Jump to content


Used Lens

7 replies to this topic

#1 bonsaidad



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 03 November 2008 - 01:27 AM

Buying a used lens for the beginner is a very daunting and nerve racking task, but of course you look for the obvious sign's of wear and tear, but what are the hidden faults that must be looked for, and how can you spot them.

Best regards Paul
I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous

#2 Digital SnapHappy

Digital SnapHappy

    Super Member

  • Advanced Members 50
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,421 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:42 AM

Buyer Beware - I recently bought what I thought would be a bargain Canon 17-85 IS lens (second-hand) from a famed NYC photography store. They rated its standard as a 9.
It has recently failed - after 4 months - the AF contacts are damaged. The timescale for return of damaged goods was 48 hours - yet the real problems did not become
apparent until after 45 days or so!!! Now I am forced into a repair situation - at my own expense. (The only reason that NYC prices were impressive was because we used
to get $2 to the - it is now $1.50 / ). dry.gif




Tether your camera with the

free android app dslrdashboard

#3 siriusdogstar



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 12 May 2009 - 04:16 PM

check the lens buyers guides on ebaY...

some quick tips:

look in the lens using strong lighting, either direct sunlight or a bright flashlight or lamp.

the lens element on the camera end is most important; any scratches or scuffs will degrade image quality considerably. slight cleaning marks there, where lens coating has been worn, have less effect. front lens element condition is less important, heck even big chips can be painted black and the lens will still perform well in most conditions, but any condition issue should lower the price over a perfect lens.

internal dust has little effect too, but the further back in the lens the more effect. there should be no mold or hair-like growths.

the aperture blades should be free of oil and operate "snappy"

focus ring (and zoom ring) should turn smoothly throughout the entire range of movement.

try the lens on your camera if you can, take several test shots at different apertures (and focal lengths if a zoom).

buy from a reputable source with a return policy and examine thoroughly before return period expires.

#4 usnirmal



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:58 PM

when it comes to lens, i would recommend not buying a used one... wait or pay a bit more for a new one... you never know what is the problem, it may not happen always, you might be the unlucky one who might get a horrible lens if it is a used one... for example, one my my friend bought a lens on ebay and he got a great deal, and the lens works fine, but you may not be so lucky... like i have a lens which works at times but does not work in some situation, i was to shoot a horse race in the delaware race tract, and it got off when i tried to hit the shutter button.. so you never know about the used lens

#5 sandrophoto



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts

Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:40 AM

try refurbished, it's better choice and tad cheaper then new.

on the other hand, I bought my 50mm f/1,8 mkI from the year 1987, it works perfectly. Purchased it on ebay, looked through glass, af was working, and that's about it, it's like new.

so ur running a big risk... just try to buy from a reputable person.

Digital photography - My photo blog
Famous photographers - Video Interviews, photos, biography
Photography Basics - Learn the essentials of photography!

#6 Jimmy1234



  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 17 June 2010 - 12:12 PM

Technology continues to depreciate so you might be better off buying something brand new, if you do consider this please beware of some websites that send out faulty products... i have heard good reports about this site: www.bhphotovideo.com

I hope this helps

#7 ssnet



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Czech Republic
  • Interests:I'm IT specialist,<br />From time to time, trying to take photographs. I am mainly interested in the following topics: Landscape, City and its Mood, Architecture, Street Photography, Sport, and other interesting subject areas.<br />

Posted 22 June 2010 - 12:38 PM

QUOTE (bonsaidad @ Nov 3 2008, 03:27 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Buying a used lens for the beginner is a very daunting and nerve racking task, but of course you look for the obvious sign's of wear and tear, but what are the hidden faults that must be looked for, and how can you spot them.

Best regards Paul

Hi Paul
I highly recommend the purchase of a special study sites and forums.
For example:


#8 jasonbrien



  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts

Posted 12 June 2012 - 08:53 AM

I've bought and sold various bits of my camera gear as I've grown it, while buying new is the best, sometimes you can't afford new. In addition some lens can't be bought new anymore e.g. the metal mount Mark I 50mm f1.8 lens.

First - deal with a reputable store, I would only buy used from a place that I've bought a lot of new stuff in. They aren't going to 'cheat' me on a bit of used gear to make a hundred dollars profit if in doing so they they ruin their chances of ever having me as a customer.

The place I deal with (Henrys in Toronto), has a 120 day waranty and a 14 day return policy.

Second - Specifically to lenses check them visually, work the focus in AF and MF modes, zoom etc. What you want to see is that the lens itself looks like it was well cared for. Take a lot of pictures at all the aperature settings, you'll see any dirt or fungas inside hopefully that way.

Third - third party lenses lose their value quickly, Canon lenses will hold their value. I looked at a set of lens and the Tamrom was half price, the Canon (in poorer condition) was 75% of the price of new. Make sure you know what the new price is in order to understand how good a deal you're getting.

Also - make sure what you're getting is compatible with your camera - some Sigma lenses won't auto focus on cameras newer than the Elan 7.

I'd stay away from stores other than good photoshops. What I'm trying to buy is a lens that someone has upgraded from or traded in to buy new stuff.

One other thing that I've learned - if the store caters to students at art college/university programs, there may be times of the year when used photo gear is more available. Around here the worst time to get used medium format equipment is in October, 2nd year photo arts students buy it all up in September then sell it in May.

remember - it's buyer beware and if its too good to be true, it likely is.

Photographers Liverpool

Reply to this topic


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users