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02-15-2009, 10:32 PM   #1
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Lens Grading Help and Shaking parts sound...

I've ran into a little LBA lately and picked up a few lenses online. I generally don't care too much about the condition of the body, what I look for is clean glass (no scratches, fungus, lens separation, etc) but I've run into a few disappointing purchases where I feel that the condition was misrepresented and I'm hoping people here will provide some advice to me on whether my concerns are justified or I'm just being too picky.

This particular lens was described as the glass being clean but upon close examination, I can see that there is a scratch on the rear glass. I took some test photos and it doesn't seem to affect the image quality. I have also attached a picture of the glass and put an arrow to the scratch in question. Would this be considered a major fault? Or am I being too picky?

Also, when I shake the lens, I can hear what appears to be loose parts inside shaking around. It doesn't really make sense to me since the lens is a manual focus, K-mount from the 80s, I would figure there wouldn't be any moving parts that could get loose. Is this a problem at all?

The lens was represented as EX+ (according to KEH's guidelines). The body is clean and the only faults are that little scratch at the rear glass and that loose parts sound when you shake the lens. How much of a drop do you think that will have on its grading and if I keep the sellers, how much should i ask the seller to readjust the price (percentage wise)?

Thanks



02-16-2009, 12:05 AM   #2
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Well, that mark and pieces rattling around inside the lens doesn't sound like EX+ condition to me.

So, some things to consider... What lens is it? What did you pay? If the mark and rattling don't seem to affect image quality how big a stink are you prepared to make? Even with these defects is the lens still worth to you what you paid?

I both buy and sell on the Bay. I try and be as forthright as possible when I sell a lens and I expect the same when I'm a buyer. I understand though that we are talking about USED items usually bought/sold at a fraction of their replacement cost. Some lenses i've bought really cheap that arrive in worse shape than I expected I just "eat" and chalk it up to "experience". I have on a few occasions requested remedies from a seller when I thought that I hadn't gotten what I paid for. So far I've been treated fairly as I would hope to treat a buyer who was unsatisfied with an item they had purchased from me. I do try very hard to avoid any unhappy customers on my end though, right from the start.

I think "partial refunds" are a good solution in these matters. Most sellers, myself included, require the buyer to pay return shipping for a refund. So, to avoid that additional cost to the buyer a partial refund may make things right.

Condition on lenses is paramount to their value. So real defects such as you describe are usually worth about 30% off [ballpark figure] in my book, regardless of which side of the transaction I was on.

Good Luck,
Mike

QuoteOriginally posted by greenboy Quote
... I've run into a few disappointing purchases where I feel that the condition was misrepresented and I'm hoping people here will provide some advice to me on whether my concerns are justified or I'm just being too picky.

This particular lens was described as the glass being clean but upon close examination, I can see that there is a scratch on the rear glass. I took some test photos and it doesn't seem to affect the image quality. I have also attached a picture of the glass and put an arrow to the scratch in question. Would this be considered a major fault? Or am I being too picky?

Also, when I shake the lens, I can hear what appears to be loose parts inside shaking around...

...The lens was represented as EX+ (according to KEH's guidelines). The body is clean and the only faults are that little scratch at the rear glass and that loose parts sound when you shake the lens. How much of a drop do you think that will have on its grading and if I keep the sellers, how much should i ask the seller to readjust the price (percentage wise)?
02-16-2009, 06:03 AM   #3
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If the lens is not as described, then I would be contacting ebay & reporting it as such, hopefully you paid using PayPal or credit card which will entitle you to a full refund.

I have returned several items over the year's, buying on eBay & have alway's got a full refund, usually from the seller as they don't want their feedback damaged.

Its not much to ask that the lens is as describe in the listing, hang in there & hopefully get the lens you want with your next purchase.

Wal'
02-16-2009, 06:58 AM   #4
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Depending on which lens it is, these might be an alarming amount of mechanical noise when the lens is rattled, and be normal. I recall the FA28-70/4 is a very loose lens, for example.
I'd be more worried about a lens that didn't make some noise when shaken.
The marring on the glass will most likely never affect picture quality.

However, that marring is enough to take the lens from EX+ to VG or G according to KEH guidelines as I understand it, but their guidelines are very conservative, and I don't think anyone else actually grades lenses as well as they do.

02-16-2009, 09:45 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Depending on which lens it is, these might be an alarming amount of mechanical noise when the lens is rattled, and be normal.
The lens in question is the Kiron 105mm Macro F2.8. The rattling noise is significant if I shake the lens, it sounds like there are lots of parts juggling around.

For this Kiron the seller stated, "Excellent preowned optic with minor indications of use. Normal internal small dust particles, virtually no aperture wear, clear glass, smooth and non-sloppy focus. Chromed mount with almost no indication of use."

