Correct Lens Caps for Vintage Lenses...an Interesting Little Story

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by FilmOnly, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    Hello, all,

    I thought I would share this matter with our knowledgeable film enthusiasts. I recently (today) inquired with an eBay seller in regard to whether the lens caps on his/her Vivitar lens were Vivitars or generic (the auction does not specify). The seller responded exactly thus: "Generics. Does that make a difference?" I replied that it does--that "Generic caps can be had anywhere, and they are often of lesser quality. A lens is always worth more if it has the correct caps...and always worth less if it has generics."

    The seller has since replied with two insulting and rather outrageous messages. Here is the first:

    "Just wht we need. Another expert.
    Don't worry about my sales. I intend to block you from ever buying from me. You are too stupid to qualify."

    I responded that I may report him/her for his derogatory remarks, and he/she replied:

    "Have fun.
    Anyone stupid enough to think generic caps on a generic lens changes the value is too stupid to be on EBay. I get tired of answering dumb questions like this.
    Now, go tattle to EBay, you jerk!"

    I find this quite incredible. I guess he/she is so smart that he/she thinks a Vivitar is a "generic lens." I suppose all of those Series 1s out there really just amount to a heap of junk. I suppose, too, that a collector would never care to have an original cap on his/her vintage lens. Am I wrong in any of this?

    All I asked were if the caps were real Vivitars. When he/she was shown to be perhaps trying to avoid the fact that they are generics (and that I helped, with my question, to point this out to prospective buyers), he/she becomes irate. eBay is becoming a real zoo.
     
  2. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    It always has been. On the small number of purchases through eBay, ~25, I have been lucky to have dealt with responsible sellers.

    I prefer the usual suspects: KEH, B&H, FreeStyle [in person], Samys [in person], APUG Classified [a shameless plug] ...

    Steve
     
  3. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    KEH has been my favorite for years. I, too, use eBay only occasionally (usually for nominal purchases).
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Post a link to the item then we can all ask the same question!


    Steve.
     
  5. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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  6. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    Yes, there are plenty of obnoxious sellers out there.

    However, to address your question about lens caps, a couple of thoughts. This is hardly a Series 1 (if it's really worth $50, I'll have to sell mine - I use it as a body cap on a T70 right now). It's also hardly a collectble lens. My Canon branded lenses don't necessarily have the original lens caps, and frankly, as long as the caps stay attached, I don't much care. In fact, often-times, the less professional my gear looks, the better.
     
  7. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    I had no illusions that the lens in question is a Series 1. Clearly, it is not a Series 1. My remark in regard to Series 1 lenses was aimed at illustrating the fact that Vivitar lenses are not "generic," and, to the contrary, Vivitar has produced many respectable designs. In fact, I have seen this little "MC Close Focus" lens praised by some, especially for its close focus capability. I believe one user noted that he could get in as tight as five or six inches. I agree with you about the price--and the price is perhaps what prompted my question. Based upon what I had read, and if it had both original caps, I might have considered buying it. Even then, $49 still seemed too much.

    PS: the black rubber caps that came with these Vivitars are not only rather rugged, but they are also quite "low key," as the "Vivitar" name is molded in black. I have a couple of these in the 49mm size, and would not mind having a few more. Most the the generic caps I have seen and used are not worth using. They either do not maintain a good fit, or fit awkwardly.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2009
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    FWIW, I think the seller's original question "Does it matter?" was reasonable, but the other two messages are obviously completely out of line. You may not have much basis for complaining to eBay---I don't think they have any rules against the seller being a jerk---but dang, what a jerk.

    I've been fortunate for the most part with eBay. My worst experience was a seller who didn't bother to ship until I called his mom(!), apparently out of teenage disorganisation rather than malice, and who then turned out to have grossly overstated the condition of the item---but I still got enough use out of it to justify the price I paid. (Though one of those "good condition" filmholders is *still* rusted shut, in spite of my best efforts with WD-40, putty knives, pliers, hammers, and patience. I'm thinking of giving it to my 17-month-old son, since he seems to be able to take *anything* apart...)

    -NT
     
  9. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    The shipping estimates are not very appealing either. To me a lens cap covers my lens, that is all I need from it. But being rude is not a way to earn customers.
     
  10. Mike P

    Mike P Member

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    I've shot one of those lenses, and they aren't at all bad. I seem to remember it was made by Komine in the early 80's. Like most FD mount lenses, it's not worth much these days, and certainly not as much as he's asking.

