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10-13-2011, 11:26 PM - 5 Likes   #1
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This LBA thang is all messed up!

Hi Guys,

So I've had my k100d for close to 5 years now and have been faithfully using my little lens kit of 18-50 and 50-200 as a point and shoot (hello auto and pre programmed modes!) depending on what I needed it for. Most times the 18-50 lives permanently on my body and the photos turn out great for me (as compared to my little 3.5megapixel fujifinepix point and shoot that I had before).

A few weeks ago I was noticing that I was constantly taking photos of flowers etc (it's Spring here, down under) and feeling the lack of a proper macro. Details of petals constantly got wiped out, lots of blurry pics, and I'd maybe get 1 out of 10 - 20 shots that I was happy with enough to send off to someone to identify the flowers for me.

I realised I needed to step up and buy a macro lens.

Off I went to the trusted interwebs, only to discover to my horror that what looked like the most suitable macro lens for my needs on the Pentax website was a whopping $700 or so. Um, no thank you.

I started researching and remembered why I had settled on a Pentax in the first place. According to a dpr review, by buying a Pentax you were really saving money because you could use ANY Pentax lens ever made! The idea of buying old lenses and the ability to interchange them should I ever upgrade to something further along the track was something that resounded deeply into the heart of my cheapskate soul. So after a little bit (and I do mean a little bit) of dabbling I went in search of lenses. I think you guys all know where this leading, don't you?

One week and close to $300 later I now have about 9 lenses on their way to me (I thought buying a camera that allowed for the use of older lenses was a SAVING?!). I managed to only do one smart thing so far and that was to ask on freecycle, which resulted in one freebie lens - which has a case of fungus in the lens. I didn't know what I was asking for at the time, and to be honest, when things come to you for free, it really is rather tempting fate to be specific about the state said freebie comes in. Least that's my reasoning anyway. I can just imagine the giver muttering to themselves: "why so picky??? you're getting it for free aren'tcha??"

I'll be honest though, after reading some of the posts here I am a bit skeeered to put that fungus encrusted lens onto my precious k100d. Don't want to infect my sparkly lens kit!! Which means of course I've started looking into buying (and bidding on!!) a spare dslr body for any other 'dodgy' lenses that come my way.

What has this resulted in? Sleepless nights trawling gumtree, ebay, and any other classifieds places that I can think of.

And 9 more bids on ebay which, if they go for the max amount I've put in for each item, will come to a whopping $537.20. I repeat, I thought doing it the Pentax way was supposed to save me money?!

The irony is that none of these lenses that I've purchased and am bidding on is in fact one that will suit my macro needs. Don't believe me?

Here's what I've gotten so far:

1. SMC/S-M-C/Super-/Auto-/Takumar 55mm F1.8

2. Ozunon GMC 55mm Auto Zoom 1:3.5-4.8 35-75mm (this was the freebie that has fungus on the inside)

3. A spotmatic that has a standard 50mm Pentax lens attached to it (the pic looks like it's a 1:1.8 Super Tak.. hold on a sec. Didn't I just buy that one??? F&^& I didn't even notice that last night!),

4. A midrange 180mm fixed lens non Pentax and a Panagor Extension Bellows (Thanks Rico for telling me I needed a bellows if I wanted to play around with macros. No, really, Thanks. )

5. Vivitar with leather case, Auto Telephoto 135mm 1:2.8 that doesn't even fit a Pentax (I only noticed this when I got the 'you've won' email this morning).

6. Takumar F ZOO MACRO 28-80 mm 1:3.5-4.5. Why oh why oh why did I not take this off my 'watch list' after I read the reviews on here? The purchase resulted after the email prompted me not to 'miss out' on my item and it was late, and I was super tired, and I thought oh heck, I better bid! It didn't help that there were 7 suckers in front of me that seemed fairly keen on the lens.

