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07-10-2010, 10:09 PM   #1
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Found Gold in a Pawnshop Pentax 645 and a Surprise

Well I have had my eye on a Pentax 645 at my local pawnshop here in Las Vegas. I have yet to find a smoking deal on anything what I consider to be of any value. I always find the 14mp point and shoots, junk 35mm copy lenses, and the $3500 canon xl1 mini dv cameras, ect..

I always seem to just miss something or it is always over priced IMO. One day I walked in and saw the 645 on the shelf, Being a Huge Takumar fan, I had to have my hands on it. I asked to have the gl;ass case opened, and they did. It was listed for $799. (WOW) and they had just put it out that day. I really didn't know much about it. I could turn it on, I could take the lens off, Everything looked great. I took note of the lens, the body numbers and headed home for some research.

I was in for a roller coaster of a ride. The lens on it was a 35mm 3.5 and these are expensive when I looked around and this one was mint. The price was way out of line IMO but hey it's their camera sell it for what you want. Weeks go by an I keep popping in for a visit and see the price keeps coming down. First time I saw it was April 13, 2010 and on June 30, 2009 it was marked at 349.99. I had to have it. I didnt have enough cash so I opted for layaway and put $40 down on the camera. I was happy about my decision and shoved the recipt in my pocket and went on my way.


When I got home I was looking over the receipt and saw something, something that changed everything. The camera was listed as having 3 lenses. Look at the receipt , it lists all of the serial numbers. I got on the phone immediately to find about the other lenses. I spoke to the boy who sold it to me, he said there was no other lenses he could find. I asked him to keep an eyeout and I would take care of him if he could find them. I also asked him to kind of keep it down low f he found them, as the manager may try some kind of funny business.

A week goes by and I make a payment, when I walk in the door I was greeted by the manager with these words, " Yeah there is only one lens for that camera." The boy didn't keep his mouth shut at all, but I cant fault him. He is being a good employee and the manager has to be able to trust him, so I held no grudge. The kid loves when I come in. He asks a million questions on Photog gear.He loves it!
The manager goes on to say he split those lenses up and sold them off to make extra money, he asks me could I blame him. Something didn't smell right, why would anyone buying 645 lenses leave the 35mm. I was truly puzzled and could not stop wondering what really happed to the other lenses.

Fast forward to today, I go in to pay off and pick up my 645. The manager and kid were gone, there was another young man there, I had seen him before but not done business with him. He asks for my ID, I place the money ($145) on the counter and walk over to the glass case. The clerk goes in the back to get my camera and in walks the first kid, he must of been on lunch, he didn't say a word.
When the clerk comes up stairs with my camera he asks the magic question," Did this camera come with a case?" this is when the first young man says, " I am sure I can find something in the back, he is a good customer let me go look." In less than 5 mins here he comes with a Huge smile on his face, he says to me, " You are not going to believe this!" He hands me a large brown case



He set it on a counter and unzips it, It was like some sort rays of light from heaven shot out of the case and I saw something like this. (minus the camera)

There was 3 lens cases, 2 lenses, a second 120 back, a manual and the answer to the mystery of where the heck did the lenses go that were listed on the receipt.

Here are some shots of the gear I paid a total of $383.35 for. I was so happy I almost kissed the boy. Instead I gave him a Hundo and made his day very happy!






The rest can bee seen here

I have to learn howto be a real photographer now. I will be asking all sorts of questions in the near future. I hope all of you find some great surprise like this someday. It is an amazing feeling.

07-10-2010, 10:16 PM   #2
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Woah, now that is a deal....
Have you check that all the lenses and camera were real, I heard that in Vegas a lot was fake

Cheers and have a lot of fun.
07-10-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
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Pawn shops buys

Reminds me of my first P645, which I also bought at a pawn shop. The owner and I were looking at the camera and we could not get the shutter to fire. I was bemoaning the cost of sending the body to Pentax for a repair and asked if he could knock this cost off--about $200 at that time. I paid $250 for my body plus 75mm lens.

Yours is much better of a deal.

Warren
07-10-2010, 11:20 PM   #4
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Congrats - what a bargain! Perhaps the manager had stashed the bag and the other lenses aside to sell at a later time after the camera and the 35mm lens. In that case he'll probably strangle the kids at the counter, but you have the receipt with all three lenses on it, so he can't really demand those back.

I'd love to buy cheap 645 lenses also, not for film use but to be used one day with a 645D.

07-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #5
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OP, I hate you. Why don't things like this ever happen to me?
07-11-2010, 12:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
OP, I hate you. Why don't things like this ever happen to me?
I swear this is the first time ever that anything like this has ever happed to me.

Now to the camera, I think everything works correctly, I loaded the grip with 6 fresh AA's, The LCD screen came on. The shutter took a picture in C and S, there is a LED display bottom right of view finder.

However there may be a problem. For one the On/Off switch does not seem to turn off the LCD display when in the off position, So it may be a bad switch. Other than that it took pictures 15 I think, that is what the ex number is and then it stopped. The manual says 16 exp for 120 but I may of done something wrong.

Lastly I have never shot film like this, when at the end of the roll how do I rewind the film? There is instructions on how to do a manual rewind but nothing on how to use the cameras drive motor to rewind the film.

Lastly there is Zero videos on how to use a 645 on Youtube. (I saw one in Spanish)

I may send this camera off for service if possible, does Pentax still service these cameras. I want to make sure everything is right. I just dont know. The LCD staying on when the grip switch is in the off position does concern me. I took the battery holder out for now. Lastly i need to find a replacement battery for the camera memory. Who knows when it was replaced.


