Adapted lenses don't need to be the cheapest

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 34,181
Adapted lenses don't need to be the cheapest

I don't wish to put forward anything definitive here but I notice that there is a lot of "bottom feeding" purchase decisions being made. This is not a criticism, I would love to have access to a veritable alladin's cave of cheap junk lenses where a discerning eye could spot a rare bargain winking at me

There is no doubt that like any junk shop search there will be some "treasure" among the cast off gear that can be bought. A truly great lens for a bargain price is a real prize.

But even junk shops know that a Leica or a Zeiss is worth more money.

From the ends of the earth where folks walk on their hands upside down and a small population in a big land makes finding junk shop bargains quite hard .... my experience of the few bits of camera gear in local junk shops are ... "just junk". But here is a world wide market to buy from - but those selling are not all befuddled junk shop owners but have a reasonable grasp of what the market for their lenses is worth.

So when good freight is at least "$20" for starters and (asking) $50-100 is quite common one has to buy better to get something that is on a little higher plane or not buy at all. I have a "hazed" Komura 200/3.5 in LTM on the way. $20 buy and $30 freight but I consider it a good buy for what is a relatively rare focal length in LTM. Whether I can fix the haze or not is in the lap of the gods and the vendor has been quite open about the issues. Fixed of course (if it can be fixed) it will be an "interesting" lens but I don't think that it will be worth very much even then. Therefore there is a case to buy "interesting" lenses and even to spend a little more money to get them.

So I am not talking "Leica" or "Zeiss" prices but there must be other lenses about that are worth more than many seem to be prepared to pay just for a "fun" lens that they don't expect much from but which may turn out better than expected.

As a sometime connoisseur of Jupiter-11 135mm f4.0 (silver) lenses I now have a few "old" ones. My latest is a "1953" which appears hardly (if ever) used since new. It may even have been old stock with the varnish intact except where the metal cap has scratched it and some older decayed gunk in the screw threads where it has been screwed on to something dirty-sticky-greasy (not something that a caring camera owner might have on his camera threads). I could even imagine that the gunk (which I have seen regularly) is just off a test bench thread when it was first adjusted - it is quite hard to remove (I have done so as it is the worst blemish) so maybe Tovarich the assembler did not bother cleaning it off after setting up the lens. In any case even if it had been used it was not much at all and this is not a faked up polished rebuild.

Pleased? yes I am, and it did not cost me an arm and leg but it was more than $20 from a junk shop.

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Tom Caldwell

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