EL-Nikkor 50mm f.2.8 N: Bargain ... no not really (Fungus)

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GemBro
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EL-Nikkor 50mm f.2.8 N: Bargain ... no not really (Fungus)

Post by GemBro »

I just thought I'd won a bargain with this puppy ... £50 (bought him down £5 too) ...

A beautiful EL-Nikkor 50mm f.2.8 N with plastic keeper ... well it arrived this morning and (as with all my lenses I buy) I had a quick look see with the 'old' naked eyes ... the case and the lens? ... are MINT! ... but then my eyes travelled towards the glass ... and then my stomach dropped ... FUNGUS! ...

Now I suppose the seller may of mistook the fungus as dust, being as it is quite small and was pretty hard to see with the eye ... but to the trained eye? (you lot know what I mean) you know that dust does not look like that ... so I put the lens on the new Macro Rig and created the old classic 'off axis' light setup ... the fungus lit up like a Christmas Tree ... especially when you take a closeup shot ... so I fired off a few shots to send back to the seller ...

Totally gutted about this ... but it is the norm and the price you have to pay to get perfection ... done it many a time ... just keep buying until you get your 'Mint in Box' delight ...

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Gem
Last edited by GemBro on Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Canon 5D MKII | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Stepper Motor Focusing System (Helicon Remote)

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

A nicely photographed example of natural history, but sadly a routine result of buying from ebay!
There seems to be no limit to the stupidity, or ignorance, or carelessness, or criminality of some sellers - and buyers too.
I find it's running at about a third of used items which are substandard in some way, and a glowing, informed description can mean nothing.
I know some sellers (including dealers) don't care, because some buyers don't know what they're doing either, so their chances are good.
My direct experience is that, despite assurances to the contrary, ultimately :
You can lose all your money when buying,
and
You can lose the item completely when selling.
There are easily-found tactics for misbehaviour, which fortunately are rarely used. But if they are, you lose with no recourse. Feedback can be manipulated and deleted, too.
Well that's got that off my chest!

Normally you'd get your money back for this lens, and usually some or all of the postages involved. With this one, I only lost international postage, but the seller was appalling.

I have on a couple of occasions successfully removed hyphae from a simple lens, with good results. I've also wrecked a lens or two. I suspect the chances dwindle with short FL lenses.
Obviously if the glass is damaged by fungus there's nothing you can do, though as has been demonstrated recently, apparently significant damage can still leave a very usable lens.

GemBro
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Post by GemBro »

Exactly that Chris ... agree totally ... it's in the sellers best interest to be more honest and so price their products accordingly ... then (hopefully) the seller won't get frequent returns and buyers not needing to return items as correct info is given in the first place ... it's not really rocket science and I do this on all items I sell ... but like you said the majority just doesn't care ...

I went through a frustrating period a few years back (before choosing Canon) with old 80's Minolta lenses,, for my Sony Alpha (Minolta) DSLR ... but I did end up with an enviable collection ...

There are still a lot of bargains out there to be grabbed ... as an example ... before this one (this week) I grabbed the older f4 version, mint condition with keeper for £10 inc p+p ... and then the f4 (N) version, again mint with keeper, plus it's box for £23 inc p+p ... and they are both as I would expect them to be (phew) ... perseverance is the only way when it involves the Internet ...

Result on the EL-Nikkor though:
The seller seemed genuine with his mistake and in his reply ... he basically said keep the lens, as it's no good to anyone with Fungus (very true) ... and has agreed a full refund ... I love sellers like this but they seem rare these days ...

Oh well on to the next EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N with my refund :) ...

Gem
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Canon 5D MKII | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Stepper Motor Focusing System (Helicon Remote)

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

AH - a learning opportunity, to find out how such a lens comes apart!
There may be someone doing it, on Youtube.

You may be able to use it as a diaphragm in a mount?

jjphoto
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Post by jjphoto »

Although I've never opened an el-nikkor 50/2.8 (I have one but haven't tried opening it) I find most enlarging lenses quite easy to open and clean if needed. Only a few have baffled me completely. I am guessing that the fungus is behind the front element itself rather than behind the entire front group (based on past experience). Unfortunately, I've collected a set of lens tools for such occasions. But some times it's not worth the hassle and better to just replace the lens altogether. You were lucky the seller acted well and refunded your money.

Unfortunately it can be difficult to buy with confidence from Ebay.

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

When I started reading the OP I first thought "yeah, that's pretty typical" but the pictures show the worst infection I've seen in a long time. Not to difficult to diagnose this one. Luckily these are easy to find.

Is 55 pounds a good price in the UK? I have a couple of these I picked up for $25 with free shipping, and they are like new. Price seems a bit high, but may just be local differences or exchange rates.

I think ChrisR's 33% bad auction results assessment is pretty much spot on. I've had 50% bad weeks, and runs of 100% OK, so an average around 33% seems right.

Is the fungus on the outside surface or inner surface or between elements?

Peter De Smidt
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Post by Peter De Smidt »

I had an Ebay seller argue with me after sending him pictures of the lens very similar to those in this thread. I can see how a lens might slip through, but with such clear evidence of fungus, a cheerful refund is the proper response.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

GBP £55 is highish, US$25 is lowish, I'd say, here. I have a clutch of them and found they vary quite a lot - and you can't predict by looking which is going to be good. None of mine has fungus though :?
Gem when you get a pretty one, a comparison with ol' mouldy, would be interesting :)
Componons vary even more, though judging from a smaller sample.

GemBro
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Post by GemBro »

ChrisR wrote:AH - a learning opportunity, to find out how such a lens comes apart! There may be someone doing it, on Youtube. You may be able to use it as a diaphragm in a mount?
Yes I was thinking this Chris ... cold cream & toothpaste and Isopropyl ... :wink: ... I'll have a look at doing a strip down ...

Good idea for a diaphragm ;) ... a M39-M42 adapter ring one end and a 40.5mm and to 'whatever' the other end ...

Is it right the IRIS should ideally be closest to the outer lens when using diaphragms? ...
ChrisR wrote:GBP £55 is highish, US$25 is lowish, I'd say, here.
My mistake, I paid £50 [Edited^]... initally it was £55 but I offered £50 ... I shall seek a lower valued lens, as I can now grab one without a keeper (which should be cheaper) ... I do notice that USA has a few more than here in the UK and they seem cheaper for sure ...
ChrisR wrote:Gem when you get a pretty one, a comparison with ol' mouldy, would be interesting :)
Definitely ;) ...

Gem
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Canon 5D MKII | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Stepper Motor Focusing System (Helicon Remote)

abpho
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Post by abpho »

Wow. That's nasty. Sorry about your luck. I just went through something similar with a Mitutoyo 10x (arrived defective). It has all worked out in the end for me though. Purchasing used items by mail order is such a gamble. I hope you come to a favourable conclusion. Good luck.
I'm in Canada! Isn't that weird?

GemBro
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Location: Surrey [UK]

Post by GemBro »

Thanks abpho ... I read about your unlucky purchase ... I would've filled my pants ... that's a lot of money to 'play' with over the Internet ... and then to prove it, could've been nasty ... glad you got that all sorted ... and not a speck of dust (nothing) on the new one :shock: ...

Gem
Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Canon 5D MKII | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Stepper Motor Focusing System (Helicon Remote)

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