Where have all the lenses gone?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by tom_cheshire, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Where have all the lenses gone? (sung to the tune of "Where have all the flowers gone?".
    And this refers to the future of camera collecting. Right now the trend is to "yank" lenses, sell them to users of DSLRs who use them with adapters (because of their "great bokeh", etc.), and toss the virtually worthless bodies into a pile. At some point in the future, when the fad is over, there is going to be a lot of displaced lenses out there with a lot of collectors trying to figure out what lens went with what body so they will have an "authentic" lens and body of the same era. Having read many other postings of users expressing confusion in the present day (one example was: Rokkor PF or X, which came first?) while so many lenses are still with their bodies, think how confusing it will be in the future trying to put everything back the way it was. Your thoughts?
  2. SCL


    The micro 4/3 crowd has jumped into the fray in a big way seeking to acquire old lenses to use on their newly acquired camera bodies, really driving up prices on lenses one used to be able to acquire for a song. Many of the photo dealers who used to keep bins of lenses nobody wanted are now selling them on the big auction site for many times what they were worth 6-7 years ago....even fungus filled ones. With people around the world flocking to the internet and photo forums where word spreads like wildfire about somebody using an old "xyz" lens on a new body, it is no wonder it is increasingly difficult to find the lost gems of old. There are many sites out there now teeming with info, whereas 10 years ago many relied on Rob't Monaghan's compilations of old lenses. I'm just glad I picked up a few gems at reasonable prices and kept some of them...I certainly couldn't afford them at current prices,
  3. Tom, I have often wondered the same thing. Do you know what a "Skittles" party is? I can see it happening with lenses and bodies. Kids getting together and throwing all their parents and grandparent's cameras and lenses into a big bowl. The poor kids fish out a lens and a body, not knowing what they are mixing together that might have a bad reaction... a Pentacon body with a short flange distance'd Nikkor F lens. Another kid in a darkened room, trying to fit a breech lock Canon FD lens on a Pentax screw mount body. And most sadly, a kid who pulls out a Vivitar T2 mount lens, trying to mount it to a Minolta SRT body, only to find [warning: proceed at your own risk, because this is quite upsetting]... he's missing the adapter! Wait. I'm going to have to try to finish later. I'm kind of upset. I'm only human, dammit.
  4. Stephen Lewis "driving up prices on lenses one used to be able to acquire for a song"
    As much as the price these lenses gain today maybe too high, they were too cheap when you bought them "for a song". Isn't it good to know a lens will be used and not only taken out of the drawer once a year.
  5. I don't really care about camera collecting or camera collectors so to me it seems like a great thing that people are actually using these old lenses to take pictures rather than just sit in a closet. There are tons of sites on the Internet devoted to old cameras and lenses which people can use to identify random equipment they may come across. Heck, I see posts on this site all the time of "Please ID this old camera" and someone answers pretty quickly.
  6. Axel, it could be true or could be fanciful- I don't know.
    as a user of old Mirandas - not really a collector.
    I see various strange things.
    a person has a Midanda macron ( close focusing MACRO lens)
    another has a 50mm f/2.9 preset ( only way they were made.
    and is trying to fit and use these lensed, in one case on a Sony NEX digital camera..
    it shows a huge lack or understanding as the mount is unique and not even similar to any other bount.
    How in the world will they accomplish this? with a custom adapter that cost more then a camera?
    I think the reasoning is it MUST be similar to something else. ( nikon-pentax-canon-olympus-minolta)
    and after all this is done or most likley failed, that have, in effect, a manual aperture lens that is awkward to use and slower in oporation than any old camera.
    the OTHER thing, Once upon a time they saw a beautiful photo taken bu a film camera with a ( nikon-canon-pentax- minolta lens)
    the person THINKS if they use THIS lens, their photos will be SIMPLY WONDERFUL.
    after all those old cameras had wonderful lenses.
    It may be true that a P&S bought at Goodwill or salvation army may not have a "truely wonderful lens,
    but the lenses that are sold and and attach to modern digital cameras are pretty decent.
    The trruth is that the sendor is 8 or 10 or 12 mp equivalent, and a lens designed for an older film camera
    where the media ( fine grained film) is capable of higher resolution does not enter their mind.
    I think in the real world, they will take a few snaps with they old 135mm lens crow about it, and piut it away as it is too awkward and inconvenient to use every day.
    Besides REAL photographs are composed in the eye and mind of the photographer, not in the viewfinder.
  7. Several days ago I chanced upon a Sony NEX site and a thread dealing with the question of using older lenses.
    The contributors were all enthusiastic about the results they were getting from using Canon FD lenses.
    What I found interesting was that each contributor listed the FD lenses they were using. From memory, some had as many as 20 and none had fewer than seven or eight. I got the distinct impression that FDs are the flavour of the month, and so I suppose this accounts in part for the rise in prices being asked for good quality FDs over recent months.
  8. I'm sure hanging on to my clutch of Zuikos for the OM mount. All replaceable but some at much higher than I paid 10 or 20 years ago. That said I just paid $25 for for 2 Zuiko's, a middle of production 50mm f1.8 and 135mm f3.5, both pristine. So good deals are out there, sometimes anyway.
    Also it seems the prices are only high when your shopping, not when you are selling.
  9. Who cares what the unknowing tries to do with incompatible cameras and lenses, and why are we even wasting time with this? It's a beautuful day in most places, go take some photos!
  10. I tend to agree with Walt. Not being a collector, what happens to the collecting hobby, per se, is a non-issue for me. The sources of information that people use to learn about classic cameras, including this forum, is still intact and available to anyone interested enough to seek that knowledge.
    I think in the real world, they will take a few snaps with they old 135mm lens crow about it, and piut it away as it is too awkward and inconvenient to use every day.​
    Not me, Walter. I'm getting GREAT results with my Canon FD lenses on a Samsung NX100 so much so that the Samy AF kit lens, which is decent, hasn't been on the camera since I bought it last year. Easy as pie to use for my style of photography (portrait, nature, studio).
    Another primary reason many folks are acquiring these fine lenses is for video production. This adds tremendous versatility and value to both the new cameras and these fine old lenses. As modern cameras become increasingly more video capable, I expect this lust for old glass, and prices for such, will only increase.
    True, many of my fine film bodies are sitting around more these days. SO WHAT! I'm confident film will be around for the rest of my life so when the urge strikes to shoot with one of my classics, I'll pull it off the shelf and stuff it with B&W film and off I go, just as I always have. But it is this blending of the old and new technologies has been a tremendous creative catalyst for me and I'm eating it up like cold watermelon on a hot, Summer day.
  11. What bothers me is seeing all the lenseless Exaktas on ebay these days.
    I hate to break it to the digital crowd, but the Biotar really isn't that great of a lens. And if you're shooting digital anyway, an M42 Helios 44 is better for your purpose than the exakta mount Biotar.
    On the other hand, some truly great lenses seem be going completely under the radar. I frankly don't get it, but that means I can still find some good deals in the $30 and under bracket.
  12. I recently acquired a very inexpensive M4/3 camera (an E-PL1) on special, got Nikon and Minolta adapters, a neverready case and a Gordy's strap and am having a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately my Minolta gear is in another city at the moment but I'll get at it this weekend and see how well it does. If my 45/2.0 MD or 58/1.4 MC (I'd think of those as probably excellent portrait lenses on a 1/2 frame camera) and 28/2.5 Vivitar (now a "normal" prime) pair well with it, I can carry the E-PL1 and the XD11 and have the best of both worlds.

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