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Thread: How long can lenses last?

  1. #1

    Smile How long can lenses last?

    Just wondrin, if a lens is used normally, meaning, maintainance by user is average and lens can be rated 8/10, how long can a lens last?

    I'm asking because I want to try buying second hand lenses from BnS, but I feel uncomfortable if the lens is 2years old or more. Is it going to be prone to damages or abnormality if its age passes 2 years?

    Your comments please.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    I have a non-is usm lens that is code UI...shld be manufactured in 1999. But it's still working fine.

    Depends on the previous usage rather than the age. Relatively new but heavily used might not be better than a 5 year old but rarely used lens. 2 years I think should be alright, you just need to test it out yourself.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    Quote Originally Posted by gundamseed84 View Post
    I have a non-is usm lens that is code UI...shld be manufactured in 1999. But it's still working fine.

    Depends on the previous usage rather than the age. Relatively new but heavily used might not be better than a 5 year old but rarely used lens. 2 years I think should be alright, you just need to test it out yourself.
    I have one that is 20 over years? Even the original owner cannot remember.
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  4. #4
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    a two years old lens shouldn't be any problem, however, that really had to depends on what type of lenses and how it has being used. a consumer grade lens with normal usage and given proper care, it can last for many years. a pro grade lens has better built and able to withstand more punishment.

    anyway, my advice is, if you have any doubt of using a used lens, you should just consider get a new lens, so you will not have any worry or concern about the reliability of this used lens.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    I have a 25 year old AF lens that is still working like a gem.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    I have a manual lens that's appx 35 years old and used to have an AF lens that is over a decade old, both works like a charm.
    Playing with M43.

  7. #7
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    I have a few lenses from the early 80s and they are still good.

  8. #8
    Senior Member shierwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    My Takumar prime lenses were bought 2nd hand 1978 and still working fine. Tamron manual lenses pre-date the adaptall series.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    I have manual focus lenses from the 1960's that work great. I have AF lenses from the 1980's that work great.
    Alpha

  10. #10

    Smile Re: How long can lenses last?

    Hi All,

    Thanks for your responses!

    Wow...it only means one thing..lenses are pieces of great engineering (if handled with care, of course)..

    Now I'm enjoying reading comments from lens owners whose lenses are even older than me..hehe

    I guess I can try settling for a second hand lens now..hehehe..

    actually looking for a Nikon 18-200 to replace my 18-105 kit lens..

    Is it worth the upgrade?

    I can sell my kit lens for 300 and buy a 2nd hand 18-200 for 600 to 650 (sorry for the follow up question).

  11. #11
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    Quote Originally Posted by binoeako View Post
    Hi All,

    Thanks for your responses!

    Wow...it only means one thing..lenses are pieces of great engineering (if handled with care, of course)..

    Now I'm enjoying reading comments from lens owners whose lenses are even older than me..hehe

    I guess I can try settling for a second hand lens now..hehehe..

    actually looking for a Nikon 18-200 to replace my 18-105 kit lens..

    Is it worth the upgrade?

    I can sell my kit lens for 300 and buy a 2nd hand 18-200 for 600 to 650 (sorry for the follow up question).
    You should look at this thread... very poisonous... Heeeh
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=843473

    How long a lens will last depends also on the electronics, the design and how it was used.

    Old manual focus lenses tend to last longer than modern AF-S lenses all other things being equal. Because they are just plain old mechanical. No electronics, no micro motor to fail. And when they need servicing or repair, they are also easier to fix.

    So do take that into consideration.

    18-200 is an ok lens with a lot of range, but IQ is very similar to your 18-105 kit lens. The older 18-200 VR1 is also reported to exhibit some issues with one of the ribbon cable breaking after some time of usage (around 1-2 years in constant heavy usage). So make sure you know what you are getting into. Unless you need the one-lens-big-range kind of application (like travelling light), I would recommend against it.

  12. #12
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    i too have decades old lenses
    but mind you they don't make them like they used to

    too much electronics and technology
    the old mechanical lenses normally lasts longer

  13. #13
    Member Alan Chan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    if there is no physical damage it should suggest that the lens is accident-free, lens is made to last on normal usage. my 2cts.
    Nikon D700| 70-200mm f/2.8G VR2| 28-70mm f/2.8D| 85mm f/1.8G| 50mm f/1.8G| SB900/SB28| MB-D10

  14. #14

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    usually those lens without built in motor last pretty long. Those without AF supposedly can last a lifetime especially the soviet era glass.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    You should look at this thread... very poisonous... Heeeh
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=843473
    Caution: VERY Poisonous!!
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

  16. #16

    Default

    Probably should ask around more for those owning later generation lens?
    Cos i was thinking maybe older lens last longer as they don't have much electronics involved. Later gen lens with more electronics-driven parts might not last that long IMHO.
    That's something to factor too?

  17. #17

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    Met a fellow shooter, who is in his 50s. Using a 30 years old Tamron lens that is still in great shape.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    how long can a lens last?

    let's put it this way: you just plucked the lens from the seller's hands... you turned around, the lens slipped from your hands and rolls towards the road and kerrrash.

    well. nothing's definite

  19. #19
    Moderator ed9119's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    I still have a 5cm collapsible LTM from 60 years ago in great condition that i nowadays pair with a LTM-M conversion mount
    shaddap and just shoot .... up close
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  20. #20

    Default Re: How long can lenses last?

    My office uses a 40D along with two kit lenses: the 18-55mm and 17-85mm.

    Both lenses died after slightly more than fire years of constant service, and when we took the lenses to Canon, it seemed that both suffered the same fault: stuck aperture blades and the electronics starting to behave funky.

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