View Full Version : Would you have bid for these lenses?

Steven Tribe
19-Jul-2013, 14:06
UK auctioneers are an interesting group and give almost as much entertainment as e**y.
To-day's highlight was mystery box of small lenses (total weight 2.5 kilos) where you can only see the vague outlines of small barrel lenses and a dial compur. The lenses where enclosed in plastic bags, just hinting at the content's form and type. Rather like being an observer at a masked ball!
Perhaps around 10? 2.5kilos devided by 10 gives around 250g, which is about right for smaller large format lenses.
Could be anything from the well-known "no-names" or budget Lancaster to more exciting Ross items. I suppose these will be for 1/4 and 1/2 plate.
I thought about having a questionnaire as a summer amusement - something like:

What do you think this lot contains?

0 Mostly none Photographic lenses.
0 Mostly "no-name" lenses.
0 Mostly part lenses, with some without glass.
0 Mostly known lenses (Ross, Lancaster and Optimus).
0 1/4 plate or less.
0 1/2 plate.

But I don't know how to arrange a questionnaire!

Was I a fool to invest 30 in this lot? To be honest, I have been exceptional lucky recently, so perhaps my luck has finally changed?

19-Jul-2013, 14:58
Only time will tell...!

Jim Noel
19-Jul-2013, 15:16
There could be one lens in the group which is worth more than you paid for it. If you like to experiment with lenses, it could be a bonanza.
Or Not!

John Kasaian
19-Jul-2013, 15:18
At least one of the brassies looks perhaps to be a small petzval off a magic lantern? That would be a prize!
It also looks like there is a second shutter down in there under the dial Compur.

19-Jul-2013, 15:20
I never buy anything unless I NEED it. (Or unless I THINK that I need it.)

Vincent Pidone
19-Jul-2013, 15:30
Let me be the first to offer to buy it from you at your cost.

(You are going to tell us what was in the box, aren't you?)

19-Jul-2013, 15:35
I personally love mystery lots. I would have bid up to about $100, if shipping costs were reasonable (<$3o to Canada from UK). I wouldn't really care if there were a treasure hidden in the lot, I would have immediately fit the lot onto appropriate cameras and gone out shooting.

Jim Galli
19-Jul-2013, 15:42
Irresistable! Yes, in a heartbeat :D:D

Tin Can
19-Jul-2013, 15:54
Steven, you seem far from a fool ever, from your comments on this forum.

I definitely would have done the same.

I have bought blind lots of LF and just last night I was considering how lucky I have been, despite discovering fungus on a couple. I had to remind myself how well I have done and not worry about the occasional rotten apple.

I really hate fungus.

We all want to know what you acquired.

19-Jul-2013, 16:43
I have bought more than once a lot of lenses because there was one in there I lusted for ;-) ... mystery box ... yes, by all means ;-)

19-Jul-2013, 16:54
Yeah, I've discovered two Dagors in unknown lots, and one very large Petzval. It sometimes works out. But I don't bid too high, in case there is nothing useful there.

Andrew Plume
24-Jul-2013, 11:03

..........for that price and shipping, there's no downside at all imo



Steven Tribe
24-Jul-2013, 12:21
Andrew, I did think that you might have been to the auction, taken things out of the plastic bags - and decided not to bid!
But there were almost no other photographic items other than this lot - so I didn't think I would be bidding against you - unless you were on internet.
I do miss the real saleroom atmosphere, though!

24-Jul-2013, 12:27
I'd have paid 30 with no hesitation.


24-Jul-2013, 12:29
I never buy anything unless I NEED it. (Or unless I THINK that I need it.)

Clearly, Bill, you have forgotten the unofficial mandate of this forum. :)

24-Jul-2013, 12:49
Clearly, Bill, you have forgotten the unofficial mandate of this forum. :)

That's how I've ended up with drawers full of lenses :D and shutters I need to work through and repair :eek: The upside is at good prices.


Steven Tribe
24-Jul-2013, 13:45
I promise to reveal the contents - good, bad or indifferent.
Probably a week from now - the auctioneers are suffering from the usual post-auction stress.

