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09-23-2019, 03:41 PM   #1
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Vintage/ antique store lens advice

Hey everyone! So at the end of the week, Gettysburg has this big huge sidewalk/ antique sale. I'm hoping to score a deal or two on vintage prime glass for my K70. I have the screwmount to K adapter. And I have been deep in the reviews pages. It looks like there weren't really any dogs. Just some better than others.

It looks like it comes down to condition. Is it as simple as throw it on the camera and see if it works? See if it'll focus and I can stop it up and down, make sure it can mount. Obviously take a picture or two to make sure the blades work. But what else should I be looking for?

I've just never done this before, gone out looking for old lenses to buy and use. Looking to avoid anything lemon flavored if I can help it. Any tips are appreciated. Thanks!

09-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
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Hi RookieGuy,

Have you seen this seminal article on buying vintage lenses?

PAWNSHOP LENSES (and other used lenses) - A Buyers' Guide - PentaxForums.com

Although it may be awkward to inspect and test a lens to the extent suggested in the article, I think you'll find some useful tips.

I find that a small inspection penlight/flashlight is helpful when looking at the glass elements.

Good luck with your hunt!

- Craig

Last edited by c.a.m; 09-23-2019 at 03:51 PM.
09-23-2019, 03:50 PM   #3
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You'll want to open any lens to its widest aperture and look through it to see if you can see any hazing or fungus. That doesn't always have to be a deal-breaker, but since you're new at this, I'd avoid any that have haze or fungus unless the price is really right. Other than that, you named the other things. You want to make sure the aperture works and the ring turns like it should. Same thing with the focus ring. I suspect the biggest issue you might run into is recognizing bayonet mounts. Many older lenses are marked somewhere around the lens mount to show what camera they fit. It's often just a letter or two. Have fun looking! It's always exciting to find an old keeper.
09-23-2019, 04:37 PM   #4
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sounds like a great time! I like the pen light idea to inspect glass.....good luck and look forward to what ya score!

09-23-2019, 05:16 PM   #5
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I would probably stick to the 50-55mm-58mm lenses as they are easy to find with the f/1.4 Takumars usually very good re aperture blades not sticking and ease of focusing is superb.
The 50mm f/1.4 lenses tend to be of higher build quality and or the f/2.8 135mm lenses.
Try and get multi-coated versions of lenses if possible with the improved performance and contrast.
Many of the older lenses such as many of the m42 mount auto takumars may have 10 aperture blades that can be helpful for pleasing bokeh and obviously not multi-coated so will need to factor in a good lens hood.
When inspecting lenses of course see if the aperture blades are sticking and if the focus is a little stiff.
Hold the lens up to a bright light or the sky at various angles and rotate the lens slowly to see if there is a problem with fungus or haze.
A small amount of fungus may be OK on the edge of the lens perimeter further from the sensor.
Know the prices of certain lenses you may be looking for, and be prepared to pay more for a superb quality lens that will not require servicing.
Personally find that putting a cheap lens with a slight amount of fungus in an oven at 66 degrees centigrade for three hours seems to snot the fungus
Enjoy your journey of discovery,

cheers Nick
09-23-2019, 06:02 PM - 1 Like   #6
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It's mentioned in that article above but it's also worth stressing, especially if you are new to vintage Pentax compatible lenses.

BEWARE THE RICOH PIN.

It would be very embarrassing to mount a lens you're ultimately not interested in and yet not be able to remove it from your
camera while at the swap meet.

There is a lot of fun old glass out there. Have fun but be sure to give a good inspection first before mounting to your camera.
09-23-2019, 06:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvdtvdtvd Quote
BEWARE THE RICOH PIN.
Yes, a most important piece of advice!
09-23-2019, 06:59 PM   #8
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I think I've seen the pin. A long skinny piece shooting up for no reason? That's a good tip. And yeah, I'm not ready to try and deal with haze or fungus. And I'll be leaving the credit card at home, just dealing with cash.

