A story about how I got an awesome lens

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by beanedsprout, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Found out the Tuesday before last that I had Spring Break the coming week. Immediately called my friend 5 hours away in Chicago and set up a photoshoot. Drove in Monday morning, stayed until Friday, with the big shoot set for Wednesday in Gary, IN. Got the required permit, and then we went costume shopping on Tuesday. Hit up some thrift shops, and my friend's sister suggested we go to an antique store that had lots of costumes.

    Well holy hell they did. Anything you could ever want was crammed into this shop, and this shop was HUGE. We kept finding more and more rooms, and on our way out discovered there was a basement that had more stuff in it. But I digress.

    So we walk around and find a dress, corset, another dress with wings, some lacy stuff, random odds and ends, and head to the counter. $150 for everything for two days.... NO THANKS! Especially when to buy the stuff from the store would maybe be double that, if even. So we end up with the dress with wings (I'll post pics later) and as my friend is filling out the rental agreement, I spy some old cameras on a shelf.

    I walk over to investigate, and see that it's mostly old junk. Crappy dusty cameras that even when they were new weren't that great. Some old movie cameras, but everything on the shelf was broken, and you could tell. Except one piece. I saw it immediately. You see, I've been looking at these lenses on ebay for quite some time, and wondered why they were so expensive. I added a few to my watch list and left it at that, never really thinking I could ever afford one, and then wondering if I ever did afford one, what I would do with it. It's for the Pentax M42 screw mount, which I have a few cameras for, but I don't use them. I'm not a fan of 35mm film really, too much to mess around with an external light meter.

    There was a Hoya filter on the front of the lens, which after unscrewing revealed a flawless front element. The rear was just as flawless. Focusing was smooth, and all the aperture blades were there and snappy. The camera wouldn't cock or fire and the mirror was stuck in the up position. DOA. But the set had a price tag of $29.50 on it, so I had to ask.

    I take the camera, trying to look as unconcerned as possible, and ask if items were for sale as well as to rent. "Yeah, how much do I have on it? $29? I'll give it to you for $24. How does that sound?"

    "Yeah, ok I guess," I respond, and dig out some cash from my wallet. She bags it up and my friend and I walk out the front door, with neither woman realizing what had just happened.

    We get outside and I say to my friend "Guess how much this lens is worth," with a big grin on my face.

    "I have no idea. How much?"

    "One thousand dollars!"

    The lens in question is a Yashinon Tomioka 55mm f1.2 that was attached to a Yashica TL-Super. In hindsight I should have haggled with her to get the price down a little lower, maybe to $20. :D

    Here it is on my EM-5
    Yashinon on EM-5 by BeanedSprout, on Flickr

    And yes, it is for sale. :D
    • Like Like x 13
  2. Crushader

    Crushader Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 11, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Never knew about this gem before this article, very nice indeed! So lucky you guys in the States get to spot so many treasures in thrift shops =[
  3. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    I actually had a dream weeks back about going into a shop and finding an awesome lens, but then talked myself out of it ever happening in real life.
  4. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    Killer find! Congrats!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Always great to have a find like this. I know how you feel, after finding my Minolta 58 1.2 for $30. If you keep looking, it will show up eventually. But mine isnt for sale.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
  6. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Yeah well 1: Chicago was expensive and 2: I like autofocus too much
  7. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Damn, that's sweet. Makes me wonder if I've ever walked past a deal like that just because I didn't know enough about legacy glass, but I guess to be fair the 1.2 would probably have attracted me anyway.
  8. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    I found my Yashinon 50mm f/1.7 in a second hand store in Jinotega, Nicaragua (city of circa 50,000) for 60 cordobas -- roughly US $2.37. It's works better for manual focus on my Sony, but I have taken some pictures with it on the GF1 (have adaptors for both systems).

    View attachment 348795
  9. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Nice lens! My best deal lens is also a Yashica, a 50mm f/2 ML that I won off of eBay for exactly $0.01! (I did have to pay about $4.77 in shipping, however, so it didn't really end up costing me a penny).

    To this day it's one of my sharpest lenses.
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Nice! I can't lay claim to anything that extraordinary, but I do have an eye for deals.
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    You got a dress with wings?
  12. sebs_color

    sebs_color Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 5, 2014
    Virginia Beach, Virginia
    That's awesome. I'm in the military stationed in Sicily, wish they had some pawn shops or thrift stores like that out here!
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I was fortunate/blessed enough to be stationed in Italy too - I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of those types of stores.....:smile:
  14. clockwork247

    clockwork247 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 4, 2013
    nice catch, but I don't see it selling at 1000 dollars... maybe I'm wrong here, but there's so many other f/1.2 out there from popular brand (nikon/canon/minolta and even the rare konica 57 1.2) and none of them fetch 1000 dollars, not even close. all are 500 or less in mint condition, you can fetch a canon 55 1.2 FL for as low as 180 at a big store.... Maybe the Yashinon Tomioka 55mm f1.2 is super rare?

    I own a minolta 85 1.7, and it's relatively rare, normally price at 300 but no one would buy that when the AF version from nikon/canon is selling for the same price, and the MF version from canon/nikon are only 150~.

    I know it's M42 mount, but that's the more reason to not get it, the old M42 mount has super old lens, the coating is not as good as the next generation of lens (MD/nFD ect...). I've gone through the stage of MF on DSLR, and it sucks, one of the brightest VF is my A900 and that's not even cutting it (and I don't have old eyes or anything like that), the only system worth MFing on are the NEX and m4/3 for their focus peaking, on the panasonic you won't get that until you hit the G6. The NEX mostly comes with no VF, the only ones are the NEX 6/7 and the new FF NEX, and even then they don't really care about the mount, they can mount anything on those body.
  15. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    such a shame Croatia doesn't have thrift shops or garage sales... all we have is flee markets and if you do manage to find a lens, it's either broken/dusty/fungus on it. To top it off, you just can't hope to find a lens that isn't industar or helios, and usually you can find better prices on ebay than on the flee market.
  16. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Not sure about that. Saw a old Nikon screw-mount with a 50 1.4 in Osijek on Njuskalo for 200hrk. By the time I emailed him, in broken Croatian, it was gone though. Easily worth 10x the price.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Well, online buying/auction sites do have opportunities like that now and then, but it depends whether you catch it or not at the right time. Frankly, i don't browse around for lenses each day, i just don't have the time/energy for that. But i would like to have a bit more thrift shops here, just for the thrill of finding something similar as OP.

    Anyway, hope you're doing ok Cruzan, it's been a while...
  18. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Yeah, only found dusty old lenses at Hrelick. Doing great, hope you are doing the same. Ever since we went, more and more extended family are going there on vacations. One day soon, we will have to make it back.
  19. morthcam58

    morthcam58 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 14, 2012
    near Baltimore
    There's almost a cult following for this lens -- if you check completed sales of this lens (marketed under various names) at ebay you'll find that it sells for close to, and sometimes over, $1,000.

    If you want a cheaper cousin, the Sears 55 1.4 in M42 mount was made by Tomioka.
  20. clockwork247

    clockwork247 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 4, 2013
    If there's a cult then sure, I have heard of this lens, but didn't think there's a cult for such a old lens that's just a decent performer.

    I do have a mamiya sekor 55 1.4, but I'm sure that's probably not a relative to this one. Almost all 50s look a like to me, apart from a few special ones if I put all 10+ of my 50 and take the same image, without telling people which one is which, no one would know IMO. I'm sure this 50mm fad will die down soon enough, I noticed almost all MF lens have rised up in price in the last 2-3 years, but the 50mm stays the same, doesn't even keep up with inflation.