« Sunday Support Group: How Often Should You Weigh Yourself? (OT) | Main | Two Beauties »

Monday, 30 March 2020


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

If that lens purchase is the dumbest thing you've ever done, you're way better off than me and, I suspect, most of your readers.

I recently bought a fogged lens on eBay too, for a Mamiya TLR. It was a couple of months before I got negs back from it and discovered this problem.

I contacted the seller but he said he wasn't obliged to refund me since I was past eBay's 30 days return period.

Needless to say, I was a bit irked — camera people are usually better than this.

I sold it on for a tiny fraction of what I'd paid for it since cleaning would have cost more than it was worth.

Lesson learned.

Some years ago I was visiting a friend and saw that in his house he had two complete high fidelity systems -- two turntables, two vacuum tube amplifiers, two tuners and too many speakers to count.

"Two?" I asked raising an eyebrow.

"It's a sickness" he replied with a smile.

You can return this - just hit the return button, not as described etc., and eBay will force the guy to 1.) arrange collection 2.) refund you upon delivery. If he does nothing, you get the lens, and a refund.

[The trouble is that it IS as described. I just didn't read the description. --Mike]

Live long enough and ya sometimes have to 'relearn' what you already knew. What pisses me off is when you make a mistake- and damned if ya know what the lesson was! Or, when you wisely apply what you've just learned- and it still backfires!

Yeah, it sucks to be taken advantage of. Paying too much for anything second hand leaves a very pointed pain you know where that takes a while to subside and one that you never forget.

I've been there and done that.

How about taking some photos with it, or can you tell it’s crazy foggy? Because I have often seen things in lenses that look like they would be affecting the image dramatically and they really don’t. Or maybe it’ll be a soft contrast and you’ll enjoy it.

"Looks Mint" But it doesn't. How does what he says later undo that misrepresentation? I think the service that allows this should cover your loss if he doesn't.

I would like to second Bill Tylers comment. Any person that claims he has never made a dumb mistake is a liar. We are all human.

Mike, don't be too hard on yourself about the purchase on ePrey. We all goof sometime.

Now for the alternate opinion: You can step into the same river twice. Years ago, I used a 4×5" Tachihara camera often. Then, digital became sort of seductive, use of the big camera diminished, and I sold my nice little 75mm Super-Angulon. I recently took out the 4×5 kit, loaded film holders and started to do studied, careful composition again. This is a lot more fun than digital snapping in bulk with a computerized thing. And the big Tri-X negatives are awesome. Now I want a 75mm again....

I once had a Deluxe Electric Mistress (which is not what it sounds like: it's a guitar FX pedal) probably made in the 1970s. It had been mucked-around with by some previous owner to do various nonstandard things, which I didn't know about as it was the only one I'd had. It was also just old: one of the switches was marginal, so if kicked it then it would do weird and wonderful glitchy things. I sold it to someone who fixed the 'problems' with it, so now, even if I assassinate him and retrieve it (obviously I would not hesitate to do so), everything that made it so great is gone.

I also had a Gibson ES-175. I loved it, but it was just a terrible guitar: whoever let it out of the door at Gibson shouldn't have. I sold that, too. Years later I bought another one, and this one, although it's not some priceless 1950s relic (neither was the older one), is a really lovely guitar.

Sometimes the rosy glow of nostalgia is just that.

Not photograph related, but to riff on the title of this post: one of the best short essays I've read is The Same River Twice, by David Quammen in Outside magazine: https://www.davidquammen.com/sampler/21-samerivertwice.

I hope your lens repair proves easier than mine: I've got a 28mm Voigtlander lens in Nikon RF mount in which the fogging appears to be contained within a pair of cemented lens elements - perhaps a faulty batch of optical cement? Had it simply been lubricants condensed on the glass, this would have been a 10-minute fix.

Great timing Mike! I had a Pentax K10D with a truly great lens. Shoulda kept it... and a Fender Telecaster that sounded like no other, but was tail heavy (made of pine) and yep, shoulda kept it.

Was thinking of moving some guitars and cameras on through eBay over the Boomer Doomer doldrums, to declutter, not for cashflow. But now I've decided that I'm going to keep them and appreciate the effort and joy that's gone into them - and that they will keep on giving so long as I don't get sucked into the consumerism vacuum.

