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Thread: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

  1. #1

    Question Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Hi, i'm new here.

    Just want to ask some questions, hope you all can help.

    What do i need to lookout when buying a second hand DSLR.
    I know shutter count, which indicates how many shots the camera had taken, but it's only applicable for canon and nikon?
    How about Sony?

    Other than that, pretty much check on the warranty date,
    The wear and tear condition, and what else do i need to lookout for?

    Thanks in advance! =)

  2. #2

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoolong View Post
    I know shutter count, which indicates how many shots the camera had taken, but it's only applicable for canon and nikon?
    How about Sony?
    For both Canon and Sony, the exact shutter count can only be discovered by taking a trip to the SC.

    for the other things to consider, this has been asked several times before. I do suggest trying a search, as there are many informative posts that have already been posted on this.
    Alpha

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by alternatve View Post
    Lets divide the tests to a few parts

    First off, DO your homework on the quirks and issues of the camera in question. Next, ASK the owner about any perceived quirks about it, any cases of dropping, etc.

    Try not to buy "project" or scrap cameras unless you know how to refurbish them or can get it at a very low price.

    Now for the actual test. Take note the test is not exhausive and that many of the sections are really common sense.

    Exterior
    - Check for large dents at key components like the top of the camera near the rangefinder, near the lens/lens mount.
    - Check for loose parts.
    - Check for the functionality of the buttons/switches. (Especially that the camera WINDS properly)
    - Check focusing (also see rangefinder/viewfinder)
    - Check focus ring (if lens is included). This should be smooth throughout and not too loose/tight or jerky.
    - Check that the aperture blades close properly and that no oil are present on them.
    - Check that the lens mounts securely on and off.
    - Check the condition of the glass, whether there be any haze, dust spots, oil on blades, etc.


    Interior

    - Check the film advance is working.
    - Run a finger over the film guide rails. They should be smooth to the touch.
    - Check that the spring back resists when you push against it and not be flat.
    - If possible, run a scrap roll through and rewind while leaving the back open to see film advance and rewind is proper.
    - Interior should be clean.
    - Check light seals (if any).
    - Check for obvious light leaks.


    Rangfinder/Viewfinder
    - Viewfinder should be clean and clear.
    - Rangefinder spot should be easy to see and use.
    - No misalignment of the vertical or horizontal alighment of the rangefinder.
    - Framelines (if any) should be easy to see.


    Shutter

    If Cloth
    - Check against a bright source of light for pinholes in the shutter cloth. Check once before you wind and after you wind the shutter.
    - Check for cracks or wrinkling in the shutter material.

    If Metal
    - Check if metal blades are properly aligned and open and close easily with no collision when winding and firing the shutter

    Shutter speeds for both.
    - 1 sec - 1/60 should sound different from 1/60 - 1/1000 and beyond. Also, all speeds should sound slightly different from each other. More apparent on older cloth shuttered cameras. Metal shutters (except leaf bladed shutters) are usually quartz timed and are very accurate.
    - at 1/500 - 1/1000, hold up to a bright light source and fire off shutter. You should perceive a sharp rectangle of light. If the rectangle has blurred edges, the shutter is capping at high speeds.


    Hope this helps.

    Samuel

    Hope this helps, Sorry for not searching earlier.
    But what exactly does some of the terms mean i don't really understand.
    Can someone decipher for me?

    What is:
    - Check for the functionality of the buttons/switches. (Especially that the camera WINDS properly)
    - Check focusing (also see rangefinder/viewfinder)
    - Check focus ring (if lens is included). This should be smooth throughout and not too loose/tight or jerky.
    - Check that the aperture blades close properly and that no oil are present on them.
    - Run a finger over the film guide rails. They should be smooth to the touch.

    Any other points to note?
    Thanks
    Last edited by Voodoolong; 2nd March 2009 at 10:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoolong View Post
    .
    .
    .
    I know shutter count, which indicates how many shots the camera had taken, but it's only applicable for canon and nikon?
    How about Sony?
    .
    .
    .
    Huh? So the other brands of cameras can take an infinite number of shots with their shutters?
    Exploring! :)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Huh? So the other brands of cameras can take an infinite number of shots with their shutters?
    I think he means the actual current shutter count, as in, how many actuations has it already done.
    Alpha

  6. #6

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    Huh? So the other brands of cameras can take an infinite number of shots with their shutters?
    Yeah, I mean shutter count must be checked.
    Nikon and canon Shutter count are in the .exif file.
    But for sony i'm not sure, hope someone can tell me how to check.

