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09-25-2011, 06:50 AM   #1
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Need some advice on an eBay purchase

I bought a lens off eBay, and it has a few problems that were not noted by the seller. First, the filter ring is bent enough that you can't use it. Is that something that I can repair or get repaired? Now that I have the lens in hand, I do see the damage in the picture on eBay, but it was very subtle. Judging by the broken lens cap, it looks like the lens took a hit while the cap was on, and the bend perfectly matches the part of the lens cap that grabs onto the lens.

Also, the coating on the rear element looks like it might be wearing off. You can only see this if you hold the lens at an angle. If you look at it straight through, it looks fine. Also, it doesn't affect the image. How do I know if this is fungus or just someone went a little overboard on cleaning and damaged the coating?

I am tempted to keep the lens, because its not the most common thing around. I also got it for a decent price.

09-25-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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If the seller listed it as good condition or better I would send it back, unless the purchase price is close to the shipping price. If it takes good pictures you may want to just keep it.
09-25-2011, 07:41 AM   #3
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A bent filter ring can be repaired. Fungus will usually show as a spiderweb looking cotton-y material, very fine looking but you don't usually need a special angle of light to see it. Just looking through the lens will reveal it. It will also be on the Inside of the lens somewhere typically. What you May be seeing are Cleaning scratches in the coating if it's on the outside of the element. Like someone took fine sandpaper and rubbed it across the lens. An element could also be fogged or groups can be separated. Fogging will show across the entire element. Separation will show around the edges of the element group. Typically. What I do about it would depend on what I was shown and told about the lens when purchasing it and to some extent, the lens itself.

What kind of lens Is it?

09-25-2011, 07:47 AM   #4
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The marks look like little specs, and you can only see them at an angle. It looks like it's damage directly to the exposed coating of the rear element. The lens is a Pentax K 55mm f/1.8, and it takes excellent pictures.

09-25-2011, 08:01 AM   #5
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It's possible that something etched itself into the coating. I had an M50 f1.4 once that had happened to on the front element (and I disclosed it when I resold the lens). If you didn't pay a fortune for the lens, I would just keep it. There are threads around here that suggest how to bang out the filter ring enough so you can get a filter/hood on it.

09-25-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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Dented filter ring repairs/tools
09-25-2011, 08:48 AM   #7
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If it takes excellent shots and the price was right, then GREAT! If the lens is as-described, then you really shouldn't ask to return it. EDIT: AND IF IT'S NOT AS DESCRIBED, RETURN IT FOR A REFUND. I see that pacerr has linked to help on fixing the ring. If necessary, I bend and tap the dent out as much as possible, then force an empty filter onto the ring as far as possible -- that insures a nice clean thread to screw stuff into. Good luck!

Last edited by RioRico; 09-25-2011 at 11:19 AM.
09-25-2011, 09:33 AM   #8
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It depends on the lens and price paid. There are only a few lenses that are actually rare. Usually you can wait and get a better copy. Even the A50mm f1.2 is not as rare as advertised. It comes up several times a month. I'd consider keeping a damaged FA*250-600 lens with a price discount, however.

It's not ok to list a lens with major problems not mentioned. A dented broken filter ring needs to be disclosed. Prices on the auction site are already too high.

A small scratch on the outside of the filter ring would be ok. A dent means the lens could have been dropped.

Edit: And that's before getting to the rear coating. Coating coming off is not good. Fungus is not good. Lens element separation the same. It could be any of those. I'd only keep it under 20 dollars. This lens could have a negative value (cost more to repair than it's worth). It may not seem to affect image quality, but it could behave differently under different light.

I would try to resolve with the seller (discount if you can live with it?) or send it back.


Last edited by pz1fan; 09-25-2011 at 10:56 AM. Reason: changing wording. missed rear coating
09-25-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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It seems to be sharper at f/1.8 than my FA 50 when fully open or the FA 50 is at f/2. I have no doubt the lens has zero or negative value. I don't think the rear element coating damage is repairable. I'm going to ask the seller what he wants to do.
09-25-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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My apologies. I mis-read the OP. Yes, it the lens is not as described, RETURN IT FOR A REFUND!
09-25-2011, 11:34 AM   #11
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I would contact seller and see if you can get some kind of a deal made
09-25-2011, 08:07 PM   #12
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Just message the seller and describe the problems you found, and ask how he would like to deal with it. Let him know you feel the lens was not as described. Be nice about it and a good seller will be reasonable and try to come to a solution. There are a lot of sellers on ebay that know nothing about the lenses they are selling so he may not have realized the issues. Ask if he is willing to pay return shipping and give a full refund, or alternatively give a partial refund. If the price wasn't very high it can be cheaper for the seller to give a partial refund than to pay return shipping and give a full refund. I'm not sure how many people bid on the auction and so forth, but had the problems been described, the lens would most likely have sold for less (possibly a lot less). Lenses with damage like that tend to sell very cheap, often not much more than cost of shipping. You may have paid more to win it than if the lens had been described properly and a partial refund is a fair solution here if it works for you. That is assuming the circumstances of the auction are like I am guessing (other bidders etc), but you haven't told us how much you paid etc.

I would also try to photograph the damage, and try focusing on the inside elements and take pics too. shine a flash light across the rear of the lens at an angle to see what you get (and shine the flash light across the back when you photograph it too). Take the photos from the front.

This damage was deep inside a 28-200mm lens that I recently bought. It kind of looked like dust and I didn't really know it was fungus till zooming in on photos. It was mainly noticeable at 200mm (at some other distances you couldn't really see it), and was not very visible without some glare from light. The very first thing I do when I get a lens (after looking for obvious scratches), is aim it very near but not right at a bright ceiling light and look through the front of the lens (and zoom it if it is a zoom). Thats how you find stuff like this.
http://www.pbase.com/richardh/sigma_super_fungus
Click a picture, scroll down to the bottom, and click original and you will see what looked like dust to the naked eye.

Last edited by ripit; 09-25-2011 at 08:16 PM.
09-26-2011, 09:46 AM   #13
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The lens is going back. If I am going to pay money for a lens described in "good shape", I expect it to match the description.
09-26-2011, 12:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
The lens is going back. If I am going to pay money for a lens described in "good shape", I expect it to match the description.
Probably a good idea. A lens in that condition might be worth cost of shipping and a couple of dollars at best (if what I am picturing as its condition based on your description is right). Unless I missed it you haven't said what you paid but if he is not willing to refund it down to that level I would send it back too. Is the seller going to pay return shipping? Some will and some won't but it's not right for you to be out money based on his mistake. If he is not willing to pay return shipping, perhaps you should take into account that you are out shipping charges due to his mistake when you are leaving feedback.
09-26-2011, 01:13 PM   #15
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The seller agreed to pay return shipping, so I guess all is good. He'll be able to resell the lens in ugly shape to get his money back, I guess.
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