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Where to sell optical components (lenses, mirrors, etc.)?

Jonathan Wever

Plastic
Joined
Oct 6, 2022
Location
L.A. (Lower Alabama), USA
Introductory to the forum:
Good day, practical machinists, it's nice to finally join the forum after benefitting for years as a mere guest. Unfortunately, my first post is hardly related to machining. Fortunately, I have a few home-shop-scale machines, most of which I have not set up, and I will surely be asking more relevant questions later.​

Question:
I inherited a few boxes of used optical components such as convex/concave lenses, large "condenser lenses", mirrors, "wratten filters", etc., altogether weighing 20-25kg. A few of them are still in original packaging, but most have likely been used and contaminated. These still seem valuable (at least materially) as lenses of this scale seem to be sold from $20 - $1000 each. Can anyone refer me to any forums or groups with individuals who might be interested in buying the lot?

Thank you,
- Jonathan Wever
 

jccaclimber

Stainless
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
I say eBay, but hobbyist astronomy or photography forums might have interest in the filters.
The inconvenience of optical items (lenses, etc.) is that they are costly to produce and not so versatile in most cases.
New is often not critical, but I damaged and clean enough to prove it is. Take care cleaning if dirty, many mirrors cannot be touched without causing damage. Rinse with clean acetone or IPA is a good first action for individual first surface mirrors.
 

Conrad Hoffman

Titanium
Joined
May 10, 2009
Location
Canandaigua, NY, USA
Doubt Edmund does anymore. I've gotten rid of optical stuff at hamfests, though the hamfest season is over around here. I just met somebody with the same problem- a box of optical stuff too good to toss and too hard to sell.
 

jkopel

Stainless
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Location
Seattle, Wa USA
Edmund (sadly) no longer buys or sells surplus and hasn't for a long time.
I went to their old store in the late 90's after receiving their catalog for most of my life.
I was crushed to discover that the surplus section had shrunk to a shelf of leftover junk. Real junk.
 

jccaclimber

Stainless
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
Doubt Edmund does anymore. I've gotten rid of optical stuff at hamfests, though the hamfest season is over around here. I just met somebody with the same problem- a box of optical stuff too good to toss and too hard to sell.
I have at piece on my desk inside a protective enclosure that I refer to as the $10k almost paperweight (custom first surface mirror). Every now and then I get asked why I can't take it out of the protective cover and I point out that it would become a $20 actual paperweight and wouldn't be as nice and shiny.
It makes a nice example to remind the junior folks of the cost of making 1 vs. making many vs. making a simpler system that doesn't need it.
 

Jonathan Wever

Plastic
Joined
Oct 6, 2022
Location
L.A. (Lower Alabama), USA
The inconvenience of optical items (lenses, etc.) is that they are costly to produce and not so versatile in most cases.
That is what I feared going into this venture.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I found BMI Surplus which seemed to carry tons of used optical items, but I called and found they aren't interested in purchasing anything outside of MA because of shipping costs. I would assume similar attitudes from other surplus businesses. I'll try letting it sit on eBay and will maybe poke around for a telescoping/photography group.
 

jccaclimber

Stainless
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Location
San Francisco
If you have a local electronics or similar surplus shop they might go for it. Probably won’t pay much, but at least the stuff won’t be wasted.
 

IHateMayonnaise

Aluminum
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Location
Albuquerque
That is what I feared going into this venture.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I found BMI Surplus which seemed to carry tons of used optical items, but I called and found they aren't interested in purchasing anything outside of MA because of shipping costs. I would assume similar attitudes from other surplus businesses. I'll try letting it sit on eBay and will maybe poke around for a telescoping/photography group.
I am an optics/laser expert, so to speak. If you message me I may be able to point you in the right direction, or tell you what it's worth.

Cheers,
IHateMayonnaise
 








 
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