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Thread: Buying 2nd hand lens

  1. #1
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    Default Buying 2nd hand lens

    I'm a little reluctant to buy 2nd hand equipment, especially lens, because I'm a afraid others are just selling the item because it is already 'damaged'. I know a lot of sellers are genuinely honest but there is still a chance that I may come across a dishonest one.
    I just want to get some tips on how to inspect 2nd hand lens, what to look our for, what is 'acceptable' condition, what may affect image quality , etc.
    Ex. my greatest fear is to get a scratched lens and don't notice it. will a scratch be always seen on the image?

  2. #2
    Member Rendell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    Quote Originally Posted by thinslicing View Post
    I'm a little reluctant to buy 2nd hand equipment, especially lens, because I'm a afraid others are just selling the item because it is already 'damaged'. I know a lot of sellers are genuinely honest but there is still a chance that I may come across a dishonest one.
    I just want to get some tips on how to inspect 2nd hand lens, what to look our for, what is 'acceptable' condition, what may affect image quality , etc.
    Ex. my greatest fear is to get a scratched lens and don't notice it. will a scratch be always seen on the image?
    I think the chance is low for a scratch lens... anyway you have the phone number of the seller, you can call him for refund etc.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    hi TS, i too had asked about your fears and just today I decided to pull off from a deal on 2nd hand lens (mental barrier and the price paying for)
    basically you check for:

    1) the exterior of the lens (cracks, turning of the rings)
    2) cracks to the glass
    3) dust inside if any (at the mounting end, there is a lever to push, that will lift open the aperture blades, point at light source and check inside)
    4) mount onto cam and test out the IQ.

    use search tool in here, they are helpful.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Rendell View Post
    I think the chance is low for a scratch lens... anyway you have the phone number of the seller, you can call him for refund etc.
    personally i do not trust seller offering personal warranty for refund, so if you picked up a lens, deal closed, later you found issue, call him back, no one pick up the call. what can you do?

    just gotta blame yourself and count yourself unlucky

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    if the savings are not significant, just go for a brand new piece. if u need it for an assignment, no point taking the risk just to save 100-200 bucks.

  6. #6
    Member Rendell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    Quote Originally Posted by akagi07 View Post
    personally i do not trust seller offering personal warranty for refund, so if you picked up a lens, deal closed, later you found issue, call him back, no one pick up the call. what can you do?

    just gotta blame yourself and count yourself unlucky
    How do you guys dispose your lens?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    Quote Originally Posted by akagi07 View Post
    hi TS, i too had asked about your fears and just today I decided to pull off from a deal on 2nd hand lens (mental barrier and the price paying for)
    basically you check for:

    1) the exterior of the lens (cracks, turning of the rings)
    2) cracks to the glass
    3) dust inside if any (at the mounting end, there is a lever to push, that will lift open the aperture blades, point at light source and check inside)
    4) mount onto cam and test out the IQ.

    use search tool in here, they are helpful.
    thanks for the tips. i can't seem to find the lever to upon up the lens. also just wondering how dust gets into the lens and how to get it out if any.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    do read the stickies on top of this section.

    dust is small matter, as long as you're using zoom lens, sure bound to have dust.
    fungus is a bigger issue.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Rendell View Post
    How do you guys dispose your lens?
    bring my lens to nsc or mr fatigue to clean first before selling.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    Quote Originally Posted by thinslicing View Post
    thanks for the tips. i can't seem to find the lever to upon up the lens. also just wondering how dust gets into the lens and how to get it out if any.
    the lever is located beside the cpu contacts, u should be able to see it.

    dust can get in in many ways, for example, when u zoom in or out, if the length of the lens is changing, or if the lens is not internal focusing(IF), it actually suck air in and out, dust are everywhere, that's where the dust get sucked in.

    we cant do anything about the dust inside the lens, the best way is to send it back to NSC for cleaning, however, u'll need tons of dust inside the lens to have significant effect on your image, learn to live with dust.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    Typically also depends on your tolerance level... like how much cheaper must a 2nd had set be before you choose it over a firsthand?

    IE a Canon 50mm f/1.8 RRP is $159, I got mine firsthand at $125 as part of a deal, I saw people trying to trade a 2nd hand set for $100... the question is: for $25 less, is it worth it? I now have a set with 12+3 months Canon warranty

    Serious sellers will post sample shots with lens showing photos of varying apertures (max open, middle and smallest for example) to show the IQ and any visible blotches. The really serious sellers (and pricey items) will include photos of the lens itself as well as slightly more detailed history (how old, purchased where etc).

    All in all, if you're a serious buyer, and the other side is a serious seller, can use these as a trial to check first before meeting in person. Of course, if it's a $50 lens then may not be worth the hassle

    Finally, do check for yourself on the spot... it is not unknown for shady sellers to pull a fast one. Always do a visual check and bring a torchlight and camera body with you. If in doubt, bring an experienced buddy along. Treating him to a $10 milkshake is more worthwhile than getting ripped off a $xxxx "L" lens.

    Cheers.
    better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied -J.S. Mill
    1000D. My works

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens

    thanks for all your replies. tips on how to inspect 2nd hand lens still welcome.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Buying 2nd hand lens


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