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  1. #1

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

    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. #2
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FilmOnly View Post
    eBay is becoming a real zoo.
    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
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  3. #3

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

  4. #4
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Post a link to the item then we can all ask the same question!


    Steve.

  5. #5

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  6. #6

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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. #7

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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 FilmOnly; 09-16-2009 at 01:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #8

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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
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  9. #9
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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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. #10

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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.

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