Good 50mm Lens For Sony Nex ... on a Budget?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
ProfHankD
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Sample variation
In reply to Michael Everett, Mar 28, 2013

Michael Everett wrote:

As I said in a previous post, I am becoming more and more convinced that the sample matters almost more than the type, which makes buying one a tricky business.

Actually, I've seen very little sample variation among the "duplicates" in my manual lenses.

Basically, manual lenses tended to be very solidly built -- as opposed to autofocus lenses, which use lower mass materials and looser tolerances to reduce friction, thus making minor misalignments very common. If you have a lot of sample variation in a manual lens, there's a good chance it's from the bad lens having been taken apart and reassembled somewhat out of tolerance. I've also seen a flipped element -- some of the relatively flat elements merely increase aberrations when flipped, so the error might not be obvious.

Just make sure you have return privileges.

I agree with that. Also be sure to "get it in writing" (in the ad or via email) as to what the condition is for eBay lenses concerning things like fungus and haze before you buy. I'm a bit wary of lenses that have perfect-looking glass in an obviously corroded body (often coming from areas of the world known for high humidity) -- I think they're more likely to have been completely rebuilt to remove fungus/haze and hence more likely reassembled somewhat incorrectly.

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