Skip ebay--and other musings : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread

Hello Konicanistas,

When looking for lenses, bodies, and accessories for Konica camera's I have had much better luck with camera stores than ebay. I have used both and here's my impressions.

The three ebay purchases were for lenses. I overpaid for each. These were the inexpensive lenses, 28mm f3.5 ($53 after S&H) and 135mm f3.5 ($55 after S&H). I have sent the money for the 135 to the guy (Doug Martin) in Canada but he does not return emails and may have made off with the money. He goes by Cameramannorth on ebay. Searching the archives of ebay transactions reveals 28mm f3.5's go at auction between $30-$50 US. 135's about the same. I also got a 200 F4 Hexar for $88 after S&H. I've noted 200 Hexar's go for less. That fellow was a good guy.

Interestingly enough, my local camera store has a good 135 Hexanon for $29.95!!! No S&H Nobody ever accused me of being a shrewd guy.

I have also found a 35mm f2.8 in a local pawn shop for $50, and a 57 F1.4 at the local camera store for &79. Both in very good condition.

Out in the internet market, I've had good luck with KEH for accessories at less than the ebay prices. I have purchased two lenses from Adorama in NYC that were in very good shape. (24mm F2.8 Hexanon, and 55 Macro) The adorama sales mgr has given me the runaround regarding the 1:1 adapter so I just purchased an adaptor from KEH for $20. I purchased the Marco for $159 so even after the extra $20 I still have a good lens at a reasonable price. Though Adorama has been somewhat flakey, they have good lenses at good prices and they show up in three days. I have noted some 55 macro's fetch somewhat less on ebay.

I found a used FT1 in a store in NY for $199. We'll see the shape it's in. Most FT1's go for more than $200 on ebay. Greg Weber sells user FT1's for under $210 and that gives you a six mo. warranty. Something you won't get from ebay. I purchased a mint FT1 from Greg for $295. It is in excellent shape.

Anyway's, I find more value from camera stores than I find from stuff on ebay. Looks like a good place to be a seller, and less advantageous to be a buyer. If you aren't looking for the lowest price but want the best stuff, use Greg Weber. Plus, he's honest.

Oh yes--I know this has been mentioned before, but it bears repeating. Don't by battery handles for the FT1 on ebay. Konica has lots of them for $29.00. They also sell the X24 Flash brand new for a very reasonable price ($91.98). The X24 flash works great with the FT1. Ebay prices for these are ridiculous. I feel like emailing the bidders the error of their way's, but I make plenty of my own mistakes as noted above.

What's been your experiences?

David Smith

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2001


Forget eBay.... or just become a prosumer. :)

Hi David,

You have a very valid point about people paying too much for an item on eBay, its easy to do and I have done it myself too. You get caught up that "it is the ONLY one for sale NOW" and you gotta have it. Some items that are very rare (like a Hexanon 28mm f1.8 UC, a Hexanon 300mm f6.3 or even a 15mm f2.8 UC lens) my truely be the only one for sale in a long time, so you know it will go high. Some lenses like a 50mm f1.7 or a 40mm f1.8 you can wait around till it is more reasonable.

This is the primary reason I created the Photography Blue Book web site is so people have a price reference when buying so they know what is high and what is low. Prices are in MSRP, New, Used and Auction pricing.

Never bought anything from Cameramannorth (Doug Martin) yet and I hope you don't get scammed. I got scammed only once for $150 canadian on a Sigma AF 28mm f2.8 lens. Oh well. I happends to everyone at some time.

Even when you get a "deal" on eBay you really have to watch out for the shipping costs. Some items can be quite heavy, or are packed in way to large boxes. Always ask for USPS Air Mail Small Parcel Only. It cuts shipping down a lot. Most lenses 135mm and under can fit in small parcel easily.

I have bought quite a few things off of eBay, but they are harder to come by for exactly what you are looking for, if you are just wanting to collect it can be a great way to do so, if you are not picky.

Greg Webber is definately a great guy to take your cameras to and to deal with. I bought my FT-1 from him and it works great so far. :) Mike LePard

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2001

Shop wisely and do some research!

Hi David,

Like you and Mike, I've had both good & bad experiences on eBay and elsewhere. Fortunately the good greatly outweigh the bad. Paid too much for a few things, but have become more educated as I went along and have generally gotten a lot of good deals by not getting carried away with auction frenzy.

I suggest new eBay users start out careful, small and slow while they learn the ins & outs. Also always look thoroughly at sellers' feedback! It can tell you a lot! Good communication is another major factor in eBay transactions, do whatever you can to promote this as a buyer or a seller! And, communication starts before you place your bid, I have often contacted sellers with questions before-hand, and been very happy I did (yeah, lost out on a few items with the new "Buy It Now", too... oh well). Another thing to keep in mind when buying used, a camera or lens will nearly always need a good cleaning and tune-up, possibly light seals and other work before it is put to regular use. Yeah, I've failed to do this on plenty of occasions, but kicked myself later. Factor in $25-50 for a lens, $75-100 for a camera body when you look at the "deal".

