Sick of buying lenses that need work

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Chris Nielsen, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    KEH is soooo far away, if they were closer I wouldn't buy from the local auctions. The sellers always want top dollar but when they arrive the lenses I have been buying always have something wrong with them.... I need to get them pulled to bits and serviced. Making me grumpy

    The latest two lenses I have bought have issues. The 35 2.8 Zuiko has a haze on the front element and a focus ring so stiff I can barely turn it. The 24 2.8 Zuiko has a stiff aperture ring and a focus ring with a large amount of free play.

    Getting sick of this but at least it keeps my repairman's children fed and clothed. And probably through college too the way I am going

    So does anyone think those two lenses will be expensive to fix?
     
  2. okto

    okto Member

    Messages:
    209
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Focus and aperture rings are problems you can fix yourself, if you know how to operate a screwdriver.
    Google around and you'll find plenty of info on disassembling and lubricating manual-focus lenses.

    The haze on the front element may actually require the services of a professional, and it may not be fixable if it's really bad. I assume you've tried to clean it yourself already, at least the front surface?
     
  3. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I try to avoid much more than fogging with my breath - all the lens cleaning products I have ever used just end up with a horrid purple film on the glass. I assume it will be easy for a pro to fix

    Re the lubrication - I am loathe to pull the lenses apart, I would probably have screws left over when I am finished.
     
  4. illumiquest

    illumiquest Member

    Messages:
    915
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Portland Ore
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Vinegar works great for haze and fungus. Lubricating the focus is usually very simple as well, most of them you can get some lube in without having to pull the helical apart.
     
  5. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Chris, keep your eyes peeled right here at the apug classifieds.
    Some wont post to aus but it's worth a shot.

    The wtb works better than you might think.
    I've had good luck with some "want to buy" posts.

    Good luck mate!
     
  6. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks everyone!
     
  7. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Chris, I feel your pain. I have had my fair share of lenses 'in good condition', that have:
    • had fungus (granted, one ebay seller gave me the whole purchase price back, but that was the only one).
    • Sticky aperture blades - I have fixed most of them myself, but it's always a fiddly job
    • one didn't fire the flash (Bronica SQAi) - I didn't find out until around 6 months after buying it

    I suppose this is the joys of buying second hand. But, with the way that ebay prices have gone of late, I have given up on it and will buy further gear from known sellers on here (or LFF), KEH or FFordes.
     
  8. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would love to buy from KEH. The freight cost plus exchange rate usually means I have to buy something substantial to make it worthwhile. It's then tempting to buy stuff locally but I am getting burned every single time now.
     
  9. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I just bought this.

    I'm one of those people who can't resist a project. Lord knows I now have enough of them.
     
  10. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I love that. "Dustproof". Seems to not have worked 100% :smile:

    You are definitely braver than I !!!
     
  11. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

    Messages:
    209
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm
    that thing looks like a product made by a blacksmith :laugh:
     
  12. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's a Wollensak triple convertible, if my eyes don't deceive me, likely of a design that will cover at least 4x5. Hoping for 5x7, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Needs a good cleaning, but if the shutter at least functions I can probably get the thing back to working condition without having to do *too* much taking it apart. We'll see.

    That board is going to have to go, though. I'm crossing my fingers that it will actually fit the Speed Graphic board I just found. If so, I'll likely use it as the shortest focal length for that particular camera.
     
  13. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The thing with that one there Stephanie, is that you knew what you bought! Half the time, the rubbish I buy off the bay looks like what's in a B&H catalogue when listed, but looks like that when it arrives!
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. PentaxBronica

    PentaxBronica Member

    Messages:
    365
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't really mind the fungus, stiff focus or sticky aperture assuming that the seller warned about the problems. What drives me to despair is when the lens has clearly been fiddled about with by someone who didn't have a clue what they were doing. I've even found greasy fingerprints on internal elements before now (after noticing that the front element group wasn't screwed in properly and investigating further).

    My repaired lenses are usually capable of very decent results, inevitably they end up with a little fine dust in as there's no way to avoid this without a clean room and moonsuit. But no fingerprints or smears. I keep meaning to go back to one of my first major projects (Pentax 28-50mm riddled with fungus) and see if I can get it a bit less dusty. It's not bad, but could be better. Also noticed a tiny speck of cotton or something in there, amazingly it still takes perfectly good photos!
     
