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01-20-2015, 08:59 AM   #1
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ebay 80-200 issue... is this normal?

Hi all,
I've just received an SMC Pentax-M 80-200mm f/4.5 (first series) from a reputable seller (a store, not an individual) on ebay.
There are two issues with the lens.

The first is purely (I hope) cosmetic: there is a long scratch on the barrel, like if a grain of sand/stone/wathever was "catched" in the pumping action.
It has been hastily painted over, and it didn't appear in the many detailed photos. The condition was described as "tested", "excellent" and "in full working order", but I just could file it under "light (?) signs of use"... not the most open/honest way of making a sale if you asked me...

The main issue is a strange behavior with the lens at 200mm... it's soft at f/4.5 (ok), a wee bit sharper at f/5.6 (ok), it gets noticeably worse at f/8, at f/11 is comparable with f/5.6 and it's sharpest at f/16.
It's definitely not what I was expecting, as per all the research I've made on the topic. But then again it could well be sample variation

I'm thinking about sending a civil email stating my slight disappointment before leaving a feedback... I'm NOT sending it back and lose half of what I paid in postage (from and to)... I could ask for a moderate refund... do you think I have a case here?

Thanks in advance

01-20-2015, 09:05 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Unless you're just not focusing it correctly, it shouldn't ever be sharper at F16 than at wider apertures. Sounds like a defective lens to me.

Adam
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01-20-2015, 09:16 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Unless you're just not focusing it correctly, it shouldn't ever be sharper at F16 than at wider apertures. Sounds like a defective lens to me.
Thanks for the reply.
Tripod (Manfrotto 190 series with proper 3-way head), lens perpendicular to the target, MF wide open, no refocusing between shots, 2s self-timer.
I did the whole series twice.
01-20-2015, 09:18 AM - 1 Like   #4
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If covered by buyer protection you will not pay shipping. Once you open a dialog with the seller if they ask you to pay shipping document the problems and open a dispute - ebay will send you a return shipping label once the dispute is decided - you and the seller negotiate and if there is an impasse you get ebay involved (48 hours from when you start the process - not including weekends). If ebay agrees that the item is not as described then you get a full refund - and you are done. The seller pays the shipping charges in this case. You send the lens back using the label ebay provides, and when the seller gets the item they tell ebay and you are done.

It's slow and annoying compared to the seller just agreeing to resolve the issue.

01-20-2015, 10:00 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Focus shift at 200mm? Long shot, but try using optical preview to stop the lens down to f/8 WHILE YOU ARE FOCUSING to see if you can get anything sharp at f/8. Alternatively, take a picture of a fence or something like that so it is running away from you (nearly perpendicular) so you can see if it is focused on something even if not the exact part of the fence you are aiming at. (Use a middle distance, not minimum.)
01-20-2015, 10:14 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
Focus shift at 200mm? Long shot, but try using optical preview to stop the lens down to f/8 WHILE YOU ARE FOCUSING to see if you can get anything sharp at f/8. Alternatively, take a picture of a fence or something like that so it is running away from you (nearly perpendicular) so you can see if it is focused on something even if not the exact part of the fence you are aiming at. (Use a middle distance, not minimum.)
I'll try that as well... maybe tomorrow.
Thanks for your input.

Last edited by LensBeginner; 01-20-2015 at 10:50 AM.
01-20-2015, 10:41 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Hi all,
I've just received an SMC Pentax-M 80-200mm f/4.5 (first series) from a reputable seller (a store, not an individual) on ebay.
There are two issues with the lens.

The first is purely (I hope) cosmetic: there is a long scratch on the barrel, like if a grain of sand/stone/wathever was "catched" in the pumping action.
It has been hastily painted over, and it didn't appear in the many detailed photos. The condition was described as "tested", "excellent" and "in full working order", but I just could file it under "light (?) signs of use"... not the most open/honest way of making a sale if you asked me...

The main issue is a strange behavior with the lens at 200mm... it's soft at f/4.5 (ok), a wee bit sharper at f/5.6 (ok), it gets noticeably worse at f/8, at f/11 is comparable with f/5.6 and it's sharpest at f/16.
It's definitely not what I was expecting, as per all the research I've made on the topic. But then again it could well be sample variation

I'm thinking about sending a civil email stating my slight disappointment before leaving a feedback... I'm NOT sending it back and lose half of what I paid in postage (from and to)... I could ask for a moderate refund... do you think I have a case here?

Thanks in advance
Return it to the seller. Ebay backs the buyer in these cases.