As Mike pointed out, also consider shipping. Plus, some methods of payment result in surcharges (sellers and/or the service co.), too!

You may be much better off buying from a local, reputable camera store where you can physically inspect the item before buying, especially if they have a high standard for the stuff they take in for resale and if they service the items before selling. Same can be true of better mail order places, too. But, Konica stuff can be hard to find locally, only a little better via mail order!

I've had really good success & recommend Henry's in Toronto (, B&H, KEH, Koh's, Adorama, Pacfic Rim ( and many others. Interestingly, many I "met" through auctions on eBay ("met" Greg Weber that way too). When I've won an auction, I often ask if they have any other Konica equipment in stock. Have gotten some good deals and saved on shipping that way.

We FT-1 users are very lucky that Konica provides wholesale parts and service on these cameras. Remember that when you see a "mark-up" price on an FT-1 battery case, that the $29 Konica price is wholesale! Most manufacturers won't sell direct and/or subcontract out service.

Granted, some of the bidding on eBay gets out of hand for these items... but that's a free market in action and if people are willing to pay, more power to them! (Incidentally, I happen to know one of the sellers who I've seen get lambasted here is a regular contributor on this B.B. and have personally had some really good dealings/trades with him!)

I have had bad experiences with two or three eBay sellers: a DOA T4 and a lens with fungus. Paid too much for the T4 & maybe should have sent it back, but decided to keep it & have it fixed. Got a great deal on the lens, if I can find the parts! If not, I can always sell it for parts on eBay, but I'll disclose the faults!

Most recently on eBay, Boyd's Camera & Video out of San Antonio, TX really #$(&*%#$ed me off that after I'd won the auction... they were totally unresponsive to 5 emails, finally got them paid and arranged shipping a full two weeks after end of auction. It took 4 to 6 calls to their 800 # (didn't cost me, but very short hours of operation). Another week+ until they charged my credit card & shipped the item, by slow boat surface UPS, which arrived 31 days after the end of the auction. The item was about 90% of their description, they mentioned a problem but understated it big time... really made the item unusable (except I had the means to repair). Still, I got a good value and have the item I wanted! Also, I was prepared for some problems with the seller, because I had checked out their feedback and knew some other people had had some problems.

In 100 transactions in the past year, the vast majority of eBay sellers I've found are quite honest and a pleasure to do business with. I try not to expect to get a bargain (or I'd go to more garage sales), just a good value! There are simply too many people looking at stuff on eBay, which is what brings so many items to auction in the first place.

One mail order house I avoid totally, and will name, is Cambridge Camera. I actually have their wesite bookmarked with DON'T USE written beside it. They mislead me quite deliberately on an attempted purchase (3 lenses, which I now don't think they even had in stock), but I was very lucky and it didn't end up costing me anything. I don't think my experience was very unique. Check out mail order firms on (I estimate Cambridge is mentioned negatively more than all others combined!). I probably should apologize to the Konica BB user I kinda flamed when I saw him suggest Cambridge as a possible source! Sorry!

Maybe I sound a little Polly Anna, but I think we Konica-saurus users are really lucky to have the Internet, this BB, info websites like Mike's, devoted service people like Greg Weber, large mail order houses and, yes, even eBay, to keep us out there burning up the Kodachrome & Fujichrome with our beloved Hexanons!

There's my two, no more like three cents worth... cheers!

Alan Myers San Jose, Calif.

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2001

... Well that was dumb!

What am I thinking!!!!

I should have said, "Everyone stay off eBay, prices are way too high." Then, when everyone stopped buying, prices would come down and I could have bought more stuff... cheap!!!

Kicking myself here. D'oh!

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2001

Great Konica Pro speech there! WOOHOO :))

Alan, Ever thought of writing speeches for a living? I think you got a great talent!

To everyone else: Stop buying up all the Konica gear! Get off eBay and lower those prices. hahaa. Maybe we should have rationing in effect? haha.

Mike :)

Go Konica!

-- Anonymous, March 03, 2001

Konica stuff

Gentlemen,to keep prices in line Konica stuff should be sold only to those of us who bought a Konica new! Seriously, what would it cost to make the FT-1 today

-- Anonymous, March 06, 2001

More Stuff

I agree completely, but it would be very hard to police. We just have to stop telling everybody how great a camera the Konica really is!! I don't know what it would cost to make the FT-1 now but I'll bet it would list in excess of $700, body only.


-- Anonymous, March 06, 2001

Alas, a not-so-"perfect"-world...

I wouldn't want to exclude "newbies" to Konica stuff; what I'd LIKE to see (or believe) is that folks who are buying the Good Glass and Nice Konica Cameras would USE them! There's always something sad about nice things in a museum (or perhaps worse, in a Personal Collection), just sitting and looking pretty, gathering a little dust...