  16. al.b

    al.b Member

    Messages:
    28
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2011
    Location:
    hamilton ont
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    hi Stephanie

    that lens should cover a 5x7. i have one almost the same its a seneca duo dustproof.

    it came on a competitor view. Made by seneca camera mfg. co. Rochester n.y. u.s.a.

    I think mine was made around 1908 . mine is a 5x7.

    al.b
     
  17. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Buying from reputable dealers do not guarantee you'll get the item as described, either. Used gear dealers don't check large amount of inventory they have to a degree we would. It may have been a good unit when they got it but in storage it can deteriorate. In shipping it can get knocked around. A lot can happen to gears. I had many pieces that had to go back for refund or exchanges.

    It does guarantee you can return it and get a refund, however....

    I have repaired relatively simple lenses like enlargement lenses. But it does take some finesse in doing so. If you are not comfortable with doing this or can risk the lens rendered completely useless as a result, I wouldn't try it. I have destroyed lenses in my attempts as well.
     
  18. Mark Crabtree

    Mark Crabtree Member

    Messages:
    678
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I often find a very slight haze in lenses that are even just a few years old; plus it often returns every couple years. I've learned to work on my own as a way to keep this from driving me crazy. The faint haze I'm thinking of is hard to see, so I assume most sellers will just not notice it. The pro dealers use a small flashlight to check, especially when they are buying :smile:

    But it is far too common to buy lenses that have obvious haze, fungus and other problems. It is certainly frustrating, and expensive. Nikkors are the least prone to these problems of any lenses I've seen, though obviously stuff can happen on anything 40 and 50 years old.

    The Seneca lens linked above should be a fun project. It looks like a rapid rectilinear based triple convertible and looks to have Uniform System aperture markings. Hard to read the focal lengths. Is it 6"/14"/18". I hope we'll be seeing some great photos from it and the Olys.
     
  19. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I also am hoping for great photos from the Oly lenses. I just got my first roll of Velvia back that I shot with the OM4 and it looks awesome, especially the shot I took of a car's engine bay using my T20 flash I used for the first time. Haven't had much luck with flashes but I squeed when I saw how well it had exposed the shot!
     
  20. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,660
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When buying old camera gear I ALWAYS remember to add the following phrase to any sales description I'm reading: "considering how old as it is". Otherwise the expectations as a buyer of old camera gear get set too high.

    As far as descriptions such as "freshly CLA'd","Like New", "Mint", "works perfectly... I pretend I never saw it. There are far too many things those phrases can mean.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2012
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,660
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    p.s. except for sticky shutters, major fungus/scratches, and sticky aperture blades in a SLR lens, most of the other afflictions are fairly innocuous in their affect on images.
     
  22. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

    Messages:
    670
    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Location:
    Missouri, US
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As I always tell my wife, after a repair "project". If I cannot put it back together with fewer pieces than the person who designed it, then I am no smarter than they are.

    -Alex, spare parts is us, Baker

    PS: if you want to know how much deterioration it takes to affect your images...

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2008/10/front-element-scratches

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  23. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have never regretted anything bought from KEH. It costs more, but it seems like they really do check. I tend to wait until I have multiple things I want, though, as buying one small thing ends up with ridiculous shipping.
     
  24. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    As to the Seneca, I'm more excited that it's a rapid rectilinear. When I saw it I was kind of excited, regardless of the condition, basically because I'll be broke for a little while now from buying the scanner I had to get to show you all my pictures. I had no money to buy another lens, really, and I have plenty of experience cleaning up equipment, so...

    This should make for some fun shots. And if it does have a 6" focal length, it should also solve my 'this shot needs a wider angle lens than I have' issue about one of the photographs in the current project I'm working on. :tongue:
     
  25. hoffy

    hoffy Member

    Messages:
    2,332
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Location:
    Adelaide, Au
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In the grand scheme of things, does gear from KEH REALLY cost more? When gear that I am interested in appears on ebay locally*, it is generally much more expensive then buying from KEH, even when you take postage into account. As for buying gear from Gumtree (our Craigslist) - I have yet to see much come up that I am interested in.


    *Why the star? A bit of a rant - Asked a seller on here whether they would send to Australia. There response was 'Why don't you find a local vendor'.....there is a reason why us from Down Under are interested in buying gear internationally - WE CAN'T GET IT HERE!
     
  26. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    Iowa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a policy: if you're willing to pay the shipping cost, I'm more than willing to take the extra five minutes of time to fill out the customs form. :D I sell yarn internationally now and, seriously, it's not that much extra time.