The light meter is working. I see the LED display changing as I turn the aperture ring. It also seems to work in Auto mode I a recompose I get various readings based on if I point at a dark or light area, all consistent to what I would expect in a Dslr.

So a few things to learn yet, I cant wait to take my first roll. Can you say Medium format strobist all in the same sentence? LOL the x-sync is 1/60 flash duration shouldn't bean issue, however getting stuff to not be blurry and sync isn't going to happen. So hold still everyone and smile! Pop
07-11-2010, 07:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by akfreak Quote
However there may be a problem. For one the On/Off switch does not seem to turn off the LCD display when in the off position, So it may be a bad switch. Other than that it took pictures 15 I think, that is what the ex number is and then it stopped.
Lastly I have never shot film like this, when at the end of the roll how do I rewind the film? There is instructions on how to do a manual rewind but nothing on how to use the cameras drive motor to rewind the film.
The LCD on top stays on all the time at least as long as there is film in the camera - I just checked mine.
The 645 takes only 15 pictures by roll.
The roll rewind automatically at the end of the roll, it is relatively fast and noiseless so you have to pay attention. I almost missed it the first time.
07-11-2010, 09:49 AM   #8
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so when I take the last pic, What are the exact steps to remove the film? DO I just unlock and yank out the holder? I am a little confused.

Here is a post I found on film removal in a MF 645

"Nope. In MF, you don't "rewind" the film back onto the original spool. Rather, you wind it forward onto a new ("take-up") spool. To rewind it, you'll have to take the closed camera into a totally dark room, open it, unwind the film from the take-up spool, and rewind it back onto the original spool, taking care to make sure it's tightly secured before you turn on the lights. Putting a rubber band around the rewound spool usually works.

The alternative is to brush up on your approaches to airport inspectors so they'll agree not to demand to see that roll of film. I wouldn't bet on it, though."

You say it auto rewinds quietly, this guy says to take it in a darkroom and wint it to a new take up spool. What soes one do?


Last edited by akfreak; 07-11-2010 at 09:59 AM. Reason: add information
07-11-2010, 11:18 AM   #9
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RE: Tutorial...How to use

Here is a link to your camera manual at Pentax USA:
http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/645.pdf

Enjoy!


Steve
07-11-2010, 12:40 PM   #10
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thanks Steve, I have the origianl manual however the description doenst clearly show how to do it. Do I have to be in a dark room. I have lots of conflicting info. I whis I could see a viseo on how to load and unload a 645. I think I will take my camera to my local shop and have an expert show me what to do. Again I apprciate your help.
07-11-2010, 06:52 PM   #11
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Rewind automatically might not have been the correct term. Advance automatically to roll the paper over the film. At the end of the day you just remove the cartridge from the camera and take the full spool out making sure that it does not unravel.

If you finish a film and try it you will understand as soon as you open the cartridge.

Luc
07-12-2010, 10:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by akfreak Quote
thanks Steve, I have the origianl manual however the description doenst clearly show how to do it. Do I have to be in a dark room. I have lots of conflicting info. I whis I could see a viseo on how to load and unload a 645. I think I will take my camera to my local shop and have an expert show me what to do. Again I apprciate your help.
I can understand some of the confusion. I guess I am lucky to have cut my teeth when growing up on various roll-film Kodak brownie cameras.


Steve
07-12-2010, 12:10 PM   #13
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Like lbenac said after you finish a roll it will look like one that you just opened out of the package. Just bring that to the processor and careful not to expose it to (too much) light
07-12-2010, 03:25 PM   #14
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thanks guys, I got it. I just didnt want to ruin (expose a Whole roll) any film learning how to get it out of the camera. After reading the manual and looking here I took the plunge and poped open the film holder and saw the tab that I peel back to hold the film tight on the take up spool. It is very simple. Next task. Buy some film and start shooting, I asked this question in the other thread, but I will ask again. What is the best film for doing available light portraits, lets say duing the golden hour, I have a light meter, and understand exposure. I want to take some portraits of my children (Color) skin tone is critical
07-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #15
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Pricing knowledge is often delayed

I once got an awesome Martin 12-string guitar at deep discount because the pawnshop didn't realize that Brazilian rosewood doubled the price.

I love the way the P645 rockets to the next frame. Such a satisfying ka-chunk-a. And, they are surprisingly comfy in the hand.

Pawnshops aren't specialists in cameras, and even with the internet it is hard for them to find accurate prices on specialty or thinly-traded equipment. These days, the big, online used camera stores are completely out of 645 auto-focus lenses, so it is hard for somebody selling 645N equipment to have any idea of proper price.

Pentax must have sold a LOT of 645 and 645N systems to wedding photographers who held on to them for a while, but are finally dumping their equipment now that digital has become good enough. In the last year these systems have been very inexpensive for pro equipment. If you watch Craig's list, local sellers have the same pricing problem as the pawn shops, and I've seen things listed for a lot more or less than they are worth. I just picked up a 645N & 75mm for $500, fair enough, but the seller wrapped up a package for me with a mint 80-160mm FA for $350, some 120 & 220 backs at $20, and an AF500FTZ flash, cracked but this is a powerful flash does wireless triggering. Package together gave me another $50 discount.

It is worth buying a manual and any odd missing items at KEH.com; like an extra back, although they seem to be a bit pricey.

Last edited by MetaD; 07-12-2010 at 06:13 PM.
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