Small Star Summicron
Old 11-18-2011   #1
oleg C
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Small Star Summicron

I bought 90mm summicron V2 on eBay from FotoDotti, but still didn't pay for it. It was described as "Near Mint", but now FotoDotti sends me this email:

Hi, before you pay it is important you read below:
I tested the lens with a Leica M9 this morning with very good results but there is one thing you should know: looking through the lens I noticed that inside you can see something like a small star. Probably it is a small imperfection of Canada balsam in which the lenses are glued. It 'a characteristic quite easy to find on the lenses of that era, also new, but absolutely no effect on the photographs. Please let me know if it's okay for you, if not, we will cancel the transaction. Please reply ONLY to this email address, NOT to [email protected] If it is all ok i will send you a new PayPal invoice with 65 shipment fees.
Best regards, Carlo of FotoDotti's Staff

I would love to get any advise on this "Small Star" ...
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Last edited by oleg C : 11-18-2011 at 15:58.
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Old 11-18-2011   #2
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For one that whole conversation sounds a bit shady, but provided it's all on the up and up, it could be fungus-I just picked up the same lens and it had a light beginning case of fungus, which, in the middle of the elements, could be described as 'stars'. I don't know about the basalm separation-I've seen that in M rangefinders, but that separation manifests itself as yellow discoloring from the corners, not stars.
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Old 11-18-2011   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeskill View Post
For one that whole conversation sounds a bit shady, but provided it's all on the up and up, it could be fungus-I just picked up the same lens and it had a light beginning case of fungus, which, in the middle of the elements, could be described as 'stars'. I don't know about the basalm separation-I've seen that in M rangefinders, but that separation manifests itself as yellow discoloring from the corners, not stars.
Shady!!! I'm having a bad feeling about it my self..
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Old 11-18-2011   #4
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Can you call the shop and talk to someone?

I don't like the part about NOT emailing the main address of the store.

I bought a 9cm f2 Summicron with a small "star" in the glass, was a small fracture in the glass. Most of the time, no visible effect. Lots of direct sun- get a reflection. The lens was $200. no complaints at that price.
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Old 11-18-2011   #5
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I would cancel the transaction. There are plenty of 90mm Summicron lens without that problem. Very unusual to be told not to contact the store.
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Old 11-18-2011   #6
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Did you get a very good price ?
May be an intent to cancel a deal no so convenient for the store (it happened to me once) or an intent from an employee to grab your lens for himself at your (so good) price.
Yes, I'm paranoid, I know, but it works most of the time.
;-)
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Old 11-18-2011   #7
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Balsam separation, when I had it on an red scale Elmar, showed up as concentric rings in a flashlight test. It wasn't expensive to have the doublet split and recemented, and the lens is now superb. Fungus is more of a problem, since it usually attacks the coatings. Recoating elements is expensive and not offered by many repairers.
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Old 11-18-2011   #8
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It is a scam, the scammer wants you to send some more money to another account, that is why they don't want you to email the shop. Email the shop anyway and ask if they have contacted you about it.

Steve
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Old 11-19-2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sweeney View Post
Can you call the shop and talk to someone?

I don't like the part about NOT emailing the main address of the store.

I bought a 9cm f2 Summicron with a small "star" in the glass, was a small fracture in the glass. Most of the time, no visible effect. Lots of direct sun- get a reflection. The lens was $200. no complaints at that price.
Are you still enjoying that lens Brian? I still get twinges occasionally about selling that lens (and a few other Leica lenses I have parted with!).
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Old 11-19-2011   #10
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It says all over ebay do not do transactions outside ebay as you have no protection.
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Old 11-19-2011   #11
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First of all, I don't think it is that shady... I mean the guy did come clean before you paid for it. Also, it seems like he is in a different country that the OP so e-mail is generally the easiest way to communicate. Finally, he did not say anywhere above not to contact the shop... he said to use the e-mail he e-mailed him from (most likely still a shop address) and not the typical e-mail... this could be because the shop's e-mail will lose the conversation and the guy wants to handle it personally.
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Old 11-19-2011   #12
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FotoDotti in Italy are a respectable shop. They also sell high-end gear on eBay.

I suppose the 'regular' email address would get your mail in with the bulk of other mail, while the email address you should reply to gets your message on the correct desk straight away. Nothing shady.

