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Thread: Things to check when buying 2nd hand lens

  1. #1

    Default Things to check when buying 2nd hand lens

    hi ppl..

    i'm pretty new to this shooting biz.. well, i am looking at getting an
    additional lens and would like to solicit some advice.

    say beyond inspecting the physical condition of the lens & body itself
    (no cracks, minimal scratches.. ), what do YOU usually inspect or perform
    any tests to ascertain the lens quality?

    pls kindly share your expertise.. thanks!

  2. #2


    which particular lens are u getting?

    check the

    - model (eg markI ?, mark II ?, etc)
    - cosmetics (dust, wear marks, stains)
    - contacts
    - turn the focussing rings/zoom rings to see if theres any flaw
    - mount on body, check the AF, infinity focus
    - see if theres any loose parts
    - see if it comes with box/case/filter/hood
    - use a strong light source look thru and see if theres strange stuff amongst the glass elements

  3. #3
    Senior Member scud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003


    apart from what has been listed by user111, bring your dslr to test the lens.

  4. #4


    hee.. actually i'm looking @ the nikkor 80-200 2.8D 1or2 touch.. 2nd hand..

    so yea.. other than testing it with the cam body itself for fit, the last check you (user111) mentioned.. u mean like specks or fungi??

    also, i heard that there are ways to check by taking shots on highly reflective surfaces .. smthg to that extent.. i could be wrong..
    is there any truth to that?

  5. #5


    dslr..yup, can aso bring along, mount the lens on and take a few sample pix at the various focal lengths and apertures..then go home and scrutinise all over the monitor..

    peering thru the lens optics under strong light - its to check for fungus (will appear as squiggles), fogging, dust (not too critcal), dead ants..

    highly reflective surface check..i dunno about that but i guess it may be a way to check if the lens flares easily or not when used to shoot "bright" scenes - of which the highly reflective surface may qualifys as one..

    additional check is to mount te lens on the body with a hotshoe flash (eg sb800). then switch on everything, turn the zoom ring - the flash head should also zoom accordingly if enabled

    nikkor 80-200/2.8..i never touched the push-pull version but for the 2-touch AFD version, check

    - the tripod collar : its meant to be non-removable.
    - that the focus limiter works for both ranges
    - that it feels like 1300 grams

    that should be it..

  6. #6


    thanks .. any other feedback from other 'snappers?

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by sensx
    thanks .. any other feedback from other 'snappers?
    On lenses with internal focus motors, make sure that you exercise the focus through the focus range, while listening for any unusual sound. Lenses that are not used often tend to "squeek" when going from near -> infinity -> near due to lubrication not spread out evenly.



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