85/1.8 question

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hi gang- i am trying to fill-in my konica inventory with an 85/1.8. it just so happens that the camera store down the street has one... i looked at it today quickly (had to leave because the 2 yr old and camera stores don't get along if you know what i mean). with only 30 seconds to look at it, i noticed the lens aperature ring felt "loose", there was a fair bit of dust internally, and there was what i thought might be a fungus spot. they're asking 125.

so my questions are: 1) is that a decent price given the quality of the lens? (mike's page says 80 and 305 were prices at auction). 2) are the problems such that i won't be getting maximum quality out of the lens?

thanks, paul.

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2001


85mm f1.8

Hi again Paul,

For a $125 85mm f1.8 you mention is:

"aperature ring felt "loose", there was a fair bit of dust internally, and there was what i thought might be a fungus spot." I would walk away from it or be prepared to pay to fit it up and clean it all up. The range of $80-305 were over a long period of time on eBay. They mostly went for $100-150. There was one that did go for $305, but it was new in box, mint and never used, quite an odd ball to find and was probally bought by a collector to sit on a different shelf.

Well, dust is common in any lens, the more you have, the more it "could" affect image quality. I think if it looks "dusty" without using a bright light, and you are just looking at it normally, that is bad. Fungus isn't a problem if it is cleaned out. Even if the fungus eats the multicoating out in spots it is still fine. Fungus on the rear elements (as is dust) is worse than if it is on the front elements. Fungus and dust in the middle of the glass is worse than if it is on the outsides. Worse = lowered picture quality.

It is a rare lens, but I am sure you could easily talk them down on the price, or I'd look elsewhere for a good 85mm f1.8

There is a photography store near me (that doesn't have a 85mm f1.8) but nice Konica lenses, but they are x2 the cost of eBay!


-- Anonymous, March 23, 2001


Thanks, Mike, for your reply. You said what I wanted to hear (i.e., walk away). I have done well by being very picky about the konica lenses/cameras I acquire. I should probably stay that way.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2001

Walking away...

Sorry I had to tell you to talk away from the 85mm f1.8 (I still think you should), from what I heard it is a fine lens and a shame it was neglected like that, poor thing.

You have done well.


-- Anonymous, March 24, 2001

well, i own an 85/1.8 now

hi konica friends-

thanks to someone elses advice e-mailed to me, i went back and took a second look at the lens. this time i had more time, and i brought a friend who is a 30yr hasselblad shooter and knows his stuff. i didn't want to get screwed.

first thing was my friend asked them to clean the front and rear elements, which they did. that was a night and day difference. the only thing remaining inside was a little dust, really not that much and one black spec on the inside rear element. my friend says it's got dimension to it so it's not fungus and it doesn't look like fungus at all to him. he said this will mean a small reduction in light (a small fraction of an f-stop, like 1/20th). they're the same specs i see on my old 50/1.7 lens, that i posted here about a year ago when we had a nice discussion about how to tell fungus from dust/internal paint specs.

the salesman was firm on the price, so i got it for 125 USD. you can tell someone really liked this lens (i.e., it looked well used) and there's a fair bit of brassing on the focus ring. all aperatures are good and the blades are snappy. the front part of the lens (my friend says this is the "helicoil?" has got a bit of play in it. you can feel this if you hold the lens at the back and the front and push/pull. when you do this, there's a little bit of play. does anyone know if this is a problem that will effect quality of the lens?

also, would anyone recommend I had this lens CLA 'ed ?

thanks, paul


p.s. i'm going out now to run a test roll, comparing the same subject to some of my other lenses. if anyone cares, i will let you folks know how it goes.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001

well, I own an 85/1.8 now

Paul, You CERTAINLY do. Congratulations! A second opinion is always a good bet. Dave

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001

wierd problem with 85/1.8 and T3n

hi folks---

well, i put the 85/1.8 on my T3n to shoot a test roll, compare it to the 135/3.2 i own, etc... and low and behold, there's a problem!

when i cock the shutter (with the 85 mounted of course), sometimes the shutter fires without my pressing the shutter release. so, i thought maybe there's probably something wrong with the 85. but, i put it own two other TC's, no problem. then when i went back to the camera store, put it on one of their konica A (?) cameras, no problem.

sometimes, you can cock and fire 50 times with the T3, and no problem... othertimes it gets on a roll and it keeps cocking/firing at the same time for over and over.

this is a just reconditioned t3n too.... so, everything seems aok.

i look forward to any of your sage advice.

does anyone know of any compatability problem with the 85 and a T3n ?

thanks, paul.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2001

85/1.8 problems.

hi folks---

so, i looked closely at this 85/1.8, with a 3x magnifier and noticed several not-so-good things: there are scratches on the front element, not too many but you can see them with the magnifier. also the "dust spot" looks more like it may be a growth because when you shine light on it the right way and use the magnifier, it looks like orange-ish blob. it's not spider-growth, though, so i don't know.

so, i look for advice on what to do? should i take it back? have it reconditioned? i know they cannot get rid of the scratches on the front element. is this worth 125 USD?

also, this is the older-coated hexanon with the metal ribbed focussing collar.

thanks, paul.

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2001

Your 85 is fine

Hi Paul,

I wouldn't be concerned about the flaws. Many think that any mark on the glass is transmitted directly to the film, but this isn't the way a lens objective focuses the image at the film plane. You can have a front element that is fairly marked up--and I mean lots of small scratches--with no meaningful effect on your images. There are a couple of precautions to take, the most important being a deep enough lens hood, to prevent lateral light from illuminating the scratch. And if the scratch is offensive, scribe over it with artist's black ink, which will have a similar effect, and help with backlit subjects.

A worse condition is a fine haze of sheen-like scratches known generally as "cleaning marks", which look more benign but actually scatter and reflect the incoming light to the point that contrast and apparent sharpness can be reduced. I'd reject any lens with cleaning marks.

I've got two 85's. One is like new, the other has a bunch of marks on the front. I can tell the lenses apart, but I can't tell which slides were taken with which lens, no matter how hard I try. (The problem I have with both are the Konica viewfinders....they never made a really good, brilliant, full one . . . a must-have for tight portaits)

That first flaw you get on a lens can be a real stress-reducer. You'd be surprised how freed-up you can feel when you're no longer worried about keeping everything pristine. Is your lens worth $125? It's real value lies in what you make with it. Don't worry and start taking pictures!

Good luck and show us some of your efforts.


-- Anonymous, March 27, 2001

wise advice

Hi Morgan,

Thanks for your wonderful advice. You are, of course, so right! It's easy to obsess over equipment: getting all lenses pristine, buying more equipment, etc. It's much harder to take good pictures!

Your advice is very sobering and I will etch it into my brain. All of us have great equipment, putting them to use is what matters.

Thanks, paul http://polymer.bu.edu/paul/konica

-- Anonymous, March 28, 2001

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