Mike, this post is very timely. I have been trying to use my time in "lockdown" to do some old photo projects. One of them is to make some photo books from old trips. I just completed two books that were taken with my Fuji XT1, in 2016. The images were great, I have since moved to the XT3, but those images don't seem to be materially better than the XT1. There may be some images where the dynamic range was not as good as the 3 but certainly not worth the upgrade. I also have a Nikon Z6 with some of the new S lenses. It is a great camera but again not that much better than my Fuji XT 1 or 3 for that matter. Also I have all the Lee filters for the Fuji which I don't have for the Z system. It doesn't make sense to purchase a new complete set of Lee filters for a new system. We should all stick with what works and stop reading the reviews about new gear. I hope I can follow those words. Stay safe, Eric

Have you reached out to CameraQuest? https://www.cameraquest.com/Voigt_SL2.htm Stephen Gandy is the Voigtlander guy, and he does repairs...

I hope you can get it fixed for a reasonable price. Every single time I've had an old lens repaired, I would have been better off throwing it in the garbage because the repair cost more than it was worth. Eventually I figured out that unless it's an absolute gem, it's better to just try to find a better one.

eBay is a cesspool of deception.

Your words apply equally to any number of consumer goods: cars, homes, computers, and clothes are the ones that immediately come to mind. Do we need the new iterations? For me, usually not.

Love that old saying: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."

Send the lens to Frank Marshman or another reputable repairman. I bet you could get the lens fixed up nicely. It is a bummer when you don't get what you thought you were. But I think you can make lemonade from your lemon.

Ah, the joys of eBay. I decided a few months ago to try film again, researched cameras and decided to find a nice Nikon FM like I had for all the 1980s. I kept looking at KEH from which I have bought a number of items with satisfaction, but did not find anything. Looking on eBay, I found one from a selling in Japan (listed with near 100% satisfaction), listed as "Mint" at a reasonable price. I bought it. It came with a 50/1.8 lens which I never cared for, so I ordered a Nikon 35/2 AIS. Then Ken Rockwell was enthusiastic about the 100/2.8E lens, so I ordered one of those. The two lenses were from US dealers.
Bottom line: the Camera body was fine, except it took 2 weeks to get film sent off, developed and delivered to find out. The 50mm that came with it was so gummed up that you practically needed a pipe wrench to focus it - I set it aside. The 35 was great, esp. for a 40 year old lens. The 100 was described as in great condition, everything is as new, but when you tried to focus near, the focusing helix vibrated. Still usable, but annoying.
Bottom line, once we get past the current crisis, I will send the 100 and 50 off for CLA, aboutn doubling the price I paid.
Next time, I'll be more patient and wait for stock at KEH.
But even with the first roll, I was happy and reminded of how different - and satisfying - film is. Take a look at this photo of a sculpture at Jeff Dietch's gallery in LA:

then compare it to the one on my iPhone

Cool, eh?

Re the audio - completely agree, you sometimes get a sweetspot combination of gear, that you can set up optimally in your room,that just works really well together at that price point and is more than the sum of its parts. No part of it does anything to show up another part, e.g. the amp does not produce more bass than the speakers are comfortable handling, the source does not produce detail or energy that the pre-amp struggles with etc. Upgrade one part and you're in for another ten years of upgrading!

For years when I lived in an old neighborhood in Texas, I searched for a reasonably priced amp that didn't have noticeable 60Hz hum. Always bugged me to no end (yes, I tried every grounding trick in the book). When I moved to Colorado, the hum disappeared and the Yamaha receiver I've had for 10 years sounds wonderful. I am occasionally tempted to consider a new multi-media receiver, but I think I'll pass and just enjoy the music.

I quit buying things on ePray 10 years ago. To many scammers. If I can't get what I want from KEH I don't need it all that bad. I can wait.

Many years ago, late one night when I was much the worse for too much wine, I was looking at 5x4 cameras on eBay. I came across a Mentorn SLR with a Tessar lens. I carefully read the description and it all looked great and so I bought it.

The following, nursing a thick head, I thought I would check up again on my newly purchased toy. I went online and was somewhat dismayed to discover that the text was in German, description and all. I couldn't understand it. It made perfect sense the night before.

I attempted a Google translate but it wasn't much use. I had to wait until the camera turned up to see if was any good. Luckily, it worked but you could only use long focal length lenses and that was a deal breaker for me. After a few months I sold it.

