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View Full Version : This is crazy already ('old' lens prices)



Steve H
19-Jul-2006, 12:10
All,
For the last couple of months, I've been on the old brass lens hunt. During this time, I've read most likely EVERY post on the subject to be found on this site, APUG, and perhaps the rest of the english and german speaking internet. ALL of these places say that these magic lantern lenses, these unknown brass beasts, these unmarked oddities go for pennies to $30 or so dollars....Heh, right...
In the last week, I've been outbid on 5 auctions for these sort of things. All of these lenses went for $70+. Granted, if I had the money, I wouldn't be complaining....But I just find it hard to pay more than that for a lens I haven't seen, or a lens that might not actually be what I want. Furthermore, with the costs of shipping (some of these lenses were in the UK), it would place the item well over $100.
Perhaps Im cheap ? Naw, Im just poor.
So, can we PLEASE get the word out that old lenses are TRASH ? They should just be melted down into battery cases for digi cams ?

Ole Tjugen
19-Jul-2006, 12:21
All you have to do is find an unknown lens by a known maker. I did that, and got a Ross Cabinet No.2 for $69 plus postage (OK that was a lot. But the lens is heavy, and I'm in Norway, the seller was in the US). Surprise: It's a Petzval, 14" focal length! No wonder it's heavy - f:3.5 14" anything is bound to be heavy!

Of course it's trash. Even if it's working perfectly, Iris aperture smooth with well defined click stops, glass pristine - like brand new - it's still trash.
It was made for "cabinet cards", but there are precious few 5x7" or half-plate cameras capable of handling a 6 lb lens without a shutter. A pro pos shutter: A Packard shutter with a full opening about the size of that lens is bigger than a 5x7" sheet film holder. Just about the only possibility is an old German Plate camera - for 24x30cm for extra rigidity, but with reducing plate inserts in the plate holder; and shooting in low light.

As I said, trash. :D :p

Ron Marshall
19-Jul-2006, 12:23
An item is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. These buyers believe the lenses are worth more than you do.

Ash
19-Jul-2006, 12:29
I've been outbid well over my possible budget for lenses.

I'm using 2 Wray 4.5inch enlarger lenses at £8 a piece, a Ross 8.5inch I picked up for £30, and now a 'broken' Doppel-Anastigmat Dagor 180mm my grandad gave me.

People are getting wind of the bargains, which is unfortunate.

tim atherton
19-Jul-2006, 12:37
try keeping an eye on the apug classified's - I've seen these things go for $35.00 up to $85+

Bill_1856
19-Jul-2006, 13:57
It's not just the lenses, Tim. I've not been able to get hardly anything that I wanted for the last three months, even though I always bid quite respectible prices near the end of the auctions. Some people are bidding totally CRAZY prices, and of course they use one of those services that puts in a bid during the last few seconds (sometimes it's several bidders). And more than once, I think there has been skullduggery going on with the seller.

Steve H
19-Jul-2006, 14:26
There happens to be one lens on there now. Its a Wollie Soft focus, $10 starting bid. In the auction, the buyer states that you 'must email me' prior to placing a bid. I did so, and I received an email stating that if I were "ready to purchase, the buy-it-now price is $1400". I wasn't ready, so I bid $20. about 4 hours before the auction closed, the seller ended the auction early - no reason given.
It is back up for auction again today. This time, I lodged a complaint; we'll see what happens.

Ash
19-Jul-2006, 14:35
That's against ebay policies, unless there was a reserve

Dan Fromm
19-Jul-2006, 14:57
Steve, I'm surprised that you believe people when they tell you how much (or little) they paid. This for two reasons. We all, like anglers, lie. And the really great steals are very very scarce.

For example, not that long ago I bought a 135/5.6 Symmar (jes' plain Symmar, i.e., convertible) in barrel for $32 delivered. That's way below the going rate and was when I snagged it. No lie, man! You can't match that, and neither can I.

Cheers,

Dan

Ron Marshall
19-Jul-2006, 15:03
You may have better luck using a bid snipe, such as Auction Sniper.

medform-norm
19-Jul-2006, 15:22
Steve, I'm surprised that you believe people when they tell you how much (or little) they paid. This for two reasons. We all, like anglers, lie. And the really great steals are very very scarce.

