Purchasing used lens?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by nateDEEZY, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    I just picked up my first DSLR yesterday and I can't wait to take it out this weekend... So today I'm looking to pick up a new 50mm f/1.8 ii canon lens and a used Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L lens.

    My question is, what are your thoughts on purchasing used lens, and what to look for when purchasing used lens?

    I saw these for sale http://sandiego.craigslist.org/pho/407930619.html and I'm thinking of buying it but I wouldn't know what the first thing to look for when purchasing used lens.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #2
    It's a tricky business buying a used lens. You essentially have 2 options- either buy from a reputable reseller, which will allow you to return your lens if you're not satisfied, and generally have rather conservative grading of lenses, OR you can take your chances with a private seller, and hope the lens has never been dropped, and that you notice all the little imperfections.

    This is an EX+ lens on keh, which means that the lens is going to appear in a "like new" condition to you.
    http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Prod...=&ID=10&BC=CE&BCC=1&CC=7&CCC=2&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=

    The company will refund your money if you don't like the lens/ or will exchange it, if you want.

    Things to look for when getting a used lens include obvious signs of damage- does the lens casing look beat up? is the front glass element scratched? does the focus ring work smoothly? is the zoom smooth?

    Look through the lens: do you see any spots inside, which may be fungus? (this is unlikely for a sealed L-lens, but still...) Do you see any oil in the back (from the aperture blades)? Last, but not least, bring your camera, take a couple of shots at different apertures, and at different focal lenghts. Most defects will show up at small apertures (high f-number).

    Or you could spend that extra $100....
     
  3. nateDEEZY thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #3
    Yea, that's what I'm going to have to do. I don't think I'll be able to find any brick and mortar stores that'll sell that lens at a comparable price to online, I was just hoping to pick up that lens for the weekend.
     
  4. walangij macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    MI
    #4
    Depending on how soon you want it (maybe you purchased it already for the weekend), here's a couple leads from forums sites which I frequent, probably the 2 largest B&S user communities, Fredmiranda.com and Photography-on-the-net.com. There's always 17-40L's up for sale in very good condition usually used by professionals or enthusiasts and prices are not always firm :D. The prices shipped are just a little above the craigslist, and from my experiences on both sites buying/selling 15 or so lenses/bodies, all my transactions have been very pleasant with the gear coming in the condition stated:

    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/567650
    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=371684
    http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/566703

    I've never used Craigslist for camera gear, in my area (MI), the electronics sector has a lot of scammers (aka, stolen gear) so I've stayed away, it may be different in your area though.
     

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