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How do you reduce (and not expand)?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:29 pm    Post subject: How do you reduce (and not expand)? Reply with quote

Hello, folks! I have a serious question to the experinced and not so much among you. It is clear that to hunt for some good or great mf lenses is a real pleasure. But it comes a moment that you start saying to yourself that you meed to reduce the collection that has been established. How do you manage that? There must be ways not to hurt yourself and not to regret. I am facing a dilemma that I did not acquire doubles or more and thus each lens could be potentially interesting to reuse, say next year or three years after. Even a "bad" and cheap one. All of us are doing "rediscoveries" of the lens you had already owned but did not pay much attention to it.

So, my question is addressed to your practic choice: how you chose lenses to sell and what you do to be certain of the sale and not to regret if your sale comes not so well?

Do you normally arrive to cover your expenses (including the postage you paid) when reselling the lenses that you did not buy explicitly for that purpose?

Thank you in advance for your tips and wisdom.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

not easy task, few years ago sold a Tamron 01A and bought one back a year later

basically, sell boring bits cheap and don't sell anything you really like or is difficult to find


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: How do you reduce (and not expand)? Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Hello, folks! I have a serious question to the experinced and not so much among you. It is clear that to hunt for some good or great mf lenses is a real pleasure. But it comes a moment that you start saying to yourself that you meed to reduce the collection that has been established. How do you manage that? There must be ways not to hurt yourself and not to regret. I am facing a dilemma that I did not acquire doubles or more and thus each lens could be potentially interesting to reuse, say next year or three years after. Even a "bad" and cheap one. All of us are doing "rediscoveries" of the lens you had already owned but did not pay much attention to it.

So, my question is addressed to your practic choice: how you chose lenses to sell and what you do to be certain of the sale and not to regret if your sale comes not so well?

Do you normally arrive to cover your expenses (including the postage you paid) when reselling the lenses that you did not buy explicitly for that purpose?

Thank you in advance for your tips and wisdom.


This can get complicated if you let it, so don't: sell what you do not use--keep what you do use. Lyrics in an old G Dead song seem applicable here: "One man gathers what another man spills." jt


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe this will help a little;
I try to theme my lenses into a collection and sell off what does not fit within that theme. Most of my old Nikon glass was made when I was in High School and College so I try to keep within that and build the kit that I would have liked back then. I take my old lenses to camera shows and trade off several lenses for one more desirable one or vintage filters, lens caps, etc.
Good Luck...
Pete


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How I choose is lenses that have a unique attribute speed, macro (close focus), unique bokeh go last. If a lens isnt decently sharp it doesnt stay long.

Anything that doesnt meet that criteria I will generally reduce by having a two lens shoot out, with the looser getting sold. I probably had 40 50s a month ago, now down to about my final 10.

I have about 10 35s I will pare down to 2 or 3 same fashion.

If its not a very obvious decision than the lens worth less stays, as there is always new glass to buy and try...


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this point in my lens collection activity, I'm selling lenses that 1) are duplicates, or 2) are lenses I care nothing about, or 3) are lenses I can't use, typically because I don't have the required camera.

I have examples of all three.

Example 1) Right now, I own four Nikon 55mm Micro-Nikkors. Only one do I need to keep, an AIs f/2.8 model. The other three are pre-AI 55mm f/3.5 lenses, only one of which has been AI'd (by Nikon). I plan on selling these three lenses, most likely on eBay. One is a lens that has been part of my Nikon outfit for over 25 years, but which has been replaced by the even better AIs lens, and the other two I've picked up, mostly because I found them for really cheap and figured I could make a buck or two off them.

Example 2) A prime example of a lens I own but care nothing about is a Canon breechlock 100-200mm f/5.6 zoom. This zoom model was one of Canon's first FD zooms. It is built like a tank and is excellent optically. But I just have no interest in its limited focal length or its slow maximum aperture. It's a lens that is in perfect condition, has a case, but it's also a lens I'll never normally use. So off to eBay it goes, one of these days.