7. KA MIRANDA 70-300 F4.5-5.8 MACRO+bonus Camera bag and a MZ-50. This had a slight haze on the back lens, which when I went all warlike to check the listing, to my chagrin I realised the seller had in fact put all this information down. *I* had simply in my newbie confusion saw that no one had bid, and read a line that said 'some hazing but takes pics fine, and the bargain hunter in me put in a bid. :ugh: Not to mention the fact that I'm HAPPY with my 50-200mm Pentax lens...

8. SMC Pentax-M 1:1.7 50mm prime lens

9. That dratted Kiron 28-70mm macro that most likely won't fit on my k100d and should really be sold off to someone with a Canon. And where on earth, pray tell me, am I supposed to find them???

So why on earth did I buy them??? I mean, I don't even NEED to get an slr - and I already have TWO sitting here on my desk!! I'm never going into film unless you can tell me how I can justify the money I'll spend on film and developing. And don't tell me it'll be worth it if I invest in a dark room and I'll be shocked at the quality film has vs digital.

1. Coz of that spectacular database on this evil forum that tells me the quality of each lens I come across and how much I should pay for it. An auction that ends in 1hr and 22mins that has a lens that's worth $60 but is only going for $32 and has only 3 bidders? BID! BID! BID!

2.The AMAZING (and I do mean AMAZING) photos that I see on this forum. I can't help but think, gee, if I just branched out from my generic kit lens, I could take piccies like that too!!!!

3. That darn marketplace on here with lots of lovely descriptions and prices that just look so reasonable!

4. All this talk of photography and lenses and how they make me feel like if I buy this lens, it could be the only thing that stands between me, my camera, and the next "IT" pic.

5. I really am getting bored with the range of my 2 lenses, and after 5 years I really do think it's time that I got off my butt and started to do some 'real' photography work and make my little k100d work for its food and board.

I tell you though, the amount of buyer's remorse that I have felt in the last 5 days has been absolutely excruciating. That being said, the highs when I spot something that might have value and could cause me to become the next Ansell Adams has also been out of this world. My world literally stopped, and my heart was POUNDING in a thumpity thump way that I've never experienced before in all my bargain hunting days when I was in an op shop and spotted a Pentax slr with lens in it. The world continued to slow when I took the lens off the camera and inspected it, and saw clear near mint perfect glass on either side of the lens. But then time came back to normal when I shook the barrel and I heard rattling. Thank you Rico for that very entertaining and knowledgable article on what to look out for when buying second hand lenses!!!

So you can imagine my excitement when a coworker that rarely comes in spotted the Pentax MG body I had discarded on my desk and showed interest in buying it. A bit more lengthy discussion revealed he owns a Canon (!!!) and has an addiction to old cameras! It was like the clouds had parted and I could potentially scrape back the hundreds I had spent in the last 5 days and even possibly make a profit! Not to mention knowing these bodies and lenses that I couldn't use would go to a good home. Very important, a good home.

The last irony for me though, is that should I win these next 9 auctions I've got going, I may as well have spent the cash on that macro I was eyeing in the first place.

From one LBAddict to another, I just thought you might appreciate what I'm going through at the moment. Oh, and between you and me? I think we're all screwed.


Last edited by wolfiegirl; 10-14-2011 at 03:43 AM.
10-13-2011, 11:37 PM   #2
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Somehow this sounds quite familiar. A while ago I decided, I think it was after I bought the excellent DFA 100mm Macro, to save some money by buying only old glass one ebay etc.for a while. I started with a Helios 44 for about 20€ and then it went downhill.

The last "cheap" lens I found was a FA 43 Limited...
10-13-2011, 11:46 PM   #3
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i went through the same thing a few months ago. luckily, i caught myself and now i'm down to just 3 lenses
10-13-2011, 11:46 PM   #4
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co-conspirator #1: Ah, we've done it! Another has taken the bait! She is ours!
co-conspirator #2: Yes, the secret mind-control rays have done their job well.
co-conspirator #3: Be careful with this one. She has spirit. And did you see those dogs?!?!?
co-conspirator #2: Do not be concerned. The dogs will be broken to the lens soon.
co-conspirator #1: Well, we still have to meet a quota. Who shall we ensnare next?
co-conspirator #2: There are many victims yet. The Pentax world is ours! Yes!

