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01-28-2010, 08:37 PM   #1
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What do I look for in a used lens

I wasn't sure where to post this, the lens board seemed a little to technical for my questions.

I want to look into getting some older pentax lenses. When looking at a lens what do I look for physically? What does fungus look like? What does oil on the blades look like?


Delia

01-28-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeliaRana Quote
I wasn't sure where to post this, the lens board seemed a little to technical for my questions.

I want to look into getting some older pentax lenses. When looking at a lens what do I look for physically? What does fungus look like? What does oil on the blades look like?


Delia
Delia, Are you looking at them in Person or online? The difference matters even when you know what to look for..

First, you want to make sure the lens focuses smoothly. The aperture clicks positively. Retractable hoods move in and out. Look for Zoom creep. Put the lens zoom at one extreme or the other. Set it down so that the zoom ring is at the highest point. No zoom creep, the zoom ring will stay where you left it. Some zoom creep, it will move very slowly. Massive zoom creep, it will not stay at all (RUN). Decide what you want to use the lens for and make your decision based on that. In other words, will you only be taking straight on level shots? If not, you Don't want to be holding the zoom ring to get your picture. Look at the filter ring. A bent one means the lens has been dropped or something hit it. Oft times this may not have an affect on the glass but I'd be weary of buying lenses in this condition. That is, unless it's a bargain (FA31mm Limited for $100 type of bargain).

Second, you want to make sure the previous owner knew how to care for the glass. If in person, take along a small flashlight or one of those LED lights. Open the aperture all the way and shine the light though one end while looking at the other. This will reveal all glass flaws, including fungus (which looks like fine fuzzy cotton or spider web strands in most cases). Do this from both directions.

Third, The aperture. Stop it all the way down to it's smallest opening (f22) and actuate the lever on the rear of the lens. If it snaps back without delay, you are probably good to go. Also examine the blades visually. If they are oiled, they will look wet. RUN!

Fourth, if you can mount it on your camera, do so. Be careful though, some PK-R mount (Ricoh) lenses will get stuck.

Fifth, Don't overpay. Many sellers think that for instance, an A50f1.4 sells for $200, then the A50 f2.0 should be worth $100. In reality, if one pays more than about $30 for a perfect copy, they paid too much. Just be mindful of what something is really worth.

If you're buying from an online dealer, try and choose a reputable one. KEH, B&H, Adorama, etc. If this is an ebay purchase, try and get the answers before buying or know what the return policy is and if you're willing to accept it.

Good luck.. Hope to see some cool pics from your new lenses...

01-28-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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I asked this very same question a while back.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/34161-used-lenses.html
01-28-2010, 09:41 PM   #4
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This is what a lens with fungus looks like.



Fortunately it wasn't very hard to clean, but not something most people would want to do.


Last edited by boriscleto; 02-10-2010 at 09:18 PM.
01-28-2010, 10:41 PM   #5
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Here's oil on the blades.
01-29-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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Thank you all for the replies. It was exactly the info I was wanting. The images will help greatly, also.

As for me posting pics, I still have quite a bit to learn first. I am taking a class for beginners and it is helping quite a bit in understanding aperture, shutter speed and ISO and how they are related. I always come back to the boards to compare the info I receive in class.

Delia
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