For example, not that long ago I bought a 135/5.6 Symmar (jes' plain Symmar, i.e., convertible) in barrel for $32 delivered. That's way below the going rate and was when I snagged it. No lie, man! You can't match that, and neither can I.

Cheers,

Dan

Dan, the master snagger, has spoken. Of course Dan doesn't tell us it's often a hit-and-miss business for the one doing the snagging. See it like a poker game, you win some, you lose some, whether it be in the mail or because the lens is much worse than desribed and has plastered fungus all over its elements.

Capocheny
19-Jul-2006, 15:35
There happens to be one lens on there now. Its a Wollie Soft focus, $10 starting bid. In the auction, the buyer states that you 'must email me' prior to placing a bid. I did so, and I received an email stating that if I were "ready to purchase, the buy-it-now price is $1400". I wasn't ready, so I bid $20. about 4 hours before the auction closed, the seller ended the auction early - no reason given.
It is back up for auction again today. This time, I lodged a complaint; we'll see what happens.

There's a number of sellers that engage in this practice on the big auction site and I, for one, would never bid on their auction again. IMHO, it's a blatant disregard for the process and I simply don't support the practice.

Whether it's against *ba* regulations or not... they don't seem to take this practice too seriously. And, therefore, I've seen it happen more often than I care to see! :(

[Unfortunately, even if I don't bid on the item again... there will ALWAYS be others who will. As a result, it's certainly not a loss to the seller if I'm not amongst those bidding. That's just life!]

This isn't to say that I don't understand the reasons for a seller doing it... but I just don't have to condone the actions by bidding on their items again!

Just my 2.2 cents worth.

As for the price of old brass lenses... yup, the market dictates what they're worth. If you really, really want the lens then you'll have to pony up with a few more dollars! FWIW, it seems to me that the prices of lenses, in general, are climbing of late anyway. So, I'm not terribly surprised to see these oldies increase in value either.

That's just the way the market operates! :)

Cheers

Steve H
19-Jul-2006, 17:33
Steve, I'm surprised that you believe people when they tell you how much (or little) they paid. This for two reasons. We all, like anglers, lie. And the really great steals are very very scarce.

For example, not that long ago I bought a 135/5.6 Symmar (jes' plain Symmar, i.e., convertible) in barrel for $32 delivered. That's way below the going rate and was when I snagged it. No lie, man! You can't match that, and neither can I.

Cheers,

Dan

Yes, I know I know :D

Brian Vuillemenot
19-Jul-2006, 17:43
I don't bother trying to bid on lenses on "the bay" anymore. It's just insane that people are paying more for an item used from someone they don't know than they could buy it for new from an established and reputable business, especially since the condition of the lens is invariably several notches beloew what it's described as. Of course, no one can leave negative feedback to complain, because then the seller would blast you back with negative feedback (remember a few years ago when sellers left positive feedback first?) The few bargains I've gotten are through luck- I just happened to see something I wanted that not many other people saw, and bid on it without expecting to get it. If I set out to buy, say, a 210 Apo-Sironar S and found one, with my luck the price would go way up. With all the many retailers selling used lenses that are acurately described at very reasonable prices (Bagder and Midwest are two of them), there's no point getting involved in all the insanity going on at "the auction site"!

Capocheny
19-Jul-2006, 19:22
I don't bother trying to bid on lenses on "the bay" anymore. It's just insane that people are paying more for an item used from someone they don't know than they could buy it for new from an established and reputable business, especially since the condition of the lens is invariably several notches beloew what it's described as. Of course, no one can leave negative feedback to complain, because then the seller would blast you back with negative feedback (remember a few years ago when sellers left positive feedback first?) The few bargains I've gotten are through luck- I just happened to see something I wanted that not many other people saw, and bid on it without expecting to get it. If I set out to buy, say, a 210 Apo-Sironar S and found one, with my luck the price would go way up. With all the many retailers selling used lenses that are acurately described at very reasonable prices (Bagder and Midwest are two of them), there's no point getting involved in all the insanity going on at "the auction site"!

