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05-23-2008, 04:35 PM   #16
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Wombat here is the list of lenses of bought off eBay since Oct 2007:

Pentax-A 70-200/F4
Pentax-F SMC 35-105/F4-5.6
Super Takumar M42 50/F1.4
Pentax-M SMC 50/F1.7
Pentax-M SMC 50/F2 (since sold)
Pentax-A SMC 50/F2
Pentax-M SMC 28/F2.8

I've bought from AUS, US & GB. I don't spend much per lens: $48-$120 AUD including shipping.

Here are some guidelines:

Pentax with no series number/Pentax K-mount/PK/Super Takumar - Manual Exposure, Manual Focus
Pentax-A - AE, MF
Pentax-F - AE, AF
Pentax-FA - AE, AF
Pentax-FA J - AE, AF (no manual aperture control - not very common)
Pentax-DA - AE, AF (APS-C format DSLRs only ; the other lens versions mentioned above can also be used on SLRs too).

AE is convenient so I'd suggest Pentax-A as a starting point. 50mm is a common focal length for SLR lens and relatively cheap. Pentax-A 50/F1.7 and Pentax-A 50/F2 are good initial choices. What makes these lenses attractive are tangible improvements in low-light sensitivity and and good optical performance-for-the-buck compared to the typical kit zoom lens supplied with the camera. The large apertures (low F-number) also mean you can start to experiment with depth-of-field as a creative component of a photo.

In my case it was a Pentax-A 70-200/F4 first (about $70 AUD at the time - OK, but unfortunately not the SMC version which has better contrast & flare control). My second purchases was the legendary Super Takumar M42 50/F1.4 (about $80 AUD from the US - I had to de-amber this lens by exposing it to sunlight for about 6 weeks of occasional exposure - this lens from the mid-60s has a small amount of slightly-radioactive Thorium in it to improve its optical performance, and over the years it tends to give the lens glass an amber tinge - reversed by exposing it to UV). If you go the M42-mount route, make sure you get a "flush" M42-to-K mount adapter, not the "flange" type.

Do plenty of watching before your first bid! Do a search on (not - slighty different options) for "Pentax Lens". Accept just "Cameras" as the search category. In Search Options tick "Worldwide", in "Show Only" tick "Used Items Only" and then click on "Show Items". Examine any interesting items and you can click on "Watch this item" to add it to your watch list. You can then see what these items typically sell for and patterns of bidding. After a while you'll get an idea of what the usual price range is. I don't delete my watch list items after they sell as I use it to remind me of past prices.

In the "Show Only" filters you should also investigate adding "Completed listings" to "Used items only" to see recently sold prices. Another useful filter is "Ending within...". You can use this to focus on items coming up in the near term that you may want to watch closely or bid on.

If the price of an item you are bidding on goes past what you consider to be a reasonable amount, STOP! Don't fret. The common sized Pentax lens come up often and another one will be along soon.

Digital Camera Tips and Reviews: Photonhead, The Essence of Modern Film and Digital Photography and especially Sim-Cam - The online camera exposure simulation will help you learn the basics.

Last edited by dosdan; 05-24-2008 at 01:56 PM.
05-24-2008, 05:45 AM   #17
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 68
In general, prices of auctions that are restricted to shipping within the USA are most competitive. This is no surprice, as most brick and mortar USA retail shops also set competitive prices. On-line auctions are for bangain hunters and hence should follow the retail shops and be competitive in the USA.

One tip I wish to share is to make the effort to send a message to the seller to check if he/she will ship outside the USA. Sometimes the sellers are willing to do so. It helps if you have a good positive rating to convince the USA sellers that a transaction with you is worthwhile compared to any non rated USA buyer.

You may like to help some USA sellers who have never shipped overseas by pointing them to the USPS - The United States Postal Service (U.S. Postal Service) on-line postage calculator, when you ask them about shipping fee. By the way, you can also use the same postage calculator to check if the seller's shipping charge is reasonable or not.

Good luck!

Last edited by dancheng; 05-25-2008 at 06:50 AM.
05-24-2008, 08:32 AM   #18
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Since most every purchase is with a different individual, the experience will be different. For the most part I have had great sucess buying on Ebay. Other then the UK and EU, I have only delt with north america. You need to follow some common sense guideline when bidding. Suggestions can be found on Ebay and in the user forums. Or just read what people have wrote here.


QuoteOriginally posted by Wombat Quote
I've just bought a K100D Super with basic kit lens, 18-50mm. While I'm enjoying the challenge of working within those limitations I'm itching to get some more lenses (More!More!). What has been people's experiences of buying lenses through Ebay? I'd be interested to hear how satisfied you were and how you decided on the amount you were willing to pay, type of lens to go for etc.
05-25-2008, 05:52 AM   #19
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Original Poster
So much expertise - you guys are amazing! Thanks again for all the advice. It seems like patience is the key. There's certainly no shortage of lenses out there. As soon as I'm clear about what I'm looking for, I'll give it a go.

Cheers everyone.


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