Buying 2nd hand lens


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Jul 7, 2009
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#1
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?
 

Rendell

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Aug 2, 2009
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#2
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.
 

akagi07

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2006
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#3
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.
 

akagi07

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2006
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#4
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
 

satch

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May 1, 2004
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#5
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.
 

Rendell

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Aug 2, 2009
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#6
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? :)
 

Jul 7, 2009
59
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0
singapore
#7
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.
 

Simon_84

New Member
Mar 18, 2004
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bukit batok
#8
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.
 

May 5, 2009
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#10
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. :bsmilie:
 

#11
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 ;p

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 ;p

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.
 

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