Brian,

For the most part I don't disagree with you. But, I think it's like any buyer-seller relationship... you really have to look at who you're buying from. And, the other side of the coin is that you really have to know what the value of the item is BEFORE you bid on it.

I've managed to score a number of items at really decent prices and the conditions of those items were pretty much spot on as described in the listing. I think I've only had one or two bad deals from the bay. One of those was from a scuzzy photographer in LA who was, theoretically, from a big studio. But, the rest of my transactions have been terrific.

But, what you said about the cost of a used lens versus a new one is also quite true in a number of the cases I've seen. I think much of this over-bidding arises from a newly declared "cult" lense. For example, in the case of a Fujinon 240A, people were bidding upwards of 90% of the retail price... and for a few bucks more, they could have had a brand new lens with full warranty. But, the bidding frenzy seems to result from people mistakenly believing that the lens they're bidding on will be "the last one" on the bay, which is absolutely hilarious!

It's a case of simple buyer-beware... or beginners GREAT LUCK! :)

[And, I fully agree with your comment regarding Midwest and Badger... good people to deal with!]

Cheers

Brian Ellis
20-Jul-2006, 00:08
You may have better luck using a bid snipe, such as Auction Sniper.

A sniping service won't help if you don't place the highest bid. They're good mainly to keep your existence and bid price a secret from others, to save you the trouble of trying to perfectly time your bid so that it gets in only a couple seconds before the end of the auction, to make sure you don't forget about the auction and fail to bid, and to allow you to go to bed instead of staying up half the night waiting for an auction to end. I never understand why people bother bidding more than 10 seconds before the end of an auction. Nothing that happens before then has anything to do with the price that it will take to win since there's always going to be snipers out there with bids that you don't know about.

Ash
20-Jul-2006, 05:06
I really dont like people bidding up on items. I once put a low bid in for some Rolleicord filters. The buy it now was £30, but starting bid was a fiver. Someone deliberately bid me up in the last 24 hours, so I paid something like £32 and had to wait 4 days longer. I could have just b-i-n'd it to begin with.


It's stupid

medform-norm
20-Jul-2006, 05:25
With all this talk about Petzvals and brass canons, I though I'd check out the lenses that came with a Delineascope magic lantern we bought 10 years ago in our pre-eBay days and lo-and-behold, one of 'em is a Petzval design. No maker or brand, just a number, no iris - all in all not very remarkable. But it does cover 5x7! I guess it will stay where it is, though, as we have more than enough portrait lenses, like a huge Goerz Hypar 360/3.5 that come off eBay for a true 'Jim Gallli' price. Patience and plenty of time to rove the darker corners of eBay and like sites such as the Swedish Tradera is all you need.

Dan Fromm
20-Jul-2006, 05:28
I really dont like people bidding up on items. I once put a low bid in for some Rolleicord filters. The buy it now was 30, but starting bid was a fiver. Someone deliberately bid me up in the last 24 hours, so I paid something like 32 and had to wait 4 days longer. I could have just b-i-n'd it to begin with.


It's stupidNo, its not stupid.

You are at best too hopeful, at worst a cheapskate. Not that there's anything wrong with being a cheapskate, I'm one m'self. You hoped to, um, steal the filters but the seller priced them right. Why are you surprised or disappointed?

I like to, um, steal items offered on eBay too. But when I'm outbid on an item I don't cry foul, I accept that someone wanted it more than I did.

Ash
20-Jul-2006, 06:04
nah it is more that if I KNEW I was going to be bid up *over* the original price, I wouldn't have waited 4 extra days, I would have bought it for a reasonable price straight away.

I'm a cheapskate but I'm also very impatient, so when I am patient enough to wait for an auction to end when I could have bought something much earlier for slightly less, doesnt make sense. Get me?

BrianShaw
20-Jul-2006, 06:09
No, its not stupid.

You are at best too hopeful, at worst a cheapskate. Not that there's anything wrong with being a cheapskate, I'm one m'self. You hoped to, um, steal the filters but the seller priced them right. Why are you surprised or disappointed?

