Where to buy Russian lenses, etc?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by lee_shively, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. ...Other than fleabay.

    Anyone recommending online sellers for Russian lenses? Again, other than
  2. The Usual Suspects are (in no particular order): Fedka (he's based in NY), Oleg Khalyavin, and Vikentiy Trofimov (a.k.a "SovietCamera").
    These are guys I've dealt with and are reliable, there may be others.
    I know you said you don't want eBay, but I've had good success with sellers MoscowPhoto and alex-photo.
  3. Why buy junk?
  4. Just because someone sells on eBay doesn't mean their stuff is not worth looking at. For some it's a real honest business with reliability and integrity. And not every traditional store front business has any of those. You just have to be informed what ever you do.

    Another eBay fellow is cupog. He is honest, reliable and services all (most) of his stuff. I've had very good luck with anything I received from him.

    One mans junk is another mans Flektogon!
  5. I have recently purchase a number of fine FSU and Kiev lenses on eBay from the Ukrainian and Russian dealers and they are very reliable. They want to make their business work and bend-over-backward to be honest and efficient.

    Go on eBay and type in Kiev or Fed and such, and you can also visit the eBay Store of many of these sellers.

    Right now I have a Helios 53mm 1.8 lens on its way.

    I also have two lenses for the Kiev 4/4a (contax copy) for sale if you're interested.

    These are far from junk!
  6. Kiev Cameras in Atlanta have some ex-Soviet area stuff new and checked out. Otherwise, you're going to have a hard time without using eBay. I've had good luck with some of the vendors listed above, and others besides. Shipping is cheaper and faster than from Germany or France--about the same as the Czech Republic.

    While ex-Soviet stuff is chancier in quality control terms than Leica, say, the best examples are equal to the originals made elsewhere, however, for a tiny fraction of the prices. High-quantity Soviet production meant everything made was shipped, but on the right day and hour, many lenses came off the assembly line with high-quality optics that were even well-centered. By the way, that's the most common flaw in these old clunkers, not the glass quality. You just have to find those that are good, but you can buy a lot of Mirs for the price of Leitz glass.
  7. I have made it a lifetime quest to be the only person in the world to NEVER buy anything off eBay. I know, it's a noble but highly improbable goal but I hope I prove to be up to the task. :)
  8. I have had good luck with ebay sellers alex-photo and kubanoid.
  9. "Why buy junk?"

    A lot of excellent photographers have made better images that yours with "junk" glass.

    Ignoring that, i have a Jupiter-3 that works as well as the Pre-ASPH Summilux i once had.
    After selling all my Leica stuff, that's the one lens i still have.
  10. Here I have bought over 20 Soviet rangefinders and lenses on Ebay. Before 9/11 one could by a Jupiter 8 5cm F2; Zorki 4; case; ; lens cap for 8 to 12 bucks; with shipping being 5 to 7. Most of my settups cost less than a 20 dollar bill; with change. with my favorite seller I would just send a 20 dolalr bill; and often get some extra gadget as change. The free tokens were a Lennigrad lightmeter than works great; a few car magazines; a weird bulb flash. All the crap soviet stuff has been from USA ebay sellers; they sell off the stuff thats abit off and missaligned . Dealer stuff use to be 3 times higher in the usa; but seems to have dropped. Probbaly the best ebay deals for me have been the Orion 15 for 35 bucks; 2 feds bodies with shipping for less than a 20 dollar bill; a zorki3c that still works well after 10 years and 100's of rolls. Buying no ebay just means you pay up;; pay for a dealer to cull out the duds; you pay 2 to 3 times higher.
  11. RE: the "Why buy junk" comment. I bought the 16mm Zenitar fisheye. It's anything but junk. Why spend three times as much? I bought it from Kiev Camera in Atlanta and was very satisfied with them, would do business again.
  12. I've bought a few FSU cameras and lenses so far, and I've only had one dud from an eBay seller - a Zenit SLR that broke in a couple of ways the first time I tried to use it. To be fair, it was $30, and I didn't buy it for the camera, I bought it for the lens attached to it - which was fine. I also knew going in it was one of the (even) cheaper Zenits, so my expectations were low anyway :)

    Frankly, in FSU lenses a Jupiter-8, Jupiter-9, Helios, or Industar 61 L/D (and I'm sure there are others) are pretty good bets - if the lens is good, it's really good, if it's not you're usually out less than $100 each, which can't be said of many other equivalent lenses these days.
  13. "I have made it a lifetime quest to be the only person in the world to NEVER buy anything off eBay. I know, it's a noble but highly improbable goal but I hope I prove to be up to the task"

    My friend's daughter is six and my mother-in-law is preparing for her 80th birthday party and neither of them have ever bought anything from Ebay. I don't hold out much hope for the six year old, but I think my mother-in-law has a great chance of making it all the way through without even making a bid.

    I think you are going to have to settle for being a member of a very small and exclusive group!
  14. Have you considered buying FSU lenses in Contax RF mount? They have less moving parts and less to go off spec. Of course you would then need a Contax IIa/IIIa. I found these lenses perform as well as the real Optons.
  15. I have two Kiev 4a (Contax copies) cameras and I'm going to put one of them on eBay with a Jupiter 8 50mm, Jupiter 11 135mm, and a Leica VIOOH finder all for less than $100. Excellent beautiful equipment. These contax copies are very solid.

    I just ordered a Helios 53mm f/1.8 lens from a Russian dealer to use on my other Kiev 4a. Wonderful RF cameras, IMO.
  16. SCL


    You aren't being very realistic to ignore the world's largest international marketplace, but that is your choice. I'll reinforce earlier comments about Cupog, having purchased several outstanding Exaktas and lenses from him (thru Ebay). Good luck in your quest:)
  17. Update:

    I ordered the Helios 103 with Contax mount less than 2 weeks ago from Leonid Stremouhov of Moscow, Russia, and it arrived today. It was through his eBay store. This makes 9 items I've ordered with no problems. This lens cost $21 including shipping. Beautiful.
  18. Another source of lenses is Fedka who is based in New York.

    In addition to sale of lenses and cameras, he also offers a repair service including lens focus adjustment evidently. Before too long I'll be sending him a Jupiter-3 that requires such adjustment.
  19. Old lenses require a check for reshimming to get the best possible results. FSU lenses are especially in need for such a fine-tuning. A well adjusted FSU lens is capable of giving you great results.
  20. I am referring to FSU rangefinder lenses.

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