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06-05-2011, 06:01 PM   #1
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Where to buy vintage lenses?

I am sick of the eBay robber barons. I know they're getting these lenses for pennies on the dollar. I look in the lens DB and people are getting things much cheaper than eBay. I know you can get deals on this forum, but I'd like to improve my chances. Where do you guys go?

06-05-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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How "vintage" are you looking to get? I've always had good luck at KEH.com, but you'll be challenged to pounce on anything super old or unique that shows up there.

One issue is that there is a lot more demand for Pentax glass now than back in 2004 when I became a Pentax user. I was picking up tons of M and A series lenses for a song and the F and FA lenses weren't too bad either.

I really regret selling my A 50mm Macro that I picked up for about $150...those rarely go below $250 in good condition these days.

Good luck!
06-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #3
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I gave up on buying a Jupiter 9(can buy a new Rokinon for 269), but I've been trying to pick up a 105/2.8 super tak. They are going for over 100 dollars now, with tons of bids. I guess that's what they're worth. I wouldn't have minded an adaptall tamron macro 2.5 either, but those have become pricey too. Camera stores seem to be a thing of the past in my area, but those are the types that really know what they have anyways. I wish I'd been collecting lenses since I got my k100d in 07, but I found this forum 4 years too late.

I think I'll try the reversing ring for my 50mm for macro, that's still cheap at least.
06-05-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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I wouldn't put too much stock in the PF database when it comes to pricing. Especially if you're looking at the Average price. That price is typically on the bottom of the scale, ebay is about in the middle (for most things), and resellers such as KEH always seem high to me. The PF marketplace is a good place to look. If there's something specific, post a wanted ad there, name a price, and see if you get any bites.

Even on ebay, bargains can be had but you have to be looking at the right time. If you have to Bid to win (not buy it now), Never put in an early bid. That's just plain dumb strategy because it gives other bidders something to chip away at. Use a sniper program or learn to do it manually (put in a bid seconds before the auction ends).



06-05-2011, 07:35 PM   #5
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I always try to snipe manual. It's frustrating when lens after lens you're watching ends up higher than you want to spend before you even get the chance to make a last minute bid., but I just bought a 105 a few minutes ago actually. It was sold with an old film body so it might have gone under the radar. I guess this completes my collection of vintage lenses for now. Still waiting on my helios 58mm from russia, and I'll still look to see if anything amazing comes along. Jupiter 9 or Tamron 2.5 Macro.
06-05-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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In my opinion EBay is buy far the cheapist.

Its all up to you go to 8 or 10 garage sales and get nothing.

Reality its like fishing on the lake sit around wait for the fish or go to the store and buy one.

But in my case I'd rather be fishing and take a photo of the fish on the bbq with the lens that I pulled out of the mail box.
06-05-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Where do you guys go?
*Pentax Forum Marketplace.
There are genuine Pentaxians who take care of their gears and look for a new owner who will also take care of their gears.

*I also found some lens at Adorama.com (Used equipment) and keh.com is another option.
06-05-2011, 08:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
I am sick of the eBay robber barons. I know they're getting these lenses for pennies on the dollar. I look in the lens DB and people are getting things much cheaper than eBay. I know you can get deals on this forum, but I'd like to improve my chances. Where do you guys go?
Some of the prices in the DB are historical, and prices for used lenses have risen significantly in many cases in recent months. So when you see a price, it doesn't mean you should be able to buy the same lens for that today.

Paul

06-05-2011, 08:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
I always try to snipe manual. It's frustrating when lens after lens you're watching ends up higher than you want to spend before you even get the chance to make a last minute bid., but I just bought a 105 a few minutes ago actually. It was sold with an old film body so it might have gone under the radar. I guess this completes my collection of vintage lenses for now. Still waiting on my helios 58mm from russia, and I'll still look to see if anything amazing comes along. Jupiter 9 or Tamron 2.5 Macro.
That's the way I get a lot of my vintage glass as well. If you're outbid before you snipe, you've saved money. That's the other beauty of sniping, you'll never get caught up in a bidding war paying more than you wanted to.

