View Full Version : Nikkor M 300 f9 with chipped rear element

23-Jan-2008, 06:23
I have a friend who has a Nikkor M 300mm f9 lens with a chip in the rear element. He had it professionally "doctored" and says that it still performs well. I've never damaged a lens and when I saw his, I winced. Glass, I thought, should be perfect.

Since I've never photographed with a lens with such a defect, I have no personal knowledge of the before and after performance, but I've always heard and read that lenses in that condition can still do a fine job. I believe that, but I'm not going to chip a lens to find out. (Obviously, the seriousness of the defect could make a difference.) I've seen photographs taken with the lens and there was nothing noticeably wrong with them.

My question concerns price. He needs to sell his photo equipment. I told him that the 300Ms are very popular, but I had no idea what effect the chip would have on its value.

Does anyone have any idea what he could get for the lens assuming it is in otherwise good condition? Naturally, it would have to come with a full money back guarantee, because no one should buy such a lens without testing it first. I certainly wouldn't.
But, even if it performed well, I'd think the chip would have to knock the price down significantly.

Has anyone ever bought a lens (any lens) with damage to the rear element? If so, how much less did you pay for the lens because of the flaw?

If anyone can offer information/advice, I'd appreciate it. He lives in Ohio, and he doesn't have Internet service, so I'm asking this question for him.

eric black
23-Jan-2008, 06:50
Glass damage can decrease the value to about half what the lens would sell for used normally provided that the lens still is capable of performing- your strategy of allowing a purchaser to test the lens is a good one. The 300 M lens from Nikkor is a popular lens and several seem to be up for sale at any particular time. Auction sites can give you an idea of what the current market price is. To add to your strategy for sale you might want to consider seeing if you can find someone who has a lens with front glass damage- together you could create a single good lens and an extra shutter.

Kevin M Bourque
23-Jan-2008, 07:07
I had an old Dagor with a horrifyingly large chunk taken out of the rear element. Its effect on image quality was far from obvious (and perhaps nonexistent). I got it from KEH in UG condition.

KEH has a 300M on their site graded EX+ for $695. If the pricing ratios are consistent across product lines, an UG should go for $188.

Take some pictures with it. If the results look good, ignore the damage and use it.

Brian Ellis
23-Jan-2008, 09:18
The effect on value depends on the size of the chip and where it's located. If it's big and near the center of the glass that's bad, if it's small and near the edge of the glass that's not so bad. Either way will have a significant effect on value but somebody looking for a bargain on a popular lens might discount by as little as about 25% off the non-chip price depending on size of the chip and location. Offering to return the puchase price after time for the buyer to test is a good idea and should help. And of course it could always be put on ebay with a reserve equal to the minimum he is willing to accept and see what happens if he can find someone willing to do that for him.

23-Jan-2008, 10:18
Thank you, Eric, Kevin, and Brian. All helpful information.

Obviously, there's a limited amount that can be said on this subject, but if anyone else has any additional input -- either general or about specific cases -- I'd be happy to
hear it.

Eric -- it would be great to unite it with a lens with damaged front glass.

Kevin -- Gary will never use it again and he needs money, so selling it is probably inevitable. Right now, Gary, the owner, is in Ohio, the lens is in Colorado, and I'm in Washington State. The next person to take a photo with it is almost certain to be a potential buyer.

Brian -- putting it on eBay could be risky. It might sell for $1,500, depending on the alignment of the planets or how much the chip looks like a somebody's beloved Aunt Millie.

Ernest Purdum
23-Jan-2008, 10:31
I suppose that it was "doctored" by blacking out the chip area. This could have the result of just reducing the effective aperture. How significant the reduction would be would have to be determined by experimentation, but would not likely be very great. If, however, the chipping was caused be the lens being dropped, it may be "strained" which is a cause of image problems. You can tell whether or not there is strain by putting the lens between polarizers. If there is strain, there will be a pattern which will rotate along with the lens.

22-Mar-2015, 23:49
Like Eric Black stated, I could see it going for at least half-price. I JUST (literally, 10 minutes ago) a Hasselblad 120mm CFI with a chipped rear element for $339...maybe that's proof as to what a chipped rear element lens is worth.

23-Mar-2015, 07:34
I bought a Nikkor-W 300mm with a small scratch on the front element from Japan last year (ebay, buy it now) for half the price of the regular "mint" Nikkors from other Japanese sellers.

The scratch was small I think it really have no measurable effect but the seller listed the lens for half the price. And it was not an impulse buy. I had the time to think about it couple of days, exchange messages with the seller, etc. The shutter and the lens is perfect except for the tiny scratch.

23-Mar-2015, 09:14
I wouldn't expect to pay full price for a lens with a flaw in it no matter how insignificant the flaw. I've had and used lenses with divots out of the front and out of the rear cells. I have put a drop of india ink in the divot and wiped off the excess. The idea is to reduce the reflective factor of the surfaces in the divot. I have not noticed a difference in the image and some of the divots were as large as 1/16" across and equally deep. A photographer I work with has a 360/5.6 Symmar he uses with 8x10 that has a divot 1/8" across and 1/8" deep. He has used the india ink trick on it and it works great. Fantastic images. He bought it because he was broke at the time. He's successful in the commercial side of things and can afford to replace it but doesn't see the point.

If it might bother you, ask for a 15 day money back guarantee and give it a try. Suggested price? 20-30% would be fine if that satisfies you and the seller will agree.

23-Mar-2015, 09:18
Thank you, Eric, Kevin, and Brian. All helpful information.

Brian -- putting it on eBay could be risky. It might sell for $1,500, depending on the alignment of the planets or how much the chip looks like a somebody's beloved Aunt Millie.

Putting it on eBay would probably be the least risky way to sell it. Set the minimum price that he would take and use that either for a reserve or a starting point. If it doesn't sell, it doesn't sell. Change the parameters on the next attempt and give it another try. On eBay, you don't necessarily have to accept an overly low price. Don't *offer* it at a price you are unwilling to accept.

Alan Gales
23-Mar-2015, 09:22
If I were looking to buy a Nikkor M 300mm lens off Ebay I would try to get a nice example for $400.00. For your friend's example I would expect to pay significantly less. Of course that is me.

If I had the lens to sell on Ebay I would take quality pictures of the lens and also add a couple of photos that were taken with the lens to show that it still performs well. I would also mention that it was professionally repaired and name the repair place/person and show a photo of the repair receipt. I would then list the lens at .99 no reserve and let the bidders decide what it is worth. The reason I would start it at so low a price is to start interest in it and hope a few buyers would get in a bidding war. You might be surprised at what someone will pay.

Starting the lens at .99 with no reserve may sound crazy but I have sold $500.00 items this way. It really gets bidders interested and once they start bidding some don't like being out bid.

Good luck!

One more thing. I would wait until tax season is over before I listed it.