If you make a "Request" to ebay and say the reason is "not as described", and you "can't work it out with the seller", ebay will email you a prepaid mailing label for return and refund your full purchase price and shipping. Costs you nothing, except the effort to pack and ship. Better than letting this gnaw at you.
01-20-2015, 02:46 PM - 1 Like   #8
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It's like politics - maybe the original incident is no big deal, but the coverup gets everyone's attention. A scratch is only cosmetic, but if they avoided showing it in photos or mentioning it in descriptions, I think send it back. And I hate to send stuff back. The only thing I ever sent back was a Sigma 100-300 that was sold as a Pentax 100-300.

The optical problem is interesting but only academically.

01-20-2015, 03:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
It's like politics - maybe the original incident is no big deal, but the coverup gets everyone's attention. A scratch is only cosmetic, but if they avoided showing it in photos or mentioning it in descriptions, I think send it back. And I hate to send stuff back. The only thing I ever sent back was a Sigma 100-300 that was sold as a Pentax 100-300.

The optical problem is interesting but only academically.
Well... not so much academical... I bought it to actually shoot with it, not for the "collectible" value...
As far as the coverup thing, the scratch is in a potentially sensitive area. It's not the scratch per se, but the fact that something got jammed between the barrel and the zoom/focus ring in order to produce those marks... and the more I think about it, the more it bothers me, more than the "cover-up" thing...


Last edited by LensBeginner; 01-20-2015 at 03:10 PM.
01-20-2015, 03:16 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Most folks selling on eBay for any length of time know that they have to play nice or they get black listed over time. Today I found in my mailbox a 50mm f/2.8 Nikor enlarging lens that was stated as clean and no scratches on the lens etc. Excellent condition it said. This is what I saw when I looked through the lens:

The person who sold it could not have been more friendly and cooperative. My guess is that a superficial inspection was done and it was missed in my case. In your case, I'm not sure.
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01-20-2015, 03:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Most folks selling on eBay for any length of time know that they have to play nice or they get black listed over time. Today I found in my mailbox a 50mm f/2.8 Nikor enlarging lens that was stated as clean and no scratches on the lens etc. Excellent condition it said. This is what I saw when I looked through the lens:

The person who sold it could not have been more friendly and cooperative. My guess is that a superficial inspection was done and it was missed in my case. In your case, I'm not sure.
Holy... that's some stuff!
It could actually be that my issue flew under the radar... it's a store and they have 250+ listing ATM, and you couldn't notice the scratch unless you pumped the lens to at least the 150mm position, and even at the 200mm position it was still difficult to spot. It's only when focusing at MFD that the non-painted-over part becomes visible.
So I can still assume good faith, and that's one reason why I didn't post the name of the outfit (the other being that it's only fair to hear their side of the story).
01-20-2015, 03:24 PM   #12
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On the plus side - the lens is in excellent cosmetic shape and may make a nice paperweight for my office since the original seller has said they will refund my money and they do not want the lens returned.
01-20-2015, 03:32 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
there is a long scratch on the barrel, like if a grain of sand/stone/wathever was "catched" in the pumping action.
It has been hastily painted over, and it didn't appear in the many detailed photos. The condition was described as "tested", "excellent" and "in full working order", but I just could file it under "light (?) signs of use"... not the most open/honest way of making a sale if you asked me...
QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
As far as the coverup thing, the scratch is in a potentially sensitive area. It's not the scratch per se, but the fact that something got jammed between the barrel and the zoom/focus ring in order to produce those marks...
QuoteQuote:
So I can still assume good faith,
I think not. That is not a scratch. That is a painted index mark that has been painted over. I think you have have a "frankenlens" or some other sort of botched repair attempt. Three words, "SEND IT BACK", with reason being that the lens was not as described and in poor condition optically (i.e.,not fully operational).


Steve
01-20-2015, 03:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I think not. That is not a scratch. That is a painted index mark that has been painted over. I think you have have a "frankenlens" or some other sort of botched repair attempt. Three words, "SEND IT BACK", with reason being that the lens was not as described and in poor condition optically (i.e.,not fully operational).
Steve
Nope, it's most definitely a scratch.
The macro maybe isn't all that clear, but there's a visible albeit very small indentation on the focus/zoom grip where it meets the scratch, and the scratch itself is heavier and deeper under the barrel and it ends like three small scratches on the other end = something got jammed between barrel and grip.
Moreover, it's on the back, and an index mark there wouldn't make any sense.
Thanks for your suggestion, I will consider it.
01-20-2015, 04:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Nope, it's most definitely a scratch.
Your photo appears to show a groove about 1mm constant width with consistent depth. I have seen a lot of scratches on lens barrels, but none that looked like that. Regardless of the source...something was painted over that was not supposed to be there


Steve
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