Carsten Wolff
24-Jul-2013, 19:26
I've only ever done that twice:
Mostly to try out stuff and to peddle the rest when I needed money. Both times I did ok.
I bought perhaps ~$400-worth of Wollies, Kodaks, a tiny, scratched Dallmeyer 1aa and a nice Cooke, all in a very dusty, left-open, not-touched-for-decades, cigar box for $60 (crappy photo, online) - There was also an unnamed landscape lens in working and accurate (!) shutter in there, which I still use and cherish.
Recently, I bought ~$700-worth of cameras via classifieds for $75 (incl. a Super-Isolette, which I just resold)); again, the ad-pic had been horrendously bad.
Part of the lot trash/toy/35mm plastic cameras went to the local charity shop for the Lomo-hipsters and other rubbish-collectors out there. :)

So, 30? For that? Looks very good to me and worth far more even from what I can see. - Why not, if you have the time/money to play. Keep us updated!

sun of sand
26-Jul-2013, 17:08
If i were at an auction and that came up around here it would sell for 30-75 bucks
I'd go 75 but not much more only because other items often come up of known quality you can get for the same price and I can't buy everything

it might be worth it at 150 or 200 but then youre skating on ice

one f5 rebranded Vesta barrel lens eddie gunks bought off ebay was purchased at this local auction house i attend
Id have bought it but that was the 1! day I went with only $50 cause i wasn't expecting anything and had already bought a couple items
sold for $70
Eddie bought for $200 and made a good profit on it when he sold it ..but couldn't sell it on LFF

sorry to eddie if im giving away some secret here that he tries to sell for more than paid
who doesnt

Jim Galli
26-Jul-2013, 17:13
Eddie bought for $200 and made a good profit on it when he sold it ..but couldn't sell it on LFF

sorry to eddie if im giving away some secret here that he tries to sell for more than paid
who doesnt

It's called capitalism. It's OK. Apologies not necessary.

Tin Can
26-Jul-2013, 17:26
We all do it.

Buy low sell high.

It's called capitalism. It's OK. Apologies not necessary.

John Koehrer
28-Jul-2013, 15:36
^^^^^^Sometimes it's lose a little on each one but make it up in volume^^^^^^^^^:o(

28-Jul-2013, 15:45
We all do it.

Buy low sell high.

Oh, so that's what I've been doing wrong!

Tin Can
28-Jul-2013, 16:10
The old man owner of my former employer imparted that advice to me one day as he did his daily rounds, of his one million sq ft factory.

I never forgot it. It was more than my father told me. His advice was to put my nose to the grindstone.

Bad idea.

Oh, so that's what I've been doing wrong!

Steven Tribe
29-Jul-2013, 02:56
So the contents of the mystery auction lot are now known!
The auctioneers have been super effective in keeping the postage cost down and all items were individually packed in bubble wrap. Some actually deserved this VIP treatment!

There were lenses for full plate. Plenty of no-name small RR's, but also Lancaster, Ross and Dallmeyer (x2).

There were 3 no-name RR's for 1/4 - 1/2 plate - none in outstanding condition.
1 reflex focussing mount T-P/Beck aplanat.
1 Ross Xpres 4.5 5" in a sunken focussing mount for a reflex camera.
Goerz Dagor 180mm in a nice looking (but non-functioning) Compound - very clean glass.
Lancaster (?) plate size landscape lens in reflex mount with Lancaster See-Saw shutter.
Dallmeyer (sold by Watson) RR full plate RR with 3 numbered WHS - early 15813.
Dallmeyer wide angled Patent landscape size 2 (full plate 8 1/2") with rotary stops and removable front.

Alas, not many flanges present.
Also included was a period tin containing a cleaning compound!

Unfortunately, this lot was turned into 2 parcels which arrived at the same time as two other bulky parcels - so some eyebrows were raised in my nearest family!

Emil Schildt
29-Jul-2013, 03:47
That Dallmeyer landscape lens can make such fine soft focused images! A gem!

Steven Tribe
29-Jul-2013, 04:04
Yes I am very pleased with the Dallmeyer lenses. The landscape 3-lens achromat has been on my wanted list for some time, but alway seemed a little expensive.
And the plate Rapid Rectilinear will replace a number of no-name or Optimus RR's.
Lancaster's see-saw contraption is not just my cup of tea, but the lens looks quite good.

29-Jul-2013, 07:38
Nice catch ... ;-)