Example 3) I bought an "outfit" -- actually more of a loose collection of cameras and lenses, and part of this outfit was a Nikon zoom intended for the Nikon DX (APS-C) digital cameras. I don't own any DX Nikons and I have no plans to own any DX NIkons, so this lens is useless to me. It too is eBay bound, one of these days.

These are by no means the only examples I have. I have multiple examples of the three general categories above. I should be more active on eBay than I am. Reason why I'm not, I guess, is because none of these lenses are worth much. Probably the most I'll get for any of them is $40, even the Micro-Nikkors, which are truly amazingly sharp lenses. But they're plentiful and most folks prefer either longer focal length macros or macros that focus to 1:1 or AF macros.

I've been actively collecting the older classics now for about nine years. I'm still in the acquisition phase. My collection is generally complete enough for most of my film cameras but not so much for my digital cameras (both of which are APS-C, one Canon DSLR and one Sony E-mount mirrorless). Lenses for the two digitals are still relatively expensive, which is the main reason why I don't own more. But when it comes to lenses for my film cameras (but which I can use on my digitals as well with the right adapter), I've become rather selective. This is because I have lenses ranging in focal length from 17mm to 650mm, all of which are of very good optical quality or better. Some MF lenses I'm interested in adding to my collection, but they still command high prices on the used market. Lenses like the Canon FD 55mm f/1.2 SSC Aspherical, or Tamron's legendary 180mm f/2.5 LDIF. On Nikon's pre-AI 20mm f/3.5 UD. Or just about any LTM optic made by Canon for its interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras. These guys sell for close to what their new prices were back in the day, sometimes even more, because both collectible and user demand remains high.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm finding that I'm selling the 'average' lenses - because they no longer interest me. I'm keeping the lenses that are good and great, although that is often subject to my opinion and the cameras that I use. ( Sony A6000, NEX5 + k10D ) And of course, my idea of a great lens is often at odds with the rest of the world.

If I'm not using my 'great lenses' I really like to pick a crappy, slow lens on a rainy and grey winters afternoon and take that lens on it's own out and challenge myself to return home with at least a handful of usable images. Sometimes I surprise myself, sometimes I elevate a crap lens to good.
And the other reason I keep the crap lenses is - they're basically worthless. These are the old kit 50mm f2 lenses that I get from charity and junk shops for next to nothing, everyone else has them, so selling them is pointless.

And that's why I'm trying to sell all the decent middle of the road stuff I've got - I never use it.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:

And the other reason I keep the crap lenses is - they're basically worthless. These are the old kit 50mm f2 lenses that I get from charity and junk shops for next to nothing, everyone else has them, so selling them is pointless.
One way to get rid of them is selling an adapter with the "free" lens Mr. Green but I admit I have some lenses that fall into this category and I simply use them as display-items in my living room.

But more in general, to Alex' question: It is not difficult at all for me. A lens needs to meet at least one of 2 criteria:

1. I enjoy shooting with it (shooting it often is NOT a requirement for me!)
2. I want it for the sake of my collection (e.g. historical interest, as a curiosity, because I like the look of it, etc etc)

A lens that does not meet any of these requirements can be sold whenever I want a little extra change, or make room for another lens, or just feel like flipping some stuff. For me, it does not matter whether a lens is redundant or not; I also sold off lenses that are unique in terms of e.g. focal length. After a sale, I do not look back.

Some lenses that meet both criteria can still be sold, e.g. if it is to make place or cash for a lens that I want more (e.g. I'm considering trading in my Summicron-R 90 on a Summicron-M 90)

Also, do not bother about "taking a loss" in terms of money. A lens that just gathers dust is a waste, and a much bigger (financial) loss than a lens that has been sold at (e.g.) 20% less than it was acquired.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had over 100 lenses. All of the M42 S-M-C and SMC lenses except the 1000mm, the UVs, the long zoom, and the15mm, maybe 25 lenses. I had multiple versions of Super-Taks. A half dozen 50/55s. Plus many others some good like Tamron 90/2.5, etc., and Soligors, others lesser known.