I like to, um, steal items offered on eBay too. But when I'm outbid on an item I don't cry foul, I accept that someone wanted it more than I did.

I do the same kind of e-gambling, but mostly on items I'd like but don't mind losing. I sometimes even bid too much if it is an item I just can't live without and finding it elsewhere will take too much time/effort.

Last week I got a GREAT deal on some hard-to-get filters. But it was pure luck that there were no other bidders. The week before I got a great deal on a "parts" camera. Usually there is a fairly active market on these items.

When I lose these kind of gambles and have to pay a "fair" price (or too much), I grumble a bit too. But like Ash, it's myself I call 'stupid' not the other bidders.

That "cheapskate" gene is sure difficult to evolve beyond, isn't it?

Ash
20-Jul-2006, 06:24
I dont think there's anything wrong with being a cheapskate.

Why pay more than you have to for something?? We'd never have what we wanted if we paid a 'fair' price on everything, and the second hand market wouldn't exist. Marketplace competition is all about cheapskates, because people go for the lowest price.

If you see, like in Swindon, two camera shops side by side, and one has a lens for 50 less brand new than the other does, you are going to be hard pushed to pay more than you have to. You also have to grab that bargain while it's there. The next person will have to pay the 50 more in the other shop.

Does that make sense?

BrianShaw
20-Jul-2006, 06:50
Yes... absolutely and most indubidibly YES! There's nothing wrong with being a cheapskate!!

Dan Fromm
20-Jul-2006, 07:55
I dont think there's anything wrong with being a cheapskate.

Why pay more than you have to for something?? We'd never have what we wanted if we paid a 'fair' price on everything, and the second hand market wouldn't exist. Marketplace competition is all about cheapskates, because people go for the lowest price.

If you see, like in Swindon, two camera shops side by side, and one has a lens for 50 less brand new than the other does, you are going to be hard pushed to pay more than you have to. You also have to grab that bargain while it's there. The next person will have to pay the 50 more in the other shop.

Does that make sense?This makes good sense. As I said, I'm a cheapskate myself.

But I don't wail and grumble that life is unfair when I'm outbid on eBay. Doing that makes no sense at all.

Dan Dozer
20-Jul-2006, 08:40
Steve,

I've found that you have to be patient these days.

No one else read the rest of this post because I don't want to be bidding against the rest of you on future lots.

Look around in sections other than the one for camera lenses. I've found several items in sections that aren't even related to photography. About 2 months ago, I picked up a big brass 10 x 12 lens for $28 that was in near mint condition that was in the section for telescopes. The seller (obviously not a photographer) thought it was a lens for a telescope rather than a camera. Just earlier this week, there were two brass lenses that, while they did sell in the last seconds, were both relatively inexpensive (item #'s 320005951287 and 330006338874). If you want to start picking these things up, you also probably need to start bidding in the last minute like other people out there.

Good luck and don't give up trying.

BrianShaw
20-Jul-2006, 08:47
I didn't see a thing!

Actually, the best deals I've found are on items where the seller either didn't know what it was or simply didn't write a very good title/description -- including silly mis-spellings, like 'Hassleblad' versus 'Hasselblad'. (Oh, dear, I just let one of my secrets out!). I, too, live for the thrill of a bargain and I don't feel a bit ashamed of going out of my way to look for good stuff that isn't well marketed.

Ole Tjugen
20-Jul-2006, 09:02
All,
For the last couple of months, I've been on the old brass lens hunt. During this time, I've read most likely EVERY post on the subject to be found on this site, APUG, and perhaps the rest of the english and german speaking internet. ALL of these places say that these magic lantern lenses, these unknown brass beasts, these unmarked oddities go for pennies to $30 or so dollars....Heh, right...

I just realised we've been reading the same forums and searching the same "branches" of ebay.

So many of "ALL" those posts you've read are likely to be mine. A few of my "brass cannons" have cost more han $30, most of them have cost less. Of the ones that have cost less, one at least cost me four times as much as the winning bid in shipping. But I was prepared for that - it was 3 kg of Petzval...