From that description, doesn't it sound like there shouldn't be any scratches on the glass even if it doesn't affect IQ?

Also, I would really appreciate it if someone can verify for me whether the rattling is normal or not. I don't want to take a hit if I resell the lens in the future. Thanks.
02-16-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by greenboy Quote
The lens in question is the Kiron 105mm Macro F2.8. The rattling noise is significant if I shake the lens, it sounds like there are lots of parts juggling around...
This lens will normally make some noise when it's shaken. It has a ring of small ball bearings around the inside of the mount, which can roll around. You can see the bearings if you look between the aperture lever and its light shield. Also it has a couple of long (about 2") metal levers that reach into the lens to move the aperture blades. Those might rattle a little. I wouldn't describe it as "lots of parts juggling around".

On the PK/A version of this lens, you can remove this entire mount assembly by removing the four black screws in the ring above the aperture ring. The piece slides right off. The rest of the lens doesn't make any noise - I don't think so, anyway. Mine is kind of in pieces right now. Maybe the hood moves a little.

Yours appears to be PK, possibly a bit different, if I'm looking at the right auction. With that listing and price, I wouldn't expect anything like your photo of the rear element. I'd be on the fence - the lens was overrated, but it doesn't affect IQ because it's out of the frame. It would have affected the price, though. I might ask for a partial refund, but some sellers act like you've declared war on them.
02-16-2009, 11:51 AM   #7
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Before attempting to contact the seller directly, via eBay? Don't you think that's a bit rushed?
QuoteOriginally posted by wwwmorrell Quote
If the lens is not as described, then I would be contacting ebay & reporting it as such...
02-16-2009, 11:54 AM   #8
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Yeah, I'd recommend to the OP not getting his "in pieces" if he want's to return it.

Regards,
Mike

QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
On the PK/A version of this lens, you can remove this entire mount assembly by removing the four black screws in the ring above the aperture ring. The piece slides right off. The rest of the lens doesn't make any noise - I don't think so, anyway. Mine is kind of in pieces right now. Maybe the hood moves a little.


02-16-2009, 12:03 PM   #9
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If you bought it from Keh, or a seller who might be conscientious, it probably wouldn't hurt to say you found major defects. One thing about these 'rating systems' is that they do seem to creep. It's like, 'Excellent' should theoretically *excel* something, and since when was 'Very Good' actually "Beat but possibly usable?" These are optical standards?

You didn't say where exactly you got your thing, but sometimes a thing looks really nice to some random person precisely *because*it developed a fault early in its life and therefore never got used hard, whereas something put together just right might have stayed good through twenty years of carry and never gotten a problem.

With off-brand things, there's kind of a selection process. Some models of cars, for instance, got a bad rep cause half of em broke down on the side of the road within a year or three, ...the ones that *didn't* might still be driving around.

Anyway, the fact will be that a lot of Kirons out there will have been worked hard. The ones that are special now were prized by people who couldn't quite afford major-brand glass, and rarely bought by consumers who would get bored and shelve them after a passing fancy.

Kiron actually made a lot of great stuff. Some of it didn't work out too well, like some optically-great zooms that have an unfortunate tendency to inhale any dust they might encounter *cause* the tolerances are so close inside, etc.

Anyway, whether or not these flaws impede your photography, that's worth checking out.
02-16-2009, 12:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
Yours appears to be PK, possibly a bit different, if I'm looking at the right auction. With that listing and price, I wouldn't expect anything like your photo of the rear element. I'd be on the fence - the lens was overrated, but it doesn't affect IQ because it's out of the frame. It would have affected the price, though. I might ask for a partial refund, but some sellers act like you've declared war on them.
What do you think would be reasonable for a partial refund for a scratch like that? 25% off?

And to Ratmagiclady, I got it on eBay and I'm really turned off buying things there. Maybe it is just a bit of bad luck, but I made three lens purchases and all three came with issues that was not disclosed in the auction. All the sellers I purchased from had 100% positive feedback too, so go figure. None of the issues change the IQ but if the seller would have stated that they had scratches, I wouldn't have bid or bidded so high. That is what irks me, people just trying to pull a fast one.
02-16-2009, 01:51 PM   #11
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I am not really sure, that I can see a scratch in your photograph. It is simply not sharp enough. It could be a bit of the coating did come off. Anyway with a 105mm macro lens this should not affect image quality in the least.

Also a rattling sound can be very normal with a mechanical lens. Just1MoreDave pointed out, that his lens behaves the same and I add, that quite a few other lenses I now (a Kiron 24/2 among them) have these bearing balls inside the aperture mechanism. This can be disturbing, but indicates no fault at all.