One day I awoke and decided this is crazy. Doesn't fit my minimalist lifestyle at all! Selling is a lot harder than buying icydk. But I did it. Paring down to the lenses in my signature.

Regrets, sure, many. But always, after thinking about it, there was something I didn't like about those lenses, so after all, no regrets. Life is simpler! Smile

I thought I wanted to continue collecting Nikkors. Each time, I remember I haven't really learned to use the fabulous lenses I kept, so do not start recomplicating things.

I guess this is what one LBA cure looks like.

Cheers!

PS Thanks for the Hunter lyric Focusthrow


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been trying to downsize, primarily due to space limitations, but also I am trying to get a specific lens for a specific purpose. I want a Sony Zeiss 16-35 F4 for underwater photography (going to Aus, NZ and Fiji in March!). I know, I know its not MF but underwater makes it a bit more complicated. I have my Loxia 20mm2.8 up for auction (Sadly, as I will really miss that lens) but I can't really afford both. I am also offloading some of my many duplicates. I try to keep the best example of any given lens. I have to confess I am a bit out of control as I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 or 300 lenses. I rationalize that it might be a hedge against the upcoming market downturn. I am at an age that I really can't afford another 30% hit to my retirement portfolio so I have been diversifying my stocks into land and ...lenses (LOL).


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't like to think of me as a collector. At some point, ~2 years ago, I decided that I had too many lenses (more than 250) and I don't use them. Many of them were not even tested. At that point I decided to keep and buy only the best lenses in their class, regardless of their price, and only if I really need them. And that's what I did - I sold many of the average/good/very good lenses and cameras and also some of the collector-interesting lenses. With the resulted money I financed the acquisition of some expensive lenses regarded as top in their class. I now have only ~130 lenses and only sell some when I want to buy a new, high quality one that I think I really need. No more interest in collector items (...but still keep some of them for latter selles) or in average/good/very good in their class ones. No more interest in a bargain, if I don't really need the lens.

The good side of only buying the best (but, usually, expensive) lenses is that after testing them I've lost interest in the average/good/very good ones in the same category that I already have. By comparison they become uninteresting and therefore easier to sell.

Well, there were some exceptions lately, but not so many. You know how they say: the exception confirms the rule. Smile

alex ph wrote:
Do you normally arrive to cover your expenses (including the postage you paid) when reselling the lenses that you did not buy explicitly for that purpose?

Not always, but I have managed to sell some of the lenses, mainly the collector-grade ones, with 8-10 times their acquisition prices and I am sure that, on the average, I am on plus.


Last edited by dan_ on Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:32 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reduce===============

Give common lens to friends or sell them.


Not expand or expand extremely slow============

Do something else

or

Set rules for lens buying: No more than 1000 made, price must be 10% of the market price and in excellent condition.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dan_ wrote:
I don't like to think of me as a collector. At some point, ~2 years ago, I decided that I had too many lenses (more than 250) and I don't use them. Many of them were not even tested. At that point I decided to keep and buy only the best lenses in their class, regardless of their price, and only if I really need them. And that's what I did - I sold many of the average/good/very good lenses and cameras and also some of the collector-interesting lenses. With the resulted money I financed the acquisition of some expensive lenses regarded as top in their class. I now have only ~130 lenses and only sell some when I want to buy a new, high quality one that I think I really need. No more interest in collector items (...but still keep some of them for latter selles) or in average/good/very good in their class ones. No more interest in a bargain, if I don't really need the lens.

The good side of only buying the best (but, usually, expensive) lenses is that after testing them I've lost interest in the average/good/very good ones in the same category that I already have. By comparison they become uninteresting and therefore easier to sell.

