A few things to consider when buying second hand lenses
I’m looking to add an other lens to my kit, but can only afford a 2nd hand lens. How do I avoid getting ripped off when buying a 2nd hand lens?
- Try to buy in person rather than online
- Checking for an visible damage on the exterior
- Checking the glass elements
- Checking for dust and mold
- Bring a camera to test focus, both auto and manual
- Don’t be forced to buy anything
Today’s question is from Tom he’s asking how do you avoid getting ripped off when
buying a secondhand lens?
Hey Tom thanks for your question.
what I try to do is to buy in person so this allows me to inspect the lens and I also bring my camera with memory card.
so first thing to do is to actually check any visible damage on the lens.
Over time as we use our cameras more and more with the camera strap on your shoulder or around your neck you are going to bump into things with it.
so it’s natural for a second hand lens to have some sort of markings on them, ideally we want it to just be the lens hood to have markings
Check that the lens hoods doesn’t have big gashes or lots of scratches.
More important is that the lens itself doesn’t have scratches or dents. If it does it might of been dropped or misused.
Also check that there are no scratches on the front or rear elements. If you see any, don’t buy the lens.
Checking for dust, mold and scratches
Next I would actually take off the the caps. The the front cap and back cap and point the lens to a
bright light source, could be a window or a light.
What we’re looking for here is dust and also mold. I’ve had a few lenses over the years both primes and zooms, and I’m know my zooms do tend to have one or two specks of dust which you know is from the lens zooming in and out.
Lenses that are over 10 years old or even a few years old, depending on where you photograph. Is normal to have a little bit of dust because of zooming in and out.
Dust is gonna get in so what we don’t want to see is to see big pieces of dust and also we do not want to see lots of dust inside the lens.
Be careful of mold, It could be black, green / blue on the inside or even look like a water drop on the inside of the lens element.
I’ve noticed whenever I had a lens that was repaired, it started to grow mold shortly after. It looked like a water drop on one of the elements and I find that once you’ve opened a camera lens after it’s been fixed it’s just never the same again.
So if you buy a second-hand lens that you need to fix that type of thing. It‘S never going to be the same again. I would definitely run the opposite direction as soon as I see that. That’s for sure.
Testing the lens on a camera
Testing to see how autofocus is like and making sure that it will focus at all f-stops. That’s why you need to bring a memory card and camera.
Just remember you don’t need to buy the the lens on the spot. You know that you have every right as someone buying something to try it within reason of course.
Within the confines of where the shop is or the person’s home. Don’t be pressured into buying anything that you feel 100 percent confident.
That’s why bringing a camera body with a memory card and taking photos around that area where you’re in, at different f-stops seeing how the focusing works also what’s it like to manual focus.
Crunching sound of the motor is not good. A motor that is really loud might need repairing. Older lenses are louder than the more modern camera lenses.
Yeah, we really don’t want to hear any crunching sounds. As it could be sand in the motor.
That’s what I would do when it comes to buying a 2nd hand lens thanks, for your question Tom, I hope that helps.
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