Sorry... :p

Jerry Flynn
20-Jul-2006, 10:09
I'm not surprised that lens prices get bid up. Notwithstanding Ebay skullduggery, it would seem to be simple supply and demand. The demand is high because it appears that many photo-ists are obsessed with lenses. When you log into this forum, just check out how many people are reading threads in the lens section vs. any other section in the forum.

Ash
20-Jul-2006, 10:15
This is true. I get serious GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) when it comes to these things. I now have 4 lenses I can use on my half plate camera, 2 are near-identical lenses. I only really need one!

Ole Tjugen
20-Jul-2006, 10:56
That's not "serious GAS". For a while I had two 13x18cm plate cameras - one bought to get the iris lensboard, one to get the Vade Mecum lens set. Then I decided that the first one was so nice I wanted to keep it in working order, and got another iris. But that was too large for the camera I wanted to use it on, so I got three more...

I managed to sell the second one at least, including one of my (then) eight 210mm barrel lenses. By sheer luck I've failed to get any more 210mm barrel lenses since then, although I've bought a 210/6.1 Xenar for use with my 4x5" camera. I only have one camera in that size, down from 2...

At the moment I've got 9 150mm lenses ranging from an E. Busch WA Aplanat to a Docter Germinar-W through a Zeiss Amatar and a Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar, and including oddities like a 150/3.5 Xenar Typ D.

I also happen to have 3 6.5x9cm and 4 9x12cm plate cameras, at least one of each size bought only for the plate holders (but still in good shape, it's just that camera with holders tend to be cheaper than three holders of known make).

That's "serious GAS".

Steve H
20-Jul-2006, 11:30
I just realised we've been reading the same forums and searching the same "branches" of ebay.

So many of "ALL" those posts you've read are likely to be mine. A few of my "brass cannons" have cost more han $30, most of them have cost less. Of the ones that have cost less, one at least cost me four times as much as the winning bid in shipping. But I was prepared for that - it was 3 kg of Petzval...

Sorry... :p

Yes Ole...MANY of those posts were yours :D . I really do appreciate all of your knowledge that is spread far and wide on the 'net.
I do look in all the cracks on ebay. Something will come my way soon, but Im just too impatient and too poor/cheap to drop a serious amount of cash on a 'toss up' lens.

Thanks again for all of your help and comments though; Im glad Im not alone....Well, then again... :D

Ash
20-Jul-2006, 14:09
Well I didnt mean simply Large Format lenses. I meant in general. For rangefinders I bought myself 3 bodies. Zorki-4k with J-8 as standard. Then I bought the collapsible I-50 for street shooting and pocketability. Then I bought a kiev-4a because it was too good to pass up. Then someone was giving a Fed4 cheap so I bought it simply for the lens.

Couple that with the Zenit-E I bought about 5 lenses for, the minolta cam I bought an extra 3 lenses for, and the other Minolta-AF I bought 4 lenses for, and a bunch of wide-angle adapters.


I didnt NEED them, but I needed the lenses all the same :)

Ole Tjugen
20-Jul-2006, 14:12
I didnt NEED them, but I needed the lenses all the same :)

That's GAS. :D

Paul Coppin
29-Jul-2006, 08:02
The bid-up on the old brass is annoying :), and I'm a talented "sniper", but at some price, even I will bail. I'm still trying to get a serviceable "cannon' for my antique 8x10 Anthony just because it would be nice to have a lens to go with the camera. For real shooting with it, I have modern glass to make nice pictures with. But so far, I'm losing to people who appear to be collecting brass because its *old*, not because its valuable (or even "collectible"). At least that's the opinion I come away with when I review the purchaser's history. Many are not collectors of vintage photography by any stretch.

JW Dewdney
29-Jul-2006, 12:10
I didn't see a thing!

Actually, the best deals I've found are on items where the seller either didn't know what it was or simply didn't write a very good title/description -- including silly mis-spellings, like 'Hassleblad' versus 'Hasselblad'. (Oh, dear, I just let one of my secrets out!). I, too, live for the thrill of a bargain and I don't feel a bit ashamed of going out of my way to look for good stuff that isn't well marketed.