Well, there were some exceptions lately, but not so many. You know how they say: the exception confirms the rule. Smile

alex ph wrote:
Do you normally arrive to cover your expenses (including the postage you paid) when reselling the lenses that you did not buy explicitly for that purpose?

Not always, but I have managed to sell some of the lenses, mainly the collector-grade ones, with 8-10 times their acquisition prices and I am sure that, on the average, I am on plus.


Very wise move Dan. The thing is that collecting binds a lot of capital - and space. My tax adviser asked me about my lenses and I made a spreadsheet for him of just 375 of them (>1000) and I nearly tipped over after I have added current average ebay selling prices to it. What I plan on doing is to start to slowly disposing my lens collection and only keep the best of them (where "best" denotes either very rare or best in class ones) and buying wise only what is exceptional and exceptionally rare and an exceptionally good deal (Calvin's criteria).


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on a similar track like Dan and Klaus. Just keeping the best lenses and get rid of the rest.
I already gave up buying lenses as there isn't much room to improve left unless I would spend several thousand Euro per lens to exchange e.g. my CV 28mm/F1.9 to the newest Leica Summicron 28mm/F2 aspherical one. I'm quite happy with my rather complete set of RF lenses from Leitz/Leica and Voigtlaender.
Sooner or later I will start therefore to sell all of the unused lenses and cameras from my collection, particularly all of the MF SLR lenses and most probably invest the money in a new toy like e.g. a Leica M10 or something else I don't really need instead. Wink


Last edited by tb_a on Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I've ever advertised a lens.
I have sold a few to friends who where after something cheap that I had available and have donated 2 to my daughter.

Apart from that the best I've managed is once turning down a collection I was offered free.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:43 pm    Post subject: not really collecting Reply with quote

I used most varieties of Alpas back when they and their optics were out of fashion (or unknown and hence not all that expensive), not really collecting, just not selling as newer stuff was added.

As prices rose, the rarer pieces became too expensive to suffer my usual handling (rucksacks & pockets out in the mountains) so the Alpas collected dust in a safe place. In the long period with abandoning manual focus, getting autofocus Canons as well as the practical demise of film (Kodak Pro, Canon 5d etc.) the short Alpa-mount lenses were unusable anyway.

With MFT, the optics have been revived and some are quite good, but my Leica&Zeiss kit is sufficient for my needs.

I have contemplated dumping the lot. Westlicht auctions apparently only want to cherrypick, not to be bothered with a large variety of Pignons equipment, so I have not decided on how to dispose of underutilized treasures.

p.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

Nice subject and is fun to read others opinions Smile, so let's contribute myself...


My (mf) lenses collection is around 80 units right now... I have some "rare/unique", "great" /"very good" lenses and few "average" lenses that, all together are a WAY MORE than I can use for my hobby and certainly more than I should really have in first place!!

It all started in 2007...
In the first years, I really did a LOT of purchases (mainly eBay) 20-30 per year and in between sold many lenses too. Anyway collection kept growing and only 3 years back I put some effort in reducing collection that was over +100 at... Considering last 3 years, I managed to sell (with great profit) about 20 lenses and only purchased 4 new mf lenses which led to 82 lenses today.

I know the numbers and the values because I keep tracking all my transactions, items, inventory into a database.
I realy know WHEN, HOW MUCH and some sort of VALUE of all my lenses, so I evaluate and sell lenses according my use/interest and if at that time I felt would have a great profit with the selling... Other advantage is that if one knows how much you SPENT in this kind of hobby, one may decide NOT put more (fresh) money in it, so must only fund new purchases with sales..

With that organization I came to a point where are about 5-6 new lenses I STILL would like to add/evaluate and have about 40 lenses I should sell.... Smile
I am not in a rush, so will check best opportunities eitheir to sell or buy new lenses. Moreover I also evaluate the remaing lenses with MODERN DESIGNS yet manual focus (ex: loxias or so) with the goal to have best optics for current camera/sensors in some focals...