    If it didn't "make a difference", you wouldn't have bothered to ask him about the caps! I would never buy from a seller with such a bad attitude.
     
  11. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    That is it precisely, Mike P--if it did not make a difference, I would not have asked.

    Also, I laughed when he stated that he was going to block me from purchasing any items from him. I could not imagine why, after his response, he would have thought I would have bought anything from him.
     
  12. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Maybe he thought you were from France.
     
  13. Hamster

    Hamster Member

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    IMO lenses with original caps indicated the original user had used it with care, and took effort to maintain his equipment.

    We all know some people who are careless with they way they treat their equipment, having original caps and stuff usually indicates that the previous owner who is organized and looked after their kit.
     
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  15. Trevor du Plessis

    Trevor du Plessis Member

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    With that attitude and the fact that the saps are generic I can only speculate on the condition of the lens. Obviously not a serious photographer / collector.
     
  16. Shangheye

    Shangheye Member

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    I always check the feedback. he has had 4 negs in the last year. if you check them..one of them comments on his rudeness. I don't buy from anyone less than 100% feedback anymore. I have only had one bad experience, but it was enough to make me realise that ebay involves giving money to strangers for something you have never seen in person...and that needs a high level of integrity.

    personally, I don't think about generic lens caps as a problem. I am not a collector, I am a photographer, and the value for me resides in what it does for me. If you had asked me, I would have answered you without rudeness...but as a photographer I would have thought it a strange question.

    K
     
  17. geauxpez

    geauxpez Member

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    What an ass. Had the nerve to post your question and his/her "Does it matter?" reply in the auction for public view. Several people here should ask picky questions about each and every item they are selling...multiple times.
     
  18. Trevor du Plessis

    Trevor du Plessis Member

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    The seller claims that the lens is made by Vivitar. As far as I know Vivitar never made any lenses, but marketed lenses manufactured to their designs by other manufacturers.
     
  19. FilmOnly

    FilmOnly Member

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    There are some excellent comments and ideas here--thanks. I agree: we should demand better from eBay. Perhaps the way to do this is by supporting only "100%" positive sellers (as one poster has indicated). It is also good to share information (as we have done in this thread). Giving money to stangers for items that are never seen in person is, when one thinks about it, a very odd and risky proposition. I am glad that I have received a few nice items over the years, but I have also had more than one negative experience.

    I, too, think that original caps are a good sign in terms of overall care and good ownership. Likewise, I have always preferred buying camera bodies (and other equipment) in the best shape possible, as this is also at least some type of indication regarding prior use and care. While it is true that many dinged up bodies can work for years and years (especially the better bodies), I feel more comfortable in these "unseen" transactions when I buy at least an EX grade piece of gear. I find KEH's EX grade to be a good rule of thumb. In my experience, KEH's EX grade is usually at least as good or better than the "mint" or "minty" item on eZoo.
     
  20. Fotoguy20d

    Fotoguy20d Subscriber

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    I believe e-bay intends those words to be understood as follows:

    mint - that green color you'll see on a camera's metalwork, particularly when made from some copper alloy

    minty - that funky smell when said camera has been sitting in a damp basement for the last 30 years
     
  21. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    +1 His response was out of line but I think his point is valid. It's not exactly collectible is it?
     
  22. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    If a seller has a combative attitude then BEWARE. I've dealt many times with people who exhibit angry, rude, combative behavior and... more often than not... they're selling faulty merchandise and lying about its condition. I NEVER buy from those types.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Good advice for life in general.

    Steve
     
  24. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    To be fair, the seller will think much the same about someone asking about things that to him are apparently so insignificant that he can't help but think that someone is deliberately trying to be annoying.
     
  25. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

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    You know, the seller did not have to post the original question and answer on the auction, that is an option, which to me indicates that "Grandma Ruth" was not trying to hide anything and really thought it did not matter.

    Now, I do agree that "Granny's" response and his/her continued rudeness was way out of line. I also read through the feedback to try to get an idea if the quality of the negative feedbacks. I am not quite ready to swear off anyone who is not at 100%, but they better be darned close. I am also really bothered when a seller responds to negative feedbacks with nasty remarks, that is a huge red flag.

    I am glad that my grandmother wasn't this harsh!
     
  26. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    It's the "scroo you" attitude that raises the red flag. If they exhibit a "scroo you" attitude... they will. Just MHO... and that goes for buyers and sellers both.