Where to test lens before buying?


sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
1,865
3
0
#1
TK Photo doesnt allow it. I wonder will other shops allow?

Wanted to test a Sigma lens.
 

fatbike

New Member
Aug 25, 2011
190
0
0
38
#3
Wow guess I'm lucky,
But I'm not the only one testing though, but I never visit them on the weekend
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,488
26
48
Pasir Ris
#5
MS color allows testes. no test how to buy lens?
The basic functional tests are easy and no shop will deny this. What shops usually don't like is people being anal about minute focusing inaccuracies (which can mostly be solved with service center or Micro AF adjustments), testing three copies in the shop, taking up time and space and finally leave without buying anything.
 

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
1,865
3
0
#7
The basic functional tests are easy and no shop will deny this. What shops usually don't like is people being anal about minute focusing inaccuracies (which can mostly be solved with service center or Micro AF adjustments), testing three copies in the shop, taking up time and space and finally leave without buying anything.
Is it basic to do testing even if not buying? They know me as a repeat customer, and that day itself I already confirmed buying an item that coated few hundred dollars. They said I cannot test it unless I confirm buying the lens.

Being disappointed, I'm not visiting them anymore.
 

Last edited:

ZoomZ

Deregistered
Aug 29, 2011
1,089
0
0
#8
Have not done lens testing at TKfoto, but to be fair to them, some customers prefer buying from a shop like TKfoto since their products are "fresh" and really BNIB with sealed boxes. Weird sometimes, but you do see customers testing a lens and satisfied with that set, but requesting for another sealed set just to be happy buying a brand new "untouched" set.

I would normally tell the shop that I am buying (after comparing prices of 2-3 shops) and just want to make sure the set is fine with AF, no scratches, etc. They will be kind enough to let me confirm that it is a good set as a genuine customer. Unless the first set I touched is having issue, the shop will test it too and if it is indeed a problem set, they will then open another set.

Depending on lens/camera/customer, Cathay, SLR Revo, Alan Photo would allow testing. I bought my Sigma 35mm for Nikon after choosing from 3 sets. 2 sets are quite misaligned in AF, and the last set was perfect.

Some shops don't have the test camera though (shutter counts may be a concern to open a new set to test), so bring your own camera.

If you are buying a Sigma lens, I would suggest that you test it thoroughly at the shop though. Not the testing 5-10 sets to find a perfect set, but the QC of Sigma in the past was not perfect. They might have improved, but being cheaper may mean less labour catered for testing and QC in the factory.

Is it basic to do testing even if not buying? They know me as a repeat customer, and that day itself I already confirmed buying an item that coated few hundred dollars. They said I cannot test it unless I confirm buying the lens.

Being disappointed, I'm not visiting them anymore.
 

Last edited:

rhino123

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
5,243
15
38
NA
#9
I bought a cheapo 28mm f2.8 from TKfoto before, they allowed me to test, took a few shots and see if the lens had any back and front focus issue, actually they even encourage me to test.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,488
26
48
Pasir Ris
#10
Is it basic to do testing even if not buying? They know me as a repeat customer, and that day itself I already confirmed buying an item that coated few hundred dollars. They said I cannot test it unless I confirm buying the lens. Being disappointed, I'm not visiting them anymore.
Testing is the final check before check out and hand over money. It is not your test firing area where you assess the image quality of the lens. So if you tell them that you will buy this lens, they will let you do the final checks where you assess that the lens is functioning well, avoiding getting a lemon. Unless you discover a grave malfunction on the spot, everything else is a case for service centers.
 

ZoomZ

Deregistered
Aug 29, 2011
1,089
0
0
#11
Agree. If not, it will end up as CS organised events to test lenses there with all the new mirrorless cameras + adapters!
 

kandinsky

Moderator
Staff member
Apr 26, 2008
3,014
24
38
#12
...and that day itself I already confirmed buying an item that coated few hundred dollars. They said I cannot test it unless I confirm buying the lens.
Sounds like a communication breakdown, and misaligned expectations. You say they said you 'cannot test it unless you confirm buying', but you also say you 'already confirmed buying'... then technically they would have allowed you to test it. :dunno:

Going by the latter part of your statement, I wonder if it was perhaps a matter of terminology/semantics that led to them not understanding that you intended to purchase the item. If you were already committed to the purchase, and asked to check the lens after purchase, (as opposed to asking to test the lens before purchase), that might have yielded a different response? I think unless you have a long-term (or personal) relationship with the shop and/or give them loads of business, most tend to allow checking after purchase for the average customer.

