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09-25-2011, 05:16 PM   #61
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If you look at any category of pentax zoom lenses in the data base here (FA or older), pretty much every category has a dog or 2. With some brands (like kalimar) the ratio might be reversed with a few winners and a lot of average and dog lenses, but many of these off brands have a few good ones. Some like sears seem to be a little heavier on the winners than some too (which unfortunately people are realizing and they can sometimes go a bit high on ebay). I'm just glad there are still a lot of unappreciated brands and good lenses can sometimes be had dirt cheap. I can buy 3 or 4 cheap lenses and if only 1 turns out very good, its still a lot cheaper than just buying 1 known good lens. I would hope for better odds than that but I tend to dig up whatever info I can before buying so my odds have been higher than 1 out of 4.

Something else to consider is sample variation. Some lenses are considered lesser quality because they have poorer quality control. Some of those lenses may be very good and others not so good, within the same model lens. Still, if the price is cheap enough, you can end up with some very good ones and the gamble is well worth it. You can also recoup some of your money selling the ones you don't like. Maybe that is why some here buy and sell so many (picking out the good ones to keep).


Last edited by ripit; 09-25-2011 at 05:34 PM.
09-25-2011, 07:06 PM   #62
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Shipping costs do me in, shipping to St. John's is not cheap. Just picked up an M 200 for $36 on ebay, but the shipping was $39.
09-27-2011, 10:35 AM   #63
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Never buy any cameras from Tacoma Goodwill. Twice now I have bought lenses from them and they are not in the condition described. The latest a Helios 44-2 was described this way.

QuoteQuote:
Scuffs, some brassing and dings, dirty/dusty exterior. Interior looks in good shape, as do the lens optics.
The front element has clearly visible cleaning marks. At least it doesn't affect the image quality that much.




Besides, shipping that costs $14 and takes a week and a half is ridiculous.
09-27-2011, 11:37 AM   #64
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I'll pay no more than 50% of "market value" for anything from shopgoodwill.com for that reason (not meant to be a lecture, just a personal thing ).

Sears lenses...well, the 55/1.4 is fantastic but huge and heavy. The 135/2.8 was soft wide open with significant CAs almost all the way through the aperture range. The 80-200 f/4 "macro" is decent. The most expensive was the 55, of course.

The Vivitar 28 (serial starting with 22) was the only other "cheap" keeper...but it was free (dad's old lens) with some fungus in the front near the edges.

Then again, I think my cheap FA 80-320 is pretty good so what do I know?

09-27-2011, 01:37 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
I'll pay no more than 50% of "market value" for anything from shopgoodwill.com for that reason (not meant to be a lecture, just a personal thing ).
I've gotten some great deals on shopgoodwill.com. A Super Program with A28/2.8, A50/1.7, and A135/2.8 and some extras for less than $200. KX with M50/1.7 for $25. SF1 with F35-70 and F70-210 for $125. The best deal was probably the Spotmatic with 8-element Super Takumar 50/1.4 for $100 after shipping.

The other camera I bought from Tacoma Goodwill was a Super Program with and A50/1.4. The camera was garbage, I knew that from the listing, but lens is fine other than some minor cosmetic issues (the white paint is worn off the aperture numbers on the DoF scale). I probably overpaid a little bit ($110 after shipping). Since the lens is flawless optically, I can overlook that.

QuoteQuote:
Then again, I think my cheap FA 80-320 is pretty good so what do I know?
I have a cheap FA80-320 too. Paid $50 for it with a ZX-7 and FA28-80 and some extras.
09-30-2011, 03:36 AM   #66
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I second the FA80-320 ... I keep it around as a budget tele, nothing else I have can replace it when the need comes (as a disposable lens, but of decent quality). And it was a freebie which does not hurt either

QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I've gotten some great deals on shopgoodwill.com. A Super Program with A28/2.8, A50/1.7, and A135/2.8 and some extras for less than $200. KX with M50/1.7 for $25. SF1 with F35-70 and F70-210 for $125. The best deal was probably the Spotmatic with 8-element Super Takumar 50/1.4 for $100 after shipping.

The other camera I bought from Tacoma Goodwill was a Super Program with and A50/1.4. The camera was garbage, I knew that from the listing, but lens is fine other than some minor cosmetic issues (the white paint is worn off the aperture numbers on the DoF scale). I probably overpaid a little bit ($110 after shipping). Since the lens is flawless optically, I can overlook that.



I have a cheap FA80-320 too. Paid $50 for it with a ZX-7 and FA28-80 and some extras.
09-30-2011, 09:36 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
This is a dog who happily scarfed-down cat turds, and she WOULDN'T EAT A BIG MAC!!
I like Big Mac's. Maybe that's why I don't like cat turds!!!!
09-30-2011, 10:03 PM   #68
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I dropped off a few more bagsful of books I'll never read again at the nearest thrift shop, and this time I looked around the store. Behind the counter were two cameras, priced at US$15 each: Pentax K1000 with M50/2, and Sears (Ricoh) RS 1000 (I think) with Sears-Cosina 50/1.7. I was tempted. But not quite enough. If anyone is interested and is in Gold Rush country here, they're at Mission Thrift on sloping Hwy 49 in Jackson CA.

