For those of you who are like me and frequently rummage through eBay and BBlist (those of you in the UK know) for deals on filmmaking fear – from audio related kit to tripods, sliders and most of all – lenses, you know that it can be a bit of a frustrating process. As a veteran ebayer with more than 15 years of experience, I’ve bought and sold plenty of items, but there is always that uncertainty when buying expensive items. I’ve bought some of my favourite lenses and bits around my rig from eBay, but have always wanted to have that extra peace of mind and a more filmmaking oriented marketplace to make the whole process easier.
Enter – LensFinder.com, a new way to buy and sell vintage and used glass for the stills and motion picture industry. LensFinder.com is a safe and simple way for individuals, brokers and companies to trade in vintage and pre-owned modern lenses. Founded by esteemed industry veterans Matt Duclos (of esteemed lens specialists Duclos Lenses) and Ryan Avery of Veydra and Tokina fame, LensFinder.com allows easy access, low cost, and safe transactions in the buying and selling of glass.
“Up until now, buying and selling classic lenses was a pain,” said co-founder Matt Duclos. “Platforms like eBay and Facebook make searching for the right lens or the right place to list it a pain for both buyers and sellers. You could search around web forums or try word of mouth through friends and companies you knew. It was all very ad hoc, disorganized, and old school.” Matt is also the President of Duclos Optics, the family-run Los Angeles premiere lens sales and services company.
“LensFinder.com is about making the process simple and inviting for buyers and sellers. There can be a vintage Russian anamorphic lens from the sixties and a Canon 50mm prime from a year ago – and on LensFinder.com both are easy to find and evaluate for buyers and sellers.”
Co-founder Ryan Avery has developed some of the most notable new lenses of the past decade from companies such as Schneider, Veydra and Tokina.
“We have a passion for optics of all kinds, from unique and obscure specialty lenses to the workhorse primes and zooms. Our slogan is ‘Glass Matters,’ and it’s really important to us. With LensFinder.com, we wanted to bring the confidence and ease of buying new lenses to the classic and pre-owned glass that’s out there in the world,” said Ryan.
“Auction sites and backroom deals can be uncomfortable for many reasons. LensFinder.com is a straightforward and safe marketplace for vintage optics. We want to make the best platform for shooters to learn, find, and buy great used and vintage glass to expand their creative options.”
For sellers, LensFinder.com charges no listing fees, just a 3.99% commission if a sale is completed, which is less than popular mass market online auction sites such as eBay. That commission is capped at $500 per sale, so costs are always clear and straightforward. There are no fees charged to buyers. Listings are curated and transactions are protected through PayPal, and other direct payment methods and escrow services will be made available soon.
The LensFinder.com beta site is available now, and both individuals as well as industry-leading dealers and brokers are already listing vintage glass for sale. In addition to the Marketplace, LensFinder.com is designed to be an educational resource for all things glass.
Current articles include guides on evaluating and identifying lenses, and future resources will expand upon the different types of vintage lenses available, along with descriptions of their various attributes. LensFinder.com is a place for people who are curious or passionate about lenses and how they can help their craft.
Don’t forget – Glass Matters.