Both parties probably had vastly different ideas of what "confirmed buying" meant. It sounds like your idea of 'already confirmed buying' probably appeared to them as: "I will definitely buy this from you if you let me test all I need to in order to find a copy that satisfies all my requirements. But if after testing I don't find a copy that I'm satisfied with, it is possible that I may not make any purchase". Your "confirmed buying" was simply not "confirmed" enough for the shop :bsmilie:

We have to be reasonable as consumers. If most of us want to purchase new unblemished items, we also have to understand that shops can't possibly allow all customers to test multiple copies of new lenses indiscriminately if they do not have established display sets. If you owned a shop, would you do that? Would you knowingly patronise a shop that happily allows anyone to test all their items? You'd probably feel like they are used items being sold as new. Note that it's different from 'checking' for potential factory defects/faults on the spot immediately after purchase.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
21,903
46
48
Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#13
when we buy a lens, of course we will have to check, can not say don't need to check, or can not let customers check, at lease must make sure there is a lens inside the box mah....

but when we talk about testing a lens, of course customer will buy the lens only when they are happy, correct or not? who will buy a lens when they are not happy? this is worst then carrot head right?

so what happen if a customers open up 10 boxes of lens to test test, and still can not find a lens he want. than, who will still want to buy those lens that let other people test before? you head about one speck of dust in a lens also can not before or not?
like that if the store let some customers test the lens, and also tell other customers those lenses nobody touch before at the same time, this store is not honest at all, who will still want to patron this kind of stores liao lor, right or not?

so if the store rather lose one customer, than lose their reputation and many customers, I think this is understandable. after all, they are opening their door to do business, no customers want to come, soon or later will close shop laio. than like that everyone go buy lenses from online lor.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,488
26
48
Pasir Ris
#14
Is it basic to do testing even if not buying? They know me as a repeat customer, and that day itself I already confirmed buying an item that coated few hundred dollars. They said I cannot test it unless I confirm buying the lens.
Erm.. just to clarify:
1) You indicated your intention to purchase an item worth a few hundred dollars.
2) This item is not the lens you intended to test.
3) You want to test the lens just for fun, not knowing whether you will buy it or not.
Please confirm or correct so that we fully understand.
 

rhino123

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
5,243
15
38
NA
#15
Bro sin77, I read some of your post in this thread... slightly confused now...

Are you intending to buy the lens or not? If not... of course the shop will not allow you to test, if yes, then the shop already make it clear that they allow you to test, so... what is the actual problem?

And like what bro Catchlight had mentioned, there are customers who demand zero dust in their lens, one little speck of dust and they expect a shop to do one to one exchange (see link below). You think the salesman will allow you to finger their product at all... until you are one hundred percent you are going to purchase that item? And also, how would the salesman actually determine if you would later argued that there is one speck or some speck of dusts in their lens and refused to buy, or worst asked for discount because of that?

If you want to blame, blame that type of customers who spoilt market for everyone.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1358686

Anyway... like I have mentioned before, I doesn't seemed to have any problem testing lenses in any shop... but that is because, I don't go around testing lenses, I will only test when I am 100% positive that I will get that lens and I want the lens I buy to have zero alignment problem, front and rear focus issue, and clean optic (as in no fungus and haze or cracks or things like that, but dust is okay ;))
 

Last edited:

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
1,865
3
0
#17
Thanks for all the replies, advice and analogies. I think I am partly at fault. Pls also allow me to clarify some doubts.

I had confirmed buying another item which was made clear to them. So I am not someone who just window shop but never buy anything in the end. Based on this reasoning, I thought I may get some privilege to test a lens to see if I like the image quality.

Even though I might buy a lens that day I was not very sure if I would really buy it. I thought customers can play around some lenses to see if that would entice them. Perhaps that would be the case of test set. Since they don't have test set, I don't admire this level of service. But be fair, where can they find so many test set for people to play? From distributor?
 

Last edited:

sin77

New Member
Nov 28, 2004
1,865
3
0
#18
Btw may I ask if I am not satisfied with the AF accuracy or the strong vignetting at only the top left corner, can I get free tuning within the warranty period? Actually can top left vignetting be resolved by tuning?

When I send in, how long will it take to return to me? Do I have to send in my camera as well?
 

Last edited:

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,488
26
48
Pasir Ris
#19
Btw may I ask if I am not satisfied with the AF accuracy or the strong vignetting at only the top left corner, can I get free tuning within the warranty period? Actually can top left vignetting be resolved by tuning?
If you have local warranty then the service center is your contact point, not the shop.
But please: put some efforts in to eliminate human error and verify that the AF problem is really caused by the lens. Get the AF test chart, follow the instructions. Skip all funky battery / newspaper shooting tests.
When I send in, how long will it take to return to me? Do I have to send in my camera as well?
Nobody can tell you, only the service center upon assessment of the lens and maybe some clarification calls about spare parts (if required).
Usually, camera body is not required.
 

Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,488
26
48
Pasir Ris
#20
Based on this reasoning, I thought I may get some privilege to test a lens to see if I like the image quality.
What kind of tests do you really want to do in a shop to assess image quality? Please .. have a look at how reliable review sites conduct their tests so that reliable data can be obtained. Stop thinking that your snapping around in a badly lit shop can give you any useful hints.

I thought customers can play around some lenses to see if that would entice them. Perhaps that would be the case of test set. Since they don't have test set, I don't admire this level of service. But be fair, where can they find so many test set for people to play? From distributor?
And who shall pay for that? As you can see, many people here are anal about getting a 'virgin' set. So the molested display set can only be sold far below the standard price. Would you want to have one? Or: would you like to pay the additional costs for a display set as some mark up, although you never had it in hands and straight away bought your copy? Contrary to popular belief: cameras and lenses are consumer electronics, not cars. Where low margins are the standard, there is no space for extended display sets and other luxury that is happily and easily charged to customers.
 

Top Bottom