[overheard in a remote corner of the forum]


Last edited by RioRico; 10-14-2011 at 01:51 AM.
10-14-2011, 12:16 AM   #5
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Thank you wolfiegirl, that was priceless.
10-14-2011, 01:16 AM   #6
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How do you say? intervention!!!
10-14-2011, 01:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mano Quote
Somehow this sounds quite familiar. A while ago I decided, I think it was after I bought the excellent DFA 100mm Macro, to save some money by buying only old glass one ebay etc.for a while. I started with a Helios 44 for about 20 and then it went downhill.

The last "cheap" lens I found was a FA 43 Limited...
I love the idea of only buying old glass. I'd like to think I'll do that too. What am I saying??? I'm not buying ANYTHING anymore. After this evening, all my bids are going to stay as they are. I will not, *repeats to self* I will not up any of my bids, and I will not trawl for any new listings until the all my lenses arrive and I get to test them.

AFTER which, I will decide which I like, which I shall keep, and THEN we'll see about getting that macro lens.... *nods to self*

As to that "cheap" lens Mano - I'm sure you meant you got it for a piddling $100 instead of the average price of $187. Right? No? Coz that'd be a TOTAL score. Below average and all that....


Adpo: Only 3 lenses?? How did you do that? Share with us your secret!!! Oh, and can I have the ones you discarded? I need to um, see if they might suit my needs or not. I am a newbie after all...

Rico: Oi! I hear you over there! And don't you dare start teaching my wolfies how to sniff out lenses when I go to the flea market tomorrow y'hear me? I do NOT need any more lenses! Although if I could find one that I dare put on my camera by Sunday that would be super cool since I'm going to a flower fair and it'd be the perfect opportunity to see if my camera skills improve by a trillion per cent just by using old glass... ah crap.

QuoteOriginally posted by riff Quote
Thank you wolfiegirl, that was priceless.
Thanks Riff

So umm, anyone got any glass they don't want and want to offload to a newbie like me? I'll use them ALL I promise! Pinky Swear!
10-14-2011, 02:28 AM   #8
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Wolfiegirl, LBA has plagued me for a while, to the point where I had 90+ lenses living here at one point. It started with buying a few dungers, all resold on Ebay and quite a few gems. You can always sell the dungers, accept a loss as I did but was surprised when some fetched well beyond my expectaions.
One thing you might want to do is a bit of homework before buying so you don't get over run by dungers and just end up with some slighly pricier gems and a sense of money well spent. Besides the lens review section here there are some very decent manual focus forums that provide very useful opinions on gems versus dungers. I also advice you to steer clear of the Soviet lens thread in case you little wolfies start nudging you towards bargain bin lenses at the op shop with funny cyrillic lettering on the name plate.

10-14-2011, 02:29 AM   #9
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Very comical but practical response to this funny little thing called LBA, wolfiegirl.
I'd think that you've put up with your two kit lenses long enough, and since your body is fine, it's only part of the logical progression in your photographic journey that a decent lens that will suit your needs comes into your collection.
Contentment is a great place to be when it comes to lens purchases - sometimes it happens after getting the one lens that does it for you, and sometimes it takes several. But wherever you are in your vocation, shoot first and covet later.
I think you've got a good frame of mind in that regard, so stay firm in it and enjoy shooting with your selected lens.
10-14-2011, 02:33 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by xjjohnno Quote
Wolfiegirl, LBA has plagued me for a while, to the point where I had 90+ lenses living here at one point. It started with buying a few dungers, all resold on Ebay and quite a few gems. You can always sell the dungers, accept a loss as I did but was surprised when some fetched well beyond my expectaions.
One thing you might want to do is a bit of homework before buying so you don't get over run by dungers and just end up with some slighly pricier gems and a sense of money well spent. .... I also advice you to steer clear of the Soviet lens thread in case you little wolfies start nudging you towards bargain bin lenses at the op shop with funny cyrillic lettering on the name plate.