The 'star' will likely be fungus and I'd cancel the transaction and look for another one, or maybe ask them if they have another specimen for sale that could replace the one you won. Ask for shots before pulling the trigger.
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Old 11-19-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasw_ View Post
FWIW, I would cancel the transaction, for I would not:> 1. buy a lens with that described flaw unless I could use it prior to paying; 2. deal with a guy who doesn't want me to contact his place of business. Too complicated and fishy...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
First of all, I don't think it is that shady... I mean the guy did come clean before you paid for it. Also, it seems like he is in a different country that the OP so e-mail is generally the easiest way to communicate. Finally, he did not say anywhere above not to contact the shop... he said to use the e-mail he e-mailed him from (most likely still a shop address) and not the typical e-mail... this could be because the shop's e-mail will lose the conversation and the guy wants to handle it personally.
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Originally Posted by buzzardkid View Post
FotoDotti in Italy are a respectable shop. They also sell high-end gear on eBay.

...
There is a chance that the email has come from a third party not connected with the seller. That third party may be trying to establish their bona-fides by discussing a supposed fault, then trying to get money sent to their own account (rather than to the seller's account).

As others have suggested, best to contact the seller directly and seek clarification and an explanation.

Let us know what happens!
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Old 11-19-2011   #14
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^ We don't know that it came from a non fotodotti e-mail address do we?
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Old 11-19-2011   #15
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Two different issues here:

1- is the whole new address/ new invoice Kosher?
2- Assuming 1 is ok, is the price of the lens adequate considering the defect.

I would check 1 carefully, and decide on 2 not less carefully. You never know when you will decide that you need to resell the lens, and it's value is probably down by 1/3 due to the defect, and this with absolutely no relation to the effect on pictures.
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Old 11-19-2011   #16
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Since the flaw may be fungus, and since the communication channels sound not to be completely sound, I recommend to cancel the deal ... unless you would pay $200 only.
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Old 11-19-2011   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oleg C View Post
... 90mm summicron V2 on eBay from FotoDotti...... described as "Near Mint", but now FotoDotti sends me this....... ...
Oleg.

For good reasons, M-fit 90mm lenses are easy to get hold of so I would be cautious in your shoes. The above quote speaks volumes for me; the lens was put up for sale as "Near Mint" when it hadn't been properly inspected, and on their own evidence the shop is being cavalier with their descriptions [or worse].

I have only once bought from a shop across borders and it was a bruising experience. The 'highly regarded' shop in Vienna sold me an 'M' fit lens which was described as 'like new', I paid a high price [relatively] for the lens, and when delivered it was immediately clear that the shop had been 'cavalier' in their lens designation description [it was a lens I would not have bothered with had I known], and the lens was so filthy [including a thumbprint on the rear element] that there was no way of knowing the internal condition of the lens until I had thoroughly cleaned it. In tests, incidentally, it also turned out to be a total lemon.

The lesson I learnt is that regardless of a shop's supposed merits, one really can't trust that a lens has been thoroughly inspected with a loupe in front of an appropriately bright light source prior to being offered for sale; and as with my example, this is what has happened to you. You are in Australia, they are in Italy, in your shoes I would walk away from this purchase, they do not deserve your continued trust!

I'd suggest you trade with someone closer to home.

Good luck.

............ Chris
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Old 11-19-2011   #18
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Originally Posted by ChrisN View Post
Are you still enjoying that lens Brian? I still get twinges occasionally about selling that lens (and a few other Leica lenses I have parted with!).
Yes, I love that Summicron. Used it at my Nephew's piano recital. It's got a great vintage look. The lower contrast of the classic Leica glass is a perfect match for The M8 and M9.
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Old 11-19-2011   #19
oleg C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodinal View Post
Did you get a very good price ?
May be an intent to cancel a deal no so convenient for the store (it happened to me once) or an intent from an employee to grab your lens for himself at your (so good) price.
Yes, I'm paranoid, I know, but it works most of the time.
;-)
790 euros, so it's not that good
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Last edited by oleg C : 11-19-2011 at 16:47.
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Old 11-19-2011   #20
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Thank you everyone for your feedback!! I will cancel this transaction today. I smell a rat too.. He also proposed to deal outside eBay as well. Here's what he said:

Hi, We can do 950,00 euro and declare AU $ 990 (for custom) plus shipment. If you agree, send me your PayPal address and the shipping address too. I will close the AD and send a request of payment with PayPal.
Regards, FotoDotti
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Last edited by oleg C : 11-19-2011 at 16:41.
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Old 11-19-2011   #21
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This lens is still listed on the FotoDotti website http://www.fotodotti.it/index.php?pa...mart&Itemid=22 I sent them email yesterday, but they did't reply yet. If somebody is trading under they name, I'm sure they would like to know about it..
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Old 11-19-2011   #22
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Let's move on ... I am glad that you have canceled the deal
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