From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Feb 01 2011 - 08:24:50 PST
A 'real' camera store will charge a lot for a good lens. Buying lenses on eBay is not so bad (better than buying cameras). You can usually tell a lot from the physical condition in the photo, and the main things are whether:
a. the aperture and focus rings turn smoothly
b. the front element is nicked up
c. there's bad gunk /fungus / separation on the interior elements.
If the seller has not noted these things, you can ask via the question form, since no real expertise is required to check them.
Refer to this page re: the difference between RX mount and C-Mount lenses: http://www.city-net.com/~fodder/bolex/truth.html
Basically any lens that opens up past f 3.2 needs to be a RX lens to get proper focus through a Bolex RX camera prism.
These were pretty much only made by Palliard under the Switar line - superb lenses but not cheap.
One thing: on eBay people selling individual lenses or lens sets generally know what they have and price it accordingly. On the other hand, you can find complete camera listings from sellers who've acquired stuff at estate sales and don't really know the potential value. They may not even say what the lenses are in the description, but you can tell in the picture. I have bought Bolexes on eBay just to get the lenses, with the whole kit being cheaper than the lens set alone would be on eBay, or a single lens would be from a dealer. Sometimes the lenses will be mismatched to the cameras: an RX lens will be on a standard camera, or an RX camera will have a c-mount std. or wide angle. Scour the Bolex listings diligently, and sooner or later you'll find some real bargains.
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