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11-17-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
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cosmetic lens repairs acceptable?

Is it "ok" to repair scratches nicks etc on a lens to sell? would a buyer disapprove even if you can't see the repair?
any opinions welcomed, of course

thanks

randy

11-17-2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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I would always leave it as is, because;

a) I couldn't repair it successfully without it looking a whole lot worse
b) The odd wee ding/scratch adds character to the lens

Lenses should be used, so in time they will show use, after all they're not ornaments (well maybe they are for some folk).
11-17-2012, 09:54 AM   #3
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I'd leave it as is.
And if I did attempt to do any sort of repair, I think I would be honest and mention it because if I was buying something from someone, that is something that I'd like to know.
11-17-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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Or imagine if it were a rare lens'. To do any type of repair would take down the value significantly.

If one might catch shows such as Pawnstars one could see how items are made (basically) worthless by such attempt at repairs

11-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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That is an interesting question. I was talking to a local vintage photo shop owner and he shared that he routinely applies a little cosmetic touch-up to his lightly-used items. Examples:
  • Using a black Sharpie (marker pen) to dress bright knurling on focus and aperture dials
  • Using shoe polish on leather cases
  • Using a lacquer pen/crayon to refresh embossed lens/body lettering
That last point probably explains why my Vivitar 135/2.8 (purchased from said dealer) has red metric scale marking while most other examples I have seen have green

I use the same tricks with my gear, though I should add that I seldom, if ever, sell anything. I should also add that the touch up is very difficult to detect and in the case of my two XR Rikenon 50/2, essential for usability. (As is typical for that lens, the lettering was flaking off with age.)

What I do not appreciate is a "quicky" recon job on gear that should show some evidence of wear. This last Spring, I bought a Kiev IIa from an established dealer and was surprised to find that the leather cover had be recently replaced with leatherette and the black surfaces recently brush-painted with black lacquer. The paint was still sticky. My expectation given the item description would be that the leather be original and intact with a few "Contax" bumps and that the painted surfaces should show some corner wear. As it turned out, the camera had functional issues and was returned for full refund, so no harm, no foul.

So...What to do? What you choose to do with an item intended for sale depends, I guess, on how you want the buyer to react when/if they discover your touch-up work. If you think they might feel cheated, don't do it.


Steve
11-17-2012, 02:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That is an interesting question. I was talking to a local vintage photo shop owner and he shared that he routinely applies a little cosmetic touch-up to his lightly-used items. Examples:
  • Using a black Sharpie (marker pen) to dress bright knurling on focus and aperture dials
  • Using shoe polish on leather cases
  • Using a lacquer pen/crayon to refresh embossed lens/body lettering
... Steve
I have done the permanent black marker pen and have hesitated on the shoe polish bit ... never thought of using a lacquer pen. J
11-17-2012, 07:22 PM   #7
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I'd say if you can do something that will last, improve the cosmetics and mention it in the listing, it's OK. Mentioning it means a buyer can move on if they want to, and you can point to that if they buy anyway and complain.
11-18-2012, 08:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I'd say if you can do something that will last, improve the cosmetics and mention it in the listing, it's OK. Mentioning it means a buyer can move on if they want to, and you can point to that if they buy anyway and complain.
I agree. If an airbrush was used, and the result is of a body shop quality, and told the customer and show the repair, it should be all good.
The question is will it have added appeal if done professionally?

Thanks

Randy

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