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Thread: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

  1. #1

    Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    I find it incredibly stressful buying lenses sight unseen... not necessarily the condition, but rather, how the lens draws and itís characteristics. Some of these lenses command high value in the 8x10 world and itís hard to get your hands on something to ďtest itĒ and see if itís for you. My dream is a rental company sending out rental glass from old vintage dagors to modern APO Sironar S lenses.

    I know they hold their value but plunking down 1500-2000 and hoping you like it always makes me nervous!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    I agree! I want an old brass soft focus lens for my 4x5, but I do not know what I am looking at. I have 30+ years in film and digital photography and not an iota of experience with old lenses. I sold off my Cooke PS945 and now I want something similar but antique. Anyone with advice, please share your experience, opinions, etc.

    Much appreciated!
    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

  3. #3

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    What you wanted was a company called Lens&Repro in NYC. They had all the LF lenses you could desire. Sadly, they closed down a few years back.
    I don't know who in New York offers equipment rentals now, so can't help with that.

  4. #4
    Foamer
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Most sellers offer return privilege in a reasonable length of time.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  5. #5

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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sampson View Post
    What you wanted was a company called Lens&Repro in NYC. They had all the LF lenses you could desire. Sadly, they closed down a few years back.
    I don't know who in New York offers equipment rentals now, so can't help with that.
    FotoCare, Adorama, K&M among others.

  6. #6
    Les
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Would it be out of step to request some photos taken with the lens ? If it's a collector, then that could be more difficult. At least...it would be SOMETHING.

    Les

  7. #7
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    I sold off my Cooke PS945 and now I want something similar but antique. Anyone with advice, please share your experience, opinions, etc.
    Well, the obvious choice is the 9-inch P&S Visual Quality, which the PS945 is based on.

    If people are lucky enough to live where a number of LF photographers are nearby, you may be able to try a few lenses. I've loaned a few of mine out locally with no regrets.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    What did you NOT like about the PS945?

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    I agree! I want an old brass soft focus lens for my 4x5, but I do not know what I am looking at. I have 30+ years in film and digital photography and not an iota of experience with old lenses. I sold off my Cooke PS945 and now I want something similar but antique. Anyone with advice, please share your experience, opinions, etc.

    Much appreciated!
    Darr
    sin eater

  9. #9
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Well, the obvious choice is the 9-inch P&S Visual Quality, which the PS945 is based on.

    If people are lucky enough to live where a number of LF photographers are nearby, you may be able to try a few lenses. I've loaned a few of mine out locally with no regrets.
    Yes, I have this lens on a search. Thank you Mark.

    Also want to say how much I enjoyed your pixie portfolio in Lenswork a few years ago.
    I was teaching photography at a technical college and shared your work on the big screen with my students.
    They all loved it as much as I do.

    Kind regard,
    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

  10. #10
    darr's Avatar
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    Re: Stress of Buying Lenses - Sight Unseen / Reputation

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    What did you NOT like about the PS945?

    I liked the lens a lot, but needed money towards my digital medium format setup, and the medium format tech camera would not take Copal 3 shutters (too large).
    So I had to trim the gear some. I had put my 4x5 on hold for a few years, but now I am back. I shoot probably as much film as digital now.

    Darr
    Website: photoscapes.com
    Photo Blog: darrlene.com

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