Who hasn't made a mistake? If that's the worst thing that happens to you this year, you'll be a lucky man.

I can pinpoint a time when I was truly happy with my kit. I was shooting film, it was before my daughter was born and my photography was fairly limited to nature/scenery/vacations. I didn't mind throwing everything in a backpack and heading out for a morning of photography or putting my camera and 200mm macro lens on a tripod and heading out into the meadow for an hour or two.

But digital and all the (needed) improvements over the years coincided with my changing subject matter and there's been a lot of churn in my kit. I'm content with what I'm shooting now, but still hoping to settle into a kit that clicks again.

One of the best hi-fi systems I’ve ever had consisted of a Bogen RP230 receiver (Yes, BOGEN, of public address fame,) my Thorens TD160 turntable, a Teac V-700 cassette deck (quite nice) and Smaller Advent loudspeakers.

The entire rig sounded sweet but not in a syrupy, overly romantic way. I grant it wasn’t the most revealing or transparent, but damn it was a pleasure. I once recorded a Met broadcast of Carmen off an NPR broadcast, using the Teac, and those tapes sounded really nice - they’re around somewhere.

I honestly don’t recall what happened to the receiver and speakers. I’m currently in a long term project of constructing my “final” system to regain and even improve on that system, but I’m taking it slow and will NOT keep upgrading once I’ve reached satisfaction. It can be a sickness, yes, but one can become a recovered audiophile.

Just don’t ask me which camera system I should settle on ...

Regarding the 40mm lens with fog, I have good luck with
Camera Repair Service Co
4391 W Atlanta Rd
Smyrna, GA 30080
Best of luck

Year's ago I loaned a friend a fair amount, I took his Nikon 2020 as security. His only lens was a long zoom telephoto (110 mm to 180 mm?).I wanted a normal lens, so kept looking. I found one at Best, the catalog retailer. It was a Nikon 50mm f1.4 "scratch & dent" for $25. It appeared to have pit in the surface of the lens.I finally decided to take a chance on it. After several weeks, I decided to check it out more carefully. It was not a pit, but a surface blemish, which dislodged after much effort with a small wooden stick. I'm glad I grabbed it when it was available, as I was still under obligation to return the camera if he came up with the money (he never did, met a new girl friend.)

Hi Mike,

shit happens to all of us and often we create it ourselves. To comfort you, try this: Shoulda Known by William Galison & Madeleine Peyroux on Youtube.

Greetings from Holland,
Hans van der Molen

how about doing something dumb twice? 2 days in a row. When I lived in Montreal years ago, street parking restrictions forced you to move your parked car from one side of the street to the other on most days (no parking on the left side Mondays and Thursdays; no parking on the right side Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesday was a freebie!) I came home from work one day and as I walked from the Métro saw that I had parked on the wrong side of the street and I now had a $75 ticket. I was really mad as I got into my car to move it so it wouldn't happen the next day. Well, it was a Monday, I got a ticket for being on the No Parking Monday & Thursday, so in my rage I actually moved my car to the No Parking Tuesday & Friday. When I came home the next day and saw the result of my (double) mistake all I could do was laugh.

Sorry to learn of your 40mm issue. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago. I found a listing for one of these from a seller in Japan, and on first inspection the haze was easy to spot. I believe this is an issue with most of these lenses. It probably results from out-gassing of the helicoid lubricant. I do hope you keep it and have it cleaned.

By describing a major flaw in the lens in the item description but leaving it out of the heading the seller was being deliberately deceptive. That's what eBay will decide if you file a dispute (they almost always side with the buyer). If you let him get away with this one he'll continue to scam others.

As I am now shopping for gear for upcoming project, your experience will help me look at seller wording much more carefully. I feel bad for you...

eBay has changed a lot. Very early on (and before the days of PayPal, etc.) I bought a high end audio CD player from a guy in Colorado. I won the bid on Friday and intended to mail a check to him on Monday or Tuesday as there was seemingly no rush. Monday afternoon, UPS delivered the item. I immediately called him with the infamous “check’s in the mail” comment. He said thanks and mentioned my positive feedback was reason for his trust! Those were the good old days that are no longer.

You know what they say...oh, well.

Cue Roger's podcast:

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007