09-30-2011, 10:19 PM   #69
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I'm always looking at thrift stores nearby but I seldom get lucky anymore. I am about to sell some actually. I just had a huge vet bill. I had to break out the plastic and kill the balance. There will be no Christmas in this house unless I get my stuff moving from my stores soon. It's been a rough year around here. Too much $$$ going out, not enough coming in. That will be changing, I hope, now that I am Madame Shop owner/journeyman photographer but I still am thinking of selling some of my manual lenses.

I got that thing you get when you hit 40 where your eyes suddenly relax and your vision can get shot to heck? My close vision was near perfect and now I am squinting at the little text on bottles and I am having a far worse time focusing manually than I was a year ago. I still can't see very well far away, but now I can't focus close up either and it's making me ticked trying. Plus all of a sudden I've got dry sandpaper eyes all the time and those drops they make you try, whatever brand they suggest, and I have tried most of them at this point, just make my eyes itch more.

I'm thinking that like it or not the days of me using my Taks and my Sears lenses are numbered. I'm going to be the Queen of Auto Focus soon at the rate I am going. Figures I finally have 3 nice Taks and a couple of great Sears lenses and I'll probably get to use them for less than a year, you watch...
09-30-2011, 10:23 PM   #70
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I look at Ebay, Goodwill(s), thrift stores, garage sales, etc. Went to a rainy flea market last Sun. found a 28-80 FA with a camera attached for $35.00. Did not buy due to the fact the idiot running the space left everything uncovered during heavy rain. The lens was soaked, but I didn't see a reason to take a chance. Spent 4 hours there, except for the previously mentioned, Minolta and Canon were everywhere, and have no use for that equipment.
10-01-2011, 01:38 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by patrick9 Quote
I like Big Mac's. Maybe that's why I don't like cat turds!!!!
The difference is in the seasoning.

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I got that thing you get when you hit 40 where your eyes suddenly relax and your vision can get shot to heck?
I'm [censored] beyond your years and my eyeballs have been delaminating for awhile now, so I depend on CIF and Focus Confirm and the KatzEye clone and zone focusing and that sort of standard stuff. Cheaper than buying brighter gear.

QuoteOriginally posted by jcamero Quote
Did not buy due to the fact the idiot running the space left everything uncovered during heavy rain.
Books don't tolerate that either. If the garage sale is inside the garage, fine; or at least there's a better chance of delicacies surviving. If the goodies are outside on Sunday (ad in the free paper says it started Thursday) then good f*cking luck.
10-01-2011, 04:28 AM   #72
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I have made a similar switch this year ... eyes are not what they used to be, so for my upcoming middle-age-crisis in a few years I pre-splurged for a few nicer auto-focus primes (wife wasn't much in the mood for a convertible or a new girlfriend ). A move I have not regretted, especially with kids running around. My 15 or so Taks are craving for attention now every time I pass them by ...

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I'm always looking at thrift stores nearby but I seldom get lucky anymore. I am about to sell some actually. I just had a huge vet bill. I had to break out the plastic and kill the balance. There will be no Christmas in this house unless I get my stuff moving from my stores soon. It's been a rough year around here. Too much $$$ going out, not enough coming in. That will be changing, I hope, now that I am Madame Shop owner/journeyman photographer but I still am thinking of selling some of my manual lenses.

I got that thing you get when you hit 40 where your eyes suddenly relax and your vision can get shot to heck? My close vision was near perfect and now I am squinting at the little text on bottles and I am having a far worse time focusing manually than I was a year ago. I still can't see very well far away, but now I can't focus close up either and it's making me ticked trying. Plus all of a sudden I've got dry sandpaper eyes all the time and those drops they make you try, whatever brand they suggest, and I have tried most of them at this point, just make my eyes itch more.

I'm thinking that like it or not the days of me using my Taks and my Sears lenses are numbered. I'm going to be the Queen of Auto Focus soon at the rate I am going. Figures I finally have 3 nice Taks and a couple of great Sears lenses and I'll probably get to use them for less than a year, you watch...
10-01-2011, 10:51 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I got that thing you get when you hit 40 where your eyes suddenly relax and your vision can get shot to heck?
Wait till you get to my age. My glasses and a good focus screen help. I still prefer to manually focus .
QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The difference is in the seasoning
It scares me you may be right
10-01-2011, 07:36 PM   #74
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I,m not quite 40 but it hit my eyes a few years ago or there about. I didn't know I had a vision problem till I bought a dslr and thought it was defective. Come to find out my vision was just outside of the range the camera could adjust for.

I also almost had my first thrift store find. There was a box for a sakar 135mm 2.8 in pentax mount (not sure what ones worth), but it turned out to have an ambico video lens in the box. Truth be told, that's the first time I have even found that much at a thrift store.

I did get a cheap 35-70mm 2.5-3.5 converted from canon to pentax mount so that is something. Aperture ring works like an m42 at 35mm but the bar slips out of place at 70mm (still needs a little tweaking). Other than that its working fine.
10-01-2011, 08:10 PM   #75
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My eye site has been shit since the 4th grade yet I've never had any problem manual focusing. There are times however when catch-in-focus is a great help. That's one reason my Taks don't get used as much as my A lenses. My biggest annoyance is that I have trouble seeing the info line in the viewfinder, especially outside.
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