    "discovered by taking a trip to the SC."
    where is SC?
    Thanks

  7. #7

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    SC refers to Service centre. Wismas for SOny
    DSLR - Designing Sensational Life Realities

  8. #8

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Thanks.

    What is:
    - Check for the functionality of the buttons/switches. (Especially that the camera WINDS properly)
    What is WINDS?

    - Check focusing (also see rangefinder/viewfinder)
    How to check focus? Press shutter button 1/ 2 way?

    - Check focus ring (if lens is included). This should be smooth throughout and not too loose/tight or jerky.
    What does it mean? Means the silver metal part touching the lenses and the camera body?

    - Check that the aperture blades close properly and that no oil are present on them.
    How do i adjust the aperture blade manually?

    - Run a finger over the film guide rails. They should be smooth to the touch.
    What are guide rails?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    what i learned some years ago,

    1. set to manual focus
    2. set the aperture to the smallest, f/22
    3. take a photo of a white piece of paper
    4. examine the photo on a computer monitor

    if dark spots can be seen on th photo, it means that the dirt is present on the sensor.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by aaxiz View Post
    SC refers to Service centre. Wismas for SOny
    Actually, you can bring it to any Sonystyle.
    Alpha

  11. #11

    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoolong View Post
    Yeah, I mean shutter count must be checked.
    Nikon and canon Shutter count are in the .exif file.
    But for sony i'm not sure, hope someone can tell me how to check.

    "discovered by taking a trip to the SC."
    where is SC?
    Thanks
    For Canon, not all cameras embed it in the exif in a readable format.

    For example, here's for the 40D:
    http://astrojargon.net/40DShutterCou...ookieSupport=1
    Alpha

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoolong View Post
    Thanks.

    What is:
    - Check for the functionality of the buttons/switches. (Especially that the camera WINDS properly)
    What is WINDS?

    - Check focusing (also see rangefinder/viewfinder)
    How to check focus? Press shutter button 1/ 2 way?

    - Check focus ring (if lens is included). This should be smooth throughout and not too loose/tight or jerky.
    What does it mean? Means the silver metal part touching the lenses and the camera body?

    - Check that the aperture blades close properly and that no oil are present on them.
    How do i adjust the aperture blade manually?

    - Run a finger over the film guide rails. They should be smooth to the touch.
    What are guide rails?
    Erm...most of the points here refer to a film camera...so not very applicable to you...

    Wind = winding of the film

    Check focus = yes ... half press to activate focus. On a dslr, check if focusing works and is the focusing accurate.

    Focus ring = the ring is situated ON THE LENS, not the body. For dslr, autofocusing is more common. The given advice is just to check the lens, not the body.

    You adjust the aperture blade by tweaking the controls of the body. Hard to explain this if the make and model of the dslr is not known. This advice is also for film cameras.

    Film guide rails = its situated within the body of the FILM SLR, it guides the film as the film is being WINDed.


    Seriously, where did you get the above info from?
    Last edited by tkbonz; 3rd March 2009 at 01:46 AM.
    Dun blame the camera...blame the one behind the viewfinder :bsmilie:
    My Flickr..pls leave comments!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Lookouts when buying 2Nd hand DSLR.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceman View Post
    what i learned some years ago,

    1. set to manual focus
    2. set the aperture to the smallest, f/22
    3. take a photo of a white piece of paper
    4. examine the photo on a computer monitor

    if dark spots can be seen on th photo, it means that the dirt is present on the sensor.
    You can also set the shutter speed to be > 2 sec, and when taking the test shot, shake the camera so that the image of the white paper is "smeared". This is to prevent mistaking the dark spots to be sensor dirt when it could actually be dirt on the paper.
    Dun blame the camera...blame the one behind the viewfinder :bsmilie:
    My Flickr..pls leave comments!

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