Try to find out, whether the noise is indeed coming from the balls or whether it is located more inside the lens. Only if that was true, I would complain and ask for refund/exchange.

Ben
02-16-2009, 02:58 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by greenboy Quote
What do you think would be reasonable for a partial refund for a scratch like that? 25% off?

And to Ratmagiclady, I got it on eBay and I'm really turned off buying things there. Maybe it is just a bit of bad luck, but I made three lens purchases and all three came with issues that was not disclosed in the auction. All the sellers I purchased from had 100% positive feedback too, so go figure. None of the issues change the IQ but if the seller would have stated that they had scratches, I wouldn't have bid or bidded so high. That is what irks me, people just trying to pull a fast one.
First of all, a rattling inside the lens may not be a defect (as others have pointed out). In addition to the ball bearings, the aperture mechanism uses moving levers. Older macro lenses have quite a bit of extension in them, and the rattle may simply be from some play in the mechanism that allows the aperture actuation as the lens extends. Check the operation of the aperture carefully and look for loose metal bits or moving elements or light stops. If everything looks and works ok, then it is probably a non-issue.

A tiny scratch on a front or rear element is unlikely to affect performance. A tiny scratch on the rear element has less effect with longer focal length lenses. It is extremely unlikely to have an effect on a 105mm lens.

But scratches on the glass do affect value and should be disclosed. As to how much it affects value depends on the lens and the scratch. Yours is a inexpensive, older lens and a tiny scratch. I would guess that the effect on value is almost nothing. If I were selling this product, I would disclose the defect and show in a photo the problem. If the lens is otherwise in EX condition, a single defect like this would put it in EX- or maybe BGN+ condition.

Finally, you have learned the lesson that many of us have learned, that the description of condition of photo gear on eBay is not reliable. Expect to get something in worse condition than described. You now need to decide if you are happy with the lens at the price paid and the actual condition. If you are, then just let it slide. If not, then contact the seller and demand that he accept a return and refund your money.
02-16-2009, 04:38 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by greenboy Quote
What do you think would be reasonable for a partial refund for a scratch like that? 25% off?

And to Ratmagiclady, I got it on eBay and I'm really turned off buying things there. Maybe it is just a bit of bad luck, but I made three lens purchases and all three came with issues that was not disclosed in the auction. All the sellers I purchased from had 100% positive feedback too, so go figure. None of the issues change the IQ but if the seller would have stated that they had scratches, I wouldn't have bid or bidded so high. That is what irks me, people just trying to pull a fast one.
That's about what I had in mind. A lot depends on how you look at your stuff. Is it going to bother you all the time, or are you just looking for a fairer price? Sending it back is better than having it bug you every time you pick up the lens.

Here is the piece with the long metal arms I mentioned before. They might be long enough to make some noise:


I have had troubles on eBay, which is how I got all of my repair experience. Overall, I did quite well, but sometimes you get a lens like this:

I mean, did they really not notice? (I did make a little money on that lens, eventually.) The deal that still ticks me off is an auction for an FA100-300 zoom, lingering in the Canon lens category until I swooped in and got it for $40. The lens I received was a Quantaray. The seller gave me a refund but I could not get him to pay for return shipping. I don't know why $5 still bothers me a year later.
02-16-2009, 06:49 PM   #14
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Thanks for the responses. I'm guessing the rattling is normal, it is hard to describe but the sound is always consistent.

I can live with the scratch since it doesn't affect IQ and I'm not that picky with getting something perfect, especially something that old. But the thing that bothers me is misrepresented descriptions, so I'm going to ask the seller to give me 25% back or take a return with return shipping paid. I have little patience for people that misrepresent things. I hope my future eBay buying experience will be better...
02-17-2009, 03:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by greenboy Quote
Thanks for the responses. I'm guessing the rattling is normal, it is hard to describe but the sound is always consistent.

I can live with the scratch since it doesn't affect IQ and I'm not that picky with getting something perfect, especially something that old. But the thing that bothers me is misrepresented descriptions, so I'm going to ask the seller to give me 25% back or take a return with return shipping paid. I have little patience for people that misrepresent things. I hope my future eBay buying experience will be better...
Ebay: I have got a large format lens complete with shutter - but the shutter housing was simply empty, no mechanism in there (ofcourse the seller "forgot" to mention that), I've got an amplifier in "very good" condition, but ofcourse it was completely dead and the seller plainly refused a refund and commented he already had been visited by other buyers, accompanied by the police, and still would not refund anything etc.

For lenses, buy at KEH or any other reputable store. Even from KEH I got once or twice a product, which fell short of their description, but that was resolved within hours with the help of some emails. It is worth, to invest the additional bucks...

Ben
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