90+ lenses?!?!?! phwoaaaarrrrr!!! *bows down to you*

Me? Addiction? pfffffft. *boasts* you think 10 odd lenses makes me an addict?? check THIS guy out. He's (it is a he right?) got 90!!! *saunters down the street*

That's reassuring to know re the lenses. I definitely plan to pass them on once I've checked them all out. I must admit though, I really am a cheapskate. I'm not paying more than $50 a lens. Sorry did I just hear someone mutter 'at the moment'? In most cases I've been buying them between $30 and $45, give or take. .

Last edited by wolfiegirl; 10-14-2011 at 03:20 AM.
10-14-2011, 02:47 AM   #11
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Now we all know who is responsible for the rise in prices of the old lenses. Kill wolf, kill wolf, kill wolf...!!!
10-14-2011, 03:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by altopiet Quote
Now we all know who is responsible for the rise in prices of the old lenses. Kill wolf, kill wolf, kill wolf...!!!


It wasn't me, I swear!!! Do you think paying between $30 and $45 is too much? Has there been a time when prices were lower? *gets super interested*

I notice you're in South Africa though, altopiet! Are you buying lenses mainly from Australia or the US? I can promise you the majority of my spending is in Australia. I've only bid and won maybe uh, 2 or 3? from Int'l ebay. And I've promised myself to steer away from any more until my lenses arrive. Unless um, a macro, like a PROPER macro comes along at the right price....
10-14-2011, 03:15 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by xjjohnno Quote
Besides the lens review section here there are some very decent manual focus forums that provide very useful opinions on gems versus dungers.
Oh, forgot to respond to this bit. Would you mind sharing what other manual focus forums I should haunt for more information? I noticed a few of the lenses I was looking at didn't show up on the database. For eg my Miranda lens. I had to go general google searching to find out that Miranda lenses for Pentax are very different to the Miranda slr cameras that used to be made. Didn't stop me from bidding though!

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Very comical but practical response to this funny little thing called LBA, wolfiegirl.
I'd think that you've put up with your two kit lenses long enough, and since your body is fine, it's only part of the logical progression in your photographic journey that a decent lens that will suit your needs comes into your collection.
Contentment is a great place to be when it comes to lens purchases - sometimes it happens after getting the one lens that does it for you, and sometimes it takes several. But wherever you are in your vocation, shoot first and covet later.
I think you've got a good frame of mind in that regard, so stay firm in it and enjoy shooting with your selected lens.
Thanks for your comments Ash. I'm wondering if I would've just felt contentment if I'd bought that $700 macro lens. I'm not sure to be honest. I may have prolonged this LBA flurry, but eventually I would have got here all the same. Although perhaps with a clearer idea of what to look for. .... Or maybe not. I know myself too well. I think half the problem is that I love a bargain hunt. I must admit that a whole new world of second hand goods has opened up to me. LBAs beware!!! I've had nightmares of how many places I've haunted in the past that might have housed a lonely, dusty and mint conditioned Pentax lens totally missed by me. Oh the shame! Oh the horror, that someone other than me might get that little gem for a pittance! I'm still waiting for that killer buy. But that's ok. Because really, all I should be doing is out there shooting photos.
10-14-2011, 03:23 AM   #14
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We can't win you in rugby, we can't win you in cricket, but I'll make it my life’s mission to win you in buying old lenses!!!



At the moment I am still trying to buy locally, but with all my buying the past year, I've seen sellers suddenly almost doubling their starting price. So I have to start looking overseas. The problem is shipping costs.


Wait, almost forgot my sister in Melbourne, and my brother in Vancouver!! Time to strengthen the family ties!!:Thumbs up:
10-14-2011, 03:24 AM   #15
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The initial post is a textbook case of LBA .

As for the quest for a macro lens you might look into the Cosina 100mm 1:3.5 (has also been sold as Phoenix, Promaster, Vivitar ... and even Pentax) as a budget option: optically very decent, plasticky build though. Another thing to look for would be the Pentax-M 100mm 1:4. Both of these go to 1:2 / 50%, the Cosina has a bundled achromat for 1:1 / 100 % though.
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