Good luck with it all. There are a few I'd like to have that I'm not willing to pay the going rate for either (but there we're talking in the $1000s).

06-05-2011, 08:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
That's the way I get a lot of my vintage glass as well. If you're outbid before you snipe, you've saved money. That's the other beauty of sniping, you'll never get caught up in a bidding war paying more than you wanted to.
Quoting this for truth. The only problem with manual sniping is that you've got to be present at your PC when the auction is about to wrap up.

Just out of curiosity I checked prices on my beloved SMC-A 50mm Macro and the cheapest I see on eBay is $264....
06-05-2011, 08:56 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Shall I mention my eBay strategy again? Bid low, bid often, lose most, and don't sweat it because another will come along soon. Look for LOTS with badly-identified lenses and bodies; exploit the seller's ignorance. Set a bid limit, your comfort level, and don't exceed it by much. And be very very patient and persistent.

Also be aware that sometimes, others just aren't paying attention. Just a few months ago, I won a SuperTak 105/2.8 for US$17.35 (shipped) in a straight-up auction. I'd bid US$25 and other bidders just didn't snipe me. Of course, I've lost more than a few auctions myself by not paying attention. Keep at it long enough, and you'll win a few.
06-05-2011, 09:26 PM   #12
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I'm not a fan of flea bay and I tend to like looking at something in my hand before I part with any pennies. I hit up pawn shops, charity shops, charity auctions, and regular auctions.
I've gotten really lucky a few times and have also walked away from things that just weren't worth the effort or were just junk. It can be a pain to take the trouble to go to an auction and lose out to someone with deep pockets that wants something more than you do...:-(
Then again, I prefer manual focus to AF, so doing it this way works for me.
06-05-2011, 09:43 PM   #13
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Wow I missed that one rico. I thought I'd seen all the 105s going. Keep a list of them on my android and it warns me when an auction is about to end. I snipe last 15-60 seconds unless my wife is demanding my attention. I'll try to be more vigilant.
06-05-2011, 09:46 PM   #14
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Yeah opfor, I am interested in finding additional sources also. You really run into a lot of film era stuff in pawn shops? Where do you find these auctions?
06-05-2011, 10:23 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Buy them from me

Seriously, though, it depends how much you want to roll the dice, or how much effort you want to put into it.

ebay...well, bidding on stuff by sellers who say "I don't know much about cameras" is about as risky as it gets (aside from shipping and Craigslist). But, deals can be had. But, are you ready to get a lens that may be worse than you hoped? If you have more time than money, you should look for bundles that have a bad description or bad pics. Sometimes a lens will be pictured, but won't be in the description for example.

Garage sales...80% of stuff is for kids and the possibility of finding Pentax stuff is very small. I've run across one 1980s "kit" by total chance, and I love garage sales.

Thrift stores...Goodwill is pretty much out since all the good stuff goes online. If they put something out (at least the stores near me...one guy on another forum in the Northwest US doesn't have the photo stuff filtered before it goes on the shelf ) it's broken or they think it's broken. Shutter is stuck, film wind won't advance, lens is stiff to focus, etc. But sometimes the body is bad but the lens is good. Not a very good visit : availability ratio at most thrift stores. I go to 3 stores weekly and end up with probably 50 books, glassware, or cool random stuff to every lens.

I am a huge fan of buying off forums. Most people are enthusiasts, and you really have to be a little committed to use manual lenses It's the best price : quality ratio out there (and honestly, you can find almost anything you want online). And most people on photography forums take pride in their pictures...squinting at blurry or out of focus 100px-wide Craigslist pics and determining the lens(es) for sale is an art form!

Regardless, patience is the key to finding the lens you want if you don't want to spend too much. Whoops, that was way too long

Edit: One more thing, if I may...I think pawn shops are extremely hit-or-miss. A Fujica X-mount camera with a 55/2.2 lens for $220 in 2008? True story! I laughed at it, out loud, since it was $200 too much.

Last edited by ryan s; 06-05-2011 at 10:28 PM.
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