Purchasing used lens?

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

  1. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    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.

  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    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.

    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

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    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

    Mar 10, 2007
    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:


    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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