So true! One of my favorite acquisitions was a brand new Micromega grain focusser that I got for $7 because the seller thought it was a children's microscope!

wfwhitaker
29-Jul-2006, 16:01
"Bidding has ended for this item at US $1,345.00. You were outbid."

No kidding.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=009&item=190011955136&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEDW%3AIT&rd=1
(12" f/6.8 Dagor in Ilex Acme #4)

Paul Coppin
29-Jul-2006, 18:26
The buyer is chinese -perhaps there is something to the observation that the Chinese are buying up all the LF stuff because of current raging interest in LF. Now where did I put all that junk...? :)

snuck
29-Jul-2006, 19:00
Hey forget THEM Coppin, if you have junk, give it to me! I'm in your area... I would think that they just like LF because it's a nice robust format, and they get enough technosleaze in life to want a break from it.

Cheers


The buyer is chinese -perhaps there is something to the observation that the Chinese are buying up all the LF stuff because of current raging interest in LF. Now where did I put all that junk...? :)

JW Dewdney
29-Jul-2006, 19:05
... questionable old german lenses go for prices like that and now THIS...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Devere-10x10-Horizontal-Enlarger_W0QQitemZ290011640171QQihZ019QQcategoryZ29985QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Where's the justice??

Hugo Zhang
29-Jul-2006, 19:15
Paul,

"The buyer is chinese -perhaps there is something to the observation that the Chinese are buying up all the LF stuff because of current raging interest in LF."

Would you be surprised to know that more LF and ULF cameras are made and sold in China as we speak?

Randy H
30-Jul-2006, 03:57
I really dont like people bidding up on items. I once put a low bid in for some Rolleicord filters. The buy it now was 30, but starting bid was a fiver. Someone deliberately bid me up in the last 24 hours, so I paid something like 32 and had to wait 4 days longer. I could have just b-i-n'd it to begin with.

Then why did you bid that much?

I have found more than a few bargains on Ebay. When I see an item I want, I determine how much I am willing to pay for it, bid on it, and forget it. If I get it cool. If I don't, oh well. As for ending early, have you ever been to "real" auctions? You may have the winning number, but seller still has right to accept or to P O the price. My two latest was an 8x10 Conley view camera for $23 and an old 11x14 studio camera for $7.50. Both items, I was the only bidder. One was listed as an old enlarger, or something. The other was listed as a copier of some kind. Just wait, be patient, and you will find what you want at a price you are willing to pay. Patience has its reward.

Paul Coppin
30-Jul-2006, 05:57
Paul,

"The buyer is chinese -perhaps there is something to the observation that the Chinese are buying up all the LF stuff because of current raging interest in LF."

Would you be surprised to know that more LF and ULF cameras are made and sold in China as we speak?

No, not at all. I see that as good news. A huge and healthy Chinese market for LF benefits us all. It will mean continued availability of hardware and film, even if its of chinese manufacture. Who knows, maybe the gentleman who bought the lens directs a manufacturing concern specializing in opto-mechanical devices... Given the population of China, I would think just about everything gets done in bigger numbers... :)

I've just not seen many buyers on Ebay from China until recently, and outside of Hongkong, Shanghai and Singapore, Chinese are not thought of as being particularly wealthy, a view of course based not on fact but on cultural perception ;) As China comes "on-line" it will be a formidable market. I'm only glad I got my Ebay treasures a few years back, when I could afford them :).

Keith S. Walklet
30-Jul-2006, 22:37
Which is the worse offense, high prices on legitimate equipment, or selling non-functional replicas for decorative purposes? ;-)

Check out this link:

http://ww2.potterybarn.com/cat/pip.cfm?src=schi1%7Cp1%7Cwcamera&pkey=sa1s00camera&gids=p7449

or just go to the Pottery Barn website and search for "camera."

Steve H
31-Jul-2006, 05:42
Keith,
Ya, I saw that. If you look at their catalogue in print (Ok, I didn't...but my girlfriend did, and she showed me the spread), they have a display setup with about...10 different 'vintage look' cameras all over the place. That old plate cam, a kodak bantam looking thing, an old brownie, etc.

I *still* haven't gotten lucky on sleezebay. Im seriously thinking of building my own meniscus first while I wait.

