MF Camera Lens thread

I’m a big fan of (mostly older) MF camera lenses. My collection numbers well in excess of two hundred lenses, with the exact number frankly unknown. Thought I would start a thread to see if any other lens aficionados were about.

Course today most folks are into AF lenses if they use interchangeable lenses at all. I began collecting a bit more than ten years ago when MF glass was really inexpensive. In those days it was oftentimes difficult even to give the things away. That was then.

This is now, and with the advent of mirrorless camera bodies the prices of MF lenses have just gone NUTS!! It’s at the point where I’m only buying a few new lenses each year because they have become so expensive. Even low end (the most common, I mean) Hexanon lenses no longer sell for a song.

I own only a few really interesting lenses. One of them is an Angenieux parfocal lens used, probably in the 1960s, to shoot movies. That lens today typically sells in the vicinity of three grand. I got mine only because an eBay seller a while back could not spell “Angenieux”. I paid a dollar for the misspelled lens and nobody else even bid. That was a fun experience.:grinning:

I also repair old lenses. I’m not terribly good at it, but I try. Have had both successes and failures over the years. It is meticulous work. Those lenses assembled with thread lock are the most challenging to repair. My best outcomes have come with repair of prime lenses, as you might expect. Zooms? Very very difficult for me to repair, especially when they have been assembled with thread lock. Have been able a couple of times to extract and resurrect damaged apertures. It can be blade by blade work to clean and straighten. And reassembling those suckers is, well, it can be tantamount to torture. :grinning:

Anyway, if anyone else is into MF lenses please post. They are in many instances nearly works of art from a bygone day, and so collectable. It’s a shame that smart people today have learned to adapt the old MF lenses to modern digital camera bodies, hence driving up demand and their cost. Should have. But I never saw coming what has happened.

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All right, this old thread from way back in 2018 did not exactly take off. I guess many of you are too young to be interested in actual cameras with real lenses. Instead you just use your cellular telephone thingies. I’m sad because I like lenses a lot and wish we could discuss. Anyway:

Since you don’t care about lenses maybe you care about money! Here is a story of a guy who bought a lens for ten bucks and sold it only a short while later for fifty grand:

$10 Flea Market Leica Lens Sells for $50,000 in Under 24 Hours

And I can reiterate my personal story, as posted in the OP, which is only a slight bit less dramatic:

A few years ago I bought an Angenieux lens for a buck. Angenieux is a revered high end lens manufacturer located in France. My lens is very large and heavy and is used in the motion picture industry to shoot feature films. That lens is valued, conservatively, at between three and four thousand dollars! So it was a nice pickup for a buck. How’d it happen?

The seller did not know how to spell “Angenieux”. With his misspelled listing nobody else was able to find, or bid on, the lens. Mine was the sole bid.

OK, not a $50,000 lens for $10. But still pretty good and a lot of fun. :slightly_smiling_face:


How much did you sell it for?

I love, and collect, camera lenses. They fascinate me. I own something over 200 of them, though the exact count is today unknown.

I have never sold one of my lenses, not even the least among them, and I never shall do so. However, full disclosure:

It has been a while since I have bought a lens to add to my collection. When I started, perhaps circa 2004, lenses which seemed to me very valuable were selling for mere peanuts. But with the passage of time it appears more and more people have unfortunately come around to my way of thinking. This has resulted, sad but true, in massive price increases.

Oh, well. I continue to enjoy the lenses I was able to purchase at off price.