I'm hoping to find a nice 50, 35, and a longer telephoto. Possibly a macro. But I'm not going to turn down the right wide angle. I'll see what's available and have fun doing it.

09-23-2019, 07:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RookieGuy Quote
A long skinny piece shooting up for no reason?
nope its barely noticeable! sticks out just enough to cause havoc and panic!!! on K mount lenses.......I believe the 'long skinny piece' you are referring to is the stop down mechanism on M42 lenses
09-24-2019, 01:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by c.a.m Quote
"Originally posted by tvdtvdtvd BEWARE THE RICOH PIN."
Yes, a most important piece of advice!
I use 3rd-party lenses, extension tubes and 2x adaptors with the "Ricoh Pin" and am yet to have a problem on any of my bodies.

I assume the problem happens, judging by the amount of feedback out there, but is possibly of less concern that might be supposed

YMMV !

Last edited by kypfer; 09-24-2019 at 10:53 AM. Reason: afterthought
09-24-2019, 11:42 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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My standard inspection in junk shops is this...

Check overall appearance, does it look good, scratches , bumps, dents. If it looks shabby its probably not been cared for.

Does it have a skylight filter, if it does it may have been owned by somone careful who will have looked after it.

Does it have end caps, original are best as they are saleable if the lens turns out duff.

Check focus, is it smooth, is the resistance ‘right’ not too hard not too loose.

Close the aperture/iris down and press the stop down lever. Does it fully stop down. Let the lever bo quickly and check if the iris snaps open. Toggle the stop down lever rapidly and see if the iris is responsive.

Check aperture ring, does it click smartly to each f stop. Any missing stops or wobblyness.

Open the iris wide open and take a look inside, take a small beight torch. I have a keychain type thing. Look down the lens from both ends with the tirch at the opposite end and play the torch over the lens. Bits of dust are no biggie but anything larger than a dust mote could be fungus. I would reject any lens with fungus unless I know I can dismantle it easy. Also look for scratches on the lens surface and delamination. De lamination will often show as a kind of foggy effect at the edges lf the lens.

Look down front of lens and point torch down front as well, move the aperture around using the stop down lever, do the blades have any shine on them indicating oil and at various f stops do the blades form a near circle....sometimes a balde can be damaged and you will see a lozenge shape rather than a neat circular shape. Bear in mind they are never really a circle...most apertures look like a polygon but close to circular.

Thats it......if all is ok chances are the lens has no major issues. How much tolerance you can bear on failure of these tests is a judgement on price and whether you think you can fix the lens. Older lenses are often less headache as they were designed quite solidly and can mostly be taken to bits without too much drama. More modern lenses like Minolta MDs and Canon nFDs are near impossible to fix because they are all held together with glue. I havent had to take many Pentax lenses to pices apart froma couple of 50s in the M series and like Minolta MC types they are pretty easy.

Try to avoid zooms, if anything is wrong they are nearly always a nightmare to fix. My own judgement with a zoom is unless its perfect or has very minor problems or is luicrously cheap I would pass up on it. Bagged a scruffy looking Tamron recently that was sold for a tenner on ebay as it was desvribed as dirty. In truth someone had got cleaning fluid under the front element. Easy job to fix and it came with a Minolta MD adaptall in mint which is really what I wnted. The lens was just cherry on the cake.

Oh also forgot...obviously take the skylight off if it has one when you test the lens as it may be damaged rather then the lens itself and some sky
Ights can produce cloudy results under torchlight.

---------- Post added 09-24-19 at 11:44 PM ----------

Oh Nd good luck, do post up if you get a bargain
09-25-2019, 04:07 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the replies. That's some good advice everyone gave. I never thought of the older lenses being easier to fix. Probably because that's a bit beyond my skills and abilities at this point.
09-25-2019, 03:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RookieGuy Quote
Thanks everyone for the replies. That's some good advice everyone gave. I never thought of the older lenses being easier to fix. Probably because that's a bit beyond my skills and abilities at this point.
You tube is your friend for lens repairs or not re potential pitfalls and degree of difficulty

cheers Nick
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