Jim Galli
31-Jul-2006, 06:53
Steve, I'm surprised that you believe people when they tell you how much (or little) they paid. This for two reasons. We all, like anglers, lie. And the really great steals are very very scarce.

For example, not that long ago I bought a 135/5.6 Symmar (jes' plain Symmar, i.e., convertible) in barrel for $32 delivered. That's way below the going rate and was when I snagged it. No lie, man! You can't match that, and neither can I.

Cheers,

Dan

I don't lie, but I am selective. Like slot machine gamblers. For some reason they only tell you about the 'big win' and forget to tell you how much that really cost them! The Casino didn't build a million square foot palace by giving $$$ away. Human nature. OK, so I just spent $400 on a Cooke brassie and it turns out to be less than average condition and the aperture doesn't even work. Then there's the Dagor and the G-Claron of mine that I was supposed to turn a small profit on to buy my next box of film. They ended last evening at a net loss. $350 for a 305 G-Claron in Copal shutter. That was a $550 lens!!! And a perfectly good useable 10 3/4" Dagor for $255??? Was Ebay down last night when my auctions were finishing or something. So don't feel too bad when I post a bunch of pics at APUG that I made with my $56 Petzval. Yes I really did get it for $56 but if you averaged all the goods and bads together you'd find it probably cost me a lot more than that.

Ole Tjugen
31-Jul-2006, 08:24
OK, so I just spent $400 on a Cooke brassie and it turns out to be less than average condition and the aperture doesn't even work...

If that's the one I was after too, all I can say is "thanks". :)

I have some "bad buys" too, but only for relatively small sums. The worst one was simultaneously the best one - two big Petzvals for $69 and $16 on the same day from the same buyer. I knew they were big, but not THAT big... Postage was a killer! So I'm glad I bought both, especially as I didn't know the $16 one was a Petzval (even the Vade Mecum didn't know).

And the cheap 300mm Symmar. Cheap, yes. But it was glued to the lensboard, and when I finally got it off, I discovered the rear threads of the shutter is dented. So that rear element is really difficult to get back on after removing it to put the lens on a camera!

Steve H
31-Jul-2006, 10:22
So don't feel too bad when I post a bunch of pics at APUG that I made with my $56 Petzval.

I don't feel bad at all. Its more of an envy thing for me...Perhaps for a couple of reasons.
#1 - Your lens selection (at any sane price) is great
#2 - The grass is always greener on the other side. Us 'easterners' think of how great it must be
shooting ghost towns out west. We have ghost towns here too, but the shooting that goes on
is of a different sort.
#3 - See #1

Im giving Ebay a break for a little while I think. In the meantime, I found a nice hunk of brass that was lying around my friend's machine shop. I ordered up two achromats from surplus shed, so Im going to try my hand at making a meniscus lens until my brass bomber shows itself on Ebay.

Michael Graves
1-Aug-2006, 10:52
Keep in mind that a lot of this so-called high pricing is smoke and mirrors. Watch the bidder IDs on a lot of these items and you'll discover a lot of shill bidding going on. For example chient99 has bought over 1800 items....

from only 4 stores. It's a fact of life when looking on Ebay. The key is to simply not do business with the companies that use this technique.

Ted Harris
2-Aug-2006, 18:42
OTOH remember too that bargains are still plentiful on eBay if you have a sharp eye. My latest example: I just won 8 boxes of 13x18 EPR, expired late 2001 but frozen, for the total price of ~ $50 including shipping from Spain to the US. I was the only bidder, it was a real surprise as the auction ended somethinglike 4 in the morning EDT and I left a snipe before I went to bed. Fresh price for the film is around $50 a box.

Dave_B
2-Aug-2006, 19:41
Folks:
The bidding on a Nikon 150 mm, f8 lens that just ended on ebay was nuts. In one case the increase was almost $450 between bids. The sniping at the end drove the price up >$300 in the last few seconds. It seems to me that >$1000 for that lens was a lot given that you can buy the faster one (f5.6) brand new from B&H for half the price. The difference is that image circle for the f8 is larger. I hope the person who bought it wasn't planning on using it just for 4x5. If so, they made an expensive mistake.
Cheers,
Dave B.

