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02-08-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 281
645n, 150mm Lens, Etc., for Sale

Hello Medium Format users.

I thought I would play the good samaritan.

I was checking Craigslist in Salem, Oregon, and found a 645n, lens and accessories for sale. Here is the complete list:

1-645n (auto everything) camera body
1-SMC Pentax-A 1:3.5 150mm Lens
1-220 roll film holder
2-Pentax light tight film pack carrying cases
1-Pentax battery holder
1-AF280-T flash

Price for everything: $500.

Is that a reasonable price for that camera when bundled with that particular lens and the other items?

The seller provides his/her phone number, which strongly implies that it is not a scam.

If I was still interested in film photography, I would really enjoy owning a 645n myself, but those days are mostly over for me.

Disclaimer: I am not the seller, and I do not know the seller. I live in Nebraska. I sometimes check the Salem, OR, Craigslist because I know someone who lives in a nearby town who might be my go-between if I ever find something I want.

Good luck!

P.S. Adam gave me his permission to post this type of comment. I thank him for that.


Last edited by Welfl; 02-08-2012 at 11:38 PM.
02-09-2012, 08:33 AM   #2
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Paul MaudDib's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 292
Not counting the flash/film holders/battery holder, you could buy that kit used for $350 + shipping from KEH and it would be warrantied for 6 months. 220 is much less common (you almost certainly want a 120 insert), a 150mm is a 100mm-equivalent portrait lens (you probably want a 75mm/normal lens), and you might want an autofocus lens instead of the manual A.

Even if that was the magic combination of gear that perfectly suited you, it's not a great price. Pass.

PS: It's never too late to shoot film. It's not gone yet, and medium format is dirt cheap nowadays, cheaper than 35mm gear in many cases.

Last edited by Paul MaudDib; 02-09-2012 at 08:44 AM.
02-09-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 281
Original Poster
Paul, thank you for the information. I appreciate it. I'm definitely a novice when it comes to MF cameras and their prices. I readily confess that I had no idea that one can find the 645n for sale so easily until shortly before I posted the above comment. After I saw the low prices for the 645n on B&H Photo (among other places), I debated for a while whether or not I should post the above information; however, the cameras at B&H don't come with all of the extras that the one in Oregon has. Nonetheless, I still had a feeling someone would -- justifiably -- say it is too expensive. I took a calculated risk and posted it anyway because I didn't want a potential good deal to slip away unnoticed.

I have regularly watched several of Oregon's Craigslist locations over the past two years (as well a one or two of Oregon's used-Mac sites). Oregonians, in general, seem to think their used stuff is far more valuable than people do in most other states. I don't know why that is.

As for shooting film, I did that from 1974 (age 13) to 2001 (age 40) (I even did darkroom work in college and also for a small, local newspaper). Economically and psychologically (for me), film is and has always been far too restrictive. In other words, I was always afraid of wasting film and/or running out of film and/or of poorly composing my always limited number of shots. It made me far too conservative. Equally as bad, I could never tell what my pictures were going to look like with regard to lighting until I got them back from the developers. Either the highlights were overexposed or underexposed, or the shadows were overexposed or underexposed (or both were overexposed or underexposed when I was still a rank amateur). The borderline between shadows and highlights was almost always too narrow for me to balance the two properly (at least outdoors). Thanks to the WYSIWYG LCD on digital cameras, composing shots has truly been liberating for me. Also, the freedom to take an unlimited number of pictures has been truly liberating. Not counting the prices of the digital cameras and lenses themselves, there is no longer any cost deterrent to any aspect of the photographic process (I already own several hard drives).

Regrettably, the switch to digital came just a few years too late for me. I no longer have anything (or anyone) meaningful to photograph. Landscape photography has been fun (I've loved doing it since day one in 1974), but I've now done it to death. For me, photography has always primarily been about preserving images of meaningful memories and meaningful people. Even most of my landscape shots prior to 2002 were of personally meaningful locations.

P.S. Thankfully, my Epson 4990 scanner and Photoshop have allowed me to dramatically improve the balance between shadows and highlights in most of my old images, especially when I scan the negatives.

P.P.S. Regarding my love of WYSIWYG LCDs, the amazing dynamic range of the Pentax K-5 has had me longing to own one for a full year now. Then I wouldn't always feel a need to use the LCD, nor would I always need to find that elusive perfect balance between shadows and highlights; however, I simply cannot justify the price when considering the fact that I have nothing meaningful to photograph anymore.

Last edited by Welfl; 02-09-2012 at 11:23 AM.
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