathead screwdriver but wanted to get some feedback on this. To complicate matters the kit was a former rental so I'm even more wary of it...

    I'm mostly attracted to mf for the possibility of the 1600th sync speeds, and possibly picking up a tech cam in the future.

    I started photography almost 10 years ago now on a Nikon f2, then switching to a hassy and later a sinar p2 and then a arca f metric. Earlier this year I sold off everything for a canon 5d2 with some nice lenses (24mm ts-e II, 85 L II)... I was/am attracted to a d800 setup for the great DR but less than satisfied with the nikon 24mm pc-e so am exploring other options.

    I'm almost thinking of getting something like a gigapan pro and shooting not panos but using it to shoot the compositions i would normally do with a shift lens with either the mfdb or d800 setup, so that's how I plan replacing the ts-e. normally I would never use software corrected perspective tools because of the loss of resotion, but I feel this could be a nonissue stitching together 12/etc shots from either the dm33 or d800.

    I should mention I just finished an architecture degree, something I got into through my photography, but I'm now that I work with buildings I also enjoy shooting humans more, hence the odd pairing of wanting high sync speeds with shifts.

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    just a few tips before the zealots take over:
    1. thats a GREAT price for the dm33 kit, if you want MF this is it
    2. rental also means its tried and tested and works, provided its not in bad shape
    3. can you test both cameras to see how you like them? in the end thats what matters
    4. (possibly most important) dont believe everything you read on the internet

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    I just want to know where the heck you guys are finding these deals? That's in the too good to be true pricing territory.....

    If you don't buy it I will

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    In re: to shutter jamming, I'm sure it's possible but haven't heard any complaints of it with these lenses. But if it did there really isn't much you could do but send it off as they are electronically controlled unlike the Hass V lenses that are mechanical. Also for the focal plane shutter in the body, it's a modular unit that's easily replaceable by dealers so it doesn't have to be sent back to the manufacturer which is really nice.

    That is one heck of a deal considering that most dealers would want near that much for just a new DF and 80LS lens alone. A low usage AptusII 33 back alone from a dealer would be around $8k. Make sure you thoroughly check it out to find out why it's priced so low and if it's in good shape, jump on it. (being a rental, they're probably not concerned with the price as it's probably been payed for many times over).

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Regarding the price. Please make sure to contact your local dealer with the serial to check its repair history and make sure it's not registered as stolen.

    As to "probably not concerned about the price as its been paid for many times over" - I don't know any business that would sell an asset purposely under market rate on the justification of previously generated income. If you owned a car as a delivery guy for 20 years would you sell it for drastically less than Kelly Blue Book value because it had provided your living?? Maybe to a friend or family member or charity but that isn't the situation here.

    Not to be a biz kill...
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Also I'm guessing the lockup references you're reading are referring to frequent lookups in the initial/early firmware for the DF body.

    LS lens failures and lockups (with recent firmware an good quality batteries) are very rare.
    Doug Peterson , Digital Transitions | Email
    Dealer for: Phase One, Mamiya Leaf, Arca-Swiss, Cambo, Eizo, Profoto
    Office: 877.367.8537. Cell: 740.707.2183

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Our DF's mirror died after 50K actuations, I wouldn't touch a rental, i.e. heavy usage, with a barge pole. Even if it comes with warranty, ours had to go to Denmark for repair and has been there for over a month now...
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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    I would not buy a rental for any price. No one gives a crap when renting. Like buying a rental car it could be beat to death. Demo yes but not a rental.

    When you buy a setup like this think value of the total cost does it equal the back value. The value will always be in the back. For resale reasons think of the extras as a quick sale at a cheap price to replace or unload. If a back has a value of 8k from a dealer and your paying 8k for the back, body and lens than its a good deal. If its 12k than its not a good deal. The extras are lose leaders remember that.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Regarding the price. Please make sure to contact your local dealer with the serial to check its repair history and make sure it's not registered as stolen.

    As to "probably not concerned about the price as its been paid for many times over" - I don't know any business that would sell an asset purposely under market rate on the justification of previously generated income. If you owned a car as a delivery guy for 20 years would you sell it for drastically less than Kelly Blue Book value because it had provided your living?? Maybe to a friend or family member or charity but that isn't the situation here.

    Not to be a biz kill...
    Doug's absolutely right when taking the example to the extreme nor was I as clear as I could've been.

    The cost of the equipment has already probably already been paid for a few times over (hopefully). But absolutely they aren't going to give it away either, but I would expect that they wouldn't be trying to ask top shelf white glove CI prices either especially knowing it's probably been heavily used/abused as a rental (assuming they aren't totally unscrupulous)

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I would not buy a rental for any price. No one gives a crap when renting. Like buying a rental car it could be beat to death. Demo yes but not a rental.
    ....
    Can you explain what you mean by "beat to death"? With a car you can put cheap gas in it, rev the engine and all kinds of things that could affect negatively the car. What can you do to the back? If you drop it, you can see the damage on the outside or will not function properly if any damage is inside.

    Some people like to buy new cars and wouldn't touch a used one. Some others don't care. It doesn't mean a used car is bad. Just like a rental back doesn't necessarily means it's bad. Most likely will have more actuations compared with a personal used one.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Oh lets just start with the body there is no counter for how many times that shutter ran the course of its life, it could be 200 k and you would never know, same with the lens. How many images where shot with that lens or body. Its been on maybe lets say 50 different backs so no way of getting a use count on it, how old is it really is another question. There are no receipts to tell you that. That lens could have been on a hundred different bodies again no way to get its age and use. Again body and back are a huge risk buying from a rental house , no info to really confirm age, use and repairs. The back has a slightly better chance but again you have no idea of the history on repairs , firmware issues, sensor problems and stuff like this than again you have no idea where it has been . Has it been in the ocean , the desert, in high moisture areas where fungus can seep in. Your money folks but I would not touch a rental with a 20 foot poll. The bottom line problem you may save 2k from a dealer from a demo unit with a warranty still on it and a rental you may save 2k but maybe looking at a extremely short life on it and repairs that could run into the thousands. Talk about risk and reward, there is no benefit here. It could just blow up right in front of a client. Personally I would NEVER EVER buy a rental of anything. I rented a lot of gear over my career and I treat gear very well but I know many do not.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    When you buy a setup like this think value of the total cost does it equal the back value. The value will always be in the back. For resale reasons think of the extras as a quick sale at a cheap price to replace or unload. If a back has a value of 8k from a dealer and your paying 8k for the back, body and lens than its a good deal. If its 12k than its not a good deal. The extras are lose leaders remember that.
    This may be the best single piece of advice I have picked up on this forum. Thanks Guy!

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Last year around this time I bought a rental DF / P30+ kit from Calumet. No issues and eventually passed it along to a friend who used it for art repro. He didn't experience any issues either. It's all luck of the draw I guess. My suggestion just would be to have an inspection period so you can make sure everything is working as it should. Something like 14 days would be enough assuming this is coming from a retailer of some sort. Good luck with your decision.

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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    Just to give an update, the retailer in question is not a major rental house, just something they do on the side. They had 1 MF digital kit (this one) and they recently upgraded to a new one so if they say 20k shutter actuation I believe that is the amount of wear and tear on the entire system.

    Having said that I am still undecided, luckily they happen to be coming up to a local library to demo the kit and I will get to see it in person.

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Used dm33 kit vs "that camera"

    The good news is that it's a MF buyer's market these days. If you are not in a hurry there are good deals on great condition equipment out there.

    You can secretly thank Mr Nikon and his pals for the waves of shock & awe through the amateur MF community at least.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 11th October 2012 at 18:22.
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