Don Hutton
2-Aug-2006, 19:55
Sorry - there's a lot of ignorance at play here:

Due to the fact that you can use third party "sniping" software, the price shown before the end of the auction is completely meaningless and doesn't begin to reflect people's intentions. The winning bids in a very high percentage of auctions are placed within the last few seconds - that's old news. Secondly, the winning bid is actually a very good price for this lens - it's an 8x10 lens with few equals (the Schneider 150mmXL is really the only competition in 150mm lenses for 8x10 with great coverage) and this is a very desirable option. I haven't seen one change hands for under $1000...


Folks:
The bidding on a Nikon 150 mm, f8 lens that just ended on ebay was nuts. In one case the increase was almost $450 between bids. The sniping at the end drove the price up >$300 in the last few seconds. It seems to me that >$1000 for that lens was a lot given that you can buy the faster one (f5.6) brand new from B&H for half the price. The difference is that image circle for the f8 is larger. I hope the person who bought it wasn't planning on using it just for 4x5. If so, they made an expensive mistake.
Cheers,
Dave B.

Dave_B
2-Aug-2006, 20:14
Mr. Hutton:
Ignorance on my part, nastiness on yours. Given a check of your previous posts, that appears to be your stand operating procedure in this forum.
Have a nice day,
Dave B.

Don Hutton
2-Aug-2006, 20:18
So sorry Dave B., but really, a little thought before you typed and the same effort investigating my forum decorum applied to researching the lens in question and you wouldn't have bothered to make this post. Anyway, my apologies for offending...

Dave_B
2-Aug-2006, 20:34
Mr. Hutton:
Accepted.
Dave B.

Steve H
3-Aug-2006, 05:44
Im interested to see what the 'Collection of old brass lenses' is going to bring. I would guess well over $700.

Charles
3-Aug-2006, 09:47
There happens to be one lens on there now. Its a Wollie Soft focus, $10 starting bid. In the auction, the buyer states that you 'must email me' prior to placing a bid. I did so, and I received an email stating that if I were "ready to purchase, the buy-it-now price is $1400". I wasn't ready, so I bid $20. about 4 hours before the auction closed, the seller ended the auction early - no reason given.
It is back up for auction again today. This time, I lodged a complaint; we'll see what happens.

Auctions with statements to email for a buy it now price before bidding are usually fraudulent. Often the perpetrator is using a stolen ID and often the location of the item doesn't match the location of the person whose ID has been stolen. More than once I've seen Fuji GX617 cameras and lenses offered for $1500.00 or so on a buy it now, or about 1/3 of the market price. Everytime I see such an auction with a buy it now offer outside of ebay I report it as fraudulent.

Jonathan Brewer
3-Aug-2006, 18:28
There's a Pinkham & Smith Visual Bi-Quality here if this link works..... http://cgi.ebay.com/Pinkham-Bi-Quality-Lens_W0QQitemZ300013749586QQihZ020QQcategoryZ30076QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
.........this is first time I've ever seen a P&S on e-bay, there are no bids and they want 9 hundred and change, with about 5 days to go, there are some folks here looking for this kind of lens, the price is steep, but I've seen Arsenal trying to sell a Nicola Pershied for $5,000.

anachromatic
4-Sep-2006, 16:29
OTOH remember too that bargains are still plentiful on eBay if you have a sharp eye. My latest example: I just won 8 boxes of 13x18 EPR, expired late 2001 but frozen, for the total price of ~ $50 including shipping from Spain to the US. I was the only bidder, it was a real surprise as the auction ended somethinglike 4 in the morning EDT and I left a snipe before I went to bed. Fresh price for the film is around $50 a box.

Hi Ted,
I was in Barcelona at the auction time and I trayed to bid on the film boxes but unfortunately I didn't find a computer for to bid. 15 minutes later, I visited the shop of the seller(the real name is Casanova Foto)and I buyed a mint 420mm. Universal Heliar for USD 230.- It's incredible!!!!....We are in a little world....We are in the same town....Kind regards.

anachromatique.