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2001

Please skip eBay!

I'm not sure what part of the world you live in David, but I'd say you are very lucky to have so many sources for Konica equipment. I live in Southern California and try as I might, I have had almost no luck in finding usable or at least desirable Konica equipment. Now I'm not a collector or a pro just a hobbiest, and I find eBay auctions to be my best source for Konica. I didn't use my FT-1 enough to need a cleaning or have it serviced for ten years after I purchased it new. For what I paid the reputable camera store for the body, I couldn't afford a really decent lens, hence the reason why I didn't use the FT-1 more often. I have only now been able to see the true value of Konica stuff because of what I have been able to attain through eBay auctions. I have never paid more than the new price or what was a new price for any of the Konica stuff I have purchased. I have done better at auction than most of the mentioned camera shop prices, which seem fair. I don't want dispute your claim that much of the Konica stuff is going for more than real value, because it happens every day. I would also say that I am not winning as many auctions now, but the stuff I want is also more in demand than the basic stuff I first started winning. Did you ever check the winning bids of other quality stuff up for auction, Nikon, Cannon and Minolta? What prices do you have to pay in the Camera stores for these items? You still get a better value with Konica, it's just harder for me to find. The camera store people have been very helpful for some of the goods and services that they can help with, but they don't want to stock Konica stuff because they claim a limited market. So yes, please skip the eBay auctions, I need the source!

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2001

Skip ebay etc.

David, With the exception of one lens all my purchases have been made on ebay and 2 on yahoo. By and large i think I've done real well, since the most i've paid out was $131 w/s&h for a 24 2.8. From dealers I've lucked out with getting 3 FT-1's for less than $110 w/s&h. Purchases of accessories filters,hoods,caps,etc. have been through both sources. From the beginning i've always made up a price guide for the lenses I wanted to buy and took it from there. All of the caveats that Alan Meyers mentioned always apply to any purchase from any source. Your best buys on ebay are the 50's,135's.the 40 1.8 and the 28 3.5's.Most dealers charge far too much for these same lenses. Final word don't give-up on ebay. Do your homework,check your sellers feedback and most importantly check to see if he/she deals in mostly photo gear. Email,email...if in doubt pass it up. Finally, i might have a good buy for you on the 57 1.4. I'll talk to you later. keep smiling, Dave

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2001

Where I found stuff...

My best luck in finding lenses has been through Local Camera shops. I re-kindled my interest in Konica through my daughter's taking a Photography class in High School. I broke out my old TC and found the 50mm 1.7 lens had leaked (again -- had this happen about 20 years ago, too) and took it to a Local Shop to see what could be done.

They said it would cost about $40 to $60 to get it back in shape; I really didn't want to pay it, but it beat going after a new system. I was browsing and the guy at the shop said that he MIGHT have a deal for me -- he looked around and came back with a 50mm 1.4 lens in Like New condition; he said he'd give me $5 on my old lens and with an additional $20, he'd let me have the 1.4! That was the lens I couldn't afford as a Grad Student, so I jumped at it.

Anyway, I went on to purchase a 28mm 3.5 (mint, with Hood and case) for $50, a 135mm 3.2 (excellent, with case) for $30, a UC 80-200mm 4.0 for $65 (no case, but with caps and in excellent+ condition), and a Soligor 3X for $25, with caps.

Another local shop had a Bellows 2 outfit, Autoring and double cable, set of Extension Rings and an angle viewer (all but the bellows in a box) and several manuals all for $50.

The largest shops here told me they don't deal with Konica used equipment (though they DO deal with MANY others). I won't be seeing them again! Maybe I need some of Alan's snappy Nikon Retorts!

Anyway, I've obtained most of the things I wanted from the stores -- the Pawn shops have a few Items -- I was thinking of getting an 80-200mm 3.5 (the big heavy old zoom) but have decided to forget about it for now (I've been spending too much in too short of a time!).

Bodies are Very hard to come by here, it seems. I saw a TC with an unexciting zoom (and really dusty!) for about $170. Too much! I purchased a couple of FT-1 bodies on eBay (haven't received 'em yet, though). I THINK I got a good deal -- but (as my wife says), " didn't get a DEAL until they ARRIVE!..."

In any case, it is certainly true that eBay takes patience and discipline to not get caught up in the bidding. I also think the FT-1's are probably OVER priced on eBay a bit; Good deals on a really fine camera (IMHO) may be found on the TC's. I'm sure I'll like my FT-1's but the TC does pretty much all I ask it to do. I also speculate MANY of the TC's (and others) with reportedly, "...shutter works, but the meter seems bad..." MAY just need batteries! Those old mechanicals are Nice that way!

In the long-term maybe I'll score a big old T3 and pick up that heavy zoom I left at the pawn shop -- a system for photography AND personal defense!

-- tm

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2001

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