While looking for some lenses in Contax/Yashica mount for both mirrorless and film, I happened across a buy now offer on eBay for a used Yashica ML 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 Macro. These are scarce to locate and probably more sought after than other C/Y Yashica branded zoom lenses, as they have a reputation for edge clarity, color rendition, and sharpness. When they do show up for sale, they may not always be in the best optical and/or mechanical shape due to some inherent design issues.
This particular lens was listed at a good price but as noted from the seller, it was suffering from heavy hazing on the internal elements. Aside from that, it was fully functional and in reasonably good cosmetic condition. I clicked the 'Buy Now' button and had it in-hand several days later. This wasn't going to be my first lens tear down or cleaning, but it would be my first attempt with a zoom lens.
This is written from a potential buyer and bidder's point of view - by someone who'll be looking for a new tool to acquire as an end consumer. This could also apply to other product categories of similar item types and many of the online sales or auction site's listings, but I'll lay all of this out with eBay in mind for either a buy it now or an auction listing.
I'd be your ideal target and the guy you want looking at and then bidding on or buying what you'd have up for sale. I'll be really happy with a great deal if I can get it, but I'd have no problem in paying you a fair price. We don't expect some discounted or wholesale price as a reseller would, and if you can interest us in what you have - and it's something we're actually looking for - we'll consider buying or bidding. I've acquired a fair amount of gear via eBay, and not all of it good - so - I think I can pass on some reasonably good ideas from my experiences.
This article could easily start out as a kind of chicken and egg joke, like "Which came first... the camera or the lens?" I should add in 'legacy' or 'vintage' before the word "lens" to be more in keeping with the title.
Internal mirrors and pentaprisims started disappearing from cameras somewhere around 2008-2009, and makers offered lens mount adapters for their new mirrorless designs with the new mounts they used. Most of these adapters were produced by the OEMs themselves, and provided a quick path for brand loyalists to use their existing lenses on these new digital models, or even a conversion to a new body with a differently scaled sensor. Sony's full frame Alpha and SLT series and the NEX line offered this - or Nikon's D series (both FX & DX) when the Nikon 1's were introduced.
I knew nothing much about cameras when I was young. I got to push down the trigger on my Grandma's Brownie Hawkeye camera for the rare times I was allowed to take photos of the grown ups. This was a camera that the only thing you could do was to literally point and click. There were no adjustments to make before you took a shot, and just a quick wind of the film advance knob when you were ready to take another picture. The only thinking required was in keeping track of the frame number while winding. There wasn't a lot of photos taken in those days - other than birthdays and Christmas, or when a relative visited from another state.
After I made it to my teen years, something changed for me after seeing a camera that wasn't in the shape of a box; and with a few adjustments to its knobs and levers, it could do all sorts of things that no box camera could ever do. I wanted more than the Brownie experience and that meant I would have to do it on my own. My family wasn't cash-happy, so nobody was about to buy another camera setup for me.