As per regrets they can still occour... but probably a lot less! Tuzki with lens


PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lloydy wrote:
If I'm not using my 'great lenses' I really like to pick a crappy, slow lens on a rainy and grey winters afternoon and take that lens on it's own out and challenge myself to return home with at least a handful of usable images.


This is a "game" I enjoy. Fit a fixed focal length manual everything lens and go out and "Make a picture" ... really helps focus the mind and the sense of achievement can be quite surprising!

Enjoy Smile


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many lenses are we talking about?
Set some firm rules for keeping a lens, then quickly go through your collection no more than 3 seconds to decide wether to keep or sell, if you have to think about it, send to the sell pile, be as ruthless as possible because you will be going back through them and saving a few, its funny, when you have the time to really think, you will always find reasons to keep them, but forcing your decision into a snap decision makes you tap into your basic feeling on wether you can live with or without a lens, ok, now that you've hopefully cut your collection down, now you can go through the sell pile and think why you shouldn't sell, the catch is you can only save 1 in 10, at this point you've already made the decision to sell them so it's far easier to let them go.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make your wife tell you to get rid of them!

OK, maybe that's not too much of a challenge.

I get rid of things by making sure I tell her that I've sold something.
That's plus points for marital relations.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another way: get those self sticking round dots, in January place one on each of all lenses you have. If you take one lens and use it on your camera, take that dot off. Do this for one year. Sell all lenses next January, that still have a dot on them. See, very EASY Twisted Evil


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
There is another way: get those self sticking round dots, in January place one on each of all lenses you have. If you take one lens and use it on your camera, take that dot off. Do this for one year. Sell all lenses next January, that still have a dot on them. See, very EASY Twisted Evil

If I follow your advise, I have to sell more than 60% of my whole collection..... Laugh 1


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

calvin83 wrote:
kds315* wrote:
There is another way: get those self sticking round dots, in January place one on each of all lenses you have. If you take one lens and use it on your camera, take that dot off. Do this for one year. Sell all lenses next January, that still have a dot on them. See, very EASY Twisted Evil

If I follow your advise, I have to sell more than 60% of my whole collection..... Laugh 1


Well, hence why I don't do it this way... Laugh 1


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
calvin83 wrote:
kds315* wrote:
There is another way: get those self sticking round dots, in January place one on each of all lenses you have. If you take one lens and use it on your camera, take that dot off. Do this for one year. Sell all lenses next January, that still have a dot on them. See, very EASY Twisted Evil

If I follow your advise, I have to sell more than 60% of my whole collection..... Laugh 1


Well, hence why I don't do it this way... Laugh 1


The period could be related to number of lenses. kds315 will need another lifetime! Laughing. (just kidding)


PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some interesting input here!

A few other thoughts:

Expanding actually requires some active effort (e.g. searching a lens, making payment, etc)
On the other hand, not expanding requires no effort at all (no tracking of lenses, no bidding/paying, etc) and is therefore easy.

So while not quite the same as actually reducing (which also requires some effort (e.g putting a lens in the garbage bin, or advertise it, or give it away, ...), the easiest way to keep the collection at a certain level is simply not purchasing.

After a while, consider if you are happy with the stuff you have (or not), and why. Is a 2nd lens really going to make your collection any more enjoyable? How about the 20th? Or 200th?

Or another approach (one that I use often): on a certain weekend-evening would I rather have dinner + drinks downtown, or spend the same money on a lens-auction?

As you can see, it is not complicated at all. We sometimes just make it seem more complicated than it actually is.

Lastly, I would like to point at the often-heard misconception of "needing" a certain lens (often disguised as "I need a lens of focal length xx because etc...). It's not food or air. We do not "need" lenses, we simply choose to want some lenses. This is also an active, conscious process, and therefore easy to control and stop.

Right, enough rambling, I now to go to ebay to look for more lenses Thank You Dog